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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Letterboxing

If you've never heard of letterboxing it combines hiking, nature walks, puzzle solving, treasure hunting, learning history, following clues, figuring out mysteries and stamping and creating memories. It is believed to have started in 1854 when James Perrot left a calling card in a glass bottle at Cranmere Pool, Dartmoor England and invited friends to find it. Now boxes tend to be made of durable plastic. Inside is the prize... a miniature piece of art, a rubber stamp, often unique and hand-carved. Letterboxers stamp their discoveries in a personal journal, then use their own rubber stamp, called a signature stamp, by stamping it into the logbook found with the letterbox.

We set out on some trails, following the hints and deciphering clues. We got to enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings. Can you see the special visitor that crossed our path in the photo below?Sometimes we have to use a compass, sometimes we are challenged to know our tree species, sometimes we need to measure our paces. And then you end up at the site. Can you guess where it is in the photo below?
If you guessed under the Suspicious Pile Of Rocks (SPOR), then you are right!


Here we are (above) stamping the log book in the letterbox with our stamp and collecting their stamp in our log book.

Then we re-pack the box and re-hide it for the next letterboxers to come along and discover it. And we hike our way back out and on to the next adventure!

All Tied Up

Enjoying some much needed vacation time!! Our cousin is staying with us and we are doing lots of fun stuff. The boys made tie-dye shirts. They came out pretty cool, didn't they?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thank You Berry Much



Made a little gift set for my sons bus driver and bus aide. I made some homemade strawberry jams from our home grown berries. Then I crafted the card, jar lid and band decorations as well as the little treat bags to carry them in. These ladies have been the kindest, most caring people and have really been a help for my son. They've seen me picking the berries in the mornings and have drooled over them. I'm hoping they'll enjoy this little gift.

It was fun making it all too! I used the nestabilities dies and a Fiskar punch for the circles, the threading water punch for the scallop edge on the card. The berries and berry patterned paper are from digi stash. I Stickled the berries to give them a little bling!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baby Robins!

Decided I would keep adding the updates on the baby robins to this one post.
Right near our berry patch is a blue spruce pine tree and in it is a Robin's nest. Momma bird is not happy when I go out to pick the berries. I've been peeking in on her babies. The first of 3 hatched on the morning of June 2. By the time I got home from work and could take a photo, all 3 were hatched.

I'll try to post photos each day so you can watch their development too. So check back to see how they are growing!

Wondering where the photo for "Day 4" is? It was such a rainy and busy day, I was not able to get a photo! So we jump ahead to day 5. Look how cute they are! They've got their eyes opened now!
Oh my, those babies are so hungry!

I've been wondering how long it might be before they leave the nest. So I've been doing some reading.

Both the mom & dad Robin help to build the nest. The dad typically picks the location while the mom does most of the building. It can take 2 to 6 days to build the nest.

The mom Robin lays one egg a day until she has 3-4 eggs. In our nest there were 3 eggs. Then she incubates them. She sits on them about 50 minutes out of every hour! Wow!

The nestling phase lasts about 9 to 16 days. During this time the mom & dad take turns feeding the babies. This is the phase that these babies are in.

The fledgling phase lasts up to 4 weeks. During this time the dad does most of the feeding. The mom, may be on her way to building the next nest for her second brood! Busy lady!

Update: Day 7
.... look at their little faces!
Yes - all 3 birds are still there. Here's a shot with the third bird. You can just make it out in the bottom of the nest.


Day 8 & 9 were much too rainy to get a photo. On Day 10, I was able to get out int he evening to get a photo of the three babies. They are so big now that they barely fit in the nest! You can just see the third beak peaking up from under the other two!

The very next morning, I went out to check on the babies, and they were gone! All that is left is the empty nest.

Bye Bye Birdies!

Berries!

This is today's harvest from the berry patch! Mmm, yummy. I'm gonna be washing them up and making some jam! A few years ago I planted a few strawberry plants in the landscape bed on our yard. And those plants have taken off.

We've only got a small patch where they can grow, but they yield quite a bit. Last year I had enough berries to enjoy smoothies, make jam and freeze several bags of the little red beauties! In fact one day I picked so many berries I decided I had to weigh them. There were 21 pounds of berries from just that one day!

I'm looking forward to some toast with fresh homemade jam!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gonna Miss This

When you are up in the middle of the night with a fussy baby for the nine-millionth night in a row, you find yourself just wishing this would pass. Wishing that you could get a bit of sleep. Yet also enjoying that cozy feeling of being so close to your child. That bond of true and deep commitment. Unconditional love.

So many things in life come and go, fly by so quickly. If only we could stop time for just a little bit. So we could spend a little bit more time enjoying the moment. There are so many times I reflect on the boys lives, especially at their birthdays. As they grow, it's as if they become a new person. I enjoy discovering the person they are becoming, and I miss so much of where they have been. I wish I could capture them at each age and save them to cherish again and again. Probably one of the reasons I love to scrapbook!

I made this 2 page layout to reflect these feelings. Didn't have good lighting to take a photo of them and it's not the greatest scan. I still hope you enjoy it. I used the song title and lyrics from Trace Adkins "You're Gonna Miss This".

On the journal note I put the chorus to the song "You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast. These are some good times, so take a good look around, you may not know it now, but you're gonna miss this"

The larger red heart pulls out to reveal some hidden journaling which reads: "This is a message to me. I do miss “this”. I miss the fun of watching you each discover. I miss you being so young that you depended on me for so much. I miss feeding you, bathing you, playing outside, walks in the park, visiting the construction site, Blue's Clue's, Barney, Sesame Street, Bill Nye the Science Guy. I miss endless nights of no sleep... well, maybe I don't miss that. But I do miss holding you close and rocking you to sleep, chasing the monsters away, helping you feel better, kissing your boo-boo's. I miss building with Legos & K'nex. I miss getting you dressed, and long talks as I tuck you in at night. I miss holding your hand. I love watching you grow and I'm proud of what you are becoming. But letting go is bittersweet."

I'm gonna go hug my kids now!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cupcake anyone?


Made these "sweeties" yesterday. Don't they look yummy? They may not be edible, but they do hold a special treat.... a gift card!! Super cute way to delivery a little gift for a birthday, shower, anniversary, a special thank you. I'm going to make a few as teacher thank you gifts.

The best part about cupcakes is sharing them.... Want to know how to make these? I'm gonna share the how-to! I like to have a materials list and directions. So I've created those here for you.

You will need:
  • chipboard large enough to cut a 6" circle
  • 3" Styrofoam ball
  • 2 strips of Patterned Paper cut 2"x12" (I used heavy printed cardstock)
  • Scoring tool
  • Foam Glue Dots
  • 1 strip Plain color cardstock cut 1"x12"
  • 2 colors 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
  • sewing needle and thread
  • at least 8 medium paper flowers of one color and 1 white paper flower
  • 1 strip White Cardstock cut 1"x12"
  • Wooden bead
  • Red paint
  • Glitter
  • Small Red Brad
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Small binder clip
  • Gift Card (credit card type)



  1. Mark the chipboard with a 6" circle (cut at this size too) and a 2" circle in the center of that. (see photo)
  2. Score the 2" circle
  3. Make several cuts from the outside of the 6" circle in to the edge of the 2" circle
  4. Fold the chipboard up along the scored 2" center circle.
  5. Place the Styrofoam ball in the center, hold with a rubber band. Hot glue the chipboard (not the ball).
  6. Score the 2 2x12" strips of patterned paper at 1/4" and accordion fold (see photo). Glue the ends of the 2 strips together and create a circle. Place around the chipboard base and hot glue the bottom and then the top in place.
  7. Remove the Styrofoam ball and cut in half (a serrated bread knife works well).
  8. Lay the gift card on the flat side of one of the halves to mark it's place. Put foam glue dots on the ball at the sides of the gift card to leave room for the card to slide in and out. Place the other ball half on top to glue together.
  9. Hot glue the ball into the cup base. Make sure that the gift card will remain straight up.
  10. Measure enough of the first grosgrain ribbon to go 4 times around the cupcake. Gather the ribbon using the needle and thread (see photo). Create a circle and hot glue to the cupcake using a toothpick or other tool to push it down slightly between the cupcake paper and the ball. Using your fingers is not a good idea as the hot glue will burn (believe me, I know!)
  11. Cut the 8 flowers in half. Hot glue 2 layers of the flowers to the ball.
  12. Take the 1x12" strip of plain cardstock (I used brown) and spray it with water. Once it is wet, accordion fold and crush it. Form it around the cupcake above the flowers and let it dry a bit before you hot glue it in place.
  13. Use the 2nd ribbon color to create another gathered circle as the next layer. Use the same technique with the needle and thread to gather it. Hot glue in place.
  14. Cut the white flower in half. Hot glue it to the very top of the ball lining up the edges with the opening for the gift card.
  15. Use care as you layer the top of the cupcake to not block the ability to slide the gift card in and out.
  16. Create the cherry by painting the wooden bead red. Glue a small brad into the top hole to cover it. Sprinkle with glitter.
  17. Hot glue the bead to the top of a small binder clip (with metal hinges up).
  18. Using the wet cardstock technique, create "whipped cream" using the 1x12" white cardstock strip. Hot glue to the binder clip to hide (most of) the metal hinges that are raised up around the bead.
  19. Slide the gift card into the bottom of the binder clip and place in the cupcake.
  20. Use a small paint brush to place glue on the cupcake and sprinkle with glitter (if desired).
  21. Place small (white) brads among the flower layers (if desired).










There is a great video if you like to learn by watching someone else. You can find it here. Thanks to Tresa Black (aka "The Stamp Goddess").
 
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