Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Simplify

Eleven months ago I embarked on a year long project to produce 144 scrapbook pages during 2012. That is a lofty goal, but I was certain that I could make 12 pages per month. Easy right?


 
Only 13 pages are complete, hmmm...131 pages short! Insurmountable really at this point, but I linger on the process, continue to curate and when this story is ready to emerge I am confident that it will unfold. Until then this pile awaits!

Sometimes it is just easier to let it go and keep it simple, so accepting my limited pumpkin carving skills,  this Cinderella - esque coach emerged!

 
Our Thanksgiving was simple too...
 
 
 Just used what was on hand to create a festive table  
 
 

The turkey sort of reminded me of a movie called "Three Men and a Baby"*
 I love these guys
 

Twenty four pounds of delicious

 
"It's a girl"!
 
 
Fully decorated we are not but there are rumblings of Christmas by way of some ornaments.
Earlier in the year, I participated in an on-line class to up-cycle dominoes and this is how they sat for many months.
 
 
A Rose in my life got my studio in tip-top shape this year. These little gems were uncovered during the purge and are now available at Civano Gift Shop http://www.shoppe-at-civano.com/
 
 
 
Lastly, as I prepare my heart and our home for Christmas, I could not have found more joy than sharing in making this advent calendar for our grandchildren.
 
 
Each day ties to a reading and that is the meaning.
The visual effects help the kiddos to understand the story of Jesus and it is our hope that as they grow they will be able to take turns reading the scriptures.
Here are a couple of my favorites.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace  
 
 
Shepherds in the fields keeping watch over their flocks at night
 
 
Jesus is King of kings.
 

*Three wise men
 
Close to my Heart Calendar Kit

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. Matthew 2:11


Our Christmas card will come to you in the form of a December Daily blog post at the end of next month. We cannot wait to share it with you!

Rick and I wish you all the blessings that this Christmas season has to offer.

Hugs,
Debbie
 
 
 
 

 
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are We There YET?

Many people that I have spoken with say that they have not experienced such a season as our current election. Whether you have traveled with an anxious child or planted seeds in your garden you have surely found some wisdom in the pleasure of seeking patience.

It took me ten years, several interviews and a proud naturalization day in court to gain the privilege to vote so I take it all very seriously.  Here is my ballot with just a few pieces of the related mail. I wish I had kept all the mail...it would have made an impressive stack!


Vote - Check!
Mail in ballot - Check!
Volunteer at the election center - Check!
I was honored to spend a day at Election Headquarters representing my party.   


Don't hold your breath because no matter the outcome - we have considerable work in front of us.
 
Just gotta say that verifying signature affidavits on ballots is fascinating.
*Did you know that signatures go through four levels of progression during a person's lifetime?
 
Have you ever heard of this game? I had NOT!
Hubs taught me the game of holding your breath in a tunnel.

 
Driving through the Mule Tunnel Are we there YET?
WHERE?
 
 
Oktoberfest + Bisbee + 1000 Star Climb = OUR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Our walking tour


We had a brief respite at a favorite B & B. We have the most amazing knack of visiting locations that just happen to be bustling with an event. Enter the annual 1,000 Stair Climb. I think I heard whisperings of participation next year. Note to self: Train for 4.2 mile stair climb.
Hmmm...change eating habits - Check!
Got some ideas that I am going to share about this next month.
 
Here are a few of the outdoor stairways that ease navigating this VERY hilly historic town.




You definitely need to hold the rails since the rungs are so shallow!
 




Just looking at all those stairs made us hungry!
 
 
As I continue to tweak my studio, time did allow for a couple of small projects. This canvas board creates a personalized box, but eventually it will be overflowing with precious memories and projects. 
 
 
 
Of course, sister needs one too!
 
 
What would October be without a trip to the pumpkin patch?
 
 
Look Auntie Merg! Goats! 
 
 
Another generation 
 
 
 
 OH! The Passion of a sister!
 
Jack was fairly certain this was ready to eat.
 
 
 Headed home but luckily this chapter is not over yet 'cause we are
JAZZED for the pumpkin carving.
Did I mention that it gets a little competitive when the knives come out?
 
 
By the next time that we visit Thanksgiving will have been served.
Our hearts are grateful every day for the blessing of family and friends.
 
Every year our turkey table has been graced with the ritual that has come to be known as
'THE DRUMSTICK PLEASE'
 
You know who you are...
Sometimes the turkey leg calls and a little boy just can't wait!
 
 
Some things never change
 
 
Miles apart; hearts together
 
Daylight savings time is November 4.
If you don't change your clocks (Arizona) at least remember to change your smoke alarm batteries.
It may save a life!
 
Give pause, give Him thanks for this life.
 
Debbie
 


 
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yay! It's CARAMEL season!

May all the blessings of autumn fall upon you!

It's a happy day in the Stertz home when we get to decorate for fall. The scent of maple, pumpkin and cider are in the air as we await something under 90 degrees this month. How do you mark a change in seasons?



Fall is not unlike spring in that it provides a new start. Lots of new fun things took place this month.
 
Texas Hold 'em  watch out! Well I am really good at the negotiating and stoic face part. Now if I could just throw down some chips without any fear then I may have found another career.


This was all in fun to help the Tucson Association REALTORS Charitable Foundation. One couple had to leave in disguise and are now wanted for "Best in Game".

 
Productivity of a different sort was happening in my newly organized studio. Stay tuned for photos of the lovely space but for now the topic was organizing. Thirty years of photographs are now chronologically organized.
 
 
 
 
 Can you imagine my excitment when I got to play with glue sticks AND Olivia at the zoo! Few things make me happier than crafting so having a chance to get sticky fingers together was a blast. Reid Park Zoo has amazing activities for children of all ages. 
 
 
Things move fast when you are two years old; so on we went to visit the newest baby at the zoo.
 

The animal kingdom so boldly demonstrates how babies learn.

Papercrafts took a lighter production path this month as I gear up to knit shawls for our annual  Blue Christmas service at Saguaro Canyon Church that responds to those in our community that are suffering during Christmas.  If you or anyone you know would like to learn to knit or crochet shawls or lap blankets, please let me know. These handcrafted items bless many grieving souls!
 
 
 
 
What do you know! Thirty years of photographs coincides with a special starry celebration with our daughter and son-in-law.  
 
They both hit the big 30 this year and had a September to remember birthday bash.
Maple sugar rims and a star anise were sweets delights. 
 

My guilty pleasure is usually something that includes maple or butterscotch.
 
Think back to your earliest days of learning to cook. Did you enjoy trying new flavors and combinations or do you prefer repeating the same recipes?
 
My kitchen has often been a place to experiment. When a few tasty morsels occur it is usually enough to keep me reaching for more.  I tried to learn how to make a true caramel topping for the salted caramel cheesecake that by comparison was a cinch to make. It was yummy and will be on our Thanksgiving table. 


The quickest way to monogram starts here...
Buy a lightweight letter at a local craft store and cover it with paper. I cannot take credit for the "O" but is was my muse so is included in the photo.


There is just no other paper that has the same effect as money!
This is the back of the "J".

 
Our grandson is many things that would just sound like bragging so I will leave it with he is just a 'happy guy'! 




One REALLY exciting new thing that I did this month was to start an on line Etsy store that will feature some of my handcrafted items. Thanks for checking it out.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Handleandhinge?ref=search_shop_redirect

You may remember the vinyl album totes that I made last year for holiday gifts. Well...there will be lots more to come!

Housing values are recovering! The average home sales price in Tucson during August was $ 180,193. Average days on market was 65 and we have 3,564 active listings in the greater Tucson/Marana/Oro Valley area.

Please let me know if you would like a complimentary comprehensive market analysis on your home.

Debbie