Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tidings on this december morn

(Written on November 30th at 8pm.)

It's the most wonderful time of the day. The children are nestled all snug in their beds.  The halls are decked.  The laundry is done. Peace on Earth.

I went to the grocery store earlier today. There were five different kinds of eggnog. I don't actually know anyone who likes eggnog.  Who is buying all this eggnog?  These are the things that I think about.

The halls are decked, but the mantle isn't quite finished. Big project this year folks. Ha! I say "this year" like all the other years have been simple.  Sometimes I'm really in denial about my extreme craftiness obsessiveness. E.C.O. It should be added to Wikipedia. You might have it too.

If you have ever fallen asleep and woken up with one side of your face glittered, you may have E.C.O..

And another thing: If loving Pink is wrong, then I don't wanna be right. She makes my head bob and my legs bounce. She makes me want to go running. And that, my friends, is just what I need these days.

Happy December friends! Come back. It's gunna be a good month.

Monday, November 29, 2010

as we are

We took a bunch of photos last Saturday. I thought maybe we'd be able to get one to use for our Christmas cards.

There wasn't one single photo where everyone is looking at the camera smiling.

But this photo here. Well, it is probably the one I should send. It captures us as we really are. Fuzz head Frankie is happy, doing just what he is supposed to be doing for all his eight months of life.  Birdie is throwing a temper tantrum. The boy is off in Never Neverland. I have plastered on a fake smile, but the strain shows through my eyes and the grit of my teeth. And the Sugar Daddy. Well, he's rolling with the punches, a little less bothered by the chaos. Trying to keep us all happy.

We're a rag tag bunch of hooligans.

This is us as we are today. Tomorrow might bring big changes. I like to say: you never know what's around the corner. My children could turn into perfect angels.

It could happen.

Please say it could happen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

turkey with the rooster

This is how it works:

Every other year my family gets together for Thanksgiving.  We rotate hosting between the siblings. So six years ago we went to Oregon to Heidi's house. Two years later, I hosted at my house. In 2008 we all went to Hawaii because that 's what Amy wanted to do on her year and please, Hawaii? We say yes to that.

This year is The Rooster's year.

The Rooster is a bachelor. Not a Nate Burkus variety bachelor. He's a bachelor, bachelor.  He made food assignments on Tuesday night.  He bought disposable plates.

Two weeks ago my mother called him up to urge him to start planning.  She asked coyly if he had thought about where he might want to set up tables.  He told her he thought we'd have Thanksgiving dinner in his garage.

This information was meet with silence. Finally my brother said, "You think I'm going to make Thanksgiving shitty aren't you?"

My mom replied, "Well... yes."

The reality is that for us girls, a large part of Thanksgiving is in the table setting and the perfect ruffled pie crust.  We spend hours making place cards and centerpieces.  It's tradition that has been passed down for generations of Campbell women.

But I'm going to admit something here.  And this is a big gesture on my part. The Rooster's Thanksgiving has been a nice change of pace.

If you strip away all the ornamentation and fancy food, you are left with one thing. Family.

And like most people, that's what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving.

And every day of my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the dealer

The children love being at Grandma's house. Everyone one is so cheerful.  I've wondered if the spirit of Thanksgiving has seeped it's way into their hearts. But I thinks it's more likely attributed to the candy that Grandma is slipping them on the sly when she thinks I can't see.

She should know that I can sniff out chocolate like a blood hound.  It's a gift I have.  And chocolate on my babies breath? Well, that's never going to go undetected.

It is curious to me that this woman, who raised me with strict household rules and regulations, has all of a sudden joined the kid's team and is trying to put one past me all the time.

When did she start running a covert candy operation anyway? I've decided that since everyone seems very happy about the situation except for me, I will let it slide. In the spirit of holiday benevolence, I will turn a blind eye to this bad behavior for now.

Eat up me hearties! Because when Grandma your dealer is gone, so is your supply.

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have  a common enemy. - Sam Levenson

Monday, November 22, 2010

over the river and through hell

photo by doe-c-doe

Well, we went over the river and through hell and we arrived at Grandmas's house in a snow storm.

It feels so very holidayish here in Utah.  There is snow softly coating the boughs of each pine tree.  It is trimming the fences and topping the mailboxes.  Bright yellow leafs poke out here and there. It's really quite a sight to see.

We had a pie preview night last night. It's a Campbell tradition. One that I highly recommend.  A person can't truly enjoy all that pie has to offer if they are already stuffed with turkey.

All the extended family gathered together at my Aunt Carol's.  We sat around, sampled pie, got caught up on each other's lives and watched all the babies play on the floor.

As hard as it is too travel with my kids, I know this is the good stuff. The stuff they will remember.

My mother did it for me. I will do it for them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

talk a lot, peck a little more

Amy's first egg

Both my sisters have chickens.  I'm generally not a very jealous person but those chickens really bring it out in me.  I would love to have chickens but I live in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association and some real persnickety people that would tattle on me for sure if I had chickens pecking around in my backyard. That, and I really don't want the responsibility of feeding one more living thing.

But someday. Someday I will have a cute little troop, or I should say, brood of  hens to lay me brown eggs for breakfast. I will have a darling hen house painted robin egg blue. And I will go out each morning with a basket to collect the eggs.

My older sister, Heidi, has yet to get an egg out of her chickens.  Her first four chickens were sent back to the farm from wence they came to become Sunday dinner because they didn't lay. Her second batch have yet to prove themselves. Pray for them my friends. Their names are Henrietta and Penny.

Last spring my little sister Amy got four Rhode Island Red laying hens. She named them Mae, Murdle, Marge and Helen.  This left me the only sister without chickens. Chickenless. And green with envy.

Yesterday she got her first egg. That's it up there in the photo. She's very proud of it.

And this is her daughter Charley. Charley loves the chickens and helps care for them. I think Amy's pretty proud of her too.

photo by chelsea

If I can't have chickens, then by damn, I'm gonna taunt my sisters with thoughts of what might happen to theirs should they be less than vigilant.

Childish? I guess there are some things you never grow out of.

"The Opportunist" by Secondsister

Thursday, November 18, 2010

confessions of a perfectionist turned mother of three

Lately life has been, well, tumultuous.

We've had our fair share of the crud, passed around between family members like a hot potato. There was a very unfortunate run in with poison oak, a broken car window, discontent at the office and a small flea infestation. On the dog, not the people.

I sat down with the best of intentions of writing a festive holiday post. Really I did. But my mind took me to other places and hours passed and in the end I had created a graphic, not a blog post.

But the graphic perfectly emulates my life right now. I've never been so blessed and yet some days I want to hold a gun to my head and scream at everyone to step away. Leave me alone. And don't touch the freaking fridge because I can't take anymore fingerprints on the stainless steel. For Pete's sake.

I reflect on how blessed I am several times a day. I have the life I wanted as a little girl. I have the life I want now.

But sometimes the fingerprints and the dirty diapers and the hullabaloo drive me to stuff Dove chocolates in my mouth as fast as I can unwrap them and mutter incoherently to myself.

Someday I'll get this motherhood thing down.  Someday I'll be able to roll with the chaos.  But I gotta be honest. Right now it's hard.  

On a lighter note, I'm happy to report that the poison oak and the fleas have been eradicated and life is starting to settle down to it's normal, harebrained pace.  Just in time for a twelve hour car ride to Grandma's for Thanksgiving. Goodie.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the post about nothing

I've been so very very under the weather these past few days.  Head throbbing, throat burning, joints aching kind of snotty weasy sick.  And it is ever so inconvenient.

There are things that must get done. Like, for instance, the babies must be feed.  And the trash must be taken out.

Now, I am lucky in that Sugar Daddy is a master at carrying on our daily activities.  Sometimes I wonder if I need be around at all.  The babies get fed. The trash is taken out. The washing machine is even put to use.  

I know. Don't hate me. I lucked out in the spouse department. 

Sugar Daddy is a veritable hero when I'm down. He makes sure I have everything I need or want.  

This is why I was taken back when he declined to do a guest post for me.  Can't he see the state I'm in?  Doesn't he know how fuzzy and muddled my thoughts are? Surely he can see how each and every joint in my fingers causes me pain with each key stroke? Oh the agony!

But he said no. Nicely, but he still said no.

To be precise, he said, "I couldn't do your blog justice."


So I became very indignant and decided there would be no post. No Monday post.  Shameful.

And that's why there's no post today. Or rather I should say, that's why this post is about nothing. My head is too muddled and my fingers are too sore and my Sugar Daddy has his limits.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

sweet nothings

You know, Thanksgiving is really all about the details.  It's the little things you do that make your guests feel special.  Sure they might remember how delicious the stuffing was, but mostly, people remember events by the emotions attached to them.

I love place cards.  They let your guest know that you were thinking about them and planning for their visit.  They also get rid of last minute confusion as to where everyone will sit.

I created some place card printables and made them candy wrappers to sweeten the deal.  One is for a large candy bar the other for a smaller one.

The smaller wrapper doesn't have a designated place to write your guests name so it can also be used as a little gift or hand out.

Click on the graphic and print it out full size.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the gathering season

Well it's here. It's offically the gathering season. That special time of year when I start to gather up all the little gifts for the kid's advent calendar. Tis' the season that I love so much.  I'm constantly on the hunt for small, inexpensive tokens to fill each day in December.  Sometimes it's sweets. Other times I find little trinkets like a yo-yo or lip balm.

Every door in our advent calendar contains a little note. A cryptic messages as to where the children might find their treasure.

This year I am using my Girl's Loft kit to make each gift special.

Do you have an advent calendar in your family?  Here's some ideas of small gifts you can get to fill the days:

lip balm
cocoa mix
chocolate gold coins (gelt)
christmas socks
silly putty
Cracker Jacks
movie tickets
character band-aids (my kids love these)
trading cards
animal crackers
friendship bracelets
fun pencils
Hot Wheels
Crayola tub tints
bouncy ball
candy canes
bottled soda
sprinkles and cookie cutters
card game
craft kit
Christmas DVD
gingerbread house kit
bubble bath

Check the dollar bins and Target and Michael's.  They always have a bunch of fun stuff. Also, coupons for ice cream go over well in our house.

You got some ideas? Let's hear them! Like I said before, I'm on the hunt.

I also used my Girl's Loft kit to create a paper Santa to stand sentry at the advent calendar.  We have some sneaky kids in this family.

The November kit is full of The Girls' Paperie "Tinsel & Twig" line.  If you buy a kit and you would like to make your own paper Santa, email me and I'll send you the pattern.

Monday, November 08, 2010

flickr flav

Oh Flickr, how I love thee.

Are you storing photos on Flickr? I personally think it's the best online photo sharing site.  I visit Flickr more than Facebook.

I love to see what my contacts are up to.  I need a little tasty flavor each and everyday from the photo goodness to be found. Here's a few of my recent favs from my contacts:

1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. Cinderella's Sewing Basket, 4. Collection for Miso Funky, 5. Teapots, 6. my toy, 7. Untitled, 8. Bird, 9. .yellow yumminess., 10. Tassel Pixie Cap, 11. sinking.into.new, 12. on a positive note...

Ahhhh. Couldn't you just float away to photo heaven? I mean really.

If you are on Flickr, please mark me as a contact. I will mark you and we can glean inspiration from each other.

Share the love. That's what I say.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I know it's cliche' these days to make over Anthropologie like they rule the world, but folks, I think I could drop dead in that shop and die a happy woman.

Friday, November 05, 2010


image by nodoca

I think this weekend I will walk around and take some photos, of my life, as it is today.

I will photograph the dishes in the sink and the stack of catalogues that is over taking our kitchen desk. I want to capture the rolls of fat on the inside of Frankie's legs and the beauty of Amelie's lips when she is concentrating.

To be true to history, I will have to take a photo of the cheerios smashed into the carpet of my car and I will need to find a booger, smeared onto my sofa to document. That shouldn't be hard. I will snap a shot of my chipped toe nails. I will capture the Everest of laundry.

I want to bookmark my life, so sometime down the road I can revisit today with a better perspective and level head and see it for what it really is instead of everything it's not.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


I had this professor in college. His name was Candidari Sheshishari. And I have no idea if I just spelled that right.  Dr. Sheshishari taught English literature, Shakespeare to be exact. He was all of five feet tall with no hair on his head but plenty to spare tufting out of his ears.

Dr. Sheshishari was a delightful little man with a thick accent and a big heart.  He is the one professor that stands out in my mind. He hated, I mean hated, store  bought cards.  It seems that every lecture somehow circled around to the fact that if you have something to say to someone, you should write it yourself.  He would rattle off simple love poems to encourage us to wax poetic to our loved one.  Every example started with "Buttercup...".

Me thinks he must have called his wife this in their tender moments.  

And although I learned a lot from Dr. Sheshishari, and I do write sweet nothings to my Buttercup, I have decided that buying cards isn't a crime. 

I am creating a few cards for Moselle complete with sentiments.  However,  the "Buttercup" card will come blank in his honor.

They will be available for purchase very soon. I'll keep you posted.


Update: His name is spelled Candadai Seshachari and here he is:

Love that little guy.

Monday, November 01, 2010

i felt like it

I love wool. Truly I do. It's one of those things that is so versatile that it belongs in every craft room.  Raw wool is known as roving and can be made into any shape the heart desires.  Felt comes in every color you can imagine.  It can be thick enough to use for making coats and hats and thin enough to make bookmarks.  Wool yarn makes the warmest sweaters and afghans, not to mention uber fluffy pom poms.

This holiday craft  idea was inspired by wool and it's many uses.  These Thanksgiving napkin rings double as wrist corsages.

Here's the how to:

Supplies needed:
snap setter
hot glue

All supplies can be found at a craft store. You may have to hunt a little harder for roving but you can always find that online as well.  I happen to know of an oak tree where I collect my acorns but you can probably find them at a craft store as well.

Step one:
Cut your felt into 2 X 10" strips. I used thinner felt for this project and layered it with a contrasting color.  You can use pinking shears or hand cut a decorative edge. If you are using more than one color,  glue the pieces together.

Step two:
Use the yarn to create a pom pom. I use a pom pom maker but it isn't necessary. There are many online tutorials on how to make a pom poms with your fingers or piece of cardboard.

Step Three:
Pull off a piece of roving in your desired color and wrap it into a ball.  Over the sink or a dish, dip the wool into soapy water and start to roll it between your palms. Keep rising and rolling until all the soap is out and the wool has formed a tight ball.

Hot glue your felt ball into the top of an acorn.

Step Four:
Arrange your pom pom and acorns on the felt band.  Decide were you want your ribbon.  Tie bows or make loops.

Step Five:
Using hot glue, start to glue down all the components of the corsage.  Make sure each item is firmly affixed.

Step Six:
Make a mark where you want your snap to go. ( The  average size bracelet is 7 1/2 inches) Use your snap setter to set the snap and then trim off the rest of the excess felt to finish off the corsage. If you don't want to bother with snaps, you can always glue ribbon between your felt layers and the corsage can close with a tie.

You might want to make boutonnieres for your guests of the male persuasion. This is done by using an oval of felt instead of a strip.  Glue a pin back, (found in most craft stores) onto the back and pin it to a felt loop.

Expect your guests to be thrilled with an unexpected gift at their plate. When they thank you profusely just shrug your shoulders and say, "It's no big thing. I just felt like it."

Check out all of the fabulous holiday-themed projects, gift ideas, and more from our wonderful Blog Hop Contributors from around the world!
  1. Art-Full Horizons http://art-fullhorizons.blogspot.com
  2. Tammy Inman http://tammyi.com
  3. Nan Paturzo http://scrappynan.blogspot.com
  4. Robyn Weatherspoon http://herebygrace.typepad.com/
  5. Mykle Parker http://scrapbohemia.blogspot.com
  6. Sherry Mendoza http://sherryscreations.typepad.com/
  7. Robin Redd http://robinredd.typepad.com
  8. April Meeker www.suaviloquy.blogspot.com
  9. Erin Bassett www.erinbassett.com
  10. Jennifer Clark http://jenspartyof5.blogspot.com
  11. Sweet Pete http://agirlnamedsweetpete.blogspot.com/
  12. Jennifer Edwardson http://frommypapercraftstudio.blogspot.com/