June 21, 2010


We were supposed to go to the Gulf Coast for vacation this year but...well, you know.
So we ended up heading to Gatlinburg instead and actually I am so glad we did! It was GREAT!!!

First Stop, Miniature Golf.

We found a super fun miniature golf course where you start off taking a little train up to the top of the course, this was especially fun for baby bear~

Can't help but start with this shot. Crash dummies. While it looked totally creepy it did make me feel like they take safety seriously.
We took a ride on the REAL train.

 was an absolute blast for all of us. 
We enjoyed racing each other down this big FAST slide:

The park just seemed sooooo safe that even I felt comfortable enough to try this one!
Yup, that little speck in the middle of the slide is me. Can you say water up the nose at the end?

The crowds were GREAT, just us in this shot.

HORSEBACK RIDING was another highlight. Everyone except baby bear rode their own horse, many for the very first time! It was one of the most peaceful experiences in my life and it really reignited my love for nature and being outdoors.
Finally, on a horse all by herself. A dream come true.

As we started crossing Walden Creek, butterflies seemed to come out of thin air, they were everywhere! If you click on the picture to blow it up, perhaps you can spot a few.

This man. Such a trooper. He rode while balancing baby bear, the backpack and even still managed to VIDEO TAPE the ride. Amazing.

June 15, 2010

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques: Altered Clothespin

 This is my latest altered clothespin. I just love altering these for holding notes, photos and RECIPES!
I've seen these clothespins at Joann's, Michael's and Hobby Lobby and they are only about a dollar! It is really fun to alter them, here's how I did this one.
I used some brown Maya Mist to tint the raw wood. Easy and fun but VERY MESSY! My fingertips were all brown by the end so now I know to wear gloves;)
I have also used paint and a brush to tint the wood, like I did on this one:

I had to wait about two days for the Maya Mist to dry...southern humidity is a little thick around here right now...

Next, I chose some adorable apple paper from Cookbookin' and then used my favorite measuring system to mark the paper for trimming. Y'all know how much I love to measure!
More messy fun here. I was wearing a nice BLACK shirt while I distressed the edges with Heidi Swapp's handy little tool. Now that I am writing this I realize I should have taken a photo of my shirt to include here for the "what not to do" section.
I adhere my paper strips with good old Mod Podge. Once I had adhered the papers I decided to switch the paper on one of the sides so I could kinda switch up the look:
Now, I used a solid strip of paper on this one so my clothespin sections don't really show but since I planned to cover much of the paper with embellishments, I didn't take the time. Sometimes I do use two strips of paper, totally personal preference.
Speaking of embellishments...I began by grabbing a Prima flower that I had already inked for another project (this beauty landed on the cutting room floor...). I used some red & white gingham ribbon to tie a bow and then I glued it on with my favorite glue for attaching fabrics:
I wasn't really sure where I was going to put the flower until I put on the bow. I wanted at least some of the chickens to show so I chose the center of the bow:
Next up I chose some Maya Road chipboard to cover with more Cookbookin' paper. I inked the backs as they will show for the opposite side.
I adhered the chipboard to the wrong side of the patterned paper. 
 Once the glue was good and dry I cut the excess paper off with a craft knife. What is your favorite craft knife? I am not sure if it is me or my craft knife but I am willing to try another brand...any suggestions?
Next I sanded the edges and inked them before gluing onto my clothespin.
I used some My Little Shoebox letters to label my clothespin with "My Recipe." Then I added the MR pins to the bow...it just needed a little more.
Time to turn the entire thing over!
I used the same ribbon but tied it simply with a piece of floss. Then I chose one of my favorite Cookbookin' sticker embellishments for the center, added a brown MR pin and a piece of inked ric rack finished off the bottom.

Cute, don't you think!


June 11, 2010

Farm Camp

Next week is FARM CAMP week here. YAY! The kids love this annual trip out to Gentry's Farm so much. Me too!!! 
This is a page that I did about last year's camp. Journaling is hidden behind the photo:
This layout features lots of Jenni Bowlin papers and her adorable milk caps. The buttons were my grandma's and they're tied with various jutes. I used every star punch and die that I own to cut out all these stars from my scraps! AhHa! True SCRAPbooking! Some of the stars are not even whole as the scraps of paper got kinda small but I just tucked the "bad" spots behind other stars. It took forever to ink all the edges but I wanted that aged look to go with my altered photo. I ran around the edges of the kraft with my sewing machine, I just love not having to sew perfectly!
Come over to Let's Scrap this week, Cheri has this great sketch up that features a wreath on the first page.
 Maybe I will even be able to get a second page done for this one...

June 9, 2010

Camping 101, Part Two - The TENT

Heeheehee. This was FUNNY! After yet another campfire evening, it was time to pitch a tent. Jason and the four older kids were going to camp in our backyard. I was going to keep baby bear company in the house;). So, Jason and I gave the kids the tent(brand spanking new in box) and said "go for it." Well, they did a pretty good job. They got it all laid out, got some poles constructed and then got stuck.
We let them try for quite a while as you can see by the increasing darkness. Finally, Jason had pity on them and went down to direct.
 And even help a little.
Success, a tent!
While the rest of my family worked on the tent, I stayed up on the hill and watched over the campfire, I mean, someone had to, right???
It was nice and dark by the time they finished.
Baby bear got to hang out inside the tent for a while before he and I went in the house.
Then we left the camping to Miss Flannel and Miss Satin. The kids had a great time, Jason was exhausted but they all look forward to doing it again soon.

June 3, 2010

Camping 101

Jason is from Oregon. He misses camping. I am from Southern California. I miss the beach. We had planned on leaving for a beach trip in the Gulf this week but the oil spill...well, we are going to the mountains instead! Lucky for us, we have had some camping practice lately! On Mother's Day weekend, the kids and Jason built us a picnic table from a kit that we got at Lowe's. Super easy and it looks AWESOME!
Next, they built a "fire pit." Now, we are within city limits and thus cannot have any open fires so a little Hibachi resides in the center of our fire pit;).
Then, I took my son to buy his first POCKET KNIFE. Yes, those family members and friends who have dropped to the floor read that right. I let "a weapon" enter my house. He loves it and Jason has taught him proper safety ---and I keep it locked up when not in use.
The first thing he did with his knife was to make roasting sticks for our campfire.
We put the sticks to good use right away. Hot dogs and s'mores. 
I just love the way baby bear sticks his bum out so he doesn't catch on fire. He is really good at roasting marshmallows. He does it in about 10 seconds.
So fast he can take them off his stick all by himself
And put them right where they belong!
Jason takes a bit more time
And knows how to properly embellish a roasted marshmallow
Stay tuned, part two involves a tent!

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