Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Gift of Spring...and My "Office"

Good morning, everyone!

It's Saturday morning...the sun is shining, the rain is past...(for now, anyway!) husband is out getting our vegetable garden it good!

I have a few things to share with you today--first, I thought I'd show you a couple of my favorite Spring/Easter decorations...

I love this beautiful hat-shaped nest with sweet bluebirds on top..."a gift of Spring"...

And this--one of my very favorites--I think you'll see why...

Gorgeous rough crystal eggs in my Grandmother's old crystal basket...I love how the light comes through the eggs and makes them glow...absolutely beautiful...

Next up is another fun 3D Shadowbox card--from the creative mind of Vicki Chrisman and Crafty Secrets!

I really love putting these cards never quite  know how they're going to end up when you begin...!

This sweet little chick is from Crafty Secrets' "Easter" Creative Scraps...

...a beautiful Easter angel that Sandy (Crafty Secrets) provided as a free download on her blog last spring...and

...a wonderful vintage bunny I found online...

Lots of glitter and ribbon, lace and crystal stuff!

Since I showed you some photos of my daughters from 1997 the other day, I thought I'd indulge myself a bit more by sharing more with you from a similar Easter party in babies a little more grown up...

Our aunt and uncle--the hosts of the party--kept chickens, and this particular year, they had a box of new baby chicks in the house for the kids to gently pet and girls were under their spell...

...totally and completely!  I love these sweet memories--thanks for letting me share!

Lastly, I thought I'd show you my "office":

...what do you think?!  I'm a naturalist (docent) at the county park.  Classes come to us in the spring for fieldtrips, and I'm one of a few naturalists that take them on hikes and teach them about the plants & animals and the Native Americans that lived here...

Here's my first class of the season--an adorable bunch of third graders--excited about everything they see and FULL of questions!

...yep--it's a tough life--lucky me!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend--see you soon with something new!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Easter in Lavender and Green--The Play Date Cafe' #20

Good evening,  everyone!

What a busy week it's been!  Can't believe I haven't posted since Sunday!  I think we're all busy right now, aren't we?!

Well, it's  time for another Play Date Cafe' Challenge--and this will be my last one as a Design Team member...time for other girls to have all the fun!  I'm also the host for the week, and here are the colors for this weeks challenge:

Lavender, Pea Green, and White...aren't they beautiful together?
Here's what Julie Ranae--the queen of the Play Date Cafe' had to say about this week's blog hop:

'As the Play Date Cafe begins a new season of designers, we also say goodbye to Julie Campbell, who has been on the design team for the past 4 months.To welcome in the new design team, we are having a BLOG HOP!

To see what you can win and to get started from the beginning, you need to start from The Cafe.

If you came here from The Play Date Cafe' blog, you are in the right place.

Here are THREE ways to give you the best chance to win:

1. You must stop at each designer's blog and leave a comment.

There are ONLY 9 total and all you have to do is click on the name!

2. Become a follower of The Play Date Cafe...easy-peasy!

3. Play along with this week's color challenge

All the details on how to play are on the sidebar in The Cafe.

The winner will be chosen by'

Here's the Blog Hop order:

The Play Date Cafe Blog
Julie Campbell
Lisa Somerville ...Lisa will tell you where to go from there!

So there you go...PRIZES and everything!

Here's my card for the challenge:

I found this sweet image online, courtesy of Sugar Moon (my opening image, as well)--love this vintage chick pulling an egg cart full of lovely lilacs...I kept this pretty simple...some pretty printed paper from K & Co. "Charlotte" stack, lace, ribbon, buttons, Dazzling Diamonds, and of course, lots of silvery glitter!

Here's a little close-up shot....

Had fun with this, as well as with all of the Play Date Cafe' challenges!  Thank-you, ladies, for the friendship and all the fun and creativity!

Since I'm a Vintage Chic, and just made a vintage chick card, I thought I'd share a few more vintage chicks with you...'s a beautiful postcard I purchased at an antiques' shop a few years these sweet chickies dancing around the Easter Egg tree!  I really enjoy the metallic gold backgrounds on some of these postcards.  This one dates from 1910...such a beautiful time for postcards, I think... Hope you can do something pretty with it!

And now some little sweeties from own three little chickies during an Easter party at our Uncle and Aunt's home in Southern California...Oh, man!  I can't believe how time flies!

Chelsea, Sarah and baby Annie posing before changing their clothes and hustling around the little farm in search of eggs...

...such loving girls...and the best part?  They still are! 

Thanks for sharing some early Easter fun with me tonight!  I'll be back very soon with something new...

Sweet dreams!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Claddagh, a Card, Sugary Green Cookies...and "The Quiet Man"

Good evening, everyone!

Hope it's been a lovely weekend!  We've had a great one, and just about to sit down to a movie with the family...I love Sunday nights!

Just one card to share with you tonight...I love this new set from Flourishes!  

I've been in love with the Claddagh symbol for as long as I can remember, and when I saw this set announced, I just HAD to have it!  Here's the card I made today:

I love the beautiful bouquet of shamrocks, and decided to put the Claddagh symbol on top of it.  Love, Friendship and Loyalty--that's what the Claddagh stands for...pretty good things to represent, I think!

...lots of glitter, of course, and a green crystal rhinestone on the crown...I love this image!  I did all paper-piecing here.  Call me crazy, but I really enjoy cutting out the little pieces and putting them together--I love the dimension and deep colors it gives an image.

Here's a little history of the Claddagh...there are many legends on how it originated...who knows the actual truth?  I would imagine it's a bit of all of them combined.  All legends have their basis in fact, they say!  Here's the story I like the best, and it's possibly the most plausible...

"The most common - and most believable - tale of Claddagh history begins with a young man from Galway by the name of Richard Joyce leaving his true love to make his fortune in the West Indies. As he sailed toward his goal, his ship was captured by a band of pirates and he was sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith.

Through the many years of service to the goldsmith, Richard perfected the art of jewelry making himself, eventually becoming a master craftsman and earning the respect and admiration of his master. When King William III negotiated the freedom of the slaves in 1689, the Moor offered Richard the hand of his daughter and a healthy dowry on top of that. But Richard refused....for his heart still lay in Ireland.

Returning to Galway, Richard found that his sweetheart had remained true to him through all those years. In a fitting tribute to his true love, he fashioned the Claddagh ring. The two hands represented their friendship. The crown signified their loyalty. The heart symbolized their love. Richard wedded his beloved and presented the first Claddagh to her as her wedding ring. And the two lived happily ever after....never to be apart again.

This legend of Claddagh history is not entirely without basis. Indeed, the earliest examples of Claddagh rings bear Richard Joyce's initials. So it makes sense that most scholars and everyday people believe the legend of Mr. Joyce to be the true origin of Claddagh history. "  (Taken from this site.)

Custom also dictates how the ring should be's a great image I found that explains it...

I also love this custom, taken from the same site as above...

"Throughout Claddagh history, the ring has been handed down from mother to daughter with the saying, 'With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love.' There is no traditional age when the ring is supposed to be handed down. Each mother determines when her own daughter is ready for this special family heirloom."

I've been wanting to get reaquainted with a favorite old movie...and tonight was the night!

What a wonderful film!  Full of old Irish folk songs, beautiful scenery, and John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara--doesn't get much better than that!  This was my daughters' first time to watch it, and they absolutely loved it! 

Re-visiting this charming film was the perfect ending to a lovely weekend!

And now for something sweet!  I took one of our favorite sugar cookie recipes (thank-you, Mrs. Fields!) and gave it a little St. Patty's Day twist...

I intended for them to just be a subtle green, but my daughter Annie would have none of that!  Drop after drop of green was added to the dough....and this is what we got!

Here's the recipe:

Mrs. Fields' Sugar Cookies

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup butter, softened

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the rest of the ingredients, adding flour last.  Do not overmix.  If cutting them out with cookie cutters, refrigerate for 1 hour.  I just did mine as drop cookies, so didn't refrigerate at all. 

I added (Annie did!) green food coloring and white chocolate chunk chips.

Bake at 325 degrees for 13-15 minutes...don't let them brown!  Much better soft and chewy.


Hope you have a wonderful evening, and I'll see you very soon with something new...

Sweet dreams!