Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday's Sweets -- Pecan Mini Muffins

... taste so good & make the kitchen smell great on a wintery day here in the Midwest! This recipe was handed down from my sister to my mom to me in the last month. Try it, you'll like it! The muffin tops turn out like a crunchy praline topping. Wave the "no calorie wand" over them & enjoy!

Pecan Mini Muffins

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

2/3 cup melted butter

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix brown sugar, flour, & pecans; then add melted butter and dry ingredients to the beaten eggs.

Divide batter into small size paper muffin cups. Recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Bake 23-25 minutes.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring Stuff--Pails & Boxes

I'm thinking of ways to use CTMH papers and embellies to make these $1 Target pails fancy-pretty for some little girls' Easter surprises!

In the meantime, here are two more memory keeper boxes -- Emily helped me with the Sweet Pea box and accompanying album, and the simple blue box is for a future wedding. A photo needs to be added to the top to finish it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Soft-Baked Pretzels for Lent

Legend tells us that the criss-crossed pretzel shape was first made by monks more than 1,000 years ago. The pretzel design resembles arms crossed over the chest in penitent prayer. "Pretzel" may have come from the Latin word bracellae, meaning "little arms."

During Lent, we make these pretzel shapes in remembrance of Jesus' suffering and death, and thank Jesus for His love and sacrifice for us.

If you make your own, or eat a treat at Aunt Annie's pretzel shop at the mall, tell your children of the pretzel shape significance. Here is a recipe if you want to make homemade soft-baked pretzels with your family during this Lenten season. Sometimes we make cross and heart shapes too.


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Set aside 1 cup flour.

In large bowl, mix remaining flour, undissolved yeast and salt.
Heat milk, water and oil until hot to touch (125º to 130º); stir into dry ingredients.
Mix in enough additional flour to make soft dough.
Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 24 pieces.
Roll each piece to 16-inch rope.
To make pretzels, curve ends of each rope to make circle; cross ends at top. Twist ends once and lay down over bottom of circle.
Place pretzels on greased baking sheets.
Cover; let rest in warm, draft-free place for 5 to 10 minutes, until risen slightly.
Brush pretzels with beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with selected topping.
Bake at 350ºF for 35 minutes or until done. Cool pretzels on wire rack.
If desired, select one of the following toppings: flavored salt (hickory smoked salt, celery salt, onion salt or garlic salt) or seeds (sesame seeds, poppy or whole celery seeds).
Herb Pretzels: Follow recipe adding 3/4 teaspoon each: thyme, marjoram and oregano (leaves).
(This recipe from CDKitchen makes 2 dozen.)

A 40-Day Journey

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, began the Christian's 40-day journey in Lent, a time of repentance and remembrance, a time of reflection and thanksgiving for what Jesus has done for us. At the end of Lent, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate Jesus' resurrection and the new life He gives us.

God sent Jesus to earth as His own Son (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 3:17) and as Servant (Isaiah 42:1; Mark 10:45), "to give His life as a ransom for us." As we say we're sorry for our sins and ask for forgiveness, we can be sure of that free gift because of God's grace (God's Riches At Christ's Expense). Our heavenly Father bought us back from sin with Jesus' blood, and He adopted us as His sons and daughters, making us heirs of eternal life. Jesus died so that when our bodies die, our spirits will live forever with Him in heaven.
He helps us to be a servant to others as an outpouring of our love to Him.
Reflect on ways that you might serve others, and as you do so, you also serve the Lord. God's love will shine through you!

My song is love unknown, my Savior's love to me,
Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine!
Never was love, dear King, never was grief like Thine.
This is my friend, in whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.
(hymn text public domain; by Samuel Crossman, 1624-83)

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Tinkertunes Creation

Here's the heart/name wire sculpture that DH's talented cousin created for us.

The heat from our furnace register keeps the heart moving gently as it balances on the wine glass bottom. It's so relaxing to watch it, especially as Pachelbel plays in the background.

You can check out his special sculptures and his musical skills at Tinkertunes!

If you're looking for a unique gift for anyone of any age--for a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or any special celebration--TK will create a custom sculpture for you. He made Ella her very own "your name rings a bell" sculpture, and our friends have ordered mobiles of their family members' names. His prices are very reasonable, and he fills orders quickly & efficiently.

Now head on over to the Tinkertunes site and check it all out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Sympathy Cards

... for special families in our extended family of friends who are mourning the deaths of their loved ones.

Scripture inside:

Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live..." John 11:25

CTMH papers are Key To My Heart and Unforgettable, Fancy Cut Botanicals, Liquid Glass, Comforting Thoughts stamp set, Tulip and Chocolate inks, pop dots for the butterfly

I'm Sharing the Love

Valentine's Day is over, but love makes the world go 'round every day!
I found this on Y's blog and wanted to play along.

This is what you do:
The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, a handmade gift from me. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!
The catch is that you must participate as well. Before you leave your comment, write a "pay it forward" post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then come back, let me know you're going to play and sit back and anticipate the arrival of your gift!

Be sure to send me an e-mail at msgreenthumbs[at]hotmail[dot]com and tell me your address.

Remember, you must post this on your blog (I will be checking) and leave a comment. The first 3 to do both will receive a gift from me, so be quick!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Remembering Sweet & Sunny Sophie

Today I can write about my best "furson." But the Kleenex is close by.

Just one month ago we had to say goodbye to our sweet Lab-mix, Sophie. She had been sick about a week, and her vet took blood tests and x-rays to determine the cause--"a massive tumor on her bladder"--I hated those words--" it's inoperable."

Her eyes said it all. She may have been in pain but never showed it. But that day her constant pacing, not being able to get comfortable, and her eyes said, "I'm hurting."

We hugged her and thanked her for her loyal companionship and unconditional love, and thanked the Lord for giving us each other for 10 years. (We rescued Sophie when she was 1 year old.)

During the last 5 years of Sophie's life, she and I were a Touch Therapy Team and we visited a veterans' rehab and hospice facility. Sophie also spent 2 years listening to elementary children read in Spanish, Chinese, and English at an elementary school nearby (Paws for Reading program).

Sophie went wherever I went ... she visited people at Wal*Mart and Walgreen's, at hospitals and nursing homes when we saw our sick and recuperating friends, at neighbors' homes, and she stayed with us in homes of family and friends and in fishing cabins in many different states. Sophie helped people relax and smile when they petted her soft fur. She traveled frequently, enjoyed the "Dontoon" at the lakes, and we naturally dubbed our SUV the "DogRango."

The deer in our yard still seem to be looking for Sophie. Or do they know she's in dog heaven? They stand still in our backyard, as if they're paying respect to her, the golden girl who used to bark one soft "hello" and then watch them meander through the yard. The squirrels have been running much slower since Sophie isn't here to chase them up their trees. Shame on them for being so unafraid.

I still reach down to pet Sophie, call her name when I step into the house, and sometimes hear her toenails clicking on the hardwood floors. Last night I thought sure she was snoring softly on the floor by our bed, as she always did. It was a good memory.

Sophie laughed with her tail. We had so many nicknames for her--Sunny, Liberty, Summer, and Spinner, because when her tail was spinning, she was so happy.

My dog Sophie was a huge, constant heartbeat at my feet. She kept me safe from an intruder, and she knew when to bark and when to be quiet. She was the most perfect creature God created. It seemed she could read my mind, and knew what to expect without words. God says in the Bible that heaven will be filled with all things perfect. God is so good, and I think Sophie will be there.

{At the end of my blog page you'll find a short slideshow of Sophie.}

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All You Need Is Love

Happy Valentine's Day! (Click to read the history of Valentine's Day.)

Flowers, chocolates, romantic dinners, diamonds! Bring them on! (My fave is just cuddling and taking a good walk together for some quiet talk time.)

But when we really think about this love thing, the simple focus is on the action word--the verb--LOVE. And it all began with our heavenly Father's action for us when He sent Jesus to be our Savior and Friend.

God's Word is filled with passages of love for our needing ears, hearts, and minds. Here are just a few of my favorites:

The Gospel in a nutshell: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

God is love ... We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:16,19

Love is patient, love is kind ... love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres ... these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4,7,13

My prayer is that you experience God's love and joy in Jesus in your life!

Love is in action as I DH is busy making heart-shaped pancakes. YUM.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Welcome to CTMH, Paula!

For many years we've lived one mile apart and didn't meet each other until this past November at DH's retirement party! Paula and her husband Gary (who worked with DH) were about to leave when I said, "Oh, I have to show you my art studio we just finished!"

An hour later, I felt as though my new scrapbooking friend Paula and I had known each other for a very long time! We had so much shoppin' and scrappin' in common. :-)

The Lord has blessed us with a new friendship that is blooming where we're planted. Paula has become a CTMH consultant! We're excited to demonstrate CTMH card making and scrapbooking at "It's a Girl Thing" night at Paula's church next week.

Look out, Gary and DH, 'cause your girls are going to get down and glue-y together!Add Image

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Eyelashes

Yep--It's Ella again--I could gobble her up! And her foto is perfect for this Emporium paper!

BTW--her eyelashes are to die for.

CTMH products used:
Emporium Level 2 papers & Stickease
Pewter brads
Big brad
Sweet Leaf ribbons
Chocolate marker
Chocolate & Crystal blue inks
Dazzling Die Cuts--Spring Harmony
Color Ready Alphabet
Reflections book "Bottom Border Layered" layout
Hidden journaling

Christmas Sunset

Our Missouri winter skies have been so gorgeous! These are views from our deck.
It was an awesome sight and I thought of the glory of the angels that the shepherds saw and heard when they saw the sky bright with the singing messengers on the night Jesus was born.
I took these fotos of the Christmas sunset with my new Canon Rebel xsi camera--just love it!
Now I'm working hard to catch up on Christmas layouts--"stuck on Christmas" is a good thing! While at the Sauder Village Saturday crop, I accomplished 20 pages of our family Christmas memories all on Evensong papers. The Aspen papers will have to stay "on top" so I can document our snow and ice storms next. Maybe then winter will stay away? We loved the 70 degrees these past few days (thank you, Coloradoans, for pushing the warm front our way)!

CTMH products used:
Aspen Level 1 papers and Stickease
Cranberry waxy flax (to accent the cranberry hues in the sky)
Big brads
Twilight marker
Reflections template "Sidebar Photo Focus"

Monday, February 9, 2009

10 Things Gramma Loves about Ella

and ... "A child is made a READER ... on the laps of her parents ..."

Okay, what is there NOT to love about Ella?

It was excruciatingly hard to narrow the list to 10.
A gramma knows all about that.

CTMH supplies used: Notebook papers, big pink brads, blush ink, Key To My Heart swirl & heart stamps, vellum paper, grosgrain ribbon. (Plaid ribbon & heart paper from LSS; "I love u mom" font from

Photo credit: my talented niece, Janet Manuel -- check out her photography site!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Go Red for Women

Today is National Wear Red Day -- are you wearing RED?

Check out Go Red for Women Day and become part of the movement.

Take care of your heart!

Be educated about heart disease! Be aware of symptoms specific to women!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Munchkin in Pink

Notebook papers and Hollyhock ribbon (CTMH) seemed the perfect fit for these fotos of Ella in pink.

This two-page layout took me no longer than 10 minutes and one Pepsi to complete. That's how fun, simple, and easy it is with Close To My Heart coordinating products!

The Notebook Level 2 paper packet includes two sheets of a variety of great journaling boxes that coordinate with the delicate colors.

This little munchkin loves books and raisins in that order. And most days, she juggles them both at the same time.

Thanks to my niece Janet for her awesome photography. Be sure to check out her site!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We Just Got Home!

This past weekend, about 85 Close To My Heart scrapbookers got together at the historic Sauder Village Founder's Hall near Archbold, Ohio for some serious scrappin' time.

Ohioan friend Connie and I went very early for the Saturday sessions and left late enough for our coach to turn into a pumpkin. I enjoyed the heated seats in her pumpkin, 'cause the temperature was minus 7 degrees Saturday morning!

Here are my CTMH "grandma" Chris S. and "mom-upline" Deb B. wearing their smiles and their CTMH aprons, and also a view of a small section of the large Founder's Hall where we got to spread out our stuff.

I'm so happy to have been able to get 22 pages scrapbooked on Saturday! We took breaks for a delicious lunch and dinner and also for a relaxing massage. I especially enjoyed seeing the helpful demonstrations showing how to use the CTMH rub-ons, liquid applique, prisma glitter, and fun flock.

DH and I traveled almost 500 miles one way so I could participate in this event. We were also blessed to visit for a few days with my parents who live in the area.

We're most thankful for God's protection as we drove back yesterday and today. When we got into the Indianapolis area about 9 a.m. yesterday, we were in a total white-out blizzard. After sitting on the interstate 4 hours and finding out the state patrol had closed the highway for the rest of the day, we slowly made our way to the first exit and got to a motel where we stayed overnight. Today we had sunshine and dry highways for our travel. It is SO GOOD to be home!

25th Anniversary for Close To My Heart & February's Stamp of the Month

Purchase $25 worth of stamps sets and you get the adorable "Good Times" MyAcrylix stamp set free!

Visit my web site to see the images that include a cupcake, balloons, gifts, and cheery sentiments.

Close To My Heart is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and YOU get the gift! This offer is good Feb 3rd - 28th.

February's Stamp of the Month is:
D1340 February: Easter Eggs
(Set of 20) $22.95 US/ $28.50 CAN

This SOTM is a beautiful collection of designer eggs, complete with a special Easter verse. "Eggsactly" what you need for a happy holiday!

Available February 1–28, 2009.

The stamp set uses the 2" × 2" MyAcrylix block (Y1003), not included.

With a minimum qualifying purchase, get your Stamp of the Month at a great discount or FREE! Click here to find out how!

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards