Friday, December 30, 2011

Where have I been?

BOY....this new year came crashing in at light speed. Looking back through my previous posts, I saw that it was February 15Th when I last posted something. WOW, that seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened since then.

Where have I been, what have I been doing you ask? Here's a glimpse.....It was right around February 14Th, when my phone rang and it was my Grandma. She said to me, "Kris, I'm getting married." Wait, what? Don't get me wrong, I loved the man she had been seeing. His name was Stan and he made her laugh. It was so nice to see her happy again.

It had been almost 10 years since my grandpa died, it was time that she "got out there". She said she wanted me to help her plan and cater her wedding. Something small she said, nothing fancy. Well, you know me I don't do ANYTHING small or SIMPLE. We quickly started making plans, doing up the invitations, etc.....then it all came to a crashing STOP.

The evening of April 1st, I got a phone call from Stan. He said he was at the emergency room with my grandma and that they thought she might be having a stroke. He said not to worry about coming up that he would call me as soon as he had more info. Well, later that night we found out that she was being moved to a different hospital and that they were running more "tests." It seemed like days but was actually hours when the phone rang and it was my aunt. She said that they had found two masses in her brain. It wasn't a stroke it was CANCER. "Does grandma know yet, I asked?" "No, we want you to be there with us when we tell her." I called my sister and we went straight up to the hospital. She was sitting up in bed, smiling and was happy at the news that she hadn't had a stroke. Little did she know that we were there to deliver the news that would change her life forever.

I held her hand and my uncle told her the news. We told her what the doctor's told us....she could fight it. It wasn't going to be easy, and she had a long road ahead of her, but......She could fight it! And that is exactly what she did. Life changed, and it changed quickly. Unfortunately her and Stan broke up. He had lost his wife of 60+ years a few years earlier to cancer and I think the thought of going through it again with my grandma proved to be too much for him. It wasn't long after they broke up that we quickly realized that my grandma was having more trouble than we had expected. She was going down hill quickly.

I became her main caregiver. I helped her with everything from showering to taking her to all of her appointments. It was a full time job on top of my 4 children, husband, catering company, church responsibilities, friends, etc..... I barely found enough time to keep my laundry washed and my floors from becoming a sticky mess let alone do anything crafty or write a blog!

On Monday, August 22ND at 12:10am my Grandmother Marjorie J. Rudd lost her fight with Brain Cancer. She was 79 years old. I had no idea at the time that her cancer would not only change her life forever, but also change mine.

She taught me so much in the 4 months of her battle with this horrible disease. She taught me to live with no regrets. She taught me to always make sure your family knows that you love them and most importantly that we serve an amazing GOD. Even though we are not perfect and we make mistakes.....we are FORGIVEN. Christ died on the cross so that we could have a clean slate, do-overs a second chance. It is NEVER too late to ask for forgiveness. She was brave to the very end and I am so thankful that I got to spend that time taking care of her.

The last several months without her have been hard. I often am reminded of her by a picture, a smell, a sound and I just smile. Life goes on, thankfully I have a very forgiving family. They have been amazing through this journey. But I will say they are happy to have "me" back. So....I will be slowly but surely getting back "into" crafting, thrifting, blogging and whatever else I feel like doing in between the laundry, cooking, raising of said 4 children, and everything else that I manage to cram into a 24 hour period.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stopped Dead in my tracks

Have you ever had the most brilliant idea only to have someone stop you dead in your tracks? Well, I have and did!! A few posts ago I mentioned that I was going to be re-doing my house room by room. I had planned on starting in the family room by re-doing my mantel. I HATE this fireplace wall. I've HATED it ever since we bought this house almost two years ago. This is what it looked like when we bought it....

Horrible, I know. The white rock along with the gold glassed in screen, UUuuggg! I love having a fireplace, but I really wanted a mantel for my fireplace. I wanted to find a black mantel with wonderful aged detail but had been looking for almost a year with no luck. Then I found one at our local Habitat for Humanity thrift store. It was a great deal at only $60 but wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I knew I could paint it though and make it beautiful. I loaded that sucker up and brought it home. most things I do, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to mount onto the horrible, ugly, dated white rock. But of course, like he always does, my love found a way...what do you think?

Better Right? Yes, of course its better but not perfect. I really want to paint this mantel. So what's the problem you ask?

My love has told me NO!

What?..... This is something I rarely hear from him. He usually is very supportive of my "projects" but he has put his foot down on this one.....Bummer!
Although I haven't actually gotten out of him why he wont let me paint the mantel, he has said that I can paint the rock.
Wow, this shocks me even more than him telling me "NO". Maybe I should pick out a color for the rock that looks horrible with the existing color of the mantel and then I'll be forced to paint it, hmmm. For right now, my plan is to paint the rock and then talk him into letting me paint the mantel. Well, I'm off to pick out paint for the rock wish me luck. I'll be keeping you updated with the progress of the fireplace along with some other projects I have going.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Mantel

As many of you know, I'm a thrifty type of gal. I don't like to spend alot of money on anything, well almost anything. There are some things that I splurge on but usually its shoes or purses. So when it was time to decorate my mantel for Valentine's Day I certainly had to get creative if I didn't want to spend any money.

First I went to my candle closet...yes, I do have a closet where I keep all my candles. And I pulled out all of my red candles. Then I gathered up all of my white or cream candle holders and tied some of them with these cute little gingham hearts I found at Ikea. Then, I stuck little red & pink heart picks i had found at the dollar store into my silk plant that stays on my mantel all year round. still needs something. So I went to my catering closet and found a red vase that I had, but it wasn't enough. This is where my "cheapness" kicks in. I needed some more red vases, so I hit up my local Goodwill on Dollar Day and found another red vase guessed it, a dollar and it does the trick.

Remember the "Love" blocks I posted about earlier?

This is the perfect home for them as well. They look great sitting on my mantel. Aah, its almost done. All its missing is one more little thing. I grabbed a plain white frame from my stash and added a scrapbook paper mat and cut out the words, "Be Mine" out of construction paper using my cricut and glued them to a plain white piece of card stock. This added the perfect touch of color and a little cute, whimsy surprise.

I love choosing one area of my home that I can decorate for each holiday. Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that I don't decorate the entire house for, but just adding a few things on the mantel is a great way to make it festive in the house without going overboard. Hope your doing something fun and whimsy this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Sweet Treat

As Valentine's Day quickly approaches, I'm growing weaker and weaker. The lure of Chocolate is almost more than I can take. What is a girl to do? I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Today I made some yummy Oreo Cookie Balls dipped in chocolate. Yes, you read correctly. Oreo's dipped in chocolate. The world is a wonderful place after, here is the break down.

First start with a package of Oreo's. Place them into a plastic zip lock bag. Then smash them. I used a rolling pin. (this is also a great job for your kids to help with)

Once they are smashed, add 8oz of softened cream cheese and mix it well into the oreo's until a firm dough forms. Then roll the dough into "Ping pong" size balls.

Then it's time to melt some chocolate. I use "Almond Bark" when I am dipping things. I think it melts much better than chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate according to the directions and dip each ball into the chocolate. I used white and regular chocolate. Once you have dipped each ball, place them on a non-stick surface to dry.

Once they have cooled and the chocolate has hardened, you can place them into baggies, or onto a plate or into your mouth which is where several landed before I was even done with this post. They are way yummy and so easy to make. ENJOY!!!

Thanks for stopping by,



1 lb chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 lb. Vanilla flavored candy coating, melted.

In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed cookies and cream cheese to form a stiff dough. Roll into balls and dip with a fork in melted candy coating. Let rest on waxed paper until set.

Makes approx 36 balls

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine's Pillows

I just cant help myself. I've gotten bit by the "Love Bug". Valentine's Day usually doesn't really do that much for me. My husband is very romantic and tries very hard to make everyday like Valentine's Day.....well, almost. So I usually don't get super excited for Valentine's Day. This year however I've had a lot of fun making new crafts and decorating the house.

My latest project is a few Valentine's Pillows for the bench outside my front door.

These seriously only took me 10 minutes per pillow start to finish. And I cant even sew that well. Despite a few snags (bobbin issues) these pillows were sew...simple to make. I used leftover valentine's fabric from a past catering job and some remnant pieces of striped fabric I had. I think the filling I used, I got at Goodwill on one of their Dollar Days (this I buy only if it is unopened/unused)its a great place to find batting, filling, etc... anyway, I let my girls fill them, and then I stitched them closed

and TA DA....instant color for a rather boring bench.

I also made a valentine's Day sign for out there, but that reveal is coming in another post. Happy "Love" week. Thanks for stopping by, see you soon.


Thursday, February 3, 2011


Man, its cold outside. For this Arizona native, anything below 70 is cold, so imagine what these 30's and 40's are doing to me. Brrrr....but the good thing about this weather is that it has forced me to stay inside and get some crafts done.

Lets take a look at what I've been working on lately.

I made the "Sweet Shop" sign using a yard sale frame, some scrap book paper and a little red spray paint. Sorry I got so excited while doing this project that I forgot to take step by step pictures, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

So, first I found a frame in my frame stash and spray painted it "Apple Red" by Rustoleum....(love that brand) Then I took some red & white striped scrapbook paper and placed it behind the glass. I used my cricut machine to cut out the "Sweet Shop" in white vinyl. I placed the vinyl on the outside of glass. That way, I could easily remove it when I get tired of it. If you don't have a cricut machine, you could easily make your letters with white paper and a letter template. I would just adhere the letters directly to the paper at that point.

So simple, but so cute! I then placed a red piece of tulle on the counter and filled all different sizes of apothecary jars with valentines candy and ta da....SWEET!

See you soon,


Monday, January 31, 2011

Love is in the air

I haven't decorated for Valentine's Day in a few years. Frankly I'm usually too exhausted from Christmas to even think about decorating again, but I was inspired this year by all the cute stuff out there. So, here is a sneak peak at one of the things I've been working on.

The first thing is this cute little "LOVE" display. I just love the way this turned out.

Start with a 4 pieces of plain wood.

Then I painted them all different shades of red and pink. I didn't have pre-mixed colors for this, I just took my red & white acrylic paints and mixed until I found the right combination.

Next, I cut scrapbook paper to fit, and picked out some really cute ribbon and embellishments. SO cute!

After it was all decorated and modge podged, it was time to find it a home.....that reveal is coming later in the week. Stay tuned.
Thanks for joining me,

see you soon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

For the boy who has it all

Hello Friends,

Well I know that Christmas has come and gone, but if you don't mind, I'm going to share with you today one of the crafts I did for Christmas this year (or last year, I guess)

My step-bro-in-law and his wife have been married for several years and had been trying to have a baby for a very long time and when they discovered that things weren't going to be as easy as, well you know just "doing IT" They found themselves going through several miscarriages and disappointing rounds of in-vitro. And just when they were about to give up......SURPRISE! "You're pregnant" Oh, what a joyous day for them and the whole family. 9 months later, they welcomed their precious baby boy!

Now, let me just tell you. This precious baby has been so wanted and so loved and so spoiled. So imagine my dilemma when one of my kids pulled his name for the kids gift exchange. "Aargg, what do you get for the boy who has everything?"

I'm all about educational gifts. Especially when kids already have tons and tons of toys. So, I decided I was going to make some alphabet blocks for him. Luckily, several months earilier I had found bags and bags of these wooden blocks for $.99 a bag at Goodwill. I knew someday they would come in handy.

I started by picking out #26 blocks that were all about the same size. Then I painted them.

I then used a square punch to punch out 52 pieces of white card stock.


I picked up these precious alphabet stamps that came with a coordinating picture at Michael's for $9.99. I quickly got to work stamping away.

I cut out several strips of coordinating scrapbook paper to put on the other sides of the blocks, I attached all the paper onto the blocks with adhesive and then I sanded all the edges of the blocks. I did this for several reasons. #1, I obviously didn't want the block to have any rough edges, #2 I wanted to dull up the bright primary colored paint and #3 I wanted to "age" the sides of the paper. After I had finished sanding, I then took my brown stamp pad and a sponge and lightly "dry sponged" all the edges of the paper. This added to the "rustic" look I was going for.

I applied a clear coat of Modge Podge and let that dry. I found a wooden crate at Goodwill and painted it a barn red color and used my Cricut machine to print out his name in vinyl letters. I modge podged them onto the side of the crate and his custom Christmas gift was all finished.

**Sorry about this picture being flipped **

I absolutely LOVED the way they turned out and was even more thrilled when my nephew opened them on Christmas and loved them too.

I have a few more crafty projects I did this Holiday season that I will be sharing with you soon, and then its time for more furniture reveals. And then, follow me as I re-do my house one room at a time. Thanks for reading and
Happy Crafting!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pep Talk

I had no idea that January is actually statistically the most "depressing" month of the year. Did you know that? Well, it is. And it has so far, proven to be no different for me. January is my birthday month..."yay, yippee" not really. Birthdays just don't have the same excitement once you hit 21 as they used too. Anyway, with the holidays over and all the built up stress done with, I have found myself in a "funk" kind of...well depressed. So, imagine my excitement when I actually read that it is normal to feel "down" in January. But I'm determined to turn my frown upside down.

I was talking to a friend yesterday and she said something very interesting to me. After several minutes of small talk, she asked if she could bring a meal over to my family. She knew I had been feeling under the weather with a horrible sinus infection and although it sounded wonderful, I graciously declined. I thought,"here is this mother of 4, who is just as busy as I am, and who is going through her own issues, offering to bring ME dinner." And that is when she said to me, "Please, please let me have the chance to be a blessing for someone else." She said, I've decided this year instead of "New Year's Resolutions" which I never keep, I'm going to make a "Personal" resolution to put my own issues aside and try to be a blessing to someone else." Wow, how could I possibly say No after that? What a wonderful thing to do, put your own issues aside and be a blessing to someone else?

So, whether I'm taking a meal to someone who is feeling blue, Taking the time to call someone who I know I should, or just saying hello to someone on the street, I'm going to try to put my own issues aside and be a blessing to someone else. Thanks friend for the pep talk. I needed that!