Hello from England!

Welcome to my blog!
We are a christian family living in the Sunshine state (before that we spent four years in England and two years in Turkey).

My posts are of everyday life and my love of crafting. I hope to inspire you in some way to share your talents too.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment.
Cheers and God's blessings to you and yours!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cookbook time...

Our card club group exchanged recipe pages for a cookbook today for our swap.  I haven't had time to photograph them all, but here is the recipe page below I made on the 8x8 paper.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  As a refresher, HERE is what last year's looked like.

I've been keeping myself very busy lately trying to declutter.  The recycle bin workers will not be pleased to see my full bins each collection day!  I'm starting to "chuck" things.  I was very proud of myself in accomplishing 90% of my craft hutch.  Yeah me!!!  I've also tackled 1/2 of my kitchen and am starting the piles here and there.  Garage sale piles, thrift store consignment piles...and my card club friends today had a FREE pile to sift through as well as a for sale pile.

I am also the proud new owner of a cake stand (finally)!  I've been looking off and on for almost 3 years.  I settled on the one below from Ely.  It doesn't have carvings around the frame like I had hoped, but it does have rare octagon shaped platforms.  It also folds flat and was much sturdier than several antique others I have found.  I'm guessing it's not that old, but I still love it!

Check back soon - we made some super cute cupcake holders today along with a butterfly card and Paper Pumpkin patriotic pinwheel.

Happy early Independence Day!

Friday, June 27, 2014


It's almost that time of year for me...rhubarb strawberry pie (or crumble, depending on what ingredients I feel like using)!!

I have rhubarb chopped and ready to use in my freezer.  I also just bought extra strawberries to put in my Pimm's.  I guess if we don't eat them all tomorrow night with our friends (2 other couples, game night!), I can make the dessert.  I tried to make it every year (I couldn't in Turkey as I couldn't locate any rhubarb).  It brings back warm memories of my grandparents and their home in Winfield, KS.  I wonder if the rhubarb still grows beside the garage...my grandmother made it every year and I looked forward to it.  

To appease my appetite for it, I purchased the below drink.  I was fascinated with how it would taste.  It was surprisingly good.  Not amazing, but good.  I would get it again!

There was a baby shower last weekend at the chapel.  Here is the card I made using the scallop punches and window punch.  I was "Pinspired."  You can find that inspiration here.

I miss seeing a blue sky all day like the midwest.  Clouds, clouds, some sun..some rain..and more clouds.  These clouds especially caught my eye.  They actually reminded me of those Kansas stormy days.  I've never seen ones like this before and had to photo them.  Look at the "swoops" on the bottom...fascinating.

Although we didn't have any rain from these clouds, it did rain later on in the day.  

We are in a countdown...our listing of choices for our next duty assignment comes out in TWELVE days!  Almost there!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Growing up in the 70's

I had a good laugh yesterday and jog down memory lane.  It was the title of an article online that got me - and turned me off a little so I had to click on the link and see just for myself what the information was about.

Title:  Children of the 1970's should all be dead.

What?  Yes, you read that right.  But after clicking on the link and reading the article, I was smiling and remembering.  
Growing up in the 70's was great.  Living off base here in England, it's not law to wear a helmet.  When my kids ride their bikes, they don't wear helmets.  I'm ok with that.  Alternatively, my kids aren't riding on the main roads or carriageways (like other brave locals).  They are crossing trails, in open fields...living life.  

I am a believer in seat belts.  Although, I do recall sitting in the back seat of my mother's 1967 yellow mustang with no seatbelt (and up front with a lap-only belt).  I also remember the time she offered to give a ride to a stranger (female) with a load of groceries and a weary look.  The way I see it, being a child of the 70's taught me more than how to wear knee-high socks and self-entertain digging in the dirt.

I learned how to be safe.  Yes, metal from those playground slides got really hot in that Kansas sun, but so does the seat belt buckle and it can leave a welt if one is not careful.  Look 3 ways before crossing the street:  look left, then right, then left again (unless you live in England like we currently do and you start with the right).  You even do this when you hop off your bicycle to cross the road - yes I make my kids do this still.  I also learned about strangers.  Of course, be aware of stranger danger.  But also, use your good judgement.  That woman stranded on the side of the road pulling a stroller out of the trunk is more than likely a safe bet.

Sacrifices.  Today's kids might not ever fully appreciate their parents and where their parents came from.  They get instant gratification from technology:  high speed internet, the latest technology gadgets wherever they go (phones, iPods, iPad minis, bluetooth, etc.)   Not everyone had air conditioning.  They survived with wading pools and popsicles (homemade in dixie cups with kool-aid and a popsicle sticks).  One of the hottest summers on Kansas record was also when we had just returned from a vacation in Florida.  Our air conditioning went out and of course the savings was pretty low from holiday fun.  Praise the Lord we had a basement and one window-unit air conditioner.  We made due. We survived - and I even had the flu during this heat wave.  My parents avoided as much as they could having to take out a bank loan.  Can today's world say they did that?  With cash-n-carries around every corner, bank loan offers in every newspaper, and loan sharks available at the click of a button, it's not hard to see why we're a society knee-deep in debt compared to the 70's.  In retrospect, my parents do regret not taking out a bank loan to purchase a new a/c for the house.  But it taught us more than how to grin and bear it.  Wonder what happened to that mustang?  My mother sacrificed her favorite car (and first ever self-paid-in-full big purchase) so I could start college.  

Maybe this article is spot on.  Are playgrounds these days too safe?  Are we not teaching our kids to learn how to make important judgement calls?  Are they not being as observant with their own eyes to make those decisions for their physical safety as they should?  Think about it.  Don't get me wrong, we need safety railings (Turkey castles and ruins didn't have any of these - it was a free-for-all), caution signs (don't smoke within 50 feet of the metal box), and seat belts/air bags.  I am grateful for all of these things.  But, I don't rely on them all for my safety.  I use my own noggin because I was trained to use it.  I can only hope my kids have more of this than I sometimes give them credit for.

The author of the first mentioned article above has quite the entertaining blog.  Aside from a few curse words, it's a good read.  

Ok, I've rambled on long enough.  I'm a child of the 70's and am proud of it.

Here is the birthday card I made my mother.  A card club member inspired me to make this from her swap.

When you pull up on the flowers, you have room for a message.  On the back of the message, I put in a gift card to Red Lobster (and drooled the while way home from the BX on base thinking about eating there)...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Happy birthday gorgeous girl!

Firstly, I want to send a huge shout-out to my gorgeous daughter on her 11th birthday!  

Last night was a fabulous evening.  I spent it with my two kids and a good friend in Cambridge watching the annual college firework display.  (Click HERE for more info on that).  It was amazing!  You could feel the heat on your face and it was similar to the Bellagio with its water show.  It all danced to music and I loved every minute of it!

Below is a Father's Day gift I purchased from a friend.  They are going to Thailand on a missionary trip and this was a fundraiser.  I purchased two and gave the other away to another good friend. ;)

Here is the gift card creation I made for Olivia.  She loves monkeys, so I figured she deserved to have one of my remaining two monkey stickers (I only use them for really special people), lol.  You all know craft stores aren't in abundance here!

When you open the card, the gift card slides up.  I was inspired to make this from Dawn's stamping studio youtube video.

We celebrated Olivia's birthday party at the skating rink (again).  Here are the goodie bags we made.  I couldn't find Rolo candies, so I put in Tootsie Rolls, chocolates, and a pair of brightly colored socks.  I made a box for the socks to help the bag stand upright.  They were a hit!  I especially love the tags I made. They saying was found on Pinterest.  The other option Olivia turned down was "Thanks for rollin' with me." She preferred the "wheelie."

I'm having trouble finding the link to the actual box dimensions on the website I originally referred to....but HERE is a similar box.  It uses the envelope punch board.

And finally, here is a photo from last night's fireworks.  We had great seats and you could feel the heat on your face from the flames, it was WONDERFUL!  HERE is a link of a 2 minute video I took (which doesn't do it justice)!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

I think the below photo says it all:  We love you!!  This goes out to my husband from his two amazing kiddos!

I couldn't let today go by without sharing the Father's Day cards I made.  I made three:  one for my husband, my father, and my father-in-law.  I'm not sure if they've arrived via mail  yet, so I'm not going to let you know who got which one.  I know the flowers don't make it masculine, but I wanted to add some colors to the snapshot:

Of course, I can't leave out the ULTIMATE father, the Lord God for being so awesome and for his agape love for me - Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm Happy (part 2)

I had a lovely dinner with my husband downtown tonight at the Riverside hotel.  It's also Pimms season and I had two that went down very nicely.  

In addition to my parents celebrating their anniversary on the 10th, my mother-in-law celebrated her birthday.

The card on the left below is the one she received.  

The last couple of photos are of the swaps that we exchanged at card club.  The theme was "birthday."  

Sunday is a special day...so check back soon!!!

I'm happy!

**(see disclaimer at bottom)

Well, we did it!  School is out for the summer!  Woo hoo!  Hip hip hooray!!  Some days I didn't think it would happen, but I had to keep singing my sorority's song about how "I Will Survive," and by golly, we did!   (click on the word "did" and hear a great singing version that I had to use since I worked daily with fifteen 5-6 year olds not to mention the other 6 kindergarten classrooms and their kids at lunchroom, playground, etc., in our hallway.)  

My parents celebrated 48 years of marriage on the 10th and here is the card I made for them.  I love how the card turned out.  I was inspired by this pinterest card.  Of course, Paris is the city of love so I made sure to photo it by my teapot I picked up in Paris this year.  

I also wanted to show you the fun "signature" card my troop did as a memento from our campout.  They all had a camp name (as did the adults) so we made sure to make autograph thumbprints to remember their campout.  They enjoyed making these.

I might be adventurous and post another blog today...for now, I'm singing our school's song that seemed to resonate in the hallways these past few weeks.  We did it, we survived!

**here's my disclaimer:  I will not be held responsible for any of the songs lingering in your head from this blog posting that you will be singing for the rest of your day and in your sleep**


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Feeling slack-ish

Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband today!  We've been married for 17 years, and have been together for 21.  Where did that time go?

I have to admit that I haven't even made our anniversary card yet.  What??  Yes, I know, you are shocked as it's not in my nature to not be prepared!  To my defense, I did make cards (and mail them out) to my aunt (birthday), brother-in-law (birthday), mother (birthday), parents (anniversary), mother-in-law (birthday), 10 for card club swap, and one competition card.  Whew!! Did I really get all that done?  So that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Therefore, be watching out for my anniversary card to be posted within the next week.  Then I'll be working on a birthday card for my daughter.  I will be glad next year when we have moved back stateside, when I can put a card in the mail and know it will arrive within 48 hours.  As opposed to the current time frame of almost 2 weeks here.  That will help my sanity!  :)

Here are the awesome projects we made at club last Monday.  It gets me jump started for Father's Day.  Rats, I just realized I have to do more Father's Day cards today, lol!  And hope they get there in time!  I just realized they won't.  :( (sigh)

Anyway, these projects were so fun and so creative to do.  Thanks Annette for inspiring me!  The first project is a fishing vest...

And here's the tackle box to go with it (filled with gummy fish).

So cute!  I had to also post a photo of my new teapot.  A card club member is getting married in Poland in a couple of weeks, and she just returned from a trip there to work on photographer, etc.  I asked her to pick up some polish pottery.  Here's my new teapot!

And here it is in its new home within my court cabinet.
Love it!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Flutter fun

Here is my card I submitted for competition, I love the results.  I didn't win the competition (see the second photo for all 3 entries).  But I had fun seeing everyone's creativity!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Doing what you love

Today was June card club.  Of course, I loved every minute of it!  Annette did a wonderful job coming up with some super cute ideas for Father's Day.  Those creations will be posted soon...but I did want to post my swaps (birthday theme) and recent birthday cards I've been working on.

Firstly the birthday card (for my Aunt):

Then I made another card similar...

This is the base I had to work with for my birthday swaps.  My mother sent me a pack and I decided it would be perfect to use.  Here's the before:

And here's the after.  I used wash tape to make the cake.  Check back again soon!  Thanks for stopping by...