31 December 2010

11 days

Originally, I thought this blog would be about crafting.  You know, paper and things, my etsy shop happenings.  It turns out that I do more living of life than crafting, so I have come to the conclusion that this is my all purpose blog.  My life blog.  The next big thing in my life is the Latin America Studies Program in Costa Rica.  In 11 days I will be arriving in San Jose, Costa Rica.  I will be staying with a host family, practicing Spanish and taking classes about Latin American culture and history.  Hopefully, I will also be taking short trips to Nicaragua and Cuba.  I don't have a lot of information about what this semester will be like, but I do know two things.  I am super excited and scared to death.  I can't wait to experience a different culture, feel the sun, get to know my host family, swim in the ocean, eat new food.  On the other hand, what if I make a cultural faux pas!?  What if I my family doesn't like me or I don't like them?  What if I try to speak Spanish and my vocal cords don't work? 

As for now, I will read my LASP required reading, start to pack and enjoy my last 11 days in the US of A.

22 December 2010

getting in the spirit.

Okay, so here's something.  Christmas is in three days.  Yes, THREE days.  This seems strange to me despite the Christmas tree, sugar cookies, gingerbread and wrapping paper that surround me.  Some of my favorite blogs have written loads of posts about Christmas, which I enjoy.  However, my pattern seems to be one post per season this year.  So, this is my Christmas post.  Maybe there will be more.  Maybe I should make a new years resolution about blogging...

 Amidst my surprise at the onset of Christmas, I have done a few Christmas-y things and I have been enjoying the advent season.  I have been making some Christmas cards and wrapping lots of gifts. Every time I eat a meal with my family we light the advent candles and read an advent prayer/ devotion from Henri Nouwen.  I love advent.  I love the anticipation of such a glorious day.  The day Jesus was born and the extra special day of family time each year.  Some of my favorite Christmas traditions are singing in the Candlelight Christmas Eve Concert at my church, eating fondue on Christmas Eve, opening stockings before breakfast on Christmas morning and performing some sort of magic show or play with my younger cousins.  I think one of the times that I most appreciate tradition is at Christmas time.  Traditions makes this time of year extra special.

04 November 2010

fall favorites.

Usually I like warm weather and fall means cold weather with winter right around the corner.  The start of Fall was fairly warm and sunny with beautiful, crunchy leaves.  The perfect bike riding, soccer playing weather.  However, I think it's starting to turn colder, which is not good.  As I try to always be optimistic, I'm reminiscing about my favorite things of fall.   Some of the best include: homemade pumpkin spice granola, pumpkin spice lattes, crunchy leaves, wearing tights, making useful and awesome things in Ceramics 101,  and a great Halloween costume.  What do you love about fall?

13 August 2010

Me llamo Raquel. [mexico + some new stamps]

For six days I was in paradise.  My family went to Playa del Carmen on the Rivera Maya in Mexico.  We stayed at the Viva Wydham Azteca all inclusive resort and it was great.  As you can see, the beach was beautiful.  The sand was sandy and the water was warm.  Highlights include:  bike rides, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, reading and relaxing on the beach, speaking Spanish, beach soccer,  and getting our pictures taken with monkeys.

 Also,  since I just had my birthday I have some new stamps to add to my collection.  My grandparent's got me these ones and I used some birthday money to buy some stamps from papertrey ink.  When I got home from Mexico this and this were waiting for me.  Here are some things I have made:

I really love making things out of old maps, because not only do the end results look pretty awesome, but they are also earth friendly.  In general I love reusing things that are just sitting in my basement or in the trash.  Now go forth and make something out of something else! 

p.s. click the photos to see them larger.  Some of them might be too small to see all the details.

02 August 2010

i am twenty!

I figured now might be a good time to blog about my birthday- considering it was two weeks ago.  My birthday was Sunday July 18, but the festivities started on the previous Friday when my Dad took me to St. Louis for a father/daughter surprise date.  We ended up at the airport for "dinner," but during dinner Joshua (my boyfriend) showed up.  It was the best surprise and exactly what I needed.  It had been a month since I had last seen Josh.  A month is a very long time. There aren't enough words for how happy I was to see him and to get to spend 4 days with him!  Since Josh lives in Seattle we've only gotten to see each other twice this summer (including the birthday surprise).  Josh said we were stealing time from summer on my birthday weekend.  We spent our blissful four days swimming in the lake, riding bikes, hanging out with friends and family and staying up late.  On my actual birthday friends came over and we made a delicious dinner.  (peanut chicken saute, vegetable curry, grilled tomato sandwiches, focaccia bread and cookie dough cupcakes.)  After dinner we played Norwegian Table Manners and Spoons.  Fun games and fun friends.  I am blessed and so thankful for amazing family and friends.

Also, on a crafty note, I am loving paint and moleskin cahier notebooks together.  These pocket notebooks are the perfect size for short-ish quotes and what not.  I buy them in packs of three on amazon.com.  I recently got small bottles of acrylic paint on a super sale (5 for $1!) at Michael's, which is what I have been using to paint these beauties. 

Look for these in my shop!

31 July 2010

sunny saturday

A happy song for a happy day.
Have a great Saturday!

15 July 2010

thank you's + a quote.

These lovely thank you notes were inspired by this card and I'm planning to donate them along with some other cards to The Supply Education Group for an awareness event they're having in August.  I kind of just want to keep them and look at them.  I guess that means I should make some more.

These cards were pretty easy to make and SO cute.  First, cut the cardstock to the size you want.  Then the fun part- choosing the paper for the circles.  I used a tiny circle stencil and cut out the circles by hand.  Some people have a special dye-cut machine thing, but not me.  I'm too cheap for that.  I picked a coordinating neutral color for the strip in the back, glued it down and stamped "thank you."  I arranged the circles  and then glued them down.  I added some buttons and tied some string (embroidery floss) around the card just below the "thank you."  

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."  -Mother Teresa

14 July 2010

Fruit Pizza

I made this fruit pizza for a World Cup party at my house on Sunday and it was delicious!  Here's the recipe:

2 packages of sugar cookie dough
8 oz Cream cheese
8 oz Cool whip
3/4 cup powder sugar
2-4 cups of fruit   (If you use bananas, first dip them in pineapple juice to keep them from turning brown.)

1/2 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice (i used fresh squeezed)
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Press the cookie dough into a circle pan and cook according to instructions on package.   
Combine cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar and spread it over the cooled cookie.
Spread the fruit over the pizza.
To make the glaze, cook all the ingredients except orange zest on medium heat in a sauce pan.  Stir.  Let it come to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes or until thick.  Take it off the heat and add zest.  Cool it for a few minutes, but don't let it set.  Spoon over the fruit.

Chill the pizza for 2 hours before cutting and serving.

*I used bananas, peaches and blueberries because I had those on hand.  If you try this, let me know what fruit you use and how it turns out!

07 July 2010

the one thing I will miss about Germany.


For those that follow the World Cup, you know that Spain beat Germany today. Although I do like Germany, I like Spain more, so I am please with the outcome. However, I will miss one thing about watching Germany play and that is Schweinsteiger. Just say that name out loud a few times. It's fun, I know. I do it approximately 20 times per game.

So long, Germany. Let's go Spain!

06 July 2010


Due to two unfortunate events (one more serious than the other), I have been feeling uncreative and unmotivated to do anything related to paper and crafts. First unfortunate event- leaving Seattle. I cried in the airport. Kind of embarrassing, I know, but it is hard to not see your best friend for two months. Even harder than that is what my sister is experiencing right now. One of her best friends died in a car accident last week. That sort of thing is absolutely devastating. I hardly knew her friend and I was feeling depressed all week.

So, I started making square envelopes out of a roll of kraft paper that I rescued from a trash can. Who would throw that kind of thing away?? I was more than happy to save that paper from going to the dump. I have a square envelope template, which I used, and I sort of made up the envelope liner on my own. To make the envelopes sealable I used double sided tape with protective paper on one side. Any suggestions for a better way to make handmade envelopes sealable? Once I made some envelopes, I got inspired to make some cards. A little inspiration from Ali Edwards' blog helped too. Here are some pictures of the envelopes/cards I have made.

These flowers are in my front yard. Nature is absolutely amazing.

28 June 2010

a quote for the day.

What do we live for if not to make life a little bit easier for each other.

12 June 2010

half time.

It's half time of the usa vs. england world cup game. this means:

- I finally got to take a shower. I've been up since 7am because for some odd reason I decided to have a yard sale today. Note to self: never, ever have another yard sale. There were some perks to having the yard sale, however. Like getting to spend the morning with my best friend Niqui and making 90 bucks and getting rid of a lot of stuff I don't need.

-time for blogging. It's possible that I am the worst blogger. ever. But, I will try to be better. And by that I mean blog more than just once a week.

So, here are some things I'm looking forward to:

-being an introvert. I have begun to realize that although I am about in the middle between extrovert and introvert, I tend to lean towards extrovert during the school year and introvert during the summer. I guess it makes sense. During school I am surrounded by friends all the time and I can't go an hour in my room alone without getting on-the-verge-of-tears-lonely. But during the summer I love relaxing, reading, and spending hours alone at my craft desk. Tonight will be a relaxing evening most likely and its' just what I need right now.

-making paper. My friend Erica and I are going to make paper out of old mail tonight of tomorrow, but probably tomorrow. I made some last Sunday and it was amazing watching a pulp mixture of water and paper scraps turn into paper that I can use!

-Seattle. I'm going Tuesday to visit my boyfriend, Josh. It will be my first time in Seattle and my first time flying alone and I'm excited! I'm ready for a vacation, too. I've been working a lot lately and haven't had much time to relax. So hanging out with Josh and not having to work or do homework will be the best.

World cup is back on. gotta go.

05 June 2010

Finally Summer

Well, technically it's been summer for about three weeks, but I felt like summer really started last weekend. My family went on a backpacking trip for the weekend at Garden of the Gods (in Illinois not Colorado, unfortuantely). The loads of poisoin ivy and tick bites we got were made up for by the beautiful views and awesome rock formations we saw. I also loveeee backpacking meals because I'm so hungry that everything tastes ten times better. On this trip we had an Indian dish called Palak Paneer and backpacker's stew- both delicious!

The first picture is of me by one of the rock formations and this is my younger sister and me. I think we were excited to take our packs off.

In order to ensure I would not have a boring summer I made a list of things to do. Now that I'm in college, summer is not as exciting because friends go home and it gets a little lonely. But, I have some trips planned to visit friends, a family vacation and this lovely list to keep me busy (not to mention work and my summer class).

Here's the list:
1. Paint my bedroom at home. Check... I painted it tan and I LOVE it!
2. Make a quilt. I started on my first ever quilt last week and I have found that I love sewing.
3. Apply to a semester abroad program in Thailand for next spring.
4. Apply for some scholarships for next year.
5. Start a blog. Check!
6. Make a tie.
7. Have a tie dye party. Some friends and I are getting together tonight to tie die : )
8. Complie my favorite recipes into a recipe book.
9. Try at least five new recipes. Last night I tried Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Kebabs, a recipe I got from Cooking Light Magazine
10. Practice the flute.
11. Read ten books.
12. Practice yoga once a week
13. Write a poem
14. Enter a craft fair.
15. Scrapbook memories from sopohmore year of college.
16. Volunteer
17. Have a cookie party
18. Go on an adventure.
19. Type up the spring break trip log and email to my friends. We collectively recorded our log in my journal while driving home from California.
20. Work in the garden.

I'm turning 20 on July 18, so naturally my list has 20 things to do.

I also have a project to share with you:

I've had this card and matching envelope for quite a while and last week I finally got an idea for how to use it. I just glued a strip of kraft cardstock along the bottom, glued on some cute buttons, stamped the sentiment in navy blue ink and glued that on too. It was pretty easy. Sometimes simple things are the best. My roomate bought some gorgeous stamps for me that she got on sale at Target. They don't really have a name, but I like them! I used them to decorate the envelope. I might put this in my etsy shop. We'll see.

Hope you're having a wonderful, adventurous summer!