Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Simple Cards

I joined a group to do a birthday card swap.  The idea is to create 7 of the same card, send them to the hostess, get back 7 different cards created by 7 different people.  With limited time, I went for simple.

The first card I made was open ended - do anything you want:
I made this one based on cards a number of you had posted from a class you took!  All scraps ... I just pulled out a bunch that had colors matching the striped paper.  What a fantastic way to use up scraps!

For the second card we had to follow a sketch provided by the hostess.  Here's my take:
Again, all leftovers! In fact, I barely had enough of the floral print to eek out 7 cards.  And the cards have different sized gems on them. Making the stash work!!!

The swap was only 2 sets, but I was on a roll, so I made up a set of notecards too:
This was from a paper pack I bought on sale at Michaels. Love that French toile look!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pot Luck Blog Hop

Hello! Welcome!

You're here for Deb's Pot Luck Blog Hop, right?

My name is Cheri.  Please do come right in! I'm so happy to have you!

Head straight back, we're gathering in the sun room...

What's that? You came for dessert?  Oh yes!

Saltine Toffee!  The perfect blend of salt and sweet.


  • 1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers (about 40 crackers)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tbsps or 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 pkg (2 cups) chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet (with sides) with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Arrange crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet, all touching with no empty spaces between them.  Set aside remaining crackers.

3.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and stir until mixture comes to a rolling boil.  Once boiling, pour mixture over the crackers in an even layer, trying to cover most of the crackers.  The rest will happen in the oven!

4.  Bake for just five (5) minutes, until the toffee is bubbling all over. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool one minute.

5. Sprinkle on chocolate chips and put back in the oven for one minute to melt the chips. Remove from oven. Using a knife or spatula, spread chocolate evenly over toffee.

6. Crush about five crackers into fine crumbs and sprinkle over while the chocolate is still hot and sticky.

7. Refrigerate for about half an hour to cool and set.  Once set, break by hand into small uneven pieces.  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Variations:  Instead of regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can try dark chocolate chips, a mixture of chocolate and mint chips, and my personal favorite... a mixture of milk chocolate and peanut butter chips to make Reese's peanut butter toffee!  For the holidays, crush peppermints to sprinkle on top in place of crushed crackers.

This recipe is super easy and a wonderful crowd pleaser!

If you came here from Rhona's blog, there is just one hop left - head on over to Carrie's to see how she is finishing off this Pot Luck! If you happened to start here and want to check out the rest of the party, follow the list below, or check back if you get lost along the way:

Deb @ PaperTurtle –
Rinda @ Gallo Organico –
Beverly @ BE glorious -

Alison @ Life in the Slow Lane –
Fiona @ Staring at the Sea –
Amy @ Over at our Place -

Side/Main Dishes
The “Not So” Small One @ From High in the Sky –
Jacky @ Scrappy Jacky -
Deb @ Deb’s World –
Ginger @ Ginger’s Life of Spice -
Karen @ Tales from the Scrapheap -
Karen @ Random Reflections -
Ruth @ Everyday Life of a Suburban SAHM -

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita -
Ruth @ Chatty Crafty Arty Pig -
Margaret @ Finnegan Begin Again –
Becca @ La Jolie Fleur Rouge -
Cheri @ Scrap Dreams - <------YOU ARE HERE
Carrie @ Rosalind Revival – <-------- NEXT STOP 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Philadelphia Flower Show

Journaling Reads:

March 10, 2012.  Jay  asked me if I would like to go to the Flower Show. I figured sure, why not?  I got online to order tickets and learned that the theme of the show was “Hawaii” and I got really excited.  I was expecting a lot. Having been to Hawaii, I know just how beautiful it is there. Lush tropical green rainforest and lots of beautiful bright flowers - hibiscus, bird of paradise, plumeria, ginger, red tea leaves, bamboo. I was prepared to be dazzled.

After some intial issues with transportation were worked out, Jay and I drove to the train station and hopped a train for Philadelphia. Arrived at Market East and grabbed a quick lunch at the Food Court at the Gallery. Unfortunately the wait was too long at Hard Rock Cafe. After lunch we headed into the Show.

Heading into the Flower Show meant, quite literally, joining a very slow moving sea of humanity. There were so many people! It was so crowded that we could barely get near the exhibits and it was nearly impossible to get photos without having a stranger’s elbow, head, or other body part blocking your way. Lesson learned - next time attend on a weekday, early in the morning. But we persisted. And I got enough decent shots to warrant quite a lot of scrapbooking!

One thing we noticed immediately was that our expectations of being transported into a lush tropical rainforest filled with bright popping colors wasn’t going to be met. Jay and I both agreed that we were a bit disappointed. There was just too much of the Convention Center still evident - steel beams, concrete floor, horrid fluorescent lighting. I didn’t feel at all like I was in Hawaii. The other issue was it was simply too commercialized. Sponsor signs everywhere detracted from the beauty of the exhibits.

The main exhibit for Hawaii was a giant waterfall pouring down the side of a mountain and surrounded by greenery and flowers. It was really quite beautiful, unfortunately also so crowded I couldn’t get a single decent photo. My other favorites - the light show on the side of a grass hut, the family of stone and wire geese walking across a lawn, all the little Hawaii vignettes and the enormous metal butterfly sculpture.  I also enjoyed the bonsai trees - I’ve had a “thing” for them ever since I was a little girl.

templates are from Cathy Zielski's "The Monthly" collection.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Take Twelve - March

Totally forgot to share this! I wasn't terribly inspired this month, but at least it got done!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wild Abandonment

So I'm taking a class right now called "The Art of Wild Abandonment".  It's over at Christy Tomlinson's site, but taught by Junelle Jacobsen, a woman who was taking the Three Hearts art journaling class at the same time as me and whose work I admired greatly.  So I started following her blog which is continually filled with beautiful art, gorgeous photography of the cutest little lambs, and just totally inspiring thoughts. I signed up for this class the day it was announced!

Week 2 has been posted, but I'm only about 2/5 of my way through the Week 1 material.  In fact, I just finished the first assignment yesterday.  Junelle's introduction to sketching was to sketch radishes.  But nobody in this house eats radishes, so I went for something similar but a little friendlier to our tastebuds... strawberries!

First the actual pencil sketches...

Add some color... I bought a cheap set of watercolor crayons at Michaels. I was NOT impressed with the blending abilities of these, so I ordered a set of Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons yesterday. That is what our instructor is using and I can't wait for them to come in so I can see if there is a difference.

Finishing touches with the ink pen.  I didn't "finish" every sketch... just a handful of them that I liked best.

My chocolate covered strawberry.

The upside down strawberry turned woodland home for some tiny fairy creature.

And that pair of snuggling berries.

So, sketching does not come easily or naturally for me and this assignment probably took me way longer than Junelle had in mind.  But I'm happy to have it done and ready to move onto owls!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Random Thoughts

The weather has been really odd for March.  You know that old saying "in like a lion, out like a lamb?"  That is typical for March in these parts.  What isn't typical is a string of days in the 60's and 70's that continues long enough for us to see this:

We don't usually see crocuses until April.  We often still have snow in March.  I'm not complaining.  In fact, I love that it has been warm enough to walk outside and get these photos!  It's just weird weather.

A man lies  in a hospital bed in Elmira N.Y. - on life support, dying from esophageal cancer metastasized to the lungs. Brought on by a lifetime of drinking and smoking.  And I feel nothing.  He is a perfect stranger to me.  Does the fact that I inherited half of my DNA from him require me to feel something? I've had no news about him for nearly 30 years, but I was contacted about his "final days."  I was prepared to just let it go, but I can't seem to get the news out of my mind. Should I care? Am I somehow "less than" if I don't?  A question I feel I'll be pondering for awhile.

Carb and Sugar Cravings take over. So far my "Move More Eat Well" intentions for March have been an epic fail. In the first two weeks I craved bread, potatoes, and sweets in the worst way. And I indulged the cravings. I also had a number of "in office" and bad fibro days that undermined any will I might have had to exercise. I'm admitting that I made some less than wonderful choices and choosing not to beat myself up about it. I'm once again in a place of "Start where you are."  And intending to right the wrongs that I inflicted for the past two weeks.

My vacation from reality. So early this week (while still performaing household and work duties) I took a little vacation from reality... and spent a few days following the adventures of Katniss Everdeen in Panem.  Have you heard about the The Hunger Games?
I found the story line compelling, even if the concept was reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" that I read back in high school.

I read all three books in four days. I would have finished in three if I hadn't had to go into the office one of those days.  Now I can't wait to see the movie!  Would I recommend this series? YES! Great for teens and adults of any age.  Quick easy read, compelling story line, and a great escape from reality!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just a Quote for Friday

Finishing LOAD

First up, apologies to all my blog friends for my lack of commenting recently.  I've read every post, just haven't had the energy to respond except here & there.  I spent four days in fibro hell and got way behind on LOAD.  But between the 28th and 29th, I got myself caught up, finishing my OLW photo collage and creating my last three layouts.

Because of the push from LOAD, I completed 29 layouts, for a total of 44 pages in February (I'm counting the 14 pages in Rachel's School of Life album as one layout for purposes of my "Twelve" class commitment and I had a couple of two page layouts.) That means a total of 41 layouts and 63 pages to date! I'm pretty sure that I've gone full years in the past without scrapping that much.

LOAD was a lot of fun, although the commitment weighed heavily on me in the last week and I was ready for it to end.  But I enjoyed the end result enough that I'll probably try it again!

template - STudio DD Layerworks #32
background paper - Krystal Hartley "Thankfully"

Template - mine (but inspired by Cathy Zielski)
Paper, Elements, title  alpha - all from ScrapMatters "Unforgettable" Kit.

template - Cathy Zielski
papers - Krystal Hartley "Summer's End" kit (slightly recolored)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

One Little Word Blog Hop - March Edition

Hello and Welcome to the One Little Word Blog Hop! If you came here from  Jill's blog, welcome! You made it to the right place.  Isn't Jill just so talented?! She always amazes me!  Please grab a drink and stay awhile! I love visitors! If you are a regular reader, you already know the drill! ;) The entire hop goes live at 8:00 a.m. Pacific (11:00 my time) so if you are early, just check back later to catch everyone!

My One Little Word for 2012 is FOCUS.  And it's really a big word. With a lot of challenge in it. Even with two months under my belt, I can't really say at this point how it will play out.  Just like last month, HAPPY still seems to have a hold on me and FOCUS hasn't really made itself felt yet.  But I'm sure it is coming...

These are my photos for February.  A little sampling of everything I am busy "focus"ing on right now! 

Thanks for stopping by! Your next stop on the hop is  Cindy's blog.  And just in case you get lost, here is the entire hop list:

Melissa S
Cheri     <-- YOU ARE HERE
Cindy     <-- NEXT STOP
Melissa C
Heidi D  
Jen R    
Missus W 
Dawn G   
Orange Gearle