Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Items in THE COUNTRY LIFE Shop

I have added some new items in my Etsy Shop. Click HERE to check them out! Any feedback would be appreciated. I did have my first sale! Hooray!
I will be adding more in the weeks to come. Keep checking back!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Prepare to be amazed, you are going on an ice fishing trip, to the great Lake Champlain!! Make sure you dress warm, that wind really whips, and we don't have a shanty!
The Pastor from town took Cody, and a bunch of neighbor kids that go to Clubhouse at church, to Lake Champlain Saturday afternoon, to do a bit of ice fishing. Some of the parents decided to tag along, too--I know, I KNOW!! I went outside! I came out of hibernation just long enough to soak in some of that not so warm but delightful sunshine!
This is a picture of the bait. Giant maggots! NICE!! One of the boys actually ate one on the way down, but it wasn't Cody!! YUCK!! The perch love them, though!
Here is Peter with the ice auger. A much quicker way to drill a hole than a hand cranked auger! I caught this photo just as he hit water. The ice was over 2 feet thick!
Here it is, in all it's glory. Everyone grabs a bucket or chair, and sits over their hole. And waits....Not my kind of fun. Unless someone is sitting down below constantly hooking fish on my line, this takes too long!!
Here's Pete and Cody grubbing their hooks. Look how tall Cody is getting! Peter and I are both 5'11" so Cody is catching up quick! He is taller than both of his Grandmothers now!
This is my best friend Judy. We live down the road from each other. She also is my hairdresser. Our boys have grown up together, and go to school together. Cody and her oldest are in the same class at school! She is such a blessing, and a picture taking freak just like me! She, unlike me, loves to be outside! I think she is ready for spring, though. Even SHE has had enough of winter!!
Here is Richard, our neighbor. He caught the most perch on this trip. This hole was magic!
Here, you can see the breakwater in the foreground, and WAAYYY back in the distance is Mount Mansfield in Vermont. The mountains were just beautiful with all the snow. Some of them, like this large one, have snow all year round sometimes!
This is the village of Rouses Point, with ice shanties in the foreground. You can see the roads out on the ice where people drive out and drop of their shanties, or park and fish. There weren't many out today, sometimes it looks like a small village out on the ice!
Here you can see the bridge that joins Rouses Point, NY and Alburg, VT. There is one more bridge down toward the South, and there are ferries that go across the Lake. We usually take the bridge across.
Cody trying to stay warm on his makeshift seat! He does have a seat heater to help!!
A very rare pic of Peter and I!! That is me under there!! Judy is always good about getting photos of everyone!!
Judy and I took MANY walks around the area to stay warm and get some exercise. We were carrying around an extra 20 pounds in clothes and boots, so we really had to work! We walked around the ice roads, and out to the end of the breakwater. This is a pic of all the boys in one spot on the end of the breakwater!
Peter and Judy's hubby Timmy (my cousin!) thinking that it was time to go. They had had enough!
This is the gorgeous sunset that I caught, just before we packed up to go home. It is perfect!
Cody did catch one fish. And NO he didn't eat it. Contrary to what he would like you all to believe!!
Me and the Codester!
Walking back across the ice to land!!
As you can see, if you don't like the cold, this is not for you. It probably hit 20 degrees out there. But it was windy, so I put it around 15 degrees. Staying active it the key! You can't sit still! I didn't actually fish, but I am glad I went, it was a fun experience! I hope you enjoyed your ice fishing trip!
Today I am back to work and Cody is back to school after a week off. I gotta say, it was a 95% terrible week. We were both sick most of the time, and we missed out on so much! We also got some really bad news regarding Cody and his orthodonics. I ask you all to please keep our family in prayer while we wade through this mess and make some pretty heavy decisions. I will be getting on the phone this morning to start making calls to oral surgeons.
Have a great Monday, and thanks for visiting!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cody and Bea

Good morning, everyone! Here we are, still in the midst of winter break, and can you believe, it is snowing? Ugh...I am so sick of winter. I am sick of tiny puddles of water on the kitchen floor when someone "forgets" and I use that term VERY loosely, to take their boots off, when they, frankly, are just too lazy and refuse to do it! There is nothing like putting a fresh pair of socks on and then stepping in a puddle. I am sick of the constant mess of the wood stove and the pile of wood next to it. I am sick of wearing socks and shoes. I am sick of drying clothes by the stove cause I can't use my clothesline. I am sick of the HUGE pile of winter clothes and boots that takes up residence in my kitchen all winter. Get my drift? Cody seems to have recovered nearly 100 % from his cold last week. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to shake it! It had not gotten any worse, but not any better, either. Sore throat, a rattle in my chest, tired, aches and pains, just all around yuck. What a nice vacation!! We did manage to get to the movies on Tuesday afternoon, and went out to lunch at Friendly's. We rarely do that, as it is so far away, and we are trying not to be too spendy, but I had a bit of extra money, so I took Cody and his friend to lunch and to see Paul Blart Mall Cop, which was SO FUNNY! The whole theater laughed through most of the film. If you are feeling down in the dumps, it will lift your spirits!
I went and visited Global Sugar Arts, {{click here}} while I was in Plattsburgh. It is amazing! I have always liked to look at the site, and have been trying to get to the store for quite a while. It is amazing, and VERY overwhelming! I walked in and they asked me what they could help me with. I said--"All I need is some shamrock sprinkles, please??!!" and they showed me the way. A person could spend HOURS looking at all the stuff in that store!! It was quite an experience! Since then I have been laying low, Cody is bored out of his mind, of course, and I can't even walk on the treadmill cause it is so hard to breathe! What a bummer. I hope things start to look up soon. I recently finished this layout, it had been half done for a while, but I finally finished it! The photo is one I took of Cody and Bea on Thanksgiving Day, at my Mom's house. When I had such good luck with and Cody's christmas photos for my cards, I sent another order in. I applied a couple of borders to it, knowing it would look nice for a layout.
Here is what I used:
Cardstock-SU! Cranberry Crisp, Barely Banana, Certainly Celery, Basic Black, Soft Sky
Patterned Paper-My Mind's Eye
Chipboard--SU! and Scenic Route
Ribbon-SU! Certainly Celery Grosgrain
Rub Ons-Luxe Designs
Sticker-Cloud 9 Designs
Ink-Tim Holtz Distress Ink-Old Paper
Paint-acrylic craft paint
Some of the chipboard was painted and sanded, other pieces were covered in paper, then cut out and sanded. Everything was distressed lightly with the Old Paper ink pad. The Oval is a rub on, and the sentiment inside is a clear sticker.
I hope you are having a good week, and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Wrap-Up!!

Here is a huge mishmash of photographs from my Valentine's Day! I have to say, I was a very spoiled gal this year. I got MANY actual Valentine's, from all the special people in my life!! I grouped them in sets for the photographs, as I would like to keep my sanity with this lovely dial up!
These first two are from my friend Judy and my Mama! They are just gorgeous! Judy also sent me some treats that you will see below, and my Mom used the coolest mulberry cardstock with tiny hearts embedded in it!

These next two are the ones I made for Cody (top) and Peter (bottom). I actually made them a while ago, for Buzz and Bloom, and tucked them away until the Holiday arrived!
Here is the next grouping. Top left is from my buddy Brenna! This is her first card ever-she is a scrapbooker, and finally decided to take the leap! I love that is has my name on it, cause I NEVER find anything with my name spelled correctly!! Top right is a little card that my dear baby boy lifted off my card rack! In his defense, after he took it and hid it, he did come to me and ask me if it was okay that he did it. Bottom right is the card my lovely hubby gave me. He did buy it, but pointed out the fact that is WAS homemade looking, and I reassured him that it was indeed homemade paper. It had a lovely verse inside!! Bottom right is my Valentine from my daycare girls and their parents. Morgan, Reanna, Emily and Randy! It came with some Kissables, too!
These next two are from my best buddy Peg (I drew her to the dark side a few years ago, Buwahahahahah!!), hers is on the top, with my favorite set that I like to borrow, Loads of Love, and the cuttlebug embossed background, and the bottom on is from an online friend of many years now, Linda! Hers has some intricate handiwork, and a felted heart ornament that is detachable!!

Last but certainly not least, as you can see from the empty chocolate wrappers, is the cute "candy wallet" that Judy sent me. You can visit her blog at . This lovely was made with die cuts from the SU! Bigshot collection, and filled with lovely candies! Hit they spot, they did!!
This is the little gal that came to live at my house yesterday. I have collected Boyd's Bears for about 10 years now. The longer time goes by, they fewer I have collected. I love them all, decorated with them-not CRAZY all over the place bears, but just one here or there. They are each very meaningful and special to me! ANYWAY, my hubby got this little lady with a knit sweater for Valentine's Day! She is very sweet. She brought me a pretty pair of earrings, too!

This is what else she brought me. A diamond heart pendant! I have been eyeing the heart shaped and circle shaped pendants like this for quite a while, and am not a HUGE jewelry person, but this fits me perfectly. Simple, understated! I am a very blessed wife!!
So that ties up our Valentine's Day! It was a wonderful day. I wrapped it up, half sick, with a pizza supper, and hot fudge pudding cake. Peter's Fave! I didn't get a photo, unfortunately! I will post the recipe below, though. We also watched The Dark Knight. I was quite apprehensive, but I am glad I watched it. I am a very tender person, and knowing that Heath Ledger is no longer with us is heartbreaking. BUT WHAT A PERFORMANCE!! I see now why is was nominated for an Oscar. I am not a big follower of the Academy Awards, but MAN I hope he wins!!

Here is the recipe::
(It is a Hershey's recipe)
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
1 1 / 4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup flour
7 tablespoon cocoa, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 / 4 teaspoon salt
1 / 2 cup milk
1 / 3 cup margarine, melted
1 1 / 2 teaspoons vanilla
1 / 2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/ 4 cups hot water
Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl. Stir together 3 / 4 cup sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour batter into 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Stir together remaining 1 /2 cup sugar, brown sugar and remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour water over top. DO NOT STIR. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 15 minutes; spoon into dessert dishes. Spoon sauce from bottom of pan over top of cake. Serve warm with whipped topping, or VANILLA ICE CREAM!! if desired.

We are on vaca this week. Winter break!! Thank you Lord! Have a blessed week-I have a fresh layout to share very soon!!

And the Winner Is....

Michelle!! I will get it right out to you, girlie!
And to answer Andi's question on foundation, my favorite one is from Cover Girl. It comes in a tube, and it is moisturizer and foundation in one. Is has a great texture. You can see it if you click here.
I will be back later today to post my lovely Valentine's Day re-cap!
Thanks for all the well wishes. Cody is back to his possessed self, and I am slowly improving. The good news is, it never settled into my sinuses, only my chest. I made it through the night without coughing, which was great!
Congrats to Michelle, and you HAVE to let us know what you think when you get it! (only if it is good, though!)
Look forward to more favorites coming soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

Happy Friday Morning, everyone! Just in case I am more sick tomorrow than I am today, I thought I would get this up and posted NOW instead of waiting! These are pics of the Valentines I made for my lovees, and the towels I made for my dear friend Judy. She drives Cody to school most days and I like to do something special for her on Holidays. I USUALLY make her chocolate covered potato chips, but since she is doing Weight Watchers, I was warned to not make her any sweets!
I made a dozen cards this year, three different designs, and several different patterns of paper. I printed the vintage photos off the internet, and cut them, and the whole card out, using Nestabilities dies in my Cuttlebug.
The postage cancellation stamp is from Purple Onion Designs, as are all the sentiment stamps that I stamped on the photos. Ink pad is Red Staz On. The rhinestones are Martha Stewart adhesive backed.
The finished size is about 4.25 x4.25"

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Now, this is the grand idea I had for my friend Judy. I wanted to crochet edging on towels for Valentine's Day, for her kitchen. I got a pack of 4 towels at Walmart. 2 red and 2 white. Lisa Renea found me this fairly simple pattern for edging, and after some guidance from the gals at 2peas Leisure board, I figured out how to crochet the edging directly ON the towel's edge. I did a blanket stitch on the inside edges of the towels, then crocheted onto that. It turned out pretty good for my first time! She *LOVED* them, so that was the main thing! I also made her a pink and white dishcloth, and a red pot scrubber, to complete the set. I have been making the scrubbers for a while, but recently changed my "formula" and now they are even better. More sturdy, prettier, etc. I crochet them with one strip of nylon mesh, and one strand of plastic canvas yarn, which is VERY rough yarn. I also stuck in a box of 10 calorie Oreo Cakesters for her to munch on. They are SO GOOD!

So, there you have it! My daycare kids all leave at noon today, and Cody is gone to Vermont on a field trip til 4, so I am headed to town to find him a Valentine's Day present. I am also going to get some stuff for a Valentine's Day pizza supper tomorrow, and probably something sweet for dessert! Thanks for all the well wishes, Cody is doing much better, and only missed that one day of school. I am under the weather, but not enough to keep me down. Mamas can't be sick!!
Have a great day!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Keri's Favorite Things

I have decided to start a new feature on my blog! This is not going to have a definite schedule, b/c I don't do well with those! I want to share little tidbits of my life that make it easier, or better. You know, the ONE thing you have to buy name brand at the grocery store, or the one thing that ALWAYS gets the dirt stain off the knees of your son's jeans. Things I love, things I depend on, things I could never do without. Sometimes there will be a give away of the item, sometimes it will just be a showcase.
Today, I am starting off with a give away! After the showcase, follow my instructions at the bottom, to try to win your very own!


I have a HUGE LOVE for mascara. I don't know when it happened, probably a year or two ago, but I think once I found the right mascara, that is all it took. I am a huge proponent of "the more the better" although I am sure not everyone agrees when the see me? I have tried SO MANY mascaras-let me tell you first off that price is definitely a consideration with me, as I tend to be a bit of a tightwad when it comes to cosmetics! I have had a favorite mascara for about a year now. And have recently discovered a second one that is a VERY CLOSE second.
My all time favorite mascara is SUPER SHOCK from AVON!

This is THE BEST mascara I have ever used. Bar NONE! It has one of the new rubber brushes, which is way better than the old bristle brush variety. And, it comes is brown! Many times it is hard to find brown. There isn't a huge difference in brown and black, but I prefer brown. My Avon gal works at the mom and pop store in town, so it makes it really easy to get my favorite! It retails for 8.50, but you can often get a special deal on it, if you watch the sales. I have not paid full price for one yet! It makes your eyelashes so long and beautiful, without clumps!

Now, here is the close second:
Cover Girl Exact Eyelights for Blue Eyes

I was a bit skeptical about this mascara, but it had the rubber brush, so I decided to give it a try. I got it back before Christmas, and wore it off and on, keeping in mind that I do daycare, and don't put on makeup unless I leave the house. Which a lot of times doesn't happen for 3 or 4 days at a time! I wasn't sure it would work, I couldn't see a HUGE difference, although I could see the slight blue tint in the mascara depending on the lighting. Then one day about 3 weeks ago, I got ready to leave the house while my daycare kids were still here, so I could leave as soon as they did. My little boy's Mom came and I was standing there talking to her, and I could tell she was looking at me funny. Like EXAMINING me. Finally she said "YOUR EYES LOOK SO BLUE!! What did you DO!??" BINGO!! Two thumbs up! I think I paid $5.99 at Wal-Mart for this mascara, and I *LOVE* it! It works!! Try it and if you do, let me know your experience!

SO, now to the give away. I have a brand new, unopened BROWN in color AVON SUPER SHOCK MASCARA waiting to go to a new home!

If you are interested in this mascara, post a comment to this post, answering the following question. Posting will close Saturday. Drawing will occur Sunday.

"What special event did I plan for Cody's last birthday?"

A winner will be chosen randomly from the commenters with the correct answer.

Good luck!

**As side note, sickness is slowly overtaking the house! My daycare kids are sick, my Mom and Daddy have been sick, and now Cody is sick. It seems to be a really cruddy cold. Everyone seems to have the same thing. I can feel it slowly creeping up on me, but I hope I can make it til the weekend before it hits me! Off to drink some OJ!**

Have a great day


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Long Lost Christmas Gifts...

I recently realized that I neglected to post two of the gifts I made for people, for Christmas! I always like to wait, so I don't spoil the surprise if the recipient reads my blog, then I sometimes forget. So, this is a REALLY late Christmas post.
The first item is an artist's portfolio I made for my Secret Sister, Annie. She likes to sketch and draw, and I thought this would be nice for her to tuck into her bag and take to work, vacation or lunch breaks! It is made out of a single fabric placemat. I folded the bottom edge up and ironed it to get a good crease. I sewed the edges closed to make 2 pockets. I also sewed up the center, and at intervals along the left pocket to make spaces for different sketch pencils. I finished it off with a wide grosgrain ribbon sewed to the outside, to function as a tie to keep everything closed. I tucked a small sketch pad in the right side pocket!



The second item I made was an altered notebook (aka brain in a book) for my buddy Brenna. (See profile pic)..She is in her last semester of college in the great and ice encrusted state of Kentucky! I thought she could use something like this to keep everything straight. I have one that I use all the time. I put dividers in it and use each section for something different. To-do lists, party or get together plans, wish lists, passwords, etc. It is never far away from me! I used Martha Stewart paper from Walmart-I love the green, blue, and yellow combo. The large chipboard letter is Buzz and Bloom, I covered it with paper and sanded the edges. I then added her name in rub on letter on the chipboard letter. Embellished with some cute ribbons, tabs, and brads, and there we have it! I used the scalloped edge punch from SU!, and the spiral notebook punch from SU!. Both are must haves!


So, there are my last two Christmas creations. They are great gifts that are versatile. The notebook could be made in any color scheme and theme, and the portfolio is good for kiddos and grown ups!
Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Grand Reveal!

Neil finally came to get his hat! He lives 30 minutes away, so a week wasn't too bad! He was very pleased and excited with how it came out, and I even got a hug and an I Love You when he left. Made my day! Here he is with Cody, who is always ready for a photo, as you have learned if you are a regular visitor! You can't see if from here, but there is a pom pom hanging for a string down the back. I told him that when people start asking him where he got that brilliant hat to send them my way. So far, no one is knocking down doors. Oh, well. Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday! Spring teased us yesterday and went back into hiding this morning. Bummer..

Friday, February 06, 2009

How Many Dozen??

Good Friday Morning, everyone! Boy, am I beat. I am so glad it is almost the weekend! Cody recently decided to be in Spanish Club. Even though he does not even like Spanish. Typical kid, typical boy, and you will see where I am going with this in a minute. Apparently, there is a field trip next Friday. Over to Vermont to see the Flamenco (sp?) dancers at the Flynn Theatre. Well, that is reason enough to be in Spanish Club, right? Miss a whole day of school?! ALRIGHT! So if you wanted to go on the trip, you had to pay for your ticket, and make something for a bake sale (today) to help pay for the bus. She also requested that it had a Valentine feel to it, as the holiday is so close at hand. So when Mom and I went to town the other day, I picked up sprinkles, cello bags with hearts, and all kinds of baking supplies. I have been trying not to bake, so I hadn't bought any flour/sugar, etc. since the Holidays! I did a double batch of spritz cookies, in pink, and white, and I did a triple batch of sugar cookies, complete with royal icing and sprinkles. Cody did the sprinkles!
I think I made about 10 dozen cookies last night, at LEAST! I was so tired I was drooling. I finally got done, got them all packaged, and went to bed after 10 pm. I made 20 packages for the bake sale, and a special one for Cody's best school buddy, the nurse. Here is my recipe for sugar cookies. I have been using it for years, and it never fails! Always remember not to roll them out too thin!
Keri's Sugar Cookies:
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift in flour, b. powder and salt. Let chill until easy to work with. Roll out to a 1/4" thickness and bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes.
*I don't let them get brown at ALL. Not even a litte bit.*

Royal Icing (from Martha Stewart dot com)
2 cups conf. sugar
2 1/2 tblsp. meringue powder
1/4 cup water.
Blend well and add coloring if desired!


I used a zipper bag with the tip cut off, for the icing. I use an offset spatula to fill in the middle..Here is what the bake sale packaging looks like:
I used a cute punch with a Purple Onion Designs sentiment for the middle, and tied it with a pink ribbon. Purple Onion Link is in the sidebar!!


Here is the special treat for our friend, the nurse. I got this cute box at Michael's and loved it!! They have all kinds of prints for the holidays. I filled it with goodies and tied it with a huge grosgrain ribbon, and a sentiment tag.
Now all I have to do is make up a tray for tomorrow's SU! workshop!
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Couple New Creations!

Hello! I am here, just been hibernating a bit! The weather continues to be SO COLD but the sun has been out now and again, and temps are supposed to hit the high 30's this weekend! I am so excited!
I got the grand idea to try to crochet edgings on some dish towels as a gift that I wanted to give a dear friend. I picked up some towels yesteday, red and white as this is a Valentine's Day gift. I searched the net high and low, found some good instructions, consulted the experts (Lisa Renea and 2 peas) and this is what I came up with. This is a prototype, to try to find what works and what doesn't...I used one of my own kitchen towels for this trial run. Turned out pretty good! So now, I have to take the plunge and begin the real ones! I am excited about how the example turned out. I am like a crazy woman when I decide I want to "conquer" a new project. It drove me nuts til I figured out German paper stars. I sat for HOURS watching Youtube videos on dial up to learn how to crochet. Not to mention how many times I bugged people for help! Again last night, I was OBSESSED with figuring out how to do this on a towel. I couldn't stop or do anything else til I had figured it out. Then once I got it, the high was gone, and I went to bed! How stupid is THAT??
I also made another dish cloth. I know, I know...I can't help it! The yarn is so pretty, and they are so fun to make in front of the TV by the wood stove at night! This one is fairly simple, but is a really tight crochet, and I *Think* this is gonna be a good study one for dishes. I don't like the loose ones that stretch to twice their size after a few uses. This one actually alternates between a single crochet, and a double crochet, every other one. It looks really neat! I am getting WAY better at the single crochet edging, too.
Last but certainly not least, look at what I stumbled upon in a back corner of Wal Mart yesterday?! I am not a HUGE fan of expensive scrapbook albums. I know what I like, some post bound ones are okay, but I really like D-ring ones, too. What usually happens, is, that I get so many pages ahead, that they lay around in protectors for weeks/months before I buy a new album and fill it. I am never ahead of the game with albums. None of my albums match, they are all different, goofy, colorful, and whatever I liked at the time. While I was browsing the craft section yesterday at Walmart, in the very back corner, on an endcap, by the shoe department, I saw a whole bunch of these albums! They were all covered with dust, and looked like they had been lost in storage for years! I know, they are not pricey, but for $10.00 I love them! I do not spend a whole lot on albums. They had this black one, and a brown one, too. They have the cute buckle, and a handle! They are Provo Craft, and they have the cute luggage tag, and a storage zipper on the back side. I was so excited! I know these are probably old news, usually everything I discover is old news, but I LOVED them!
So that is it from the frozen North for a frigid Thursday morning. I have my Valentine's almost complete, but am hesitant to post them, as I do not want to spoil the surprise for anyone who looks at my blog! So I will probably hold off on those until THE day.

I am off to mix up a triple batch of sugar cookies, and a double batch of spritz cookies. Sweets are needed for Cody's bake sale tomorrow, and for a dear friend's SU! workshop on Saturday!
I will post my finish product!
Have a blessed day,

Sunday, February 01, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Time for Lisa Vollrath's Holiday Printables! Every day between now and Valentine's Day, she will be posting freebie printables with a Valentine theme HERE AT HER SITE. This is Linkware, so be sure to post a link somewhere before you download anything!!
I have cookies to make for a bake sale for Cody on Friday, so I need to get in the "heart" frame of mind, and quick, as the teacher has requested a Valentine theme!
Have a Blessed Sunday!