Archive for ‘Personal’

November 12, 2010

DIY Fabric Mouse Pad…

I recently decided that I had enough of using my magic mouse just on my desktop.  I needed a mouse pad…but didn’t want just an ordinary one.  So I decided to make one.  I actually made three until I found the method that would work the best.

My first attempted was made with a fabric and padding sandwich.  It turned out very nice looking but it slid around the desktop … Fail!

The second attempt involved covering a plain mouse pad with fabric and sewing a binding around the outside edge.  Works but I didn’t like how the corners turned up…Fail!

The third time’s the charm right?!?! Third attempted involved using cork board, double stick fusible web and fabric…It works perfectly fine!

I want to share the process with you so here is a quick tutorial:


  • Cork board (I bought the rolled up cork board, you may use that or the cork tile squares.  Mine isn’t very think…I believe the cork squares come in different thicknesses…what you use is totally up to you)
  • Double Stick Fusible Web
  • Cotton Fabric of you choosing
  • X-acto Knife and cutting board
  • Scissors
  • Iron


  1. Using the X-acto knife and ruler, place your cork on the cutting board and cut your cork board to the size you desire.  I cut mine as an 8″ x 8″ square.
  2. Cut your fabric an inch bigger than the cork on each side.
  3. Cut fusible web to the same size as your fabric piece
  4. Iron fusible web to fabric.
  5. Center cork piece onto fabric with cork against the web side.  With cork on the bottom, iron the web backed fabric to the cork.  The fabric should overlap the cork by about 1″ on all sides.
  6. Fold sides of fabric over one side at a time, working with opposite sides first.  Iron each side, over lap corners and trim neatly.

I also made a coaster so I may avoid water rings on my desk.  I love the way they both turned out!

I think these would make great gifts for family and friends.  After you make yours take some pictures and post them on your blog…then come back here and post a link in the comment section.


October 20, 2010

I ain’t afraid of no ghost…

I have been so into decorating and crafting this Halloween.  My children and I put together a real quick, cheap and easy Halloween craft last week using white muslin, styrofoam balls and wooden dowel rods.   The result was a spooky ghost family greeting our front door guest.  Here’s a quick tutorial of the process.

Materials for 4 ghosts:

1 yd of white muslin

4 styrofoam balls (Ours were around 4 inches)

Liquid starch and large bowl for soaking muslin

2 dowel rods

Black craft paint and paint brushes

Some sort of container to prop your ghost up in…I used a tin bucket used for planting…repurposed as a ghost planter.

Cut dowels to desired lengths.  Poke one end of each dowel into a styrofoam ball.  Place dowel into container.

Cut muslin into 4 square sections…long enough to drape and hang down and cover all if not most of the dowel.

Soak muslin in liquid starch.  Wring out and drape over styrofoam ball.  Allow to dry completely.

Once starch is dry paint a face on each ghost with black craft paint.

Place container at front door as a greeting for your Halloween guest!


September 23, 2010

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.” ~Robert Fulghum

I love a good cookie!  and I have been wanting to bake and eat a good cookie all week.  So today that is just what I did…baked and ate a good cookie.  I also gave some away!

I came across the recipe for these peanut butter cookies by chance the other day while searching for a good recipe for oatmeal raisin muffins.  In my search for the muffins I happened upon the blog The Way the Cookie Crumbles.  This blog is full of delicious food photography….and I am a sucker for food photography.  It was while I was admiring the photography that I found the recipe.  Well, I did not find the actual recipe on her blog, just the images.  She shared a link to another blog which hosted the recipe, Jasmine Cuisine.  Jasmine apparently participates with Tuesday’s with Dorie and it was her turn to host a Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe and she chose Peanut Butter Criss-Cross Cookies.  When you go to Jasmine’s link for the recipe you need to beware that Jasmine is French Canadian and her blog is in French.  However, the recipe for Peanut Butter Criss-Cross Cookies is posted in English at the bottom of the post.  Okay, so now that I have that all out of the way I will share with you the pictures of the batch of these delicious cookies and the way in which I shared them.  Grab a glass of milk and ENJOY!

So, jump on over to Jasmine Cuisine blog and try out the recipe for these Peanut Butter Criss-Cross Cookies.


September 17, 2010

who inspires you?

Who inspires you? For me it there are many people that do, some of which I have never met. For instance, I recently started reading the blog of Ashley Ann … an amazing woman! She is such an inspiration and so talented. She is able to give of herself and talents in great ways. I have been inspired to do more for my family and others around me…simple things…like baking cookies and taking them to the neighbors, create simple little gifts to give to family members…just to let them know you are thinking of them. She shares so many ideas on DO-It-Yourself projects and is a wonderful photographer. She is the mother of 3 boys and one sweet little girl. I would love to know her secret to keeping up with them and all of her other projects… I struggle keeping up with the four I have.

Today she is sharing some amazing thoughts (and a giveaway). Stop by her blog and share some bloggity love.

So who inspires you?

This post would not be complete without a picture….


Cherry Oatmeal Crispies, originally uploaded by


September 16, 2010

be the author of your own story…

I grew up in a small (very small) town in Central Utah.  We had a local show house and Lund’s Drive-in ( the local hamburger joint), when I was a teenager.  Weekends included hanging out at Lund’s, seeing a movie, dragging main (cruizin Main Street), video parties, high school sports, and driving around on the back roads.

We had to create our fun, and let me tell you…we sure created interesting things to-do, we had cemetery games, haunted graves and haunted house stories, glowing shacks.  A couple of times we even had a video parties in an old, vacant house that belonged to a friend’s family.

I mentioned driving the back roads.  At times we would play cat and mouse on these roads…kind of like a hide and seek game in the dark with your cars.  Another game we played while driving the back roads involved tossing a coin to determine which direction we would go when we came to an intersection.  Heads we turned right, tails we turned left. Our destination was determined by the flip of the coin.  We never knew where we would end up.  Sometimes we didn’t have the option to go either way, such as if the intersection went straight and right only.  Other times we came upon dead ends.  We made due and made changes as needed.  The amazing thing is that we always ended up back home in the end.

Our back road game is somewhat like life.  We have many roads (choices) around us.  Who determines which roads you take?  Do you decide by flipping a coin, reading your horoscope, make the decision by not making the decision, or do you do the decision-making, creating your own map and not letting outside forces, such as dead ends, right turns only, and speed bumps determine the course you will take in life?

In a previous post I mentioned my struggle with understanding philosophy and abstract thought.  Yesterday I finished reading a philosophy that actually made sense to me.  The existentialism philosophy.  To sum it up, existentialist dismiss some of the attempts of other philosophies in determining what is real and not real in the universe.  Existentialists look at “what it is that makes one’s life valuable to the person who lives it” (Gutek, 2009, p. 100).  Existentialists avoid making everything systematically, or a set standard.  Existentialists believe that individuals have freedom to choose their path without aid from some outside force.  They believe that through living in a given time and place we “construct (our) own essence, (our) own meaning of life” (Gutek, 2009, p. 101).

Existentialist believe that life does not fit in to a structured box, but life is complex, varied, perplexing, unstructured and unpredictable. In my reading of the existentialism philosophy I came across a beautiful statement about being the authors of our own lives.  I will attempt to share it with you in my own words:

Be the author of your own story.  Work on defining yourself.  Be conscious of who you are.  Know where you are, what you are, and move forward in life becoming who you want to be.  Always remember that your story will have many chapters and is always a work in progress.

The message above reminds me of something I have heard all my life:  Remember who you are and what you stand for.

I may not understand the other philosophies, but this one I do.  It actually has given me some much-needed inspiration at a time when I am needing a push to do better in my daily life and not sit back and let non-decisions decide my course in life.

I grew up with an understanding of the importance of setting goals and working hard to complete them.  I have lost that focus in my life now and then.  Now is a time in my life that I need to start setting goals again and complete them.  Now is the time to start a new chapter in my life, one that I am going to write with strength, dignity, love, and beauty…I will throw some integrity in there as well.

So my challenge to you is this…are you going to let dead ends, right turns only, and speed bumps determine the course of your life?  Are you going to make decisions based on the flip of a coin? Or are you going to determine the route you will take, be the author of your own story.

Gutek, G. L. (2009). New perspectives on philosophy and education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

September 14, 2010

I don’t do abstract…

I am currently working on a Masters of Elementary Education degree.  My current course is a philosophy course.  I truly struggle with this course.  I struggle with abstract thought.   I need a Philosophy for Dummies book, or cliffnotes or something along those lines.  Some of the philosophies I get, but most are just words on the paper, jumbled together in a clouded of print.

I find myself taking breaks to escape the world of abstract thought.  Today I took a moment to snap some images that assert what I am feeling right now.  I will let the images speak for themselves…if you would, please leave comments as to your interpretation of the images.  I am interested to see what thoughts they provoke in your mind.

Have a Happy Tuesday!


September 13, 2010

High Fives…

I thought I would do a top five list today…and one fail…

Top 5…

  1. Waking up each morning to the faces of the people I love.
  2. Finding people from my past on facebook.
  3. Finding interesting things to photograph on the side of the road.
  4. Watching Sponge Bob with my son (we have done this sine he was 2, he is now 10).
  5. Giveaways on blogs… like the one they are having on Mom’s With Cameras.


  1. Losing my nifty fifty (50 mm lens) :0(

I leave you with this image of the interesting thing I found on the side of the road.  There were a number of these paper flowers tied to these dead citrus trees.  Kind of FUN!


September 7, 2010

Remember to Smile…

She sat across from me at a picnic table laughing and talking to the strangers around her.  Her face was wrinkled, not necessarily from age, but from a lifetime of smiling and laughing.

Her eyes twinkled as she talked and her smile was brighter than the hot Arizona sun.  I was captivated by the charm that radiated from her face.

As I watched her interacting with the people at her table I hoped that I would radiate such beauty when I am her age.  Then it hit me, I do not smile like I use to.  There is no reason for my lack of smile, I just don’t do it.  At that moment I vowed to myself to change that and so smile and laugh every single day.

I then walked over and asked her if I could take her picture.