Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Christmas, 1981
I love going through old photo albums...especially from Christmastime. There's always so many good memories associated with this merry holiday. I recently came across this little gem from a Christmas of yesteryear. I think it was 1981. I'm basing this assumption on the length of my hair...looks just like my kindergarten yearbook photo. And Holly looks like a naughty little 2 1/2-year-old!

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making gingerbread houses at Grandma's house. The Fab Four (shown above) are the oldest of Gigi's now 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Holly (far left) and Brooks (far right) are only a month a part in age and Ryan (center) and I are only a year a part. Lots of good times with these boys and their three younger brothers (who would join the family in 1982, 1985 and 1986, respectively).

What I love about this tradition is Gigi (one of 11 children herself) knew the importance of making individual gingerbread houses. I'm sure it would have been much easier for her to bake pieces for just one house, (not to mention all the extra candy and toppings she had to buy), but at the end of the day, each of us had a masterpiece that we could proudly stand behind. Of course, I use the term "masterpiece" lightly. It actually looks like we got quite a bit of assistance from Gigi and maybe a parent or two.

Now that we're all grown up, I'm sure Gigi would still make gingerbread houses, if we asked her to. No doubt the kitchen would be a disaster, and I'm sure we would still need quite a bit of assistance. Long live grandmas and gingerbread houses!

What's your favorite Christmas tradition?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Best Frenemies


A person or group that is friendly toward another because the relationship brings benefits, but harbors feelings of resentment or rivalry.

Nixon and Elise Dame. They've grown up quite a bit since we last saw them. Now 2 3/4 and 2 1/2 years old respectively, they're more than just friends...they're cousins. 

And while there's a very thin line between love and hate (especially when a prized toy is at stake), there's nothing like having a cousin to build forts with, sell lemonade in the summertime and tease incessantly. 

Nixon and Elise's dads are brothers and my cousins. This past summer these two cuties accompanied their moms to our annual Girls Retreat in McCall, Idaho. McCall is heaven on earth. I've written about it hereherehere and here

Since Nixon's mom Cristi and my sister Laurie are both talented photographers in their own right, I thought I would share the gorgeous fruit of their collective labors. (In fact, I'm not even sure where Cristi's camera began shooting and where Laurie's camera stopped.) Make sure you click on each image for a larger view.

These last two pictures are from my point-and-shoot camera, so they're not the same caliber, but I still love them.

In the first, I love their identical looks of they're just comprehending what it means to behold a fleeting sunset. And in the second, I love the contrast of the dark head bent to the fair one. They may be vastly different, but they share the knowledge that they're more than just friends...

They're cousins.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

This Just In...Paper Crafters Unite for the 7th Annual World Card Making Day!

Happy World Card Making Day!

If you're joining me from Paper Crafts magazine's 2012 World Card Making Day Blog Tour, I'm happy you hopped on over! There's over 250 blogs on this this tour, so I'm gonna be brief (well, brief for me!).

In case you missed the morning news, I was able to capture the top news story in this fun shaped card:

I simply fussy-cut the World Card Making Day logo and adhered it to the center of this TV die cut. Since I wanted the TV to stand on its own, I adhered the die cut to a white card base and trimmed around the edges and legs. I then trimmed the printed sentiment into a banner (my take on a news ticker!) and accented it with brads for the TV knobs, two google eyes and a smile drawn with a black pen.

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for google eyes! They instantly make you smile, don't you think? And what's not to smile about on World Card Making Day? Right this very minute, card makers from around the world are celebrating their love for this wonderful hobby. Either in their craft rooms, on their computers, or in countless other creative ways. 

If you're looking to join the World Card Making Day fun, make sure you check out:
However you choose to spend this crafty holiday, enjoy it!

Happy World Card Making Day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Hamster Edition

Yes, the tabloids are true.

Pam went on the reality show Extreme Makeover: Hamster Edition and came home a few ounces lighter and blonder. Isn't is amazing what a few highlights can do for a girl?

Thanks to Teri Anderson for packaging up our little Pamster and sending her home to Utah.

New adventures for Ham and Pam are on the horizon!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Make Pretty Stuff

I moved into my new apartment this past March, and I've slowly been organizing my craft room. The biggest hurdle has been sifting through 12+ years of product (does anyone remember Frances Meyer?) and deciding what I can live without (endless sheets of alphabet stickers) and what I absolutely can't part with it (all my pretty paper).

Easier said than done.

While I'm not ready for the big reveal just yet, I did find an accessory that matches my room perfectly...this green and hot pink memo board!

And since every memo board needs to be filled with all kinds of pretty stuff (thanks to Heidi Swapp for my new wall cling!), I made a simple card that incorporates some stamping, a fun embellishment and a sweet sentiment.

Now that I have one wall completed, maybe I'll tackle the closet next. It's overflowing with so much so stuff...stuff that's just waiting to be made into something pretty.


P.S. While out shopping this past weekend, I came across this cute chalkboard frame. I love the idea of being able to write and erase quotes, lists and notes as the mood strikes. And all with different colored chalks!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Adventures of Ham and Pam

Once upon a time, there lived two country critters named Ham and Pam. They grew up in a magical place called Earth, where the bees were always humming and the leaves on the trees resembled puffy hearts.

It's rumored that the bees sang so sweetly around these happy trees because each of the leaves were filled with a sweet nectar. Some say this how the little town of Splenda got its name.

Just on the outskirts of Splenda, Ham and Pam lived in small wooden house with one door and two windows (well, three if you count the small opening where the morning sun would come shining through). Though a simple home, it was set high on a hill and had beautiful views of the valley below. 

Every morning Ham would watch from one of these windows as Pam would set off towards town, where she worked as the city's mayor. 

The town's slogan was "Life is Sweet Here", and no one could argue with that.

Life was very busy for Pam, and Ham often joined her on the road as her official photographer. They traveled all over the world, and in each new place Ham would capture the highlights with his trusty camera.

Though Pam's status as a city mayor could get them any seat in the house, they preferred to watch baseball games from high in the stadium, as it reminded them of their quaint hilltop home.

And anytime Ham and Pam can sit underneath a forest of sparkling trees, Splenda is never far from their hearts, though they may be.


P.S. Stay tuned for more adventures from Ham and Pam!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Little Louie Turns 30!

"From day one, you've been our little Louie...

Boo-Boo, Lou-Lou and sometimes even Chewie...

But for all the names you've been...

And all the smiles you've brought...

Who knew you would grow up to be the holder of our hearts!"

Love, PK

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tickled Pink Baby Shower

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the moms out there! This past weekend I was fortunate enough to celebrate motherhood with a lot of special women. On Saturday I co-hosted a baby shower for my good friend and Pisces sister, Megan Hoeppner. In just a matter of weeks, she and her hubby will become the proud parents of Maggie Dawn Suggs. And since we're all "tickled pink" about her arrival, we just had to throw her (and her momma!) one heck of a party!

With invitations going out to 50 guests, it was a very good thing I joined forces with Megan's college friend Michelle Dickey (who opened her lovely home for us) and the ever resourceful Brandy J. We divided up the responsibilities and got to work on the invites, party decor, food and activities. Brandy found this cute chevron invite and tag at On to Baby. Completely customizable (and FREE!), all you have to do is pick your colors, add your text and print!

I was in charge of the party decor, so I had Brandy print a couple extra chevron papers to add to this "It's a Girl" banner. We hung it on a wall near the front door and added some pink streamers for a fun backdrop. Then when each guest arrived, we had Megan's aunt snapped their picture with an Instax camera. I can't wait to see how Megan displays them!

Before Megan got to the daunting task of opening all her presents, guests were invited to nibble on this yummy spread of sandwiches, fruits and desserts...

...and visit the pink craft table to make iron-on onesies and bibs, predict Maggie Dawn's arrival date and weight (and put their predictions in a pink polka dot piggy bank!) and leave Megan some sage advice in a mommy advice book:

Once everyone was physically and creatively fed, Megan began opening one pink gift after another!

Is it possible for one baby to have too much stuff? No way! I will admit to being slightly jealous of Maggie Dawn's new wardrobe. Maybe she'll let me come over and play dress up with her and her mommy. I promise to play nice.

If you know anything about me, if there's a party, cupcakes are bound to be close by. I decided to go a little crazy and individually wrapped 40-odd cupcakes and attached the chevron tag (seen above) to them. As guests departed, they each got to take one home as a party favor.

The clear cups are just 9 oz. drinking cups I found at Wal-mart (Ssh! Don't tell Megan!). The cupcakes fit perfectly inside them and were protected from smudges, prying hands and hot temperatures. Just drop the cups into clear gift bags and tie on the tags with a bit of twine. (Disclaimer: I would begin shopping for said cups and bags well before the shower date. This procrastinator had to go to several stores before I found everything I was looking for. It also didn't help that I still had to bake, frost and package 40-odd cupcakes after 10 p.m. It's a good thing I'm crazy for cupcakes and little babies named Maggie Dawn!)

Brandy J., Megan, PK and Michelle - May 12, 2012
Megan, thanks for giving Brandy, Michelle and I a reason to celebrate. We're "tickled pink" for you!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring...At Last!

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly. “One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”               ~Hans Christian Anderson

Friday, April 13, 2012

Confessions of a Sweet Tooth Stamper

Hello, my name is PK, and I'm addicted to sweets. Cookies, cupcakes, candy...and without a doubt, Coca-Cola. How ironic that all my weaknesses start with a "c". And they all have this naughty word in common too...calories!

So it's no surprise that I would also have a weakness for stamps that feature all my beloved sweets. Here's a few projects I made with Paper Smooches Sugar Rush stamp set. Though addicting, these sinful "sweets" are calorie-free!

Chocolate milkshakes, right? Wrong! Coke floats, baby!
Can you also tell I have a weakness for polka dots?
Since I'm making confessions here, these projects were actually made for Paper Crafts magazine's upcoming Stamp It! Cards special issue. You're probably saying, "Those tags don't look like cards to me." Well, you would be right! Apparently in my sugar-induced stamping coma, I overlooked that little detail. So I went back and made the Celebrate card above. Sadly, none of my projects were Stamp It! Cards-worthy, but I had fun getting "inky" anyways. And like they say, "Practice makes perfect," so I'll keep stamping...

And consuming my beloved sweets!

P.S. Paper Crafts is currently accepting submissions for Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 7. (And for this special issue you CAN submit tags, as well as cards, gift bags, treat containers, home decor, and more!) The deadline is Monday, April 16, so don't delay! Click HERE for all the festive details!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

National Siblings Day

Do you believe in serendipity? defines it as: "luck in making desirable discoveries by accident."

I just happened to be thinking about my sisters today and out of curiosity typed "National Sisters Day" into my Google search engine. I learned National Sisters Day isn't until the first Sunday in August, but serendipitously discovered that National Siblings Day is today, April 10!

It must be a sign I need to celebrate these two girls and our shared DNA!

Seamstress extraordinaire, aka Gigi, made us these gorgeous dresses, circa 1989. Since I was a mature 7th grader, I insisted that my dress not match my sisters. 
I believe this is my 26th birthday. Holly and I had both just moved back to Texas and were about to become roommates.
Laurie and I at our cousin Todd's wedding in Spokane, WA, 2005
Lounging in the pool in McCall, Idaho, 2008
At our cousin Taylor's wedding, Salt Lake City, 2011
Our favorite happy place, McCall, 2008
"They laughed a little louder,
they cried a little softer,
they lived a little stronger,
because they stood together...sisters."

Since my siblings just happen to be sisters, I guess it really is National Sisters Day, after all!

Love you, girls!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pins, Peeps & Bears, Oh My!

Lexus and I went to Smith Lodge (aka my aunt's house) for a fine Easter feast. It was slightly delayed because my sweet uncle accidentally turned off the oven (instead of the timer) when they got home for church. That's okay...Eric has vowed to never touch the oven again! It's an Easter miracle!

Since we had some time to kill, I pulled out my camera and snapped Bonnie's latest Pinterest projects. Unlike me who pins ideas with the intent to recreate them, Bonnie actually does! Every time I come for a visit, she has added a new organizational masterpiece or holiday wonder to her home.

And Easter was no exception!

Some jelly beans and Peeps sweeten this pretty bouquet of flowers.
Peeps also found a home on Bonnie's infamous bundt carrot cake.
Watch out, Martha Stewart! Serious baker in the house!
Meet Bert the Bear. He joined the family last week (Costco, $29.99). As you can see by his choice of beverage, he has very good taste!
And just so you can get a feel for Bert's size, here he is next to Lexus! 
Hope everyone had an eggs-cellent Easter!