The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

It's been far too long since I've posted on my blog, and I think I may have gone into withdrawal! Our Thanksgiving weekend was busy, busy, busy and kept me away from papercrafting for far too long. Here's what I've been up to:
  • We met my parents and my sister's family (big sis, her husband, plus their two kids) last week for Thanksgiving. All of my family lives in Ohio, where DH and I both grew up, but we live in Massachusetts. Now that all four of our collective children (that is, my two kids plus my sister's two kids) are in school, it is really hard for either family to travel the entire way for Thanksgiving on the busiest travel week of the year. So my mom had the bright idea of all of us meeting in the middle. She made hotel reservations for all of us in Geneva, NY, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. So on Thanksgiving morning, the Ohio contingent drove east and we Bay Staters drove west, a six- to seven-hour drive for everyone. But waiting until Thursday morning cut down on the traffic and congestion considerably!
  • My parents treated everyone (there were 10 of us altogether) to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner (7 p.m. reservations on turkey day) at historic Belhurst Castle, overlooking Seneca Lake in Geneva.
  • This was the menu of our ultra-fancy, all-inclusive Thanksgiving dinner:
Caramelized Sweet Corn and Salt Potato Chowder
Seasonal Garden Tossed Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Toasted Bacon
Chef-carved Turkey: White and Dark Meat
Dressing with Fresh Herbs
Marsala Pan Gravy
Whipped Red Skinned Potatoes with Buttermilk and Sea Salt
Smashed Yams with Maple Walnut Butter
Assorted Winter Squash Poached in Riesling Syrup
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Warm Semolina Bread
For Dessert: Choice of Pumpkin Pie, Apple Caramel Pie or Mincemeat Pie

It was all amazing and exceedingly delicious. We definitely feasted!
  • We spent Friday at the hotel (a Hampton Inn), enjoying the continental breakfast, swimming in the pool, playing games in the lobby, eating cheese/crackers/bakery bread/fruit for a light lunch (after that huge meal, no one was really all that hungry!), chatting, and visiting.
  • Saturday morning, everyone headed out around 9 a.m. to their respective homes. I was exhausted by the time we returned! But there was unpacking, bill paying, and grocery shopping to do. No rest for the weary.
  • On Sunday, after church and Sunday School, we were on a mission to fix our Christmas tree. We have always had an artificial Christmas tree. Eight years ago we bought one of those (at that time) new-fangled pre-lit trees. The putting-on and taking-off of the lights was our least enjoyed task when it came to our Christmas tree! We were thrilled to have a tree that we could set up "like a beach umbrella" already lit--just like that scene in the animated Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! But last year we noticed that after seven years of use, some of the lights had burnt out. When enough burnt out on a single strand, the whole thing would overload and an entire layer of branches would be unlit. Not cool. We made do last year, but knew that this year we would have some serious engineering/surgery to do on our tree. I made a note on the calendar to buy 100 or more replacement bulbs as soon as the Christmas decorations hit the store this fall!! So Sunday afternoon was spent preparing a space in the living room for the tree (this involves quite a bit of rearranging, and DH insisted on some not exactly pertinent cleaning as well), hauling down all of the Christmas decorations from the attic, and then spending quite a lot of time and team effort finding burnt out bulbs and replacing them in situ. A major operation, but well worth it. Once we had all the lights fixed, we had a wonderful time decorating and reminiscing about all of our keepsake ornaments.
  • And all of this brings us back to our everyday, back-to-school/work busy-ness!
Yesterday, I managed to make a card combining this week's Splitcoast Clean and Simple Challenge (which was to use flower accents) and this week's Splitcoast color challenge: to use real red, old olive, and river rock. Here's what I came up with:
This card is also a sneak peek of a new Mark's Finest Papers stamp set called Hearts, Hearts, Hearts that will be released next week. I clear embossed this pretty flower-filled heart on red four times and then cut them out to create my big red flower. I definitely kept it simple, but couldn't resist the color challenge dessert option and tied on some of my favorite red/white baker's twine!

I was invited to lunch by a dear friend yesterday and she stuffed me with a homemade panini (homemade pesto, fresh mozzarella, and sliced tomatoes--yum-MEE!!), a wonderful salad, a cup of hot tea, and some Ferrero Rocher. So this note will go in the mail tomorrow morning to thank her for a lovely lunch.

Thanks for bearing with me on my long post today! I'll be back tomorrow with my sample card for this week's Stampin' B's challenge, this week hosted by yours truly. :)

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Mark's Finest Papers: Hearts, Hearts, Hearts and Thankful Mums and Pumpkins (sentiment)
Paper: SU old olive CS, various CS from The Paper Company
Ink: Versamark, SU old olive, Palette haystack (for sponged edges)
Accessories: CM corner rounder punch, clear EP, heat tool, button from my stash, sponge, red/white baker's twine
Techniques: sponging, embossing


Crafty Math Chick said...

Sounds like a wonderful holiday! I am glad you were able to enjoy the weekend with your family. lovely card too, so creative to use hearts to create a flower.

Meg said...

I just love hearing about all of your family's adventures, Emily! Glad to hear the tree is back to 100% and that you had a great Thanksgiving!

Of course I love the card, too--that flower looks gorgeous!

Emily (stampingout on SCS) said...

So glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Emily! I just LOVE this card! I may have to CASE it! Fabulous design and colors! :)

Marisa said...

Oooh, that restaurant "house" looks amazing and the menu was mouth watering just reading it. Glad you had a fabulous time away, even though it was short, sweet and hectic. Even better that you got the Christmas tree all up to it's original glory :)

Darling CAS card. Love the heart flower and baker's twine.

Kristy Smith said...

What an amazing Thanksgiving you had! =) That place looks gorgeous, what a fun way to have Thanksgiving dinner! I also love this card... how clever you were with the hearts! Glad you are back and stamping!

Joanne (jojot) said...

your Thanksgiving sounds like a true delight....I keep forgetting you are from Mass. someday you will have to remind me where in MA you are....I am getting old and forget the!!!

and I just love your creative clever to use those hearts...beautiful work

Anita said...

Emily, it's good to see you back posting...I've missed you lol! Your card is absolutely gorgeous. I'll fix you lunch if you send me a card like that. Your Thanksgiving sounds lovely. I'm glad you got to spend time with your Buckeye relatives! And by the way, that Thanksgiving menu had my mouth watering...yum.

Colleen Dietrich said...

I don't know what made me think you were also *staying* at said castle! That would be a pretty penny, wouldn't it?? But what a lovely place to have a memorable T'giving meal. It looks like something from the Discovery or History Channel documentaries.

The menu sounded just yummy, and so did your lunch with your friend! And I'll bet you're glad the tree is done. That's always such an undertaking, isn't it?

Your card is so CAS and the hearts-turned-flower is so inventive and eye-catching!
Glad you are back. :)

Anonymous said...

a beautiful CAS card! glad you enjoyed your holiday weekend. looks like you've been very busy since you got back home.

Dawn B. said...

What a great holiday you had.. I LOVE this castle.. What a pretty picture.. Sounds like you had a blessed day.. Your card is beautiful..

Pat said...

What a wonderful family get together for Thanksgiving! I almost went into a diabetic coma, just reading the menu! lol Sounds beyond good!

I enjoyed your card, too! Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Pat Smith

Susan said...

What a YUMMO bunch of delicious food for Thanksgiving and how truly special your all coming together.

I love your card for the color challenge, it has just the right pop to really draw the eye the multiple wraps of the peppermint twist twine.

Nicely done, Emily!