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

Friday, August 31, 2012

MOAV 2: The Adventure Continues . . .

My family had so much fun on our "Mother Of All Vacations" last year, that we had to take another! In fact, we started planning this year's 30-day camping journey on the final leg of last year's trip. Our focus this time? The Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Where the corners of CO, UT, AZ, and NM meet at Four Corners Monument, Navajo Nation Tribal Park
Yes, we hit the American Southwest in August--in monsoon season--and survived it all: 7800 miles, 19 states, 100-plus-degree temperatures, wind-driven rains, 50-plus-mph winds, high elevations, mountain driving, desert driving, and some pretty rugged--but utterly beautiful--terrain.
The Mitten Buttes in Monument Valley Navajo Nation Tribal Park, AZ (taken by 13YO daughter)
We ended up visiting 26 National Park Service/Bureau of Land Management sites in eight states, hiking in many of them.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (St. Louis Arch), MO
Fort Scott National Historic Site, KS
Fort Larned National Historic Site, KS
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, CO
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, CO
Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Arches National Park, UT
Natural Bridges National Monument, UT
Valley of the Gods (BLM), UT
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, AZ
Wupatki National Monument, AZ
Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
Petroglyph National Monument, NM
White Sands National Monument, NM
Three Rivers Petroglyph Site (BLM), NM
Valley of Fires Recreation Area (BLM), NM
Pecos National Historical Park, NM
Fort Union National Monument, NM
Capulin Volcano National Monument, NM
Fort Smith National Historic Site, AR
Hot Springs National Park, AR
Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
The kids earned their Junior Ranger badges at 18 NPS units. We also visited national forests, tribal parks, state parks, city parks, and drove part of Historic Route 66. It was epic, breathtaking, educational, and unforgettable.

Wanna see some photos? Just keep scrolling for the "This Land is Your Land" tour. Many thanks to Woody Guthrie (feel free to pull out your tambourine. Go ahead--I don't mind.) And remember, just click on any photo to enlarge it.

As I went walking
Hiking the Long Logs Trail in Petrified Forest National Park, AZ (taken by 9YO son)

that ribbon of highway
US-163 leading through Monument Valley, AZ

I saw above me
Owachomo  Bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument, UT

that endless skyway
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, MO

I saw below me
Step House cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park, CO

that golden valley
Moki Dugway, Utah State Route 261 (taken by 13YO daughter)

This land
Pike's Peak viewed through the Siamese Twins formation in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO

was made
Blue Whale, Historic Route 66 attraction, Catoosa, OK

for you and me.
Ancient macaw rock carving at Petroglyph National Monument, NM

I roamed and I rambled
Wagon on the Santa Fe Trail outside Bent's Old Fort Historic Site, CO

and I followed my footsteps
Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO (taken by 13YO daughter)

To the sparkling sands of 
Gypsum sand dunes below the San Andres Mtns, White Sands National Monument, NM

her diamond deserts
The Painted Desert, as protected within Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

While all around me 
Ruins at Fort Union National Historic Site, NM

a voice was sounding
Oil-drum kachina doll outside the National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, OK (taken by 13YO daughter)

This land
Closeup of a petrified tree stump in Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

was made
Rock cairns at Three Sisters formation overlook on Valley Drive in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, AZ

for you and me.
At the aerial tramway depot atop Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM (taken by 9YO son)

When the sun came shining, 
Sunrise over tug-propelled barges on the Mississippi River in East Memphis, AR (taken by 9YO son)

and I was strolling
A leisurely hike in Petrified Forest National Park, AZ (taken by 13YO daughter)

And the wheat fields waving
A view of Sierra Grande from Capulin Volcano National Monument, NM

and the dust clouds rolling
The dusty Valley Drive passing by Elephant Butte in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, AZ

A voice was chanting, 
Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM

As the fog was lifting,
Sunrise along US-191 enroute to Arches National Park, UT

This land 
Indian paintbrush at Sandia Peak summit in Albuquerque, NM

was made
The Watchtower at Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

for you and me. 

Our accommodations at Wigwam Village #2 in Cave City, KY

We are back to reality now, getting ready for next week's return to school, but this MOAV is sure to live on and on in family lore!

Thanks for checking out my vacation photos!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thank-You Treat

Hey, there! I'm comin' atcha today with a fun and sweet little treat. I mean, really--who can resist DeNami chickies and M&Ms???

The focal point of my design is a brand-new stamp from DeNami, the Back-to-School Chickie, and we are featuring it this week as the DeNami Product Spotlight.

It's so perfect for back-to-school creations or for little thank-you gifts (or treats!) for teachers, tutors, librarians, and volunteers. And as this week's product spotlight, this adorable chickie stamp is on sale for the next week.

My little treat box came together so quickly and easily! I heat embossed the image and sentiment on watercolor paper, and then watercolor painted this cute little tableau with dye inks in less than five minutes. I punched it all out with a label punch and drew in a dotted black border with a Sakura Glaze pen. See that fun little clear treat box? That's one of DeNami's clear boutique boxes (the 2¼" x 2¼" x 1" size--perfect as favor, truffle, or treat boxes), and they are such a great deal. One 10-pack costs just $4. Amazing! After filling the box with peanut M&Ms, I tied it up with some red baker's twine from the Classic Twine 3-pack, and adhered my label to the box with some foam tape. Done!

Be sure to visit the DeNami blog today to see how the rest of the design team used this week's Spotlight product. I know you'll come away with a ton of ideas! 

Thanks for checking out my little slice of happy for today!

Paper: Canson watercolor paper
Ink: Onyx Black Versafine, various dye inks for watercolor painting
Accessories: DeNami Boutique Box, baker's twine, clear embossing powder, heat tool, label punch, Sakura Glaze pen
Techniques: heat embossing, watercolor painting

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DeNami Bright, Bold, & Beautiful Blog Hop

Welcome to the DeNami Design Bright, Bold, & Beautiful Blog Hop! Today the DeNami Design Team and customers alike are showcasing some beautifully bright and bold projects made with DeNami stamps.

Hopefully, you've arrived here by way of Pattie Goldman's blog, Paper Silhouettes. If so, you are on the right track! If not, you'll want to head over to the DeNami blog to start the blog hop at the beginning. (And remember, if you get lost along the way, you can always head over to the DeNami blog to get pointed in the right direction.)

Don't forget, there are some super-fun DeNami prizes to be won! Two lucky commenters will be drawn at random from among the comments left along the blog hop to win a $20 DeNami Design gift certificate! You have until Monday, August 13, 2012, 11:59 pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs to be eligible for a prize.

OK, so on to my bright, bold, and beautiful project! When I think "bold and bright," I think NEONs, which are so totally hot and on-trend this summer. So I reached for a pack of neon-hued cardstock and my trusty, summery, bold, bright, and, dare I say, "neon-y" 6 x 6 pad of Lime Rickey  patterned paper from BasicGrey.

I just LOVE paper-piecing this giant DeNami butterfly! It certainly is beautiful, isnt' it? And bold and bright, too, right? The dotted scallops border that I stamped in white comes from the very useful Retro Borders 1 set (cling-style). 

I hope you are enjoying the hop and gather lots of bright and bold ideas along the way! Before you leave, be sure to leave a comment to be eligible for the randomly drawn prizes and then you can be on your way to the next stop on the hop, the blog of Stacy M., Sweethearts & Sweet Tarts.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Enjoy the blog hop,


Stamps:  Large Butterfly (cling), Retro Borders 1 set (cling), Everyday Greetings set by DeNami Design
Paper: neon cardstock from The Paper Company, patterned paper from the BasicGrey Lime Rickey collection
Ink: Onyx Black Versafine, Colorbox Frost White
Accessories: Robin's Egg Blue Rhinestones, circle punches, Corner Chomper, foam tape
Techniques:  paper piecing

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Box of Smiles

Every kid knows just how fun an empty box can be! If you are a parent, you probably remember Christmases or birthdays when your kids were more interested in the boxes that gifts came in than the actual gifts themselves. Am I right? Just think of all the money we could have saved on gifts during those years lol!! Well, I can tell you that an empty box rubber stamp can be equally fun! Just take a look at this sweet Open Box stamp from DeNami Design.

And here's a little card I made with it. Super fun!!

So, the Open Box stamp is our Product Spotlight this week over at DeNami Design. It's on sale, at 10% off, for the next week. I know you'll be so inspired by all the different ways the DeNami design team used this fun little stamp (check out today's DeNami blog post) that you'll want to add it to your stamp collection. It's so versatile!

Have a super week! I'll see you back here on Sunday for the DeNami Bright, Bold, & Beautiful Blog Hop!

Thanks for dropping by,

Stamps: Open Box, Animal Faces stamp set, Steam Curl, Sending You Smiles (cling) by DeNami Design
Paper: PTI Rustic Cream cardstock, PTI kraft cardstock, patterned paper from the BasicGrey Lime Rickey collection
Accessories: Corner Chomper, foam tape, white gel pen, sewing machine
Techniques:  machine stitching

Monday, August 6, 2012

A One-Layer Thank You

I am always running out of thank you notes--especially nice flat and easily mailed one-layer ones. How 'bout you? Today's card is a welcome addition to my perpetuallly depleted collection.

As soon as I saw Kanani's awesome sketch for this month's DeNami Design Challenge, I knew I could adapt it to a single layer design to suit my needs!

Doesn't this look like a fun sketch? There are all sorts of possibilities for it! Be sure to swing by the DeNami Design blog to check out what the rest of the design team came up with for this sketch and to get all the details of the August DeNami challenge!

Thanks for checking in!

Stamps: Modern Borders Set (cling), Brushed Thank You by DeNami Design
Paper: Vintage Cream cardstock by PTI
Ink: Vintage Sepia Versafine, Toffee Versafine, Habanero Versafine, Spanish Moss Versafine