Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watch the Parades

Watch the parades live today from the Mardi Gras camera:

You know you're a true Mardi Gras fan, when:
* You don't learn until high school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
* You push little old ladies out of the way to catch Mardi Gras beads.

* You believe that purple, green and gold look good together (and you will even eat things those colors)
* You go to buy a new winter coat (what most people refer to as windbreakers) and throw your arms up in the air to make sure it allows enough room to catch Mardi Gras beads.

* The four seasons in your year are: crawfish, shrimp, crab and King Cake.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mardi Gras Memories

Gosh, I have some wonderful memories of Mardi Gras as a little girl. My parents would always take us for Mardi Gras day out by Lakeside Mall in Fat City. We'd meet up with her high school friends and family. I remember how we'd all dress up in our "Mardi Gras Costumes". You don't see that much anymore. And it would be truck-float after truck-float. You'd hear the sound of the horn from the 18-wheeler truck to let you know the next float was coming. It seemed like they would never stop -- it was one big endless party! You'd see the street vendors pushing around shopping carts full of "popcorn, peanuts, and cotton candy", and that's how they'd announce it as they went on by. They'd have blow up toys and pop-n-snaps, and even glow-necklaces for the night parades. One year I remembered me and my sister Wanda wearing our roller skates to the parade thinking it would be easier than all that walking. My mom would always make a big bowl of potato salad and homemade fried chicken (in that harvest gold Tupperware bowl), that would be to go along with the other goodies that the others brought. One memory I don't like is how one particular Aunt (no names) would bring her children to meet up with us at the parades and all was fine and dandy at the parade, until we got home. She would make each of us kids dump all our goodies in the middle of the floor and she would separate one by one to make sure all the kids got equal parts. Well, darn, it was my fingers that got stomped on for that doubloon and I didn't want to have to give it up to her kid. Oh well, life goes on...but it only proved to those kids as they got older that "LIFE IS NOT FAIR" -- not everything and everyone is created equal. I even have a scar on my hand still today, from another parade goer that got a little too close to me with his cigarette while reaching for beads thrown from a float. OUCH! As we got a little older and Mom and Dad weren't interested in going anymore, my brother would pile us into his vehicle with his buddies and take us girls along. He would take us to the BIG parades...Endymion and Bacchus...the good one's with the celebrities in them. Once, we were sitting in parade traffic and he thought he was gonna be a showoff as driver of the car and bet us all that he could get super super close to the car in front of us without hitting it. Boy was he wrong, he hit it!!! He also used to take us to the parades in Gretna on Franklin. We'd pick the same spot year after year - - right across from the Old Don Bohn Ford car dealership. We'd always meet up with his friend Anthony and his family. Cheryl was the funnest to hang around with. While we were waiting for the parades, she would tell us jokes and make us laugh. I even remember her teaching me to say my numbers in French (yep, out there while waiting for the parade to come). We'd laugh even more than the joke was funny, because Cheryl was a short girl with really big boobs...and when she'd get to giggling, her boobs would go to wiggling. We had so much fun with her and her family. R.I.P. Cheryl. Then as we got a little older, my oldest sister Patty used to bring us all over in her little Sunbird. She would take us to all the Terrytown parades. We really did appreciate being chauffered around by her, although we may not have shown it at the time. You all know how teenagers can be. But, she always wanted to make sure we were happy. (Thank you, Patty). I also remember going to the parades with my other sister Lizzy on St. Charles Avenue. They would camp out all night in Mr. Junior's old van, just to get a good spot up front. You'd see couches all over the neutral ground. It's was the funniest thing. You'd also see body parts that you didn't care to see. But as they all say, that's where the real party is at - - downtown New Orleans! There were several seasons, I'd run the parades with my best friend Patty (Provance, as some of you know her now). Our husbands were not parade goers and we'd leave them home and we'd go chase the floats. As soon as the last float passed, we'd hop in the car and hit it later on down the route. Sometimes, we'd catch the same parade 3 times in the same night. As Greg and I got older and I was able to get him pumped up a little about the parade season, we would catch the parades in front of his dad's body shop on 4th street (that was always a good, fun route). Then as we got a little older, we were big parade goers in Metairie for several years. I remember us going out there everynight! This was the place for the not-so-wild family oriented parties. Ya see, I guess we were settling down a little at that point. And that was the only time 'cold' Popeyes Fried Chicken tasted good to me. We'd buy a box early that morning (Popeyes would get started early), and we'd pick on that chicken all day. Then once Dalton came along, it was easier to just stay on the Westbank. It was a much smaller parade but we'd get a good spot where we could catch it two times. We'd say the really long all-day ordeals would be too much, but at the same time, it seemed we could never get enough. On the westbank, we'd park our camper along the route and have all the amenities like at home. It made it much easier with having a little one, especially with the pottie situation. Finding a bathroom during Mardi Gras is a whole other Chapter....We'd have family and friends over with the cook-out and all. The party would continue long after the parade was gone. We really passed a good time! Laissez les bon temps rouler! Well now, we're living in Mississippi and there is no Mardi Gras here. We have 4th of July parades and Christmas parades. And they are a lot of fun, but nothing compared to the 'greatest free show on earth' in New Orleans during Mardi Gras time. And the extra holiday from work - - the 4-day weekend that everyone is bragging about right now-- well, I don't get that anymore. But I must say, I don't miss the parade traffic either after working downtown New Orleans for 14 years and just trying to get home after a hard days work while everyone else is trying to get in for the parade. Now that Dalton is getting older, he has the itch to do Mardi Gras. He was too young when we left there for him to really remember it. He was about 4. So this year we decided to take him. We were originally planning to take him for Mardi Gras day...ya see, I was planning to take a vacation day and let him skip a day of school since he had not missed any this year...but them some very special friends of ours (a firefighter and his family) invited us to the fire station to share the festivities with them the Sunday before Fat Tuesday. We were overjoyed to be able to spend it with them and Dalton is just so tickled to spend such a fun day with their kids. And he is sooooo hoping for a chance to slide down the pole at the fire station like the firefighters do. And the big kicker....are you ready for this?.....there is a bathroom there for us to use. We won't have to stand in extremely long lines to use the wonderful (okay, I'm being facetious) Port-O-Lets along the route. Yuck! Those things never have toilet paper and how in the heck are you supposed to bring a kid in there and expect them to not touch anything?? And when you're partying and drinking a lot of beer, the bathroom visits become more frequent, so it ends up not being so fun while you're waiting to use the facilities and the floats are rolling by. The forecast calls for some rain on Sunday, but you all know a little rain never stopped New Orleanians from throwing a good party. You're not gonna stop us that easily. There will be three day-parades on Sunday with the big bang, Bacchus, that night. Val Kilmer will reign as King this year. I'll try to get some good pics of him, but don't get excited, I'm sure he won't be showing any body parts. So, with 4 parades in one day, starting at around 11:00am and wrapping up at around 10:00pm that night, I think Dalton will get his fill. We'll spend the night and head home the next day after stopping for beignets, of course. Dalton loves them beignets.

Sooo, we're off for a big party this weekend in New Orleans and I'll fill you in on all the fun and some photos too when we get back.

And oh, Cathy R., rolling my house while I'm gone is not part of the Mardi Gras festivities.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

I'd love to hear memories of others from their parading days, so please leave comments.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Renewing Cricut Cutting Mats

I discovered a little trick on my own a couple of nights ago. I have really been using my Cricut ALOT, and of course it's just not as sticky as when I first got it. I ran it under cold water (afraid that hot water would melt the adhesive away) and used a soft toothbrush to pass on top of the sticky film to remove all the paper fibers. You see, it's the remnants of those little paper fibers that get left behind when you remove the paper from the mat that leaves the mat less sticky. After I finished brushing over the mat while under the cold water, I put the mat on a coat hanger (the little hole in the mat fits perfectly over the top of the coat hanger). I hung it to dry, and it was like new again. I've heard of others reapplying an adhesive, but I didn't find a need for it. Once all those little paper fibers were washed away, it was like new again. I hope this helps renew the life of your cutting mats!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cow vs. Cow

While searching for clip art, I came across this clip art image of a cow. I had to giggle as it closely resembles a photo I took recently of our very own cow. We call him Cookie, as in Oreo Cookie. He is long overdue for the butcher, as you can see. He's a pretty hefty one. The last cow we sent to slaughter dressed out at 500 lbs. That's a lot of meat. We figured the cost of what we paid for the calf initially and the cost to feed him over the course of a year, along with slaughter/package fees, it all averaged out to $1.38 per lb. That's pretty darn good, considering you cannot even buy ground meat for that price anymore. We ended up with steaks, roast, stew meat, sausage...you name it, we were set for quite some time. We also have a calf in line behind this one, but it will be quite some time before he (Tabasco) can go to slaughter. That's what I call him since Greg says he's a little spicy...as in his attitude. Greg tells us not to name them so that we don't get so attached, but we know when we get them what the intended purpose is. We give them a lot of love and attention in the meantime. Greg really enjoys raising the cows and like he says "We know what they ate". They are usually taken from their mothers about 1 day after birth. Greg bottle feeds them for about 4 months. That's twice a day, and believe me, they will not let you forget they need a bottle. After that he grain-feeds them up until about a year old. This one is older than a year. He made 1 on the same day that Dalton made 9. Yep, he was born on Dalton's birthday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Egg-stra Special Easter Egg Cards

I had an idea in my head...I wanted to make Easter Egg Cards for a handful of very special people in my life.

I discovered that if I cut out the oval shape with the mirror feature on my Cricut, that it would turn out to be an egg shaped card. I then wanted to decorate it with bright colored flowers...so I went to cutting more on the Cricut and used the George cartridge to cut the flowers. I cut the zig zag lines with my large zig-zag scissors. I also recut everything with black cardstock to shadow each piece. I thought this would make it all stand out so well. I used stickles for the centers of the flowers.

Hope you Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Birthday Party

Sara, our neice and godchild, celebrated her 11th birthday on Saturday. Yes, on Valentine's Day!! She came into this world on that day and stole the hearts of many. You see, she was the 2nd child of my sister Liz; her first child was born 17 years prior. So she was a great blessing that came later in life. She was also the first granddaughter in the family, after 4 little grandsons blessed my parents many years ago. I was there in the delivery room for Sara's birth - - and I can't even explain how wonderful it is to experience the miracle of birth first hand (well, second hand, i guess - -since I was not the one actually delivering). hehe. My sister's husband was overseas at the time and she asked me to be with her throughout the delivery. That was a very special request since at the time I have been trying very long to have a baby of my own and had no success at that point. My sister wondered if I'd ever have the chance to experience childbirth, therefore, she wanted to share her experience with me every step of the way. And that really meant a lot to me. It was really amazing though because little did we know at the time that 18 months later I would finally be blessed with a little bundle of joy of my own.

Sara decided that she wanted her aunts and two other special ladies to be a part of her party. She decided to have a 'spa party'. It really went over well. She had us set up at stations to pamper the girls: hair, nails, massages...they also had time in the hot tub and had a special meal with china and all. Well this is where my little bundle of joy comes in....he played the butler/server at the party, since he really wanted to be there but knew it was a girly party - - no manicure for him! He was dressed to play the part and did a wonderful job at it. We all had cups at our stations for the girls to put rose petals in which served as tips. Those with the most tips in the end, won a prize. Well, lo and behold, the butler did it!!! He was the hit of the party! The girls swooned around him as he treated them like royalty. In one pic here, you'll see him doing a little jig as he watched the girls fill up his tip cup. And you'll see a pic of him with the birthday girl, holding his tip cup, well, "tip bowl". He had to upgrade since he had so many tips. You'll also see him serving the girls their meals and bringing them drinks while they were in the hot tub. My sister Liz played a fortune-teller (pretend fortune-teller, that is) to all the party-goers . They were all tickled with their happy fortunes. They also played a special game..."Pin the lips on Edward". That's Edward Cullen from the movie Twilight...all the girls are wild about him. Sara's big brother gave her a poster of Edward to her as a gift for her birthday. We tricked Sara when it was her turn and she was blindfolded, and we put Dalton in Edwards place. It was a lot of fun!

Happy 11th Birthday Sara and we all love you and were so pleased to be a part of your very special party. Thanks!!

(remember, you can can click on the pics to see them larger).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My "Little Man"...

Gosh, its seems just like yesterday when I brought Dalton home from the hospital at just 3 days old and a whopping 5 lbs. 14 oz. Where has the time gone??? He is now 9 years old and in the 4th grade. I remember the times I would say, "Gosh, I can't wait till he starts crawling...I can't wait til he starts walking...I can't wait til he starts talking..."

Those times are long gone...if only now I could slow things down a little.

Links have been corrected

Thanks for your patience...I'm still in that learning curve.

Sorry, for the bad links

I'm working on figuring out what I am doing wrong with the bad links here. As soon as I figure it out, I will let you know. Sorry about that.

Portrait Photography - Corrected Link

Here are some helpful but quick and easy tips for taking portrait photography. Those little things really make a difference.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Paper Piecing Patterns - Corrected Link

There's still time to get those Valentine's cards done. Here's a few paper piecing patterns I came across for Valentine's Day. They look like a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy!



Here we go....Monday again! I don't have anything scrapbooking-related to report today, other than I've now made 51 Easter cards for the troops for Patty's project. YAY!

Just thought I'd talk about what is going on in my neck of the woods...Dalton finished up with his last game of basketball on Saturday. Tonight we report to the baseball field for try-outs, and tomorrow night is the basketball banquet. I just love how all the seasons just weld together. haha. He is still staying busy with practice twice a week for the play "Charlotte's Web" that he will be in at school with the Little Theatre program. The play will be April 2nd. He will play two parts . . . a cow, and a farmer. I can pull together a farmer costume pretty quickly and easily, but a cow costume will take a little more work. I've searched a little online, but haven't had a whole lot of luck. I guess I need to get on the horn and narrow down my choices. He's really tickled about playing a cow. I think we surprise our family and friends with us city kids raising a couple of cows of our own. So the part went over real well.

Speaking of cows, Greg is staying busy taking care of all the animals on our little farm. Egg production is up and it seems we can't give them away fast enough. He has been preparing the soil to get ready for the planting of the vegetable garden. He has also been busy restoring his 66 Chevy Pick-up and is very close to getting it done. It is ready to paint now! He just has to decide on a color. Deer season is over...didn't have much luck this year, but thanks to our generous friends, we do have some deer meat in our freezer. (smile) The weather is getting nice now and we've been working in the yard getting all the leaves cleaned up. Whew!!! And, I said I love trees... hmmmm...didn't think about all the clean-up. But they sure are beautiful and provide lots of shade when green in the hot summer months. And Dalton sure loves to climb in them.

Dalton is doing great in school. He has managed to stay on the honor roll without much effort, but I remind him that it won't always be that easy. He is still participating in the Gifted and Talented program and managing to keep up with his regular assignments. He met his goal for the Accelerated Reading Program and as a result was able to participate in the field trip to USM College. That was a big hit! And he even came home with a photo of him with the Southern Miss cheerleaders. He told me, "Mom, Dad is going to be jealous when he see this". He keeps us in stitches. He's such a little comedian. I try to reward him for his outstanding abilities and hard work without spoiling him too much. To the left you'll see him playing with his "Super Shot" over-the-door basketball goal set that I rewarded him with. It costs me a whopping $3.00. And let me tell you that is probably the best $3.00 I ever spent. Both he and Greg have had loads of fun playing this in the den. Sometimes I clench my teeth, hoping that nothing gets broken.

As for me, just the same old routine, work, work, work. Greg has been on me to get back into the oil painting, but these days I've been looking for quick little jobs. I guess that's why the greeting cards have sparked my attention. I can really get a lot made in a small amount of time. The weather is getting nicer and I'll be spending more time outside in the garden and just hanging out with the boys on the 4-wheelers and such. I'm not a winter person and I do not like cold weather. I'll be glad when it is over with!!!

Well, that's it for now. I'll be thinking of some goodies to share with you all.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Puppy Cards


Today, I'll share with you some puppy cards that I made using my Cricut Paper Pups cartridge. You see, this was a freebie cartridge that I received back in December when Cricut had the 'buy two, get one free' special. However, there was a little trick to it...you only had 8 choices for your freebie cartridge and you had to number all 8 in the order of importance to you. So you knew that you would receive one of the cartridges but just not sure exactly which one. Well, that's when I received the Paper Pups. There were others I would have preferred, but I was overall pleased with this one. There really are many other uses with it besides just the puppies. But I decided to explore to find more uses of the puppies. After searching around online, I finally came up with these ideas. They were really fun cards to make. The only thing these are lacking is a final touch with a 'sentiment' stamp on the front and on the inside. I chose to wait to stamp them right before sending them out depending on what the occasion may be. To get the rough white edge, I scuffed up the edges of my white-cored patterned paper with an emory board (for filing fingernails).On some, I used the rolly-polly eyes which really made them comical and even more fun.

Now I'll confess...I was planning on sharing with you more Easter cards that I made last night for the troops, but............ Ok, let me tell you what happened. First, let me say that I only have 'dial-up' internet service at home. Now, that is not because of the 'cheapo' in me, it's merely because I have no other choice with living out here in the woods. That is the only thing that is available. Believe me, I would splurge and pay more for internet service if I had that option, because 'dial-up' can DRIVE ME NUTS, at times. Well 'dial-up' cannot handle the upload of images to my blog, so I email them to my work...then proceed the next morning. Well, I got in to work this morning and checked my email and for some reason the Easter cards images were not there. Sooooo, you'll just have to see them at a later post.

Happy Friday to all!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Using a Xyron refill without the dispenser....

Okay, it's the Frugal Scrapper again! I picked up some Xyron refills on clearance some time ago for like $1.50 each because I remembered hearing that you can use them without the dispenser. Well I never could figure it out on my own, so today I searched and found the following blog that explains how to use them. I understand there is a lot of waste when using the dispenser. It seems the dispenser would take up a lot off space anyway. Hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Family

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cheap version of an embossing heat gun....

Okay, we all know I'm the Queen of Cheapo! I shop the clearance racks and sales. I have been itching to get into embossing. I put my brain to work and was thinking, hmmmm, what heat source can I use, to avoid having to purchase an embossing heat gun? Well, I've already been told that a blow dryer doesn't get hot enough and only blows the powder around. I ran my thoughts by Greg when he suggested the heat lamps in his shop that he uses for painting cars, etc. So I decided to give it a whirl. Well, what I thought was embossing powder, turned out only to be glitter which did not melt, as a result, the heat lamp only burned the glue off the paper and the glitter fell right off. So on Sunday, I took my 40% off coupon to Michael's in search of an embossing heat gun. Well, I still wasn't ready to pay that price and they didn't have any sets of embossing powders, so I just decided to wait and shop around more. I did however, buy one jar of black embossing powder. I searched all over the internet today for ideas as a heat source. I found where some said to use the burner on the stove-top, an iron, a light bulb, etc. And when I read the part about the toaster, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. What a perfect idea!!!! So tonight I came home and stamped a fleur de lis on gold paper with my one and only 'black' embossing powder. I depressed the button on the toaster and held my piece over the top where the heat escapes. Wah-lah!!!! It worked! It melted the embossing powder as it should and I had a perfectly embossed fleur de lis. Now the kicker is this....it takes more than just one push of the toaster button to heat the piece completely and my toaster will only allow me to depress the button once without at least one piece of bread in it. Each time after that I tried to depress the button, the toaster made a loud clicking noise and the button was trying to kick back up. So the moral of the story is...I can save my money on buying a heat gun, but I guess I'll only be embossing when I'm in the mood to eats lots and lots of toast bread!!!! lol.

Easter Cards

I've been busy, busy, busy making Easter cards for the troops. Patty's project with sending cards to the troops for the holidays so that they will have cards to send to their loved ones has really been a hit. And it only gets better and better. With each holiday, the number of cards have increased. YAY! If anyone out there is interested in participating, just let me know. I've really had a lot of fun with the Easter cards, and I believe I get a little better with each one. Take a peek at some of the cards I've made so far. I have 30 done in all, but plan to do more!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bargain Find

I was itching today to go out shopping for scrapbooking supplies - - it's been awhile. And the Big Lots 20% off total purchase coupon and the 40% off one item Micheal's coupon was just burning a hole in my hand. I was very surprised to see that Big Lots has increased their scrapbooking aisle. The last few times I went, it seemed they had less and less. I found a few good deals there and that coupon made them even better deals. haha. I wanted to share one item in particular with you all. It's the Fiskars Teeny Tiny Cassette Punch. I've always known Fiskars to be a good product. Some of you may not be familiar with this punch set. It comes with a punch handle and has 4 interchangeable dies with it. Well, lo and behold, they had a set called "Farm Friends". Well with my little farm out here I just had to get it. It can punch a cow, a horse, a rooster, and a pig. Hmmmmmm....just might be a good idea for my Christmas cards this year..."Country Wishes". To the left you'll see a pic of the product along with a close up of the 4 different dies included in this set. Also, I took a pic of the back of the package to show you what other sets are available. Oh, the best part, it only cost me $3.00!!! I can't wait to use it. I'll let you know what I think.

P.S. Happy Birthday my friend, Laura - -hope you had a wonderful day.