Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let it Snow

Hi it's Angie again. It has been a CRAZY month. I think that the few days that I have taken a moment to watch the snow fall outside has been some of the most peaceful moments yet. I love the snow...I love snowmen...I love watching it and how it makes everything look so new. I do not like driving in it...or having to work outside in it. So when this project popped up I knew it was one I wanted to do. I've been working on stockings and gifts for Christmas, this one I can keep up a while longer.

So here we let it snow wall plaque.
I started with a frame, that has 3 3x5 openings....I didn't like the gold trim around it, nor did I like the inside frame...typical white with a black trim. So I "fixed" it. I used my silver alcohol inks with some q-tips and "painted" the gold trim.
Ahhh much onto the inside frame.

Again I took my silver alcohol ink, added some blue stream ink and went to work.
This looks so much better...not so stark white staring at you.
I used the winter frolic cartridge and cut 2 snowmen and the phrase "Let it Snow" I cut all of the pieces in white and used markers and embossing ink to bring them to life. I wanted them more of the blue so that they weren't just for Christmas.
All that was left was to place them and put it into the frame.
So this is my new wall hanging. I hope you like it...thanks for looking.
My recipe....
a frame
Tim Holtz alchol inks in silver and sailboat blue
Winter Frolic cricut cartridge
embossing powders ...winter wonderland for snowman, light blue for the shadow of "let it snow", clear for everything else

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homespun Stockings

This year I have decided I wanted matching stockings for my family. I also wanted them quilted, in a homespun fabric, and very simple. Since I haven't found any I liked I decided to make them myself. (This is going to be interesting since I'm really not a seamstress, quilter, or patient...and then multiply times 8)

So I was off to of my favorite places and found all of my project materials. My pattern is from McCalls, a plain cotton fabric, with a flannel fabric for the cuff, an embordiery hoop and thread.
This I found perfect it says "EASY" just my type of project. It ends up that I only used the pattern as a template and made it my own way. It does have a good pattern though.

I wanted my stockings quilted, but I didn't want to buy more material to quilt the back....being that I also like to reuse what I have I used an old sheet for my backing. I cut out the socks, the batting, and the backing and pinned it all together.
I then quilted the material in squares.

I then sewed the two sides together.

The next part was making the cuff and putting the names on them. I printed out the names off the computer in the size to fit across the cuff. I then pinned it onto the material and backstitched the name in green thread.
After sewing the cuff on I added a loop made from a lacy, antique colored ribbon. That is it....nothing to it.

There really were easy to make. I've got 2 down and only 6 more to go. I am excited to see them all hanging across my wall this year. These also would be really easy to shrink to hang on the tree, or even to cut out appliques for further deocating. I just wanted the plain jane version to go with my style ;)

plaid/homespun material for the sock
plain sheet for the backing
quilt batting
sewing machine
embordiery thread/hoop
and I used my "cricut" scissors for cutting string

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This time of year is when we are reminded to be thankful. I've been counting my blessings daily for a long time. My family is my biggest blessing.

The past few years we've made many changes. Always trying to change for the better....sometimes realizing what we had/or what we were doing was fine just the way it was. My kiddos are all growing and changing, becoming their own individuals. Somedays I wish that they were all still young and things were simpler. There are days that I have to remind myself of the way I was growing up, and try to understand the teenage mind all over again. It was hard enough trying to figure it out first hand.

I am very blessed though, troubles and all. I have a home that fits my family, food to feed my family, a woodstove that keeps us warm, as well as backup oil. I have been blessed with my farm (that is growing) a new community, a new church, with great people...that I am fortunate to call friends.

I am blessed to be in Alaska, a place that I had always dreamed of. I can look out any window and see the birch trees covered in snow. I can see prints from where the moose family (our neighbors) have trotted through the yard....taking a short cut to somewhere. I see the magpies in the trees. On really cold days I look outside and see it "glittering"...where the moisture in the air freezes and it looks like glitter falling. It is one of the most beautiful things...cold but beautiful. I can watch the sun peek through the tree branches and light up the yard, or the sun turn the sky orange at night over the tree line. It is an amazing place, and I'm very blessed to call it home.

I look out the back and I see the horses with their winter coats grazing on their hay. I see the sheep with the snow on their backs laying in the corner like it is 90 degrees outside. I look over at our little chicken coop, and know they are all tucked in...they refuse to come outside.

My farm is becoming the farm that I dream of...and I know that the only way it has become so, other than hard work, is through being blessed abundantly. Yes it has taken work, and a lot of learning...and will still take that, just as raising my children, having a succesful marriage, or anything else worth having takes.

My dreams become my goals. They change, and multiply...especially on cold days. I get funny looks...but I know that I am blessed. Anything that comes my way will be tackled in time....just like the things around here already. I'm learning I can't do it all...and there is a lot that needs to be done. I'm learning though and it will get me there eventually. Thank God for books, internet, friends, and those who have the experience to teach me. (and that is a big feat)

So don't just be thankful for.... this year....count your blessings makes a difference in how you see things that come your way.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My little farm to be

We have the first snow on the ground! That is a good and bad thing. I've still got a lot of things that we need to get finished before it gets way too cold. We have been able to get a lot done though. I'm thankful that the white stuff makes the gray days a bit brighter.

I haven't really kept up with the farm side of my blog, it seems to have taken a turn for the crafting side. It seems I've hit a run of things becoming ordinary.

So here is a few of my thoughts of what has come to be this year. I am loving the fact that my woodstove has kept us warm for 2 weeks while we waited for oil to be delivered. I have a new goal for the winter and that is to use as little oil as possible. I would really like this tank to be the only one we use for an entire year....if not forever. I love the idea of being able to use a renewable source for heat...even if people believe me to be backwards for burning wood. So if I'm going backwards then I want to really head that way and eventually get a second stove upstairs. I've seen one that I would love to have that is compact, and has an oven in it, as well as 2 burners on the top of the stove. I've even picked out a place for it to sit...and no for those I've joked with it isn't in front of the window.

We have worked a bit on the chicken coop. They have been free ranging all summer, and they don't seem to be bothered by the small amount of snow that we have now. I know that soon they won't budge from their coop. I've been able to recycle old things from around the farm to improve their coop for them. Maybe they will be a bit more comfy this winter. They didn't have many places to perch so I took an old broken ladder and placed in there (we won't be standing on it anymore)now they have more room to get off of the floor.

The brooding house has become the rabbit house for the winter. The outdoor hutch is nice over the summer, they have more fresh air and so on, but I'm not so sure about them being out there over the Alaska winter. That and trying to figure out how to keep their water from freezing.

The horses barn is still a work in progress. We've managed to get the wood to frame the outside wall and to make the we just have to get it up. That will have to be this weekend before winter is really here. I would like to figure out something to put over the front of the stalls as an added wind block. I've seen the plastic used which looks like window blinds and am thinking of looking into that.

The sheep are still doing great. I still shake my head because it is hard for me to believe that I am actually becoming the farmer. We have our own turkey for Thanksgiving this year. We have our own eggs for breakfast. Eventually we will be wearing hats, scarves, slippers and who knows what from our own sheep and rabbits.

As for the house itself we have a lot of work inside to do as well. We put a hole in the wall downstairs so that the heat would be able to circulate other than the family room. That is all we have done for any improvements. I still want to change the kitchen and take out my pantry, but that will have to wait. I really would like to get the carpet out of here.

It's seems that I am always dreaming. I think that it would be better if I started planning and setting goals. At least then I would be able to see progress being made and goals being reached, rather than just dreaming about things.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Warm Wishes

Hello....what a beautiful day to be writing this up. This is the first morning to wake up with the ground covered in snow. I love the snow for the first few days, and then I am ready for spring again. So onto this weeks project....Christmas cards.

This card represents some of my favorite things about winter....other than just Christmas. I chose the plaid paper (dcwv seasons paper stack), to represent flannel. There is nothing warmer than a flannel shirt, or a set of flannel sheets to curl up in. The red and green are for Christmas. I chose to use twine to represent the cord on a sled. So then to go sledding you have to button up and have snow. So with all of that in mind here how I made my card.

I used green cardstock, folded in half makes a 4 1/2 x 6 size card.
I cut out a piece of the plaid (eyed it) and glued to the top. I added a strip of tan across the bottom and stamped it with snowflakes.
I used my gypsy and cut out a tag, using George for the circles and Paisley for the flower....I would say they are 1 1/2, 2 in for the circles and 2 1/2 for the flower.

I stamped the center with a snowflake and the "Warm Wishes" sentiment, layered them together and placed them on the card at a diaganol/slant...because snowflakes never fall straight to the ground.

I added a snowflake button to cover the hole that the twine is threaded through. (It's a fabulous findings button.) I then added twine to the top of the card, used a pop dot to adhere the button and wrapped the part of twine around it that was holding the tag.

(this will all make sense when you see it....very very simple, like a day of sledding, flannel blankets, and hot chocolate)

dcwv paper and cardstock
wooden button, snowflake button
gypsy cartridges, Paisley and George
studio g warm wishes stamp set
dew drop ink rich cocoa and brick red
pop dots

Make sure you button up and keep warm!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Winter is Coming

It's that time of year when we are on the verge of snow. It's in the forecast already. There is so many things that we need to still get done before it starts.

We have been chopping wood. (We cheated after a while and rented a wood splitter.) We still need to get it all stacked and out of the weather. We did a good bit of it the old fashioned way though. I even got out there and chopped some. I know it makes the fire in the woodstove that much more appreciated.

We are in the process of converting our horse stall into a 2- horse stall for the winter. That way both of them will be able to get in out of the weather without fighting....we have a dominant one who thinks he owns the farm.

The sheep are still in their smaller area, but will have a much larger pasture next year. I love going out and sitting with them, feeding them hay and watching them. The kids get annoyed with their "talking" but I love it. I find it funny when we go out that they start yelling at us right away. They love attention, and the kids don't get it.

As for the chickens and the turkeys we are going to be downsizing the flock this weekend. We were going to keep the 2 hens and a male of the turkeys, but have decided they will all go in the freezer this year. We will try again in the spring to get a breeding pair. We can be better prepared for them. We also have a handful of chickens that will be going in the freezer as well. I'm going to get a new toy for this weekend because of grinder!!!! We were trying to figure the best way to store the turkey meat, and I think we are going to grind the majority of it. We will leave a few whole for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, but the rest will be making chili, meatloaf, and all sorts of warm foods for us this winter.

I'm going to take down the hoops over the garden, and get the black plastic laid down for the winter. This is in hopes that when spring rolls back around it will warm up my beds quicker.

Our biggest upcoming projects are fencing a new pasture, fencing the garden area, and beginning plans for a barn. I would love to add an actual greenhouse into the mix, but that is down the road. I've come to the conclusion that I love my farm....I love that we are going back to basics in so many ways. I dream of windmills, solar panels, pigs, cows and such. My goals are to learn how to spin wool, (working on it) get a cow and learn to make my own dairy products...cheese, ice cream, yogurt, be good stewards of what we have been given. I want us to learn to use all parts of animals we use for food, such as the skins, and all. I know that it would make some of my friends take a second look and wonder who invaded my body. I really am in a back to basics girl right now. I'm excited about getting a grinder, and don't even care if it is electric or not. I would love to have a wheat grinder....if I knew where to get the wheat from to grind. I have a ton of things that I want to learn, and to do. I'm excited about my adventure.

I think that if we were to leave here I would want to go to Vermont. I don't know that I could find what we have here, but I do know it's a New England state, it's small, and it has all 4 seasons. I honestly though have no desire to leave here anytime soon. I look forward to the challenges here. I'm already thinking birch syrup again.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Birthday Banner

This week at sweetsassydiva we were challenged with a Disney theme. I happened to also be having a little girl's birthday this week. So I combined them and made a "fairy princess" banner, which is what was requested. I did not use any Disney cartridges for this, however the princess part can be tailored to fit any Disney Princess, according to color, and such.

So here we go....

I started with pastel cardstock for the crown's....I laid it out on my gypsy...this is one project that took a lot of layers on it.

I used the Once Upon a Princess Cartridge for the majority of my cuts. After cutting out the crowns (shift lock, font) I used scraps of different colored paper on the back to "color in" the openings...I then glittered the letters with a clear glitter to add some shine, and then decorated the crown with a bit of glitter for the gems. (If time would have allowed I would have cut the gem figure out which is also on the Once Upon a Princess Cartridge)

The fairies were cut in different colors, and their flags wave in different directions so that they can carry the banner for me.

I didn't want to do the same ribbon tie up banner that I usually do, I wanted something a bit different. I decided since it was fairies, and they live in the trees, that leaves and vines would be better. I used my gypsy and welded some vines together that were on the Calligraphy Cartridge. I used some flowers from Accent Essentials, and butterflies from Once Upon a Princess.

Then I could put the girls to work carrying the banner....the finished banner turned out really cute.

Cricut cartridges: Once Upon a Princess, Calligraphy, Accent Essentials
Misc. Papers

Friday, September 23, 2011


This week's challenge was a fall theme. Fall means back to school, and as a homeschool mom I am the one who gets to come up with our bulletin board ideas. However we don't have a bulletin board as such, so we make do with poster board when needed. This year I'm incorporating things for my 3 year old as part of school, and so that means more hands on. I also wanted to give the older kids a different perspective on seasons. The fact that with each passing season, time is moving there sprang my idea of a calendar/clock for the seasons. (That is what my 10 yr old has decided that it is called.) This project literally took me some time. I am so thankful for my gypsy and the weld function....and that I can load up several images from different cartridges at one time. I can't imagine having done this one without it. It's a very simple poster, but it took a lot of time welding, layering, and then here we go...

This is how I laid out one of my sheets for cutting. This is the one for all of the little symbols that I am putting around the clock. This is another reason I love my gypsy...I can lay things out according to the screen on my mat, and not waste paper. I get so much more use from scraps then I ever have. As you can see on this one I have all sizes laid out.
Another tool I used was my heat embosser...another one of those things I love. I had cut out the title of my project on some ugly paper that just didn't do it for me. With the help of some stampendous ink and embossing powder it really stands out...which is good or it would get lost.

After getting everything cut, and starting to lay it all out I realized that I had forgotten a circle. I grabbed my creative memories circle cutter and had one if just a few seconds. (I'm thinking this one should have been on tools.)

Finally here are all of my pieces ready to start placing.
I started with the clock face. I cut out 2 inch strips in colors I thought would represent each month and glued them around the circle. I then added the small circle to the center of the clock to cover the edges.

I embossed all of the months and the title, glittered the numbers, and some of the symbols. After it was all dry I laid it out on the poster board. It doesn't look fancy, but it shows the idea of what I wanted for the kids to realize, that seasons, and months as they go by are time passing by. I want them to enjoy what each one brings, and not keep wishing them away. So each month has some symbol of something to look forward to. I also used the landscape scene from camping critters to give an idea of what the world outside looks like. Here is my finished project and then I will give the whatnots on the pieces.

Ok here we go I hope I don't miss anything:
Cricut cartridges:
Plantin schoolbook for the numbers, title, and months (welded with the gypsy)
George and Basic shapes for the large circle (clock face)
Camping Critters for the landscapes.
Gypsy wanderings for the seasons, seasons shadows, and jack-o-lantern
Create a critter for the turkey
Doodlecharms for the stocking, snowman, valentine, flower, sun, ice cream, and school bus
Sugar and Spice for the kite and umbrella
Independence day for the flag banner

Creative memories cutter for small circle
Stampendous embossing powders, and clear stamping ink
heat embossing tool
glitter glue
a brad for the clock arm.

Have a great day, thanks for looking, and remember to enjoy each month, each season, each day for that matter, because it is all passing time. You can't get it back.....Angie

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Still Strong

This week the design team is remembering 9-11. I can remember exactly where I was and all that was going on that day. My husband was active duty Navy, thankfully he was on shore duty at the time. I sat in my living room holding my two youngest children at the time, and praying that my older two who were in school were ok. I didn't know if they were going to show the kids, or not....I am thankful that they didn't.

One of the biggest things that I remember of that time was how long our flag was at half mast. I know that it was in honor of those that had fallen, and I respect that, but I remember feeling like we finally lifted our heads when it was raised again to full mast. I have always been patriotic, being active Navy myself and then married to it for 20 years this country, what it stands for, means the world to me.

My younger children that I held so tightly 10 years ago watched the footage of the attacks this year and finally understood exactly what we were remembering. I'm proud to see that the patriotism runs deep in them as well. So I'm proud to say that in these 10 years I have not lived in fear as the terrorists would want us to. I hold my head high as an American citizen. Ok so now onto my project ;)

I like to reuse or recycle whenever I can. I cut these frames out of cheerio boxes. I used my gypsy and welded 2 squares together. The outer is 6x6 and the inside frame is 4x4. I used George and basic shapes, the inside frame is the one with the rounded corners.

I then used the same cut to cut the red frame from the DCWV Old World Stack. I cut the blue backing also from the Old World Stack in 6x6 squares. (I also cut 6x6 squares from another cereal box to strengthen the frame)
I glued the blue square to the backing cardboard square. I also glued the frame to the cardboard. Before glueing the frame to the square I inked all of the inside and outside edges with brown ink. Then I glued the frame to the square.

I had welded on the gypsy the words GOD BLESS the (all at 1 inch) I used Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge for those as well as the USA. I cut the country stars out from George and Basic shapes. All of these were cut from misc. scrap paper.

I embossed the words God Bless the in black embossing powder, the stars and the letters for USA were embossed in gold embossing powder.
Then I had to decide how I wanted to hang the frames. I pulled out my handy dandy tools (a hammer, nail, and piece of wood) in order to pound the eyelets into it.

I used 10 black eyelets in order to thread some twine thru to attach the tiles together. I used twine and metallic thread to hang them from the top. I used pop dots in order to make the letters USA stand up, and to hold the stars on.

It's a simple little plaque, but it shines the way I feel that it should. I love the old colors like a worn fabric that still holds strong, just like us.
So here is the finished plaque....

I hope that you have enjoyed this.

cricut cartridges Plantain Schoolbook, George and Basic Shapes
DCWV Old World Stack
misc. cardstock
stampendous embossing powders in black and gold
pop dots, glue
cereal boxes
twine and thread

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Trick or Treat

Fall is in the air...the trees are turning gold, and nights are getting cooler. I love this time of year...I wish it lasted longer. Here fall comes and goes as fast as a bag of candy corn. Which brings me to our project of the week....Halloween banners. It's time to start preparing for all of the decorations needed throughout the season. I've never been much for the spooky, scary, part of Halloween so I went with something a little sweeter.

Yep you guessed it...candy corn. I cut the banner pieces from the Country life cartridge, then layered smaller banner pieces (triangles basically) to make the base of my banner.

I tore the very top edges of the white and orange triangles so that it wasn't a straight cut....candy corn isn't straight afterall. (I know because I think I went thru 2 bags while creating this one....only for inspiration of course.) I then placed an accordian rosette in the center so that I could attach my letters. I cut the letters from Blackletter at 2 in.
I also cut 2 jack-o-lanterns from gypsy wanderings at 2 in. To give them a little shine I used my heat embosser with some black embossing powder with a tiny bit of gold powder mixed in to it.

Then all that was left was attaching the letters, running the ribbon and hanging the banner. I used pop dots so that the letters would stand up a bit.

2 bags of candy corn (for inspiration)
yellow, orange, white and black cardstock
Gypsy and Cricut cartridges Gyspy wanderings, country life, black letter
pop dots
heat embosser and embossing powder
possibly another bag of candy corn if the kids are around....Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sweatshirts in Summer

Hi everyone, it's Angie again. This week we were asked to design something from what we did this summer. My summer was filled with farming with a few adventures here and there. This particular layout is special to me because I don't have many pictures of me and my hubby. Even after almost 20 years those pictures come few and far between. This was in June, we had went exploring in Hatcher's Pass (Alaska)....there was still snow on the ground and the actual pass was still closed. As you can see we are still in jackets and sweatshirts. For this layout I started with a sketch....
As you can see I have notes all over it on different ideas that I had. My 3 yr old had picked out 3 buttons for me to use so I chose the paper to match it. It comes from DCWV Latte stack, and another DCWV for the stripes, and DCWB Pastels for the light green.
I used my accent essentials cartridge and my george cartridges for the wingdings, scallops and flowers...also the rectangle and square for journaling boxes. The title was cut from Gypsy seemed appropriate for the occasion.

Then it took time to get it all just right. In the end I have a great page to remember a great day.
DCWV cardstock from Latte, Neutrals (and one other can't remember)
Cricut cartridges accent essentials, george and basic shapes, gypsy wanderings