Thursday, July 29, 2010

Look What I Made - Button Trees Frame

I saw this awesome post: and got inspired by it and ended up decorating some shelves for fall yesterday in my house (and yes, it is still July . . . my hubby already mocked me since I am decorating for fall in the middle of summer, but it is darn hot here and a girl can dream right???)  I put up leaf window clings in my front windows even . . . get over it!

(and yes, I do need to put pictures of my kids in those frame spots, and I will get to it eventually)

(My finished frame)

I made my button frame using a shadow box frame (I got on clearance for $3 - By Die Cuts With a View)that was pale baby blue, but I spray painted it chocolate brown, then I made my button tree (using felt) and I sewed the buttons on (using gold thread) because glue dots and gravity were not being friends.  I think it turned out pretty cute and it was so simple!  Go make one!

Today I am participating in the Show Your Stuff party at Fireflies and Jellybeans!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Blog Hop Tuesday, Tuesday -- can you believe this is the last sketch this month already?  ZOOM, there goes July!  Back to school here is August 9th, so pretty much we are there!! *cheering*  Good thing I went shopping a couple weeks ago and picked up all the school supplies we needed because now I can relax and stamp while my kids enjoy their last few days of summer!

You should have arrived here from Heidi Van Laar's blog:  

I used *NEW* Friendly Fruit again for my card today!  I used the cherry this time though and practiced my huffing skills -- I inked up the cherry, and then carefully inked up the stem in green, and then re-moistened the ink by blowing gently (huffing) on the stamp. *imagine trying to warm your hands up through your mittens on a cold winter morning and that is pretty much how you do it*  Then I stamped.  Repeat and cut out.  Easy peasy!

I added stickles on top and the wetness of the stickles made it look more watercolor like (AKA, blurred) -- so if you are looking for a sharper crisp image, use fade resistant dye inks (rather than the SU! ones I used). 

I also took some liberties with the sketch today -- I have issues with square cards -- we are not friends, I generally fight them -- but today I decided to include the square on a typical card (5 1/2 by 4 3/4).  I think it works, you still get the feel of the sketch but in a new and improved "Manda safe" form!   Special thank you to Kim Kesti for the awesome sketches this month!!

***PMS SALE***
The P.M.S. sale is back!!!! 
P.M.S. sale~ the more you buy the more you save!!!!

P.M.S.~ in this case~suffering from the NEED to Purchase More Stamps!
Here is how it works:
Buy 1 stamp set save 5%, Coupon code: PMS1
Buy 2 stamp sets & save 10%, Coupon code: PMS2
Buy 3 stamp sets & save 20% (total savings $8.70) Coupon code: PMS3
Buy 4 stamp sets & save 25% Coupon Code: PMS4
for a total savings of $14.49 ~that's like getting one FREE 
Buy 5 stamp sets & save 30%, Coupon Code: PMS5
for a total savings of $22.10 ~that is like getting 1 FREE and another one half off!!! 

What to do: Put the stamps into your shopping cart as normal. When you are checking out there will be a box where you can type in a coupon/discount code. This is where you type the letters PMS and the number of stamp sets you purchase. For example if you are buying three stamp sets type in PMS3 into the box.

*This sale will last until Monday August 2nd at midnight

Don't forget to head over to Skipping Stones and show us what you made with the sketch for a chance to win fame, adoration and some cool Skipping Stones stuff.  Use Inlinkz at the bottom of Heathers post!  Happy Stamping!!!

Stamps:  Friendly Fruit (Skipping Stones Design), Everyday Button Bits (Papertrey Ink)  Paper:  Cherry Amore (Doodlebug Design Inc.), Spring Green Plaid (Colorbok), Vellum Cardstock (SU!), Solar White Classic Crest (Neenah), Intense Kiwi (Prism Papers)  Ink:  Ruby Red (SU!), Garden Green (SU!), Tuxedo Black Memento (Tsukineko)  Accessories:  Red & White Dotted Organdy (Hobby Lobby), sewing machine (Singer), white thread (Sulky), circle nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provocraft)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

San Diego Weekend -- Balboa Park & San Diego Museum of Natural History

Our plan was to head to the beach today, but because more than one of us was sunburned, I decided that was not an option.  We searched online from our hotel and found that Balboa park was nearby and that both the science center and museum of natural history were free for AZ Science Center members (*score right*) so we went to the museum of natural history!  It was cool!  E enjoyed the gems and J really loved all the dinosaur bones.  I gave him his camera and he took some pictures.  I think he did awesome!

He says "Cheese!"

We also got to learn some cool stuff about birds and owls vs. eagles with the museums "Miss Frizzle" from the Magic School Bus learning show.  It was a Sunday also, so we got to participate in the "Dinosaur Sunday's" event.  The kids got to dig for dinosaur fossils, make necklaces, color, battle a dinosaur, and play.  They really enjoyed it.



*Gems Exhibit*

My two little dwarfs posing in front of the mine

E with her birth stone - Amethyst

E and J and an iron meteorite

*Dinosaurs Exhibit on 2nd Floor*


LOOK - Baby E was there!  Smiling even! 

E and the manatee statue 
*sidenote: do you ever watch Veggie Tales?  She was singing the Barbara Manatee song right before we took this picture . . . "Barbara Manatee, you are the one for me, sent from up above, you are the one I love" hehehe*

J thought this jaw skull hands on thing was cool!

E and Daddy walking back  to our van through Balboa Park

Saturday, July 24, 2010

San Diego Weekend -- Sea World

We had fun adventuring around Sea World.  We got to meet Shamu (the dressed up person version - lol) and got to see the new Blue Horizons show, and the Shamu show (where we sat in the "soak zone" and got splashed by Shamu) and the best part was that the kids tickets were only $5 (we bought the Sea World cares tickets).  

Baby E got to go on the Abby's Sea Star Spin (which was one of his first rides ever and he loved it)and Oscars Rocking Eels twisty boat like ride (which was cute) in Sesame Street Bay of Play.  

After that we went and watched the new Blue Horizons show (which featured acrobats, dolphins, and lots of cool costumes - I wish we saw more of the dolphins though and less acting and acrobatics and that it was not in the direct sun because we all got a little sunburned waiting for the show to begin.  


E and J got to go white water rafting (for the first time ever after waiting in a long long line) at Shipwreck Rapids.  Baby E and I checked out the starfishes at the California Tide Pool and the HUGE sea bass while they did that and it was a lot of fun.

We saw sting rays and eels.  E was deathly afraid of touching the sting rays even after we explained that they could not hurt her, that they were altered. (We even got to see some baby rays).  She was also TOTALLY afraid to go into the underground viewing area to see the eels, but then when we went, she realized how not scary they are.  Eels are super creepy though, just for the record.

(If you have been to SeaWorld, you understand this chant of terror - and funny, they just happened to pick my section as the first one to send Shamu to to come splash)

My favorite part of all of Sea World was the penguins -- they were just amazing to watch, and if it wasn't so freezing, I would have stayed in there for a lot longer.  It was like watching a live version of 'March of the Penguins' -- they were SO cute!!

The beluga whales were also really neat to watch . . . I was sad that the manatees had been moved to Orlando, so we did not get to see them.  We ended the day by the kids and Michael going on Journey to Atlantis (and getting a wee bit wet).  The kids all fell asleep in the van on the way back to the hotel, so that is a sign that we had a good day!

Baby M was there too -- although she spent lots of time in the stroller covered up! 
 Peek a Boo!

Friday, July 23, 2010

San Diego Weekend -- Red Robin - YUM!!!!

My family has a thing for Red Robin, we all LOVE it there.  When we arrived at the hotel and checked in, we decided to try and find some dinner.  We decided to go to Uno Pizza, but after we drove to the location, we discovered it was no longer there, so we opted for our family fave, Red Robin!  We got to sit upstairs (it was a two story red Robin), and that was a lot of fun!

Daddy and baby E!

My cute baby girl!

(Ignore how bad I look, I had been driving for 6 hours)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Happy Tuesday!  Today I bring you sneak peeks of one of the new release sets from Skipping Stones Design.  It's a little fruity, well, okay, a lot fruity -- I love it and I hope you will too!  Here is my card this week using yet another AWESOME sketch by this months guest sketch designer *drum roll*  Kim Kesti!  Be sure to drop by her blog and thank her for designing the sketches this month!!!

Have you noticed that on the Skipping Stones Blog, Heather has added "InLinkz" where you can link the cards that you make with this awesome sketch for a chance to win prizes?  It's an awesome way to get people to check out your work on your blog, AND have a chance at winning some free Skipping Stones stuff!  It's WIN WIN!  

Make sure you do that when you are done creating with this weeks sketch!!!  Also, I know it is not a blog hop week, but be sure to go check out what the other Skipping Stones Design team girlies have been creating!  They have made some gorgeous eye candy as usual and it would be a shame to miss seeing!  Their links are on the right sidebar of my blog, under the Skipping Stones logo! 

Here is the sketch:

Stamps:  Friendly Fruit (Skipping Stones Design) - available later this month  Paper:  Orange/Green Plaid - Front Porch by Traci Sims (My Minds Eye), Pumpkin Pie (SU!), Solar White Classic Crest (Neenah)  Ink:  Certainly Celery (SU!), Tuxedo Black Memento (Tsukineko)  Accessories:  Diamond Stickles (Ranger), Circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provocraft), teal satin ribbon (Unknown), sewing machine (Singer), white thread (Sulky)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hey guys, sorry I missed you last Tuesday . . . I was recovering from the 4th and just did not manage to make it back to my stamp studio (and by recovering, I mean relaxing from sheer exhaustion, I don't drink) . . . but no worries, I have a fun card for you today!  Hopefully by now you have ordered your Eclipse inspired "Fangs or Fur" set at Skipping Stones Design . . . I used it to make my card today!  

I colored Edward with my copic markers and then went over it lightly with my Clear Stardust Gelly Roll pen to make him sparkle.  It looks really cool in real life -- if you click on the picture, you can see it a bit better!  I just L-O-V-E the sentiment on this card too -- perfect for a cute love note for your hubby (so he doesn't get jealous that you are watching the Twilight movies over and over again).  

Here is the sketch by this months sketch artist Kim Kesti (yep, Papercrafts guru extraordinaire and you get to play with her sketches all this month on SKIPPING STONES DESIGN!  Oooh, and Heather has this new linky thing, so when you finish your card, you can post a link to it on the Skipping Stones blog and win discounts in her store and an exclusive TOP STAMPER badge to put on your blog!  So, get stamping girls (and boys)!!!

Stamps: Fangs or Fur (Skipping Stones Design)  Paper:  Plum (Core'dinations), Wisteria (Basic Grey), Solar White Classic Crest (Neenah)  Ink:  Tuxedo Black Memento (Tsukineko)  Accessories:  ribbon from scrap kit (Costco), assorted paper flowers (Prima Marketing), Clear Stardust gelly roll (Sakura), copic ciao markers (Imagination International Inc.), oval punch (SU!).

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

E's 7 Year Old Pictures (Kiddie Kandids)

This is the last bunch of pictures -- one goal accomplished!  I really wanted to get individual pictures of all my kids this summer, and I did it!  It took 4 weeks, but it is done!  I m excited to have current pictures of all of them!  My next goal is to get a picture of all of them together done . . . but I will do that next month maybe!!

E's pictures turned out SO darling!  She is so photogenic!  I love the one in the chair, she looks so relaxed, confident, and beautiful!  I love my first born baby girl so much and she is growing up MUCH too quickly!!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July

We had a small barbecue with some family and friends. (The Wrights, The Blads, Grandma and Grandpa Sewell) We had yummy turkey burgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, green salad, and potato salad that everyone just thought was so tasty!  We talked a lot, played catch phrase and some mad gab and some wii.  Later we sat in the back yard and watched fireworks from the park . . . I love that we can see the fireworks from our back yard.  It is awesome, no crowds, relaxing cause all the kids are contained within the back yard.  It was a fantastic day!  Hope you had a fantastic 4th of July too!

Red Skinned Potato Salad


2 pounds clean, scrubbed new potatoes
6 eggs
1 pound bacon (we used turkey)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery
2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste


1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and set in the refrigerator to cool.

2.  Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

3.  Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

4.  Chop the cooled potatoes, leaving skin on. Add to a large bowl, along with the eggs, bacon, onion and celery. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour before serving.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

J's 6th Birthday DAY of FUN

I asked J what he wanted to do on his birthday, and we made up a schedule for the day.  The first thing was that he wanted to have a fruit plate for breakfast (he loves fresh fruit), and as usual, I was not quite prepared as of the morning of his birthday, so we went to the store to get some fruit, and on the way, I discovered that the A/C on my van had broken some time the previous night when I switched vehicles with hubby and he and the kids went home.  AHHH!  If you are not from Phoenix, it is on average about 110F here right now!

Seriously not what I had been planning to do on J's birthday, but I called the dealership and they figured it out so that I could rent a van for the day and they would get it fixed for me.  We drove 45 minutes to the dealership (YUCKY sauna van but we had cold water and windows opened) and we were taken care of and out of there in about 30 minutes. ( I *LOVE* SanTan Honda) Once we had the rental, we went home, had lunch, I put both babies down for a nap and J played Lego Indiana Jones for a little over an hour while they napped. (That is what he had planned to do after breakfast in the morning).

When the naps were done, we headed to Jump & Shout Play Center (at Mesa Riverview) to play for a little while!  It was a BLAST!  The kids loved it, it was not crowded at all, and it was indoor and air conditioned which is FABULOUS if you are like me and hate getting all sweaty yucky!  

Baby E's favorite toy at Jump & Shout

Mic was able to leave work a little bit early and came over to meet us there.  We let the kids play a little longer and then headed to Red Robin for J's birthday dinner (he chose to go there, not that I minded, love that place).


J got a leapster game, a wii game, 2 lego sets and  a camera

I told Mic it looks like we're drowning in kids in this picture - lol

After dessert and presents we headed home and the kids fell into bed -- they were all so tired!  It turned out to be an awesome day thanks to the people who work at SanTan Honda helping me out!  They ROCK!  It was a great day of fun!

 Happy 6th Birthday Little Man!