Sunday, October 30, 2011

Updated Blog Journal Cover

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I finally decided on what the cover to my blog journal was missing...flowers, of course! This photo doesn't do it justice and I wish you could see it in real life because the flowers look absolutely gorgeous! But you'll just have to take my word for it, won't you? I LOVE it! The flowers finished it off nicely!

Only 318 days to go!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Un-freaking-Real!

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We are experiencing a strange phenomenon here in the southeastern corner of the state of PA...SNOW in October! A rare October Nor'Easter! Un-freaking-real! I know it's not going to be on the ground for long as it's still too warm and in a couple days it's going back up to 60 degrees but it's still just much too early for this crap! I'm sorry but I'm NOT a winter-weather person. I strongly dislike Winter! Oh well, the pics sure look nice though and now I have something to scrapbook!

Only 319 days to go!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My New Blog Journal

 A couple days ago I had this brilliant idea...well, maybe not brilliant to you but it was to me....to create a journal that showcases the photos and writing that I share with you here on this blog. I am not a great writer by any means but I am having fun with this and hope to keep it going for a full year. Creating this journal about my blog may just be the boost I need to be sure I DO hang with it for the full year.

I am very pleased with this journal and just love how it is coming together. I'm sharing the front cover and the very first page with you which also happens to be the very first post when I started this blog back in September.


I used the new Sonoma paper pack from Close To My Heart, which was just perfect for this project! I also used the B1316 Coffee Stain stamp set. Gee, how perfect was that one? I am glad I have it as it is no longer available. :-(  I may add a bit more embellishing to the cover as it still looks a bit plain to me. I plan to use many different stamp sets and most likely other papers as I go along because, keep in mind, this is going to hold at least 365 pages. Well, chances are I am going to need to make more than one of these journals as 365 pages in one would certainly be a bit too much. Anyway, I hope you like it so far and I will post other photos from time to time as I go along.

Only 320 days to go!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall in My Yard

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Our maple tree is just starting to turn red and it's already lost some leaves. Bummer! I was hoping it would be a gorgeous red so I could take lots of great photos before the leaves started to fall but I guess that's not gonna happen. Oh well! I'm still enjoying it. It's a pretty tree at any time of year.

Only 321 days to go!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing Special

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It's very late and I just realized that I hadn't posted anything today so here's a photo of a few stalks of corn in the field across from my home. I'm really too tired to write much so just enjoy the photo for now! See you tomorrow!

Only 322 days to go!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Handmade Coupon Organizer

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I am just so tickled about this cute coupon organizer I made for myself the other day. It's not totally finished but should be done by later today, I hope. I'm an avid couponer and I've been wanting an organizer that would get me noticed in the grocery store (pathetic, right?)...I am a Close To My Heart consultant so I'm always looking for new customers wherever I go. What do you think? Will this wonderful organizer get me noticed or what? There's a small pocket on the inside back cover to hold my business cards, too! Am I thinking or what? Ha ha!

If you'd like me to make one of these organizers for you, give me a shout! I'm thinking of making some for sale. Know anyone who would LOVE one for Christmas? Hint, hint! Great Christmas gift idea for the couponer on your list!

Only 323 days to go!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Fall Flower

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One single solitary little Anemone (?) flower. I never had these flowers in my garden before so I am not sure if it's typical to find them during this time of year. A good friend of mine gave me a couple of these plants back in the Spring and I really didn't think they were going to survive. Our late Spring and early Summer were so dry that these little plants truly struggled to stay alive even though I tried to water them often. I guess the wet August & September must have given them hope. I look forward to seeing them grow even more next year.

Only 324 days to go!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Bluebird in October?

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I hadn't seen a bluebird in quite some time so imagine my surprise when I spotted this one taking a bath in my dirty birdbath this morning. Watching him splash around in the dirty water made me feel bad and get motivated to get out there and clean it up in case any other birds wanted to take a bath. (There actually was another little bird sitting on the birdbath but I'm not sure what kind it was). I hope to see this little bluebird again soon!

Only 325 days to go!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Applesauce Update

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 Thought I'd let you all know how the applesauce turned out yesterday. Well, let me just tell you...it was delicious! I can't understand why I haven't made applesauce in like forever because it is so yummy! And it really didn't take all that much time prepping the apples especially with my handy dandy apple peeler/corer/slicer that I totally had forgotten I had. Of course, I only used 8 apples, not a whole bushel full like I'm planning on buying tomorrow, hopefully, if and when I go to Milburn Orchards.

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This is how much I was able to get out of the batch made with 8 Gala apples minus the bowlful that I ate as soon as it was done! Well, I had to try it, right? I have always preferred to eat applesauce a bit on the warm side so I totally enjoyed this! I can't wait to make more for freezing. I never knew applesauce could be frozen, did you?

Only 326 days to go!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crockpot/Slow Cooker Applesauce

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I bought more apples a couple days ago since Giant had some on sale so I thought I'd try making some applesauce in my slow cooker. I found an easy recipe here and decided to give it a try. I am using 8 Gala apples (I doubled the amount) and hope they work well for this recipe. They are in my slow cooker right now and smell SO good!

I didn't use any sugar as I try real hard to limit sugar in my cooking/baking but I did use cinnamon and vanilla for flavoring. If the applesauce ends up not tasting very sweet, I may add a bit of sugar.

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I bought an apple peeler/corer/slicer many, many years ago but just don't ever remember using it for making homemade applesauce. I guess I must have though, otherwise why would I have bought the gosh darn thing, right? Okay, I'm getting old! Haha! Anyway, it's not very fancy and it wasn't super fast but it did do a pretty decent job so it saved me some time.

The apple peels come off in really cool strips and I'd love to try using them for something instead of just throwing them away. Has anyone ever tried using them in any kind of crafts? Maybe tie them into bows or something then dry them? Or wait until they dry then tie them? Help me out people! I don't want to throw them away just yet so I will give it more thought.

Only 327 days to go!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My All-Time Favorite Yummy Bread

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 I am a bread lover for sure and this is my all-time favorite one. There is NOTHING better than a fresh loaf of English Muffin Bread. Oh man, I am in heaven whenever I smell this baking and my mouth waters like crazy for it. I can't wait to slice into one of these loaves!

This is a recipe an old friend gave me many years ago and is one I make more often than any other bread recipe I have. It is so delicious that I'd love to share it with you so you can see for yourself just how yummy it is!

English Muffin Bread-makes 2 loaves
2 pkg yeast (envelopes)
6 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
cornmeal
   Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda in mixing bowl*. Heat liquids until very warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees). Add to dry mixture; beat well. Stir in rest of flour to make stiff batter. Spoon into two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover; let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.
*A dough hook is recommended as this dough is very stiff.

Only 328 days to go!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Blooms

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Sharing my 'Autumn Joy' Sedum with you. I just LOVE the deep burgundy color of this plant. It shares space on the west side of our house with some grasses and daylilies and looks so pretty in the Fall.

Baking bread today so I may share another recipe with you tomorrow. Have a good day!

Only 329 days to go!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Favorite Tree in Autumn

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Here's my favorite Birch tree again that I told you about in an earlier post. This photo shows it as it's starting to lose it's leaves. Bummer!

Yesterday was a sunny and quite breezy day and I truly enjoyed watching the branches of my Birch sway in the breeze. The sun was behind the tree and it looked really cool when it showed through the leaves.

Normally when you take a photo with the sun behind the subject, it pretty much produces a really dark photo except for the glare of the sun but I think because the sun is lower in the sky this time of year, this photo turned out pretty cool.

Only 330 days to go!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gift Card Pocket

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This cool gift card pocket was inspired by a Close To My Heart sister by the name of Vicki Wizniuk. You can see her awesome artwork by clicking here. Vicki posted this recently on the bulletin boards for CTMH consultants and I absolutely loved it! I immediately had to try my own version and this is what I came up with. Isn't it just too cool?
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It is, however, not a super quick project but was lots of fun to create. I made it with the Dreamin' paper pack from Close To My Heart and the Hooray Bouquet stamp set. Here is a photo of the inside tag that holds the gift card.
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Here is where the gift card is stashed. Although I don't have one inserted, it would go on the top part where the cutout is. It's a pretty snug fit so it won't fall out.

If you'd like to try making one of these for yourself, click here to go to a video of the instructions and have fun!

Only 331 days to go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baked Apple Chips

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I found a recipe for homemade baked apple chips online this morning and wanted to give it a try. I am not totally happy with how they turned out but they're edible. I happened to have one Honeycrisp and one Red Delicious apple to try this recipe with so I went for it.

Luckily I didn't leave them in for the full 2 hours as some of them seemed to get burned a bit after one hour and 45 minutes although they didn't have a real burnt taste. Also the Honeycrisp slices seemed to hold their moisture more and didn't get quite as crisp as the Red Delicious slices. Maybe the Honeycrisp needs to be sliced thinner and the Red Delicious can be sliced a little thicker? I'll have to experiment more.

The best part about trying this recipe was the wonderful aroma while they were baking. The whole house smelled SO good! If you try this recipe, let me know how yours turn out.

Only 332 days to go!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A New Washer for Me!

I have been home now from my NY trip for a week and I am finally able to do laundry again! Yea! While I was out of town, hubby tried to be helpful by washing a load of his own laundry so that I wouldn't have a ton to do when I returned and guess what? He broke the washer! Well, I don't think he really broke it as it was getting old and on it's last legs anyway!

We started looking online for a new washer and found a great deal on this particular model by Maytag. I am a very frugal shopper and don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles on something new. No big deal to me! As long as it does it's job, I'm happy. We did, however, choose to purchase a High Efficiency washer in a Top-Load style rather than going with a Front-Load. I have visions (not very good ones) of someday needing to open the washer door while it's running and having water spill all over so I chose the Top-Load version.

I am so happy to be able to do laundry again. Yea, I know I'm weird! But not only can I do laundry again, I can also hang it outside to dry and that is the best part about doing laundry. Today is a perfect day for drying clothes outside as it is very sunny and windy so those clothes will dry in a very short time and I have saved on my electric bill in the process! Yea!

Only 333 days to go!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Die Cuts Anyone?

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If you're a die-hard, no pun intended, scrapbooker or cardmaker, you simply cannot live without these two awesome products...a Cricut Expression Die-Cut machine and the new Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge from Close To My Heart. I know they have both become very important items to me lately as I create my latest artwork projects.

The Expression is one totally awesome machine and I know I can't live without it. It can cut so many cool shapes and things, not only out of paper but also vellum, thin chipboard, vinyl, foil and other materials.

The Art Philosophy cartridge from Close To My Heart has definitely become a favorite of mine as it includes at least 700 images along with several different boxes that can be cut to create so many fantastic projects for scrapbooking, cardmaking and home decor. If you are a Cricut fan, this cartridge is a must-have. Check it out on my website and contact me when you're ready to get one for yourself.

Only 334 days to go!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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If you know anything about Watkins Glen, NY, you know it's famous for racing as in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix. I visited Watkins Glen back in August and while walking down the main drag through the town, I spotted this mural on the side of one of the buildings. The artist is Robert Gillespie. I have no clue if he's a famous artist or just a local guy but I thought this mural was so appropriate for Watkins Glen. If you know of this guy, please let me know!

Only 335 days to go!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Music To My Ears

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I LOVE music! I would rather listen to music than watch TV any day! Seriously! Music lifts me up when I'm not feeling up to par and puts me in a much better mood. My favorite genre of music is Contemporary Jazz or Smooth Jazz as it's sometimes called although I can listen to many types of music except for Rap & Opera. Those two do absolutely nothing for me! This little stereo sits on my worktable in my scraproom and is blasting out music just about every day. If you've never listened to Jazz, here's a list of a few of my favorite Jazz musicians for you to give a listen to and find out for yourself just how great Jazz music is!

  • The Rippington's
  • Nelson Rangell
  • Warren Hill
  • Peter White
  • Eric Marienthal
  • Marc Antoine
These are just a few of my faves...there are many, many more!

Only 336 days to go!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Little Bit of Fall Color

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I was hoping for lots of great Fall colors while on my most recent trip up north to visit my family but I was a bit disappointed. Apparently, that area is about 2 weeks behind where they normally are at this time of year.

I did take a few shots anyway of this hill behind my parents' house because it still looked very pretty with the dots of yellow and orange here and there.

Only 338 days to go!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Along the Pennsylvania Turnpike

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If you've ever driven the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, you should have seen these windmills. I know they're only windmills and I've seen them many times but they still fascinate me.

The photo isn't the greatest as I was taking it through a dirty windshield while driving and it was hard to focus on the windmills while also keeping my eyes on the road. I know that's not a safe thing to do but I really wanted a photo of those darn windmills.

Only 339 days to go!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another Cutie

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Just wanted to share another cutie pie with you. This little girl is just the happiest baby I have ever known. The only time she is unhappy is when her food isn't getting into her mouth fast enough or when she's tired. The rest of the time, she is full of smiles and giggles and entertains everyone who comes in contact with her. What a cutie pie!

Only 340 days to go!

Friday, October 7, 2011

One of the Cutest Girls I Know

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Okay, I am very upset that I already missed a day of this 365 day challenge I gave myself. I have had a very good reason to miss a day, though. I had hoped to post last night but was so tired after taking care of the two cutest little girlies on the face of this planet. Yes, I'm a bit biased but what can I say?

It has been very tiring but at the same time very fun and rewarding taking care of these two girls under the age of 2 for the past few days while their parents were out of town. I have really gotten to know them better and they now know their grandma just a little bit better, too. Can't ask for more than that!

Only 341 days to go!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2 Cute

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Thought I'd share a layout I made recently of my youngest granddaughter, Aveney, who I have been spending a lot of time with these past few days and who is one of the reasons why I am sharing such short posts with you lately also. I'd almost forgotten how demanding little people can be but still be oh so cute! ALMOST!

Only 343 days to go!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sharing Another Fall Card

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Too busy again today to really concentrate on posting a great photo so here's one of another Fall-themed card that I made recently. Sorry I'm too pooped to share the details about it so if you really want to know, send me an email! ;-)  Hope you enjoy it.

Only 344 days to go!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dirty Bird?

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I know seagulls are dirty birds as are most birds but I thought this one was pretty cool, practically begging to have his photo taken on a recent trip to Seneca Harbor Park in Watkins Glen, NY. I didn't actually get super close to it but I did squat down fairly close then zoomed right in on him. He cooperated for this photo more than some of the people I try to photograph. ;-)  I think he was just being very patient waiting for us to leave to see if we left him some food scraps.

Only 345 days to go!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy World Cardmaking Day

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Okay, I think World Cardmaking Day was yesterday. Uh oh! I hope you remembered and had fun making cards of your own.

I totally forgot I wanted to post a card I had made for it so here it is now. I was inspired by a card in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book from Close To My Heart and this is my version of it.

I love the Autumn season and all the beautiful colors so making this card put me in a great mood! I hope it makes you feel good, too!


Only 346 days to go!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's a Jungle in Here!

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Sorry so late with my post today! I'm visiting with family and have been way too busy to post. But here's a quick post about a plant I have in my main bathroom that started out as an itty bitty little thing and has grown into a big beautiful plant that looks like a palm tree but which I know is actually some kind of fern, I think and what better place for it to flourish than a bathroom.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a jungle here as this plant just keeps growing and growing and growing.....I used to know the name of this plant but it eludes me now. Help me out here, huh? Anybody know?

Only 347 days to go!