Monday, March 31, 2014

calvinball: the final countdown

calvinball ends tonight at midnight!  i've finished five pages in the last 24 hours!  woot!  it's not enough to even come close to the front runner, but it's enough to make me happy.  this is the final layout of 2013!  what?!!!  yes!  i've completely documented an entire year!  i know, i can hardly believe it myself.

this was made with leftover bits from the march jbs mercantile kits.  i have to say, i am reaching for the antiquarian more and more these days.  the vintage just really fits my style.  love it so.

well, i'm off to tally my points and put the finishing touches on the jbs mercantile april gallery.  if you love color, you're going to want to be sure to take a peek in the morning (gallery goes live at midnight CST on the last day of the month).  catchya on the flip side!  :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

jbs mercantile: march mini-album madness!

here are the rest of the march pages for my holiday mini-album.  this month, jbs mercantile is hosting a mini-album week with  you can see more notes on these pages on the jbs blog, and be sure to check for more mini-album inspiration!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

good blog reads

one of their favorite fishing spots on the canal and papa's persimmon tree.

and here are a few new blogs i've been into this month:  i adored this one.  adored it.  i kept it open for days and can't tell you how far back i read.  i think it reminds me of being a little girl growin up in florida.  such a sweet one.  this one is in the carolinas, another place that i've lived.  i'll always consider it god's country.  this couple likes to travel bonus.  who doesn't love paige's bright happy scrappy pages?  and now they're living overseas and sharing some gorgeous photos of places they go.  lov it.  i was never a simple scrapper, so i'm late to the cathy zielske party, but the girl is funny and has a great deal of good sense.  highly enjoyable and worth the read.

florida: kayaking the intracoastal waterway

“and above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
- roald dahl

i grew up across the street from the intracoastal waterway.  we just called it the canal.  no big deal.  i think, perhaps, as a child i lived in the magic.  as an adult, i am an outsider looking in.  the magic dances along my peripheral vision, but with a camera lens i seem to be able to focus in on just how beautiful the ordinary is.  i am still captivated by sunlight and nature.  it grounds me and lets my heart soar.  i am so grateful to be able to share these loves with my child.

 me and the lichen in bloom

blueberry blossoms

little photobomber

happiness sparkles and shines

pink helicopters

glad to call howard and melita lifelong friends
thanks for the use of your kayaks, friends!


two man


 baby pine


hooray for aunt doris!

red helicopters

the great race


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

jbs mercantile: the twilight zone

this is the one in which my son went to a birthday sleepover party, stayed up all night, fell asleep watching a video on his ipad, had the cat jump on him during a rem cycle, got up and peed in the dryer, took off all his clothes, sat back down on the couch and carefully wrapped his earbuds around his toes, and then went back to sleep for several more hours.  you can see that i would really want to make a special layout for this story, yes?  i'm so glad the mojo was with me this night.  i was deep in the creative zone.

i chose the studio calico doodled overlay because i liked the crazy mixed up chaotic nature of it.  i can't get enough of those dear lizzy glitter alphas.  they're the perfect size and sparkle and they seem like they'll never run out.  also love jenni's new chalkboard flatbacks and gold scattered star rubons.  such a fun combo on this side.  i also included a manilla tag tucked in the top with the story i just related to you.  it's too surreal to ever be forgotten.

everything on the bottom half of the layout is upside down.  i liked how the weirdness of it related to the story.

all these goodies are from the march jbs mercantile kits.  it's a very good month.

rainbow dash birthday party!

well, i am about as pleased with myself as the birthday girl appears to be in this photo.

i baked the cake, you see.

can you believe i made that?!  wow!!!  i can hardly believe it turned out so well!  hooray!

the pink and purple layers were strawberry (purple had added blue food coloring), the yellow and orange layers were lemon (orange had added red food coloring), and the green and blue layers were white cake mix (with added green and blue food coloring, of course).

papa declared it delicious!

i was also pleased with how the cake topper came out.  i made mini bunting from scraps leftover from the full sized version that i also made.

 here is the full sized version.  so festive!

i cut triangles from felt, folded over the top and stitched it down, and then strung them on white yarn.

i also made roy g. biv fruit skewers.  note: if i make these again, i will definitely dull the skewer tips.  they look rather lethal in this picture.

this whole party came about from my persistent desire to make the aforementioned rainbow cake and skewers.  i at first thought that a st. patrick's day party for my nieces and nephews would be a good excuse and added lucky charms and green milk to my menu plan.  i then realized that my niece had just had a new baby and her older daughter just had a birthday and maybe all these stars should align in a birthday party for her (as i'm sure her mommy was still a bit tired).

it worked out perfectly as said birthday girl was longing for a rainbow dash birthday party and already had the wings to wear to the shindig.

 so, besides the requisite blowing out of candles on the birthday cake . . .

 and opening of birthday presents by the birthday girl . . .

there were my little pony tats for all the birthday guests.  uncle stephen, being a girl daddy, was able to assist the boys in picking out suitable ponies to temporarily apply to their hands . . .

then they all took a turn sticking on the "cutie mark."  the birthday girl's "cutie mark" was close, but awkwardly placed.

then they all posed for the group shot.  uncle greg called out action shots.  show us your muscles!  group hug!  ninja arms!  karate kicks!

the new mommy holding the even newer baby was not impressed by her father's last choice in poses.  oops!

and, of course, we had to pass around the new baby.  so sweet!  happy birthday!  and happy BIRTHday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

menu plan: mom's biscuits

without a doubt, my favorite food in the entire world is my mother's biscuits.  i die for these things.  she didn't make them for me the last trip, so this time i took it upon myself to learn how to make them myself.  only three ingredients required: 2 cups of self rising flour, 3/4 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup of crisco (okay, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, but i forgot to photograph that and i forgot to put in in the second batch i made and they tasted just fine, so i suppose it's not really necessary).

now my entire life i've heard the story about how my mom's heart's desire as a teenager was to learn to make biscuits.  how she tried and tried and was never successful and had to keep throwing them away until finally her best friend, betty alderman, took her to her old maiden aunts' house and they showed her how to do it.  imagine my SHOCK when i asked mom to show me and she had to double check a couple things in her cookbook.  what?!!!  to be fair, it's that red gingham one that everyone's mom had.  i've learned my grandma's amazing peanut butter cookie recipe is from this thing too (crisco is the answer to all that is delicious, i think).

cool photo.  cool tool.  i wish i had one, but sifting is optional too, i think.  especially in using the self rising flour (instead of all purpose plus baking soda) and forgetting the salt.

my mom doesn't roll them out or drop them either.  after kneading the dough thoroughly in her hands, she pulls off bits and rolls them into slightly flattened balls.  also, we figured the recipe was much too high.  i slightly burnt the bottoms of my first batch (at 450) but the second batch (at 400) was perfection.

i love these things.  they are so good with lots of buter (goes great with the crisco, i suppose.  yea, my mom still calls it lard, heh).  mom likes them with jelly.  dad likes them with sausage patties.  they are a little crispy on the outside and soft and mealy on the inside (don't think they're quite right for gravy, luckily, i've never been a biscuits and gravy girl).  i also remember mom making a little larger version with a touch of sugar for strawberry shortcake.  so good.  can't wait to make these again at home.  maybe this weekend.  heaven.

this week's menu plan:
sunday - dinner out
monday - spaghetti
tuesday - chicken, mac&cheese, salad
wednesday - subway (they're having meatloaf at church., yuck)
thursday - tortilla soup
friday - open
saturday - biscuit breakfast extravaganza!