Thursday, December 29, 2011

Extreme Paper Crafting

This tool is amazing! Maybe you have the old Silhouette.  This is the new Silhouette Cameo.  Uhm, can I just say WOW! It is 12 inches wide. The old one was 8.5 inches wide.  And my husband not only rocks for buying this for me for Christmas but also letting me get lots of extras such as the ultra cool Designer Edition Software.  Why is that so cool?

It's cool because I also have Adobe Photoshop Illustrator.  I can make my very own designs (Illustrator is what gives my designs those smooth edges that don't have any pixels).  Well, making my own designs is cool enough for me but the EXTRA cool thing is that I can turn them into and SVG file and send it to that Designer Software.  Then I can trace it with the click of a button, print it, and then feed it into the cameo and it cuts MY DESIGN out perfectly and quickly. Print and Cut is sooooo cool.

It will also cut out fabric as long as you use the iron-on interfacing.  It even cuts vinyl.  

No, I'm not going into business.  As many of you know, we just shut down Vanderbeek Images after years of photographing weddings and families.  What I am doing are all those projects around the house that I've been wanting to get done.  In fact, I better go because I have a 2010 and 2011 family scrapbook to complete this year, hallway quote to cut and put on the wall, silhouettes of my children to cut from vinyl, magnetic paper dolls to make, and lots of other cool projects.  

Silhouette Cameo - you are Perfect!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We hope that you are having a wonderful time this Christmas season.  

Here are a few photos with what we are up to:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The lights of Christmas

This year I found the star filter.  It fit perfectly on my 50mm f1.8 lens. It was fun to try this oldie but goody - it's nice to be able to control the focus on the dSLR.

But even more fun to get this look without having to go with f22 using the star filter.
Here you can see the decorations better because I turned the living room lights on.

A few close ups. 

And a fun angle I've been wanting to try for years but just plain forgot about.

 My favorite Christmas decoration is my nativity.  It's by Willow Tree and wrapping a few white lights down and around added just the right touch.

And my pine cone garland with lights on it this year.

The little entry tree and with the big tree in the background.


 I LOVE my mantle! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great Grandpa and Grandma's party

Last weekend we enjoyed the annual great grandparents Christmas party.  Each year one of their children take care of getting a church cultural hall.  This year we just went and enjoyed our time there.  Great Grandma gives $25 per grandchild and $25 for their spouse (me) and $10 per great grandchild.  Tyler got a new Backbone for his ipad.  I got ski goggles.  My daughter received 2 Littlest Pet Shop Walkables. And my son received an SUV with a snowmobile on a trailer. We brought a green salad.  Someone even brought gluten free rolls and they were yummy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


My husband was the coach of my daughter's basketball team this year.  In her last game she made 3 baskets.  This is her first year playing. 
 She was so excited - especially considering that the girls on the other team were about 12 inches taller.  Mostly she had fun and got to spend more time with her good friend. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


You can click on this first one to see it better - but those are wild turkeys in my backyard.  There are somewhere between 18 and 20 of them.  

My neighbor called and said, "Before I go outside and disturb them, I wanted to let you know there are turkeys in your backyard." 

I was shocked to see how many.  By the time I grabbed the camera and took this shot they had moved further away but there were in the white snowy area when I looked.

And then my little turkey got off the bus with his new friend.  He was so careful with him.  It was a proud mom moment.  I love his teacher more and more.  She is so fun and my children enjoy learning from her.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Neighborhood Christmas Party

A few years ago (7 or 8) our very spread out neighborhood decided to change things up a bit. There is a lot of farm land this side of the reservoir.  NO MORE NEIGHBOR GIFTS.  It was great inspiration.  WHY? Because we all live so far apart and because that money could be spent in a better way.  The neighbors bring soup and a donation.  The money goes to help a local family in need of food and gifts for Christmas.  We gave the money to the local church leadership who would then buy the things that family needed.

Here's what we do.  Every year 3 people get to head up the committee.  Every year it's been someone different.  I was on the committee this year along with my friends Julie and Shelli. Next year is the first repeat.  

Someone rents the Civic Center for the party. It costs $50 as long as we all clean up afterward.  If not, it'd cost $200. 

Thank you Pinterest for all the great ideas including this invite.  I changed it from the original - but still cute.  I love Adobe Illustrator.  I drew the whole thing myself. I did the invites last year too.  Not doing it next - sorry.

The Committee figures out:

The Decorations.
(we use something from home to keep the cost down - remember, there are better ways to spend the money)

The side dishes 
(romaine with caesar dressing and french bread)

The Dessert
(chocolate fountain - marshmallows and sprinkles)

The entertainment
(A Minute to Win It Games)

Sets up and takes down the tables 
(15 this year not including the games tables)

The invitations
(I designed them and printed 2 to a page - hand delivered by the committee.  This year I attached labels so each pot of soup was labeled)

We had over 100 people there.  It was great fun to see everyone. 

Marshmallows and fountain

I brought some wrapping paper to put on the wall behind the fountain to prevent sticky oily splashes of chocolate on the wall.  The teen boys put up the paper which is why it doesn't line up - but it kept the wall clean!)

Lots and lots of soup!

And it was a blast.  I was so nervous that no one would show up but we had the largest turn out yet.  And everything was so yummy.  And I was excited to see all of the donations that went to help out someone in our local area.  We live in a great place and we love our neighbors.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Homemade 18" doll apron pattern

This is a photo from Christmas day last year.
I made matching aprons for my daughter's 18" dolls.
My friend asked me if I had a pattern - well I do now.

You can make this from scraps because it only takes a little fabric to make this.

I drew it up today now that I'm getting a little better idea how Adobe Illustrator works.

Click on the apron pattern and then download or it will not be the right side. It's on an 8x10.
Hopefully the photos explain what I didn't on the pattern.

The ribbon across the waist is 12 inches long.  The velcro is 3/4" and cut 3/8" long - so it's short and wide - hope that makes sense.

You can see I attached 3 pieces of ribbon.