Friday, December 12, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

(Can you see the clear embossed 'JOY' down the left side?)

Have you been stalking Tim Holtz's blog lately? He has once again done '12 Tags of Christmas' postings, one a day for the last 12 days. If you need a jumpstart for your creativity, he has several inspiring new techniques to try. Take a look!

Jackie at Altered Pages has a gorgeous new kit coming out this weekend I believe. It's based on the 12 Days of Christmas and is also a Tags kit. I contributed a couple tags. They would be great for the top of packages but I think all the tags are so beautiful they could also be used as ornaments! I did an ornament kit for her 1 1/2 months ago that also included cards. You can find all her kits here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Past, Bread & Future

I baked bread yesterday.

I haven't made any loaves in a long time. DH & I have been on a perpetual diet for years (looking back I might add that they're not working out too well so why are we doing them? Okay, confession: Not working for ME I mean. DH has lost 60 lbs. It's called willpower.) I'm even back on a lo-carb diet right now, but I couldn't resist baking bread.

There is something about the smell of freshly baking bread that envelopes me in a wash of memories. It reminds me of days with toes tucked under blankets, a cup of hot tea, a plate of freshly baked warm bread with a dash of apple butter. I recall days of youth, time spent with family whether reading a book or playing a game. With my piece of bread mom made. It's comforting.

Now before you are shocked into thinking 'she actually mixed, kneaded and baked?!' No way. I have a double bread maker. I wished and hoped for one several Christmases in a row until one year it showed up. I was overjoyed. I have a book that I borrowed from the library on bread machine recipes. I enjoyed it so much it became overdue many times. Wouldn't you know it, not 1 month after I checked it back into the library, I found an exact copy at a garage sale for 50 cents. How is that for lucky? It's called 'More Bread Machine Bounty' by Better Homes & Garden. For yesterday's bread I used the Basic White Recipe.

Today I was thinking about the parent/housewife I'm not (this thinking is what prompted the bread making.) It's a running joke in my family that I don't cook. Somehow this has been mistakenly changed into the idea that I CAN'T cook. There is a big difference. Cooking is just not my favorite thing but I can do it. I've always love baking though. Anyway, thinking on my parenting/housewife type failures, I don't really decorate, or make the table pretty, don't cook dinner much, or put special linens on beds and pretty things all around, don't do special things like impromptu tea parties or cookie baking. One of my goals for the coming year is to change all this. Not to become perfect, but to be better. More the mom/wife I want to be. It's worth a shot anyway...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow & Painting

This is what our day was like yesterday. I always enjoy the first snow of the year. My little one is anxious to go out and play and I'm usually caught without new gloves and hat for her. Why don't I remember to buy those when its not snowing out? She and the dog had the best time playing, although we had to run warm water over the dog's tummy to get the balls of snow off her fur. Then, the worrywarts that we are, we wrapped her in a towel and sat her on a heating pad to dry so she wouldn't get a chill. Yes, we spoil the dog.

I wanted to share a commission I finished up last month and mailed out. (It's just like the one I made for dd.) I'm very excited about how it came out. The baby in the piece is too adorable! The customer wanted the baby's name incorporated into the painting so I used modeling paste through a stencil. I love that look and will try it again.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Introducing... Macy Kate

Well, before my sister-in-law disowns me (or threatens to not bring the cheesy potatoes for Christmas dinner) I better post about the new addition to our extended family. You can ohhh and ahhh with me.

SIL Kelly was supposed to have a c-section on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Instead, she went into labor Thanksgiving evening, 3 am really. We met her and my brother Andrew at the hospital to pick up their twin girls to sleep at our house. I decided to stay at the hospital just in case I was needed. My brother and I ended up helping her deliver the baby (she chose to deliver instead of the CS). It was a wonderful experience and she is adorable.

Meet Macy Kate (Katherine) Riddle
Born November 28, 2008
6 lbs 3 oz. 18.5 in long

I'm an aunt once again.

Monday, December 08, 2008


How can a person start dieting all over again when there is still this stuff taunting in the house?

Any volunteers to come over and eat it for me? It's really very tempting. I'm just saying...

(The gingerbread cake is my fav.)

Just Because

I was thinking the other day about this friend I have. We've been friends since childhood, 31 years in fact. She lives 3 miles away and yet I haven't seen her for 1 year and 9 months. We haven't lost our friendship over anything its just one of those things. I think to call her every time I go grocery shopping which is one town over. The town she lives in. But I don't. Her husband is who we always call when we have a car problem and I haven't called them in 1 year and 9 months so I always think 'if I call now she's going to think I just want something, something for the car.'
This whole internal brain conversation I had with myself made me think of my blog. I love blogging. I love the people I meet. But its been a while. And its harder to just step back into it. 'I have to say something poignant or have something lovely to show to post again, now that it's been so long.' This is how I think.

But sometimes its just like when you've had a cut covered up by a big sticky bandaid. And its time to take it off. No, you can't wait until it falls off in the shower in three weeks. Sometimes you just need to grab hold and rip off the bandaid. All at once. Sometimes you just gotta do it.

So I'm blogging, even though I have nothing poignant, nor anything fabulous to share. Just to say 'hi blogland. I've missed you. I was thinking about you, wondering how your life has traversed?'

I think I'll call my friend tomorrow. Just because.