Monday, October 31, 2005

oh that baby maggie!

This weekend my little niece crawled on the kitchen table and started eating out of the fruit bowl! Here are the incriminating photos...

going bananas

Believe it or not, this is my father! He made this crazy gorilla costume to wear tonight and my golly, he looks just like a gorilla. He even seems to move just like one when he's in this costume. My mother is so worried that he's going to frighten all of the little trick or treaters.

baby bear

My father made this incredibly cute little bear costume for my sister's little baby girl, Maggie. Doesn't she look so adorable? She was practicing saying "trick or treat" and I think she has it down. I think she will get tons of treats tonight!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


oh, how I love gingerbread when the chill is in the air. I made some this weekend and had a bit every afternoon with whipped cream with my cup of tea. It's all gone now...maybe I'll make more soon.

I made this last batch from a box. Martha Washington...just 50 cents a box! I doubled it by getting two boxes. All you do is mix in a cup of water and pour it into a well-greased baking dish! It tasted just as good as truly homemade, honestly. But if you want to make it from scratch, here's my father's recipe:

Mix thoroughly:

1/2 cup soft shortening

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

Blend in:

1 cup dark molasses

1 cup boiling water

Sift together and stir in slowly, beating until smooth:

2 1/4 cup sifted flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into a well greased and floured 9 inch square pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Serve hot with whipped cream or applesauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

rachael ray every day

Did you know that Rachael Ray has her own kickin' magazine? I just picked up a copy of my own and I am going to make a cup of hot tea (new today too...sugar plum spice!) and flip through it.

I'm a big fan of Rachael's from way back. It changed the way I cook. I have a big ol' chopping board just to the right of my cooktop with a garbage bowl nearby. I also have the very same knife that she uses on her show, 30-Minute Meals.

Rachael also has a new book that's due on the shelves next week. Yay!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

working hard...

I've been working hard to update the site. And I'm going to send out a newsletter when I publish. Hey, if you'd like to get on the list in a hurry before the newsletter goes out, click here.

Want a hint? Oh, I have button bracelets...a whole new batch of them! I've had a thimble permanently afixed to my finger. Just kidding. Who really uses a thimble? It just gets in my way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


My neighbor across the street was killed in a car accident while visiting friends in Colorado this past weekend. The driver swerved to keep from hitting a deer and the car went off the road, 350 feet into a ravine. It's just so tragic. I think of his wife and 2 small children and wonder how she will muster the strength to go on and eventually live a normal life again. But she will, I know it. And I would too, somehow, if it happened to Rich.

Take a moment today to consider your life and how really wonderful each day is that we are given. Even if you are so busy that your mind is whirling, step outside, take a deep breathe, and be grateful. Each day is a gift. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Not because it might be the last thing they hear from you but because you do. What is love if it is not expressed?

Monday, October 17, 2005

jack o's--with flash on

Here the pumpkins are with more light...I sat them on a couple of chairs and put them on the front porch. I thought the one stem looked like a curl so I put a ribbon on it.

jack o's

Last night, my sweetie and I carved these three pumpkins we picked up this weekend at a pumpkin stand. We did two things a little differently and they were fabulous ideas. We printed out the faces, taped the paper to the pumpkin, and used a fancy new electric pumpkin carving knife (looks like a little jigsaw). It was as easy as it could be...and FUN! Second thing I did was to buy little battery-operated tealights that flicker like a real candle. Boy, does it make these faces look alive...and with none of the worry of putting a real flame inside the hollowed out pumpkin.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

birthday invitation factory

My little friend Evan is turning 3! I made this birthday invitation for his celebration. It was so easy and fun. Want to know how I did it?

I bought a whole box of folded notes and envelopes that are the rsvp you know what I mean? I printed the birthday party information inside the card...easy, easy. The printed paper that I used for the hats and the background is from a pad of scrapbooking paper that was only 6.5" x 4.25". I just cut those in half for the background and used two-sided tape to put it on the card. For the hats, I punched out a big circle (2.5") and cut it into 6 pie slices. I used the same circle punch to cut out Evan's sweet little mug. The collar was made from crepe paper streamers, about 5 inches in length and gathered into a curve. Assembly: First I adhered the paper collar on the background using just two glue dots (one at each end). Second, Evan's face was placed over the collar. I used my sticker maker to add stickiness to the back. I glued the hat on with a glue dot. The tiny pom-pom got a tiny glue dot too.

Didn't they turn out nicely? We are going to make little clown garlands and party picks in the same way.

Friday, October 14, 2005

tag, I'm it!

My sweetie-pie friend Beth just tagged me. It's the first time I've been (knowingly) tagged and I feel obliged to continue the game.

Five random things about Amy:

1. I do not know how to swim. Rich is an expert swimmer and tried to teach me once but I was not a good student and he gave up.

2. I love to eat beef jerky. Strange, I know. I once read that models eat it because it is full of protein and generally fat-free. I had been eating it years before I read that but reading it made me feel a bit better about this weird pleasure.

3. As long as I'm confessing things that might seem out of character for the Amy you know and love, I watch QVC and buy all kinds of crazy things. I adore Lisa Robertson and I will buy anything she tells me about.

4. I wrote a children's book in college and tried to get it published. I sent it to dozens of publishers but no dice. It is called "The Birthday Suit" and is about a little boy who gets all sorts of clothes for his birthday and they are all too big. He decides to wear his "birthday suit" because it fits just perfectly.

5. I wear pink almost every single day in some form or another. Pink makes me happy. Today I'm wearing pink cords, a pink button bracelet, and pink socks.

I guess now I tag others...I am going to tag the Neenster, Debbie, and Tattered Edge

she's a freak...owww!

For the longest time, I thought the refrain for the song "Brickhouse" was "She's a freak....owww!" I would sing these words very loudly and confidently as I thought they were the actual words.

I used to work at an office that had a catered lunch everyday (nice, I know!) and we all pretty much ate together. We started a conversation about how many songs we knew with the word "freak" in them. I piped up and said "You're forgetting the best one" and I started singing "She's a freak...owww!" One of my coworkers, Chad, smiling widely said "Amy, we don't know that does it go?" So I sang more of it. Before long, the whole lunchroom was roaring with laughter. They finally explained to me what the real words are to the song and I really haven't gotten over it. I still accidently sing the wrong words when I hear it...until I remember that she is a brick house...not a freak...owww! Mighty mighty. Let'n it all hang out.

my apron...

Here it apron! My mother showed me how to follow the pattern's instructions exactly and I learned so much. It took a very long time (much longer than I expected!) The pockets have little pink presents on them...isn't that perfect for me? I am going to wear this cute apron while I put together your orders.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

sewing with a pattern...

My mother (who's visiting this week along with my father) is teaching me to sew with a pattern. I am making "b"...

I will wear it when I work on getting your orders out to you. Isn't it just as cute as can be?

I'll show you a picture of the finished apron when I'm done...hopefully tomorrow. Today we cut everything out and I learned terrific new tricks such as a tailor's tack.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

santa seth

Just before leaving for the Crab Carnival in my hometown last week, I had to run to Toys R Us to find a remote control car made especially for little folks that I'd promised Seth. On my way through the store I spotted this darling Santa suit and knew I had to get it for Seth. Rich was doubtful but I had a plan.

I waited awhile after we'd arrived before I whispered in Seth's ear that I had a secret surprise to show him. I had put the suit in a big box and didn't tell anyone what was inside. He was so happy when he saw it. We decided that he would put it on right away and go into the room full of people and say "Ho! Ho! Ho! Whatcha want for Christmas?"

Everyone was delighted by it. And he's such a ham that he loved making everyone laugh.

Now here's the really funny part. Part of the Crab Carnival's festivities is a parade. My brother (who knows everybody!) made a phone call or two and next thing you know Seth is all lined up to be IN the parade, dressed as Santa! His little friend Kameron was Mrs. Claus and they rode with my sister in law on the back of Bob Alley's tow truck. Don't you love small towns?

Friday, October 7, 2005

raining cats and dogs

It's nearly 8 am. The rain is coming down like you wouldn't believe. I can't seem to pull myself out of bed...not even for a bowl of yummy oatmeal that I promised myself. Or even a cup of tea. But if I had a pair of these wellies, I would put them on right now with my pajamas and I would march downstairs for oatmeal, a cuppa, and anything else that is waiting for me down there.

Boden even has cowboy boot wellies.

Now if I had those, I could also wrangle up some cattle in all this rain.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

button people are crazy...

Since I started making my button bracelets

I've been on a quest to buy buttons...anywhere I can get them. That includes ebay, of course. And it is on ebay that I found out that button people are crazy. Every single time that I bid on some buttons, some johnny come lately jumps in at the last 10 seconds (not an exaggeration) and sneaks in the winning bid for my buttons. It makes me so mad that I could just spit fire. I wouldn't be so mad if they didn't wait until the bidding is seconds from ending. I don't even have a chance to put in another bid. And these johnny come latelies are paying top dollar for these buttons.

Got buttons? I would love them! Vintage only. The more interesting the better.

oh the new!

Un Souvenir Charmant

Large Glass Glitter Eiffel

Miniature Glass Glitter Eiffel

Eiffel Candy Box

La Belle Vie Collection

La Belle Vie Hand Soap and Lotion Set

La Belle Vie Linen Guest Towel

Santos Hands

Petite Santos Hands

Santos Hands

Great Holiday Gifts

Gift Tag Mug

Holiday Mugs

Santa's Cookie Plate

Tinsel Garland

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

amy's book report

I love this book! LOVE! It is so inspiring. I bought it last week and decided immediately that I needed to do something better with my workspace. It's getting there...maybe soon I can post pictures so that you can see what it looks like.

There are tons of artists you'll recognize whose workspaces are featured in this book. Our friend Sandra Evertson, for one. To name a few others: Wendy Addison, Kitty Bartholomew (or as Rich likes to call her "Skunk lady"...he means it in the nicest way, Kitty), Victoria MacKenzie-Childs (You've got to check out her funky hair-do...she didn't miss a single color in the rainbow!), Charlotte Lyons (One of Mary Engelbreit's chums), Anna Corba, April Cornell and Jill Schwartz (whose display I accidently toppled in New York! I screamed when it happened. I keep thinking about selling her designs.)

The book is packed tight with hints and tips and ideas that will really inspire you to carve out a space for you to light your creative fire.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

tiny tea cups

These tea cups are tiny (they are really demitasse cups!) Imagine how cute these would be with little votive candles popped right in! Instant gifts! Or put a tiny bit of waterlogged oasis in the cup and fill it with an arrangement of teeny flowers...for an extra fun touch, create a little tea tag gift card to dangle out of the cup. Another idea is to put a gift in a pouch made from a lacy handkerchief tied with a ribbon and put in the cup. It would have to be a small gift, like a charm or a ring. Or how about an invitation to tea for two at the Ritz?

These cups are just too cute...the cup is only about 2 inches tall so think small!

Click here