Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Wow how time flies!!

I can not believe how long it has been since I have posted.  My life has literally been picked up, turned upside down, and shaken.

Since my last post, I finished my degree, started graduate classes, got a divorce I never wanted, and moved.  Kayla graduated high school and Brody continues to act.  These last five years have been a continuous roller coaster of ups and downs.  I would not have ever survived these last few years had I not had my faith in God and a loving family who endured it all with me.  

One thing that never changed through these years was my love for crafting.  I can count on crafting to take my mind off of what is going on.  I love the feeling of instant gratification, like taking a monogram off my embroidery hoop or putting together a catapult with Brody for a science project.  

In the spring of 2019, I went to "All things Silhouette" in Peachtree City, GA.  I was working at the Sparkleberry Booth with my friend Mandy.  Right across from the booth from us were the sublimation machines.  I think after a while I started creeping the people at that booth because all I could do was stare at that machine.  I was amazed at what all the printer could do.  There was another booth full of sublimation blanks and I would go back and forth dreaming in my head what all I could do!  That weekend I asked a thousand questions about the printer and decided on buying one.  By the end of the conference, I had talked myself out of buying a printer.  I was bummed, but I kept myself crafting with my embroidery machine and silhouette cameo.

A couple of months passed by and we were at Christmas. I started thinking about the printer again.  This time I thought maybe I would wait and look for a used printer after Christmas, maybe someone would upgrade.  Well, I was right, and it didn't take long to find one for sale.  I looked thru an app and found a lady not too far from me who said she had upgraded to a bigger printer and was selling hers.  I was overjoyed!!  We talked for a couple of days and agreed on a price, she even said she would throw in some extras.  I could not wait!!  My mom and I met this lady and her friend at a gas station and I loaded the printer in my car.  When I got home, plugged it in, and started to do a test print.  I had watched all the videos I could on this printer so I was ready.  Nothing happened???  No, this had to be a mistake.  I did notice there was a red light blinking on the front, but that had to be normal, right?  I first texted the lady and she didn't text back.  Next, I went online and started troubleshooting what could be the problem.   I contacted the printer company and they tried to help, but to no avail, they couldn't help me. I kept sending the lady texts but she never answered.  I had been scammed.  Eventually, I ended up buying a printer and I love it!!  

Now fast forward to March.  My kids were had moved to virtual school and I had started working full-time from home.  I began seeing more and more posts on Facebook about a glowforge laser machine.  I was intrigued!  I thought the machine sounded familiar.  I decided to do some searching thru my email and found an email I had sent my supervisor five years prior about wanting a glowforge for our office when it was just on kickstarter.  She laughed and said a firm NO.  It has been one of the best investments I have ever made and at almost a year later, I am still in love with my glowforge.

The glowforge has been so much fun.  For Kayla's graduation, I engraved all the student's names on wooden hangers for their graduation gown. It is so simple to use.  

I love that I can use these tools together.  I can use the glowforge to cut out wood and acrylic designs and then layer them with vinyl cut from my silhouette.  Two of my favorite sites I love to buy designs from is Design Bundles and Font Bundles.  You can get files for laser cuts, sublimation, vinyl, print, and more.  They literally have everything you need for just about every kind of craft you enjoy!  They also offer free designs and have amazing sales.

More pictures to come soon!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Butterfly Chapstick Valentine's Day Gifts

Happy Valentines Day!!  

I wanted to show you a quick and easy Valentine's gift that would work for either co-workers or Valentine's exchange in your childrens' class rooms.

To get started you will need:

First, hoop your stabilizer and felt, then put the hoop in your machine.

Following the stitch steps on the machine, stitch out the butterflies. (Using software, I was able to merge six butterflies onto one hoop to help the sew the patterns out faster.)

While the felt is still in the hoop, use scissors or a seam ripper to make cuts in the butterfly to hold the Chapstick.

Once completed, take the felt out of your hoop and trim away each butterfly.  They will look like this!

Since I am making these for some ladies at work, I added some rhinestone bling!

I put each butterfly in a heart decorated bag and tied it together with ribbon.

Hope the ladies at work enjoy these gifts as much as I enjoy making them!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

I Hope I'm Back!!!

Wow!!  It has been way too long!

I am officially in my last semester in school.  Come May, I will receive my Bachelors of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Digital Media.  I have so much to post on my family, sewing projects, and life.

Brody's acting was very busy for us in 2013.  Here is his recent ATC Income Tax Commercial.

Kayla is filming tomorrow!  Busy Busy!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

My 4th of July Cake

The cake was a hit!  I was so happy.  I can say that it didn't look as good as I wanted it too, but eveyone was asking me about it.

I tried to get into the fellowship hall to cut the cake.  When I finally got in there, someone had already cut it into pieces and so I didn't get the picture I wanted.

I got the idea off of Pinterest here Glorious Treats and this is how I made it here.  Maybe it was just too hot!  But I can say it was delicious!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

4th of July Cake

Of all days to decide to bake a cake, I pick the day that in my car was reading 108F.  What is going on with this weather. 

Tomorrow, our church is having a 4th of July picnic inside, due to the heat.  I feel as though I have been lacking in participation in activities due to school, I finished my homework and I let baked a cake.  So proud of myself.   Well, I let Kayla mix the cake, she was my big helper.  So glad to have her home from youth camp :)

I found a cake that seemed to be pretty popular on Pinterest.  I will link to it tomorrow after I cut the cake, just in case mine turns out ugly.  But for now I want it to be a surprise!!

I started with 2 white cake mixes and doubled the needed ingredients from the box. 

The ingredients!  Picture taken with instagram with a blue ambiance!

Kayla pouring the mix into the mixer!

Kayla posing for the camera

Adding a little red food coloring

Now a little blue!
Popped 3 cake pans in the  GE Advantium Over-the-Range Oven

Set the oven to cook at 350 for 35 min.
And that was it.  All three cake pans cooking at once.  They were all done in 35 min.  There was no pre-heating involved.  There was no heat being emitted like I would have in my regular oven.  There is no way I could have baked a cake in my range oven!  I probably could have taken them out sooner.

The GE Advantium Over-the-Range Oven allows for convection baking.  This lets you  to cook foods the same way as a range oven, using an
element to heat the air inside the oven. Any oven temperature from 250°F to 450°F may be set. A fan gently circulates heated air throughout the
oven, over and around the food. Because the heated air is kept constantly moving, some foods cook slightly faster than in regular oven cooking (and with no pre-heating).  (GE manual)

After I took the cakes out, I took the kids to Stevie B's for some pizza to give the cakes time to cool.  By the time I got home, there were ready to be frosted.

TA' DA!!

Tomorrow I will post a picture of the cake's insides!!  I can not wait to see it myself.  Kayla helped me in making a red, white, and blue bunting to top the cake.

Thank you GE for another perfect dish!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

How GE saved an almost bad night!!

My kids have been out of town this week!  Kayla went to Georgia Camp with the church youth and Brody and my mom went to her cabin at our other church  camp.  Had I not had homework projects I would have had alot of sewing done.

On Tuesday night, Jeff call to say he was running late and that he could pick up hamburgers on the way, could I call it in.  Well, anyone that knows Jeff knows he does not eat alot of red meat.  When he mentions it I get excited!!! 

Ever since our favorite place to get real burgers changed to a fish place, the closest place HE will eat a burger is 20 min away.  I am usually in charge of placing the order, so I called it in!

2 burgers, well done, no butter on the bread, no mayo, dry baked potato and steamed broccoli.  I have to make sure of the 1st 3 items - well done, no butter on the bread, no mayo.

About 45 min. later Jeff arrives home with our food and I am starving.  The first thing I ask was "Did you check the food". "Yes, you reminded me!!"  We had planned to watch a movie with our burgers.  Jeff took his burger out while I was piling the lowfat ranch dressing in my potato and took a bite!  And guess what!!! The inside was RED.... grosssss.... I couldn't eat it.  It was too late to go back and get a new one :(       (and there was mayo on the bottom of mine)

There are certain times of the month I will cry over food (pms), but not tonight!  I wanted that hamburger..... and I thought to my self... Duh.... the GE Advantium Over-the-Range Oven can fix this!

I put my hamburger patty in the oven and went to the pre-set speedcooker option.  In the food category I selected Meats -> Hamburger -> Well Done -> 1-2 pattys and pressed start.
Food category list from the GE Advantium Manual

Look how WELL and juicy this burger is!!!

In less than 7 minutes that hamburger was done.  There was no trace of pink in the burger and the burger was even juicer.

So, that night, Jeff and I were able to enjoy our burgers with our movie!!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gifts for my sisters!

I love giving gifts.  I always have.  Whether is something small just to say I love you or planning out a big surprise, I just love giving.  I like to let God know that if he provided me with more money, I could give more :)

I am a sucker for my family.  If I see something neat, I want it for everyone.  Right before Mother's day I scored big! on some really nice baseball caps.   Knowing what I wanted to do with them, I bought assorted colors that I knew my SIL's liked.  I knew these would be great to use at the pool, working in the yard, and watching Jessica (SIL #3) play softball.

I took the hats over to my single needle embroidery machine and crossed my fingers that I could figure out some way to add monograms to the hats with out needing any special hoops.

I flattened the hat as much as possible and pinned the hat flat to the stabilizer.

I added each SIL initials to the front of the hats. 
I used KK font from 8 Claws and a Paw Embroidery.

I think they turned out beautiful!!!  They all loved them!  Jessica's is pink, even though it looks red.

Megan's is burgundy.  This is to go with her gamecocks attire.  She is a huge fan!

Jennifer's is pink, she is sassy like that.  She loves all things pink!

For Nicole, I used a beautiful teal on Khaki.  I love these colors.

I did do one for my mom.  She has a navy hat with a white monogram.

Like always, I didn't make me one.  I do have more hats, because like I said earlier, these hats were too good of a deal to pass up.  I will be making one for Kayla as she heads out to youth camp next week.

I have plenty of more projects to post about.  This semester is crazy hard.  Who wants to know about Systems Analysis???  Not me!!!  But it is a requirement and I am in week 3 of 8....  I can handle it!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Speed Dating Link Up Blog Style!!

About me!!  Well.... I have an "About Me" link -- but it is blank!! I guess when this party is over, I will post this info there.....hahaha!
Now, on to me!

My name is Tara.  I have been married for almost 12 years and my husband and I have 2 children.

I have always lived in GA, within a 20 mile radius of the city I was born in, Marietta.

I am the oldest of 5 children.  I have 4 younger brothers that I am very close to.  They are all married. And, all but one of them has children of their own.

In 1981, my middle brother and I were riding in a car with both of my maternal grandparents. We were all traveling to a church revival at our home church. Tragically, a lady ran a stop sign, t-boning our car.

Sadly, my brother and I were the only survivors.

God spared our lives. And, interestingly enough, we both have jobs in the ministry.

I was saved at church camp when I was 7 under Commissioner Andy Miller of the Salvation Army.

My two favorite places to go (other than home) are Indian Springs in Flovilla, GA  and the beach!!

Jeff, my husband, is an actor!!  I am so proud of him and his accomplishments.  Not only does he act, he directs, produces, writes, casts, and coaches other actors.  His job is time consuming, but he keeps us all involved!!  I get to tape his auditions and read with him. He says I'm getting really good!  :)

Jeff and I met on a blind date.  We met in January, got engaged in February and married in June of 2000!!  He knew instantly, he says. I didn't. But, God put it all together!!

6 weeks before the wedding, my dad had a heart attack and died.  He was very healthy and active.

Absolutely devastating...but, God got us through.
My parents had been married for 33 years and Dad was only 55 when he passed. He was working in the yard, literally helping his neighbor, when it happened.

Just after our loss, God literally (and figuratively) opened the door to the house next door to the house my parents had just moved into the month before. We have lived next to my mom ever since.

My mom is the strongest woman I know.  She raised 5 kids of her own and has been a loving caregiver to all of her grandchildren from birth until they were ready for school.  She lost her parents (in the above mentioned car accident) when she was 7 months pregnant with my little brother; then, lost her high school sweetheart (my Dad) a month after moving into the home they were planning to retire in.  She is a mighty woman of God and I thank Him for her every day!!

My two children are the best "things" I've ever done. I love them whole hardheartedly!! Kayla looks like me and acts like Jeff!  Brody looks like Jeff and acts like me.   :)

They both have Jeff's gift of acting.  They are both coached by Jeff . If you click here, you can see Brody's latest commercial!!

I am now 41 years old and (FINALLY!) a senior in college.  I have 10 classes left in order to finish my degree in IT - Integrated Digital Media.  I chose the 20+ year plan. ;)

I have worked in the same place for 20 years, changing positions over those years.

I LOVE doing machine embroidery, sewing, crochet, jewelery, anything home crafty/diy...and cooking!

I LOVE the Atlanta Braves.

I do not like to read. I love to watch tutorials!! I can't sit still.  All of my sisters in law read -- and read alot!!  I feel like a third wheel when they start talking books. I will listen to them on tape, however.  I feel if I have time to read, I would rather be sewing!!!

I sound southern, but not as much as my sister n law Jennifer :),  drink sweeeeeet tea, and coca cola!!

In a loooooog nutshell ~ this is me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kooking in the Kitchen with Kayla Part II

Kayla's arm has now gone from cast to brace!!  We are so thankful that God healed her quick!  The Dr. originally said she would need to wear a cast for 3 months, but after 6 weeks the fractured bone had healed so well, she was put into a brace.  Now Kayla can take off the brace to scratch her arm and take a shower without extra help.

Kayla also keeps asking me to help cook!!  I love that!!  I have always loved to cook and to see her wanting to cook excites me!!

Over the Memorial weekend, Jeff asked that we make Chicken Brunswick Stew.  That was fine with me, because this is a one-pot recipe and Kayla can make it.

I got this recipe off of my once long ago neighbor that I used to babysit.  Now she is all grown and has a beautiful family of her own.

Sara, over at My Merry Messy Life, posted this recipe on her blog a while back and I made it for my family.  It has become one of those recipes that not only I love, but it is requested by my husband, my kids, and my mom.  (I always run her a BIG bowl next door).

Ingredients for Chicken Brunswick Stew

 Ingredients: (This recipe was copied from My Merry Messy Life)

1 lb. chicken breasts (fresh or thawed, both work the same)
1-2 cups of frozen lima beans (eyeball it - to your liking)
1/2 barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cans cream corn (14 oz cans)
1 can corn (or a couple of handfuls of frozen corn)
Couple of glugs of Worcestershire sauce to your taste (this is the secret ingredient to make it super tasty!)
1/2 cup hot sauce (if you're brave, and I am not, so I don't do it, but my mom does!)

Have fun dumping all the ingredients into your Crock Pot, but put the chicken in first on the bottom. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5. You'll know it's finished when the chicken easily shreds apart  by mashing it with a fork. Turn off the Crock Pot and wait 15 minutes or so for it to cool down.

I did go ahead and use the whole bag of limas, because I love them :).

We started the stew pretty early so it would cook for most of the day.

Kayla pouring in the vegetables (I placed the chicken in the crock pot)

Once the stew was all in the pot and cooking, Kayla wanted to make dessert.  I let her pick what she wanted to make and she chose chocolate chip cookies.  I do not let my kids use the stove-top oven, but I will let them use the GE Advantium Over-the-Range Oven (supervised, see post here)  

Before we made the cookies, Kayla took a stick of butter out of the freezer and placed it the Advantium and selected the micorwave - Pre-Set -  Soften - Butter.

From the GE
Over the Range Oven Advantium User Manual

The Soften Butter

Mixed Ingredients prepared as directed

We dropped spoon fulls of cookie dough on the Speedcook Tray and we baked two batches of cookies two ways.

First we used the Speedcook option:  Select Speedcook -> Desserts -> Cookies.  Simple enough. You will need to choose the amount of cookies and then START.

From the GE Advantium Over the Range Oven User Manual

The next way we baked the second batch of cookies was by using the Convection Bake option.

We dropped the dough on the on the Speedcook Tray and put it in the oven.  We selected CONV BAKE  and turn the knob to the cooking temperature.  We shut the door and pressed START.

Ta-da!!! Two perfectly baked batches of cookies!!  It is that easy!!

*** Kayla did have help removing the Speedcook Tray from the oven, it was hot!!!

One worry I do not have anymore!  Getting burned by the oven door when trying to remove the food!!!!   Thank you GE!!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A BEST Friend and an E-Reader Case

This week I made something for my special friend Farah.  I love her dearly!!

Let me tell you a little about her!!  We first met at work in 2000.   She was interviewing for a job and I was sitting in on the interview. In an instant, I could see that Farah had a glow about her.  We quickly became friends.

We were both newly weds, marrying only two days apart.  In 2002,  we both became pregnant and spent alot of lunch hours eating hot wings.

We laugh all the time and scare each other too!  A few weeks ago, she was hiding in my office,  when I rounded the corner.  Farah  made some noise and scared me so bad I threw my candy bar at her and hit her in the head.  I can't believe I didn't pee on myself!
She is so beautiful!!  Gorgeous Smile and Eyes!

She has been my shoulder to cry on when things have been good and when things have been bad.

I have always heard that if you ever have one true friend like I have with Farah, consider yourself lucky!  I do not think I am lucky, I know that I am blessed!!!

Saturday was her birthday!  I never feel like I do enough for her :(

I wanted to make something special for her, so I made her a case for her Kindle.

Quilted front with Monogram

The back is not quilted, but is padded

Inside is fully lined with a pocket to keep the cord away from the screen

The zipper is hidden!

I made this case using a pattern from Five Star Fonts

I love you my friend, Farah!!! Happy Birthday!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What's the Answer??

After premiering in different markets during the Indy 500 yesterday, I can finally release my little man's new commercial for Charles Stanley's "In Touch Ministries". I am so proud of Brody and the talent that God has given him. He has such a gift of memorization.

Another show he premiered in this week was in a reenactment for Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural"! Sid Roth's ministry is dedicated to reaching out with the good news of the Messiah, "to the Jew first" (Romans 1:16) and all people through television, radio, speaking, publications and the Internet.
Brody's Link -
Last week, Brody read for two really big movies!! Very exciting times for Brody and us!
In about 3 weeks, Kayla will be able to take her arm brace off and start auditioning again. She also has done Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural"!
Kayla's Link -
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Look What's Popping this Holiday Weekend!!

Popcorn is a staple in our home.  It is something that we all enjoy, especially on movie nights!

Our GE Advantium Oven is another item that we enjoy!

Brody, our youngest, wanted to show how much he loves it too!

Take a look at THIS:

Thank you GE! We LOVE you!!

Happy Memorial Day!  We thank all the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom! God Bless You!!

My Dad ~ Vietnam 67'
My Grandaddy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ending of Spring Baseball :(

I love baseball!!  I always have.  I am an Atlanta Braves fan!

Back in 2004 when we found out that we were pregnant with a boy, Jeff and I started throwing around boy names.  I said we needed a name that sounded like a ball player.  I loved the name Brody and to me Brody Rose sounded like a Pro-player.

Last week Brody had his tournament games.  Unfortunately they had to play the two hardest teams (that we beat during the season) back to back and lost both.  The tournament games are double elimination and so we were out.

The coaches and the team mom were wonderful!!  It means more to me when I see the coaches encouraging the boys to have fun more than to win.  Our team mom was awesome.  She set up a website with pictures from each game, a calendar with dates and times for games and practices, and set up the team party. 

This week the Brody had his team party!  It was great.  Brody received his trophy!!

I really wanted to do something special for the coaches and mom, they worked so hard for their team.  So I started thinking of what these coaches and mom represented .

I LOVE!! this tote I found.  I had bought a few of the totes and had been thinking of what to do with them.  So for the team mom, I used my embroidery software to arrange my words.  Then I set up machine to stitch the art.  The tote is very large and has a canvas/vinyl feel to it.  This tote would be great to take to the beach or pool.

Subway Art Tote with Charms
Subway Art Tote
Monogram on opposite side of bag just above the pocket.

Also, the team mom has three boys that all play ball.  I made her charms that she could put on a necklace, key chain, or to give to the boy to put on their equipment bag.  The colors I used are the colors for our baseball park.  Not only do her boys play Spring ball, they play travel and All-Star.

Baseball bottle cap charms

For the coaches, I bought baseball leather type material from Joann's.  I added words and small embroidery designs to the leather.  The fonts stitched beautifully.  I did have to place a solvy on top to keep the stitches from sinking into the soft material.  I added a baseball 3d sticker to the designt before I put it in the frame.  The frames are 5x7 shadowbox frames.
Coach Tommy

Coach Scott

I am so happy how these turned out.  The coaches and mom really liked them.  I hope they truly know how much they are appreciated.  Brody cried at the end of his party, saying "I don't want to leave my team." :(