Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Another Day in the Kitchen...

Good morning, my friends!

Hope your day is going well!  This will be a quicker post today--got lots on my plate today--got to get hopping!

I find my posts returning again and again to a kitchen theme...I guess that's natural, as I think about it...we spend so much time in our kitchens every day...I'm sitting here at my computer in my kitchen right's an important place in our homes, isn't it?!

Well, I made a couple more kitchen cards yesterday--there are so many kitschy and wonderful images out there, I just can't stop myself!

This first one uses an adorable image from Crafty Secrets' "Homemade" Images & Journal Notes booklet...

This is also for this week's Crafty Secrets' forum challenge over  at Splitcoast--to use the very first sketch challenge card as our inspiration...not sure how true to it I stayed (had to turn it up on it's side!), but oh, well!  

I used some wonderful Graphic 45 paper and some the blue argyle print is a retired Stampin' Up print. 

I love making these flowers with circle scallop punches--so easy and fun!  Sorry I didn't check the button for stray glitter before I took the picture...but sometimes even when I do, I find that glitter just has it's own mind...doesn't always want to be obedient to our wishes--goes wherever it pleases!  Oh, well!  I love my glitter!  Love these little cookie cutters I got at Michael's last year--just perfect for a card like this!

And now for this one...

This is one of my favorite kitschy kitchen images ever---and I had to scan the cover of one of my cookbooks to get it!  This is an adorable children's cookbook that I just love!

Each page is just a treasure--and the recipes are great, too!

Lots of silver shavings glitter, of course...with a healthy dose of Dazzling Diamonds, too!  The adorable polka-dotted  & strawberry paper is from Gooseberry Patch--how fun is that?!

And speaking of Gooseberry Patch, have you found their new "bookazine" yet?  I just got mine at Target a couple of days ago, and it's fabulous! 

My daughter Annie had another class party today, so I whipped up these little yummies from the new cookbook magazine...

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used chunky--that's all we have in this house!)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Roll dough into one-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Use a fork to press a crisscross pattern into the top of each cookie.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden.  Let cool before removing from sheet.  Makes 2 dozen.

I was a little uncertain about these, but just had to give them a try--NO FLOUR???--but they worked beautifully!  I did have to press my fork into sugar (of course--it sparkles!) before doing my crisscrosses--the dough is SUPER soft!  I also baked mine for 12 minutes--perfection!

I have some good-looking stew in the crockpot right now...also from this book--I'll let you know how that comes out in my next post!  Thanks, again, Gooseberry Patch ladies, for all the wonderful recipes & inspiration!

Just had to close with a couple of pictures of me in the kitchen...why not?!

There's my beautiful mother....and me with messy hair and my fingers in my mouth--classy girl!

Yep...I still love those darn Wheat Thins....!  Wish I had that beautiful hobnail milkglass pitcher--I love milkglass!  By the way, my sister just reminded me (thanks for coming for a visit, Becky!) that Mom still has this very high chair sitting in her kitchen--now filled by all the grandbabies...lots of sweet, messy little fingers have banged on that tray!

So, go and make something delicious today....or just stick a spoon of peanut butter in your mouth...that's okay, too!

See you soon with something new!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beautiful Songbirds...

Good afternoon, everyone!

Hope it's been a great day for you so far...I had a lovely one at the Park, taking some adorable 2nd graders on a much energy, and so much fun!

I have a few things to share with you today...I made a couple of cards yesterday--enjoyed making these so much!  Here's the first one...

I love this beautiful robin image from Crafty Secrets' "Birds and Botanicals" Images & Journal Notes booklet--just a simply regal bird--"The Singer"--which also comes into play later in my post...

This is a fairly simple card, lots of layers, though...some lovely manuscript-looking music paper, black lace and ribbon...and of course, plenty of chunky silver glitter--the real stuff I love so much!

Here's my second...

I LOVE this little girl!  Her very serious face as she attempts to guide all these beautiful songbirds in a song...makes me giggle!  This image is also from the "Birds and Botanicals" booklet--so many pretty ones to choose from!  I used another image, cut it up, and it's now the birdies that are popped up at the top and bottom of the main image.  Lots of Dazzling Diamonds on this one...not showing up too well in the photo, though!

I love that bunch of lilacs behind her--gorgeous!

These beautiful vintage songbird images started me thinking about another songbird that I love so much...

...this is my great-grandmother, Estella Vance Stapley.  I've talked about her in posts before, and probably will again!  So many stories that I'm lucky to have... 

Estella was a singer.  For as long as she could remember she loved to sing--it was a very important part of her life.  I'm told she had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice...wish I could remember hearing her sing...

When she was a a young girl, in old Mesa, Arizona, her parents decided there wasn't a good place for the young people of the town to get together, so they built the Vance Auditorium in 1906...

...the family actually lived in the theater for a time, in back rooms and upstairs until they built their new home.  They had quite a large family...

Estella was a twin--her sister, Orella (not identical!) is on the center left in the white dress with dark hair...and Estella is on the center right, next to her father with the white dress and blond hair...what a beautiful family!

The Auditorium was used for all sorts of entertainments for the community...dances, concerts, church meetings, family gatherings, and when the first silent movies came along, they were shown there, as well!  Estella and her sister had the opportunity to introduce all the new popular songs of the day to the community--no radio yet in those days! 

There were two swings built on either end of the stage, and Estella and Orella would swing and sing all the newest songs...

"Daisy, Daisy"...was one she specifically remembered singing there, as well as

"Come Josephine in My Flying Machine" fun to know some of the actual songs she sang!

Here's how she looked about this time...this is her girls' basketball team photo from Mesa High School around 1912...

...that's Estella on the bottom that smile!

The Vance Auditorium (later called the Mezona) was used until 1971 when it was torn down to make way for a motor lodge...pretty sad, isn't it?!  So glad a couple of old photos of it remain.  I so wish I could somehow have had a seat in that beautiful old theater and seen my Great-Grandmother doing what she loved best...

I hope you have a wonderful evening...sing something you love while you're cooking dinner for your family tonight...there's a songbird in each one of us, I think!

(Had to share the beautiful sunset from last night...just look at those amazing clouds!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fairies in the Garden...

Good afternoon, all!

Hope the weekend has been lovely for you--it's a rather blustery Sunday here in central California--a bit exciting!

Just a few things to share with you's been a busy weekend with not too much creative time, but I did manage to play with another 3D Shadowbox Frame card, courtesy of the lovely Vicki Chrisman...

These cards are just SO much fun to put together...I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record about these!  I just choose a theme I want to work with, find beautiful images (usually from Crafty Secrets!) and get going!

This little sweetie is from Crafty Secrets' "Birds and Botanicals" Images & Journal Notes booklet...the beautiful bluebird is from their "Altered Fairy" Creative Scraps...

This little one dreaming of fairies comes from Crafty Secrets' "Little Dolls" Images & Journal Notes booklet...with "Just Imagine" from the same sheet...Did you notice the gorgeous silk blossoms?  A sweet gift from Elizabeth...thank-you so much!

I love this darling fairy with the perplexed expression...wonder what she was thinking when this photo was taken, oh, so many years ago...!  She comes from the "Altered Fairy" Creative Scraps, as do the beautiful eggs, which have been sparkled up with Glossy Accents & Dazzling Diamonds...the nest comes from the "Birds and Botanicals" booklet.

You never know where a tiny little fairy will pop up.....

...if you create a beautiful home in your garden for them, as my Mother did, they may become permanent residents!  Here's my beautiful daughter Chelsea, way back in 1998...peeking in the windows to see if the fairies were at home...

...and my middle daughter Sarah poses in the fairies' front yard as well.  This was Easter Sunday, and the girls were hunting for Easter eggs in their jammies...hadn't gotten their Easter dresses on yet, apparently!

Mom made this beautiful little house years ago...she's always dreaming up and creating magical never know, do you?  If you built it, they MAY come...!

(***You need to pop on over to Cozy Little Cottage and see Brenda's beautiful fairy gardens--she has created some beauties!***)

Another woman who dreamed and believed in fairies is a great favorite of mine...Cicely Mary Barker.

Her  beautiful and fanciful paintings of fairies have been cherished by me all of my life...Mom's too.  Mary  was born in England in 1895.  She was a sickly child, but had wonderfully loving parents and a happy home.  Her father encouraged her in her drawing and paid for her to study art.  She had her first work pubilshed when she was only 16!

Her sweet fairies were painted from real life...her models were children that were attending her sister's nursery school.

...isn't that wonderful?!  Mary also wrote a little poem to accompany each fairy...

The Song of the Fucshia Fairy

Fuschia is a dancer
Dancing on her toes,
Clad in red and purple,
By a cottage wall;
Sometimes in a greenhouse,
In frilly white and rose,
Dressed in her best for the fairies' evening ball!"

You can read more about Mary and her beautiful work here...and here is her "Flower Fairy Treasury" that I love...

One last fun thing to share with you...a few days ago I received the glorious bunch of Retro Kitchen Tags from Elizabeth--our swap finally concluded!  Thanks so much Elizabeth, and all of my wonderfully creative new friends, for all your beautiful work and sharing hearts!

Isn't that a fabulously fun collection?  And to top it off, a beautiful chenille bluebird, made by Elizabeth...

...her calling card, in a way...supervising my bundle of tags as she so thoughtfully supervised our swap--thank-you, dear friend!

Have a wonderful weekend...and check your spring never know who you might meet there!

I'll be back soon with something new...