Jun 12, 2016

Jude's Quiet Book

Back at the end of March I got a text from Jessica-


So I was off on a mission. The only quiet books I'd ever been involved in previously were not for my family but usually some kind of church project... I have to admit that I HATED MAKING QUIET BOOKS !!

But I've found an interesting fact... when I make something for someone I love I usually end up enjoying the process. This time is no different and I love this whole new creativity outlet. That being said, there is always a HUGE learning curve involved with some new craft and this one was no different. Luckily I was able to use many other skills I've learned along this path-of-life as I made Jude's book.

And here's the happiest piece of news about being creative in 2016... PINTEREST! I'm not good at pulling things out of my head but I'm an adequate copy-artist... give me a picture and I can make a good interpretation of it! I've worked very hard to try to give credit for each of my ideas. Thank you for the generosity of idea sharing!!

Jude's Quiet Book-

This is when it pays off to be a hoarder-of-crafty-stuff-and-fabric! The only thing I had to buy was felt and a few other miscellaneous items.

I had this lovely cowboy fabric and ric-rack left over from a quilt I made for my friend Holly!

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The lady bug zipper makes me happy!
(inspiration)

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Shapey-shaper-tons! I love these! I used mini magnets for these but think I will just go with velcro or snaps next time.
(inspiration)

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Each shape name is written underneath.

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Put on the Whole Armour of God! I really dug deep into my ancient embellishment stash for these trims... some go back 40+ years!
(inspiration)

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I love this scripture from Ephesians 6:13-17

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I found these cute ready-made owls while I was browsing at Hobby Lobby. This is probably the easiest page I made. Next time I will put loops on the ends of the ribbons so it is easier to unsnap. Love these snaps!

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This next one may just be my favorite!! I just *winged-it* making the little worm/caterpillar! It took me two tries to get one I really liked! (And a serendipitous accident gave him a bulge part way down his body. I used an old bitty crochet hook saved from doing a L'Oreal Frost and Tip kit eons ago!)
(inspiration)

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I DIE!!

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This was another favorite. You'll notice that I included Pluto (he's still a planet in my book)!
(inspiration)

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I used snaps again here! I color coordinated each planet and snap to make matching easier. (I couldn't find a satisfactory way to write on felt, so I left the names off.)

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Sadly the inspiration for this page was an item that is no longer carried on Etsy. So I played around in photoshop with my pinterest photo and made up patterns. (I ended up doing that for many pages. Only two of the ideas came with free or low cost patterns)

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I loved the pockets to hold the vehicles.

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Counting page. The numbers velcro off. This was my very first page.
(inspiration)

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This is one of the few pages where the idea came with a pattern page! Bless her!!
(inspiration)

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The pieces are stored in the sand bucket.

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And this is a fun detail.

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This one cracks me up...
(inspiration)

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But last Sunday I had baby-Emmy with me all weekend and took some other pom-poms (I bought a ginormous bag) in a little box for her to play with at church. Erm... let's just say Grammie did a lot of bending to retrieve thrown pom-poms!

Both the front and back covers have pockets to stash extra things or for an "Oops! look what I found!" as you're walking out of your pew!

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And the finished spine. I may be back in a few days to do a tutorial on how I bound the finished pages together in a book, or maybe not. Either way I took lots of photos to remind myself how I did it next time I get the bug to make another quiet book.

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Jude may not be busy with this quiet book (I've also heard them called busy books) but it sure has kept Grammie busy for 100+ hours!

May 29, 2016

The Amazing Gordo

My husband's nickname isn't the Amazing Gordo for not'in'!!

Several years ago we were introduced to Zipfizz at Sam's Club. Initially I was pleased with this *slow* energy drink and found that it made a wonderful replacement for soda (NO sugar or aspertame)...

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But the security sealed wrap has proven to be a long-lasting problem. I've been known to stop strangers and ask for help in opening said seal! Without a sharp implement I can't open one of these vials.

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At home I have a handy-dandy paring knife that lives in the drawer nearest the pantry for this very purpose. When I travel I take that knife with me.

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A couple of weeks ago the Amazing Gordo thought about using a bottle opener. First he'd cut the wrapper and then use the opener. But yesterday, for some reason, he just tried the opener right from the start. It opened the vial like magic!!

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Who knew??

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So now I need to share my favorite Zipfizz story with you...

We all know that I suffer from dyslexia and, happily, a little bit of caffeine makes all of those random thought processes calm down and let me function a little more like a normal person (not that I've ever claimed to be normal!)

Three years ago I taught a VERY challenging class of 15-16 year-olds in Sunday school... I really had to be on my A-game. Luckily I had several who were wonderful, helpful, reverent, bright, strong, and spiritual. On this particular Sunday Witney came into class early as I was pouring Zipfizz into my bottle of water as I set up the class room.

Witney- What is that Sister Lewis?

Me- Zipfizz.

Witney- Doesn't it have caffeine in it?

Me- I certainly hope so Witney!

Oh, I love that wonderful girl. Who, by the way, gave her missionary farewell talk today. She is headed to Nashville Tennessee, Spanish speaking. She said, "I'll come back saying "Bienvenidos, y'all!!"

Mar 21, 2016

Bring On The Beach...

... to Grammie's backyard!

Fiona, like her Mama, is very tactile and loves to play in the *soft sand* or dirt. Since Grammie just spread 2 yards (read- 2 Fernando loads) of rich, black compost on ALL of her flowerbeds she [I] needed to provide a less dirty play area for the Bitties!

Enter beach sand! I've seen DIY recipes for play sand on Pinterest so this morning I did a quick search on what ingredients I'd need- other than two eager Bitties! We made a couple of stops to get beach toys and sand.

The table from last night's 3rd Sunday Grammie dinner was still on the deck so I used it to corral the Liam so he didn't topple of the edge.

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We mixed the 50 lbs of play sand with 1 lb of cornstarch stirred into 6 cups of water. It made for wonderful beach sand. I plopped Liam right down in the large, somewhat portable (man, is it ever heavy!) repurposed plastic gift wrap container. (Yeah, the gift wrap is hangin' in the dungeon on the floor!)

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Miss Bitty unpacked the toys and tried each of them out!

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We enjoyed almost 2 hours playing in the sand. Liam finally got tired so I stripped him down to shake out the sand and he was ready for a bottle and a nap.

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As Grampy finished the nap routine of putting Liam down Grammie and Fiona cleaned up. I stripped and dusted her off too but then the call of the sand was just too much...

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She climbed right in and laid down to have a true beach experience.

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Good thing Grammie knows how to strip and dust babies!

Feb 22, 2016

Cancún- Chichén Itzá

This is my last Cancún post. It has been so enjoyable for me to comb through all of my photos choosing those that I wanted to share.

Our last outing was a full day trip to Chichén Itzá. As soon as Erik invited us to Cancún I knew that I wanted to include Chichén Itzá. Even though I knew that this civilization was much later (600-900AD) than the Book of Mormon time (600BC-400AD, plus the brother of Jared flashback 2600BC-600 BC) I was still excited to learn more about these Lamanite descendants.

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GORDON AND JOANIE AT Chichén Itzá

Somehow I'd forgotten this verse of scripture from Mormon 8:8
And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it [caused the destruction of the wicked Nephite people]. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.
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We went on a tour bus with wonderful Mayan-descendant guides who taught us about the Mayan civilization. But I was still a bit startled with the savage and brutal warring that went on. This wall depicts decapitated enemies heads stacked up on poles.

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It was mean to intimidate enemies.

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Even this Mesoamerican ballgame, that oddly reminded be of quidditch, ended badly.

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This Stone Ring is located 9 m (30 ft) above the floor of the Great Ballcourt; the players could only use their hips, elbows and shoulders to get the ball through the hoop.

The captain of the winning team decapitated the loser captain,

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whose blood spurting out turned into seven snakes.

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The ruins of Chichén Itzá are quite extensive including this building, referred to as the nunnery, with elephant trunks on each corner. (Now that isn't me making this up... this is what our guide told us.) This evidence seems to support the Book of Mormon prophet who spoke of the beasts of burden used to help them in their work, including the elephant.

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Another startling aspect of this National Park was the presence of vendors set up pell-mell throughout. I can't even imagine something like this in Yosemite or Zions!

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Our guide warned us against purchasing from these vendors. These carved masks, depicting the Mayan Yin and Yang, smell heavily of petrol and would not be allowed back through customs!

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After a short bus trip from Chichén Itzá we stopped for lunch at an *Mayan-approved* cluster of shops.  Then on to one of the many cenotes (sinkholes) found on the Yucatan peninsula.

The plan was to swim there, I'd even brought my suit. But all I could hear ringing in my ears was the advice *don't swim within two hours of eating*! So I left my cute new *babing-suit* to languish on the bus while I took the 95 stairs down to the bottom to check things out.

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VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE CENOTES

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VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM

Notice the tiny white speck at the end of the red arrow? Yup, that's Gordon!

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I was pleased with my physical stamina as I cooked back up those same 95 stairs. Sure makes a difference when I'm used to walking at 4800' elevation and now I'm in oxygen-rich sea level air!

Our Caribbean vacation was all that I'd hoped for. It was wonderfully restful and diverting. I'm so grateful to our Erik for making this possible. Thank you again son! 

Feb 20, 2016

Cancún- Out and About!

One day Erik took us into Playa del Carmen and then on a ferry to Cozumel. He wanted to show us around. We walked down the main boulevard for quite a few blocks, just taking in the sights. I love all the color! When it was time to return to the ferry landing we came via the beach. I've never seen so many old, tanned, wrinkled folks in my life!! (And sunburns... don't even get me started on the sunburns!)


OLD NOT-SO-TAN-FOLKS

The brilliant bands of ocean blue delight my heart. I've never seen water this color. I know the grey of the Atlantic and the deep blue-green of the Pacific but the Caribbean is a wonder to behold.


You can see a pirate ship on the right side of this photo. (Arrr, me matey!) It was a windy day, which made the ocean choppy... one of the cute attendants on the ferry came around passing out barf-bags; I readily took one! And, fortunately, didn't need it!


About the time I turned 50 I stopped feeling so nervous to go to the dentist AND stopped being so susceptible to motion sickness! That all ended as soon as we started the first leg of our trip on the flight from SLC to LAX. Even with Dramamine I still had a medicinal need for Coke. I drank more soda on this trip than I have in the previous 12 months!! (4)


It answered in my mind whether I ever want to go on a cruise.

I didn't get too many photos over on Cozumel since I was still feeling pretty green. Erik was very excited that we caught some of Carnival prior to Ash Wednesday. (You can see his photos here.) When it was time for lunch I found that even the sight of food was dangerous so I went and sat in the sunshine on the quay whist they partook.

Just as we returned from Cozumel we found we were just in time for a performance of the Voladores or the flying pole dancers. They were very interesting. They worked hand-beading their costumes between performances.


First they march/dance around the pole while one voladore plays a drum and another plays a *hooter-flute*.


Then *hooter-flute* dude takes the drum and climbs to the top of this pole with 4 other dudes voladores. They wind the ropes around and around the top like a fishing reel. All the while *hooter-flute* dude keeps piping and drumming away.


After much more *hooter-fluting* and drumming the four fall backwards off the top and gracefully fly round and round as their ropes unwind. It gave me a headache just looking at them.


And no post would ever be complete without a pix of the local wildlife. I absolutely love pelicans! I'm not sure why but they just make me happy. This fine fellow let me come up quite close on the quay and capture his likeness.