Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blog Candy Winner and a Road Trip

Thanks to everyone who left me a comment on my Blogiversary! I'm looking forward to another fun year of blogging. The winner of the blog candy is . . . . drawn by my completely impartial and totally honest husband . . .

CHAR in SO CA!!! Yay, Char! Thanks for all of your sweet blog comments. I think I have your address so I'll get your goodies in the mail this week.

Okay, if you'd like to hear about our little road trip last weekend, keep reading.

We started out last Sunday morning at about 10:30 and headed south. Our destination? Shoshone Ice Caves. The location is about 2 hours south of Boise. Mike had been there about 30 years ago with his church camp group. Since it was in relatively close proximity to our ACTUAL destination, we decided to add it to our agenda.

We arrived at about 12:30. I had called ahead to make sure they were open. I was told that yes, they were open. What they didn't tell me when I called is that if you're the only one there they won't take you on the tour until someone else shows up.
We waited around for about an hour for someone else to show up. Fortunately someone did and we embarked on our tour at about 1:30. Our wait gave us time to look around an amuse ourselves. It also gave my husband time to determine that nothing had changed since the last time he'd been there.
Here's Mason, heeding all of the appropriate warnings and preparing for his first cave adventure.
This is our tour guide (facing the camera) leading us toward the mouth of the cave.
Here we are inside the cave. You cannot believe how cold it was in there. By the time the 1-hour tour was over I was REALLY sorry I didn't have my gloves with me. The sparkles you see on the ceiling are ice crystals.
Here are a couple more shots inside the cave. The ice was 20 feet deep - over 200 tons of ice. While it wasn't overly warm on the day we were there, this place is in the middle of the Idaho desert. I'm sure it's regularly over 100 degrees in the summer. Our guide said they have to pump the water out of the cave in the summer to keep it from filling up to the top and turning into a giant ice tube. They pump out as much water as necessary to keep the ice from covering the walkway. It really was very interesting and the boys had a blast. The cave is a giant lava tube. This part of the state has a lot of lava fields like this one and is just about an hour from Craters of the Moon National Monument which is also a fun place to visit.

Our actual destination for the day was Shoshone Falls. It was somewhere Mike and I had never been before and the flows over the falls are supposed to be at a 60-year high this year. Last Sunday was supposed to be the peak flow before they start diverting water for irrigation. It was spectacular.
Shoshone Falls is just outside of Twin Falls, Idaho. The "Twin Falls" are just down the road, although the gentleman who helped me with the map at the Visitor's Center said there's really only one waterfall there now, but I digress. They call Shoshone Falls the Niagara of the West. It's actually 63 feet higher than Niagara Falls. You can see more information here. There were so many people there on Sunday that it took us over an hour to travel the last 2 miles down to the falls. Luckily I had thrown a couple of movies in the car (after lecturing the kids all week about how we were NOT going to play DS for 4 straight hours on the trip.) I'm so glad we had those movies. It made a huge difference on that last hour when it was more like a parking lot than a road.
Here are my guys. When we were there, there wasn't any wind, which means that the spray didn't reach us. Someone else I spoke to who was there earlier last week said they got wet from the spray. I'm sure the boys would have loved that!
Here's a view of the canyon down river. The falls are to the right of this picture and you can still see the spray. This is the Snake River which flows through a good deal of Idaho. We finished up the day with Dairy Queen Blizzards for dinner on the way home, mostly because we didn't eat lunch until nearly 3:00 because of our late start on the ice cave tour. We were the heroes of the day to the boys. Because of the delay in getting the tour started at the ice cave and then the traffic jam at the falls, we ended up getting home a lot later than we had planned, but overall we had a great day and it was a fun little family adventure. I do think the boys liked the cave more than the falls, but I guess that's to be expected for little boys. Next time we head that direction for an adventure I think we'll try to hit Mammoth Cave and the Hagerman Fossil Beds.

Ladies' Night Out Projects

Hey, friends! Just a few more hours to comment on my last post for your chance to win some fun crafty blog candy!! Pop on over to my last post and leave me a comment! I wanted to show you some of the projects we did at my Ladies' Night Out this month. I focused on a few products from the Occasions Mini Catalog. I also still had my girlfriend, Carrie's 5th Avenue Floral stamp set, which I had borrowed a while back, so I shared some fun ideas using that stamp set. We also used the new Manhattan Flower Textured Impressions Die and I showed them a few fun ideas using the products from the "Under $10" section of the catalog since those are included in the Stampin' Up! promotion this month. Let's start with that, shall we?
First up is a cute quilted top note card using the Elegant Thank You. With a purchase of $40 from the new Occasions mini, you can choose something from the Under $10 section on page 208 for FREE!! You can also earn something free from page 208 by hosting a workshop this month. If you're interested be sure to email me ASAP!!!
Next I showed them all a quick and easy card using the 5th Avenue Floral Stamp set. You can create so many beautiful looks with these stamps! This one is clean and simple and uses Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss and Basic Grey card stock and ink along with a touch of the super yummy kiwi kiss satin ribbon.

I've been seeing some pretty amazing creations with this stamp set lately and wanted to try my hand at something a little more involved, so I showed them these cards:
For this first one I stamped the rose image onto Pink Pirouette card stock with Pretty in Pink ink and then used watercolor pencils to add some dimension. I colored three different roses and then cut out portions to layer on top for even more dimension. You can click the image to see more detail. For the background I used the little leaf image from Stem Silhouettes and the flourish from Baroque Motifs in Pink Pirouette. It turned out beautifully and one of the moms in my life will see this again in a couple weeks!
This card was actually my first try at coloring in the rose image and I was trying to use it for a color challenge I had seen online, but after I got done I realized I didn't include all of the colors so I saved it until now. For this one I used my Stampin' Pastels and a blender pen to add color to the rose. The flower image is stamped on Certainly Celery card stock with Taken with Teal ink and colored with Taken with Teal and White pastels. Although green roses are a little unusual, we do have one in our yard. It's called Saint Patrick. It's not quite as green as this one, but that's where I got my inspiration.

Next I showed them some fun ideas for using the new Manhattan Textured Impression Die.
On this first card I used the texture plate to emboss vellum. Then I cut out the flower image and mounted it to a card base and added an image from the new Oval All stamp set and matching scalloped oval punch from the Occasions Mini Catalog and a touch of the SUPER yummy white satin ribbon. I used the ribbon and the stamped image to cover up the adhesive where I attached the vellum to the card base. This card was so elegant. I've already mailed it off with a wedding gift.
Next I used the texture die to emboss a piece of designer series paper. This one happened to be a solid color on one side. Because the core of the paper is white, when you lightly sand the raised part of the image the white center is revealed. It's a beautiful look and a quick and easy way to create a lovely card.

This card I got as a swap from Carrie. She used the texture die but added a punched border along the bottom, some piercing and the same Oval All set with the scalloped oval punch. Another fun idea for using this texture plate.

I also got this last card idea from Carrie. We've been sharing LOTS of ideas lately! It has a fun surprise.
This card uses the new Great Friend stamp set and Walk in the Park Designer Paper from the Occasions Mini Catalog. By attaching the top piece with a brad it will pivot up and reveal a message underneath.

This next project was the BONUS project for my Ladies' Night Out gals this month. Everyone who placed an order over $50 got to make this project.
This little purse is made using the scalloped envelope die for the Big Shot. We cut the envelopes out of Kraft card stock and added a touch of Manchester Designer Series Paper. The stamped image is from the Say It With Scallops stamp set. A cute little felt flower and a touch of ribbon finished it off nicely. And it just so happens that a Reese's Easter Egg fits inside perfectly.

One last project. You can click on the picture to see more detail.

These are the scrapbook pages I created for my new Scrappin' Night Out class. This class will meet monthly, just like Ladies' Night Out, but we'll make two 12x12 scrapbook pages instead of cards. If you'd like to join me for Ladies' Night Out or Scrappin' Night Out in May, let me know! I'd love for you to join us. I've been itching to scrap more lately and I'm looking forward to having a night set aside every month where I can get a page or two done.

I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of the blog candy and tell you about our family adventure from last weekend. See you then!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day & a Giveaway

Happy Earth Day!! Did you do something green? Us? We dropped off our glass for recycling and made a stop at the hazardous waste drop off with some miscellaneous household goodies. And by we I mean my husband. Oh, and we recycled yogurt cups and planted seeds in them. My third-grader is doing a plant experiment. I'd love to hear how you celebrated Earth Day.

I can hardly believe it's been a whole year since I started this little blog. I knew the anniversary was coming and have been waiting to throw a little celebration. I'd forgotten until today that one of my very first commenters and blog pals also had a little celebration. Kristin told me a year ago that I'd started my blog on her birthday. I hope you had a great day, Kristin!!

To celebrate, I have pulled together a little collection of goodies I'd like to give away to one of my lucky and crafty blog readers. Thanks to all of you who stop by here regularly or irregularly. Thanks for listening to the banter about my kids, my life, my faith and my crafty endeavors for the last year. Just leave a comment here before midnight on Saturday, April 25th. One comment per person, please. I'll draw a winner on Sunday, April 26th.

Here' a picture of the goodies.

"What's in there," you ask? Six hand-made embossed love notes with envelopes. One super-cute hand-made card. One 7-gypsies bracelet kit. A SU! card stock sampler ring. 20 round and 20 square coasters and 10 slide mounts (fun for altering!) One 6x6 package of designer paper.

I have a few other things to share with you, but not tonight. I can't wait to tell you about our little family adventure last weekend. We took a road trip and I have pictures to show you. I also need to show you all of the super fun projects we made at my club this month. AND I got a new camera and I can't wait to tell you about that too. But right now it's time for bed. I'll be back soon, I promise! Don't forget to leave a comment on this post if you'd like to win the loot shown above.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Probabilities

Everyone knows that the chance of rain dramatically increases when you wash your car. Clean car = thunderstorm. It's a law. What only a mother knows is that the chance of your child throwing up increases exponentially when you a) have your carpets cleaned (which I did on Thursday) or b) feed them red jello (which, thankfully, I didn't do today. If you get my drift.) If you're not a mom, you're just going to have to trust me on this. Oh, and when I don't post anything crafty or any fun giveaways for a few more days, and you're wondering why, come back and read this post. And know that I'm thanking my lucky stars I have one of these. I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen!

If you haven't been around here much, you may not know how much I love Beth Moore. Not only is she a firecracker but, more importantly, she makes me want to know God more. The Easter post on her blog yesterday was so profound. What a blessing to know that God knows how scary it is to be us. How humbling to know he took on human flesh and then gave it up for me. Here's a link to her post. Please check it out. It says so much more than I ever could. I wish you all a happy and blessed Easter and I pray that you will all know the saving grace of a God who adores you so much He died so He could spend eternity with you. God Bless!

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