Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Memories - Layout

I have been working on this layout for the last few days and most of the time layouts don't take me this long but this one did! I think it was all the detail in the Christmas tree that was the hold up.

For holiday layouts I usually always like to do two pages so I can get more bang for my buck, or in other words, more pictures in the layout.  I could have used smaller pictures and used more but how many pictures do I need of the kids opening gifts?

In choosing the pictures I tried to get them opening their favorite or meaningful gifts and then of them with their gift from Santa. I am glad I got a good picture of Chuck and Shiane in front of the Christmas tree. I did choose to double mat that picture and pop dot it. I know it's hard to tell in the pictures sometimes how much dimension there is on some of my stuff but most of ya'll know I love dimension!

I was very lucky this year and the kids did the cooking and cleaning up, best Christmas present EVER! My daughter's friend Alicia came over to open her gifts and to have dinner with us so I made sure to get pictures of her for the layout as well.

It made sense to me for me to use a picture of the kids at the dinner table for the big picture. I think in the future sometime Shiane can always look and remember how they cooked Christmas dinner. Dinner was very good by the way!

A lot of Mica and Bling cardstock was used in the layout and I usually don't use so much in one layout but it needed to be festive and special for Christmas. I used various embossing folders to add some interest to the gifts. I was going to use patterned paper but then thought I would like the embossing better.

I did use a few regular rectangles for gifts so I could fill in an area or two without having to make all special cuts. The stack of presents was one from a file from Miss Kates Cuttables, can't remember which one right off hand.

On the title I used Script MT Bold, one of my favorite fonts for welding and cutting. I cut the capital letters in red and the rest in an olive green. On the C and M I used the Divine Swirls embossing folder and for the rest of the word I used Swiss Dots. I added Stickles to the embossed areas. For the date I used Stampin Up Modern Label and Word Window punches.

Now for the tree...oh that tree! I found the tree image on the internet and did a pixel trace in MTC. I cut it out of a shade of olive Coredinations and then sanded the "branch" ends for a distressed look. I added pop dots under the branch areas as well.

The pearl garland was totally made by me. I used a curve shape and then added small circles to the curve and then welded. To get the garland to fit right I copy and pasted the first string and placed them where I thought it looked okay. I then welded several sections together at a time so the garland is in about 4 pieces. I was afraid the machine wouldn't want to read all the nodes well if I did it as a single piece. I only glued the main ends down and then a spot or two in the middle so the garland would have a swaggy, loopy look.

The ornaments on the tree are from a Stampin Up Digital Download file called Ornament Keepsakes Kit. I imported the SVG file into MTC and then resized them to fit for the Christmas tree. I could have made the ornaments just solid but I remember my mom having some very old ornaments where the middle "sunk" in and was more decorative than the rest of the bulb so for the ornaments cut shapes out of the middle of the larger ornaments.

To decorate the ornaments I used Liquid Pearls which worked out nicely. I used a silver gel pen to add the "cap" to the ornament. I pop dotted most of the ormanets and placed some where they looked like they were hanging off the branches.

I am making the file available for download but the ornament images will not be included in the file since they came from Stampin Up. The rest of the images are there available to cut.

To download the file for use with MAKE THE CUT click below:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Fallen Snow - Layout

It's Christmas Eve and even if the sun is shining here in Oklahoma today I always think of snow at Christmas time. Sometimes we do get a white Christmas, more in the last few years than I can ever remember, but this year will be sunny and bright *okie thinks the warm of the day will only last as long as high noon*.

I was sitting around playing with Make The Cut and decided to design a layout with a snow theme. I had done some birch trees recently and thought those would look nice on a snow layout. I might even cut this one later tonight after the kids open presents, just to see how it looks. I think I have some snow pictures somewhere I can use but if not then I can always just wait for the next snow and take some pictures then.

If you would like the file you can download the Make The Cut file below:


Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Layout Challenge Done!

The whole challenge thing didn't have much of a turn out, think that is why I quit posting challenges long ago in different places where I tried because the participation was lacking for the most part. However, I did get mine done and two of my friends, Amy and Reddy got theirs done. I have never taken so long to get a dang project done in my entire life *okie knows she might be exaggerating a little* as I did this layout. I swear everyone called me this weekend and needed help with one thing or another and then I made soup and had to teach Chuck how to make Rotel Dip and there were other things that kept interupting me. Luckily I was finally able to finish.

Reddy is going to digital so the challenge gave her some experience in how to use SVG files for digital purposes. Amy hasn't crafted in quite awhile and she said it gave her the motivation she needed to get something done so with that I would say it was a success!

*********** REDDY'S DIGITAL LAYOUT *****************

This is Reddy's digital layout. I am not sure what program she used for this but I do like how she was able to add drop shadows to the elements.

Reddy said she took all the pictures the morning she did the layout and I have to tell ya that is true challenge spirit right there!

Here is the second page of Reddy's digital layout. She said she saved all the elements in different files and it was pretty easy to do *okie lifts one eyebrow and has skeptical smirk on her face and thinks Reddy's idea of easy is okie's idea of hard*.

****************** AMY'S LAYOUT ***********************

My friend Amy has been so busy with moving not long ago and then breaking her foot, with other life events tossed in there, that she hasn't been crafting and this has been the first she has done in awhile. Personally I sure can't tell she hasn't crafted in awhile because her layout turned out gorgeous! Here is what she said about it: "Girl! This thing almost killed me! LOL. That wreath was a PITA! It turned out so beautiful though."

She definitely put some work into this layout! She said "I heat embossed the silver snowflakes on our favorite stardream paper so you can imagine the whole layout just sparkles."

Amy added presents to her layout, which I think is an awesome touch! She said "The presents were just printed paper I had from some Christmas stacks and I used embroidery thread to make the "ribbons and bows" and the stardust pen to glitter them all up."


I like the dots she added to the shadow of the swirls, it really added some interest *okie thinks she might have to try this next time*.


I can't imagine how much work went into her wreath! I did use the branch punch but my branches are not as full and lush as hers. Amy said "The wreath was the Martha Stewart branch punch and I used flat back pearls for the berries and hotfix stones and floral wire to make the ornaments...and of course I used your cut file for it all!"

 I like how she used ribbons for the bows from the file. I need to find out how she did a double bow because that was a fabulous idea and they came out wonderful!

**************** OKIE'S LAYOUT *******************

I decided to part with some of my fabulous Graphic45 paper for my layout. Okay I had quite a bit of this paper since it is from the haul I got while I was in Florida last spring so it wasn't quite as hard as one might think. I think the papers might have been from two different collections, I know the punch outs were not from the collection of the paper but much like Basic Grey, you can often interchange papers with Graphic45.

Here is a close up of the first page of the layout. I did print my pictures myself so I could get what I wanted. My printer, a Canon Pixma, does a great job. Look at the picture on the bottom right and you can see how I split that one to use two small pictures in that space.

Chuck said he liked the layout but there was one problem with it, and then he covered up the picture of Lucy with his hand. Personally, I think he is just jealous of Lucy because he knows I love her best HA HA.

I used pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas morning of the kids opening their presents. I didn't do any journaling because I didn't feel it was necessary for this particular project.

One of the punchout sheets had some pictures of Santa so I decided to add one behind the wreath and I think it maked it look better and not as stark. I used Candi for the berries on the wreath and then used my white gel pen to add reflection marks. I went around the edges of the leaves with a Stardust gel pen.

I did a collage of punchouts since I want to use some of the up, however this didn't even make a dent in what I have, but it does look nice and helped fill in that area of the layout.

On the title I did have to add some doodling with a black gel pen on the "Our Family" and white gel pen on "Christmas". Ya'll should know by now I always gotta add a little something, I think it is a sickness in me to have to pick up a pen of some kind and add dots and dashes.

The tag was yet another punch out, did I tell ya I have a rather large supply of those things, and I added some branches to the bottom and a bow on the top. You can also see a little closer where I decided to add some ribbons and bows on the pictures.

I had to laugh when Amy sent me her pictures and I immediately thought "GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE" since I had added branches to my ribbon swags. I added crystal hot fix gems to my branches and I think I like the color ones Amy used better because they show up better.

My friend Carmen was working on her layout when I was writing up this post but I will be posting her version when she sends me the pictures.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Weekend Layout Challenge - Let's have some fun!

It's cold and rainy here and the trees are covered in ice, the roads are okay at this time but with this weather I am staying in the house all weekend! I was talking to my friend Carmen last night and we decided we would craft together today, via phone and internet, because we are both ready to do something for ourselves instead of filling orders or making things for other people. Carmen suggested we do the layout I had designed and posted on Sunday. I then asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to play along and we would make it a challenge. My friend Misty said she would like to play along but she doesn't have MTC so for this purpose I am now posting the file in SVG format as well for those who don't have Make The Cut *okie really wonders why anyone would NOT have MTC at this point*.

You will need to use the images from the file to play but you are free to move them around as needed and change up whatever you want, just make sure you use the images of the ribbons, swirls, wreath and title.  Once you have your layout done please take pictures and EMAIL them to me at okie_ladybug@swbell dot net so I can post what everyone has done. Please have your layout done by Sunday night so I can post the pictures on Monday or Tuesday for everyone to see.

Okay folks...READY, SET, GOOOO!!!!

To download the files click below:

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's Christmas Card Time!

For the last few years I have made card kits for my groups to do at McCalls and this year is no different. We will be making two cards this week and once we get them done and I get them posted I will be uploading the files for others to use. My clients started asking me about the cards back in September and I kept telling them we would wait until it was closer to Christmas.

I have to keep the designs fairly simple since I have 6 in each of my groups and only an hour at a time to complete a card kit with each group. We will get to have group twice this week so we can finish up the cards. I thought I would share the designs with you guys right now so you can get an idea of what we will be doing.

 I will be of course using some printed paper somewhere on this one. I want to leave the background fairly plain so they can use the Cuttlebug on it and maybe the banners. They really love the Cuttlebug and it's easy and safe enough for them to use unsupervised so it makes my job a little easier.

I have changed the snowflake on this one for cutting purposes. When I am doing 12 card kits it also helps for me to keep things simple and not spend time on difficult designs. I got the idea for this one off Pinterest.

Be sure to come back in a few days to check out their completed work. They always get a thrill of knowing their cards are going on my website and I make sure to read the comments to them.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our Family Christmas - Layout File

I really needed to de-stress after the total failure of a craftshow I did this weekend *okie thinks that deserves a post all of it's own* and do something that had no purpose after the last few weeks *okie thinks it's really been months* I've had in my craftroom so I decided to design a layout. I absolutely love designing them and having them available to use at a later time. Sometimes I think I like designing more than anything else, which is obvious if you compare my layout files I have stored in my computer compared to the layouts I have in scrapbooks.

Since it is almost Christmas I wanted to do something for my readers since you guys bear with me during my lack of posting while I was doing the craftshow items and some other orders. Of course you will have to have Make The Cut, since it is the only format I am using right now, in order to use the file but I know there are a lot of MTC users out there. All the elements that are pictured are included in the file. I think this is a simple looking layout but it could be turned into awesomeness with the right papers and a bit of embellishing!

To download file click below:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 7

For the final post about the tumblers we have Elvis and Music Notes! WHEW it's been a long week in the tumbler world hasn't it!

I searched for a nice image of Elvis and wasn't sure how I was going to do this but I am finding that silhouette's are rather easy to find and work with when doing people in vinyl. I started to do some editing and fill in his face but then I figured I would make him look deformed so I left the image as it was originally. I think it showed up well in the black with white shadow on the glitter cup.

You can't see the full music scale on the tumbler because of the curve but it goes on around and finishes with another music note. I found this image on the internet as well and did the trace feature. Have I mentioned how much I love Make The Cut?? I had to do a shadow on the original because it cut too thin and the vinyl tore on the original one I cut but after adding a .110 shadow it was thick enough to cut but still thin enough to keep the delicate swirl image. I also used the "cut out" method with the name in the music scale. I really think this helps add to designs at times as it ties them together, plus I wanted to make sure I had enough room on the tumbler!

You can download today's files here:



Friday, December 6, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 6

Today's tumblers were one's that had me a bit stumped on what to do for the designs. After some thought and quite a bit of time searching I came up with a game controller and a silhouette.

Once I decided on a game controller I had to decide which one to use. I never knew there were so many different types of controllers. I finally settled on this one because I could get a clean trace and I liked the way it looked. Once again I did have to do some "breaking", "joining", etc to get the file how I wanted.

I was pleased with the outcome in the end.

I have no idea who 1D or One Direction is but I do know they are a boy band. I wanted something that showed them and just not the name of the band since I was putting the name of the person on the tumbler. I found some silhouettes of the band and thought it would be a good representation of the child's interest and she would probably know who it was. Since the colors and design were rather plain I decided to use a glitter tumbler.

You can download today's files here:



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 5

Today's featured tumblers are a bookworm and a tractor. I actually did two tractor cups but there was no sense in showing both.

The bookworm was done for a little girl who loves books and loves to read. If I remember correctly I think her age was about 4 so I wanted to make something that looked fun but also had the theme of books. I was able to find this cute bookworm in a clipart search. I also thought she might like a glitter tumbler. I was able to find a few of these at my favorite bargain store last month and had them put up "just in case" and they did come in handy for this tumbler order.

I had to do quite a bit of "breaking" on this image but I finally got it down to where it was easy to cut and layer. I think this would be great for a layout as well since a lot of folks have pictures of their kids reading and such.

I was going to use a SVG file I found on the internet of this tractor but I found the image she used and so I just downloaded it and did a trace. I actually had it messed up when I got ready to put it together and had to go back and do some tweaking on the file to get to work with vinyl I do think it came out nicely in the end.

You can download today's files here:



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 4

Have I told you how long it took me to design all these tumblers? Well it took a few days for sure! And that didn't even include the cutting and applying of the vinyl, especially with my habit of going back and changing files after I think I have the design completed!

One of my favorites was the Minnie Mouse head tumbler. I was very lucky that I had just a small scrap of beige vinyl or I would have never been able to pull this off! I got the image from a clipart file and did a trace. I went back and added the dots on the bow and even warped them and did a few "cut out" edits to make them look more natural and not just circles. I used Mickey Font for the name on the tumbler.

After my friend picked up the tumblers and I was editing the pictures for posting I thought "dang it I should have made the eyes white!" but it was too late to change it on the tumbler but I did go back and edit the file. I was able to find a Spiderman font on and used it for the name on the tumbler. The image was clipart and I did a trace. I also did a shadow on the web layer because it was way too thin to get a good cut on at first. After adding a .110 shadow it was a lot better and much easier to work with.

My original design for the Batman tumbler was the Batman logo, ya know the bat in the oval type thing. After doing the Spiderman head and the Minnie Mouse head I just thought it was a bit too plain so I off to the world of clipart searching I went! I did have to do some editing on the original clipart since it was in an oval and I didn't want the oval but thank goodness for Make The Cut and the editing tools I was able to get rid of the oval and just have Batman's head. I curved the letters of the name to match the flow of the cape a little. Again that little scrap of beige vinyl saved me on this! He might look complicated but he is actually very easy to cut!

The files used on the tumblers can be downloaded here:




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 3

Today's tumbler's are sport themes once again. My friend was very athletic in high school and was a starter for our basketball team, I think he must have passed on his love of sports to his nieces and nephews.

This tumbler is pretty simple, no joining shapes other than the shadows. I did curve the name to give it some interest. That is one of the wonderful features of Make The Cut, you can set that conical warp to just about any size you want! I used one of my "circular" settings in the conical warp feature to get the curve of the name and then once I got it how I wanted with the soccer ball and shadow I used the conical warp that was set for the tumbler.

This is another tumbler where I curved the name with the circular setting and it is a little easier to see how the tops of the letters are larger than the bottoms with the setting I used.

For the softball cup I wanted a long tail that is often used with sport theme items. I was able to find some in an internet search and then did the whole trace thing. I chose one that fit well with the name and with the tails I found that the font Script MT Bold seems to work well. I was then able to weld the tail to the last letter of the name. I did the "cut out" method I guess I will call it, to get the softball added on the tail without overlapping.

The soccer and football player are available from the file from the other day and you can download the softball and swashes files here:


Monday, December 2, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 2

Two of the girls had basket ball as an interest and I wanted to make the tumblers different some how. I know kids generally don't like having things exactly alike.

On the first tumbler I used a very loopy font, can't remember the name off hand and then put a basketball at the end of the name.

Sometimes it is hard to get the vinyl to line up right if it drops on one side, which it did on this one so I set the basketball layers aside and added the name to the shadow layer and then went back and placed the basketball on the shadow.

The name goes through 3 basketballs on this tumbler and I used the method similar to the JOINING SHAPES that I did a tutorial on back in June. In order to get the shadow around the name I set my shadow at .510 and then used that to "cut out" on the basketballs". I am just now thinking that if I say much more I am going to confuse myself and everyone else *okie makes a note to do a tutorial on how to complete this process*.

I am including the file for the basketball and the basketball border and you can download the file here -


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tumbler Order - Part 1

I mentioned I had an order for 17 tumblers and to make it long and drawn out I am going to only post a few each day, yeah...I'm evil like that! HA HA HA

The first ones I am posting are the double wall mugs.My friend Carmen had sent me a few of these nice mugs and there were two older boys that I thought might like these instead of the regular tumblers. I used a football silhouette on one and then a soccer ball on another. I tried to get the images as close the names as I could so the shadows could be one piece.

These have handles on them but you can't see them because they are on the other side for picture purposes.

When my friend ordered these I had a ton of questions, I wanted all the names, ages, interests and school they attended. I tried to make each one personal to that information.

Download the files here



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Day...Not A Time For Bad Memories

Thanksgiving Day this year fell on November 28th. There is so much meaning in that day for me. My daughter was born on November 27th 1991, just 3 hours and 15 minutes shy of my mother's birthday. This year my mom would have been 84 on Thanksgiving, she passed away just a month shy of her 72nd birthday in 2001. Another event that happens on the 28th is the anniversary of my daddy literally falling over dead in a parking lot of a hamburger joint POOF just like that he was gone. He passed away in 1984.

We went to the ranch for Thanksgiving this year, my cousins' husband is the manager of Canadian Valley Ranch that is just north of Seminole, and it is only about 2 miles from where I grew up on the farm. My daughter wanted to drive over and see the farm so she and I took a little time out to drive over there. My daughter has some wonderful memories of the farm. Once my daughter turned about 5 or 6 she started going and spending weekends with my mom out at the farm as much as her activities permitted *okie still thinks she must have been crazy for letting her daughter be in basketball, girl scouts, soccer, tae kwon do and softball*, which was about every other weekend or so. We didn't go down the driveway because that would have been rude to drive all the way down there to just look and back up and knowing Curly, the man who bought the place from my mom, he would have invited us in for dinner if he had seen us.

We did notice on the mailbox, which just so happens to be the same one we had when I was growing up as a kid, we could still see where my mom had painted her name and box number. My daughter and I both got out and took pictures of the mailbox. I still remember my parents having that mailbox made. It is steel posts welded to a tire rim and pretty much how most all the folks had their mailboxes. When I went off to college and moved into town it was odd for me to not to have to walk down a long driveway to get the mail but instead just open the front door and look into the mailbox.

I also took a picture looking down the long driveway to post on Facebook for my niece to see since she had mentioned she would give anything to have one more Thanksgiving on the farm. Back when I was growing up on the farm we had all the relatives at our house for dinner and it was nothing for us to have a crowd of 20-30 for dinner. Oh and if you are curious, that driveway is almost a quarter of a mile long. I can't remember the times I had to run that driveway to catch the bus, or how many times I stood at the end in the rain, cold or snow waiting for the bus because it was late. I don't ever remember complaining because that was just the way it was when you grew up in the country.

As we got back in the van my daughter said "I think I am going to cry". I told her "don't cry Shiane, just smile...grandma would want you to smile and remember all the good times". Shiane went on to describe the inside of the house and then talk about some of things she and mom would do on her visits.

Now let me tell ya, I hear so many people having a hard time with holidays because loved ones are not there or that "oh it's terrible because we lost so and so on that day". I can honestly say I had no feelings of sadness on Thanksgiving but instead I had feelings of happiness and love. Of course I miss my parents and I always will but I don't miss them any more or any less any day of the year. Oh sure the pain of losing them when they first passed away was overwhelming but as time moved on the hurt healed and I focus on the memories I have of my parents. Instead of feeling sad on Thanksgiving I enjoyed the company of my aunts, uncle, cousins and friends and smiled a few times thinking about how my mom and dad would love that we are all still close even with miles between us. But isn't that the way it should be?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Recipes - Yes, I Do Use Them!

First off let me say I have been doing some crafting. I had an order for 17 tumblers that I worked on and got done and I will be posting pictures. Secondly, I have been working on some things for the craft show but with competition going on between crafters and craft shows I thought I better not post those items just yet.

Now let me share a recipe, or two actually, with you guys. I had posted on Facebook last week about the cold weather and I decided to make a big pot of chicken and noodles. I don't like store bought noodles and my aunt taught me years ago, over the phone mind you, how to make homemade noodles so that is how I make my chicken and noodles. I also cheated and used my cousin Bruce's suggestion of getting a rotisserie chicken from Walmart and deboning it instead of having to cook my own.

2 eggs
about a teaspoon of salt
couple handfuls of flour

Beat your eggs well and then toss in a handful of flour and work it in with the eggs. Add more flour a little at a time until the dough becomes not quite as thick as pie crust dough. Flour your counter and take about 1/3 of the dough and pat it out on the floured counter very thin, about the thickness of pie crust dough and using a pizza cutter cut your dough into strips and toss into the boiling pot of chicken stock you have going. Repeat the cutting process until all the dough is in the pot.

I really wasn't sure how to write the recipe and that is the best I can do on it because I don't use exact measurements and neither does my Aunt Betty. Sometimes she will put in a few drops of yellow food coloring in the dough if she wants really yellow noodles. I've never done it because I'm too lazy *okie knows that is so the truth*.

I always thicken my broth as well because I like it that way. I just add a little cornstarch to about a cup of broth and mix it well and then add it to the pot. I tell ya, there is nothing like a nice bowl of chicken and noodles on a cold day! In the past I have added onion, celery and carrots to the mix as well but most of the time I just do the chicken and noodles.

Now the second recipe is one I fixed for Thanksgiving Dinner. I use to get broccoli salad at Walmart in the deli and loved it but they changed the deli up so now I will be making my own. I wasn't sure what all was in the recipe and looked up several and then used one but changed slightly for my own taste

1 head broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup crushed slivered almonds
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem. Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly. Cut the head into florets and the stem into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins, almonds, and cheese. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

So there are ya two recipes you can try out if you get bored. I myself will not be cooking again until Christmas, and not even then if I can help it! Now I am off to edit pictures of tumblers!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"The Nut Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree"

I can't remember how many years ago, but it has been a few, my daughter and I were cleaning out the front flower bed and I pulled up a small pecan sapling that had grown next to the house. The little sapling probably wasn't much more than 16" tall at the time. My daughter asked if she could plant it in the front yard and I told her "sure" thinking she would lose interest. Well she did plant the little sapling and I didn't expect it to make it through the week since it had sat out in the yard for a few hours while we finished the flower bed but to my amazement it made it through the week.

The next summer it got so hot that things were dying left and right. I told my daughter "I think your pecan tree has died along with everything else". I actually pretty much let my flowerbeds go at that point because of the heat and lack of rain, no matter how much I watered the plants were just wilting *okie is always amazed how faucet water never seems to work like the fabulous wetness of a good rain in making things grow*. What I didn't know is that my daughter was "sneaking" as she put it, water out to the tree and watering it several times a week. The next spring the little pecan tree started getting buds on it and I was amazed it survived. That is when she told me about her watering it through the drought.

I was looking out my front window this morning and noticed some husks on the tree and walked out to make an inspection. Imagine my delight when I saw healthy pecans in the open husks! Now if you didn't grow up in the south you likely don't know much about pecans and I'm not going to give you a lesson other than when I got one of the pecans I was pleased with the shape and the healthy looking shell. The pecans are not large but they are not as small as the ones in the backyard that are impossible to crack. There is really a whole science about pecans and raising them. My poor sister and husband planted a tree in their backyard hoping to get pecans. I was visiting one day and I looked around at all the trees I could see and I did not see one other pecan tree. I asked her if she was hoping to get pecans and she said "well someday, but we haven't yet". I told her they might have a very long wait because pecans require two or more trees to pollinate. I'm not sure she believed me. I should mention that while I was raised pretty much on a farm my sister is 9 years older and was married and living in the big city when we moved to the farm where I gained my farm life knowledge *okie knows she has forgotten way more than she would care to admit*.

But back to Shiane's pecan tree! Over the last few years I have trimmed some of the branches of the tree to make it easier to mow and I was careful to not remove too many branches. I know Shiane has enjoyed watching the tree grow and year before last she wondered if the ice storm would get it. Some how the little tree has persevered and is now trying to repay us for the times we gave it a little extra attention. Granted, it may have only had 14 pecans on it this year but that is a start and not to mention the little pecans have a great taste!

Now of course ya'll already know how my sense of thinking goes and I had to relate this little pecan tree to life, mine and my daughter's life specifically this time and thought how this pecan tree kind of parallels our relationship. There are very difficult times where a little more attentive handling is needed. There are times where things are good and growth goes along at a relaxing pace. Sometimes a little shaping and pruning is necessary and must be done carefully. Now that my daughter is a young adult and starting to show me some of the determination she has, such as returning to college and putting forth the effort to make it this time, I am recognizing the fruit of my work. Of course, just like the tree, my daughter can be a little nuts but can I truly blame her? After all the old saying goes "The nut doesn't fall far from the tree" *okie smiles knowing she is a more than a little nuts herself*.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Haunting! Layout for MTC Users!

I really should have been spending the evening entering some treatment plans in the database but then I thought designing a Halloween layout sounded like a lot more fun and I can enter the treatment plans in the morning while having my coffee, or at least that is the plan!

I should have had this done earlier but Make The Cut shut down on me, totally my fault for not saving it in the first place, so I was delayed by having to start all over. Since my daughter is all grown up I don't get to make Halloween layouts anymore and I do love them so I guess just designing was the next best thing.

I know some folks like just one page layouts but sometimes I think a double page is in order when there are a lot of pictures that need to be scrapped. I tried to design this it could be used with both pages or each page individually. I sure hope at least one person can use this file and will make an awesome looking layout with it! All the images are included in the MTC file that you can download below.

DOWNLOAD FILE HERE -Happy Haunting Layout

Sorry SVG users, I got lazy and only saved it in MTC format.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Candy War

Let me share a little story about what happened at my house last night....

My friend Rosemary sends me care packages for holidays and for Halloween she sent me a box of wonderfully packaged candy treats. I was amazed at the great packaging she made, as always they are just over the top!

When Shiane came in and saw the packages she said "what is that?" and I told her "care package from Rosemary" to which Shiane squealed "ROSEMARY IS MY FAVORITE!!" and she started digging through the candy. I told her to get out but then I made a mistake and read the note Rosemary and included that said "I gave you plenty so there would be enough for the kids". Sounds pretty nice and simple doesn't it? Well some how this turned in to THE CANDY WAR!!

I had given the tube of candy corn to Chuck and to be fair I gave Shiane the tube of white chocolate M&M's. I also gave Chuck some of the other candy as Shiane had gotten some earlier. Well Shiane's friend Alicia had come over for supper and she said something about stopping on her way home and getting some Twix and Kit Kats. I told her "hey go get some from Chuck, he had plenty". When I went to tell Chuck something I had seen he had a little tackle box looking thing full of candy and I told him to give me my candy back, which he refused to do so I though telling Alicia would get back at him a little.  I took the dogs outside and soon heard commotion from inside the house...running, laughing, yelling, smacking...

When I came back in I saw Shiane shoving candy down her shorts and Alicia saying "this chocolate is going to melt in my bra". As you see from the picture Alicia did get a KitKat!

Chuck came in the kitchen telling them to give him his candy, holding his little tackle box thing tightly so they couldn't get it. Both of the girls were laughing at him and told him he had enough candy and they weren't giving it back. By this time I had gone to the craftroom and Willy Wonka followed me and had lain down at my feet. I heard him chewing on something and he had a packaged gummy eyeball. I took it away from him and went to tell the kids to be careful.

When I went into the bedroom, of course I was still hearing laughing and thought I better take my phone with me in case more pictures needed to be taken and I saw Shiane getting into Chuck's dresser and finding his stash of candy, as you can see by her hands she was grabbing it by the handfuls! You can see Alicia in the background encouraging Shiane to keep taking more!

There was a short melee of the kids chasing each other through the house. I heard them going into and out of bathrooms, cabinet doors opening and closing, dryer being opened and shut, fridge being open and shut and several other things I couldn't quite identify and I knew the chase of finding the candy on.

I thought things settled down as the kids got kinda quiet. A few minutes later I hear "MOOOMMMM!!!" and I go back to the bedroom and Shiane tells me "CHUCK TOOK MY PHONE!" and Chuck was telling her to give him his candy back. Shiane said "I was tweeting!" and Chuck's reply was "well tweet my candy back in my box and you can have your phone back" at which point I cracked up laughing and retreated back to the craftroom. Well the dogs and I sat in the craftroom while the kids were chasing each other like crazy through the house yelling about candy and phones. Eventually they settled down but I never did get it straight where the phones were hidden or if Chuck got his candy back!

So to my friend Rosemary I say...THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for providing this wonderful memory I will always have of my young adult children acting like little rotten brats over some Halloween candy!