Thursday, June 30, 2011

School's OUT... almost...

Summer for all 4 of the boyz starts when the bell rings this afternoon!

I've been storing sh-tuff away for the past 3 months like a squirrel... for the summer months to get us all by sharing the same space 24/7.
LOTS of fun things tucked away. ;O)
This year we're focusing on Home and Health so despite what I'm sure will be *muuuuch* complaining the boyz will be helping with the renos and redos.
Largely it's for their benefit, they'll be gaining the entire basement as their domain.

The end of the year brings the task of Teacher's Gifts around.We try to provide a wee something for everyone that works at the younger boyz tiny school (teachers, aids, custodial, office...etc.). The boyz can be a bit of a handful and each and every teacher has had dealings with them through the year, if not daily.
Nobel Peace Prizes all 'round, unfortunately, is not an option. ;O)
This year it had to be quick and made/assembled in a day because I didn't know what I'd be up to handling after my surgery. I'm very glad it got done before! Those were some pretty strong drugs given after. Sarah go zzzzzz....

It all started with a fantastic Micheal's Markdown. I was out on a coffee & shopping date with the lovely Katharine and she spotted it: 50 Pack of DIY Wedding Favor Boxes marked down from $30 to $7.50, because someone dropped the box and smashed the corner.
We split and each took home 25, just enough for us each to use on our own. Perfect!

I found a square cookie cutter in my urm, um... rather vast collection (yes, I have an addiction!) of Cookie Cutters. They fit perfectly in the wee boxes once baked and together. I made LOTS because I wanted to make sure the ones in the boxes were pretty. Leftover baking doesn't tend to last long in this house, extra tends to be 'self clearing'. ;O)
Recipe at the Bottom!

The Cookies fit 3 to a box quite nicely. I did put a dab of tape on to keep the boxes shut, they weren't overfilled but I had no desire to keep holding the boxed closed JIC while adding the ribbons and tags. Git 'er Done! There were beautiful silver ribbons from the kit I stayed with, putting the 'Thank-You' tags aside for another project and made our own.

I used my favorite photo of the Boyz taken by the Super Talented Robert Allard, back in March at the Steampunk Fashion Shoot.
You can see more of the pictures HERE on his site and the whole shoot HERE on Flickr.
The Tags were quick and simple, printed on regular paper and cut out with scissors. I can't get to my super-cutter that's still walled up in the Studio due to our reno chaos. I did managed to get my Crop-o-dile, it was near the door thank God, for making the holes.
I taped the ribbons on the bottom in the center, again easier than fumbling and I wanted these done ASAP. Then thread the tags through and tied them off in a pretty bow.
I love, love, love the shiny, shimmery silver coupled with the brass, copper and dark in the photo.
25 made in total:
4 went with the oldest boy and 21 with the youngers.

The Main Teachers also got plants.
Ivy was perfect, being in the same family with Roses they THRIVE on coffee and coffee grounds and it's also pretty hard to kill...
Made sure the teachers knew about feeding them coffee when they got the gifts.
Garden Center plants in IKEA Pots, bit of Stampin' Up! Organza Ribbon and the names written on smaller (Staples) manila tags.
Simple and Easy.
8 of these:
4 Main Teachers, 2 French Teachers, 1 Principal
and the 3 Specialists that work with the younger 2 boyz.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread.
Quick, 4 ingredient and DO NOT ask for a calorie count!!!
I tripled for the Gifts.

2 cups Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
(I like the really raw stuff)
4 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Additive, if desired:
Chocolate Chips (I only use the Presidents Choice Decadent Chips)
1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup Skor bits is deeeevine.
At Christmas I make them 'Virgin', just topping with a light sprinkle of Colored Sugar before baking.

Cream Butter & Sugar.
Blend in Flour.
Then add Additive of choice.
Roll and Slice with Cookie Cutters.
Bake: 350 degrees F
Time: 15-20 minutes
bit longer of you like 'em crispier.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Scrap Our Stash June Challenge

For the month of June at Scrap Our Stash the Theme is:
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

This months Scrap Our Stash Challenge was extra challenging for me. Renovations started on the main floor of our house with 'plans' to be done in 2 weeks, nuh-huh...

That included moving massive amounts of things from the main floor up to the Studio, thereby blocking off all my Scrapping Supplies. We started mid-May, before we found out how bad (old and nasty) the wiring was that all needed redoing, it is now Mid-June and things are still in absolute chaos upstairs.

I recently donned good shoes, long sleeves and heavy pants to crawl over the piles to do an S.O.S. rescue mission of some Scrapping Basics so I could get a few pages done. Really it was quite a harrowing yet also hilarious experience. An event I will have to scrapbook once the horrors of being mid-reno have faded. lol Maybe next year...

Luckily the theme this month was one I was really, really looking forward to doing and I already had a packet of stuff put aside for it: Our Wedding!
I dug out what I could then did all the printing and assembling at a friends place, too much dust and yuckies everywhere here, and thankfully borrowed her camera too.
The Papers are Die Cuts With a View: Lucky Me, Bling title is My Big Ideas, Rubs on poem by Kaiser, Pearls from the $ store and all other elements are printed including the scan of the actual Six Pence and the info card.
Been keeping all the Wedding Pages (so far) clean, simple, low embellishment and unbulky so they will *hopefully* all fit in the same album.

Full Page:
Up Close of the Rub On Poem: Up Close of Title/Journaling:Now it's your turn to take the June Something Challenge!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gone but not forgotten...

I realize it's been a bit since I've had any Art to share. Quite simply, other then Design Team stuff, I'm not making any. Our little corner of the world has been busy in good, bad and interesting ways since returning from our Honeymoon Trip.

Some of you longer term followers know the younger 2 of our 4 kids are behavioral special needs. The eldest has had a host of issues that rise and fall like an inconsistent tide. The past month it's been high-tide with the youngest making his own ripples in response.
We've pulled back from many things to deal with this time as a family.

I also managed to smash and lost a large bit of one of my 'made of chalk' lower molars and in so doing created an abscess that promptly got infected. I'm on some lovely drugs that are sort of dealing with the pain and antibiotics until I have root canal surgery this Tuesday. I'm in a fog or in exquisite nerve pain, there seems to be no middle ground. Much as the idea of a root canal doesn't thrill me being over it and pain free (or even less at this stage) sounds like pure heaven.

We've been keeping busy focusing on HOME and HEALTH which are mine and Greg's respective Words Of the Year for 2011. The Main Floor of our house had some renovations done that turned into much, much more when we realized the wiring in the walls was ancient, ugly and in severe need of an upgrade for safety. Thankfully we found it when we did and thankfully Greg can do electrics, well. All that is finally done and the main floor reassembled (-ish). That leaves the upstairs in need of a dig-out as we moved much up there in order to accommodate the work on the Main Floor. My Studio is blocked and I had to do a couple of S.O.S. S (Save our Scrap Supplies) missions in over the stacked boxes and furniture to grab enough things to complete the Design Team stuff and an Art Journal Swap-Around. I look forward to rediscovering the Studio after the surgery when I am no longer drugged.

We also suffered what for us has been a devastating loss.
We lost our beloved Brandy Dog on June 22nd. It was a surprise as she was healthy and happy the evening before when we celebrated Summer Solstice. We had a great family night, her included mere hours before she started the walk across The Rainbow Bridge.
She had been with us for the past 9 years so the younger 2 have always had her and 2nd oldest can't remember a time without her.
She was a Dog that didn't act like a Dog, she really thought she was human.
She charmed people that didn't like pets or animals into loving her.
She was the 1st indication that anyone was getting sick, refusing to leave their feet sometimes as long as 24 hours before symptoms showed.
Sentry Dog watching guard at the door if even 1 of the people in this house was out, really only relaxing if she knew everyone was safe at home.
She was the Duchess, so regal and royal, always dainty on her feet and sleeping with her paws crossed so sweetly.
She has been my Daemon.
She held me up when I was in labor with the youngest, quite literally letting me lie against her when breathing.
She was there through the worst abuses and eventual end of my 1st marriage, the changes to single parentdom, the court case against the death threats, the start of something new... she saw us all through to becoming the Family we are.
Her passing has left a very, very large hole in that Family.
I am grateful for the time we had with her, grateful that her passing was quick and grateful that at the very end she passed outside in the sunshine, sniffing the breeze and in my arms.

2001- June 22nd 2011
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane.
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.