Friday, September 30, 2011

A Halloween Mantel

We made it to Friday! I am quite sure I am not the only one excited about that!!!!!! I was catching up on some blogs the other day and noticed that All Things Thrifty is doing a Halloween Linky Party every Friday starting today and running until 10/28. This is a place to put all of our Halloween ideas together.  Old ideas, new ideas, crafts, decorations, costumes, pumpkins, recipes etc! If it is Halloween, Brooke (and the rest of us) want to see it.
I went WAY out of my comfort zone last year and we decorated for Halloween. It was fun. I think it turned out quite well. I am not so sure we will go this route again this year, but only time will tell that. Whether we go this way again or not, I am definitely glad we have photos of it! I am going to post the mantel this week and I am thinking I will post the dining room next Friday (Perhaps I should get that post done now and get it scheduled to publish).
Anyway, here is last year's Halloween Mantel! This was the first year I had done anything like this! The combination of lights made it hard to photograph, but you can get the idea (and we weren't blogging then)!
The 'tree' on the right side of the mantel was actually a branch that dried better than I could have asked for and I am pretty sure we won't be doing that part again just for that reason. The heads on the 'tree' were part of a skeleton garland I purchased at the dollar store. We cut the heads from the garland and gave each of them their own loop to hang them with . The 'photos', the skull, the glow in the dark skeleton on the mirror, the cobwebs, the skeleton garland also came from the dollar store!

There were some old oven racks in the basement when we bought the house. We kept them for some reason. We pulled one out for this fireplace deco! Jim took a string of purple lights and wrapped them around the oven rack. We placed the oven rack in the back of the fire place and then set the gargoyle in the fireplace. (The gargoyle was purchased at TJ Maxx last year)
Cobwebs. Lots of cobwebs. Why do I work so hard the 11 months of the year to keep them from forming...
We had a black light sitting on the mantel to help with all the glow in the dark stuff. It had some cool effects.

I am linking this up to All Things Thrifty For the All Things Spooky Linky Party. I hope you will stop by and check out some of the other projects! Thanks for stopping by. Please leave some comment love and let us know you were here! Have fun getting ready for this year's Halloween.
~Jim, Jen and Jynx (Halloween is her favorite holiday!!!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Natalie!

Our neighbor Natalie turned 6 yesterday! For her birthday we made her a book about the plants in our garden. Natalie loves coming over and learning the names of the different plants/flowers (and helping out in the garden). She can tell you the names of some of the plants on her own and there are others that if you give her a hint she can finish the name! Naturally, all the flowers are beautiful to her! We went for a walk up the street one night and she was naming the plants in someone else's garden. That was pretty cool!
Since she is so curious and at an age where she can soak in all sorts of information, we made her a book. We may have some studying of our own to do over the winter as we included the latin names in addition to the common names of the plants. :)
It wasn't until I started uploading photos for this post that I realized we didn't get a picture of the outside of the book. The book was an 8x8 scrapbook with top loading sleeves. It had a ribbon and button closure.  I hot glued a big fabric flower to the original button. It was cute, you will have to trust me!  We aren't sharing the whole book because that would be a pretty photo heavy blog post! Here is a peek into Natalie's gift! The inside cover page...
The letter that follows the title page...
A few of the pages from the book. Bee Balm
Ice Plant
A page for Natalie to collect her thoughts
If you look closely on the right edge of this photo, you can see part of the flower and a tiny part of the stripes that are on the cover of the scrapbook.
Natalie's favorite, favorite, favorite would be the pink roses--especially when the petals are all over the ground. It is a sight too cute for words. I found this picture last night after Natalie was disappointed there wasn't a picture of the pink roses in the book (there is one empty photo space for the picture though). I didn't think we had any pictures of the roses and once I dug a little deeper I found one. We will be printing this picture and giving it to Natalie to fill in the last photo sleeve!!!
One last picture, of the birthday girl herself! There were several silly, yet cute pictures taken this day, but since I don't want her to hate me forever when she gets older I chose the one I know she likes.
xoxo Jim and Jen

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed Natalie's book!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caught acting like a cat!

Hi Everyone! This is Jynx! I have to share with you what happened the other day. I am still embarrassed by it but what am I to do? So the humans FINALLY  left clothes in the clothes basket and left the basket on the couch! Everyone knows a basket full of clothes is a great place for a cat nap! I apparently napped too long because I was caught in the act. Not only was I caught acting like a cat, the male human captured my picture.

You see I don't act like a cat for extended periods of time. Just about the time the humans seem they are enjoying themselves I jump down and run away. If only I had heard him come through the door...
The female human thought she was going to put those towels away the next day. I showed her who was boss! She picked that top one up and headed for the linen closet. When she came back for the others I was already back in the basket assuming the nap position. I wasn't letting this cozy nap space go away so easily. It did go away after a couple days but I am hopeful the opportunity will present itself again soon.

Off to find a new place to nap.....Jynx

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saturday's yard sale treasures...

Monday is over, thank goodness for that! My yard sale adventures over the weekend were limited to one sale, but what a sale it was. It wasn't a sale for 'junk' or old stuff, but it was a way cool scrapbook sale. I did come home a few non crafting items, but the ad drew me in with that wonderful word SCRAPBOOKING!
Here are my finds! This first picture is JUST Stampin Up products! (keep that in mind for later)
In addition the SU stuff there were 6 sets of plastics drawers (3 different sizes), some packed, some not.
 All of the little plastic containers are full of embellishments. Lots of embossing powder too!
Two dowel rods full of ribbon and more embellishments. Not much paper. Apparently there were people at the sale an hour early.

I also picked up a few books! Check out the titles, you will see why!

A much younger looking Martha Stewart! I am looking forward to sitting down with some hot tea, my blanket and these books. I am NOT, however, rushing that time along. Cold weather will be here before we want it and I hope to enjoy the nice weather until then. Martha will have to wait, at least until a rainy day!

The last picture I have to share has an interesting mix.
The glass frogs were in one of the drawers. I did chuckle at the fact that I am not the only person to put things where they don't necessarily belong. In this instance though, I am not complaining. I like glass frogs and will gladly add them to my collection. We haven't given the glass the test to see if it is true depression glass, but either way it is pretty. and...the shoe...the shoe just sort of screamed at me and told me to bring it home. I did! I haven't completely decided what to do with the shoe, but I like it. I am working on how to dazzle it up for Christmas!
One sale yielded this interesting collection of things for less than $50. What would you do with the shoe? What is your favorite part of the collection?  Thanks for stopping by. Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Create A Critter Cards and a summer recap

Hi Everyone! I thought I would do a post of all the cards I have made so far using the Create A Critter Cartridge.  Most of these were made before I started blogging so I do not have details on the sizes of the cuts. I am one to look for ideas more so than exact details so I thought I would share these in case anyone else is just looking for ideas.  Plus, I wanted to do a post that was paper crafting related since I have some other posts ready that are not papercraft related. I have some other projects going but they are in process...

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!
Here are two panda cards. The first one I made for Jim. He is usually the lucky recipient of my trial cuts! It works. I get to tell him I love him in some sort of fun or witty way and get to make a test run with a cut or cartridge! (Perhaps that is a blog post all its own!)

The other card was a request from a friend. She wanted a Panda card to give to her nephew!
This summer we made a "doggy bag" for Jim's Grandparents. It had some produce and some tomato sauce and some other odds and ends. It was during one of our hot spells this summer so it was a doggy bag to get them through "the dog days of summer"  (Gram LOVED it)
My nephew sent me a post card and it inspired me to make him a card. The post card had the same saying and the same critter. I learned from this card as it was the first time I had made a card like this.  I hopefully won't make those same mistakes next time and will be happier with the future results. While I was not 100% pleased with the card my nephew was quite happy with it, especially since the skunk was a camo skunk!

Earlier in the summer my family had a pig roast. I just had to cut out the pig and make a card for someone. Since my Mom had given us some flowers after the pig roast was over, she got the card as a thank you.
Two More! First is the birthday card I made for our friend Marie. The outside says Holy Cow and the inside says It's your birthday! I met her and her daughter for dinner one night.  Good food, good times. Love ya both!
And the last card I have to share is the dinosaur. RAWR means "I love you" in dinosaur. I made this card for our friend Nikki to give to her honey! They were both happy and I must say I was pretty tickled with how it turned out since it was my first attempt at an easel card.
The other card I made with Create A Critter was a frog and it can be seen here!
Thanks again for stopping by!  The Create a Critter cartridge is definitely a fun one. So many more cuts to explore and so little time. The title of this post was originally Create A Critter Cards, I think I am going to change it since this was a little recap on the summer too. Speaking of summer, it may be gone according to the calendar but it is GORGEOUS outside today. I am hitting publish and going to out to enjoy some of the sun before it goes away for a long winter's nap...
Til next time

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A wonderful Monday Night...if you are a junker and enjoy your neighbors!

Last Monday night turned out to be an AMAZING night! It is also what kicked off the craziness, but I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING!!!!!

When I pulled into the driveway I noticed the neighbors one house up the street had some cabinets sitting at the curb. Always looking for things to repurpose I checked them out.  Here is what I found, AND brought home!

I was initially attracted to the doors to these cupboards.  I'm thinking they would make a couple really cute signs. What do you think? Once I got beyond the sign thought I noticed the hardware.  I LOVE IT!!!

The hardware could be repurposed to a hook on a shelf as seen here. Oh the possibilities. The more I look at them the more I think at least one of them will remain intact and end up in the kitchen. Again, the possibilities!

I had worked all day and was supposed to come home and do some overtime. I wasn't quite ready to jump right back into it and Jim was working until 10:30 so I got myself a glass of ice water and walked three houses down the street to do some porch sitting with the neighbor lady there.  Marty is always up for porch sitting and you never stop and visit without sitting for at least a small spell. I was there for, oh, two and half hours!  WELL ON MY WAY TO GETTING WORK DONE TONIGHT!!!!! :) Marty's son had been in town over the weekend and he is always trying to get her to eat healthy. He made a chick pea salad while he was here. She liked it enough she wrote the down the recipe and had gone back to the store to get the ingredients to make it for herself. We moved our porch sitting to the kitchen and she put this salad together (no help permitted). I am not a big fan of chick peas but I had convinced myself to try this salad.  She put the salad together and even laughed at herself and said "If I can make this while talking away, ANYONE can make this salad!" She got a couple bowls, silverware and some crackers out and we ate.  Much to my surprise, it was tasty. I copied down the recipe and brought it home. It is definitely one of those salads that is much better after some time in the fridge because it was even better the next day. Here's the recipe:
2 CANS CHICKPEAS (Marty used the 15 ounce cans)
1 CAN MANDARIN ORANGES (the can was half the size of the chick peas)
1/2 - 3/4 CUP DRIED BERRIES (Marty used cranberries)

Toss it all in a bowl and wah-lah! Marty sent me home with a small bowl to share with Jim. He liked it too. We decided we will pulse the chick peas in a food processor when we make it for ourselves. It was definitely good on crackers. Tasty, healthy and easy to make. Sounds like a keeper.
I know, I know. You are wondering where the picture is. Well, sad to say, there isn't one. I didn't take one that night and then the week got away from me. It was pretty though.
So, I walked three houses back up the street put the salad in the fridge and did some things in the house. At some point, I decided to take the garbage to the curb and when I got out front Marty, and the neighbor from across the street were in front of the neighbor's house 2 houses down. The neighbor that I got these from! Back down the street I go! I asked the neighbor across the street if she was protesting the for sale sign in Barb's yard? Yes, I am very sad to say that Barb and Dick are moving. They just got here after all and we haven't had enough time to get to know each other very well. I have definitely enjoyed the times we have shared though!!! We were all standing there talking about a number of things. One of Marty's children called so she walked away and Barb says "Did you pick up any junk on your way home?" I replied with "Yes, but it came from our own street!" She said something along the lines of "let me get my keys and we'll go picking! I know where there is some stuff." LOL!!!! TOO FUNNY!!!! Of course the neighbor across the street was finding this all too funny and even offered up her husband's truck for the purpose. Barb was insistent. SO, I came back up the street to get some shoes and my house keys. Barb meets me out front and off we go. On our way to the "stuff" Barb was talking about we came across this chair!
The chair had been broken in the past and if I would have taken a picture of the bottom of the seat you would see that someone tried to fix it. Well we don't need to fix it, we want the spindles. YEP! Brought home some junk for Jim! Nothing says love like someone else's junk right? <3 Here's a closer look of the spindles.
The rest of our journey wasn't fruitful as far as the junk goes. We gained some memories and some things to laugh at and that is truly what is important! I won't give away the secrets of Barb's driving habits when she's junk drunk!  That wasn't the end of it though. Turns out Barb had some stuff in the car for me. Remember I said she's moving...sniff sniff. She brought me some of her "junk" that she thought I might be able to love. Ok, I'll take back the sniff sniff just for a minute!
The chair is from her new home. I am thinking I am going to re-cover it to match the dining room and we will have it for the dining room or the living room when we need an extra chair. It is a nice sturdy chair. The basket, I am seeing it getting a makeover with some spray paint and perhaps making an appearance at Christmas time! The grapevine wreath, I have some thoughts for it, I just need some more time (like everyone else). The white shelf I am giving to Sister # 5 for her to put in her consignment space! The table runners are awesome!!! A fall one, a Christmas one and an old handmade one!!! Another look...
It truly was a perfect night for enjoying the people around me and making memories! Thanks to all of my neighbors that I mentioned!!!!!
So, have you repurposed? Porch sat? Gone trash picking? or just plain enjoyed the people that make life special?

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave some comment love. Til next time. ~Jen

Monday, September 19, 2011

The first big card order!

Hi Everyone! I can't believe it has been a week since I've post. I do apologize. It was a crazy week, but that isn't why we are here. What do you think of the new blog layout? I'm liking it!

Labor Day weekend brought some out of town family into town. Before the weekend was over the out of town family had placed an order for 16 cards. She was rather specific as to what she wanted (which was helpful). She had seen the cards I've made for Jim's Mom and she wanted some of her own so she would "have something special to pass around" for her friends in Georgia. It took a little longer than I had wanted, but they are done!!!
Here is a close up of one of the cards.
We have come up with a line of cards we are calling Jynxisms (She's a crafty cat just like her humans servants) We've taking witty sayings and put a feline twist on them! Well, our out of town family LOVED the ones that I had made for Jim's Mom so she wanted some for herself. 10 Birthday and 5 Get Well.
That is what she will be receiving in the mail. She also asked for a vampire card similar to the one seen here. I also made her a bonus thank you card. I still need to make a thank you card from us. She gave us a gift certificate to our favorite nursery/greenhouse so a thank you, thank you, thank you! is definitely in order. Here is the order minus the vampire, the Stickles on his cape are still drying.
Look at that room, all nice and neat! That sure isn't what the craft space looked like when I was finished. Does anyone else make this big of a mess while creating? I sure hope so, but if not, this is how I roll and I clean it up and move on the next project.
WHAT A DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is bound to happen with all the toys, tools, supplies etc!!! I promise you the work space can be seen and is waiting for the next project!!! There are some other individual card orders to work on and a Halloween village!!!!! It won't be clean for long!
Picked up some fun 'treasures' over the course of the week. Look for a blog post or two on those coming up!!
Thanks for stopping by and hopefully it won't be a week until next time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day of Many Things....

Today is a day of many things. 9/11. Grandparents Day. Patriots Day. The 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Steeler Sunday. I started the day by watching some of the ceremony in NYC. I know exactly where I was 10 years ago today. Not only do I know where I was, I remember being even more scared because once the air traffic was halted that left my father half way across the country.
In the months and years immediately following 9/11 I would meet some people that were directly affected by the tragedy. People that lost more than one loved one, friend or family member. People that went to Ground Zero to help. Thank you to everyone that needs thanked and prayers to everyone that needs a prayer. I will never forget.

Today is also Grandparents Day.  I had the pleasure of working on a couple Grandparent's Day projects this week with our girlfriend Steph.  We made two calendars and an explosion box.  The explosion box was my first attempt.  I am definitely in love with the concept and will be making some more!
The box had three layers. One 12x12 square, one 11x11square, and one 10x10 square. The lid was made from an 8x8 square. I wish I could tell you more about the paper and embellishments, but I can't.  They were in the stash.

The 12x12 scored at 4 inches with the corners cut out. I think double sided paper/cardstock would've worked better, but this turned out just fine. (see the Steelers pencil? GO STEELERS!)

The 11x11 square scored at 3 3/4 inches and the corners cut out. I can tell you about this paper. It is from the DCWV All About Boys stack.

The 10x10 square scored at 3 1/2 inches with the corners cut out. This paper is also from the All About Boys Stack. (Yep! Go Steelers!)

The 8x8 square used for the lid. It was already embossed and is definitely from the stash. I am pretty sure this was in one of my great yard sale purchases this summer! This one is scored 2 inches from each edge, leaving a 4 inch section down the center. I would score it and turn the sheet of paper so I would be less likely to screw it up! The corners do not get cut out of the lid. (One last time, GO STEELERS!) I can't give credit to any one place for the help with the box measurements. I looked around and then 'winged it'

The glue I used to glue the lid together. A little definitely seemed to go a long way!

The lid all glued together!

The inside. The blue squares lift up to reveal additional photos. You could definitely make some places to hide tags etc. So many options with this project!!!

The lid decorated and the whole thing put together. LOVE IT! The ribbon is from the Stampin' Up Beachfront collection. The tag and other embellishments were in one of many drawers.

Another view... I think it turned out pretty well. Steph and I didn't get the projects completed when she was here. I finished them up yesterday morning and we dropped them off to her. She was quite happy! They also seemed to be a hit with the other people in her office too!
I am not including photos of the calendars but they turned out cute too!

Happy Grandparent's Day Grandma, Grandma and Gigi!!! Love Brenden!!!!!

Happy Grandparent's Day to all of our Grandparents too.  We love each of you bunches!!! xoxo
(oh and despite the loss, we love our Steelers too!!)

Linking up at Todays Creative Blog and Anything Goes Link Party


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