Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthdays.

Happy 50th Birthday
to my big brother Jerome ...
Or better yet ...
Hut as everyone else calls him.

I love you and wish you the happiest
50th Birthday ever!!!

And yesterday was my niece Harley's

15th Birthday!
I called you ... but forgot to blog your birthday!
(Sorry I don't have a picture to post)

Happy 15 years and one day old
Harlequin!! I love you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Last night we had Heidi, Ryan and Evan over for dinner. Mike grilled up some delicious steaks ... we also had pan seared onions & mushrooms to top the steaks, baked potatos, salad and Turtle Pie for dessert.

I have to tell you ... I'm pretty sad. My friend is moving away. We have become very close over the last year. I've never had a friend that I've had SO much in common with. We are alike in so many ways ... yet very different as well.

She's the kind of friend that I can call up on the spur of the moment and say ... hey you want to go to the zoo ... how about the park ... or why don't we go to Chinese for lunch. I'm going to miss that!!

Last night before they left, Griffin grabbed Ryan around the neck and gave him a hug and then a kiss on the cheek.

Fortunately we will see them again today at the gym ... and maybe for dinner again tonight if things work out.

I feel very blessed to have met Heidi and her family.
We love you guys.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Things.

I had a chance today to add a few things to

Here they are ...

I hope to have many MORE things listed soon!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just The Ordinary.

(Griffin on one of the bouncy houses at The Playroom on Friday)

Once again ... I truly have nothing to blog about. Our life has been pretty ordinary lately.

Yesterday we went to lunch at Hardee's and then went grocery shopping at Sam's. We picked up some thick, juicy ribeyes as we are having friends over for dinner on Tuesday night. Can't wait until they come off the grill. My husband is the Grill Master!! Yum!!!

Earlier today Griffin and I went to the grocery store to pick up some potatos for baking and some greens for a salad. While I was there I picked up an Edward's Turtle Pie for dessert ... double yummy! Of course my favorite pie from the Edward's company is their Key Lime Pie ... but not everyone is fond of that. So, I played it safe and went for the chocolate!!

After we got home and the groceries were put away ... Griffin and I went for a much needed walk and played outside for a little bit. It's still pretty cold outside, but we were all bundled up in our winter gear and enjoyed some time outside.

Right now my little guy is napping ... so I better get to work ... I have a couple of special orders to finish and then I want to create some new things!! Woo Hoo ... I'm ready to work!!

Take care everyone!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


It was pretty low key at our house yesterday.

My day involved housework, washing clothes and cooking dinner.
Mike painted some more of the living room.
Griffin did played cars, read & watched Sesame Street.

Our neighbors Stephanie, Campbell and Evie stopped by for a short bit and played outside with Griffin on the Fort. It warmed up a little bit ... so it was good for the kids to be outside for awhile.

Life Is Good.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Party At The Playroom.

Yesterday a group of us all got together at The Playroom for a "Going Away" party for Heidi, Ryan and Evan. Their family is relocating down south ... and we all wanted to have a little fun before they head in that direction.

The boys all had an excellent time playing. And the mommies had fun chatting and visiting (and playing too at times!). We ordered pizza in ... and had snacks that everyone brought.

We all gave the family a basket from the group ... it included "southern" things like grits, BBQ sauce, furniture polish, pork rinds, a Redneck Dictionary by Jeff Foxworthy ... some more upscale things like wine from the Biltmore Estate, smoke cheese, praline ... and some cars for the boys.

I'm so glad we all had the chance to get together before they leave us.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Me & Paper Piecing.

In yesterday's comments WENDY asked me to share a little about myself and how I got into paper piecing. Thank you for the wonderful idea Wendy ... I'm running out of things to blog about! I'll admit ... I feel a little funny talking about "me" ... but if you insist ... I will. LOL!

Okay ... so you know I'm Missy ... and I'm originally from Central Florida. I was born in raised in a tiny little town in Florida and I lived in my hometown until about four and a half years ago. We relocated to Central Virginia and I love where we live way out in the country.

In the 90s my husband Mike, my sister Joy and her husband James opened a store and we called it Country Sassafras. At first it was a Country Craft Gift Shop of sorts. Kind of like a craft mall. We sold crafter's things on consignment. We made things to sell in the store too like handpainted signs and handmade dolls.

And then one day my friend
ROBIN invited me to a Creative Memories party. And that opened up a whole new world to me. Boy ... I got hooked on scrapbooking right away!!

It was basically right when scrapbooking became popular ... and there were no scrapbook stores in town ... so we thought it would be a great idea to introduce scrapbooking supplies to our store. It was a hit right off the bat.

At first we sold the standard scrapbooking supplies ... and then one day I thought ... hey I'm here in the store ... nothing to do ... I think I'll make some things to see how they sell. Wooo Hooo!! They sold right away! And the rest is history. Our handmade paper piecings and punch art was a success! I'm so glad we started offering them ... but it was really difficult to keep up the pace. My sister and I were always trying to make new things to meet our customer's wants and needs.

At the same time as we sold our stuff in the store, I also started selling some of my own Paper Piecings and Punch Art exclusively on's web auction. Does anyone else remember Jangle? And then a customer came into our store and told me about So in 1997, I started and the rest is history!! I definately started out small ... and over the years it just gained momentum.

(This is one of the first Paper Piecings I sold online in 1997 ... I used a tole painting book for the pattern)

We closed our store in 1999 ... and that allowed more time for me to make and sell things just for me.

Then one day ... one of my Jangle customers suggested I try selling on Ebay. I'll be honest ... I was SCARED of eBay! I don't know why ... but I felt it was so "big" and unknown ... I just didn't know what to do!

(And another one of my first Paper Piecings ... I also used a tole painting book for the pattern)

The first thing I listed on eBay was a punch art Christmas tree. Oh my stars ... that Paper Piecing sold for $25.00! I could hardly believe it!! Well ... as you can imagine ... I was totally hooked on eBay after the first sale.

Over the past 10 years, the trends have definately changed. I am really loving the Tear Bears phase right now ... and I still enjoy making my "kids". They have transformed over the years ... but are still basically the same kids I designed in 1997.

I am still totally in love with making Paper Piecings ... I so enjoy creating new things!! I thank God everyday for allowing me the opportunity to stay home with our son and doing something I love so much.

I've met so many wonderful customers and friends over the years. I'm so lucky.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Cutting Tools.

Yesterday on Andi's Blog she asked that I share a little about the cutting tools that I have. I think she was specifically referring to my Cricut ... but I actually have a few different cutting tools that I use and love.

Perfect I thought ... something to blog about today!

And you all get to see how messy my work area is right now ...

This is my
Accucut Die Cutting Machine. I've had this thing for years. We actually had this in our Country Craft Gift Shop/Scrapbooking Store in Florida. Our store was called Country Sassafras. Oh how I loved that store ... anyway ... more about the Die Cutting Machine. I have two alphabets. The 2" Vagabond ... remember waaaay back when really all you could find Scrapbooking related was CM? Well, this font looked like the CM Die Cut Letters that you had to buy in packages. Our customers LOVED that they could come to our store and cut out the words they wanted instead of buying complete alphabets. I also have the 1.25" Jill's Chunky letters. I've used that alphabet so many times in so many ways ... it's crazy. And then I also have a number of shape dies as well. It's not a tool that I use all that much anymore ... but it will always have a special place in my heart.

And this is my
Cricut Die Cutting Machine. I *love* this thing!! It's an electronic cutter ... kind of like a sign maker would use. They offer various cartridges (alphabets & shapes) that you can use in the machine. I actually have four cartridges right now. The George Font comes with the machine ... it's not my favorite and I really do not use it all that much. I also have the Boot Camp Font, love it ... and I use it all the time!! And then I have two shape cartridges ... Animal Kingdom ... I haven't used that one even once. And the Doodlecharms Shape cartridge I use ALL the time. It's so cool because you can tell the machine what size you want. You can cut anywhere from 1" to 5". If you want say a 2.5" inch letter or shape, you just turn the dial, load the paper and cut. The only thing I really do not like about the machine is the cutting pad. You have to use a special cutter pad for the machine to work. It has this sticky kind of residue on it that keeps the paper attached to it (which it needs) to cut. Wish they could find another way to make this work.

Oh ... and get this ... I just ordered the Paper Doll Cartridge. It should be here next week. I am sooooo excited about that one!!

I guess I should share the fact that I actually have TWO Cricuts. One is still in the box. LOL. Why two you ask? Well, when we were in Florida in November ... Walmart had these on a special offer for only $75.00! And it came with TWO alphabets ... not just one. They were not on clearance or anything. They had this big set up with the machines, cartridges and various tools to go with it ... for this unbelievable price. They are still selling these at Michael's for $299.00. That's just nuts.

I must say ... I really do believe the
Quickutz Hand Tool is my favorite cutting tool. It's this nifty little die cutter that you press together with your hands. They are many, many, many different shapes and alphabets. I just LOVE this little cutting tool. I use this thing practically everyday!!

Okay ... there you have it ... my cutting tools. I did not really go specifically into how each of them work ... but if you click on the highlighted name there is a link to each tool.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nothing To Blog About.

Okay ... so I really have NOTHING to blog about ... but one of my New Year's goals is to at least try to blog everyday.

It was another no nap day at our house yesterday. I truly believe this "every other day" napping thing is a reality. I tried to work here and there yesterday ... but once when I walked into the living room, Griffin had our 60" tv rolled away from the wall (scary!) a little bit and the other time he had the side panel of my computer open (again!). He loves the blue light that shows on the side panel of my computer ... I guess he was trying to make it come on. Don't get me wrong ... I'm STANDING at the kitchen island just in the other room ... and I can see into the living room ... it's not like I'm upstairs or far away. He's just so quite when he's doing these things. I know when he's quite he's up to something. I have a very adventurous, at times mischevious boy.

I took time to watch last week's episode of Celebrity Apprentice yesterday. What on earth was Gene Simmons thinking? I really thought he would go all the way and win. He really made a poor choice by bringing Omarasa and Jenny into the board room. Out of the three in the board room, he was the only one responsible for their not winning. I guess now I have to choose a new favorite since Gene is gone. I'm thinking either Stephen Baldwin or Carol Alt ... yeah ... one of these two deserve to win.

It's supposed to start snowing about 7:00 am this morning (it's about 6:15 right now) ... it's Mommy & Me Gym day ... and I'm really hoping the roads are okay to drive on. Griffin needs some play time and I need to get out of this house for a little while. Maybe that will help with the napping today. I hope so, as I have a couple of special orders I really need to get finished.

Take care everyone ... hope you all have a WONDERFUL day!

Monday, January 21, 2008

And The Winner Is ...

Wow ... everyone!! Thank you so, so, so much for sharing the MAGICAL things in your life right now. Every single magical thing you shared touched my heart and it means so much you shared them with me!!

I wish I had a Magical Bear to send to each and everyone of you ... but alas ... I have only the one and I just drew the name of the lucky winner!!

Congratulations to JUDY from Melbourne, FL. Your name was drawn to receive the MAGICAL MOUSE PARK Tear Bear. Please email me at with your last name and mailing address.

I am so enjoying the freebie give-a-ways ... I assure you there will be more!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I fell in love yesterday ...

With this little guy named

We went to Petsmart yesterday as we are looking for a fish aquarium to buy Griffin for his birthday. There were a couple of Animal Rescue agencies out front with a bunch of different dogs that need a good home.

I immediately saw Oliver ... sitting so sweet and serene and regal in his kennel. I went up to him and he was shaking a little bit (it was very cold outside). All the other dogs were jumping and barking and yelping ... but not Oliver. He was sitting there so quiet and at ease. I just started bawling.

I've visited
BARK'S WEBSITE to find out what I could about Oliver and this is what it says:

Oliver is a laid back kind of guy. We think he's just about 3 years of age, give or take .. He's a wonderful larger pointer spaniel mix who gets along well with other dogs and just loves people. He's not the jumpy type, don't expect him to bowl you over at the front door. He has manners and he'll wait for you to greet him. He is pretty good on a leash also. Oliver is handsome and has been waiting patiently and quietly to be noticed. It's hard to not notice what a good looking and decent fellow this guy is.

I am really torn. I would love to make Oliver a member of our family ... but I feel it's not a good idea to bring an older dog into our home with a small child.

I do hope that Oliver finds a wonderful home ... the one he so desperately deserves.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese.

Yesterday we went to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate Cyndi's birthday!

Happy, Happy Birthday Cyndi ... seen here with her boys Harry & Jack

Griffin, Harry & Ryan enjoying some of the games

Cyndi and Harry enjoying the get-together!

Carol, Sam and Griffin playing more games!

Griffin and Darius riding the CEC Bus together

Samuel and Griffin experiencing one of the motion rides!

Griffin ready to go up-up-and-away on the balloon ride!

And what is a day without riding a tractor???

You can click on any of these images for a more clear, better view!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Freebie Tear Bear.

Hey ya'll ... let's play again!

I have this cute Mouse Park inspired Tear Bear to give away to one lucky person!

If interested in playing to win this (one) Tear Bear ... how about leaving a comment in the comments section under THIS POST ... and let's see ... this time share what is the most MAGICAL thing in your life right now!

One winner will be drawn. All comments left under THIS POST will be entered to win this Tear Bear. Comments will be accepted Friday (18), Saturday (19) and Sunday (20). Winner will be drawn on Monday (21) morning and I will then announce the winner's name right here on my blog!!

C'mon ya'll ... let's play!

Looky What I Got.

Yes ... it's my second post in one day!!
Look what came in the mail today ...

We received a package in the mail from
Not only did she send Griffin a box of the John Deere Valentines ... she sent me this wonderful Paula Deen 2008 Calendar Planner!!

Oh my ... what a surprise!
Thank you soooooo much Miss Andi!

Snow & A Woo Hoo.

We had snow yesterday ... it still amazes me that I live in an area of the country where it snows! I will always be a Florida girl at heart ... but I'm kind of loving this beautiful white dusting of snow.

And the "woo hoo" of the day ... Griffin took a good loooooong nap yesterday. I was able to get some work done!! Yippeeeee!!!

We are going to Chuck E. Cheese today for a birthday celebration ... it's my friend/neighbor Cyndi's birthday and her boys (Jack & Harry) thought it would be fun to go there. I totally agree! It will be our first Chuck E. Cheese experience!! Will let you know how it went tomorrow!!

And look ...

I've added some new things to

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Nap Day.

Do you see this little guy? You ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY know that I LOVE HIM with all of my heart. But ... I really, really, really wanted him to take a nap yesterday.

I was so desperate for him to take a nap that after lunch we got in the car for a drive. Normally he falls sound asleep when I'm driving, especially if it's after lunch.

Well after driving 47.4 miles and being in the car for 45 minutes ...
I headed home.
He did NOT fall asleep.
I gave up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Celebrity Apprentice.

Is anyone else watching Celebrity Apprentice?

I'll be the first to admit I am not a huge fan of Donald Trump ... but I have to admit I am loving this show. I haven't watched the Apprentice since Season 1 ... but when I heard celebrities would be on this season I was intrigued.

The celebrities are playing for their charities ... which is really nice.

I must say ... I would like to see Gene Simmons win. He is very business savvy and smart. Growing up I was not a big fan of Kiss (although Mike was). But now, he has a show on one of the cable channels called "Gene Simmons: Family Jewels" ... and I LOVE that show! It's all about he and his family Shannon, Nick and Chloe and his everyday life. It's nice to see some normal kids growing up in Hollywood with rules and parents that truly care about their well being.

So now ... with the writer's strike ... and NO Grey's Anatomy ... I would like to recommend this season of Celebrity Apprentice for your viewing pleasure. And search on your Tivo or DVR for Gene Simmons: Family Jewels ... I think you will love this show too! It's hilarious!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thank Yous.

(This is an image my cousin Lori emailed to me ... isn't it pretty?)

Friends ... that's a word that I've truly come to understand the past few years. I've had many friends over the years ... but to truly know and understand someone ... that is what I call a friend. I'm so thankful to have so many wonderful friends in my life. You all know who you are. Please put your arms tightly around your waste and squeeze ... that's a hug from me.

ANDI heard my desperate plea for John Deere Valentines the other day and she found them!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Andi ... Griffin will LOVE giving these to his little friends on Valentine's Day.

And dear, sweet
TERESA thank you, thank you, thank you for re-working my banner. It looked absolutely terrific before ... and I'm loving the new changes you made on the updated version!!

And here you can see the newest items in

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pasta Fajoli Soup.

I was really in the mood to cook yesterday ...

I decided I wanted to make Pasta Fajoli Soup. My MIL's best friend Mary Belle has the actual Olive Garden Pasta Fajoli Soup recipe. I had asked Bett to email it to me and then I picked up all of the ingredients to make this delicious soup!

Just look how colorful all of those fresh vegetables are!

And then into the crock pot everything goes!!

And finally ... it's dinnertime ... poured into the bowl, pasta is added and then topped with cheese. Yummmmmmmm! It's was SO good!

Olive Garden's Pasta Fajoli Soup Recipe

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion chopped
2 cups chopped celery (a whole stalk)
6 cloves minced garlic (I used dried)
4 cans 15 oz. diced tomatoes (Italian style)
1 1/2 cup water - I substituted one can of beef broth
1/4 or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, I left this out)
1 cup orzo or diatelli style pasta
1 1/2 cups julienne style carrots
3 cans 15 oz red or white kidney beans
Salt and Italian herbs to taste

Brown ground beef
Add tomatoes, ground beef and all other ingredients (except pasta) to crock pot
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours

I then cooked the entire box of pasta and served it seperately
That way the pasta does not get mushy and you can add what you want

In my opinion ... this soup is delicious and very easy to make!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's All About The Deere.

Griffin and I went to the party supply store yesterday and I was pleased to find they have the entire John Deere party collection there!

This is part of the selection the store offered (shhhh ... I cheated and borrowed this image so you could see what the collection looks like). The only thing I couldn't find was little John Deere hats. I know I've seen them somewhere for about $3.00 each. I'll keep looking!

I looked everywhere for the John Deere Valentines yesterday too. No one around here seems to have them. I have a favor to ask ... if anyone is out and about shopping and you happen to run across a box of these valentines ... can you please, please let me know where you found them?

Mike finished his first cross-country solo yesterday. He was so happy!! Soon he will officially have his pilot's license!! I'm so proud of him.

And yesterday I created something new ... I don't know what it is about this bear ... but I'm kinda loving her right now.

If interested you can find her here in

Saturday, January 12, 2008

And The Winner Is ...

I'm very excited to announce the winner of my first give-a-way this year!!

Congratulations Cecile ... you are the winner. If you could please email me ( your last name and mailing address I will get your Sweetheart Tear Bear shipped to you right away!!

I plan to offer many more give-a-ways this year ... so I hope you will all come back to play again.

Mike has his first cross country solo flying lesson today. He's done the cross country thing with his instructor before. But never alone. He's flying into smaller airports with smaller runways ... and he's flying into an airport that he's never landed in before. Thank goodness he's stearing clear of Richmond International Airport this trip. I can't wait until he calls to let me know he's completed it!

I think Griffin and I will go to the party store today. His birthday theme is going to be John Deere. I've ordered the invitations online ... but I'm hoping the party store has everything else. If not ... I will head back to eBay for everthing.

When I was doing my John Deere search yesterday I happened upon John Deere Valentines on eBay. Oh my gosh ... I'd love to have these for Griffin to give to his little friends ... but I'm thinking $10.00 is a bit much for a box of valentines. I'll just keep my eyes open in the stores for these.

I had a bit of time to create some new things yesterday ...

This is what's new in