Thursday, June 30, 2011

Loving Pinterest

Have you heard about Pinterest yet? I think I am quickly becoming obsessed!


Check out the item’s I have been pinning:


Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Jo Kill

I was browsing through the gallery this week when I came across these…
Isn't this card simply fab? I wish someone would have made such a pretty card for me when I started my new job in Germany!

Are these impressive or what? They are the work of Jo Kill over at "We Don't Do Duvet's." Her blog is full of enough cards to inspire whatever you create for weeks. Personally I am inspired with her use of flowers and oodles of ribbon. If you have time I encourage you to check out her gallery, I hope you will be inspired too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love in Lisboa

I could not resist anymore and signed up for the monthly paper kit from Studio Calico. I received the June kit, “Paper Moon” last week and created my first layout with it today. This layout is really special to me because it documents a week in my life (March 2011) where Mr. C. and I reconnected after being apart for several months.


When you are away from your significant other it is not just the, “I miss you” that becomes hard but when in different time zones and feeling a world away you find that your lives start to take different paths. When I officially came to Germany to join Mr. C. we left immediately to go to Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal and the first day was pretty rough. Mr. C. was excited to see me and I was excited to see him but I felt lost… like a part of me was still at the airport in the city I considered home. We needed that week in Portugal.


We spent hours sitting at outdoor cafes listening to music until the wee-hours of the morning just talking, sharing all the little funny things that had happened to us which are difficult to say over the phone. One night we went to a café just for an appetizer and started talking and laughing and 4 hours later finally left! I think the experience taught us both that when you are apart for a long time it is important to go to a new place to re-discover each other. In the new-place neither of you has commitment’s and activities that you built in the absence of your partner. I suppose it could be called “neutral” territory!

portugal 06_26_11small

I used Mister Huey's with my doily stamp for a washed effect and as a dye for the doilies used to represent the circle in the sketch. The little adventure badge in the corner was purchased in Hungary, the tissue flower was handmade and all other items are from Paper Moon and Studio Calico.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My New DSLR Camera!

Blurry images + inaccurate colors = FRUSTRATION!

Until yesterday when my new baby arrived…

After slightly (ok glancing at it long enough to ensure I charged the battery correctly) I started playing with the features by trial and error and captured these images from our day today.

Eggs, checking to make sure Mr. C. was not going to go on a walk without him (notice all the boxes? yup my camera arrived in those!)
Our little German village had it’s annual bike ride today…
Mr. C.’s late night indulgence made for great ISO practice
Bored at being considered “just” a model.
I was most curious to see how the new camera would capture on close-ups which is where I had most of my previous frustration. The camera did great…so great I think I need to name it, stay tuned for that…I need a few more days to really get to know her personality! In case you are wondering about what these close-up’s are, they are pieces "in-progress" of a surprise 4th of July gift for my mom.

Love looking at photo’s? Check out my little Sister Olivia’s blog, “Liv in the Moment.” Her photo’s are beautiful and as a high-school students have already won several awards. Stop by her home and give her some love!

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A Liv in the Moment Photo Capture…

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pretty Little Monkey

My sister Jessica designs amazing crochet patterns. We have been telling her that she should share them for a while now and she published her first on last month. Check out her blog announcement and these gorgeous photo’s!


Would you like a jungle monkey?


Or a princess?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Mr. C. spent last week in Montenegro is currently in route to Sweden so it is just me and the puppy Eggs for the next few days. While I miss him when he is away I am so excited that he has the opportunity to travel so much…though this Sweden trip breaks our total number of countries visited tie and put’s him in the lead…I think I need a vacation out of the country again soon! While in Montenegro Mr. C. captured some beautiful photos with his mobile camera.




The country of Montenegro is located in Southeastern Europe and lays along the Adriatic Sea. Mr. C. spent his time (when not working) swimming, eating and collecting the most gorgeous blue rocks from the sea for me! Hopefully I will get the chance to go with him next time, maybe I can even teach Mr. C. how to swim.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Anatomy of a Cuckoo Clock

I see so many things each week in real life and my cyber life that inspire me and thought, why not give them a special day on the blog? My inspiration this week is from my visit to Triberg last weekend where I visited one of the last woodcarvers that still creates hand carved, one-of-a-kind cuckoo clocks by Robert and Christopher Herr.















The Robert Herr family has been hand carving cuckoo clocks for five generations and they are so gorgeous! It was wonderful to hear the passion and excitement when they described their craft. To learn that a clock can take hours of patience, dedication and skill to make a beautiful work of art.

IMAG1365The inner workings of a cuckoo clock.

Did you know that a cuckoo clock is NOT run on batteries? That the cuckoo noise actually comes from little bellows inside that generate the noise using air? That cuckoo clocks became popular in the Black Forest because farm land was poor and they would spend the winters carving clocks and other items to sell to peddlers that would come in the Spring? As I listened and learned I could only think… I need to learn how to carve wood!










Sometimes I stop and think, why do I have this drive to create things? Why do I spend time pouring over color combinations, painting (ok finger painting most of the time!), practicing my sketching and learning techniques when I could simply watch a tv show or go out to dinner like so many other people. Then I meet other individual’s passionate about their work and it inspires me to stay motivated. Amy Tangerine posted a wonderful quote on twitter today from Gretchen Rubin, “Time, money, or energy spent on things I love is never wasted.”


What is inspiring you to do what you love this week?

An art tip if you are our planning a trip to Triberg and want to purchase some altered art supplies, head to the House of a Thousand Clocks and look for a bin of broken cuckoo clocks parts near the back. I purchase several wooden clock faces that stated made in Germany and hand carved clock weights to make into Christmas ornaments for less than 25 euro! An inexpensive and wonderful way to capture your trip.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pretty Little Studio Design Team

I have been a little quiet the last two weeks and I am armed and ready with a lock solid excuse! While some of you may have been thinking Mrs. C. started a new job…death to the blog! This is not accurate it was more like internet still won’t work, Mr. C.’s laptop crashed and therefore took Mrs. C.’s on business to Montenegro…death to the blog!

So what have you missed in the last two weeks? In addition to starting the new job I have been visiting in Austria doing the American tourist must, “The Sound of Music Tour,” visiting Triberg, Germany and watching how a cuckoo clock is made and waiting for Mr. C. to come home from Montenegro and bring me my computer! (and kisses xoxo). I have also been completing my submissions for the Pretty Little Studio design team contest.

I hesitate to even post it here, because if I don’t win part of me feels like I will be totally crushed and not want to tell people but the other half of me thinks who cares if I don’t win? I had a great time making beautiful things with product I love and had the gut’s to actually submit them for a chance to do something I really…really want.

One of the items I made was a corsage pin made with a Pretty Little Studio Mother’s Day freebie. I finished it last night and Mr. C. did an impromptu photo shoot for my submission before we head to Ramstein today.




When I saw the Mother’s Day circle tag I thought it screamed the need to go onto a corsage pin. Have you been to the Pretty Little Studio site? They have little circle tags like the one on my pin with images of babies, boys and girls, Easter bunnies and clowns. How cute would a “new dad,” “happy birthday I’m 6” or even little Easter bunny and chick pin corsages be when attached to Easter baskets and cards.


I think I will close with what Shaun calls my “gangster” shot, and a note that after seeing these pictures I need to weed my garden. Have a great Sunday and wish me luck in the contest!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Childhood Memories Art Journal

The business of moving uncovers a lot of things that you maybe have not looked at in a while. Old school certificates, a shoe with no match and other random items. The other day I was sorting books and came across an old Madame Alexander "Little Women" journal.

The journal was given to me by my older sister as a young teenager in the height of my doll collecting hobby. As I grew out of doll collecting habit this journal was never completed, I think at first because I did not want to "wreck" it and then I simply grew older and put away a lot of childhood treasures. As I flipped through the blank journal I started thinking of all the other childhood items I have found in the move. Stickers I found that were pretty, my favorite books, items I knitted and crocheted, old photos and my creative juices started moving.

I took the book to my art room and then rudely took a knife to it. It has a glue binding and came apart rather easily. I then stitched every 4-5 pages together with the sewing machine to give them a little more weight and started creating. I pulled out all the childhood items I had been finding, started jotting down memory triggers and finished my first two pages.

Sargent Inspired Art: This page describes the first time I viewed a Sargent painting, how looking into the eyes of his creations helped to inspire my love of art. The page is overwhelmingly purple because it was my FAVORITE color at that stage in my life and was one of the reasons I loved the particular painting on the page.  
Supplies: A sticker from a book I purchased at the art museum as a girl, fabric left-over from a doll dress I made approx. age 12, oil pastels, pencil and ink.

Elsie Dinsmore: This page features a quote from one of my favorite book series as a girl of around age 8. The book series was written in the 19th century and is very soft and feminine and I wanted to reflect it on my page. I tried to challenge myself while making my page and restricted the colors to a color challenge at Crate Paper.
Supplies: Emma's Shoppe (CP) chipboard and paper, Stampin' Up "Tres Chic" stamp, yellow star trinket pin (MR), lace I purchased in Hungary, oil pastels, floss, pencil, ink.

I am really having a lot of fun with this little art journal. I am mainly using Emma's Shoppe from Crate Paper for purchased paper and embellishments. All other supplies are handmade, childhood items or random bits of fabric, clothing and colors that inspire me.

I hope you will look forward to the watching this journal progress over the coming weeks, and join me on the journey towards completion.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Day of Work

So my 10 week sabbatical has come to an end and my new job starts this morning. I spent yesterday prepping my planner, packing my lunches and ironing clothes. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Good Eats in Budapest

One of my favorite things about eating. I love looking for little restaurants, food stands and outdoor markets. I enjoy reading food reviews, asking people I meet about their favorite local places. I just love everything about experiencing another city or culture's food. In Budapest we captured photo's of almost everything we ate the good things, and the bad.


A great restaurant right outside of our hotel good for lunch or dinner, or possibly a little nightcap overlooking Matthias church with live music. We initially visited on our first day in the city when we saw, "cottage cheese dumplings with rhubarb sauce." Now I love cheese and rhubarb and the addition of the word "dumpling" sold me, so Mr. C. and I headed in for a pre-dinner snack. The texture of the cottage cheese in Budapest is very different than the texture of American cottage cheese. It is almost like putting a little marscapone and cottage cheese together in a blender and the results of the mixture is called "cottage cheese." The outside of the dumpling was covered in a sugar coating which honest-to-goodness I can only describe as tasting like a Butterfingers candy bar, which if  had know earlier Mr. C. and I might have been eating the dumplings for breakfast rather than as a late afternoon snack!

Cottage Cheese Dumplings = 1 Thumbs up 
While I loved the sugary coating it was a little overpowering in the dish.


 This place was super tasty. Mr. C. and I originally found it when looking for a nightcap aka a nightcap other than the common city option of beer, wine or the Hungarian palinka (that stuff is strong!). Our hotel referred us to Peirrot after implying that only the really "young" party goers drink cocktails but usually leave that phase by 21 or 22 years (now just what was he implying about my age?). Either way I am happy he sent us to the restaurant because the drinks and atmosphere were great. The next day after my Kiraly bath experience, I headed back for a mojito and a cream of turnip soup while I relaxed and wrote in my travel journal. At first I was a little nervous about turnip as an ingredient, who makes cream of turnip soup? I am now a believer. It was delicious and the garnish had a little kick to it which made the soup even better, so creamy and artfully presented! If you plan on heading to the Castle district to eat dinner make sure you have a reservation for this place.

Cream of Turnip Soup = 2 Thumbs Up

The Hummus Bar

We originally found this restaurant weeks before we knew we were traveling to Hungary. I found the restaurant as a review in, "The Student's Guide to Europe 2011" and highlighted it on my kindle in case we ever traveled to Hungary. Mr. C. and I have been craving some good hummus these last few months. After learning the subway system and navigating the trams we finally found it...and were disappointed. The hummus and beans seemed a little bland, the bread a little cold and tough and the salads were overly seasoned. It almost seemed as if the strength of the flavour in the tabouli and baba ghanoush made the hummus even more lifeless. However, I do have to say that if you want some good falafel during your visit then this is the place to go it was excellent but if hummus is what you are seeking I would keep looking.

Falafel = 1 Thumbs Up, Hummus = 1 Thumbs Down


This is an impressive spot with multiple eating salons and indoor and outdoor seating, it is a Hungarian cafe staple and initially opened in 1858. Since it's opening it has served customers such as Empress Sissi, Princess Dianna, Queen Elizabeth II, Madonna, Brad Pitt, etc... I was told that the cafe should not be missed and that the best thing to order was a slice of the Dobos torte. A Hungarian creation it was one of the first cakes to ever use buttercream. The torte as a dense sponge cake structure with 5 layers of chocolate buttercream and a final layer of crunchy caramel on top. Super chocolaty! The cafe is a little expensive so if you want to experience it and save your cash go before 11:30 a.m. because there breakfast prices are very reasonable. If you only want to try the dobos go inside and get your slice at the cafe counter. Not only will they wrap it up beautifully with a blue ribbon but for each slice of the various Gerbeaud desserts you order, they take an additional 10% off up to 50% total... so go crazy! We did with a nice package of three slices for the trip home.

Dobos Cake = 1 Thumbs Up 
(Can you believe it's not two thumbs up? bu there was just sooo much chocolate)

Budapest Grand Market Hall 

Imagine...a deep fried piece of dough bigger than your dinner plate covered with sour cream, shredded cheese, spicy sausage, tomatos, olives, feta cheese, hot peppers, red onions and more! The Hungarian's call this dish Langos, can we say heart attack on a plate? The topping's were great but about the time I took the 3rd bite I was done. Unfortunately Mr. C. was not with me so I had to throw the rest away... I saw another American near me trying to eat one covered in Nutella... they are very hard to eat and I was thankful I was not eating the Nutella option, it was everywhere! Besides the langos, the Grand Market Hall was full of fresh food, cooked food and various liquors. It is frequented by a lot of tourists but should definitely not be missed while in the city.

The house special Langos = Neutral
That was just a little too much fried dough, not bad but not the best either!



This is not a restaurant, but a coned shaped pastry that you can find all over the city in various stands. The dough is wrapped around a cone and cooked, afterward it is coated in a sticky mixture and covered with almost any type of coating you would like. Cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla, sprinkles, nuts and the list continues. Make sure you grab one while you walk around the city and enjoy pulling off each wonderful piece.

Kürtőskalács = Wait, I have to go grab Mr. C. for 4 Thumbs Up! 

My last tip on eating in Hungary? Eat breakfast at your hotel and then catch a quick cheap meal from a food stand while sight-seeing and spring the big bucks for a really nice dinner that has been recommended by a trusted source. We ate a lot of forgettable, overpriced food while visiting simply because of the neighborhoods we were in. Pick your restaurant wisely so as not to go hungry in Hungary (I just could not resist).

Here's wishing you good eats wherever in the world you are today!

Want to try one of these dishes but are not planning a trip to Hungary soon? Why not try making the Dobos torte at home? Check out the recipe here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Savoring Summer

When you arrive home from a trip…your usually tired, thinking about the laundry, the list of things you didn’t complete while you were gone and then you stop by the post office and…

You have several boxes of scrapbooking supplies waiting!

What? This has never happened to me before but I am completely geeked about it.


Look at the cute sticker on the outside of the box containing my “Savoring Summer” mini-album kit from Elle's Studio. “Savoring Summer,” is designed to help you record in journal form all the wonderful items, photos and day to day finds you collect over the summer. Since this is our first summer in the new house, in Europe both with new jobs I thought it would be great to create a pretty little book to write my daily thoughts in.


The kit contains limited edition summer tags from Elle’s Studio, a Studio Calico spray and chipboard alphabet, Sassafrass stickers and various papers from Crate Paper, Sassafrass, etc… plus cute Crate Paper trims and other related items. It arrived all packaged in brown paper and yellow tissue paper with matching yellow ribbon and a “Savoring Summer” tag.


Here’s a look at some of the special edition tags in the kit. I love how the month tags have the month and year in the right hand corner and the left.


I have never ordered from Elle’s Studio before and after this kit’s arrival I think the Studio has the purchase presentation factor right on the mark, I even received a free birthday pennants sheet. There is nothing like having your purchases in the mail wrapped in tissue paper and bows rather than Styrofoam and bubble wrap.

But wait there’s more!

My box from Two Peas in a Bucket arrived while we were in Budapest too, how lucky is that?


Wait until you see the art journal I am making with Emma’s Shoppe it’s going to be fabulous. Now that I am done gushing about my fun new items I promise there will be a Budapest travel update and a Max Mini-Album soon!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Budapest… and Hello to Memories

In the airport waiting for our plane…normally a stressful time but since it is only and hour and a half flight with no layover what is there to be stressed about? While I enjoy my latte macchiato (which is giving me way too much of a buzz this time of night) I have been browsing through the lovely pictures from this week and cannot wait to share all the sights, travel tips and wonderful art creations that this trip generated.


Me, super-excited to share our Budapest experience.

Stay tuned this weekend!

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