Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

We had a pretty quiet Christmas Eve.
I  am not complaining!
Dan, Sandra and the kids showed up around 4:00, Carl came a little earlier and Don showed up after everyone was gone. (That's Don for ya!)
I got a few pictures taken before my batteries went dead. Thankfully I was able to use Sandra's new camera to take pictures but couldn't upload them to my computer for some strange reason. Hopefully, I'll have more to post when I get them from Sandra.

***Note to self. Self, don't forget to charge your batteries and don't forget your camera today!***

We go to mom and dad's today for Christmas dinner, so hopefully I won't have any camera mishaps!

Here is Dayla sporting her new outfit from grandma Deanna. (Please excuse one of the dog's behinds that also made it into the picture!) She  glammed it up with a Jack-O-Lantern tattoo on her hand! I really had to work hard to get this picture. She was hungry and wanted to make faces. :)

Carl got to snuggle with Corbin by the fire. I don't know who was enjoying it more! Corbin looked so cute with his mom's Santa hat, his adorable little slippers and huge blue eyes!

I took this picture of our tree with the flash, so the lights aren't very noticeable. I kept it simple this year and didn't do bulbs, just ornaments collected over the years. I also didn't put too many ornaments towards the bottom of the tree because of dogs, cats and kids.

This morning, I contemplated Christmas's past and tried to imagine Christmas's future. The season is so full of activity no matter how much I try to simplify. Stopping to contemplate is usually not an option! In the midst of the chaos, I tried to slow down and take time to actually enjoy the season. I took my time decorating, and actually didn't finish until yesterday. I bought a box of cards to finish off my Christmas card list. (However, I believe that I actually got about 2 dozen made!) I made a batch of Nutella fudge with Sea Salt to satisfy my need to try a new recipe. Very quick and easy. My plans for all the other cookies I was going to bake fell by the wayside and instead, we enjoyed some cookies we received  as gifts as well as store bought cookies. I spent a couple days in Seattle helping Miles in his shop. Although he thought I was helping him out, it was actually a huge blessing for me!*wink*
Life changes, kids grow, grand kids come and they grow! Unfortunately, I'm growing older too and I've had to change and adjust traditions and activities to better meet mine and the needs of other family members. Change is painful, but good. It keeps us open and flexible...right?!

Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!!!

Daemyan 2009
Don and Daemyan 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Still working on my cards!

I hope to have them finished by this weekend so I can send them off on Monday. We'll see!
I have about a dozen made. Instead of using only scraps, which I had originally planned on, I am doing a combination of scraps and recycling.
I have a box full of cards from Christmases past that didn't quite make the cut and I am repurposing them. for example, a slightly crooked greating might be cut out and adhered to a different card etc.
Anyway, it's been a lot of fun.

This card started out as a silver embossed tree. I didn't like the way the embossing had turned out so I never used the card. So. I got rid of the tree that was on the the silver, cut out an angel and adhered it to the silver scalloped oval, painted it in (a whole other story!), added a punched border to the left side and adhered it to what the other side of the paper looks like (striped) and than to a white base.

This card was also a smaller size with an ugly mustard oval in the middle with a sentiment. YUK! I used a pretty vintage tag in the middle instead and added some gold cord and adhered it to a pear green base.

I wish i had taken before and after pictures, which I am going to start doing. Well, back to work!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tis the Season

Time to get out my Christmas stamps and get to work!

I don't know, maybe I don't have a large enough selection....JUST KIDDING!

Christmas cards have always been the most fun for me to do, so I probably have more Christmas stamps than any other theme. The first drawer on the left, as well as all the drawers on the right, and all of the stamps on top are Christmas stamps. There is a mixture of rubber wood mounted, foam, acrylic, photo polymer and wheels. Some are well loved, others used once and some, not at all (yet!).
There are nativity scenes, baby Jesus, Santa, a whole ton of snowmen, which are my faves along with angels, cats, dogs, mice, birds, holly, reindeer, Elsybelles (adorable little girl), Christmas trees, bulbs, mailboxes, bicycles, you name it!
For the last few years, I have been trying to use only scraps of paper (except for the base of the card) to make my collection. This actually has turned out to be a lot of fun, as it encourages me to be more creative. It is fun to come up with new color or pattern combinations that I normally wouldn't think of putting together, and the nice thing is that the paper is usually cut to size!

Some years, I have mass produced the same card. Other years, I've made variations of a theme or variations to many different themes, and other years I have actually bought cards (YIKES!). But for now, I want to challenge myself to try and use up the trillions of little bits and pieces that I already have to come up with some unique and hopefully cute cards! I'm actually enjoying the challenge!
However humble my cards might be, they are made with a lot of love and thought for the recipient, even if the recipient has no idea what my creative process was at the time!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Part II

I thought that I would finish my post on Sue and Lupe's big day before it is their 1st year anniversary!!!
Well, this is what their guests were treated to, as they walked up the driveway to the "big tent".

I just love those balloons! It just makes the event so special and welcoming for guests!
There were also balloons at the walkway leading up to the barn.

And of course, everyone knows that if there is a horse around, it will draw little girls like magnets.
Emmy was surrounded by little girls most of the day and she seemed to enjoy all the attention!

Sue couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day, even though it was COLD!
The BBQ truck arrived and set up to feed the masses. Please notice the beautiful split rail fence that Lupe put up from logs that had fallen on the property. ***sigh***

I was so happy to see some old friends from our Northwest Reining Association. None of us are showing horses at the moment, and it was fun to talk about the good old times! We are all, including Sue, charter members of NWRA. We have been there right from the foundation of the club and spent many MANY hours getting it off the ground. We are all happy to hear that it is still going strong, as we all put tons of blood, sweat and tears into that club!

Jeannie, Al, Tony and Kim

This is the best shot I got of the toast. There were people crowding all around and I had to do a bit of cropping and editing to lighten the picture. Sue toasted to "the best thing she even won at the Casino!", to which all the women wanted to know which Casino and were all heading there ;)

A good time was had by all......
............................especially Daemyan when he finally go to get into the hot tub!

These were actually taken Sunday morning. I think that by the time he got in on Saturday night, I was not able to find my camera. Well, better than not being able to find my car, right???

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sue and Lupe's BBQ, Part I

One of my longtime BFF's had a wedding reception BBQ at her home on Saturday.
I can safely say that everyone had a great time, including DGS, because he was off with all the other kids playing in the field on their property.
I went up to help her set up on Friday and tried to document the process in pictures, but unfortunately, you get busy and forget :-(  so I don't have a lot ...You should be able to click on them to make them larger!

When I arrived, the tent guys were just starting to set it up, so I got to visit with Sue and another one of her friends for a while before actually getting to work. That was kinda nice and involved wine and pizza. ;-)

front view

rear view

So, after much visiting and wine drinking, strategically planning our every move, we started to set up.
This involved laying down carpet scraps in the dirt and covering them up with straw.

angels watching over us , here.

Sue's son, Brandon and his wife Kat were there as well as her other son, Chad, and his girlfriend Leslie. Cool kids!
Even Jack, one of her senior fur babies "helped".

After the straw was spread out, we set up the tables and chairs.
 Lots of them.....

Each table got a red plastic tablecloth, covered by a white linen tablecloth, a mirror in the middle with a candle. We then scattered little red and clear rocks around and atop of the mirror.

Anyway, part II coming up later!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lipton Noodle Soup knockoff

I tend to really enjoy soup at any time of the year, but fall and winter weather just beg for homemade soup. My clam chowder is "Da Bomb"!
Do people even use that expression any more?
My sister made a wonderful Zuppa Toscana  (Olive Garden recipe) on Saturday when we went to her house for our Sibling lunch and now I am really in the mood for homemade soup.
I am not a big fan of canned or boxed soups because of all the sodium and MSG that makes my heart beat out of my chest, so I have gotten pretty good at making my own soup recipes. I never follow anything to a tee, so they always have a little different twist to them depending on what is in the pantry and refrigerator.
Today, I made my version of Lipton Noodle soup and homemade croutons.

I started with a 7 oz. package of  cut angel hair type noodles and cooked them according to directions. In another pan, I heated a 32 oz. box of chicken broth. When the noodles were cooked, I drained them, put them back in the pan and added 2 generous Tbsp. of  "Better Than Bouillon" chicken base. This gives it a ton of flavor! You can add more to suit your taste, but I was at the bottom of the jar, so I also added about a tsp. of lemon pepper and a pinch of Montreal Steak seasoning, just to kick it up a notch. I added a couple minced cloves of garlic and fresh parsley. I then added the heated up chicken broth to the noodle mixture. You can add more water if you like it more brothy, but then add a little more BTB chicken base.YUM!!!

I threw some of my homemade croutons in there and I was in soup heaven! And it's so easy!

Bon Appetit!

Guess who is 6!!!


Time is just moving along too quickly. It was just yesterday when he was a baby, right???
His birthday was actually the 23rd, but I'm just getting around to catching up my blog!

A blast from the past, 2006
James 8 mo., Daemyan 5, Leona 2

October 24. 2011, Jimmy's Pizza
Beautiful sissy Leona, 7, and handsome James, 6

I could be slightly prejudiced, (naaaw!), but those are 3 of the best looking kids I've ever seen!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Carving the Pumpkin

I am finally getting around to posting these pictures of  Don & Daemyan carving their pumpkin! They were actually taken last week. Or was it the week before......???

Last week was extremely busy, and I'm happy to say that this week is a *little* less hectic.......except for yesterday, when D had early dismissal and I forgot, and... well..., a long story. (Everything turned out fine!)

NOTE TO SELF: Wait until closer to Halloween to carve pumpkin. The poor guy is already molding :(    I will spare you from having to look at those pictures!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Avoiding the Paparazzi!

Daemyan got his hair cut last week because Picture Day at school is this Thursday. He wasn't happy.

During the school year,  he has to keep his hair short, but in the summer, he can do what he wants with it, which is grow it as long as it will get in 3 months, depending on when his last haircut of the school year was. It's nice to know that even if he is not happy about having to get his hair cut, I can always refer him to the school handbook regarding the rules on hair. Yeah, I love that!

Denise (my hairdresser) convinced him to let me take one picture, and he reluctantly put his hand down and I QUICKLY snapped this picture before he changed his mind.

I haven't been fast enough on my feet (or behind the lens!) to get an "after" shot yet!

This was a "long hair" picture taken last year. He is so handsome, I just hate for him to hide his gorgeous face, but that's just Grandma talking, yak, yak, yak...

Whatever happened to this sweet, cooperative little angel sitting nicely and posing for a picture before going into Kindergarten?

Maybe having his mom cut his hair made the difference?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!

I love the fall!

However, I don't like the fact that it means it's almost winter :(
Out here in the great Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of RAIN. Yes, we live in a breathtaking area, but you must be tough to weather the rainy season that we so ***lovingly*** try to tolerate
This means fall and Halloween cards for me.

I love to make Fall/Thanksgiving cards, but spooky stuff  just doesn't do anything for me. As spooky as it gets is spiders and maybe a few ghosts here and there, but really, I'm more of a scarecrow and pumpkin person, AND, as much arachnophobia as I have, using spiders on cards doesn't bother me at all as long as they don't look real!

Like these little guys, not scary, but very cute! Right?

But this is more cindi, scarecrows and pumpkins, and yes, squirrels since we have what seems to be a squirrel habitat here at the Hansen homestead.

Hope you are enjoying the fall, no matter where you live!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Miles on TV!!!

My friend, Miles was on King 5 TV today, showing how to put together a beautiful fall arrangement, as well as answer questions from the hostess of the show.

He did such a great job, he's a natural!

Unfortunately, I was not able to make it down to be in the audience...long story, it has to do with Mimosas, shrimp, hot tub and laundry. Like I said, long story, but I was able to view it at 11:00 and it was so exciting to see him on the big, well, small screen!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thinking of You

Unfortunately, this is the first of a couple of cards I need to make for a couple friends of mine who recently lost a child.
One 19 and the other in very early 20's, I belive 22 or 23. One in a tragic motorcycle accident and one a tragic drug issue. I had know both as young children. 
I have been draging my feet since sympathy cards are my least favorite cards to make, as I'm sure they are for all cardmakers out there. I decided that this challenge was a perfect opportunity to get my behind in gear and get to work. Anyway, I like the simplicity and calmness of this card, just what I want to express to my dear friends. I'm not a mushy kind of person, so the "with deepest sympathy" cards don't really work for me. And I can't, and never want to imagine the pain these two women and their families are going through right now, so I just want to keep it simple.
I will post the next as soon as I get it done.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall TV season

Although I don't watch a lot of TV, I really enjoy the few shows that I do watch. I love HGTV, even though my viewing is few and far between. I love the Food Channel, but ditto.
My shameful confession is that i also enjoy watching the Real Housewives. OK, I'm glad to get that off my chest. I don't know why I watch, because it really is garbage, but every once in a while, I enjoy what I call my "brainless TV time".  I tend to like the Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and New York best. Don't care too much for Atlanta or DC. Oh, and I LOVE the Betheny shows, no apology.

Then, sometime during my brainless TV session I saw a commercial for a show called "PAN AM" that was to debut on Sunday night at the gosh awful hour of  10:00 p.m. (past my bedtime!)

Pan Am Poster


I have to have a child at the bus stop one half hour away at 7:45. I cannot stay up that late. Even when I can sleep in, it's hard.
So, I did what all computer geeks do. I watched in on my computer this morning!!! Hallelujah!!!
I loved it! It was set in the 60's, so even a short steamy scene was done with what I thought was some taste, especially by today's standards. I hope it stays as good as the first episode was.
Another show that I was wanting to see and missed so I watched it on the puter was "The Chew".


Even if you don't like to cook, this is a great show!!! Can't wait for the next show!

So there you have my faves for the fall for what it's worth. I haven't watched any others I could watch with my parents, so I won't recommend them.

Still a few I need to try, like "Suburbatory" and "Up all Night".
Doesn't sound like brain food, but that's not what I watch TV for!

Helping the Fiori Crew

***Disclaimer! Long post, sit down and grab a drink***

Last Saturday, we had our monthly sibling get-to-gether at John's house. We always end of walking, and this visit was no different! (Not like I don't need it, hahah...)

We worked up our appetite by walking to a nearby Chinese restaurant for a nice lunch. Well, it was supposed to be nearby, but John miscalculated and we ended up walking  a lot further than needed, but that's another story that he will never live down.
Anyway, after a nice lunch and great company, we walked off  our lunch by walking back home. We were a little worried he would forget his way home, but thank goodness Miles was there to save us!

We then proceeded to the Edgewater Inn to help Miles set up for a wedding.

This picture is not from the actual installation that we did, but this is the beautiful view from the room that we set up.  ***sigh***

So, we picked up flower arrangements from the shop and delivered them to the Edgewater to be placed on tables not already occupied by a fishbowl containing a Beta fish. We spread rose petals around the fish bowls while Miles decorated the cake with roses.
Besides the Beta fish, some cute personal touches I noticed, was the punch bowl, made entirely out of ice, the ever popular candy bar, and the grooms cake, which was a cougar with a WSU collar! GO COUGS, sorry Miles. He needs to send me some pictures, I didn't have my camera that day :(

I really would have liked to stay, especially after seeing the fully stocked bar, I mean, the candy bar, but I was dragged out kicking and screaming. Well, at least internally!
I know, I know.... Anyway,
From there, we drove (thank goodness) to Mile's shop and from there, walked down to Nordstrom so that he could show us what was going to be transformed into his Fiori at Norstrom shop.

This is Mr. Fiori himself, Miles Johnson

And, the three stooges, OK, the 2 stooges,

John's camera added 50 pounds to my normally svelte body. What's up with that???  ;)
Time for a new camera, John! I also want to add that these were taken after dusk, and I also did not edit them.
Not that that has anything to do with the extra 50 pounds, I'm just sayin'.

Introducing Fiori Floral Design at Nordstrom

There was much to do before the Grand Opening of FIORI FLORAL at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom store, so I got to help Miles and his staff prepare roses for customers coming in to check out Nordstrom's new addition!
My job was threading his signature ribbon onto a business card and tying it to a rose.

400 of them!!!

There were many different colors, unfortunately, I didn't think of snapping a picture when they were all sitting together waiting for their ribbon and business card to be attached.


After finishing the roses, Miles and some of his staff and myself, walked from his shop on Terry Avenue to the Nordstrom store, to see how things were coming along, and OM Gosh, it looked so beautiful! I especially fell in love with the lighting and an antique flower cart (that I couldn't take a picture of with all the workers milling about!). I was however, able to sneak in a few quick shots of the lighting.

Sorry, the first picture ended up slightly blurry. It was a quick shot since I was trying to not to be in the way of the dear folks scurrying around getting things ready.

I managed to sneak in a close up of these wonderful lights!

Did I happen to mention how much I love these lights??? They might turn up missing someday... (insert evil laugh...), they would look great in my house!

These pictures really don't do them justice. I'd take them anyway.