Monday, August 04, 2008

Hooray for the high mountains !!


Provo River Waterfall in the High Uinta Mountains.

I do love my mountains. Cherish them, adore them. This past weekend we had the opportunity to stay with family in cabins in the High Uintas near the Utah/Wyoming border. It's been many years since I have been in this gorgeous area of the Wasatch/Cache National Forest. Words cannot describe how happy I was to see some of the sites from my childhood, exact locations that I have had burned into my memories...it was like seeing an old friend. The first thing my husband did when we arrived at the cabins was disappear. He came back with a handful of wild strawberries for me. I had told him that one of my fondest childhood memories was walking around lakes and the mountainside looking for wild strawberries with my dad. Boy, that brought a big smile to my face !!

The Uinta Mountains are dotted with many, many little lakes enclosed in densely forested areas covered with lodgepole pines and aspen trees. A lot of the lakes also have lily pads floating peacefully on them. There are also creeks and rivers, clearings with marshes and covered with wildflowers, and lots of wildlife viewing. Moose and deer are the main sitings. Well, not including the squirrels and chipmunks !! It's also fun to see the patches of snow high up on the mountain peaks because it never melts. We traveled along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway which is only open from May-mid October. The road goes from Kamas, Utah (near Park City) to Evanston, Wyoming. In my mind, I am already planning a return trip very soon !!

My daughter at Mirror Lake.


My son fishing at Mirror Lake. He caught a lot of moss !


My mom and her husband at Whitney Reservoir where we were attacked by huge horse/deer flies.


My husband at Bald Mountain Pass. Elevation 10,687 feet.


The Provo River cutting through the Uinta Mountains.

xoxoxoxox

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh the Drama...

I am frustrated. The frustration file in my filing cabinet has exploded. I have been divorced from the father of my children, my first husband, for over 10 years. I have nothing bad to say about him. He is a very difficult person, but we all have our downfalls. Honestly, I have no feelings toward him whatsoever. He is the one who left me but ultimately, it was definitely for the best. I want nothing more than to have my children have a good relationship with him and spend time with him. There is nothing I do to hinder their relationship. Schedules are provided, I try to encourage the kids to see him even when they are begging to stay home, when the kids complain about him and how he does things I remind them that everyone is different and I know it's hard to go back and forth between homes with different parenting styles. Plus, they are 12 and 13... a difficult age for kids anyway. My oldest child is nearly 20 and I have no control over any relationship he chooses to have with his father.

My frustration is this: I feel that I do everything I can to be a good mother, a good co-parent. Yes, I admit that I do sometimes forget things. I am human, I fail sometimes. I don't always inform their father of every haircut, dentist appointment and class they take. On the other hand, I believe it to be the responsibility of the other parent to communicate with the children and not just rely on the co-parent for all communication. However, it seems that the 'father' feels and lets it be known that I do everything I can to hinder his relationships with his children. Nothing is further from the truth ! And at this point in my life, I have grown a set of balls. I will no longer be a door mat. I will no longer be yelled at and belittled, let alone by someone who I am no longer married to. Tell me, am I wrong ? Should I put up with being put down, belittled, critiqued, yelled at and told how I do everything wrong- for the sake of my children ? I think not. No good can come when children see their mother yelled at and put down by their father, let alone the tension and stress it causes. I think it would do well for all adults involved in situations like this to grow up.

And that, is my .2 cents for the day.

Love to everyone !!! xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Helicopter Parent ??

Lately I've been pondering about childhood and the impact that our society today has on our children. For many years, I have felt that the world seems to require that our children grow up too fast. Children have so many things thrown at them socially, personally, environmentally and educationally and often all at once. As adults, many of us have gained the coping skills to deal with these pressures but I feel that many children are lacking the needed maturity and experience to handle everything that is dealt to them.

I was listening to the John Tesh show on the radio recently when running my 'mom taxi'. He was talking about over-parenting. I, and many, like to refer to it as the helicopter parent syndrome. Now honestly, I myself sometimes behave like a helicopter parent. My husband has to remind me to let the kids deal with things themselves but it's hard to see them struggle even though I know it's necessary for them to learn. John Tesh, on his show, stated that "Carl Honore, the author of the book Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children From the Culture of Hyper-Parenting... spent two years investigating child-raising approaches around the world. What he found everywhere among middle-class and affluent families was that - despite parents’ best intentions - kids are over-scheduled, over-indulged and over-stimulated." In my mind this tells me that children are being encouraged to "be little adults". Although I want and encourage my children to be involved and try different sports and activities in church, community and school, I still want them to be children. Ahhh... parenting.... it's a toughie !!

On a side (somewhat related) note, my 12 year old son is involved in the scouting program. He loves it and it's a great program which I totally support. I was somewhat unenthusiastic, however, when I learned that they were planning a 50 mile hike in the mountains with full packs, tents, etc., everything needed to sustain life on the trail for a week- ON YOUR BACK. A few other parents were as skeptical as myself where their young boys were concerned. If they were a little older, taller, more mature I think it would be a great experience but at 12 years old, the maturity and strength to carry a 30 pound pack on your back for a week is, in my opinion, too much. The scouts did recently do a much, much shorter hike with the full packs and my son discovered that although he did enjoy himself, he decided that that 50-miler was for the birds. At least for THIS year.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Straight Cuts and Other Scissor Tales


Handmade, hand cut and hand designed dragonflies by yours truly. :)

I've had many people, over the past few years, ask me how my cuts are so "perfect". I say "perfect" because I am a perfectionist, I always think my own work can be improved and never think of my work as perfect. Nonetheless, people always ask how I get my cuts so smooth, even and straight. For me, there are 2 parts to the equation in getting nice clean scissor cuts...

1) Good, very sharp scissors that fit your hand well. For me, my favorite scissors are Cutter Bees from EK Success. They have an extra sharp tip, non stick blades and they're smaller - perfect for my hands and for getting into tight or curvy areas.

2) Move the paper, not your scissors. When I cut, I hold my scissors with my right hand and "guide" the paper with my left hand. Plus, I never make the scissor blades chop but rather make even smooth cuts.

Another tip I can offer is for matting. I have a wonderful tool called the Magic Matter by Puzzle Mates (PM Designs). It has different sized disks with a hole in the center. You place a pencil in the hole and gently trace the edge of whatever you want to matte and VOILA, perfect cutting lines for your matted piece ! It's perfect for getting an even matte around shaped, curvy and intricate designs. I have the 4 disk set which, unfortunately, has been discontinued. They do still sell a 3 disk set although I understand it is hard to find in stores.

I think I was also blessed with a very steady hand. Lemme tellya, that comes in handy when making scissor cuts !

Happy cutting, snipping and paper crafting !!

xoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Some Dumb Humor...


9:00 at night and it's 90 degrees. NINETY DEGREES at dusk ! It was 100 degrees here today. It's not Arizona heat, but wowie it's hot to me.

When summer is so hot you can:
*Go to McDonalds to get coffee and pour it on your laps -- just to cool off!

*Get a sunburn through your car window. YES, you can !

*You can make INSTANT sun tea.

*Pretty much wear shorts and a tank top to any function.

*Determine the best parking spots by amount of shade, not distance from the front door.

*Beg your husband to book a trip to Nova Scotia, Montana, Antarctica, anywhere cooler !! Yes, I tried. Yes, I got laughed at. :)

On a brighter, cooler note (and not dumb or humorous in any way *smile*)... check out one of my new pendants from Popalicious. It's a little hand painted pink tile pendant with an adorable bird. So cute !! It's very detailed and oh so deliciously hand crafted. Love it !!



xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some Favorites !!!

A few of my personal favorites from some of the wonderful artisans on Etsy. I love to go 'window shopping', viewing the gorgeous creations featured there.

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." ~Bo Derek

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." ~Oscar Wilde

ENJOY !!!



Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Heat, A Holiday and A New Necklace

It's so hot here ! Hot and dry. Not nearly as bad as hot and humid, but still... it's hot. Perfect for spending the fourth of July sleeping out in a tent, right ? Well, if you like saunas, then yes, perfect. That's exactly what we did for Independence Day. We spent the holiday camping in the backyard and watching the fireworks displays across the valley. Of course, some of the fireworks looked like tiny little explosions but hey, it was fun !



My son and his girlfriend hanging out:


My daughter and Molly (Grandma's yorkie):


And my husband.... GOLFING... in the field:


The day before we had gone to the Freedom Festival, which is a city festival with loads of booths and activities. It was too HOT HOT HOT and I think I may have gotten a little heat exhaustion.


As a reward for all my hard work (haha) I bought a pendant from TotusMel. I have always thought tatting was just cool and amazing and so pretty and have admired those that can do it. I tried once, in my very early teens, to teach myself to tat and alas, no luck. I put the pendant onto one of my necklaces and I just love love love it !! I do apologize for my freckly transparent red-headed skin, ugh. :)

I do recommend shopping with TotusMel, her shop is amazing !!

Here's hoping you're enjoying air conditioning or cooler temperatures !!

xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Monday, June 23, 2008

June is Almost GONE !! ?

Here you think summer will never get around to arriving and BAM... a month of it gone already. We didn't even have to turn our air conditioners on until last week it's been so cool here by the mountains in northern Utah. However, it is now well up into the 90's and the forecast is for 100 degrees over the weekend. Can you say sticky !

So the other day my youngest children wanted to go fishing. OK, they have poles and they have fishing licenses. I also got the "we know everything about what to do, we have it under control" speech from them. Now I am not a fisherman, fisherwoman?, fishing expert or even novice of any kind. However, my kids seem to have a love of throwing the plastic line with the stinky bait into whatever watering hole they can find to try and lure some poor unsuspecting fish into their clever trap. I agreed to take them fishing, we packed a little picnic and headed to the local "community fishing area". Little did I know what I was in for...

It seems that no one, not me, not my kids, and probably not the fish either, were expecting for this little fishing trip to result in a catch. Unfortunately, for me and the fish, quite the opposite happened. This did, however, make my children very happy. The first fish pulled out was a Utah Rainbow Trout to big smiles and shouts of glee from not only my children but all the other children in the vicinity and a huge "what in THE heck am I going to do now with this FISH" from me. One panicked phone call later to my very handy and helpful husband resulted in him coming to my rescue - 7 fish later. Thank you lucky stars for said handy husband !! So now we have trout in the freezer awaiting the bbq and some lemons (my apologies to any vegans !) and some kids that had a good fishing experience. But... I'm not sure when I will venture out to go fishing again.


xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yahoo !!

Fun stuff. A few days ago a made a treasury, just goofing around Etsy looking at fun stuff. I'd like to say I have a pretty good eye for color and I think it turned out quite nicely. I guess Etsy admin must have thought so too because it ended up on the front page !! I can't believe I managed to see it AND get a screen shot of it. Actually, I was struggling with getting the entire screen in one piece and luckily my very bright very computer literate son came home just in time to help me figure it out. My robot treasury:

Can't wait to post some fun summertime photos soon.... as soon as I get a break from my kids tearing me away from everything !!

Happy summer-ing !!

xoxoxox

~Wendy

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Little Family History... Old and New

This past Memorial Day was just as it should be... spent with family remembering and learning about ancestors. My grandmother, who is 90 years old and beautiful, traveled from her home in Moab, Utah to spend some time with us visiting the places from her life. I don't think my husband was too thrilled to have to drive all that distance to spend time with my family but he was a good sport and got over an hour! of video of my grandmother's life history... straight from her mouth.

My ancestors, on my grandmother's side, were Utah Pioneers. They settled in central Utah. Many came from England and Denmark by ship. I have been able to trace a few on the Ellis Island registry. When these particular ancestors arrived in what was to be their home, they first lived in dugouts on the mountainside until the town could be built. My grandmother told us stories of her grandmothers and some of the food she ate when young. Things like sweetbreads (thymus glands), fagots (chopped liver), real sausage made with intestine casings, and something made with hearts and kidneys and other things I don't want to think of. She always said that nothing was wasted. Now, I'm not much of a meat eater myself and could happily live the rest of my days as a vegetarian so the thoughts of these foods makes me think I would be very, very thin back then !!

We visited a few homes from my grandmother's life as well as the building she went to school in for her entire elementary and secondary schooling. This is the school, which is now being used by a mining company:

This is the actual original, still standing and being used, granary used by my grandmother's family for storing grain:

We also visited the home that my great-grandparents built in the 1950's with my grandfather. I remember visiting this home on many occasions and could still visualize my great-grandmother on the side of the home by the big tree working in her garden.

I love family history and genealogy and was thrilled to get some more information !!

And working on new family history: my youngest son graduated from 6th grade. WOW. I now have no more children in elementary school. Only 6 more years and all my children will have graduated from high school. Time goes so quickly. My daughter was honored at an awards assembly at her junior high for being part of the Science Knowledge Bowl Team which took several awards earlier this year. My husband's son graduated from high school, what an accomplishment.

For my own little piece of history, I've been working on some fun custom orders and can now get back to working on new things for my shop. I always have many ideas racing through my mind and not enough time to see them through. Below are some of the things I've made custom, special order:



Here's to a great summer everyone !! May yours be filled with sunny days and sweet memories. And if you live where it's winter and not summer.... may you have great memories in the making also !!

xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Who doesn't love ladybugs ! ....but in your salad?


Yesterday was date night. Something I cherish, adore, wait for, long for, etc. etc. etc. *smile* My ever so handsome and manly husband and I drove down to our local Ottavio's Italian Restaurant for some tasty eats, a nice atmosphere and a few precious moments alone together. I ordered the eggplant parmigiana with caesar salad and hubby ordered the manicotti/cannelloni combo with garden salad. Tasty right ?? ....until you spot something little and out of the ordinary hanging out in your salad. Yes, the ladybug.

Now, this particular little bug had since passed from it's life of flitting about in the fields so there were no creepy crawlies but still, a bug in my salad. I understand about lettuce and bugs. There's a lot of bugs out there where it grows and sometimes it's hard to get everything off. I do understand, really. The owner came out, apologized and said we do try and we wash our lettuce daily, but sorry. We laughed, I said it did all a little color to my salad.. albeit in a sort of morbid way and the owner went on his way. (We didn't finish our salads.)

Our entrees were very tasty. The waiter asked if we wanted dessert, we said no. He then brought out "complimentary" ice cream which we assumed was the restaurant's way of "making up" for the little ladybug intruder in my salad. Now, I can't eat ice cream because the butter fat doesn't agree with my stomach and I don't feel like playing that russian roulette game when it's put in front of me. I guess that sort of left a bad taste in my mouth. They could have at least said we'd like to offer you a complimentary dessert and ask which we'd liked. Maybe I'm being picky, but I don't think so. What do you think ?? It's just kind of sad having yummy free dessert for having a bug in your salad and then not being able to eat it. However, hubby, who had no bug in his salad, did enjoy the ice cream.

We paid the full price for our meal and went on our way. I'm not sure when we'll be back to Ottavio's.....

xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Friday, May 16, 2008

I have been waiting for this !!!


Yes, I have it. Right here. In my hot little hands. The new, new, new Love, Elsie Recipe Box. I have been so excited to get this as I have Elsie Flannigan's last book - 52 Scrapbooking Challenges - and absolutely love the ideas in it and have used it for inspiration often.

I love Elsie's style and use of color and whimsy in her designs. Although I haven't gone through this recipe box completely, the cards that I did pull out looked like they had some fun ideas. I really like the size and presentation of the box, too. I can't wait to delve into it further !!

xoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A GOOD Day


Yes, it has been a good day. Emily Dickinson said a "mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled." Sometimes this is overwhelming to be needed so. However, on the other hand, being able to run to your own mother in sad or hard times certainly is comforting. I guess you have to be a mother to understand this quote by Lisa Alther: "Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease". In any case, my own little personal corner of the Mother's Day world was lovely.

My children gave me flowers and gifts. My husband loved me. I spent the day in a beautiful canyon with the sounds of the melting snow running down a stream and the smells of warm, clean air all around in the company of my family.

Happy Mother's Day to all... not just today but everyday, for everything you do !! Because...
"youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all" ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

xoxoxoxox
~Wendy

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Mother's Day Blues


The day is almost here. What day you say ? Mother's Day. The day many mothers dread simply for the fact that most of us never know what is going to happen. Will we be remembered ? Will we receive a bad gift ? Will we receive any gift at all ?

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't expect a gift for Mother's Day and I am assuming many of you moms out there feel the same way. I just want to be remembered by those people in my life (i.e. kids and husband) and know that they appreciate me and maybe they'll even leave me be for a day and not make me be 24/7 "mom". I've heard, over and over again, by so many husbands that they don't need to remember their wives on Mother's Day because "she's not my mom". How sad is that ! If you have children together, all the more reason to acknowledge Mother's Day. I mean, after all, she does take care of your children on a daily basis. Now if you're in a situation like I am: step family and your husband is not the father of your children... it's a touchy place to be. However, it is still nice to hear your husband tell you Happy Mother's Day and perhaps even get you a little something. I mean, he loves you and you ARE a mother and you do motherly things for his children, right ? (By the way, if you're reading this Dear, I love you !!)

I must say that the worst gift one can receive on Mother's Day is nothing. Somewhere in my travels I was reading about terrible gifts for mothers and someone posted they had received size XL welding gloves (they had tiny hands and didn't weld anything)... someone else received a t-shirt 3 sizes too big that their hubby "took over as his", coincidence ?... and someone received a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies.

Do you have a worst gift ? Or maybe you gave a horrible gift to your mother ?? Leave me a comment, I'd love a good laugh !!

Here's hoping you have a wonderful Mother's Day....
xoxoxox

~Wendy

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Park City Weekend


We (hubby and I) sometimes drive up the road to Park City to hang out on weekends when our kids are away visiting their other parents or off doing their own things. Our favorite thing to do there is window shop and check out the stores along the historic district. This past weekend it was extra fun because my husband is building a very, very large home (around 17,000 sq. ft.) on top of the mountain and I got to have the personal tour of the home, stand on the platform over the concrete pit which will be the indoor swimming pool, see the massive amounts of custom woodwork in this home and get a glimpse of the exclusive community it's being built in. I must say, you feel sort of insignificant standing on top of a massive mountain surrounded by huge vacation homes and towering aspen trees !

After the "personal" tour, we ate an early dinner at a quaint little restaurant on historic Main Street across from the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre which the Sundance Film Festival uses as one of its venues. Our only famous person siting was Mark Eaton, former Utah Jazz player, current business man, tv person
ality and motivational speaker. He is one tall drink of water. We laughed because it seems whenever we see famous people, it seems to be athletes ! Here are a few photos from our weekend:

xoxoxox

~Wendy

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A New Layout


I wanted to post the layout I made using one of the little beaded flowers purchased from BeadFloraJewels on Etsy. Here it is !! This is my beautiful grandmother when she was young. She is still beautiful as well, inside and out. The beaded flower in the center of the big pink bloom really pops ! If you don't mind lumpy bumpy pages, I really recommend a beaded flower as a great embellishment.

xoxox

~Wendy

Friday, May 02, 2008

Some fun stuff.....and chances to win something !!

First off... it's National Scrapbook Day on Saturday, May 3rd !! If you're a scrapbooker or even just interested in scrapbooking please check out the online crop going on right now at Scrap Attack Scrapbooking. As always, there are wonderful prizes to be given away and great promotions in the store. Plus, the ladies on the message board are so friendly and nice and Lauri, the owner, is diligent about keeping it a wonderful place to hang out.

Second, I am late posting these but here are my newest acquired Etsy goodies:

Aren't these just the most adorable little beaded flowers !! BeadFloraJewels makes amazing beaded floral masterpieces and I had to snag up a couple to use on a scrapbook layout. (I'll post the layout when it's done.) I really think they'll add some great focal interest and unique texture.


I also received this adorable little necklace from Goldstar Designs. It's such a happy necklace !! She also makes cute little zippered pouches and wristlets, perfect for holding your iPod, cell phone and some spending money. :) Shameless plug for myself also --- I am featured on her blog, check it out !!

And lastly, who doesn't enjoy a chance to win some great stuff ? I stumbled onto a promotion that the Etsy Homefront Street Team (military spouses and moms) is having on their blog. It's called the May Day Giveaway and they are being very generous in their prizes. Gorgeous jewelry, hair accessories, photography and much more are being given away. I'm going to risk sounding like someone else and say... it's a good thing !

Happy Scrapbooking and Happy Weekending !!!

xoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Sunday, April 27, 2008

And the winner is...

Congratulations Glitter Graphics

I'm excited to announce the winner of my blog drawing and giveaway ! I copied everyone's name down, printed them, cut them apart, mixed very well and drew out one name. (I usually use an internet randomizer but it wasn't working today, poo.) And so the winner is..........



"the mommy" also known as MandyMagoo.


Congrats !

THANK YOU to everyone who signed up for the giveaway and THANK YOU for reading my blog because I know I enjoy reading everyone else's !!

xoxoxoxox

~Wendy

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What a Day... and/or DAYS !!

First off, I am so excited to have been nominated for a blogger award. I think I've seen blog awards... from a distance...I've certainly never had one of my own ! How fun !! My scrapbooking friend, Alecia from the MB at Scrap Attack Scrapbooking has nominated me for a Arte y Pico award. This award celebrates creativity, design, interesting materials and contributions to the blogging community, no matter the language. Thank you Alecia !! I am nominating Desi (Juicy Creations), Lia (Omg! Lia?), Kristin (Goldstar Designs), Xue (Xue Originals) who already has an award but her creativity is amazing and worth another !, and Ellen (Down the Street Creations)... all truly amazing artists and so unique in their own ways.

Second, in my busy life-of-late (LOL) my daughter is running for student council at her school. Anyone who has had a child run for school office understands the posters, flyers, promos, speeches, handouts, etc. that must be done. She had to make a video for campaigning and since her slogan is "make our school a more colorful place" she decided to do one of those upside down faces, very colorfully of course, and lip-sync to the gummy bear song. She looked so goofy and cute.

And lastly, the same daughter won first place in self-defense at her karate tournament today. Proud mommy moment ! Which, by the way, was held at the same high school that David Archuleta of American Idol fame attends... my daughter thought that was sooooo awesome, of course what 13 year old wouldn't. :) We also took a minute to walk on the foot bridge that crosses a very busy street and where I snapped the photo pictured last. When I was a kid I adored walking on foot bridges... especially ones that crossed the freeway. I felt so free and on top of the world up above the cars like that. Hooray for childhood memories !!

Enjoy the last of your weekend !

xoxoxoxoxox

~Wendy