Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gather the snacks, it's football time

I got back yesterday morning from my hop-over-and-hope back again trip to the USA. Most of the time was spent on the road between Kansas City and southern Colorado. Long, wide-spanning roads that made me feel quite American. So this weekend's upcoming revelry seems right on target.

It's that time of year again. The time when, in America (mostly), the crockpots fire up and the chip bowls feel their glory. Allofthesnacks are prepared and whether you're in it for the football, the puppies, or the entertaining commercials, the couch is full for the Super Bowl. I'm not a big football person. A fair weather Packers fan, as well as an ex-pat, I probably won't be watching this year. But for many of you who will, I thought I'd share a freebie card. The one I offered last year was well-received, so I hope this one will be too! It's just a bit of an update.

Football & Nachos (Super Bowl) card by Laura Kate Is Crafty
download it > > > here < < <

It's a simple and bold card. Something I'm really liking of late. I have a feeling my designs this year might be very black and white based. But it's just the end of January, so only time will tell!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

..and if you threw a party and invited everyone you knew...

This morning I am off on a little adventure.

me and my girls
photo © Sondra Ralston Photography, with permission

Those gals were my bridesmaids. And they are my dearest ladies. That photo is not 100% flattering of me and I don't care. As this is posting, I'll be on a plane part way around the world to celebrate with them (well, 3 of the 4 - one friend can't make it) as Megan (who was my maid of honor/the one in purple) gets married. Around here, we are being a bit squeezy with pennies, but due to the awesomeness of my husband and my own travel plan ingenuity, I get to both go to the wedding of a bestie AND have a road trip with another! Win/win. London to Kansas City (via a layover & customs stuff in Chicago) today and then 11 hours on the road tomorrow! Erin (the one in yellow) and I will be the queens of I-70 by the time this is over. Or something.

The wedding is sure to be fabulous. Megan gave the amazing "mawwaige is what bwings us togevah today" speech from The Princess Bride as her MOH toast. I laughed til I cried. Keli (the one in grey), who is always great for laughs, will be officiating this wedding. There may be many tears of joy and laughter again. Also, there will be Mexican food. High hopes for a great time all around.

I'm hoping to pick up a SIM card for the US upon arrival for general connectedness and roadtrip Instagramming. I'll be back next week.

Until then, enjoy having The Golden Girls theme in your head. ;)

My home smells of bread...

...and that's the way I like it.

My mother has, at various times, been a proponent of lowering carb intake. This, for me, has always been a difficult proposition. Because bread. (And rice! And pasta! And fortheloveofallthat'sholy don't take away my popcorn). Seriously. Last year, I had just stopped buying loaves very often. Between the two of us, we weren't eating them up. They got wasted and I really hate avoidable food waste. But then this fall I got into eggs on toast in a big way. And I also discovered this bread. The recipe (from La Fuji Mama) is dead easy. I finally picked up bread flour (as the recipe lists) and the difference is noticeable to plain flour.

fresh & simple bread by LauraKateIsCrafty

Are you a bread maker? Are you afraid of bread? Don't be. Dip your toe in the water. Buy some instant yeast (I use this one). If you can manage a quick bread (savory or sweet!), you can manage making these lovely loaves. My loaf formation still needs a little work, but they taste good, even if they're a little squat. I've been meaning to give Eat Something Sunday a kick in the pants with a share of my take on this recipe, but as I looked at my 4 mini loaves cooling this afternoon I thought they needed sharing.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A card for Dr. King

Though I'm in England where Martin Luther King, Jr. doesn't have a holiday named for him, I still thought I'd make a card for the day. In the US, some people who get Monday as a day off from work and/or school treat it like an easy long weekend. That's sad. Even if just for a moment, reflect on the good work the man did for America and for the world. We are not past racism and social inequalities. But we can work to do better.

Martin Luther King Jr. quote card by Laura Kate Is Crafty

download it > > > here < < <

The quote I chose comes from Dr. King's 1967 speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. You can read it all here or listen a small excerpt here. Whatever your background, nationality, race, or other descriptor, I think we can all agree that a little more love in the world would not go amiss.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A happy announcement

Although I don't take as much time with them as I used to, I still adore Blythe dolls. So this announcement is an exciting one!

Some of you may know that I organized BlytheCon UK in 2011. In 2010, for the inaugural event, I was in charge of the raffle (organizing, tickets, & drawing). In 2012 I was away from the UK but attended and had a stall at the US BlytheCon. More recently, this past October, I happily hosted a workshop and had a stall at BCUK 2013. I've loved being involved in BlytheCons over the years, and this year is no different. However, this time I'm back on the planning side for BlytheCon UK 2014 in Brighton! Although I loved doing the organizing in 2011, this time I'm part of a group rather than flying solo. There are 6 of us, each taking care of different aspects. I have high hopes for a lot of fun.

logo designed for the 3rd year running by the excellent LeoCouture

The website isn't quite ready for the Brighton event, but I'm sure it will be soon. Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter will also have details as they happen. Tickets will be available on Valentine's Day. I think a day by the seaside with Blythe friends old and new will be just wonderful. The venue is great - we picked it out at the end of 2012! (And then didn't do much planning for another year!). If you're a Blythe fan in the UK or wherever, I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Instalife: post-holiday edition

Christmas and New Year were lovely this time around. Lots of family time (with The Scot's side) and friend time, too. Back at home, we've continued with our binge watching of Dr. Who (this past weekend we said goodbye to Ten and hello to Eleven. I cried. A lot).

I've been knitting a lot, and a bit calmer since the Christmas gifts were finished and given. A hat for me. A hat for him. Right now I'm working on a February Lady. After years of avoiding adult-sized garments and working on my skills in either 1/6 scale (for Blythe) or babies/kids, I conquered a sweater for the boy as a Christmas gift. It was my 2nd adult sweater. The first was in 2007 (and was a bit less-than-successful). What was I avoiding? All knitting is just following directions. I have high hopes for my cardigan. This winter marks 13 years of knitting. There should be piles of sweaters (and not just of the dolly type!).

Lego has been happening around here again. Which is great. We brought back about 80% of the childhood stash from Scotland. A lot of it needs a good bath, but otherwise, it's been fun to start sorting it and such. As I write this, I'm waiting for the husband to return from spending birthday vouchers at Hamley's. More Lego is en route!

Sherlock. Knitting. Dr. Who. Old episodes of Poirot. Cheese. Mentally planning ideas and approaches for my 2014 Project Life (a lovely US-based friend is sending over some cards and such that I've been wanting). In 2 weeks I'm headed to the US for a short short visit for the wedding of the friend who was my maid of honor. I hope to be able to squeeze in a tiny stop at a craft store. Ideas. So. Many. Ideas.

The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 flowed beautifully together. This year is starting off so nicely and I have high hopes for it - and I can't wait to share the adventures here!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Little Word 2014

I've been a fan of Ali Edwards for more years than I can recall. She came into my sphere of knowledge back in the old days of Creating Keepsakes magazine and idea books and such. Certainly I was into her blog and web presence around/by the time I was working at a local scrapbook store (2004 - 2006) and have continued to read her blog and such since. For many, many years now she's been sharing the idea of having a word of the year. A word to focus and guide. She calls it One Little Word and invites the greater scrapbooking and crafting community to join in. I've thought about doing it before, but I never really have. A few years ago I sortakinda had a word, but didn't do anything with the idea or make conscious efforts to embrace it.

This year, I am making a change. This year I will make. Life in the past 2 years has thrown a lot of challenges my way. Some I have successful conquered. Some have conquered me. In 2014, I am going to do my best embrace my word and see what great things can happen.


Make scrapbooks
Make music
Make experiences
Make a baby??
Make happiness
Make Love
Make a home
Make food
Make a business
Make success
Make a healthier me
Make ???

For the new year, I've not chosen to have any traditional resolutions. My 2014 resolution of sort is my One Little Word. I want to keep it present and keep it powerful and see what happens. I want to see what I can make with my hands, with my heart, and with/of my life.

Are you joining in with One Little Word? Have you before? Have you been successful in filling your year with your word?

To start off, I want to allow my word to be physically visible so I plan to make some sort of design to display to help remind me of it. I'm excited to try something new and hope that it will stay with me in a positive way throughout 2014.