Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back again.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prince Charming card- Cardabilities #30

So it's reveal time over at Cardabilities today. Oh how exciting reveal days are!!!
Make sure you visit the blog here and see the rest of the cards the designers made with the fabulous sketch.
Here's mine....

Prince Charming

I made my circle accent smaller and matted the card with pattern paper. I also used a much bigger sentiment block. I love the little accents in the sketch and used flourishes, die cut leaves and layered flowers for mine.

Here's some close ups....

Machine stitching and some bling finished the card.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend.

Till next time,


Thursday, April 28, 2011

some crafty share

Hello and Happy Thursday.
I just realized that I've not shared much crafty post this month, so something paper related was on the top of the blog post list today.

I made this page for Clear Scraps. You can check out more close up photos and a little bit of how to and supplies used for this project in the Clear Scraps blog.

I made this Altered tool box for Glue Arts. We had matched up with Maya Road and I used some fun chipboard shaped and felt birds to add whimsy to this project.

and as all of my Glue Arts projects go, if you want to replicate this, you can view my instructions complete with step by step photo at the Glue Arts Blog.

Lately, I've been addicted to my local Goodwill store. It's just 5 minutes away from my home and every time I visit, there's always a treasure to be found.This wooden toolbox was one of those found treasures and for only 1 buck, it was definitely one to take home!

somehow lately my family keeps on asking if I'm still pursuing publications. I don't know why they're all of a sudden asking but since the subject is being brought up a lot lately, I'm thinking I might have to have a pubbed blogpost once a month.

I got this issue about a couple of weeks ago. I know it's kinda late but if you know publications, designers usually get their complimentary copy along with our projects a month after the issue had been released to the public.

I got this cardboard wall art included in this issue. I've used Upsy Daisy Designs products with this project.

I also have a wedding towel cake included in the issue. I have a new computer now and most of my files are still in the old one so I don't have a photo to share for that, but if you have the issue, you'll see it in there.

So there you have it. Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the week.

Till next time,


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter day

In all my life Easter has been pictured like this.....Nice bright sunny day, with blue skies and perfect weather. Well I guess in some parts of the world, ummm, like Colorado Springs, Mother Nature has a different picture of what Easter looks like. Here's what we saw Easter morning....

I have to say, I was so bummed when I woke up with snow on the ground. I mean, it's Springtime, should'nt it be green and gorgeous outside? Plus the weather didn't match with our "springtime outfits!" Yes that was my dilemma for that day. But alas, with my need to be "fashion forward" I braved the snow in my white cute sandals! That's the cali girl in me. LOL

After a quick breakfast, we got ready for church. Our sacrament service this year is 9 am and that means that things are pretty rushed on Sunday mornings, well this day, I took some extra time helping the kids get ready (fixing their hair and making sure they're perfect in their outfits) that we were late for church! Good thing our chapel was only 8 minutes away!

After church, we did our annual Easter family photos. Like I said, in the land of great weather aka California, we usually do it outside but this year we had to stay indoors and set up our little photo shoot between the living room and dining room. Thank goodness for neutral colored walls!

You all know that I'm the photographer in the family and so to get this shot, I had set up my camera on a tripod and caught this with a remote. See our color scheme? This is the first year that I made sure we were all matched. The nautical color scheme came together because of Maddie's dress. That was my first purchased and then I built up the rest of the families outfits with that color in mind.

where's my baby??? Marcus looks so grown up in this photo. Oh I'm not ready for preteen yet!

here's another baby turned into a beautiful young girl. :)

Here's Mitch in his new suit and very nice tie. He was still scruffy in this photo because our Easter Open House ran both Saturday and Sunday. He shaved it off yesterday.

and me!

After this little photo shoot and a quick change of clothes we went to our friends, Larry and Anna, for an Easter lunch and more egg hunt for the kids.

Then we rushed back to church to do another session of the Easter Open House.

And finally we finished off our Easter day with a late dinner consisting of yummy leftovers. *wink* and some needed downtime.

So that's it. Our Easter weekend was definitely full of memories and I feel so blessed to be reminded annually of the great gift of the Atonement, our Savior has given us.

Till next time,


Easter Program

For the past three months, our little family have been hard at work (ok so mostly me) in preparing our part in our church's Easter Open House. We had set up 7 rooms in our building to represent each day of Jesus' Christ last week here on earth. Our family had Thursday, which included events of the Last Supper and the Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Here's a peek of our room.
Disclaimer....Mitch and I did the job of giving the tour to each person that came in the room while the kids helped out in distributing the little treats we made. With that being said, after everything was done, I noticed that I didn't take enough photos of the room. Sorry about that! We'll have to make a mental not to be better at multitasking next time!

Ok so we did get our friend Brandon to take a photo of the family before all the chaos began. While preparing for our room, I really wanted my little family and I to be as close to the period of that moment as possible so I made costumes for all of us. Thank goodness for Goodwill, I was able to score bed sheets, blankets and some curtains to transform into costumes.

I found a great recipe for unleavened bread online and made a big batch for people to try. Our whole vision for this room was to be interactive. We wanted our guests to feel that they actually walking into Jesus' Thursday so we made sure there's things to touch, see, feel and even eat! Oh and I also served grape juice. Why is it not purple you might ask? I got this one at Costco and it was a grape/cherry flavor. I've heard from people though that this was better than the regular grape juice.

I had set up a table to represent the table where Jesus and His disciples have eaten their passover meal and where the sacrament was administered. On the front side of the table (not shown in this photo) I had placed a small stool where I've placed a shallow dish and a towel representing the part of their meal where Jesus' washed His apostles feet. The frame in the middle of the candle pillars had a picture of what a typical passover meal might've included. I spent a lot of time online researching for things for the room. Thank goodness we live in the internet age!

Here's the family during one of our breaks. See the stool by Mitch? That's the one I was talking about. Oh and my dear sweet husband decided two weeks ago that he was going to let his beard grow out for the program. It didn't grow out much but I'm so pleased with his efforts.

and here I am, all dressed in my costume.

We had divided the room into three parts- City walls, Last supper table and the Garden of Gethsemane. We had painted a big mural of a tree as our backdrop and Mitch made a rock out of chicken wire, old sheet and some paint. It looked like a big bean bag.

I'm glad that it's finally over. Nothing wears you out than events like these but also on the other hand, it was all worth it! I learned a lot and I have become closer to my Saviour Jesus Christ because of all the research I had to do for this event.

I'm also very grateful for my family. At first, Mitch was not on board with wearing a costume but at the end, having all the family participate made this activity even better.

Nothing beats family togetherness in everything!

Till next time,


Easter festivities

Whew! What a weekend. Well much had happened here in the Tolman home for just one weekend and I'm afraid it's going to take three posts to share what we've been up to. So without any further unimportant babble from me...here's what we did....

We had Mitch's long time buddy, Brandon, come over with his kids and we did an early Easter Egg hunt plus coloring of eggs. We also had some yummy lunch to go with all of the fun. Here's some photos....

As most of you know, I do not post other people's photos, except family, in this blog so you won't see our friends here but rest assured that they were having fun with us the whole time. {why you might ask....with all the things going online where your personal security is not safe anymore, I'm opting to keep their privacy in tact here in the blog. :) }

These are the eggs that the kids colored. They made just a BIT of a mess which was a relief for me.

One thing I've learned about Colorado Springs is that, the weather is so finicky. Today we have planned on grilling some steaks outside but when it was time to cook, it started raining so we had to go with plan B and cooked our meats on top of the stove instead.

We served the steaks with some pasta salad, jello layered salad and this cake that is my go to cake during special occassions. It's so easy and yet has that elegant look to it.

After lunch, the rain stopped long enough where we were able to have our Egg hunt in the backyard. The dads did the hiding and we had the kids go crazy with the hunting. Since Marcus had become really fast in grabbing the eggs, we made sure that we gave the little ones enough "headstart" before him.

This boy amazes me. Even being the last one, he still got the majority of the eggs. He's one fast egg hunter!

my kids' have become really competitive between each other. They were on top of each other most of the time during this egg hunt.

just racing away each time!

So there you have it. Some great time with friends and lots of candies/sweets to keep our kids hyperly active for the next two weeks!

Till next time,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bread making

For the past three months, I've been making my own bread. I'm not really sure if I'm saving much on making my own loaves versus purchasing them when they're on sale at the store but I have to say I like my bread so much better than store bought ones.

Today I wanna share my process with you....

I'm no expert baker by any means, I just love making/creating things with my hand and somehow this season in my life, I find baking and cooking to be a very fun thing. I have found a curiosity on how things are baked/cooked/made from scratch. I guess that's why I was into breadmaking all of a sudden.

I've tried many recipes for making bread. I wanted my breads to be healthier but to be honest with you, I find whole wheat bread, after sometime to be super dense. It takes longer to chew and digest plus it feels like a brick in your stomach.

So after many tries, I've come back to the one that I thought was the best out of all of them. Here's the recipe if you wanna check. To add some whole wheat in there, I divided the flour in the recipe with half white and half wheat. This happy medium seemed to work for us.

My breadmaking day seemed to work on Mondays. I do laundry on Mondays and having the dryer warm is the best place to set my dough so it can proof really well. I have found that bread making, it doesn't matter what the recipe says about time, needs not be rushed. So I start it in the morning. I make sure I pull out the ingredients first so I don't have to run around while making the bread plus it tells me if I'm low or out of something before I even start my process. As you can see this Amish bread recipe doesn't call for much ingredients.

Another reason why I love this recipe is because it's the only one that I let my yeast "proof" or germinate or whatever you call it. All the other recipes I've tried just tells you to add everything together and mix. I find that taking that extra 10 minutes to let the yeast do it's thing, makes for a fluffier bread.

I can't really take much photos of me while I make the bread so I had my daughter help me out a bit by being my photographer. She did an awesome job and didn't mind the weight of my camera on her tiny hands one bit. :)

this part is both mine and Maddie's favorite part. As soon as she sees me pull out the dough onto the counter, she'd rush to wash her hands and brings a stool so she can knead the dough with me.

Another thing I love about this recipe is it's small in size. I tried one that had 16 cups of flour in it (which is suppose to make four loaves) and men! that baby was so hard to knead! It was already harder bec. of the whole wheat and then it was double the amount of this one that I'm doing. I'm telling you, it was a workout!

So now we set the kneaded dough into a greased bowl and ....

then I let it rest on top of my dryer until I see that it has doubled it size. When I make the bread at about 10 in the morning, I usually pull it out at about 1 pm.

After punching the dough, I cut it in half. I use one to make a loaf and the other to form rolls with it. We love eating rolls for dinner so it's perfect that I make some rolls and some for the loaf.

I then let that double in size in their respective containers for another hour or so.

and then they go in the oven. By the time they're done, it's usually dinner time and we have some freshly baked, home made rolls for dinner. Yummy!!!

Again, I'm not sure if I'm saving money on making my own bread since they're tons of breads out there that you can purchase for a dollar or less for a loaf but I sure love the smell of home made bread baking.

This bread is soooo good! It has a good amount of sugar in there and you can taste the sweetness of it. Oh and when you put some butter on a warm roll....mmmm....heaven!!!

So that's it for me. Breadmaking....another one that I can check off my "must try" things.

Till next time,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Link Monday

Happy Monday. I hope all of you are having a great start for the week. As for me, I'm halfway done with my list and I'm finally getting excited about Easter. Yesterday I was dreading it but after purchasing my ham and all the fixins at Costco today, I think I'll be able to survive the holidays. :)

So for today's post, I want to take you on some type of crafty tour. I have some blog posts up for my design team assignments today and I wanna share peeks of it plus the link on where you can see the rest....

Family Tri-Fold Frame

At Clear Scraps blog today, you can see this project and some things I wrote up about it. Make sure you check it out here.

Springtime Tile Frame

This is a springtime projects I made for Glue Arts using their fun Accent-it-all Vinyl sheets. Fun stuff! Check it out here.

Cowboy hat

and make sure you check this out as well while you're over there. I altered a cowboy hat that I purchased at the dollar store and made it pretty for Maddie. :)

For you Treat Container

and finally, here's a fun idea for an Easter treat container that I made for Upsy Daisy Designs. And the plus for this project....I recycled a packaging container! Gotta love making something pretty out of things that is on it's way to the trash.

So there you have it. Have a great week.

Till next time,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday's Excursion- Fort Carson

It's Sunday and we are just one week away from Easter. How am I feeling right now? Aaacckkk! Yep that about sums it up. Right now, with all the things that this week entails, I'm just going to take this day to breath, regroup and hopefully get some stuff checked off the list.

And while I'm taking a breather, how about a post about our latest day trip. As most of you know we've been taking the time to really check out our new "home". I never really realized how much Colorado Springs has to offer until I started checking out the places that my family and I can explore here.

Yesterday we checked out Fort Carson. During Spring break, we saw the Air Force Academy and so it was just fitting that we checked out Fort Carson too.

There's no Museum inside the base, although the guards did say that they are in the process of building one, but they had a good amount of tanks and helicopters displayed on the grounds which we were able to check out. Here's some pics. I took too many photos to fit in one post so I "tried" to pick the best.

Here's the A1 Abram (spelling?) tank. This is the one that Mitch worked in at while he was in the Military. It was great for us to show the kids these kinds of things. It has both historical significance as well as personal.

and of course I had to take a photo of Mitch with it too. :)

They had built a memorial wall (actually walls) with names of fallen soldiers.

The kids' loved our visit to Fort Carson. Their most favorite part, I think, would have to be the fact that they were able to climb the tanks and helicopters plus go inside some of them. They were having a blast going through each one. Here they are atop one that was (according to Mitch) used in WWII.

It was a good spring day yesterday that I was able to wear my flats to this trip. My feet needs the sun, it's looking really pale from wearing socks all winter long. :)

Here's a little fun self shot infront of one of the tank's headlights.

the tracks/wheels that these tanks have are so amazing and super huge too. Mitch said that when these tracks breaks down, it was such a pain for them to fix it. I can only imagine!

I love that because Mitch used to work in the tanks, that we had our very own tour guide with us. He was able to show the kids where the doors, windows and where the missiles would've been located in the tank.


just another fun shot. Playing with my depth of field here.

these is what the kids looked like most of the time. Getting up and down tanks. So fun!

We went inside the base and we saw some more tanks and helicopters.

We got to go inside this transport helicopter. Marcus was sure fascinated with it and was even pretending he was flying it. We told him that he can do this when he grows up if he can get into the Air Force Academy. Mitch and I have talked about this and getting Marcus in the Academy would be a dream for us.

Mitch in the passenger seat of the helicopter.

Those tracks are humongous!

Another tank.

a close up photo of one of the armored truck.

we opened this one tank and here's the peek inside. It looks gross now because of all the rusty interior but I was impressed at how big and spacious some of these tanks were. I can only imagine the stories these great vehicles have.

So that' is. Another trip made, and now documented and shared.

Till next time,