Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Bee-ing Happy!



Hello, dear friends!

Another beautiful day…hope all the rain we’ve had stays away for awhile…I love the rain, but…..!

Lots to share with you today!  A definite theme, too, thanks to a wonderful gift from a dear blog friend…


A couple of months ago, I won a lovely giveaway from the very talented Meri of Imagimeri

I was able to choose from a number of adorable springtime images that she would then transform into a sculpture…

This is the one I chose—I just loved it!

And here…

{I used Meri’s photos today—it was so gloomy here, that mine didn’t turn out very well!  Thanks, Meri!}

…is what she turned that little vintage image into!

Isn’t she amazing???

Make sure you click here to see her fabulous tutorial on how she creates her sculptures…featuring my sweet honey bee, of course! And don’t forget to visit her Etsy shop—so many beautiful creations to see there! (She also makes the most wonderful shadowboxes!)

Thank-you so much, Meri!  I will treasure him always!

One of the reasons I chose the  bee for my sculpture is that we’ve had bees on our minds quite a lot this last year….


This is what’s going on in our courtyard wall…BEES!  Yep—we have an enormous hive living inside our outer courtyard wall!  Wish I could have gotten a picture of them swarming, but they’re rather quiet today, since it’s so  gloomy…


We had some bee keepers come out some months ago—they were so excited!  They said—at that time—that we probably had 10 feet of honeycomb in there…we need to lure them out and clean out all the honey, etc….it just hasn’t happened yet!

They don’t ever bother us, and we’ve rather gotten used to them being around & have learned quite a lot about them…they’re pretty fascinating to watch…but I really do want them out of there, trust me!

Well, back to Meri…her beautiful gift inspired my project for the day…


A card using one of my very favorite stamp sets, from the amazing original artwork of Hope Wallace Kearney…

*Queens Ink Rubber Stamps QUEEN BEE Paper Relics

…you can find her stamps at Paper Relics


…images stamped multiple times, lightly colored, layered…a bit of sparkle here and there…


The Queen Bee at our house last night was our youngest daughter, Annie…


…who came home from the Sports Banquet with all these medals from her Freshman season on the track team…


…that’s a pretty good reason to BEE happy!

And here’s another one:


I always feel like Susie Homemaker when I’ve got my four loaves of bread rising on the counter in my kitchen…


My Mom gave me a fabulous bread recipe some months ago, and I haven’t bought a loaf of bread since!  I make this at least once a week, and we all just LOVE it!

Twenty-five short minutes after the dough has risen nice and high, we have this…




I make my daughters’ sandwiches with this bread every day, and it caused quite a ruckus among their friends at first—apparently they don’t see a lot of homemade bread!


I couldn’t wait very long before I had to cut into it…(sorry about the messy kitchen in the background!)


And how’s this for the ultimate little slice of happiness?!  A nice, warm, thick piece of bread with a little bit of butter…and a whole LOT of honey!  Oh, what bliss!

Well, that’s it for me today…hope you all find some lovely reasons to *bee* happy today!

See you soon with something new…


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Monday, May 16, 2011

Crafty Secrets Design Team Challenge: Masculine


Good morning, my friends!

Well, here we are again…another fun Crafty Secrets Design Team Challenge!  This time—something a little bit tricky—(for me, anyway!)—masculine projects…

It’s just really tough not to put oodles of bows, lace, ribbon, buttons & glitter on a project…know what I mean?!  But a challenge must be answered, so here we go!

First up…a fun, retro card using a few different products from Crafty Secrets:

DSC03237_edited-1 {did you notice that the two buttons kinda look like car headlights?!…at least that’s what I was going for…!}

I LOVE this images from the “Vintage Photos” Creative Scraps—so cute!  And a wonderful black & white check print for my background from Crafty Secrets’ up & coming new “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD…


I used the speedometer and “Still Cruisin” stamps from the “Car Classics” set…


The “Road to Happiness” stamp from the “Car Classics” set is great—looks like a license plate!   And the black diamond border is from Crafty Secrets’ “Favorite Fellas” stamp set…


My husband let me know that “man cards” DO NOT have ribbon on them…but it just needed a little something more…this doesn’t REALLY count as ribbon, right?  I mean, it’s not a bow or anything!

Even though this is a masculine challenge, this card was just so retro, I couldn’t resist adding a BIT of Stickles to it…sorry!  We’ll say it’s chrome—how about that?!

Next up:


We’re heading down the country road for a little farm fun!  Don’t you just love all these fabulously farmy images?!  These are all from Crafty Secrets’ “Farm Fresh” Creative Scraps—love them!

DSC03251_edited-1 {Does twine really count as ribbon?}

The chicken wire stamp used on in the background on Kraft cardstock is from Crafty Secrets’ “Farm Chicks” stamp set, and that wonderfully vintage red & white print paper is also from the soon-to-be-available “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD…


I just HAD to put at least one button on this card…and as I searched through my big vintage button bowl, I came across this wonderfully old & rusted metal button…what better place to use this than on a masculine-ish farm card?!


And nothing says “masculine” more than a fabulously old,  vintage truck!  (Except for the fact that a truck exactly like this is my daughter Sarah’s dream car!)

Now, since we’re talking masculine, how about a recipe that’s GUARANTEED to make a man happy? (and everyone else, too!)



{I ALWAYS double this recipe—just do it!}

1/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)

1/2 cup sour cream

2-1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup walnuts (if desired—my family doesn’t desire!)

1/2 bag white chocolate chips


In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light & fluffy.  Add eggs, beating well.

Stir in mashed bananas and sour cream.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Stir into banana mixture just until moistened.  Fold in nuts and white chocolate chips.


Transfer to a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (mine always needs at least 5 additional minutes).  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 1 loaf of the most delicious banana bread ever…enjoy!


Well, there you have it!  Hope you will stop by and visit all the talented ladies on the Crafty Secrets Design Team listed below—I KNOW they will have so much to share with you today that will inspire you!

Vicki Chrisman--Team Leader

Pam Hooten

Heidi Blankenship

Linda Duke

Michele Kovack

Melissa Phillips

Julie Campbell—me!

 Heartwarming Vintage Blog

Crafty Secrets

See you soon with something new…


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Anniversary Memories…

DSC03179_edited-1  {Our engagement photo, 1988}

Hello, dear friends!

What a beautiful morning!  It rained here all night—which hardly EVER happens in our area this time of year—such a fresh, lovely surprise!

Had a lazy Saturday yesterday…garage saling (is that a word?!) all morning with my good friend Barb—and we introduced my daughter Sarah to the joys of junkin’-- I think she’s been smitten!

Oh my goodness, I found some wonderful things!  Here’s just one of the beautiful finds…


…isn’t she lovely?  An old song…sheet music from 1909…the year one set of my great-grandparents were married…

The elderly lady I bought it from (for $1!), said her grandmother had it displayed next to her old Victrola in her living room, with a beautiful old lamp nearby, softly illuminating it…


…she spoke of the remembered scene so lovingly, so nostalgically…that I couldn’t believe she wanted to let it go…but go, it did…to another very loving home.

Last weekend marked our 23rd wedding anniversary…seems like just yesterday—and yet so much has happened in those 23 years!


{Just after our wedding ceremony…May 7, 1988}

A page made this week to mark the occasion…it will soon be placed in my heritage scrapbook…one more generation finds it’s place…


I pulled so many elements together for this page…took me a while to get it where I felt happy with it!  Sometimes a work of love takes a bit of effort, though, doesn’t it?   (Just like marriage, I guess!)


A favorite poem, typed in a vintage-style font for the focal point…the first two stanzas of Robert Browning’s beautiful poem, “Rabbi Ben Ezra”…

“Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be…”

…such lovely, hope-filled words…


Beautiful, ornate photo corners on all for corners of the poem—courtesy of Crafty Secrets’ fabulous new “Photo Studio” stamp set…


1988…the year we began our lives together…I love these vintage number stamps from Crafty Secrets’ “Sexy Little Number” stamp set…


An old charm I purchased years ago, now given new life with a framing of sparkly crystal rhinestones…hung in the middle of some beautiful, creamy seam binding…


A gorgeous vintage floral design in one corner, stamped with Crafty Secrets’ new “Floral Art” stamp set…


Rosettes made with some wonderful, old muslin…perfect for shabby little flowers…just a touch of gold Glimmer Mist added to give them a bit of color and sparkle…


Here we are again…a portrait taken of us just this last summer…not quite as young as we once were…a little more weather-beaten, (MUCH different hairstyles for both of us!)…but many experiences shared—some hard, most joyful…three beautiful daughters we’re so proud of…and much, much love…

DSC03186_edited-1 {saying taken from Crafty Secrets’ “Vintage Photos” Creative Scraps”}

“Love makes the world a beautiful place”…I couldn’t have said it better myself…

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing…

Thank-you, honey, for 23 wonderful years…Looking forward to an eternity more…