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Quick and Easy Accent Pillows

Two placemats: (Yes, placemats!)
$3.49 each from Kohl's

One bag of polyester fiber filler:

$3.99 from Walmart

Two festive fall accent pillows:

Total: 30 minutes and $11.00!

All I did was unpick about 5" of the lining on the back off the placemat and stuff it with pillow filling. I stitched it back up and got two cute fall accent pillows!

Christian's Card

Here is a picture of Christian holding a card he made for his mom's birthday! He did a good job! Aren't they BOTH cute?!?

Here's a close-up of the card!

Below are some quick cards I've made recently:

The one below is a gift card holder I made for a swap. I modified the idea from this instruction booklet that I downloaded from a blog: http://stampinmama.typepad.com/stampin_mama_a_mama_that_/2007/07/my-surprisea-gi.html Look for the link that says "download the thank you issue pdf". This will give you step by step instructions on how to make it. I changed the size of mine and used a envelope that fits a standard size card instead of a business sized envelope. It fits a gift card nicely!

This is what it looks like when it's open. It's got two pockets, one for a gift card and another one for a note.


My 1st Groundbreaking!

Yesterday I got to attend my first groundbreaking. This is for a college building that the architectural office I work for designed. I was project designer for the interiors of the 60,000+ sq. ft. building. That's me in the black suit towards the right! See me digging with my gold shovel?


Ahoy Mateys!

Shiver me timbers! It's Talk Like A Pirate Day! So act a little silly because it's ok to talk like a pirate today....althought it's not a well known day yet so everyone might look at you a little strange. Talk at your own risk! -Erin


Lots of words, no pictures...

So here are some pictures to break up all the words lately!

This is a Birthday Card I made for a coworker of mine. It's hard to tell but the brown petals have clear embossing powder on them to make it shiny and a little rhinestone center. As usual, it's much better looking in person!

This one is for no one in particular...just a fun birthday card that fits inside a standard business sized envelope. There's a little folder inside to hold money or a gift card. I scrunched up the ribbon to make the icing on the cake and then sewed it to hold in place. It turned out really nicely! -Erin

Oh the Joys of working Downtown...

First, before I start the story that gave title to this posting I have a small disclaimer about the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe below. After Christian read it he wanted to make sure I wasn't breaking any copyright laws by posting their famous recipe....so to answer your question: I don't think I am. On the recipe card that I got from Neiman Marcus it says "...take the legendary recipe home and by all means pass it on..." So this is my way of passing it on!

On with the reason for the title of my post today...

I work in downtown Dallas and my office is about two blocks from the soup kitchen that feeds approximately 600-650 homeless every day for lunch. So naturally, on occasion, there are some hanging around my place of employment. Last week I had an unfortunate incident with one. I decided that I wanted a donut from a little grocery/cafe store called Urban Market. It's not far from where I work, in fact it's just across the street...safe enough! (Or so I thought) I left my building and as I was crossing the street I noticed that I would be walking right past a homeless man with his little suitcase. He was walking towards me and honestly made me a little uncomfortable. I finished crossing the street and right before I passed him he stopped and looked like he wanted to strike up a conversation. I noticed this and decided not to make eye contact and just keep walking. Little did I know, this was the start of a somewhat large fiasco. As I walked past he said "Hi, how ya doing lady?" I didn't respond and kept walking towards the door to the market. Next thing I know he's right behind me yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names that I'd rather not post. All the while, asking, well yelling, That I must be too good to talk to him. I brushed off the choice names and words and figured that if I could just get inside the market he would leave me alone. Unfortunately, not the case! I got about 15 feet into the store and I turn around and see that he has just come in the door and is still yelling at me! Then I got scared, found the nearest associate and let him know that the guy that just walked in was harassing me. He was very quick about stopping what he was doing and went to ask the guy to leave. Well, then the homeless guy started yelling at the associates and wanted to know if they wanted a piece of him. Next think I knew, the seemingly unremarkable suitcase became a flying weapon of sorts. Two men eating at the cafe realized what was going on and got up to help the associate. From then on the slowly worked their way towards the door, while punches were flying. I sure didn't mean for things to go that badly. I just didn't want the guy following me yelling and cursing and name calling me. They got him outside finally, but not off the property so 911 was called. I went and bought my donut and sat down to eat it there in case the police needed to talk to me when they arrived since it was me who was being harassed first. The police took a little while to arrive so I left and went back to work after leaving my name and phone number in case they needed me to come back over and make a statement or something else. The associate called me about 30 minutes later and said that the owner and associate that helped me filed a report and I didn't need to. Apparently the guy had been bothering other people the day before so they arrested him and took him to the psych ward. So all in all, a little scary but it turned out ok for me. I was a little shaken up but I'm sure that the homeless guy probably still had a worse day than me. Thanks so much to everyone at Urban Market that helped!!! -Erin

(Oh and by the way, my co-worker said that from now on she would walk with me because she wears stiletto's and we figured they might come in handy!)


The REAL Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

I guess this year is Neiman Marcus' 100 Anniversary so today at the stores in Dallas (and maybe elsewhere but I'm not sure) they gave away a free cookie and the recipe. Some co-workers and I went there after lunch and picked up the goods. I'm sure at one point or another you've come across the email with the recipe and the story about the lady who paid $250 for the recipe and was miffed about the cost so she shared it with everyone via email...well supposedly that's an urban legend but anyway....here's the real recipe (and the best part was that it wasn't $250!!):

The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds). Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips. Using a 1-ounch scoop or 2-tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2-inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. bake a little longer for a crispier cookie. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Well, there it is....now for my notes on the recipe:
First of all, I don't drink coffee so I think that it would be fine to omit the espresso coffee powder. Second of all, yes, do put them about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. These are huge cookies, I'd say that they are about 4" in diameter when they are all done...They are pretty good, although the recipe has very similar ingredients to a lot of other chocolate chip cookie recipes I've seen...so anyway, ENJOY!! Erin

Cats playing Fetch?

We're not sure if it was a fluke or not, but Sneak was playing fetch with me one night last week. She would jump up on my craft table, drop her little stuffed fishie, and wait for me to throw it. I'd throw it, she'd run and grab it, and drop it off again on the table. She did this about 8 times, but then it was time for bed. Christian and I thought that it was just some fluke..but the next day Christian was home from work and Sneak wouldn't leave him alone. He threw that little stuffed fish about 30 times. If he tried to take a break Sneak would meow and meow until he picked up the fish and started playing with her again. Maybe she had an identity crisis....thought she was a dog? Who knows?!? Silly Cat! She hasn't done it again since then... I guess we'll see! -Erin



Well I tried to give blood today but to no avail. My iron was a little to low. Kind of sad, it was going to be my first time. Well, I guess I'll try again in a few months!
I had a great installation with a client today. We installed 4 rooms of custom window treatments, including a two story window on a curved stair...that was fun standing on a little ledge about 1 1/2 stories above the ground...well, not really but I'm not too scared of heights, it's just hard holding window treatments, drilling holes, and screwing in screws while you have a 12" ledge to stand on. (We couldn't use a ladder because of the curve, and the stairs) Anyway, it went well with the help of the client's husband. Off to create some more....I'm in one of those moods where I've got about 8 different projects in my head and need to design, design, design. Good thing it's a holiday weekend! Erin