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Showing posts from July, 2015

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

I am a big fan of JK Rowling.  While I have not read all of the Harry Potter books nor have I seen all of the movies, I sincerely admire an author who can inspire an entire generation of children to read.  My own daughters grew up devouring these books, anxiously awaiting each new volume, staying up all night to read them and then eagerly anticipating the opening of each installment in the movie series. They are wonderful stories where good ultimately triumphs over evil- we need a little more of that today. 

Apparently Harry was born on July 31 and we have a tradition of celebrating with cake or cupcakes and of course, Butterbeer.  This year's cake is chocolate with a Sorting Hat sculpted from Rice Krispy Treats and covered with fondant. 

I invited the guests with a special invitation. I used a format and language similar to that of the letter informing Harry of his admission to Hogwarts. 

Of course, I had to decorate. You may know that when Harry travels to Hogwarts he gets on the t…

Celebration Season Begins

You may recall from my last post that I am in the middle of "party season" with my family. I thought that today I might share some of the cards and invitations I am making as part of the celebrations. 

With this card I am also linking up to the Fantabluous Cricut Challenge  "Fun in the Sun" challenge.  I used the "Life's a Beach" and "Create a Critter" cartridges to make this card for the upcoming birthday of a beach lover.  The papers I used were mainly scraps- I promise to take better note of my materials in the future- I am still new at this blogging stuff! 

One of my dear cousins had a birthday this past week and I sent her this card to convey our wish for her special day. The stamp is an old one from Michael's that I found in their dollar stamp bin and get a lot of use for, including decorating cake boxes. The paper and ribbon are from Michael's as well. Of course, I had to put a bit of bling on the cake (it was difficult to resis…

Cheers- A Glittery Tutorial

It seems as though as soon as the summer semester is over, party season begins!  We have birthdays, anniversaries, back to school and this year, a graduation!  All in the space of about six weeks. That is a lot of parties, food, fun and decorations!  And lots of opportunities for glitter!   

I recently “glittered” these champagne glasses to celebrate an upcoming anniversary. I didn’t take any pictures of the process, so I thought I would take this opportunity to decorate some glasses for a party we will be having next month (I will share the party details in a later post! ) and do a how-to in the process.

To begin I gathered the following materials: Glasses (I bought the wine glasses from the Dollar Store, the Champagne Glasses are from Target.)Glitter (You may remember the Glitter Library from this post. Martha Stewart also has an amazing array of colors and types at Michael's.)Spray Craft Glue (I used Elmer's Craft Bond from Michael's.) Clear Sealant Spray (In this case, Va…


By the time you are reading this I will be elbows deep in exams to grade and paperwork to complete.  I am a college professor and program head. As it is the final days of the summer semester there is a lot of semester-end work that needs to be done before my brief, but long anticipated, summer break begins. If you went to college you remember the anxiety that goes along with exam week.  FYI- Professors feel it too!

Regardless of where you are on life’s path, still in school or with a “grown up job” or raising kids, it is important to step back from the anxiety and relax a little-  even if it is just for a few minutes.  For me, it is a short break on my deck enjoying a cool beverage on a beautiful summer day.  There I am surrounded by my pots of flowers and herbs with my dog as my faithful companion. The picture above shows my “Flamingo Garden” which resides on a corner of my deck- Begonias, Trailing Petunias and Vincas, all in pink. (These Begonias, grown locally and sold as a fund ra…

Vive La France!

July 14 is Bastille Day.  According to, Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution and the eventual overthrow of the tyrannical reign of King Louis XVI and the beheading of the king and his wife, Marie Antoinette. tells us about the festivals, parades, balls and other cultural events which occur during this national holiday. 

Since a trip to Paris is simply not in the cards this year, I decided to celebrate the occasion with a tablescape inspired by my cousin's Paris Birthday. 

Of course, the centerpiece is an Eiffel Tower with a huge French flag surrounded by silver candlesticks and strings of pearls.

The plates are labeled 222 Fifth "City Scenes".  I found them at T.J. Maxx a few years ago.  They occasionally have pieces in the stores even now including some other "City Scenes" from London and Moscow. The silver is King Richard by Towle.  It looks like it could use a bit of polish. The brass "P" stands fo…

Christmas, Slurpees and Chicken!

Merry Christmas in July!  While my Christmas Countdown app tells me that we still have 166 days left until Christmas, some merchants are already telling us it is already time to begin working on those shopping lists!

For example, this weekend (July 11-12) is the 2015 Hallmark Ornament Premier at most Hallmark stores.  Even though the catalog has been out since April(!), Hallmark is having an event to begin their sales of their ornaments this year.  The activities vary from location to location, but last year our neighborhood store had a visit from Santa and served Christmas cookies.  There are company-wide promotions that you can read about here .  Hallmark Channel is running Christmas movies all week and is also premiering one of its Christmas movies, "Family Christmas", on Saturday night. I love the Hallmark Channel (and its sister Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries).  I have their movies on constantly during the holiday season!
QVC has been selling Christmas decoratio…

Happy Shark Week!

I admit it- I am fascinated by sharks!  This week is Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.  The channel’s programming is pretty much all sharks all the time and I find it very interesting. For example, just this week I learned that Great White Sharks are pregnant for around 18 months(!), female shark skin is twice as thick as males (I won’t go into why here!) and Mako sharks sometimes breach (jump out of the water) to catch their prey, which is an amazing sight! The Lantern Shark is bio-luminescent- it glows in the dark! So cool!
Whenever we visit the aquarium you can always find me at the shark tank.  This picture was taken at the North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island.

So how do we celebrate Shark Week around here?
Of course we have to decorate.  I always put this sign on my mantle during the week.  It is a quotation from the movie "Jaws".  The letters are cut from the "Life is a Beach" Cricut cartridge and decoupaged onto a painted canvas.  I made a matching garland f…

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 239th Birthday America! 

We are celebrating Independence Day with Red Velvet cupcakes decorated with fireworks and stars. The fireworks are made from Twizzlers licorice candy (I found the instructions on Tastes of Lizzie Ts). So cute!  I added candy star "sprinkles".  Of course, with a sweet cupcake you must have milk, served here in a recycled Starbucks coffee bottle with an adhesive anchor (cut with my "Lifes a Beach" Cricut cartridge), and a star spangled bow and paper straw. And isn't this anchor napkin cute! My cousin gave me a box of these napkins which went perfectly with our Fourth of July lunch on the river. 

No fancy tablescape, but you can't beat this view!  We had lunch today on the second floor deck of my parents' house.  If you look closely on the left side of the picture  you can see two osprey sitting on their nest! 

My husband and I spent part of the day in our kayak.  We enjoyed a leisurely cruise down a local creek surrounded by wo…