Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

Most years Thanksgiving Day means roasting a turkey, preparing traditional side dishes of praline sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, and green bean casserole, eating pie at 10 o'clock, enjoying the day with Mama & Daddy, and watching Dallas Cowboys football.

This year, however, we've had a very non-traditional Thanksgiving Day, starting at a hotel in Sarasota, Florida.

Then a little drive around town to pass by Robbie's grandparent's former home and to snap a photo of the "Unconditional Surrender" sculpture.

Here's another view with Robbie standing near the sculpture.

Then we spent about an hour hanging out on Turtle Beach, enjoying the sunshine despite the somewhat cool temperature.

We were thrilled with the view from our table at Ophelia's on the Bay.

There was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the menu, but we opted for some of the other specialties instead.

Of course, I chose a slice of pie (Chocolate Pecan Tart actually) for dessert, and Robbie had the Chocolate Cremeux Torte.

This afternoon, we hung out on Lido Beach for a while.

And finally headed back to the hotel for our one traditional activity - watching the Dallas Cowboys!

Whether you spent the day celebrating with turkey & dressing or enjoying time with family or traveling somewhere new, I hope y'all had a very

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Digital Layouts In My Digital Workflow

At the beginning of each new month, I take time to work through my Digital Workflow checklist, which includes uploading photos from our phones and cameras, purging, rating, tagging and ordering prints of the photos I want to scrap. I also add photos to our digital frame, sort through the previous month's memorabilia, and save my blog posts to a file I format for a blog book at the end of the year.

Of course, the best laid plans often go awry, and I'm currently several months behind on my workflow. So, as I'm working to catch up, I've added a new item to my workflow - create digital layouts with some of the photos each month. This reduces the number of printed photos I'll be adding to my storage binders and helps me with my goal of scrapping some of this year's photos before the year is out.

Here's a look at several digital layouts I created with photos from our unexpected trip to Ohio this past July.

I have several other stories and photos along with some pieces of memorabilia that I want to scrap from this trip, so I've ordered prints of those photos and slipped them in to my storage binders. Slowly but surely, I'm catching up with my 2014 digital workflow!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Look Who's 50!

Yep, the love of my life (Robbie, not the cookies!) turns 50 today, so in celebration I'm sharing layouts from a few of his previous birthdays!

Happy Birthday Robbie!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I was thinking about Cheri today (and sending prayers for a speedy recovery from recent surgery), so I thought I'd share a layout I created using photos from Cheri's visit to Texas last year. A challenge to use a collage of photos and typed journaling in the Art+Science workshop (which I'm very slowly working through) reminded me of the collage I had in my storage binder. Since this layout was about Cheri, I knew I wanted to include a couple of items that remind me of her - some misting on the background paper . . .

and a butterfly.

I typed my journaling and included a couple of pieces of memorabilia and am thrilled with how this turned out.

The best part of creating this layout was remembering the FUN we had!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Reviews

I read 12 books and listened to 3 more during the month of October, quite a few of them in conjunction with the free Laura Ingalls Wilder online class I've been enjoying. We're in the final week of that class, so I'll share more about it and those books in a later post. However, here are my reviews of the other books I've completed since my last book reviews post at the end of September.

Robbie picked up a copy of Aliens on Vacation (The Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast) during one of our visits to the library. It's a FUN chapter book about a young boy who goes to stay with his grandmother for the summer and discovers that all the visitors to her Bed & Breakfast are really aliens! We both enjoyed the book so much that Robbie ordered all three books in this series to add to our personal library!

During our road trip to Ohio, we listened to three audio books, all of them chosen from the children's/juvenile section of the library. The best of the three was unquestionably From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg. This book won the Newbery Medal (for most distinguished contribution to American literature for children) in 1968. I read this book as a child and again several years ago when Robbie got me a copy for my children's book collection, however this was Robbie's first time to experience this fantastic story of two children who run away and hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The audio version we listened to was very well done & we both enjoyed it immensely! We also enjoyed the first book in the Nancy Drew series - The Secret of the Old Clock introduced Nancy Drew and her inherent desire to solve mysteries. I read many of the Nancy Drew books as a child, and I really enjoyed listening to this story of Nancy Drew searching for a missing will. We also listened to The Year of Billy Miller, a much newer book (published in 2013) that was ok but didn't really seem to have a strong story line. We were glad it was not a very long book.

Songs of Willow Frost was the novel chosen for this month's book club discussion. This is the story of 12-year-old William who lives in an orphanage in Seattle during the Great Depression. He sees a movie starring Willow Frost and recognizes her as his mother. The story is about his attempt to find and reunite with her. I have to admit that the story took many interesting twists and turns that I did not expect. The story started off slow and was hard to get into until Willow Frost finally starts telling her story and why she signed William over to the orphanage when he was 7-years-old. Overall, I thought the book was good, however despite it's overtones of hope, I did not find it a very uplifting book.

Next month at book club, we'll be discussing The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise. I rarely read books more than a week or so before the meeting because otherwise I tend to forget some of the details. However, a friend loaned me her copy of this book and I read this one early. Of course, I took some notes to jog my memory for our discussion in December. This story is set in the Tower of London and follows Beefeater Balthazar Jones as he sets up a menagerie at the Tower. There are several storylines in the book, the main one being how he and his wife have grown apart after the death of their son. There are quite a few memorable characters and lots of history about the Tower thrown in. I'm looking forward to the discussion about the book and learning how much of the history included is actually true (as I haven't taken time to look that up myself). I think this was intended to be quite a humorous book, despite the heartbreak the characters are dealing with, however I found it a rather slow read and have a feeling some of the British humor was lost on me.

Where the Red Fern Grows was one of the audio books I had checked out for our road trip, but we didn't get to it then. I listened to it over the last couple of weeks, anytime I was out and about in the car. This is a classic book about a boy and his two coon hunting hounds. I knew about the story and have seen parts of the movie, however I don't think I'd ever actually read this book before. It is an excellent book and the audio version was extremely well done!

Do you listen to audio books when you travel or while out running errands?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Green Christmas Crafting

After creating a couple of Christmas cards from scraps and a Christmas layout scraplifted from Jennifer Grace's Frosty Festivities 2014 weekend, I continued to use green items from my stash to complete several more cards and another layout this past weekend. I used a variety of punched paper scraps along with various embellishments (dots, brads, wood stars, bling) to create five cards with the same design.

I chose a couple of green papers and a strip of washi tape for a layout showcasing lots of photos from last year's Crafty Tuesday Christmas get-together.

Did you do any Christmas crafting over the weekend?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Christmas Layout

The first inspiration layout of  Jennifer Grace's Frosty Festivities 2014 weekend was a Giant Aperture Christmas Layout . . . which I immediately scraplifted! I filled the entire aperture with photos rather than adding patterned paper at the top.

The stocking border strip and the title & date strips were cut from the original invitation for this event. I had two dimensional ornament stickers that worked perfect in the place of Jennifer's journaling spot.

This FUN layout definitely puts me in a festive mood for weekend crafting!

Christmas Cards From Scraps

As I settled into my craft room on this beautiful sunshiny Friday here in Texas, I felt a little scattered and not sure exactly what I wanted to work on. I started by cleaning off my table, putting away some recently completed layouts and unpacking the supplies I took to Crafty Tuesday. Along with winter and Christmas crafty inspiration from Jennifer Grace's Frosty Festivities 2014 weekend, I decided to focus on using up some of my green supplies this weekend. I made this decision because my green paper drawer is filled to the brim . . .

. . . my green color bin needs a little re-organizing . . .

. . . my green small embellishments drawers will barely close . . .

. . . and my scrap file is full of solid . . .

. . . and patterned paper scraps!

And, of course, I associate greens with Christmas and plan to complete my Christmas cards this weekend. I had a few pieces of solid scraps left over from the cards I  made earlier this week at Crafty Tuesday, so I started by punching those into a variety of shapes.

Next, I pulled up my blog reader intending to use some of my time today to catch up with a week's worth of unread posts. Jacky's Christmas cards using scraps was all the inspiration I needed to get started on my weekend creating. I copied her design and completed two simple cards.

As Jacky so eloquently stated in her post, "simple didn't necessarily mean quick!"

What are you working on this weekend? Will you be joining in with Jennifer Grace's Frosty Festivities?

October FUN Check-In & November Plans

The temperatures are dropping here in Texas as we enter the final two months of my FUN year!

Despite an ear infection that required a few days of rest and a week of antibiotics and that fact that Robbie's working longer hours as the company he works for transitions to new ownership, there were quite a few FUN happenings around here in October. We took another quick road trip to Ohio and enjoyed time with Robbie's brother and his family at a local Corn Maze. Our oldest nephew even baked me a pecan pie from my Grandma's recipe while we were there! I believe it's the first time since Grandma passed away that anyone has made me a pecan pie . . . and it was delicious!

We enjoyed watching football games, putting together another collage puzzle, playing the Harry Potter Scene It? game, listening to one of the original Tuskegee Airmen share his stories one evening at our local library, and finding time to walk or sit out on the patio and enjoy the beautiful Texas fall weather. I was able to create cards on World Cardmaking Saturday and spent one weekend scraplifting layouts from some of my favorite bloggers. I also completed our 10th Anniversary Cruise albums and have done a good bit of reading along with the Laura Ingalls Wilder class at We ended the month with a nice quiet Halloween evening at home, enjoying Jack-O-Lantern pizza and orange colored chocolate chip cookies while watching the first Harry Potter movie.

Here's a look at my FUN October photo collage. (Yes, that is me trying to jump on a pogo stick, running in a huge barrel/pipe, and racing my nephews in pedal cars - so much FUN!)

November is already off to a FUN start! We visited my parents and played Sharpshooters last Saturday, watched football games on Sunday, and I backed up the computers and processed photos on Monday, created cards at Crafty Tuesday, enjoyed the library book club meeting on Wednesday, and hosted a get-together here yesterday for my friend Becky who is home from the mission field in Kenya for the holidays.

After all the busyness of the week, I'll be spending lots of time in my craft room today - catching up on some blog reading, putting away recently created layouts (including the digital layouts that I had printed, which arrived in the mail this week), following along with Jennifer Grace's Frosty Festivities 2014 (which starts in less than two hours), and creating a few more Christmas cards!

 My FUN plans for the rest of November include:
1. Watching the remaining Harry Potter movies.
2. A week-long road trip to Florida to celebrate Robbie's 50th birthday.
3. Spending a couple of days at Universal Studios and Harry Potter World.
4. Celebrating Thanksgiving Day.
5. Watching the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns football games.
6. Catching up and working through the new materials in the One Little Word class.
7. Getting caught up on my digital workflow - processing & printing photos!

 Did you have a FUN October? What FUN things are you planning for November?