That would mean this year I could title today's post
"Happy 39th Birthday, Amber"
It has NOT been a year since my heart was heavy, because of my daughter,Amber, choosing drugs over her family. She is now someone I do not know and do not wish to know. I often wonder if I ever knew her at all.
The difference on this day, her 39th Birthday, is I have come a long way in my grieving process. I am not constantly consumed with a mother's worry or sorrow. I have made great strides in letting go. I am hanging on to her son, our precious Chandler.
Amber has not been seen or heard from in months. This makes our lives more workable, to say the least. At the same time, we used to hear bits and pieces through various sources, which let us know she was alive still. The word on the street is now nil, which leads me to believe she has either overdosed somewhere, has left the area or is so strung out she never leaves where ever she is.
Sad--So Sad--any of the possibilities--
Happy is the fact that involving myself in joyful activities has helped me get to where I am today, in dealing with this tragedy.
On my sidebar you will see a link that is Pink and says Sugar and Spice. It will take you to an online Zline class I signed up for. It has been a class offering a new project every week of the month. There will be a new class for March which will have five projects, since there are five weeks. The February projects have been darling and the directions great. I have only made the cupcakes, as I signed up late in the month and getting supplies up here in Pinetop is not all that easy--not to mention being snowed in!
I highly recommend this endeavor if you would like to try something different. It is a JOYFUL thing to do.
The cupcakes you see are not real! They are Sweet Wishes that will last forever. Smile. So, if you would like to know how to make them, click the button and sign up for the Feb. class. She is leaving the directions up for about 60 days, from what she said. If you just want to go on to March projects there will be a link for you to sign up for March. I hope to have the link on my site soon.
Whoever you are ,that has a birthday today, I send you
I completed eight of these dining room chair cushions. I had been wanting to make new ones for some time. My addiction of creating with buttons was finally the stimulus that led me to " get er done" !
I wanted a trim but did not want a ruffle or binding so this is what I came up with for a solution-
I used a vintage damask napkin for my center. I then added a doily on top of the napkin. I placed this double layer on top of a piece of muslin that was cut to be about four inches on each side larger than the napkin. This gave me a border of the muslin. Once the cushion was completed, I cut slits around the muslin border to make a shabby chic trim.
You will notice I have two pictures above, with no space in between. I still have issues with this picture thing. I did google it. I did discover there was a new posting option which I changed to on my blog. It allows one to upload many more than five pictures at a time. It also allows one to choose the order of uploading them, one at a time to the blog site. I do not, however, seem able to get any space placed between the above pictures. Oh Well, at least the two pictures are related. I am also not seeing a spell check feature. For me, this is not a good thing. Might be switching back to the Old Blogger. We will see. Thank you to those of you who left me comments about the picture issues.
Speaking of Pictures
Judy, of My Artistic Side, which you can click here and visit, asked me who the creations were for--
good question, Judy-
here is the deal that sparked my making them.
About a month ago, when I was blog hopping, I came across a Valentine Box swap. At the time, I had lots of irons in the fire with my "work" packaging and I was afraid I would not have time to do the swap justice. I have never participated in a swap and truthfully was a little intimidated. I decided to purchase some items, in the valley, before I headed out to Pinetop. In the swap I had seen there was a choice of white, pink or red themed boxes. Sooooo--- I decided to create one of each, so next year I would be ahead of the game, to participate in a swap. You see, I do not like working under pressure. I am not in any way shape or form a procrastinator - well, except in my college days when it came to writing papers---which I would still be putting off . So, anyway,once I got started, one thing led to another and I am still creating with buttons and vintage.
You will see in the photograph above, I have hung one of the white hearts inside a frame in our master bath. Fits in perfectly.
I think I have a space or two for the little button boxes as well.
Back to the original question-
At this point and time I can't tell you who will be getting some of the creations-
Next year I hope to do a Valentine's swap and/or a
Valentine's give away.
Maybe I should have a give away before next year!
I have never done this either and maybe it is time to stretch my wings-
Alright, seriously considering this!
Do you have a favorite?
White, Red or Pink?
Would love to hear---
sliced, spread with butter and toasted under the broiler for breakfast.
Southerners tend to be passionate about their favorite pound cake recipe. For years I used the same one but then found a recipe, in Southern Living, of course, for one with cream cheese. You know how you get on kicks of making things? I had ignored pound cake baking for sometime but have made two in the past month. I used the same cream cheese recipe but I now know, the first one I baked at 350 degrees. The one above I baked at 325 degrees and oh my---mistake---It did not get done and it fell, fell, fell. I have been looking at several different recipes to see what degree oven is called for in each of them. I have found anywhere from 300 degrees ( can't imagine ) to 350 degrees. By the way, I did not throw out the gooey, doughy pound cake. I just had another slice this morning for breakfast. Anyway, for my oven I will be using 350 degrees for an hour and a half for baking temp and time from now on--
That is for a large tube pan size cake.
Here is what I am thinking-
You know the movie, ( of course you do ) Julie and Julia---
I, not every day or week but every month this year- ( I know, I am behind a month-- I will make up for it! ) I want to try a different Pound Cake Recipe. Do you have a favorite? I would love for you to post your favorite or email it to me at Cecedreams@gmail.com. I have a tradition of including a recipe of the year in my Christmas card each year. This year I would like to feature the Pound Cake recipe my family votes to be their favorite. I will post below, for you, the
Cream Cheese Pound Cake.
I have had some people tell me they do not know how to comment. For you folks, here is how - I might not know how to move pictures around but I sure know how to comment on blogs! :)
At the end of each post you will see the word comments, which follows the time of the post. Put your cursor over the word comments, and click. It will take you to the posting area. Write your comment or recipe in the comment box and then click publish.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 cups sugar
3 sticks butter ( I use Butter-not margarine)
1 8oz. package cream cheese
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
Soften butter and cream cheese.
In mixer cream butter and cream cheese with sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.
On stir setting on mixer, add flour and vanilla. Do not overbeat.
Place batter in a 10 inch greased and floured tube pan.
Bake at 350 degrees from 1 hour 30 minutes. You may test for doneness after 1 hour and 15 minutes. An inserted knife or skewer should come out clean. Hey, a strand of spaghetti also works as a testing agent. Hope you have a pound of happy things to do this weekend!
This picture belongs with the last two pictures of this post. (Sorry- I still do not know how to move pictures around within blogger. Drives me to ??? cuss? sometimes! Drink? Sometimes-if at night- Smile? Not likely-too frustrating! This might be the next thing I goodle! ) It is the lining for the Pink Themed Box. It is made from a vintage sheet. I loved how the soft colors went perfectly with the papers I used to cover the box. There is something to be said about "having a stash" of stuff!
The floor, the table, the couch, and anywhere else there was just an inkling of space ,was covered this weekend with hearts, roses and love. The love of being alone for the weekend and creating away ,with all the goodies I love. Well, some of them anyway. Remember all those buttons I bought in Texas? I put many of them to good use this Valentine's weekend. You will see the results in the pictures below.
Sewed buttons around the brim of this summer hat. Sitting beside it is a button bracelet. There is a better picture of it below. I covered elastic with a piece of vintage napkin and then sewed on buttons and more buttons.
Frames and Boxes were created-
Better view of the button bracelet-
Another little box-
Heart Wall Hanging
Whites and Creams Heart Wall Hanging
Little Journal or Photo Book
I added a piece of vintage tatting to the ribbon.
Back of the journal
Button Heart Wall Hanging
Top of White and Cream Heart Box
Side of Box
Lined with a piece of vintage crocheted tablecloth that needed to be repurposed.
Red Themed Heart Box
Side of Box
I gathered a long strip from a vintage tablecloth and made a little skirt for the box.
You should have seen me trying to find something to use for string to do the gathering. I have tons of string in the valley but none up here. Wouldn't you know? I was not about to drive 15 miles to the WalMart to buy some. I had some cording and I ended up taking a piece apart so I would have a make shift string to zig zag over to make the ruffle. In the amount of time it took to figure this out, finally, I could have driven to WalMart! Then I would have had to get dressed though. Smile. I spent the entire weekend in jammies even though there was not a whole lot of sleep going on!
Lining of Red Themed Heart Box
See the bright colored head band-
It belongs to Bonnie's daughter-in-law, Debra. At Christmas time she was wondering how this was done. I told her I would take it and try to figure it out. I just got around to it this weekend. Mine are not exactly like the sample but fun anyway. I used vintage binding and some ruffled green ribbon for my leaves.
Top of the Pink Themed Box
I have not glued down the heart and the L O V E letters yet.
Side of the Pink Themed Box
See the roll of trim-
It is hand beaded vintage trim. I splurged on it when I bought the buttons. At first it was hard for me to cut it and use it. However, why did I buy it if I am not going to use it? Decided it was foolish to keep not using the beauty I have to make something else of beauty.
Last But Not Least
The banner on my blog was created by ME!
It isn't fancy but I am very P-R-O-U-D of my accomplishment. I spent more time in Photoshop Elements this weekend.
if I would only spend more time reading and learning about this camera of mine!
I can specifically remember visiting my relatives in Spartanburg, S.C. about the time I was in sixth grade. My Aunt Joyce was young and very pretty. She had not been married long and had a new baby girl--my cousin Debbie. Anyway, I was spending the afternoon with them while other family members were engaged in other activities. She was taking Debbie and me shopping in town. As she got herself ready I watched her. I was at that age that made lipstick my wanted treasure. I loved the color-
yep- it was
I can't remember the brand. I think it was Revlon. My Aunt Joyce explained to me as soon as she got a new tube she immediately took a Kleenex and molded the top to be at a slant. The wasted lipstick was worth the gain in getting it to go on smoothly, she told me.
I was allowed to start wearing lipstick at some point in the seventh grade.
Lipstick is magical for a girl or at least girly, girls. And I was certainly a wanna be girly girl. I always loved fashion, make up and all that goes with the cover up of
What you see is not what you get!
This lead to, once wearing the full armor of make-up, not letting anyone see me without "my face on" ( a Southern expression ) Every Christmas morning my makeup was applied before entering the living room for all the gala present openings.
Now I am beyond being so vain.
What you see is what you get applies about half the time now.
It is still fun to try out new make up but there will never the the thrill of picking out and using that first tube of lipstick. Smile.
Do you remember the name of yours and the story behind it?
This is pretty close to the color.
This wish is sent to my guys, both of which I will be without this weekend. Chandler has gone with Ria to Flagstaff for the weekend. They are meeting friends from the valley there.
My honey is in the valley, enjoying the sun, playing some well deserved golf and last but not least, looking in on my dad and playing delivery service to him, as he is now in a rehab facility.
Chandler with his brand new haircut. Love it! Love him!
The latest kissing picture I have with my sweetheart.
Dad had surgery - went well - two screws as opposed to complete hip replacement.
He will most likely go to rehab tomorrow. He asked my husband to bring him meds and not tell anyone about it at the hospital---
Randy is in valley - thank you, once again, husband of mine, for dealing with my parents.
To answer a posed question - I am not an only child. I have a brother who has spent most of his life working overseas. He is presently in the Congo but will be returning to the states to work in Washington, D. C., at the end of this month. He lives normally in Serbia. This will be the first job he has had
state side in, oh my goodness, decades-----
I am currently reading a novel called The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. It is one of those novels I don't want to stop reading BUT at the same time, I do, because I don't want it to be over. If you like to read---I recommend it, as it was recommended to me. I hope to elaborate some more later about the content-- the setting is the South.
I know I never took a picture of my table decoration for Valentine's. That is because it never got finished. I forgot to buy the red taper candles while in the valley. Oops- Where is a Target when a girl needs one?
Just wanted to thank you for your thoughts-be they posted on this site or through email, or simply in the air-------
I will be "waiting" till we meet again and hoping till then all is Sweet for you. It is the Valentine month after all!
Why: ?? Because like all of us, he was a little careless reaching for the phone and he fell.
It is so hard letting people be who they want to be.
Especially when people want to be who they want to be but want you to be who they want you to be. Now there is a sentence for you. Did you follow all of that?
As I have described my dad over and over and over again-
My dad was a Colonel in the Air Force and if you do not jump BEFORE he tells you to jump, it is too late.
Let me interpret for you.
My father, my stubborn father, beyond words stubborn, would not, will not, go to an assisted living facility. By golly, he is going to die in his home.
He does not need a life line alert. He will use his cell phone.
Well, who does he call-- Is it 911?
Of course not, it is us.
Us, who are in Pinetop.
What does he want when he calls, as he is literally moaning in pain, on the phone?
He wants to know if Randy is in the valley. Now I took my dad to supper on Thursday night, of last week, and told him I was driving to Pinetop on Friday and Randy would probably be driving down on Monday, for a break, in the valley.
Why did he want to know if Randy was in the valley?
So Randy could come feed the dog-- he could not walk.
"Dad", I say," you need to call 911". "Awh, I don't know what I'll do. Bla, Bla, Bla." he says. Then he says he'll call his next door neighbors to feed the dog.
And so the conversation goes until I hang up after telling him he best be calling 911 or getting his neighbor to take him to the hospital. If his hip is broken, it is only going to get worse.
His neighbor ends up taking him to the hospital because he won't call 911.
His hip is broken. Surgery is today at one o"clock.
We knew this was what would happen. We were just waiting.
Now we will wait some more.
Wait to see how the surgery goes.
Wait to see if Randy can get to the valley tomorrow, from our house in Pinetop. It is snowing again and we do not have four wheel drive. It is always worse, at our house, because we are so high.
Wait to see, eventually, if the social worker can talk any sense into him---
Ha! The last time my mother was in the hospital, before her death, there was a meeting with a hospital psychiatrist, the social worker, my dad and myself. My dad was actually on some of his best behavior. After the meeting, in the afternoon, the social worker called me at home. Why? She wanted to check on me as she was concerned about me after the meeting with my dad. Seems they had never dealt with a more stubborn person, unwilling to hear the presented facts, as my dad. I laughed and told her my dad had been on good behavior with them.
Wait to see if anything changes. My guess is I already know the answer to this one--
I totally understand that I need to let him be who he wants to be.
The choices he makes for himself do not have to affect the choices I make for myself.
I am 62 years old and while I have stopped trying to figure out when it is time to jump, before he tells me to jump, I am still waiting to figure out how to not feel guilty about it.
I must stop this. I am still sitting in my bed where I have been since I last posted. The good news is I am getting better. So much better that I made coffee today and have just had a cup. I have not been sleeping well. To sleep late and early to rise does not make a girl ( old lady ) healthy, wealthy, and wise! I already need a nap--the reasons:
1. Never sleep well without someone else in house with me- I miss my honey--
alarm system definitely helps but does not take away, totally, that uneasy feeling
2.Being sick but not so sick that I could not be on this computer. Have I ever told you I tend to be obsessive? Think I mentioned once that I like the word focused better--
Yesterday I had an email from two peas in a bucket. I went to there web site, which you can do by clicking here. I found a free Digi 101 class for digital scrapbooking that is taking place all year, one lesson a month. I spent all day on the January lesson. I did not even check my emails until late in the evening!!!! Unheard of for me. Anyway, if I was not so determined to learn something---let's rephrase that---a lot---I would have definitely quit a long time ago. ( Maybe I would have gotten better sooner? No, just kidding ! ) Learning Photoshop Elements is not an easy task. But--discovering some icons are not showing up along the tool bar on my computer makes the task much more difficult. In both tutorials I have used they both kept referring to the Color Picker--
WHERE IN THE HECK IS THE COLOR PICKER?-- my mind kept screaming. Accidentally, and I do mean accidentally, near the end of the third day of this learning experience, I discovered the icon was at the bottom of the list, hidden from view on my computer screen. I wanted to jump for joy and beat up my computer screen all at the same time! Smile.
Another problem I have had is I am working in Photoshop Elements 8 and everything is not exactly the same as the versions of Photoshop the instructors are using.
Below is the layout I completed for the January lesson.
Once I completed this ( after finding the color picker--hooray! )
I started reading some hints in the forum on the two peas website. I discovered lots and lots of people were reccomending tutorials by Jessica Sprague. You can visit her here.I decided to take a look. She offers several different options, including photo editing and hybrid scrapping. She also offers two free mini lessons before you commit to purchasing a class --
that is next on my list to try.
I am sharing all of this to let any of you interested in learning PSE in on what I am learning during this process. I will keep you posted on what I think of Jessica's teachings.
Since I was once a teacher, I can be very critical of lessons presented-
Let's face it, I can be very critical regardless of my background in the education field.
When teaching someone completely newto PSE, I have found, in general,
the teachers are leaving out steps. When someone is proficient at a task, it is very easy to leave out some steps that are simple but -shall I say it? Yes-CRITICAL!
While I was working on all of this digital stuff, I received an invitation which was made using paper, glue, embellishments and getting your hands all sticky and feeling the wonderful textures as you design. When I saw this creation I about jumped out of my skin. It is so stink-in cute!
I will be taking a picture to share, but I do not want to post it until I am sure it has arrived to everyone who will be receiving it via the U.S. Postal service. I don't want to spoil the joy, for someone, of opening it in person.
And now, my dears, it is critical for me to close, get out of this bed, and shut down this computer for a bit.
Oh-one more thing-hop on over to Sweet Sage Vintage-here-to see the most lovely photograph in her latest post. I think I need lessons from her!
I spent the entire day in bed except for getting up to take pills, and all the other " necessary " trips one has to make to the rest room. Oh- and I did lay on the couch to watch 24.
Yesterday afternoon, the crud I got in December decided to pay me another visit. I truly don't know why--it overstayed it's visit the first time. I thought I had made it clear it was never welcome in my body again---ever----I am so disgusted by it all. Before the Dec. bout, I had not been sick in well over a year and now---well, just been well about five weeks and here we go again. I will be going to the Dr. if I am not somewhat better tomorrow. I was due to go back up north on Wed. but that is not happening now.
BUT--since I was in bed all day, I worked on Photoshop Elements Tutorials all day long ( except for napping ) These were scrap booking tutorials and I must say--not sure it is worth it. I think I need a real live class. Sooooo much to learn. As usual, with computer tutorials, I find some steps left out, for someone as elementary as I am. I did get through some lessons and did create the picture you see below. I hope it is sized correctly for sharing and bla, bla, bla. I had to totally skip the shadow lesson, as what I saw on her screen was certainly not on mine.How oh how does this happen? Not sure being on this Mac is helping. I just wanted to say hello to each of you and share my entire day in this one layout below!! Not much to show for an entire day but proud I at least learned something!
Thankfully all my packaging for February got completed before this current round. Feb. product is in study, awaiting pick up. Maybe tomorrow I will get a picture of it to post.
Hope you all sleep tight on this first night of February, 2010.