Saturday, March 26, 2011

Treasured Moments That Melt Your Heart

A few weeks back when we went to bed we found this sweet pillow nestled amongst all the bed pillows.  A note was resting nearby that read:

Mommy and Daddy,

Home will always be where you are!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Manila File Folder Journal

I was so inspired by the article in the January/February 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors by artists Heidi Sekovski and Karin Winter.  I just had to make my own file folder journal.  I forced myself to use what I had around the house. 

Front Cover

The spine of the book has sturdy paper covered with a piece of fabric.  I love all the colors and textures.  Each pocket has a pull out journal card.  

Pages one and two.  I love the picture of my Grandma on the right.  She used to work as a bookkeeper for an airline company when they lived in Alaska.

I used several different papers in the journal.  I found an old college typing manual from 1975 a while back at antique store in Petersburg.  I also used a couple pages from a graphic arts book I found at Salvation Army, in addition to some vintage photos, misc. material, and scrapbook paper. 

Page 4 and 5
If I were to make another one I would try using legal file folders.  The extra height would make for a larger journal.  I was really pleased with how it came out.  It inspired me to think of many different ways to use file folders as a journal.  I might even put several together to form a journal for one month. 

Back Cover

Sunday, March 6, 2011

#5 Tap a Maple Tree on my list of 39 Things


After church today we ate a quick bite, and loaded up to head out to Lincoln Memorial Gardens for the Maple Syrup Tour.  It was a perfect day for tapping a Maple Tree.  Yesterday it was so cold and snowy, and today temperatures are in the upper 40's!  That is prime weather conditions for the sap to flow.   

Lincoln Memorial Garden is such a gift to our community.  It's also on the National Register of Historic Places.  Jens Jensen, a landscape architect, and associate of Frank Lloyd Wright designed and planted the garden as a gift to the City of Springfield.  For more information check out

After a brief introduction about the history of Maple Tree tapping we headed out into the garden to tap a tree and collect the sap from the last 24 hours. 
Native American Birch Bark Maple Syrup Collection Basket

It's fascinating that something that is 97% water can turn into something so amazing.  The whole process is just intriguing.  Sugar Creek in the Springfield area was a prominate trading community for maple syrup and Raw Maple Sugar in Central IL.  We used a hand drill to drill the hole into the tree

Then drove the spile into the tree. 
 The Liquid Gold began to flow.  It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  That is a lot of sap people!  Not only that... they only have a three to four week window to collect the sap before the trees leaf out.  No wonder the syrup costs so much!

We collected the sap to take to the "Evaporation Station".

Liquid Gold!

 We spotted a beautiful Bluejay Feather on our way back.

They cook down the sap to a certain level, and then finish it in the kitchen. 

It takes a lot of firewood to cook down the sap. 

Tasting time!  It was a little fuzzy, but they wouldn't give me another sample to capture a better picture.  Bummer I know!

We had a lot of fun.  It was nice to get outdoors for a little bit.  Now, I feel like eating some pancakes!  Where's the syrup?

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is in the air.  My crocus popped up in the yard over the weekend.  I am so excited to be able to work in my garden.  I didn't get to last year, since I had hand surgery.  I missed it so much.  I can't wait to get outside and get the flower beds cleaned off.  I have a lot of work to do. Troy did a good job tending my flower beds while I was out of commission.  I need to divide my Hostas.  Always a big job! 


Embellished Planner....

Several months ago I came across Lisa Super's blog,  She also had an article in one of the Stampington and Company magazines.  I can't remember which one right now.  The title of the article was "Prettyfied Planner".  I am forever trying to find the perfect planner each year, and never find it.  I tought this was perfect for me.  The only thing I wish I had was a pocket to store papers.  I have an idea to add a postal envelope to the back cover, or to use a manilla folder to create a pocket for storage on the back flap.  I just haven't taken the time to do it yet. 

 I purchased a monthly calendar at my local office store. 

 I cut scraps of paper the size of the squares and randomly placed them on the calendar.  This is a great way to use up your scraps.  I embellished the front cover with some found objects, photos, and misc. emphemera

I used 3M Sticky note labels as index tabs to label the months.

I know this may seem old fashioned to a generation that is so intuned to there electronic devices to inform them of their schedules.  I never use my calendar on my phone.  It takes me longer to save the date in my phone than it does to write a little note on my calendar.  I am a visual person, and I have to see it and "feel it".  I know it's weird too many, but that's me. :) 

I love it!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Altered Placemat Journal with Doodle Stitching

So here is an update on my altered placemat journal that I started the first part of February.  I finally completed my doodle stitching.  It's nothing fancy, but it was a lot of fun.

I painted and collaged Fabriano Artistico paper and bound them in with linen thread.  I used Vintage family photos, misc. emphemera, and scrapbook papers as collage.  I will collage more as I go.  Here are a few examples of the pages that I have collaged.  They are ready to be doodled and decorated.

I finished this page today.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I hope this inspires you to try something new.