Monday, December 29, 2008

December Club Projects

I love the Aspen My Reflections Level 2 paper packet! Since I live where we get plenty of snow, I created one of the Cherish Club layouts using the wintery My Stickease. The second set of layouts I left out the My Stickease so that those who live in warmer climes can use the buttons or their own embellishments and those who live where it's truly winter can use the rest of the My Stickease.

For our Stamp a Stack club, we used the stamp set B1316 Coffee Stain. I had a lot of fun creating these cards.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did Santa bring all that you wanted?

He sure did here!! I received the LL Bean Barn jacket in red that I wanted. Plus, I received the matching Brighton Enchanted Hearts necklace that goes with the bracelet that my "grandma upline" gave me when I attained the Mediterranean Cruise. I loved the bracelet so I had to get the necklace to match! I also received a digitial photo frame so that I can watch many of our trip pictures all the time. You know how usually we scrap them or put them in photo albums, but they rately get seen again. This way they'll be out so that I can relive my trip every day!

I can't believe how quickly Christmas came and went! Hope you had a fantastic one!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Day

Can you believe it's here already? Are you ready? I'm almost there. LOL! We're doing the majority of our celebrating this evening so I was up late last night making pies, rolls, etc. There's still a little wrapping to be done :)

It's snowing again right now, so it's definitely a White Christmas! Wonder what Santa's going to bring? I know that I've been a good little girl :)

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's starting to let up!

Finally! Shoveled out the walks and got the worst of it before dark. So, while I had my snow sneakers on, I thought it was a good time to take a nighttime shot of our Christmas lights. I used to decorate the trees on each end of the house, but they've just gotten too large for me. It takes getting in the bucket of the tractor to reach the top, and I DON'T DO THAT!! LOL!!

It just keeps coming!

So, we had about 10 inches of snow on Friday. They said we'd only get a few flurries yesterday....yea...right! They really knew what they were talking about. We got another 3-4 yesterday and braced for the 6-10 we're supposed to get today. The weather forecasters are getting that part right! I didn't want to venture out so I took a few photos from the different doors around the house :)
This one is from the front porch.

This is out the side door. I had to get some of the tree in the photo as it's snowing so hard all the camera could see was white and it wouldn't let me shoot the picture. Normally you can see power poles and a transformer about 1/4 of a mile up the road across the field.

Out the other side door....

It's been a good day to stay in and watch Patriot's football and make Christmas cookies :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

I just realized...

that I hadn't posted a picture of the lovely gifts that I received from my dear friend Helen! When I came home Monday from searching for CC...yes, she's missing again and hasn't been found this time :(.....there was this big box waiting for me on the back steps. What a lovely pick me up it was! I brought it in and opened it immediately :) Inside was this beautiful curio cabinet and another Dreamsicle for the collection that Helen started for me. Thank you, Helen! You are such a special person!

Surprise gift!

Don't you just love this time of year? You never know where your next surprise will come from. I came home yesterday from finishing the last of the Christmas shopping, and there was a package between my doors. Hhhmmm....who could this be from? It was from Tina, my CTMH "grandma" upline! Check out the gorgeous bag she sent me! THANK YOU so much, Tina!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How cool is this?

The sun's shining here and making all of the ice sparkle. Check out these photos! The ice is on each blade of hay in the hayfield.

I spoke too soon! LOL!

No sooner had I finish posting about how lucky we were to have power,and it went out. LOL!! It's back on this am tho. Yea!! There are still about 100,000 or more in the area that do not have power and it's only about 10 degrees. I hope they're able to get the power on to the rest today. It stayed cold here all day yesterday, so it's still looking like a winter wonderland.

I spent the other evening putting up our tree. Normally I'm a bit obsessive about the tree and it takes me two days to do it. We have an artificial due to allergies, so it usually takes me a day to just shape the branches and get it up, then another day to decorate. But, I don't have time this year! So, this is the scaled back version less all the ribbons and's going to have to do.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Storm

We woke up this morning to a pretty coating of ice. Thankfully, we've had power all day, but the cable, phone & internet have been out until just recently. We're one of the few lucky ones. There's over 200,000 people in the local area without power and the power company has pulled in crews from as far away as Michigan to get the lines repaired. No school today as there was no power at the school. Here's a few photos after the snow started falling on top of the ice.

My poor lilac tree...

We'll have lots of firewood to cut as many of the trees in the back are down. There's still lots of crackling as more limbs break off. Our neighbor has a huge limb down leaning on his porch and the rest of the tree is leaning towards his house.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Toasted (and roasted) Coconuts!

Remember the photos I posted earlier of all the firewood I had stacked? Well, the time has come to start burning some. A little background here...we haven't used the wood furnace in about 25 years, and we've installed a new oil furnace in the meantime., we head to the basement to start a fire. We notice that some wires had been cut so, hubby decides he "thinks" he knows where they need to be connected. I head back up the stairs to shut the breaker down so he doesn't end up on his keester. He gets them hooked up and I turn the breaker back on. Great! They're attached and the fire is burning nicely. While we stand there chatting and trying to decide if they really go there or not...LOL....all of a sudden....whoosh!! Here comes water and steam out the pressure value all over the place. Yikes! What caused that? He hit the value to shut it down and decided maybe something's not hooked up right. You think? LOL!!

He tries connecting the wires to a few more places *grin*. Each time the pressure valve blows and after about 4 hrs of playing with this thing he decides there's something wrong. No kidding! LOL! He decides to let the fire die out and says the pressure value should be fine now. Yea...right! LOL! Every 20 minutes for the next 3 hrs it blows. He finishes barn chores and comes back in. After telling him my escapades of the last 3 hrs he decides he needs to look into it further.'s now about 8pm. :) He proceeds to play with it a little more and says it won't blow anymore. Off to bed we head about 10:45. I no sooner got one eye closed when....WHHOOOSHHHHHHHHHH! Here it goes again. Well, since I tend to move a little faster than he, I grope for some shoes and head to the basement to hit it for, hopefully, one last time. LOL!

So, by now I'm sure you're wondering where "toasted and roasted coconuts" comes into play. I'm getting to that. LOL! We finally figured out that two screws that were supposed to be opened weren't and thus, the hot water was not circulating through the pipes and that's why the pressure value was blowing. Houston...we now have heat going through the pipes and upstairs. YEA!! Well, hold the applause.... We have way too much heat! I'm used to it being 64 in the house and every time I turn around the thermostat has now risen another 2 degrees and I'm peeling off clothes (while he continues to add more wood to the fire). It's about time to break out the bikini....NOT! LOL! As of yesterday when I came back from doing errands, it was 76 in this house. YIKES!! Thus, I told him he was roasting and toasting my coconuts! LOL!

We've now shut the fire down for a day or so until the temperature drops in the house, which it will as the outside temps are in the low 20's. We're down to 70 as of this am. So, probably by tonight or tomorrow am, we'll be able to stoke it up and start again. Evidently when they installed this new furnace, they've changed some wiring around so that the wood stove no longer reads the thermostat that's upstairs. Now, will he decide that we need someone to come in and check it out or won't he? That is the question. My opinion...probably not as he likes it a lot hotter in the house than I do, so I have a feeling I'll be living in shorts and a tank top this winter. LOL!! Beats using heating oil tho!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Day of Gifts!

Check out this gorgeous ornament that my traveling buddy, Kim, sent me to remember our trip! How cute is this!! Thank you so much, Kim!
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And, I've been waiting not so patiently for my gift to arrive from Close To My Heart. As a director each year we receive a gorgeous gift and a handmade card. A fellow director had posted a spoiler but I resisted looking. Then, upon visiting my upline's blog...there it was. UGH! I closed out her blog without really checking it out but I did know we were receiving bracelets. Here's the cute wrapping.

Look what was inside! How pretty! handmade card!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

CTMH Sneak Peek!

The Spring Idea Book has arrived! With all the craziness here I haven't had a chance to wear the ink off the pages yet, but it looks fantastic! What do you think? I'll be putting them in the mail soon.

Lookie, lookie! Here's a sneak peek of the new National Papercrafting Month special! It begins December 16th, and you have the opportunity to get it for FREE!! Be sure to email me to find out how!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cute Holiday gifts

Check these out! I had so much fun making these and you can also! I'll be giving this My Acrylix Album to my niece for Christmas, as it will be the 1st Christmas for my grand-niece. I think my niece will have fun filling it with Christmas photos of her children, Brooke and Hunter.

My Sister-in-Law will be getting this cute family recipe album. I'll fill it half full with old family photos and favorite recipes from each member of the family. The other pages I'll leave empty so that Nan can fill it with family favorites from her side of the family.

Both projects are made with all Close To My Heart products. If you'd like to create these cute gifts and see all of the pages, check out my From My Heart Kit.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Craft Fair

Last Saturday I was a vendor at a huge craft fair. It's a local fair that benefits a local children's charity. This was my 5th year as a vendor. With the economy as it is, myself and other vendors did not know what to expect. It turns out that we worried for nothing! Over 2400 people came through the doors to shop! It appears that people in this area have chosen to spend their hard earned money at local shops and through local crafters this year (something that I plan on doing also). It turned out to be a very successful show! Now I need to get busy and paint the special orders that I came home with. It really was a lot of fun as I see many of the same vendors and shoppers from year to year. This year the organizer told me that one woman almost knocked him down after asking where my booth was :) She came flying over and picked out a mailbox and was back out the door in record time. LOL! I also made another lady's day as she'd been looking for a horse mailbox for over a year (evidently she hasn't stopped by Crafter's Gallery *smile*). She kept coming back after placing her order to tell me how excited she was. Sure feels good to make somebody's day!*wink*

Well, I better go get much to little time!

Friday, November 28, 2008


I'm pooped! LOL!! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday! We did! What a wonderful day to give thanks for family and friends.

I had big plans for getting up in the middle of the night last night to shop online at so that I wouldn't have to brave the crowds today. So, I set the alarm for 2:45. Unfortunately, nothing that I wanted was a "ship to store" item so they wanted an arm and a leg for shipping! I had the $7 USB Flash Drive in my cart and they wanted $5.97 to ship it! YIKES! So, I shut the computer off and went back to bed. LOL! Got back up at 5 and headed out by 5:45 for Walmart. It was a madhouse and they were already sold out of the digital photo frames that I wanted for my brother for Christmas and the $8 mens jeans, so we left and headed to Staples and got the photo frames there. YEA! Sure hope Santa was able to pick one up for me also, as that's what I'm looking for to put my trip photos on.

I hit Bon-Ton to grab a couple more things and was home by 8:30. No time to dawdle today as I still needed to finish a few items for the craft fair tomorrow. Those are done, the car is packed and I'm ready for left-overs for dinner! LOL!

After dinner I need to get busy and start packing my Stamp a Stack & Cherish Clubs so they can get mailed out first thing Monday morning. I'm hoping I can get a few out tomorrow but that might be pushing it.

Hope you had a great day of Black Friday shopping!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

It's that time of the year! Are you as crazy busy as I am right now? One would think that this time of year comes as a surprise to me each year. LOL!! As usual....I'm the PRO of PROcrastination. *wink* I painted 5 mailboxes each on both Friday and Saturday, plus sewed 6 of the skating outfits that I make for the dolls. I needed to make sure there were plenty in the store with Black Friday this week. I had huge plans to get a lot done today, but that didn't happen. I headed out to do errands as they're saying we could get some snow tonight and it will be rainy tomorrow, so I figured I'd much rather do the errands while it was dry.

I spent about 1/2 hr on the phone on hold today. :( I've been working on my daughter's website and, for the life of me, I could not get it to upload to her domain name. I've done a number of websites so I was totally baffled and finally had to give in and call. It's just a basic site right now but I'll dress it up more after the holidays when I have more time to play. That's my husband driving the horse in the photo on the home page. I have more of those types of photos to upload into a slide show. Check it out if you get a chance. Kaleidoscope Farms

So, what are your plans for Black Friday? I've been checking out the ads online, but there's nothing like sitting down on Thanksgiving and actually seeing the flyers. I have a couple of things in mind that I definitely want to get. I want a digital photo frame for my brother and sister in law. Both Staples and Walmart have them on sale. to decide which store to go to! LOL!! I usually try to avoid Walmart as that parking lot is just an accident waiting to happen on Black Friday. But, the chances are probably better that they'll have more in stock than Staples will, right? Plus, Staples has a rebate on theirs and I might want to buy more than one. I'm going to be asking Santa for one for myself also. I think it would be fantastic to have a ton of my Europe photos on it so that I can see them all the time. You know how it put photos in the scrapbook and you don't look at them as often. I think it will be great to have them on the digital frame so that I can relive my trip every day.

Well, better finish for today. I have mailboxes lined all around my kitchen counters with their first coats of poly on them. Time to move them and make some dinner :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Latest Creation

I'm usually pretty critical of my own work, but I'm really liking this one. I was asked to create a mailbox with a mare and foal on it, so here's the finished product. I will be adding this one to my line of mailboxes that I sell. So...what do you think?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Talking about Close To My Heart!

Yea! It's just been announced that we can now talk about our Close To My Heart Business on our blogs! I have been dying to share my artwork with you. :)

Here are the layouts we will be doing in the November Cherish Club.
These cards for our Stamp a Stack Club were made using the new Festive Frills My Acrylix stamp set.
If you'd like more information on my Cherish and Stamp a Stack Clubs, shoot me an email. I'd love to have you join us!
Be sure to check out the great new Art & Soul video tutorials hosted by Close To My Heart.
Check back often for more artwork!

Monday, November 10, 2008

CC is Safe!!

She's had quite the adventure! I called around to the neighbors today and one neighbor said that a kitten had followed her kids about 1/2 mile up the road to the next farm. So, I jumped in the car and drove up there. They said there was a cute, well taken care of kitten at their house yesterday but because they had dogs, they'd sent her home with somebody else. They called that person and left word that the owner had been found. He just delivered her back to us! She was a little scared but it didn't hurt her appetite! LOL!
Thank goodness she's ok! Now I can sleep tonight!

My Kitten is Missing :(

I'm so upset! I've looked all over the property, but no sign of her. CC (Cute Cat or Crazy Cat) is only 5 months old. She's a cutie plus a little wild (thus the crazy cat tag) LOL!! She was in the barn with my husband Saturday night sitting on his shoulder like a of her favorite things to do. She'd been playing with the bandages over night as they were scattered around, but she was nowhere to be found yesterday morning when I went to feed the horses. She usually sleeps on some bandages on the anvil stand and is always there when I go into the barn in the morning. She wasn't there yesterday morning. :( I looked all over yesterday but couldn't find her. My husband said he didn't see her in the morning yesterday either. I had hoped she would be in her bed this morning when I went to feed, but she wasn't there.

Due to my allergies & asthma, all of our kitties have to be barn kitties. She's been so good about staying in the barn except to follow us when we go down to feed horses. She loves to ride the golf cart with our grandson. Please keep good thoughts for CC and that we find her......

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Getting into the Groove

Wow! Did I have a hard time getting back into the groove after returning from our fabulous trip! I could sit and daydream all day about the fabulous places that we saw!

But, the time has come to get my rear in gear and get going! LOL! I can't believe that Thanksgiving as fast approaching. With Thanksgiving comes the Holiday Craft Fair that I participate in the Saturday after Turkey Day. I've been doing it now for at least 5 years. I need to get busy and paint some mailboxes and other small items to sell. Hopefully, there will be a good turnout. Usually around 2500-3000 people come as it benefits a local child's charity.

I've also been busy creating lots of great Holiday gift workshops. Many of those items will be gifts for my nieces and Sister in Law as it's hard to know what to get them since they live so far away.

And, finally, I need to be sewing American Girl and Bitty Baby doll clothes for Crafter's Gallery as November 22nd is their 15th anniversary so there will be a huge celebration in the store and the first weekend in December will be the Victorian Streetwalk, so I need to make sure my shelves are well stocked!

One would think that the holidays are a surprise to me every year! LOL! Seems like all of a sudden they're here and I'm running around like a mad woman! LOL!

Well, better go hang some wash. I can't believe it's still in the 50's and 60's in upstate NY this time of the year. Loving it!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Boy...did I take a ton of photos!! I've spent the better part of the last two days going through all of my photo cards and uploading the best ones to Winkflash. You'll find 700+ at Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're home!

What an amazing adventure! I still can't believe the number of famous places that we visited. We left the ship at 5:30 am to catch our shuttle to the airport. There was a bike race in Barcelona yesterday morning, so, the roads were going to be closed making us need to get to the airport early. Our flight left Barcelona around noon and we arrived 9 hrs later in Philadelphia at 3:15 pm US time. We had a 3 hr layover in Philly before boarding our flight into Albany. It was a short flight and I dozed on and off most of the way. By the time we arrived home, we had been up for about 20 hrs. I couldn't wait to see my husband and then hit the bed! I got about 5 hrs sleep but was awake about 4 am. Finally, after tossing and turning for awhile, I decided to just get up and start the laundry. Our weather in NY is supposed to be nice today and tomorrow, so, that should help me get caught up as there's 12 days worth here, plus all of my clothes. I love to hang the wash on the line, so, I was hoping for good weather!

I'll be working my way through emails today and trying to get caught up on things. As I get caught up, I'll start going through the thousands of photos to post the best in some slide shows. I know there are some that can be deleted as many were taken as we flew by things on a bus. Needless to say, I have some fleeting tree pictures! LOL!

Can't wait to get time to post a good long post with lots of details and pics!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nice & Monte Carlo

Changing of tbe Guard

Prince Andrew's Palace


Monte Carlo Casino


I can't believe this fabulous trip has come to an end. Nice is a tender port, which means we had to take small boats from the ship to port. Once we reached the port, we drove through Nice on our way to Monaco and Monte Carlo. They certainly aren't lacking for money in Monte Carlo. We posed for pictures in front of a black Lamborgini, plus saw a yellow and a silver one. We also spotted Bentleys and Mazarattis. I'm not sure if I spelled Mazaratti correctly, as it's the first time I've seen one. LOL!
After seeing Monte Carlo, we drove on to Monaco. We visited the Cathedral where Princess Grace and Prince Andrew are entombed. After the Cathedral, we went on to the palace to view the changing of the guard. After some time for shopping, we boarded our bus to get back to the port. Once at the port, we tendered back to our ship and set sail at 3 pm. We'll arrive in Barcelona around 5 am. Our plane leaves around noon, so, we'll be catching a shuttle to the airport a little after 6 am. Since Barcelona is a port city, there are many ships disembarking on Sunday, so the airport could be a bit crazy.
While it's been a great vacation with lots to see, I'm looking forward to getting home. Over the next week, I'll go through the 2500-3000 photos that I've taken and pick out the best to post a slideshow for viewing.
See you in the states!

Friday, October 10, 2008


We had another fantabulous day! We started our day in Florence viewing two of the most gorgeous churches I have ever seen! They were bulit with pink and green marble. After walking the streets of Florence, we did a little shopping for some Italian leather. Beautiful! Then it was on to lunch. Yum! After lunch we walked to the Accademia Gallery to view Michelangelo's David and some of his other works. The detail on the statue of David was breathtaking! We also view some paintings in the gallery, but, due to time limits, did not have much time to just wander. After boarding our bus, we headed to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and take the usual photo of each of us holding up the Tower. I can't wait to get home and post pictures of everything!

Tomorrow we will be in Nice, France. We then fly out of Barcelona around noon on Sunday. I hope to get on again tomorrow with a report from Nice.

Rome Photos

Vatican Ceiling
Swiss Guards at Vatican


Trevi Fountain

Pompeii Photos

Beautiful inlaid wooden table in Sorrento
Paintings on the wall of the Pompeii ruins
More paintings on the wall of the ruins
Pompeii ruins

Mt. Vesuvius

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Wow! What a day! We left the ship at 8 am and headed for Rome. It's about a 1 1/2 hr bus ride from Civitavecchia to Rome. We arrived and walked to the Trevi Fountain to toss in a coin. After the fountain we headed for the ruins of the Coliseum. The architectural dig continues at the Coliseum.

After the Coliseum, we headed for some lunch. What we thought was going to be a quick lunch turned out to be a 5 course meal! We were stuffed and did not expect to eat that much for lunch. After lunch, we boarded our bus to The Vatican. Gorgeous! The lines were long, but it didn't take us long to wind our way to the door to enter. Absolutely one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen!

We are exhausted! We have walked what seems like a million miles. Good thing tho as the food on the ship is delicious! Tomorrow is another full day tour filled with Pisa and Florence. My plan is to get to bed tonight at a decent hour so I can catch up on some zzzzzzzzzzzs!

I was going to post some Pompeii and Rome pictures, but the internet is very slow here again tonight. Hopefully tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pompeii, Sorrento, & Capri

Another fantastic day! Just when I think it can't get any better, it does! Today we visited the ruins of Pompeii. We shopped in Sorrento and did some sightseeing in Capri. The ruins in Pompeii were nothing like I had imagined. Everyone is saying the same thing. We did not expect it to be as massive as it was. The ruins of Pompeii came from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. When the lava flowed, it came down the volcano and buried the city below. People who were walking down or standing in the street were stopped in their tracks and covered with lava. We saw both humans and a dog. The insides of the walls of the buildings were amazing. They painted scenes on the walls of their homes. Some of these paintings are still visable! There were also graffiti etchings on the walls of the theatre.
We then moved on to Sorrento to do some serious shopping. LOL! The inlaid wooden boxes were gorgeous. There was also the most beautiful table I have ever seen. I have taken a picture of it and will post it at a later time. I said that if I were ever to have a table that gorgeous in my home, there would be barbed wire around it so that nobody could get close enough to it to put a scratch on it! LOL!
We then took a hydrofoil to the island of Capri. Once on the island we took a bus about half way up to top. The road winds around and around and is barely wide enough for two vehicles to get through. Let's just say, we had a close call or three! LOL!
After spending some time on the island, we took another hydrofoil back to the port and boarded the ship. We've spent each evening doing some of the many activites provided. Tonight we went to a showing of the Second City Comedy group. Very funny. After that, we moved on to the Spinnaker Lounge for a game of The Newlywed Game. I have not laughed so much in a very long time! The Emcee was a hoot and the couples ranged from being married 5 days, 10 days and up to 43 years. Following The Newlywed Game they was a Dancing with the Stars competition, but, we didn't stay for that. We need to finally get to bed before 12:30! It will be a long day tomorrow as we tour Rome.
I took many pictures today and will post some tomorrow along with some Rome photos.
Well, off to bed! We may actually make it to bed by 11. Good thing as we need to be up by 6 to be ready for our excursion at 7:30.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Currently, we are sailing through the straight with Greece on one side of the ship and Italy on the other. We also sailed past the volcano, Mt. Etna. It was already dark by the time we went through, so, we couldn't see anything. I'm not sure if we would have even if it was daylight.

This morning we sailed into the Malta port around 7 am and disembarked about 8 am to take a tour around the island of Malta. We started out in the fishing village of St. Julian's. They have these cute multi-colored boats that have a raised eye painted on each side of the bow. These boats go by the name of Dghajsa. They look similiar to a gondala boat, but are more colorful.

There were horses and carriages in the fishing village.

We continued on to the Blue Grotto. The water is so blue!

After viewing the Blue Grotto, we continued up the mountain to the highest point on the island of Malta. Pictured below is a limestone church at the highest point.

On Wednesday we are in the port of Naples, Italy. We will disembark to see Sorrento, Pompeii, and Capri.

Below are the pictures that I've been trying to upload for Paris and Barcelona

Eiffel Tower

I'll post some pictures tomorrow from Barcelona and also from our trip into Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri.