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June 2012

Just a quickie -- for those of you who followed my Vanilla Bean Dreams blog (full of gluten free goodies), I had to take it down. I couldn't devote the time to update it with any regularity, and I was getting spam messages left and right.

I apologize if this disappoints you guys, but I just couldn't keep up with it. I will make an effort to share my particularly good recipes on this blog, however, so hopefully I can at least offer you that :-)

Again, I'm sorry about this, but it's something I just had to do.

Much love ~~~ J

Happy Monday!

It dawned on me the other day, that with all the stitching I've been doing since I was laid up for 3 days, I never posted any WIP pictures.
Well, not to here, anyway.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram have seen my WIPs, and since I was posting pics there, the light bulb never went off in my brain that none of you have seen my stitchy progress.
Tuesday night I ended up in the ER with SEVERE stomach pains (like, I can't stand up without being in excruciating pain and the only comfortable place for me to be is in bed in the fetal position...which I ultimately decided was not a good thing...).
So...this was my Tuesday night.  I'll spare you the details here, but know that all is well and I'm feeling MUCH better :-) (and yes, that is a book i shoved into my purse since i figured i wouldn't be leaving the ER in any hurry, and if i got a bed, i'd need reading material.  i also shoved my iphone charger in my purse, just in case. gotta be prepared. are you with me? excrutiating pain, and i was worried about having reading material while i'm in the hospital.  i have serious issues.)
Needless to say, I was out of work the remainder of the week.  What does one do when they're home recovering, but no longer sick enough to be laying in bed all day?
Besides my sister's wedding gift, I'm stitching the Blackbird Designs "Halloween Eve" which is turning out WAY cool.
I love love love the way this pumpkin is turning out, and the cat?!  Awesome!
Here's the raven on top of the pumpkin before I finished the pumpkin outline --
I apologize - I thought I had a better pic of the raven -- this one seems dark.  The Sable CC that's used to fill in the body of the raven is much lighter than this pic is showing.
For the record...filling in a pumpkin on 40 count takes FOR.EV.ER.  Just throwing that out there......
Cool, though, right?!  I love it.  There was a time when I wouldn't even look at Blackbird Designs.  I think I've mentioned before, however, that lately my tastes have changed, which has opened my eyes to some pretty great designers.  I'm loving this pattern, and I hope you're enjoying seeing the progress!!  I've listed the fabric color in my Fabric & Fibers Changes page, so click on over to see what I chose.  I'm pretty sure it's Cider from Silkweaver....but go there and make sure I know what I'm doing.  Right now, I'm even too lazy to check.  HA!  
As always, if there's something you see that I use in my projects, you want to use it in your own but don't have a LNS, call the girls at The Strawberry Sampler.  They will help you with whatever you need.  Seriously.  And they do online orders.  Tell them I sent you :-)
Anyways kids, that's my WIP for the week.  Stay tuned for more insanity as wedding pics come pouring in and I fire up my Cricut to make mini albums for the girls :-)
Until then....go forth and be crafty :-)
Much love ~~~
J :-)

OMG. Shoes.

I LOVE this pic - our bouquets & hotttttt shoes all lined up on the way to get our pics taken after the ceremony :-)

(for the record, my & Hay's shoes were 4in high. boom.)


I know you're all dying for pics from my sis's wedding, so I'll give you a tease -- this is all of us in the limo as we're getting ready to take off for the church. I promise....more will follow once I start feeling better :-)


Festivals Rock.

Well, Italian festivals, anyway.  ;-)
Especially the St. Anthony's Festival in Wilmington, DE, which is where I was with the fam yesterday.
Good food, good fun (including an amazing accordian player. you guys totes missed out.), and delicious port wine with strawberries.
And, there's always the beautiful church of St. Anthony of Padua...
And the surrounding streets of Wilmington lined with the banners from the city-states of Italy...
All of which made for a pretty good Sunday :-)
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! 
Much love ~~~
J :-)

A quick weekend post

Hello all!!!
Just wanted to give a quick weekend post and let you know I haven't totally fallen off the face of the earth.  Yet.
Work is crazy, work is crazy, is crazy.  So, I haven't had too much time to do any crafty stuff, but I've been trying to make more time to, since it's the only thing that keeps me sane these days.
The one thing that I do seem to be able to keep up with relatively regularly is my SMASH book.  I love this idea, and wrote something very brief about it a while ago when I had just started trying to figure out what I could...smash...if you will.  
Lemme tell you something....this book is addictive.  I find myself picking up random things just so I can put them in my SMASH book.  No, really.  That happens.
For instance.....
You can buy these fun page inserts to glue actual pages into your book, since adding pages is somewhat difficult, being that these books are bound with a set amount of pages ----
 Now, the directions on the packaging tell you to open them up to insert your page, but there's actually an adhesive on the one outer side, so you're supposed to then make it stick down to one of the existing pages in the book.  
Was that English?  I hope that made sense.  Based on the fact that, to me, it didn't make sense to use these things if you're still losing one of the pages in your book, I decided to ignore the directions that tell you to stick this page divider/insert/whatever the frig it is, and make it act as an actual page hinge...binder....thing.
Like so ---
As you can see, I've effectively added a page, but I don't lose the space on the existing pages in the book!!!
That way, I can add cool stuff I rip out of magazines & such, and not have to glue them all down, possibly losing the general feel of the inspiring piece I want to add to my book.

I ripped this page from one of the summer Athleta catalogs, right after I'd started P90X (yeah. that's right. P90X.), determined to be as toned as this surfer.  I think she's a yoga guru, too.  At least, that's I think what the description said.  Either way, she's super toned, and exactly what I want to achieve through my workouts.  Just to give you background - I got tired of working around my neck & back injuries, and decided to take the drastic step to really get myself strong so I can avoid further injury, and at the same time hope to make my existing injuries less of a problem.  I still have nerve issues, but overall, I feel A.MA.ZING.  Best investment I ever made is this workout plan.
Ok - back to my SMASH book and the inspiring things I put inside.  Like this decadent cake I need to make at some point in the near future.....
IMG_1330 can add more than one page at a time -- I pulled this entire section out of one of my Better Homes & Gardens magazines....
 I tried to spread out the pages so you can see the divider I added holds an entire section of pages I yanked from that magazine.  Way cool.
I've been jamming fun stuff in this book for months, and it just keeps getting more and more fun to play with.  I plan on taking this book and all the fun SMASH accessories (can you spot some of them in the background of these pics??) with me on my trip to Vermont in July.  The little things I pick up on my trip will make their way into this book :-)  Maybe one day I'll show you all what I've been smashing into this book ;-)
Until next time...go forth and be crafty :-D
Much love ~~~~~
J :-)

Peeps! I don't know what happened to my blog there for a day or so, but I think I fixed it. All the posts should be showing up normally now.

Technology. Can't live without it. Need computer gnomes to help you figure it all out.


Peeps!!  I'm back!  The wedding was a super amazing fun time, and I'm waiting for people to start posting pics from the event b/c I took a total of 3 pictures the entire day.  That's it.  I don't even have one of myself other than a snapshot of my hair.  So, be patient...I will post some awesome pics from the wedding as soon as I can get my hands on them!
In the meantime, I spent some time in my craft room last week for a little down time, and thought I'd make something simple yet amazing to hang on one of my very bare walls in this house.
This is so simple, cheap, and looks professional when you're done.  Not even kidding.
You know all those great cards you see in the card store or bookstore and think to yourself, "dang. that's a pretty awesome pic on the front of that card. i should get that, but i have no one to send a card to."
Ahem.  Who says you need to send the card?  Take the card and frame it!
Ok.  So...I saw this square card down the shore when I was shopping on Asbury, and I really liked the saying on the front.  So, I bought it.  Envelope and all.  I didn't intend to send it, but I did intend to do something with it.  At the time, however, I wasn't quite sure what.
Enter vintage ephemera and a shadowbox.
Awesome, amiright???  
This is SO easy.  Promise.  Ok - so you can see the front of the card.  I just cut off the back, and glued that sucker to the paper.  First, however, I took two different patterned paper and put them as a background, if you will, on the main piece that was the overall background.  With me so far?  Good.
Then, I just took two key elements from K&Company (they came as part of a bigger set, which I got 50% off at Joann Fabric), and placed them around the card image.  I glued them down with Glossy Accents (this stuff ROCKS. if you don't have it, GET IT.), and voila!  Vintage appeal!  You can also see the text better in this pic, which is the whole reason I bought this card.  The back said that this was hung in the children's home in Calcutta, where Mother Theresa spent her time with the poor.
The last little element was something I found by accident.  I was searching through my sticker stash when I found this little gem, and HAD to put it in the bottom left.  It was just perfect all around....
So there you have it, folks!  A simple, yet elegant framed piece that  you can do in seriously less than an hour, have it framed and ready in about two (gotta leave time for the glue to dry ;-))!!!'s so cheap!  This cost less to make than many pieces cost to buy in the stores! Use those coups you get in the mail, and you can make stuff like this to add personal touches to your favorite rooms in your house!!
That's all for today, kids!!  Until next time.....DO SOMETHING CREATIVE TODAY!!!! :-D
Much love ~~~~
J :-)