Thursday, July 9, 2009

The agony of defeat

I wrote this post a few months ago but forgot to share. For those of you who don't have a Cub Scout or who have never seen a Pinewood Derby, it's a rite of passage...the boys are given a block of wood (pine, I'm assuming), some wheels, and some nails and screws. They have to make a car out of the wood to be raced against the other cars. Some parents boys spend months designing an creating a car that is super cool to look at AND has the right amount of weight to fly down the track.

Okay, let's just say as crafty as I am -- anything involving cutting wood is beyond my realm of expertise. I just have images of someone winding up having to be rushed to the hospital to have their finger reattached. It's clearly a job for Fred.

Fred helped the boys design and cut out their cars. Once they were cut, I could join back in and help get them set up to paint and decorate the cars. Let it be noted that we had almost a month to build the car. When did we start?-two days before!! Really, just getting the cars made spelled V-I-C-T-O-R-Y in my book, and we were pretty proud of the fact that our boys really did do most of the work.

Race day results. They didn't win - that's okay, it's all about having fun right? Well, not really; however, I think Alex would have been okay with not winning -- except that he lost to his YOUNGER BROTHER -- why oh why did they have to pit brothers against each other? There were a few moments of fighting back tears, and the ride home was a little unpleasant, but everyone has recovered and they are eagerly anticipating the next Cub Scout race - raingutter regatta, space derby - whatever it is, I'm just glad my oldest will be out of cubs and not competing!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: More photoshop fun

I know - it's supposed to be Wordless Wednesday, but I think I like the before photo better. I'm not much for the "hand-tinted" vintage look. Maybe I'll try playing with a photo that doesn't have a person in it. The glowing stars around the head were just part of the assignment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Look what I can do!!!

So, we have this great computer. My husband has an AMAZING digital camera. He's a super technology geek (I mean that in the best possible way - I am in awe!) who designs incredible websites in his spare time. Me? I can email, resize pictures to have them printed, and surf the web.

That's where my technology skills end, seriously. But one of my favorite scrapbook gurus, Becky Higgins, alerted her readers to a FREE (yes free) 2 week photo editing class given by Jessica Sprague. If you don't know who that is - well, she does some pretty amazing digital scrapbooking, and although I'm still a paper & scissors kind of gal, I could stand to learn a few tricks.

I've actually considered paying to take one of her classes before, but I was afraid I would never get around to doing the assignments - money wasted, so I put it off. But this opportunity is PERFECT. No pressure! If I do the assignments - GREAT! If life gets too busy or I don't like the way she teaches, nothing's lost!

So far, so good. Our first assignment was to add a PNG frame & word art to a photo. The tutorial was super easy to follow, and I really like the way my photo turned out. I can't wait for tomorrow's lesson!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Try this at home

Okay, so we went strawberry picking and, as usual, hoarded picked as though we would never see another strawberry again. They were soooo good - nice & ripe right off the vine. The only problem? They start to get overripe REALLY quickly, so we had to figure out what to do with them - FAST. This wasn't too much of a problem since we ate nearly half on the first day.

What did we do with the rest? Well...
We made these, of course! Chocolate cupcakes with with a fresh strawberry in the center, topped with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of brown sugar! I got the recipe from, one of my favorite sites. They were surprisingly easy and basically awesome!! They look pretty impressive too, don't they?

Then, look who came to visit.

Mickey looks tastes soooo much better with a little strawberry sauce and almond flavored whipped cream to dress him up.

I love whipped cream, but it's EVEN BETTER when you add just a touch of flavoring to it. The almond was a perfect complement to the strawberry flavor. We've been on a waffle kick, and the other day we had waffles with warm blueberry sauce & cinnamon flavored whipped cream - yum! - but I digress...

Finally, made some freezer jam with the last of the berries and some corn muffins to go with it. This jam is unbelievably easy. It left me wondering why I've never made it before.

The strawberries are gone, but there are plenty more berries that will be ripening in the next few weeks. Next on the picking list? Blueberries, raspberries & blackberries. I love summer!!