Friday, May 27

Lesson Learned

I snagged this template free from Jessica Sprague for her "7 Days in May" challenge, and thought it perfect for this layout I needed to do.

The journaling in the center box reads: "Nate’s 4k class theme was “Busy Bees” so I decided (last minute as always) to make bumblebee cup-cakes for the last day of school. I googled for inspiration and became obsessed with learning to make cake-pops. Ever the over-achiever, the project soon evolved to a beehive cake surrounded by bee & flower cupcakes & flying cake-pop bees. I picked up the cake & realized I should in future photograph them before moving - as it plummeted to the floor."

The journaling at the bottom of the page reads, "I’m just grateful that the cake was purely a surprise for fun. No one expected it or was counting on it - it was not the focal point of the party or anything. Nate and I were disappointed, but I managed to salvage enough of the cupcakes to appease him - they were not as pretty, but they were still yummy. I guess the worst part was being late for the program."

The good news is, I DID learn to make cake pops, and boy are they yummy! There's a bit of a learning curve to dipping them just right and getting them to stay on the stick, so I had LOTS of "imperfects". I took a batch to Alex's troop meeting, and the scouts had no complaints!

Thursday, May 5

Cheer Mom

I have always said that my daughter - with her athletic body, competitive spirit, good looks, extroverted personality, and big mouth - was born to be a cheerleader. This past fall I enrolled her in tumbling classes in preparation for tryouts for the high school team. It worked, she made the JV team as a rising 8th grader.

I sat at the "new cheerleader reception" on Monday night with a bag of mixed feelings. I was super proud of Cassie, and pleased with myself for helping her get what she wanted. I was already picturing the fabulous scrapbook I'll be creating in my head.

I was also nervous - I don't think of myself as the "cheer mom" type, I can't imagine I will fit in, but I don't want to disappoint or embarass her (any more than I do just by being MOM that is . . . )

I looked around thinking, this sure wasn't my crowd in high school. I was a nerd, did well academically, historian of the drama club, president of the English club, but certainly NOT a cheerleader! While I may have affected an air of disdain for the cheer leaders, honestly, I didn't have the opportunity. I didn't have the financial or emotional support from my family which is necessary for cheerleading and most other activities. It was never an option for me. I remember secretly wishing I could be a cheerleader, but that was a closed door.

I AM a Cheer Mom. Regardless of the stereotype or the "clicks" I may encounter, I am in fact a Cheer Mom now. What have I gotten myself into now??

Saturday, April 23

Bieber Fever - from Shimelle's Sketch

I enjoyed making this digi layout of my niece's "dreamy" birthday party at the Justin Bieber concert from Shimelle's April 20 Sketch. My girls are too old for "Bieber Fever", so this was a fun layout. My youngest DID walk around for a few months singing "Baby, baby, baby OH . . " from the commercials . . . . I apologize for having so poorly organized my digi-stash til now that I have no idea where the bits and pieces of this kit come from . . .

Thursday, April 21

Aunt Nena's Strawberry Pie

I wanted to create a layout celebrating my great-aunt and her pie which I have loved since childhood. I also wanted to save her recipe in a place I knew I wouldn't lose it - my scrapbooks!!

A long time ago, it seems, I was on a design team for my friend Krystal Hartley when she began selling her digital designs.

I enjoyed being on the team, but always felt my design skills were not on a level with the other team members, who were amazing. Somewhere along the way, life got busy, and I let go of my spot on her team, but I still love her designs.

For this layout I went through my stash and found this kit called "I Believe In Yesterday" available at Sweet Shoppe Designs. If you like this kit, it's on sale for 30% off regular price!

Tuesday, April 19

Planting Another Seed

It feels more like taking a plunge . . . I signed up for Weight Watchers Online this morning. My little one is now 5, I can no longer blame him for the extra 25 pounds I've kept since having him. I'm thoroughly depressed with my weight, and fully aware that I am the only person who can do anything about it. I have taken this small step. I can't find any WW blog badges, so I'm using the one from My Fitness Pal. I decided to set it to show my goal rather than my progress, maybe it will help me focus on where I'm going.

I had some success with weight watchers years ago, until I quit. I haven't tried the "new" points system, so we'll see how that works. I remember my biggest frustration was eating out and on the go, so I'm hoping my Droid 2 will make a HUGE difference this time around.

I realized this morning that although I have half-a-dozen blog posts started and waiting to be finished, I haven't posted one in more than a week. I have lots to share, just gotta make time.

Sunday, April 10

28 days of sketches

Ok I just committed to a class at BPS. The first week should be tough as it runs the last week of school for our kids, but hopefully I can manage it. I am a sketch addict, and lately have just plain been wanting to get more scrapping done, so this class from Lisa Day seems perfect for me.

Saturday, April 9


Give fools their gold and knaves their power,
Let fortune’s bubbles rise and fall…
Who sows a field or trains a flower
Or plants a tree, is more than all.

~~~James Greenleaf Whittier

My godfather sent me this quote recently, and I was amused by the author's name. My maternal great-grandfather changed his name to Samuel Greenleaf Stevens in the early 1900s. He and my great-grandmother ran a dairy in Moore, SC and farmed their entire lives.

I've always said my mother had the greenest thumb of any person I have ever known. I admired her most for this. Most of my earliest as well as last memories of my mother are of her gardening. She drove me nuts when I was younger - you couldn't take a shower in our house without first emptying the shower FULL of plants. Mowing the lawn was a navigational nightmare because she planted things everywhere. I remember elephant ears over our heads, tremendous caladiums, hydrangeas and rose bushes covered with blooms, more greens than I ever want to eat in my lifetime, and more. My mother would bring plants to me in college though I told her I didn't want them. I would purposely not water them, to diassociate myself from her plants and from her, in some way. I didn't get along with my mother at all, and rejecting her plants was a tiny act of rebellion.

My mother and I were never close, but the one thing we could talk about without arguing was gardening. I sought her landscaping advice when we closed on our house in December 2006, but she died unexpectedly in January 2007. I planted a blue hydrangea in her memory, and each year I increase the size of my vegetable garden. I think she would be surprised at the enthusiasm I now have for it, and pleased by it. I feel the closest to her when I garden, but I imagine her laughing at me as well. Each spring I find myself absolutely compelled to get outside and play in the dirt. I cannot resist the siren's call, and I suspect it runs through the blood in my veins.

I searched my hard drive for photographs documenting my mother's horticultural prowess, and turned up very little. I know I have prints . . . somewhere . . . I need to find them and scrap them. For now, here is a photo of my lil sis in front of several pots of caladiums.

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago today I was on the verge of discovering a new passion.  We were planning a 16th birthday party for our oldest, and had arranged for his band to perform at a local private club.  I was obsessing over small details and wishing our small budget would allow for a guitar-shaped cake, but the quote from the local bakery happened to exceed our entire party budget.  The week of the party I decided that cake-baking was not rocket science, and I made up my mind to make the cake I wanted.  Prior to this, I had only ever made box-mix cakes in standard pans and slapped container frosting on them. 

On Wednesday of that week, a friend of ours came to the house to tutor me in cake decorating-  she had taught classes in the past, so I was hoping she would get me started.  She is a master at the art of delicate roses, flowers, basketweave, etc....but she had never tried the type of cake I was doing.  She gave me good advice on tools and techniques, but mostly I was on my own for the guitar.  Another friend had made a few wedding cakes, and offered more advice plus the use of his professional pans and tips.

I spent about 15 hours (not including google&  youtube time) on the cake.  It was far from professional quality...but it blew everyone away at the party.  I used my son's guitar to trace a template, and decorated the life-sized guitar with candy-  licorice for strings, gumdrops for tuners, etc.  I learned new terms and techniques and made plenty of mistakes, but in the end, the guitar rocked.

In the year since Kyle's party, I have done several more cakes, including a race-track, a pull-apart penguin, and a 3D R2D2 cake.  My arsenal of tools is growing, and I imagine I could do most any cake.  I am no Cake Boss, but I have certainly become a cake wench...

Tuesday, March 29

A New Beginning

Spring is official now, and not just because the calendar says so. The first day of Spring is March 21 in my book - because that's my birthday, and I say so. March 20 is jumping the gun. Anyways, I celebrated my birthday - I mean, the first day of Spring- with a tradition I started just a few years ago. I bought myself a quality pair of gardening gloves. They are pretty, and feel so nice, it almost seems a shame to destroy them. But I promise to wear them out by Fall if not sooner. I also replaced a couple of broken tools, and splurged on a snazzy gardening stool which promises to save wear and tear on my back and knees. (thanks Billy for the birthday splurge!) This afternoon I dirtied my new gloves with the first of many hours weeding and transplanting in the yard. I planted a blooming pink gerber daisy and a purple clematis bulb in the bed around my mailbox. I dug up the hens & chicks at the mailbox and moved them the memorial bed in the center of the yard. (when my lil sister died unexpectedly two years ago, I planted a Japanese Maple in her memory. Under the tree I placed the memorial stone I received when my dad died almost 6 years ago. Last summer we added memorial stone pawprints from Chula, our nearly-17yo dog who died in July. There are plants emerging all over the yard, and the new growth excites me. As always, I have grand intentions for my yard and garden.
So I thought this seemed like a good time to start my blog. My new blog. I abandoned my old one a long time ago. Lots of life changes in the last few years, lots of time spent figuring out who I am - who I want to be. I have several people depending on me and a lot going on in my life, and I sometimes I lose myself. I lose focus and I lose joy and I wonder what I'm doing. I'm hoping this might be just the place I need to keep me grounded. I signed up for Shimelle's "Blogging for Scrapbookers" class after reading about it on my bff Cheri's blog. I'm late to the party (I usually am) but I'm going to try to catch up. So here goes, I have grand intentions for this blog, like my garden, and I know I can get it to grow.