Monthly Archives: June 2014

Books to Inspire Summer Fun!

Ladybug Girl
By David Soman and Jacky Davis
Lulu’s brother tells her she’s too little to play baseball, but as Ladybug Girl, she can do anything!  Filled with the simple pleasures of a morning outside and discoveries of what even a small person can do.

My Chincoteague Pony
By Susan Jeffers
Based on a true story, this book tells of Julie who “loved ponies…she read Misty of Chincoteague over and over again” and dreams of a pony of her own. This book appears to be out of print and only available second hand, but is a wonderful story of Julie’s trip to Chincoteague Island, Virginia for Pony Penning Day to buy a pony. It is through the touching help of strangers that her dream comes true.

Ghost Ship
By Mary Higgins Clark, Illustrated by Wendell Minor
While staying with his grandmother on Cape Cod, Thomas meets a boy on the beach who tells him a story of sailing ships, a brave captain and adventure long ago; accompanied by great pictures by award-winning illustrator Wendell Minor.

Roller Coaster
By Marla Frazee
A simple, fun story about the excitement of riding a roller coaster. Fun to watch the different people riding and their reactions to the ride throughout.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!
By Candace Fleming
Mr. McGreely dreams of eating all the wonderful veggies from his garden.  And three rabbits do too!  Mr. McGreely will try to keep those rabbits out of his garden, but the rabbits just might be smarter.

Happy reading!

Simple Birthday Cards

Back in December, I challenged myself to make more simple cards in the coming new year.  I have to admit that it’s been hard for me to feel that simple cards are good enough, so I haven’t attempted to make simple cards in awhile.  Then I also got distracted with the (really cool!) Cards in a Box which are decidedly Not Simple.

But this past week, I needed six birthday cards for family and friends, and I had limited time.  So again I challenged myself to make simple cards.  It was difficult to make the cards work to my satisfaction, but in the end, I was very happy with the overall results!  It also made me very happy that I made more than four of the cards in just over two hours, where as it normally takes me two hours to make just one non-simple card!

What I have learned so far about simple cards:

  • paper with a texture or fibers embedded (such as the confetti card stock) adds a lot of interest to a simple card.
  • A great image can stand on it’s on with just a touch of color if it’s an outline stamp.
  • Humor can add an extra element to a simple card, such as a funny image, or text (see the Boynton cow below where I wrote inside “Have an udderly fabulous birthday!”)

Boynton Birthday Cat Card


Boynton Birthday Cow Card (I wrote inside, “Have an Udderly Fabulous Birthday!”)


Silhouette Flower Cards


Sailboat Masculine Card


Pink and White Cake Card (Thanks to Iris for the layout idea!)



Boynton Birthday Cat Card
RS – Kidstamps Boynton birthday cat
SU Teeny Tiny Wishes set Just For You
Card Stock – White confetti cardstock
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Cool Carribean
Accessories – aqua grosgrain ribbon,
Sanford Prismacolor Pencils

Boynton Birthday Cow Card
RS – Kidstamps Boynton birthday cow
SU Teeny Tiny Wishes set happy birthday
Card Stock – White confetti cardstock
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Taken With Teal
Accessories – Wildberry ribbon (Michael’s),
Sanford Prismacolor Pencils

Silhouette Flower Cards
RS – Just For Fun silhouette wild flowers with Queen Anne’s Lace and A Muse Queen Anne’s Lace,
Seaside Stampin’ Ink Happy B-day Calligraphy
Card Stock – Stampin’ Up! Daffodil Delight, Bashful Blue
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Taken With Teal
Accessories – Black satin ribbon

Sailboat Masculine Card
RS – Stampin’ Up! Simply Summer sailboat,
Stampin’ Up! Small Script set Wish
Card Stock – Stampin’ Up! Cool Carribean
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Bermuda Bay
Accessories – Teal ribbon tied with square knot

Pink and White Cake Card
RS – Paper Salon cake, Hero Arts Happy Birthday
Card Stock – white
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Melon Mambo
Accessories – Bright pink ribbon,
Stampin’ Up! Sizzix Designer Frames Oval embossing folder

Happy Birthday, America!

Picture books to celebrate America’s birthday.

My kids and I have read a lot of books about America and patriotism recently to get ready for July 4th.  These are our favorites.

America the Beautiful
Paintings by Wendell Minor
Beautiful paintings of American landscapes. Includes the story of how Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write the poem “America the Beautiful” from Pikes Peak in Colorado in 1893, and how Samuel Augustus Ward wrote the music that is now well-known.



I Pledge Allegiance
By Pat Mora & Libby Martinez, Illustrated by Patrice Barton
A sweet story about Libby and her great aunt who passed the test to become an American citizen, and what the Pledge of Allegiance means and who wrote it.


The Star-Spangled Banner
Illustrated by Peter Spier
The national anthem illustrated with engaging watercolors that depict the British attack of Fort McHenry in Baltimore in the War of 1812 when the Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key.  Also includes the story of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during that battle and how it came to be in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.


By Allan Drummond
The excitement at the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty, and what she means to America and the world.



The Impossible Patriotism Project
By Linda Skeers, pictures by Ard Hoyt
Caleb struggles to create a patriotism project for Parents’ Night until he is inspired by his father who can’t be there.  A touching story about the many symbols and meanings of patriotism.



Paul Revere’s Ride
Illustrated by Charles Santore
Beautiful illustrations bring to life the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, telling the story of how Paul Revere warned the colonists of the arrival of the British army.


Little Hands Celebrate America!: Learning about the U.S.A. Through Crafts & Activities (Little Hands Book)
By Jill Frankel Hauser
Crafts and activities to celebrate America; and learn about its symbols, natural beauty, landmarks, and diversity.

Happy reading and Happy 4th of July!

Daily Yoga App


I have tried a lot of yoga videos and even a class, but after all of them, my favorite is the Daily Yoga app.  This is a free app, available for iOS (iphone and iPad) and Android.  The free app is great and includes a dozen different yoga routines.

Even better, right now they are offering a summer special of 50% off on the subscription which gives you even more routines!  It’s a great time to try out the free app to see if you’d like the subscription at a discount.

What I like about this app is that the yoga routines are a perfect level for me.  Some videos I’ve watched have been too slow, too many poses with just breathing and poses that didn’t feel like they were challenging me.  Some have been too advanced with poses that were too challenging or required too many extra accessories such as straps and blocks.

I also really like that this app includes several time options for each routine, such as 10, 15 and 20 minutes.  I love being able to choose a length to fit my schedule.

I started doing yoga after having bad lower back pain last summer.  I’ve since found that just doing the the Daily Yoga for Back 10 minute routine once a week keeps my back healthy!  I even enjoy the feeling of stretched, warmed muscles after a routine so much that I’ve increased my yoga routines to several times a week.

UntitledTo see the special offer, install the free app on your mobile
device.  When you open the app, the special offer will pop-up as in the image at right.  Regular subscription prices are shown in the image below.  If you don’t catch the discounted subscription this time, they run specials periodically and they’ll pop-up when you open the app.

Enjoy and Nameste!


Seashell Card in a Box


My family just celebrated Father’s Day with my parents yesterday. Since I had made a card in a box for my “special mom” it only seemed reasonable to make a card in a box for my “special dad” as well. 🙂 Once I make a card in a box for each of my three kids’ birthdays (already past!! But better late than never.) I can take a break to make some simpler cards.

A box with an arrangement of seashells seemed like a better choice for a dad than flowers and is also apropos since we visit the beach with my parents each summer. This card is a fun start to summer!

Second Generation Stamping
The gray ink is noted below as “2nd gen.”  This means that after I inked the stamp, I stamped lightly on scrap paper then stamped on the card stock. This makes the ink lighter so that it’s a softer gray.

Card Stock – Stampin’ Up! Bashful blue, blush blossom, sage shadow
Ink – Stampin’ Up! Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Going Gray (2nd gen), Brocade Blue
Leaves- Sizzix little leaves, bird punch branch
SU Modern Label punch
RS – PSX wentletrap shell (on blush blossom) F-1448,
PSX olive shell E-1450,
Inkadinkado seahorse,
Inkadinkado sand dollar,
Seaside Stampin’ Ink Soaring Gull Left D-234,
SU Teeny Tiny Wishes set Happy Father’s Day