Thursday, October 30, 2008


Yes... I'm thinking about and getting ready for Christmas.
To enjoy the Christmas Season...
the planning,
the preparations,
the decorating,
& the creativity,
I know I need to be organized for the month of December.
The stores are filled with Christmas
and the Christmas catalogs are filling the mailbox.
We usually have Boyd's family here for Christmas Day,
however this year we are going to his sister's in Madison.
No gifts this year.
Our gift to each other will be spending time together.
Below is a picture of some Scandinavian Tomten
that I ordered for our house.
I got them on ebay.
Cute and fun to play with...
making patterns on the coffee table.
They look so proud standing so straight & tall!

This is my December Day-by-Day album that I pre-made
and assembled
and will probably reassemble before December begins.
There is room and spaces and dates for each day of the month.
Places for photos and journaling.
I want to record "our story" of the month.
I will appreciate it when December arrives
and I just have to pop in daily photos
and record something special about that day.
See: Ali Edward's blog
I'm using a Scandinavian theme (I'm a Larson)
but you don't have to have a theme.

I found this Lollipop Tree in a catalog that just arrived &
I'm going to order one for our house and both of
my girls.
A good St. Nick's gift!

This is Melker.
He is a Tomte that just arrived from Finland
and the creative hands of Kajsa at Syko.
She has others just waiting to find a new home.

That's it for today!
Make this a great weekend!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I finished my Thanksgiving Album... as far as I can go at this time.
It's ready for our Thanksgiving adventure in Phoenix...
ready for the photos and journaling that I will add to it
to make it "our story" (the most important part).
I shared the album cover on my last post.
It's a 3 ring binder... 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
Page 1: Our travel day to Phoenix.
The journaling will be later recorded on a transparency on the
lower third of each day page. I don't want to hide the lovely papers.
I'll keep a small notebook in my
purse to record events and happenings throughout each day.
Photos and more journaling will go on several extra pages
that follow each tabbed page.

Page 2: Besides the journaling on a transparency for
the bottom of the page, I tried to leave room at the top for
a photo.

Page 3: My daughter Kristin will be flying in from Chicago
and we'll all be together.

Time to record all our blessings in photos and words.

Day 5: The busiest shopping day of the year.
We'll be off to the stores very early (a tradition).
Phoenix has WONDERFUL stores/shops/malls!
Our favorite... Sax Fifth Ave. outlet!

Day 6: SPA DAY!!
My birthday gift from Wendy & Kristin is a whole
day at the Camelback Inn and Spa in Scottsdale.
We've already been mailed our itinerary for the day.
I can't wait to have the girls all to myself in a relaxed
We shall be pampered!!

Day 7: Rest & Relaxation...
and a bit of shopping and hot-tubbing.

Day 8: Kristin returns to Chicago.

Day 9: An anything-can-happen day!

Day 10: Boyd and I return home.
Here is a sample of the extra photo pages that follow each
tabbed page.

I have the Christmas bug the last few days.
I'll share some of my projects next time!
Make this a great weekend!

Monday, October 20, 2008

M is for... Monday

M is for... Monday... Today... A fresh start!
1. M is for ... 'Made-ahead'.
I am such a fan of Ali Edward's work, philosophy, books, and so on.
(My hyperlink isn't working so FYI
I read her blog every morning with my first cup of tea.
I've decided to put all that I've learned from her into practice.
She suggests that scrap albums be made "ahead of time"
to save stress during holidays, etc.
She also suggests that you "keep it simple"!
I really need to embrace that as I get carried away very easily.
This is my Thanksgiving album (still on my work table).
The album itself is completed and the pages inside are almost
done... ready to glue in photos and journaling.
I'll share the pages with you later in the week and show you
some tips I've picked up from Ali.
We'll be in Phoenix for 9 days (coming home December 3rd) and
I'll be sooooo anxious to get Christmas decorating started and
all that goes with that fantastic time of the year.
I'll be able to finish my Thanksgiving album quickly and move on.
I'll journal while I'm at Wendy and Darin's house
and maybe even print some of the photos.
I feel so relaxed about this project.
Album: Exposures
Embellishments: Basic Grey "Ambosia" collection

2. M is for ... Mmmmmmmmmm!
This is my favorite anytime drink... vanilla chai (no sugar added).
3-4 spoonfuls in a pretty mug, hot water, fat-free whipped cream,
and a hardy sprinkling of cinnamon.
I buy it from online.
I only like the Big Train brand... which they carry.
I bought a case (no shipping) and it arrives quickly.
They have lots of different flavors and will send you samples.
I just tried their Gingerbread Chai and it was yummy.
You can make Starbucks and their over-priced drinks,
a thing of the past.

3. M is for... Monsters!
I found these cuties in the dollar bins at Target.
They are adorable in person.
They are going to Chris's first grade classroom.

4. M is for... Monk
We have been so hooked on the TV series Monk. He is such a character!
We got several seasons from Netflix and more from our
local video store.
Monk is on channel USA but we prefer to watch DVDs
as there are no commercials.
This year (2008) is season #7.
Monk is a detective with extreme OCD
(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
He continues to add new phobias with each episode.

5. M is for... Magazines.
The Christmas magazines have hit the stores and I love it!
So much inspiration and ideas for the holidays.

6. M is for... More Candy!

When I see a dull spot in the house that needs a touch
of Fall, I just add a pretty dish of Candy Corn with
a silver spoon and the area lights up.
We're not tempted with this kind of candy so
it's OK to have it around.
Not only a touch of color but a treat for guests.

Make this a Marvelous Monday!

Hugs, Joni

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This 'n That

I've been posting once a week.
I've decided... to do shorter posts, but
several times a week.
1. Playing with Photoshop.
I snapped pics of Fall trees/leaves today and used Photoshop
to add this Fall quote on the photo.
I really need to spend some serious time with Photoshop and
learn to utilize all that I'll be able to do with it.
2. Several 12 x 12 layouts.
I will be working on my girl's layouts for the rest of my life
as I only started a few years ago.
Lots and lots of years to catch up with.
This 'bald child' is actually ME! Look at the date!
Yup... that's how old I am.
I'll be 65 on November 9th... that is a
"Welcome to Medicare" year.

This is Wendy, Allison (middle), and Kristin.
Sadly, there are so many pictures of Halloween that have been
lost or ruined through the years and I feel terrible about that.
So many creative costumes and fun times that will live only
in our memories.

This is Kristin dressed as a flapper.

Not seasonal... but, one of my favorites.

3. Asymmetrical Balance
I hadn't even noticed this pile until Boyd pointed it out...
and it is right on the floor next to my desk.
I think I have some reorganizing to do as
the holiday seasons approach.
It's amazing what one can get used to, live with,
and not even see after a while.

Make this a great weekend!

Love to you,

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Ready... hold on to your hats...
These albums were $1.00 each at Target in their Dollar display
at the front of the store.
They also had coordinating ribbon, stickers, paper , and letters.
Soooooo... my $1.00 bargain cost $63.00 before I
left the store.
But that was 2 bags of goodies!
Some I shared, some I used, and some I stored for next year.
That's what I call "YUMMERS" !!!

This is the cover of my almost completed Fall 2008 album.

Fall is my favorite time of the year... stimulates all my senses.

Boyd made and canned applesauce this year.
He added some blueberries and strawberries.
Pretty and YUMMY!!
He also made spaghetti sauce and canned it.
Fresh herbs, garlic, red wine, and so on.
The guest bathroom is my favorite to decorate.
The towels were my starting colors.
Love, love, love a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino Blended creme lite!
New additions to my Halloween stash.
I try to add something new each year.
I notice I'm getting much pickier
and giving non-favorites to Goodwill.

When the porch has Fall color I feel...
"If I go no further, this will do!"

The wreath on the front door is actually the first
Fall decoration to appear... always!

The inside of our home is cozy and welcoming.
Fun to decorate!

More inside our home!

We have this lovely store in DePere with a lovely owner named Patty.
I bought Kristin and Wendy each... the 3 sparkly pumpkins
in the photo below... to help them celebrate this wonderful season.
Patty wrapped them in black shiny paper with gold ribbon
and a huge bow.
I had them packed and mailed.
They arrived with bow still perky.

These are Wendy and Darin's doggies in Arizona.
These are their last-year costumes.
Can't wait to see how Wendy dresses them this year!

And here's our Gabby-the-cat.
She'd never tolerate a costume... Queen of the house that she is.

I have a few blank pages to go and will finish them up today.
This is a busy week and I'd like to clean off my work table
to start a new project.

Make this a good week!
Thanks for stopping by... whether you leave a
comment or not!
Love to you all,

Monday, October 6, 2008


My Tuesdays in Chris's 1st grade classroom
have been lots of fun.
I thought you might like to see some of my projects with the class.
Maybe they'll even give you an inspiration
for an activity to try with your family.
This is the red tub we keep our Tuesday "Mini Books" in... and
keep in the classroom library corner for reading.Week #1

Week #2

Week #3

Week #4

Week #5

Tomorrow I'm reading a favorite monster book...
Maggie and the Monster
and we'll be making a 'Not so Scary Monster' book.
I'll share it next week.


A yummy pumpkin spice frapuccino cream.

Some added bling to an old candle.

Poking around the neighborhood with my camera.
Tip-toeing onto a lawn with camera.

Aren't these lovely!

Goodies in a footed dish in a local store.
Have some virtual candy...
low in calories that way!!

Make this a great week!
Love to you,