Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yo... Winners! I need your addresses!!!

Booty shaker picked the lucky number six as the winner of my 100 post contest! Congrats to Natalie!! Please send me your address and I'll get that package out ASAP. My email is lori (dot) vanwagoner (at) gmail (dot) com. Congrats!
And Valerie was not only #10, but #9 and #11 also. Thanks for helping me hit the double digits. Man... we set a record ladies (unless anonymous is a man... sorry) for my blog. Yahoo. Please comment when you stop by. It is nice to know there are more that 5 of you out there!!

I don't know if I'll post again before Christmas. I'm busy getting last minute stuff. If I do not, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I am going to share my resolution list with all of you this year to help me feel a little more accountable for things.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

100 Posts and Going Strong

Well, I made it. It only took about 3 years, but I made it to the hundred mark. I really like blogging. I enjoy reading blogs that others create more than writing my own, but I still really enjoy writing. I've always been a journal writer and I used to write for a living. I find blogging a creative outlet with my writing. I'm not very eloquent, but I am honest and that is what matters.

I've picked up a few followers, but my blog is still very lost in blogland... and that is fine. I don't know if I could handle the stress of posting a comment about giving something away and then receiving 600+ comments. Yikes! However, I get really excited when the comments displays double digits.

So, there are possibly two winners in this contest. The first one will be totally random, most likely drawn by the resident booty shaker, aka Cohen, and the second one will be the lucky #10. If I get 10 comments that is... tell your friends you really want to be #10 and get them to say something before you. Pass the word along. That is how this blog community grows!

I've been making stuffed trees (pictured above) using a tutorial I found on this blog long ago (sorry, I can't find the direct link). I've been making button wreaths that I saw on Craftster which led me to Martha's instructions. These have kept Cohen and I busy for hours! So, in the winners package, I'll include a small stuffed tree, a button ornament and special surprise. I will draw a winner on Wednesday evening. I apologize for getting this post up so late, but I'll get the package sent via priority mail by Thursday morning as soon as the post office opens. When you leave a comment, be sure to leave a link to your site or your email address so I can let you know ASAP that I need your address.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

8 Months Later

Remember this little thing? I finally finished it. I put it away for so long and then as my MIL's birthday approached I pulled it back out. I didn't do much embellishing. I added beads to some of the trees, star buttons, and brads for doorknobs. I also added some Christmas light charms around the roof and some iridescent beads to the snow for sparkle. I framed it and now it is hanging in my MIL's front room.

I really love appliqué. I think it is so awesome and I love sitting on the couch and crafting. LOVE IT!! I want to make the same project with more whimsy fabrics for myself. I'm also going to start a family tree appliqué for my mother for Christmas. I don't think I'll finish it. :D

So this is post #99. I started this blog over 3 years ago but didn't really start writing much until last year. In fact, I erased the first 10 posts and started over. Blogging gives a different light to my life. I look around at the little things we do each day and try to make them a little more special, or blog worthy. I have SO MANY pictures and am ready for an external hard drive... just in case... knock on wood.

I'll save the sappy for next post. Keep posted. I've got my goodies made and they are ready to be sent to the lucky person who gets randomly drawn, and who posts on the magic number that is already in my head. So... check back soon!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Festival Favorites

You've heard me talk enough about Festival of Trees, but I wanted to share pictures of a few of my favorite things I saw there.

This table was so cute & hand crafted and wonderful. Someday when I have space, I'll put this great little craft table on my wish list. That quilt in the background was fabulous, too!

This is the centerpiece Mike's mom decorated. Great Grandma owns a little shop and donated the little elf. It was really cute and made quite a profit...I peaked. :S

I'd like to make this snowman wreath sometime. I'll skip the boots, but I thought the rest of it was so clever and so darling.

Of course the Hot Wheels themed car was surrounded by about 200 boys under the age 12. It was so cute to see them so excited about all of it. I could not believe what was being donated with this tree. A bed, a huge collectors set of cars, a big track, and tons and tons of cars. It was awesome.

Darth Vadar was also a hit and was one of the big sellers. The ornaments on the tree are mostly new action figures, but you should have seen the vintage boxed collection that was also being donated. Plus a television, a bunch of lego sets, and the boxed set of the movies. Pretty cool.

I like the stuff sticking out of this wreath, which is why I took a picture for my idea book. The elves are creepy.

Cohen got this felt car from the "Small Fry" section. This section makes SO MUCH money for Primary Children's Hospital. Each person of all of the committees makes 10-20 small somethings like this car. Our group made penguins. There are wands, and bottles of soda decorated like reindeer, etc. Everything is stuffed with treats and sold for $2.00. It is amazing to see the little ones flock to that table to pick out their special gift from Festival.

I'm glad I've been able to help with Festival and donate items for the past two years. I hope I can continue to do it, even if it is stressful, because it is totally worth it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One more random thing and an awesome gift.

I started writing a post about my friend Julie Jones, but decided I needed more pictures from the past to document the story. So, once I locate that pesky scanner cable, I'll post more about her, and all of the awesomeness she brings with her. She is one of the people in my life that has "touched my life for good." Last week she came to town with her beautiful family. Her husband was applying for his residency. Utah isn't his first choice and I'm praying (for my sake) that his first option falls through. I'd love to have them near. Anyway, she brought me the beautiful jar pictured above. She made it on a pottery wheel. When I took a pottery class, I was NO GOOD at the wheel. It is the new house for my olive oil and sits proudly on my stove. Thanks, Julie. You are so awesome! Your package is in the works!

And... last night as I was watching Deal, or No Deal (read: I honestly don't watch this much. The two times I've watched it in the last 4 months, it has sparked a blog post), I thought of another random thing about me. I cannot watch game shows where men who resemble Wilford Brimley are the contestant. You see... my dad looks SO MUCH like him, and when I see the chubby guys with mustaches and glasses lose on camera, I get so sad. It is weird, I know, but I just wouldn't want my dad to lose if he was playing. Totally random.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

7 Things

(Pomegranates in Grandpa's backyard in St. George)

I love reading these "random things" posts. My favorites are in the 5-10 category. However, I recently read 100 Random Things about a random person on their blog and I found it pretty interesting. So, here it goes...

1. I will not touch raw meat or eat any meat if it has a bone in it. It is hard enough to touch raw meat without bones. I spend $4.99 a pound on chicken at the meat counter if it has "Hand Trimmed" on the package rather than $10 on 5 lbs in the frozen section just so the touching time is minimal. If meat has to be de-boned or tenderized or fat trimmed, I make Mike do it. Heaven forbid I might get meat juice on myself. I'd have to take a shower right away.

2. I check my email first thing every morning. I guess it is a habit from when I was working full-time at the computer. This has helped Cohen develop bad habits because he gets on the other computer and plays on or for about an hour while I get my email/blog reading/ fix.

3. I love bird images but I think the real things are rather gross. Loss feathers on the ground carry bird flu, I'm pretty sure about it. I will never have a bird for a pet... or anything for a pet for that matter.

4. I have to take a shower every day. It doesn't matter how late I am to an engagement, I'll still take a shower and then arrive at the destination with wet hair. If I've been inside cleaning all day, or just lounging around and it is midnight and time for bed, I'll take a shower. Then I'll take another one in the morning before I go out and about.

5. The taste of peanut butter and chocolate is pretty gaggy to me. When I was young, I got the flu and all I could taste (while throwing up for a week) was some peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate that my grandma made. I had eaten a few before I got sick. For this same reason, I will not eat cottage cheese either.

6. My nose is like a super sonic radar and I could have a second job on the K-9 Unit with the police... yes... I would be the K-9. I can smell anything and remember any smell. I will not got somewhere again if it is stinky (except that stinky bird house at the zoo because Cohen loves the Meercats. I just hold my breath the entire time). I can always smell the garbage or what we had for dinner the night before. It is a curse and makes being pregnant (I have such sensitive gag reflexes) a nightmare.

7. If money was not an option, I'd go out to eat every day. I love it. I wish I didn't, but I do. It has been hard to "budget" eating out. It is down to 1 or 2 times a month and it feels like a huge sacrifice. Aren't I spoiled?

PS. This is post #96. Only 4 posts until my 100 post give away. Tell your friends... because I want to give 2 things away. 1 present will go to a random person drawn and the other will go to a certain person that does a certain something without knowing it. Hmmmm....

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Start of Advent

I'm getting sick. I can feel the aches and cold sweats happening. YUCK! My calendar is finally clear and ready for the holiday festivities to begin and I'm feeling yucky. Booooooooooo!

Cohen and I moved our star to day 3. I can't believe December is underway. Our advent calendar is not the cutest thing, but it works. I made the above advent calendar for one of my swap partners. It is just a chipboard box. I painted it and covered it with glitter. Imagine that!

Inside I covered 24 little match boxes and put a small piece of chocolate in each one. My lucky recipient. All poor Cohen does is move the star to the next pocket. Next year I'll get a little more creative.
*Off to find some Tylenol and hot apple cider*

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tree Trimmings

I'm still on my all-things-glitter kick. In fact, yesterday I spent the day with my dear friend Lindsey adding sparkle to all sorts of stuff. I haven't taken pics, but they'll be up here soon. Two years ago, I headed to K-Mart to look at Martha's Everyday Christmas collection the day after Christmas. I fell in love with these green balls. Unfortunately, with such a great 75% off price, nothing was left but these big green balls. I bought the last pack of 18. They were lovely, and went in my box for the following year.

Imagine my delight in 2006 when I found the smaller versions the week before Christmas at 50% off. Yahoo! I bought 4 boxes right away because I wasn't willing to risk losing the beloved glittered balls for a measly $2.50. (Yes - a box of 12 is the full price of $9.99). And... I went back again this year and they have them again. OH BOY! I think I will add the red ones to the tree next year. I hope I don't hate glitter by then!

My big dilemma is that I love so many styles for Christmas and I embrace them all. It is like the North Pole threw up in my tiny apartment living room (and it's leaking into the tiny kitchen) after an all you can eat Christmas decor buffet. I've come up with a (read: sort of) solution. I can have my glitter-ball-only tree, along with my really random assortment of favorites, and my every growing vintage collection in the same room in separate places. We have a weird coat closet directly opposite of our front door, so I hung garland around it and added the collected ornaments, like this fabulous gourd from Jeni Gochnour pictured above. I have a few variations of these.

Also hanging among the gourds is my dear sweet Charlie Brown with this sorry little tree. My brother sent me this while I was on my mission because I can recite the entire movie from memory... so can he! I'm not the only dork in the family.

Also on the garland are the many ornaments collected from family vacations, friends, and other random places. The above bird is the newest ornament added to my collect that was sent to my by my friend Ris, who lives in Canada.

Then on my vase of twigs, I've hung the beginnings of what I know will become a fabulous vintage glass ball ornament collection. (Mike made that 4'x4' painting in the background - great, huh?) Sad story; my mom found a fabulous box last year at Savers for $0.50. YEAH! 12 awesome glass ornaments. I put something on the box and smashed them all. Boooooo! But, this year at Thrift Town, I found a huge bag of great ornaments, 1/2 of which were sweet Ragedy Andy and Ann participating in various winter activities with that silly little dog. You can see more here.

This painted lady is one of my favorite thrift finds. I love the blue and red and this ornament actually inspired the stocking hanger I made last week.This little bird isn't vintage, just a replica. But, she matches the the twig tree better than the door garland, so here she sits.

So anyway, my apartment is decorated and feels all cozy and warm (well... kind of warm. These old single paned windows sure are drafty when the temps drop below 50 degrees). It has been snowing all day. Mike and I made the trek down south to Provo to the Beehive Bazaar. The room was pretty picked over but it sure was a cute overload and the organizers added right to it in their hand stitched shirts and stripey socks. Good work ladies. How can I sign up to be as cool as you?? Now, I am going to make stockings to hang on my new stocking hanger and forget about the mess that I call my living room until later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not again...

Better luck next time my beloved Utes!

Of course I still craft...

I'm here... I'm here... I've been a little elf in my factory (read: kitchen table). My poor family is living amongst my scraps and pins and needles and packages. I've finished up a few swaps and also have finished all of my shifts for Festival of Trees. I'll post more pics about it later when I have an opportunity to go and wander around at my leisure. I've been so busy with all of my little things that I've let 300+ pics sit on my camera and have gone over a week without blogging.

Today I'll visit a little about Festival. It has been so awesome to participate, but it is also a pain because it is a lot of work. It started the end of May with a Kick-off luncheon and a tour of Primary Children's Hospital. What a fabulous place. I was a little nervous to go because I'm really sensitive to sick kids. It makes me so sad and I really didn't feel like crying. But it was great and despite all of the trauma that is there, it really was a happy place. I saw no sad families. Our committee chair gave us a packet and said see you in November. It seemed so far away to get all of my things done, but of course I was working on them the night before turn in.
Being on a two month glitter kick, I decided I'd glitter up some mirrors. I used the IKEA mirrors I had left over from previous boutiques and this summer's Family Reunion. It was a cheap and easy craft. I painted the wooden mirrors white, slathered them with craft glue and sprinkled the glitter. Easy peasy and always a hit!

I've got so many little Christmas crafts that I have been doing. Among posting of the Christmas crafts, I'll hit my 100 post mark. Whatever craft I post that day will be replicated and given away to a lucky recipient, so tell your friends and let us see if I can break double digit comments. Be back soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Sleep til' Brooklyn

I stayed up late working and now I cannot sleep. It's almost 2:00 am and I am reading blogs. I am sure Cohen will wake up in about 4 hours just to rub it in.

The above image: is having a $10 sale and I think Santa just might be putting this shirt in my stocking! Or, maybe I'll put it on my wall. Have you seen the Blik vinyl images? It makes me want to cover my walls in all of it... it is so unlike the over used "Return With Honor" vinyl lettering we see all over Utah. LOVE IT!

Anyway, I hope you are all having sweet dreams!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No Title

Boy, this blog seems to be a real downer lately. I can't keep up with it. I don't feel guilty, though. Not one bit. I've been working my tail off and I just haven't transfered the pics from the camera, or even had much time to do anything.

I've started babysitting 5 days a week. I swore I'd never do it, but these kids really are fabulous. They are so pleasant. The 3 year old boy and Cohen play very well together and really I can ignore them while I hang out with the sweet little 18 month girl. I only watch them in the afternoon so it actually comes as a nice break. The extra cash is also very nice.

I've also been working almost every night for My new "Project Manager" title is a little stressful since we are all contract employees and there is no office. It is a lot of email and a lot of phone calls, but again, the extra cash is nice. I've also picked up a few tailoring projects and cleaned an apartment, so I help out financially when I can.

I feel like my life was more simple when I just worked one full time job. I seemed to be more productive, too. Oh well. I run on chaos and handle stress well for the most part. So the birds above have nothing to do with the post. I just thought I'd leave you with a picture of some of my favorite things around my house.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Wearing Jesus

So... I am now 29. I wish I felt 29 and a little less like my 19 year old self. I think I'd accomplish more. I had a little get together with a few girlfriends and family, while Mike took the boys to the game, courtesy of Zions Bank. We all worked on our own WIPs and I didn't get too much done. I was too busy eating and talking. It was fun, and I feel like I rang in the new year well.

Mike bought me an iTrip, because the CD player in my car is sick (read: Cohen stuck 2 CDs in it and one of them still players - the blue Weezer album over and over and over). I'm so happy that I can listen to something besides "The Sweater Song" while driving around town. However, we have had to listen to Bouncing Souls "Ole" over and over because Cohen can sing the words. According to him the Bouncing Souls drink "root beer" and wear "Jesus". While I don't think I will change the root beer thought, I do believe I'll introduce him to Adidas brand shoes. (if this makes no sense, the song sings "Bouncing Souls, no one can beat us, we drink beer and wear Adidas") We had dinner at Mike's mom's house and then on to desert at Great Grandma's house. It was a nice lazy day and it was just what I needed.

I think that is it. Sorry for the boring post. I will leave you with a list of what I'd ask for if I could do my birthday over tomorrow.

I'd like this jacket and the boots - heck... I'll take the figure, too. :)

Yes Please!! I'll take this jacket, too. Saltwater is such a great store. I just came across it out in blog-land somewhere. Thanks for this beautiful site. So very very lovely.

I hope all of you Scorpios had a nice birthday, too!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Festivities

I feel as if Halloween has been going on for quite awhile now. I jumped the gun and put up my decorations during the last week of September. We've been to several parties already and we still have a few more to go to. I just wanted to quickly share with you the past two weeks of Halloween.
The first four pictures are from our Halloween Story Time last week. We read a few pumpkin stories and decorated pumpkin sugar cookies. We had a good turn out and had a lot of fun. The little pumpkin juice boxes are for a party we are going to today. All food is Halloween themed. I didn't really feel that bloody juice with floating fingers (as ice of course) would be totally appropriate for toddlers, so "Pumpkin Juice" will have to do. The last one is from our ward's Trunk or Treat. For those of you that may not know what that is, here is the definition: Everyone from church gets together in the church parking lot, parks their cars in a circle, decorates the trunk and then the kids "Trunk" or treat in one central location. The parents stand in the middle and gab until their kid starts crying because there is one really scary trunk.

As for costumes, Cohen can't decide what the really wants to be. Initially it was Diego. I fought him on that because the costume cost $30 and I thought it was kind of lame. BUT... we bribed (model parent here) him to go poop in the toilet if he wanted to be Diego. It worked, so the costume was not in vain. Then last week he decided a pumpkin would be a better choice. Yesterday I gave in to the begging, and spent about $4 and 20 minutes on the pumpkin costume. So, this morning he told me he only wants to be the pumpkin inside and not on the outside... HUH? We'll see who I take Trick-or-Treating tomorrow.

Be safe and have a nice holiday!

Friday, October 26, 2007


I'm watching Deal or No Deal while Mike makes his special curry. If I won, and had to spend all of my money tonight, I would buy this stuff...

Two of these:
They are two for the price of one right now. Maybe I could justify buying two for the price of 1/2 off the already 1/2 off sales tag!

8 of these:
One of these pencil cups from Shim+Sons.

From Groovy Inclinations Etsy Shop. I love all of her stuff. I constantly check her site to see what is there.

Isn't it darling? I would want it in my size, of course and one for the little girl I may have one day. Or a sweet little girl that someone else might have.
I would buy these for Melissa. She loves penguins, and her love of them is rubbing off on me.

A few of these chandeliers, and I'll take the lamp, mantle and flooring, too.

Then I would ask her if I could buy her house.

I would also buy a digital SLR, pay off our student loans, and buy a mini van... (I'm not kidding).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Four Things

I was tagged by Lindy, so here it goes....

Four jobs I've had:

1. Copywriter/Project Manager @ 1-800 Patches (SLC)
2. Assistant Regulatory Coordinator @ PEGUS Research (SLC)
3. Fabric cutter @ Piece Goods (Rexburg, ID - BEST JOB EVER!)
4. Pizza Delivery Girl (St. Anthony - 6 long years)
Four places I have lived:
1. St.Anthony, Rexburg, McCall, ID
2. Carson City, NV
3. Forest Hill, CA
4. Jax Beach, Gainesville, Lake City, FL
Four favorite T.V. Shows:
1. The Office
2. Lost
3. ER
4. Scrubs (so long JD - I love you)
Four favorite foods:
1. Garlic Bread
2. Peeps - I know, I know - I'm beggin' for Diabetes
3. Diet Dr. Pepper - and high blood pressure
4. Cheese
Four websites I visit:
1. Gmail (personal and work)
3. Facebook/Myspace - again... I KNOW!

*Lindy - please tell me what bloglines is... sounds like it could save me from typing the 5th - 100th most visited sites each day
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Living in a house, not an apartment
2. Washington, DC
3. San Diego - except the part that in on fire
4. Cafe Rio, any location - Sounds good to me, lindy.... let's meet someday.
Four movies I love:
1. Everything is Illuminated
2. Empire Records
3. Sweet Home Alabama
4. X-Men II and Transformers are tied for this last spot
Four things on my to-do list today:
1. hang out with Terra + kids
2. see what Gardner Village is all about
3. make dinner (even my fear of raw chicken can't stop me from making this)- Chicken Tikka Masala
4. Go Visiting Teaching (scheduled for the same time as the Office - I need DVR)
Four people I tag:
All of you... I'm a sucker for these and love reading all about you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What do you do all day?

This was an assignment that Nicole gave us for our photo class. It was so fun to follow Cohen around all day with the camera. He didn't think so, though. He kept telling me to put the camera away. For the most part, he is a good sport. He is also super busy. Man, I needed a nap.
*Thanks, Mike, for helping me with some Photoshop tricks! You are so patient and you are the best!

Story Time Today

NOTE: I should have posted this yesterday, but I was cleaning my house! I don't want anyone to think I really would let my kitchen floor get sticky. ;-P
TUESDAY: OCT 23rd, 10:30 am
email me if you need more info: lori(dot)vanwagoner(at)gmail(dot)com

I live in Holladay, UT, so if you read this before 10:00 MST come on down!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Witching Hour

I took a class a few weeks ago and made these glittery hats. SO CUTE! Now I want to cover anything I get my hands on in glitter. I've been working a lot lately. My free hours are few and far between. My craft area is a mess and I haven't made anything in about 2 weeks. Awesome! We did go to Las Vegas for a baby blessing and then my sister came to Ogden to my parents for the week, so I've been hanging out. I'll post more about that later. I just wanted to say hello to the few of you I have left out there. Thanks for not losing hope! Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trying Again

OKAY - I don't have the natural touch for the photography and I'm pretty bummed about it. Everything looks so pretty through the lenses and when I get the photos developed, it ain't so pretty. Of the 60+ photos I took, I got about 7 good ones. I'll just keep practicing until I can get that camera to do what I want it to. Whew... complaints over!

I took the above photo this morning about 10:30 at Memory Grove near downtown. Isn't Utah so lovely in the Fall? Of course I did not photograph the reds and yellows to be as vibrant as they really are (see above paragraph), but it still looks quite lovely.

The weather is beautiful today. Please God, make the weather like this year round! It is about 70 degrees and sunny. I am wearing corduroy pants and a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt with my favorite $4 shoes and my internal temperature is under control. Of course the wind will pick up tonight and blow the great weather to North Dakota and it will be cold again. I've busted out Cohen's sweatshirts and we are ready for the fall action.

Tonight I am going to take meticulous notes so I can better improve my pictures for next week. Tah Tah!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

First Photos

Well, I wouldn't say that my first round of photos taken for my class was a bust, but I didn't get the results I was looking for. I guess I have a lot more practicing to do. My friend Melissa, who takes fabulous pictures, just told me to keep practicing.

I did get some great snapshots of Cohen, so it wasn't all a waste. I will go out today between the 100 Saturday tasks that are on the list and shoot another roll. Oh how I wish I had a digital SLR so I would be able to look at each photo immediately and see what was wrong. Today I'll write down all of the exposure settings so I know.

The leaves were pretty. I am also going to practice on objects that are a little more still. I think I need to figure out f-stop and shutter speed before I try and take anymore photos of Cohen. Still objects. Anyway, I hope the next set is better. :-)
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