Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day.... & Secret Sale




First .. I posted the Annual Secret Sale in the store. 50% off all my cutter files. You can find more info here. I run this sale annually for those wanting to finish out the new year with a few files or for those who get new machines.  Thank you to those faithful friends who reminded me about it. Your to cute and I appreciate your support.

On to life...

A few pics from Christmas Day. I am not sure I was awake because I didn't get very many pics the first part of the day. So I plan to add the other side of family at the New Year's Eve Party. but here are a few pics...


This is the huge amongo box from the Lego's Police Station I posted the other day. huge box and hours of construction, but happy kiddo



This is my kiddo and niece playing there new DSi. I played with my kiddos the other night. Wow. loved it. I played the braing age game after and was tired. But fantastic. I thought this was a cut upside down pic.


My niece Pea and I. (Pea is her nickname for blog purposes. :)) Anyways. end of the day and she snuggled up next to me to ask me what Santa brought me in my stocking. to cute. and my hubby snapped a picture. In seeing this picture I realized my efforts to eat smaller portions and skip eating those things i really don't care if I eat are working some. So on to this year with continued better habits. In the past I would have never posted a pic like this. now I have added it to the treasure trove of wonderful memories. yeah!

This is Pea's brother. I haven't come up with a name for him yet for the blog.. hmm.. His hair stands up like he is electrified at all times. He is super cute and talked all through the end of Christmas Eve mass cute. And that drink right there is some pomegranite and champagne thing everyone had a little of. I was driver so I didn't partake but it looked super festive in the glass.

This is my Aunt Jill who opened up her home for the holiday dinner. More on her in another post. And yes that is a gold crown. My Mom was born in Liverpool England. Little british tradition in our family of Christmas crackers. Not the kind you eat, but they come with little paper hats of some kind in them. All of our holiday Christmas dinner pics has someone in these hats. It is fun and adds a merriment for sure to be sitting around a table with a ton of folks wearing hat crowns. haha. always fun!


And here we are in our crown. Oops I lost mine by this point. I donated it to a new visitor to our table. haha.

And here are the guys cleaning up still in their crowns. Like I said lots of merriment .. jokes.. giggles and happiness at Christmas dinner. We are definitely not a stuffy bunch.

Well thats my picture show for today. lots more to come.
Enjoy!
Chris




Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SVG files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!

My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!

And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Baptism gift frame






My husband was asked to be a godfather for his cousin's daughter, B. This was the frame I put together for her. It can be used with the prayer I inserted or the picture can be inserted. Mom told me the little girl's room was primary colors. I really struggled with colors that were primary. I have a little boy so I so wanted to do purple or pink, but instead came up with these colors. We received a card in the mail the other day that said it was loved. I am glad. It was fun to make. I cut the B on my Klik-n-kut. and the rest are embellishments prebought. and the picture doesnt show it but there are pastel colored rubons all over it. You can just barely see hints of them.  Enjoy! Chris

Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!


My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!


And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Project .. QMC File





As is this time of year some of my QMC files come from things I need to create for the holidays.  This was a file I created and am loading to the QMC. My mother-in-law loved it. Yeah! I bought a matted frame from walmart and cut the cutter file in two different colors and then went with the blue one. The maroon one made us just a little to pink. More time and I would have added some sparkle, but that might have been to much to. A lovely picture of my little family, but I might be biased. just a teensy bit of course.

Have a wonderful day!

Enjoy!
Chris


Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!

My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!

And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favorite things 2010

First let me say. Thank you to my sister for getting this shot.

 

This year the ladies favorite things basket was again a ton of fun. Every year on Christmas Eve we get a bag filled with goodies that are our family members favorite things for the year. Mine was the canned goods. I had a box of about 21 jars and everyone got 2 or 3 jars. It was done by lottery because I didn’t have many of the same item, but a wide variety. Lots of wrangling for the jars they wanted. My favorite thing I learned this year was definitely canning. I think everyone in the family liked it lots to. The rest of the items ran the gamut of fancy hangers so your shirts don’t slip off. (yeah love these) to eco friendly cups, folders with bling for organizing, a homemade heat pack for the neck when it is stiff, salad hands for tossing salad or pasta, pedicure set in fantastic wild colors, fancy wine bottle stopper,  and more. This is a great time to share the find and usually you learn something more about the person who gave it because everything comes with a story. The men do favorite things also only they don’t come with stories as in depth and giggly as ours. Just a lot of oh yeah that’s cool.. cool.. cool. nice.. or sometimes you can hear… “it really works” or “I wanted to try that”. All in all it is a lot of fun and is on a voluntary basis. 

 

I saw this today and I loved it so had to share…

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

 

And I am now off to the shower. Seems our propane has run very low and we didn’t realize it. Hoping to get in the last hot shower before it runs out and we hope to get on the schedule for delivery. Yikes. We turned off the heat last night and snuggled up and bundled up for bed. We live in Arizona so it wasn’t really to chilly this morning and already is warming up quickly. But a cold shower. Yeesh that could get your body shaking in the a.m.

 

Enjoy!
Chris

 

 

 

Monday, December 27, 2010

The second lego set is done..

Kiddo did it all himself. Pretty cool. It is the police station. Even has little toilet seats in the jail cell and wanted posters.
Lots of pages of instructions.
Had to share. Enjoy! Chris
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Just after Christmas ramblings.

Starting a new … Well got up this morning and walked around the drive for a while. It isn’t snowed in here so thought I would take the moment to enjoy my new walking shoes (thank you Grandma D) and the cooler weather. Hubby asked me earlier in the a.m., but it took me about 20 minutes to finally get up. When I did, I was glad I did. Motivated me to get in the shower and get moving. However, the couch called my name and I sat for just a moment to long. But then finally got up again. So hopefully I will keep on the walking trend. Not hopefully I plan to. I have to do something.

 

My little one is on the living room floor with little lego bags all around him. He received the Police Command Center and the Police Station and about 4 other kits. We told him to finish one before he opened the next kit. So he has been working through them and playing with them since Christmas morning. He started it on his own and is still going on his own with minimal help. I am so impressed with him. I will take a picture when it is done. I had to empty off some of his book shelf so he could put the finished pieces up and not have them break. So working on reorganizing and merging in his room. Also, before  bed he read a bunch of his junie b jones book which he received also. He said it was nice to read a book with just words because his imagination was so good. Haha. I found this humorous.

 

We spent lots of time with family over the last few days, but it is nice to have some down time to hang out. The tree will head out tonight I hope. Our first live one in a while and it made me a little nervous in the house, but I love love the imperfections of it and the smell. When we went to buy it the kiddo was so upset that it wasn’t potted so we could replant it. Finally he calmed down. He was tired and is a very sensitive kid. I think we are past it. Although I may not offer it up for the fire pit. Yikes. Haha.

 

It is chilly here today, but I hate to complain when so many I know are snowed in or in an airport. I hope everyone is safe and able to stay warm.

 

I am off to continue with emails and find my camera cord so I can plug it in and get some photos added to the next posts.

 

Have a wonderful day!
Enjoy!

Chris

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!!

And Merry Christmas to all!!!

Just a quick and brief post to wish you all a wonderful next couple of days. No matter how you celebrate I hope it is filled with happiness and cheer!

Enjoy!
Chris

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The holidays are upon us...

Just a rambling note…

 

Well we are in full swing holiday mode here in this household. Trying to get the list pegged down and finish everything up that is needed. I feel slightly overwhelmed with the items I need to accomplish, but it will get down. We unfortunately will spend a morning this week at a funeral. A friend’s father has died. Every death alters life, but days before Christmas alters that time frame forever.  So we are praying they find some comfort in their memories and the knowledge his life continues on through his grandkids. He will be missed at the family gatherings. My husband has been asked to be a pall bearer, an honor indeed.

 

So when we get home from the services it will be 100x holiday preparedness. I plan to work my studio into a frenzy creating and finishing and working on all the items I can. I have lots of pieces together, but nothing completed. This seems to be the way for me.

 

I made white fudge last night. Easiest peasiest recipe I have ever in my life created. White choco chips, sweet and condensed milk and vanilla. Heat it all up together til melted and put it in the fridge to set. Done yum. The best. I think you could add walnuts if you wanted. I found the recipe on the Eagle Brand website HERE. Yum. I love white chocolate. So white fudge is perfecto. When I was looking for the link I realized I messed up and didn’t put enough white choc chips in it. So this means I will have to try it again of course!

 

I hope to make a gluten free layers bar they have listed on the live gluten freely site. On my list of tomorrow to bakes.

 

Last night I baked the green pepper, onion, red potato  and Italian sausage. My hubby said again it was delish. I did it to see if he just seemed to be super hungry when I made it last. But he still said he thought it was delish. Such a simple recipe it leaves me puzzled. Go with simple and clean foods. The best taste .. yum yum

 

(apparently I am in a cooking mood!)

 

My kiddo made holiday cookies with his cousins yesterday and Grandma. He came home and passed out on the couch. He was exhausted. Which means he had a good time woohoo! Love that.

 

It is a little breezier here. Yeah maybe it will cool down in time for the holidays. I hope to post pictures from the last few weeks soon. I got a new camera and have been figuring it out. I love it is so teeny. Fits so easily in my pocket.

 

Well I am off to grab a little more cold medicine and find something to wear tonight for the service.

 

Hope you are having a wonderful week and my apologies for so long in between posts. Just been working on lots of things.

 

Enjoy!

Chris

Monday, December 13, 2010

I am back...

I am back from Vegas where we went to enjoy the National Finals Rodeo. We have season tickets and were able to give a few to friends and enjoy it ourselves. A really fantastic time. And so much wonderful time spent with my guys.

 

So I downloaded 600 plus emails to read or respond to that I didn’t delete on my bberry over the weekend. So I am hitting them one by one. If you are looking for a response from me. You can send me another email tomorrow or I hope to make it through them all tomorrow. I just wanted everyone to know what the delay was. I am a tryin’!

 

For now here is the quote that spoke to me today. The new year is coming and I am contemplating the review of this  year and where I’d like to be in the future and my family would like to be and as a team we can get there .. a lot of those goals include faith. Faith in the future. If you make plans for tomorrow, you have some of level of faith that tomorrow will come. So what can you use that tool to grow with. Just wonderful…

 

·         “Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see” - William Newton Clarke

 

Have a wonderful day and I hope your crafting for the holidays is going well.

 

Enjoy!

Chris

Monday, December 6, 2010

Some freebies and updates.

You should have received your newsletter this morning with a free file offered by Kitty of Kitty’s Cutting.


Also,  Sharon is offering a free file in the forum. HERE which is the image above it is the title of this picture. Which goes well with the ornaments on the card and can be found in this months grab bag!


Very nice job. Great freebies.


And if you are a QMC Member. I uploaded some files at the end of last week below are the details for current and non-current members.  Lots going on so I hope you Enjoy!
Chris


Last week to join Oct-Dec 2010 Quarterly membership Club!!
Chris's QMC - Here are just a few of the recent files for the QMC. Every membership so far has had 29 files. All test cut and in AI GSD KNK WPC SVG DXF formats. If you are interested in this membership, please join HERE before I remove it from the store.
And remember these are just a few... There are 18 loaded already and will be more to come.
My goal is always 29 files.
Thank you. - Chris



 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yeah it's the weekend! new qmc files

Been kinda swamped as it is the holiday season. Yeah love it. I have uploaded these files to the QMC and have more to come.

 

If you are not a QMC member youc an still join HERE.

 

I saw this quote this morning and I just loved it. So I thought I would share.

 

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Enjoy!

Chris

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The last one this year...

A year of grab bags and this is the last one. I have received some fantastic feedback on the grab bags we started a year ago. They have morphed some throughout the year. But they have always been packed with lots of cuts. I want to thank those designers who have participated in this venture at the store. And those customers who have jumped in and supported it. Here is the last one for the December 2010 month.  Look at the value in these files and you can cut some great pieces for the holidays and into the New year. At $7.00 with 9 files they are less then $1.00 a piece, but jump in before the 15th when the price rises to $8.00. (I won’t forget this month. Woops about last month, but good for the last minute buyers.)

 

Enoy!

Chris

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome to Cyber....

I am working quickly on my backed up emails from the holiday weekend.

In the meantime, I am running a 50% off sale  Monday and Tuesday.

Thank you to those who prompted me this morning and asked if I would be having one! Woohoo! Love that.

Happy Shopping! PS Always click Special offers for you before Checking out! You never know what you might find.

Enjoy!

Chris

 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your families and friends and the moments in life we share together.

Enjoy!
Chris

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Moosh Alert. Happy Anniversary to my hubby

It’s my anniversary today. So this is a post of moosh and love for my hubby and our life. Also, I post all this moosh and love so when I print my blog out our lives and the big parts of it are chronicled for my kiddo if he should want them in the future.

 

I hope you have  a mahvelous moosh day J

 

 

I woke up 9 years ago today to my future hubby saying.” Just think… in 8 hours from now we’ll be married and you will be my wife.” He gave me that dazzling smile and a kiss. That’s right we woke up in the same house the morning of our wedding. Superstition believers and many well wishers said shame shame, but we did it anyway. We have been doing it our way from the start. Figuring out if and then how we fit together in life. We learned a lot of lessons along the way and they have held us together.

 

I was asked yesterday by a friend what is the one thing that holds us together the most… and I said Trust. I trust implicity in us, my hubby, our friendship, our faith, our beliefs. It all comes together in one package and no matter the ups downs or curveballs sent our way. I trust that together we can figure out and if I trust in that it will be the us that triumphs. I never am given reason to question it tho’ and we both work at it. Every day work. And it really isn’t work. I never assume he knows I love him.  Who is gonna show him for me. No one so it is just me to take on the task and I love it. Recently, hubby and I stopped for a moment outside the truck while kiddo was getting in and my hubby held for a moment or two longer then normal and gave me a big kiss and smiled down at me. His eyes just sparkle when I look up at him and we hear…. “OH MOOSH.. wow… Come on…. You guys… “ and then just giggles. Our 6 year old loves to harass us. One time he caught us dancing to the sound of the dishwasher in the kitchen and  we hear “Hey… I like you guys when you do that stuff”. Stuff as my son calls it. Stuff works for us.

 

I am really lucky to have found such a man that returns “the stuff” so freely as I give it. That pauses for a moment with me when someone who is 6 is late for a date with the toy section in Walmart. We love to laugh together and it just makes the world and it’s craziness so liveable.  Our little man has become the part of “us” as well. But we still take those stolen moments for the two of us when life is soooo busy.

 

I love my hubby and he is a big reason why I just Love my Life.

 

Happy Anniversary to my hubby. I look forward to the rest of our mornings as we live  it our way.

 

Enjoy!
Chris

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ginger.. Ingestible wet towelette for your tongue?

First, yes this is a picture of one shelf of my pantry. It says in most addiction programs admit you have a problem. So yes I am admitting I might have a canning problem. Of course might is the key word here because I have not heard any complaints or had an intervention, just weird looks, like I might have lost my mind. But usually if there is a possible onset of questioning my insanity, I just hand them a jar of homemade something and the bizarre looks become oh thank you. And then the conversation lull is over.  Well I took a picture because look how pretty the jars are in the reds with cranberries. Woohoo! I had to share.

 

I am in a rambling mood… so here goes.. 

 

It was a weekend filled with home. My son on Sunday said. I love Sundays. They are family day. He was sick this weekend so we spent the whole time home pretty much and even canceled some plans. But the upside is he went to bed tonight not coughing as much as the night before. And he should make it to school for the Thanksgiving feast.

 

So with time at home what did I do? I picked up my Bountiful Basket and canned. Woohoo! Of course. I tried to make it into my craft room to cut my new files for the qmc one more time, but it jus twasn’t happening. Kiddo needed some mom time.

 

So I canned cranberry apple relish, and cranberry chutney. I had everything in the basket needed with the exception of Ginger. The spice Ginger is not in my cupboard. (I always thought it was just that stuff on the sushi plate that is like an ingestible wet towelette for your tongue after eating sushi, but apparently not) So I had to run back to the store to get it. I also, got a new stockpot that is coated with ceramic. I love it. It is so pretty. I’d love to have a set of pretty pots and pans. Most I have are kinda mish mash, but I am gonna work my way through getting rid of the excess and replacing with better. The new one is deep so it will catch all the splashes of the cooking, but I can also cook a large batch of potatoes or perhaps apple pie filling for canning. We got a box of honeycrisp apples for apple pies this year. The guys are prepping to get the apple pies handled. Their tradition Thursday morning is baking pies, after pealing and eating a lot of brown sugar while preparing them.  However, those apples are calling my name. They would be soooo pretty in a jar. Wouldn’t they?

 

I gave the guys a taste of the cranberry apple relish and they both oohed and ahhed. Made me happy. They also both wondered through the kitchen looking for any extras or an open can, but I made 5 half pints without any to spare. Although I have enough ingredients for one more batch. So I might do that one night this week. They are just so pretty in the jar. But I have already hidden them in the cupboard to keep fingers off them.

 

Also, I wanted to use up more veggies from the basket because we got so much this time and I ran across a recipe for baked Italian sausage and veggies. So it wass soooo simple I tried. My hubby rated it delicious and one of the tops on his list of menu choices here at the Durnan house.

 

So here is how I did it in case you are short on time and want to try it.

 

1 package of Italian turkey sausage (sweet was what I had) cut up in fourths

5 red potatoes cut in chunks

1 large yellow onion cut in chunks

1 green and 1 red pepper cut in strips

Olive Oil

 

I tossed it with olive oil lightly (so it wasn’t greasy) and a little seasoning of the Italian persuasion and threw it in a 9x13 glass pan.

Baked it at 450 for 35 minutes.

 

Recipe then said you could top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

 

My variation… it called for a red or yellow pepper.. I had one red and three green. So we went with xmas colors.  Oh and I am not good at measuring so it was kinda cut this up and throw it in and then bake it. I think it was 1lb of sausage, 1lb of potates, 1 large onion, 2 red or yellow papers, and 1 tblsp of olive oil in a bigger pan so it could be flatter. I don’t have a bigger one so went with what I had.

 

I could see if I had a bunch of friends over doing it ahead of time and throwing it in the oven in the evening before everyone got here. My son said it smelled really good cooking. BUTTTT. And that is a big But. He said he saw what was in the pan before he could smell it. So he opted for a muenster cheese and ham sandwich. He cannot stand peppers or onions and is not fond of sausage. So the recipe was a no go for him. I think really Muenster cheese was calling him. I have to limit his consumption of Muenster Cheese. He loves it. I bought a package one day a few months ago and now he begs for it at the store. Cracks me up. If I smile and give him the look of I am thinking about it but not 100% on board with getting it… he does the MUENSTER Dance in the aisle at the store waving the little package around. Haha. So yeah I might give him that look just to see him giggle.

 

Ever heard of something called OOBlech? Yeah I was leary and then we spent 20 minutes giggling over it. More on that tomorrow.

 

For now I am off to work on files.

 

Have a wonderful day and live everyday to its fullest.

Enjoy!

Chris

 

 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Nala




Recently I have had a few people ask me how my Nala is. Old roommates and their boyfriends or boyfriends of old rommates will ask me how my Nala is doing. She has this endearing way of working her way into people's hearts.

She is still kicking it. She is furry as ever and rules the house. She can't hear anything so she has decided to ignore us is the best way in her old age. I think we figured she is about 16 or 17 and she has traveled in planes, cars and boats in her day. She won't let me trim her hair for long without having a seizure. So I just cut the mattes out as I can and let her live as she needs to.

She is the only one of our four legged family who has full rule of the house at all times and she knows it. If you let anyone in she looks at you with disgust and walks away. She looks like she is resting on a bed in this picture. My Dad recently left and I need to put the mattress away that he slept on. As long as it was there she has decided it makes a perfect full size bed for her. Ha! Another thing about Nala. you do not leave anything clothes, towels, blankets on the floor or she will decide they are hers and she will organize them how she wants to sleep on.

Recently she has decided to be a little more peppy here and there so it is good to see her decide to wake up instead of sleep all day. I love her dearly and she has been with me through soooo many things. I have had her with me from the pound since she was 6 weeks old. She was dropped if in a brown paper bag in the middle of the night with a litter of siblings. She was the runt of the litter and the teeniest thing as they all climbed on eachother in the kennel.  She has a little no symbol tattoo on her belly from the pound when she waas fixed. Only dog I have ever seen with this little tattoo, but I don't look at to many bellys of dogs. (Accept that border collie outside who can't seem to flop down in front of you for a belly scratch. It's like a toll bridge every time you walk out the door. You must scratch before you pass.  )

Nala has dealt with other younger pups coming along, but she has never had to guess her place. no matter the deal I would have found a place for her with us. I worry she might lose her sight. We can deal with the hearing, but the sight will be alot more difficult where we live. But she does have her sense of smell. She smells food and she comes a running. If you drop a pinch, you need to tap the floor with your toe so she can feel the vibration.

When I lived alone, she spent lots of time watching tv with me, going to the park, listening to my secrets and trials of life when I was younger and needed an unjudging ear. She has enjoyed much love from roommates and friends and family.

Love her dearly I do. She silently habitates our home and helps my son to realize the tenderness you must have with an older animal. And the understanding as well. Because as soon as you walk through the door and she sees you.... you know she missed you and still loves you...

That is My Nala.

Enjoy!
Chris

Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!

My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!

And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the tradition of the tablecloths

Thanksgiving is coming and there are sooo many family traditions. Far and wide and each one unique in their own way. One of my favorites of my family is not about food really, but is at the dinner table. I must admit I am not a traditionalist on food. My hubby makes the apple pies every year with my son for the meal. He has his grandmother’s recipe and is in charge of it. He has altered it throughout the years so his wife can partake. They are a crustless pie so yum yum. Works for me. Who needs those extra calories anyways of the crust. To sit next to me at dinner you would realize why I am not a traditionalist when it comes to food. (I never bring the same thing. And always want to try a new recipe) My plate often holds just turkey and mashed potatoes maybe peas  if they are not coated in something or my Mom’s whipped yams or squash oh yum). I must skip the green bean casserole (I don’t think I have ever even had it) the sweet potato pie has crackers on top, the breads and rolls make me nauseous as I pass them around the table. I know many who get so excited about the feast. To sit down and just chow. Like permission to get so bloated you have to lay on the floor in hopes your stomach will better be able to push the food through somehow because you are chock full up to your throat. Because of stomach issues I can’t really eat large portion anyways. I have been known to eat a small meal and then two hours later eat it again. Yum. Yum. My food does get stuck in my throat and I really don’t want to pop stitches so my stomach migrates into my chest again. So for me. Life is good. It works. I like to watch folks faces as they taste something they have only had a year ago on Thanksgiving. Their eyes kinda sparkle and if they truly enjoy it and eat it not because it is there, but because they cherish the taste. Their eyes may close or they will pause in conversation.  Many traditions are steeped in meals and food. It is kind of cool. One of the few times we sit down and actually talk to each other and gather face to face in the world of texting and email. And usually over these huge meals many bring something to the table. Kinda like an offering of food to the family and the celebration. Just wonderful.

 

Our family tradition which means the most to me… We have tablecloths filled with sharpie marker notations of what folks are thankful for that have sat around the table. Every year you read one near your plate and add your own and date it. Some are from friends who have moved but shared a thanksgiving with us. Some are from those who have passed away like my gramps. Those are especially touching to the heart because we miss them at our table, but they always live in our heart and memories.

 

You almost have to pause when you realize your grandfather wrote I am thankful for my family and it is dated years before he passed away.  And that we still eat and are merry over the tablecloths where he sat with us.  It hits your heart not for the loss as much as the tradition of family. I do think he would proud of us for continuing on. Not that we wouldn’t because we are family. But because we do and he is still apart of that family.

 

I have never cooked a turkey? Did you know that? Wow. We always go to another family members house and the turkey has been in the oven there. For our son tradition is spending time in the car chatting on our way to the family feasts. We talk about some of the craziest things. And this is usually the time when I bring my list of numbers and we start dialing family afar and wishing them a wonderful day and letting them know we thought of them. Our travel across the miles to be with family. Is filled with chatter with family in usually much colder places.  Also, in our families, we celebrate one day with my “By Love family” and then on Friday with my family. So we don’t have to cram food down and leave for another.  This has come about recently in the last few years because lives change and family structures change and can I say it has prolonged the event for us. And I love it.  I love to not have the rush. I love the time to truly immerse yourself in each family. It is wonderful. Traditions and plans do change and emerge. I love that.

 

Also, in both of our family sides… everyone is welcome.. if you know anyone who needs a seat to sit at a table. Who hasn’t a meal to eat. Everyone is welcome.  This to me is one of the most phenomenal traditions. It is wonderful. It really speaks of the holiday of giving and being thankful. Sharing food with others. Sharing food with loved ones. And just being together…

 

Well did you get the impression I wanted to ramble today? I guess I have been thinking about life a lot and reflecting lately. I really love my life even with those days when you just want to scream! And there are many around us who are not in the same place of living happy and I wish I could give it to all. But I can’t. It is just a part of life and living. Everyone has to do it differently.

 

I hope you don’t mind my ramble… and I highly recommend you buy a few light colored table clothes this year. Grab a bunch of sharpie markers. And start that tradition. When you miss someone so dearly over the holidays and look down to see the writing of what they were thankful for. You will realize they are always with you in some form and that is a blessing.

 

I really would love to know your traditions if you are reading this ….. I love them all. Every family has something unique. And now I am off to look at recipes… because you know when it comes to food. I can’t go with tradition. I have to try something new!

 

Have a wonderful day!

Enjoy!

Chris

Monday, November 15, 2010

ahh... off he goes...

Hey folks my Dad has flown back to the “cold tundra” as he calls it  of Wisconsin and I am trying to catch up on emails for the last few days. I was a bit lax as I was trying to spend as much time with him as possible. If you feel like I have missed you. Please feel free to email me. Or I will keep working away at my stack of emails to respond to.

 

Thank you to everyone for your patience. Especially during this time of the year when we get to spend so much time busy with family and tradition.

 

Enjoy!

Chris

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Tingles... or Goosebumps..

.. From the forum…
“Hi, my name is Sharon and I just came across the store a couple of days ago and spent quite a bit of time in there admiring all the talent and designs of the designers. I ended up buying 4 files and have about another 768 in my wish list...LOL.
Afterwards, I was very delighted and extremely pleased when, not only did I get a welcome email from Chris, but also an email from each of the persons I bought files from. One designer even went out of her way to assist me with a file (me being somewhat new to cutting files, she walked me through the process). It is very refreshing to see that sort of "customer service" from anyone, let alone the internet where things seem more impersonal anyway.
So just wanted to thank you, Chris, Kristal and Lisa, for already being so wonderful and welcoming. VDBC has a customer for life!!! And I can't wait to get into some more files and start creating thanks to all you designers' talents and inspiration. And even though I am more a lurker than a poster, I look forward to some great relationships here.”


*************
The above was posted by Sharon in the forum the other day. Just gave me the happy tingles!. It made me pause and refocused my thought that everyone at our site should be involved in quality digital files for crafting. The need for all the designers to participate in the store is so important. Who better knows the designs then the designer who took the time to test cut it and work with it.  There isn’t a better person to answer any questions and build those relationships. Thank you to Sharon for taking the time to visit our store and also post in the forum about your experience! It really made my day and the “more” teams to see such a positive and glowing review!!


We are very thankful for all of our customers. I am going to take Sharon’s lead and make sure to let those I do business with know how much I appreciate their service.


Also… did you know? A lot of our designers send out bonuses (coupons, freebies, offers etc) directly to those who have purchased from them during the month. Woohoo! Could it get better.


Thank you again Sharon for just helping me take a moment … to happy tingle… Have a wonderful day!


Enjoy!
Chris.


PS Added note after I sent I thought really... I am so proud of my "More Team" ladies! Just phenomenal! They go out of their way all the time for our members. Just the best!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Uploads to the QMC

These are the files I have uploaded to the forum for the current QMC yesterday. Trying to get all the holiday files together so everyone has time to make items and then work on some other non holiday topics from the request thread.

 

I am working on uploading to 4shared. Seems to be giving me fits today. So I hope to have that done by the end of the day.

 

Hope there is something you can use and if you haven’t joined yet. More info…

Enjoy!
Chris

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halllloweeeeeen...







So because I cannnnnot find the picture of me in a Cyndi Lauper outfit from High school for our Virtual Halloween Costume Contest in the Forum. Here I am as a CSI team member with my policeman son.
Still looking through old pictures tho'. I will be posting it. I have decided I need to scan these pics in as well. So I am sure I will be posting more.

This is my kiddo a couple years ago. Another Halloween we missed because he had bronchitis.

And this is this year. Thank you to my friend Lori! She is the bomb. I asked her for a shirt that was in the "correct attire" for an army guy and my son got a care package filled with a little boys heart delight. Embroidered with his name on many of the pieces. With a treat bag and everything. He was super happy. This picture above is from after trick or treating .. hence the bug eyes...
Okay and Cutey Kitty is so adorable. She is fun to chat with after school and I know she watches out for my kiddo at school. She always has something new to report. My son said "she is gonna be a great mom" one time when she was at our house and had just gone home. Cute!
 and Happy Baby (as you may remember from our lake trip)

And this is our very good friend Heidi and her kiddos. super Cuteys!

And this is... well happy baby.. he grinned the whole night and when the treaters came to the door. He would say HI! and they would say Hi back and he would sign language please and point at their goodie bags. haha. I don't think it worked with the treaters, but it did with his Grandpa. Sneaking treats all night. cute cute.

I didn't get a picture of Happy Baby's brother. he is very hard to track down. So fun to chat with (he usually tells me right off the bat... I haven't seen you in a longgggg time and gives me the look of.. You should do something about that) , but hard to get standing still. haha
And this is Heidi with a new family addition. There were quite a few babies being passed around. Heidi and I found this humorous with the hand over the face.
Our Mario! checking out his loot.

And this is my son. We liked his shadow. My kiddo is growing up quick. this year I said I wasn't buying a costume and I didn't and he was happier then ever with his outfit. Thank you again Lori and Andrew!!

That's it for now... Enjoy!
Chris

Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!

My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!

And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Out my studio window...




Workin' out of the studio today. Two days of avoiding my window that looks out over the horses. Avoiding with good reason, but on we shall go. I have a border collie who keeps coming in and breathing hot air on my elbow to interrupt my memory moment.

So back to work I go. I have a messsss going on here. I have test cuts galore all over the floor with about ten files for the QMC in process now. Prizes in almost packaged state, billing sheets next to the pc and swap pieces all stacked ready for assembly put together... I hope your studio isn't quite as packed as mine.

Have a wonderful day!
Chris


Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!


My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!


And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just reminiscing....

I need to journal some of our history so when I print my blog off I have some stories included of our Mr. Cool…. So todays post is mostly about that…  Hope you don’t mind as I reminisce.

 

Sometimes we have to let go even if we don’t want to. There is still this empty spot where a puzzle piece of our life fit and now that spot is empty. That as time goes on your pieces may shift some to form a new puzzle piece, but nothing ever quite feels like it fits in that spot. I feel this for my grandfather Gramps and my husband’s Bedstemore. Nothing else quite fits that spot that still burns a little when my brain lets me think about it. I know that our Mr. Cool will burn with me for a long time. Although at the end he was cantankerous and just miserable because of his pain. Wow. We had some fantastic times.

 

When I first met my husband we spent much time team penning and at the boarding stable. Mr. Cool was an awesome team pen horse. My husband and his two friends originally held the fast time for the arena. Another time I waited with pure anxiousness because my hubbies reins broke and he slipped his hand up the horses neck and rode reinless at breakneck speed to “get the pen” and they did. And pride in his horse had my husband beaming from ear to ear.  I spent much time arena side, watching my hubby working him and riding him. My husband had quite a few offers for him when he was in his prime, but never would take a one. He moved here to our place with us from the boarding stable. He was the only horse here for a time. So we had to borrow a few here and there to keep him company. This isn’t a problem now as our stalls have filled, but first living out here they weren’t.

 

He was a Houdini of horses. You could put him in a stall with a clasp double chain and twist it and he would let himself out. Many times he would let all the rest of the horses out as well into the arena in the middle of the night. And usually he would leave the “young buck” of the crowd in his stall to wait while he played with all the mares. One night he go out with my paint horse “the young buck” and decided to roam the whole property. We spent some time that night at 2 a.m. getting him to come. I stood in front of the boat propeller is sheer stress that he would came at it and carve his chest open as they ran around the yard full blast. Finally common sense rang true that someone had some food and it sounded better than being a “young buck again”.

 

My husband’s first horse, Mr. Cool, taught him to ride. He was ever forgiving and ever pushing if he felt he could get away with it. All at the same time. Our nieces could ride around on his back and kick and kick and kick and he would just walk around and not give a hint to run. He seemed to know who couldn’t run and who could.

 

Once when I fed him when the hubby was away at the stable we boarded at, he snagged my keys from my pocket and jangled them in his teeth with his lip in the air. Then turned his butt to me and shook them up and down and up and down. Another time I showed up in tank top cut low in the back and he snagged my bra with his lip and snapped it. I figured the tag must have been sticking up to catch his eye. My husband, then boyfriend, was quite proud when he heard that story from his sputtering girlfriend, now his wife, as she told him the stories.

 

Once he decided he didn’t want to take me for a ride. So he calmly layed down in the wash and waited for me to get off and then stood up. Paused for a moment.. and then bolted for home. I screamed COOOOOLLL out into the desert. And he stopped for a moment. Turned around and came back with his head hung low. And I walked all the way home (because of course I couldn’t find a rock for my short legs to get me back up on him.)  I walked home ranting and raving, spitting sand and sand in my pants and handed the reins to my husband in the arena with a smirk on his face and walked in the house to take a shower. Both seemed to have a smirk on their face as I went to the house. I am sure my hubby and his horse shared some very good secret conversation that day

 

I know at a time in my best friends life he spent much time confiding in his first horse. Life is filled with stray bumpy paths  at time and the saying goes there is nothing like the outside of a horse for the inside of a man. Well in this case, I think it was very true. He listened well for my hubby. Never talked back and kept those secrets. Having Mr. Cool layed the groundwork for friendships at the boarding stable that my husband still has and are some of our best friends now over 10 years later.  Really Mr. Cool was our blessing and still is our heart’s blessing.

 

My son rode him around every once in a while. Many of our friends took their first ride on him.  We have friends wives who comment they would have a horse if it was Mr. Cool. All in all. He was wonderful.  But in the end he just hurt to much and spent the last few years living, eating, and soaking up the sun.

 

So here is to all those fantastic memories and soaking up the sun.

 

Sunny Days or Gloomy Days… still, I can’t help, but Love my Life.

 

Enjoy!

Chris

Monday, October 25, 2010

with a heavy heart.. we give you our angel horse

A conversation between a Mom and her son trying to explain life in terms for a child..

Me: So I think Mr. Cool has taken his time with us and is hurting  and God wants him for an angel horse.


Kiddo: Why? (with a puzzled tortured look because he knows about angel puppies)


Me: well he has had his time with us and now he needs wings to move. His hooves hurt so he can’t walk. He eats, but his body doesn’t want the food.


Kiddo: You have to have food. (a silent thinking pause)  an Angel Horse?


Me: Yes… We don’t want him hurting anymore. He has been with us for so long and been such a good horse. Do you think God could use a good Angel horse?


Kiddo: I think it’s about time God learned to be a cowboy and could use a good Angel horse.


(said with a crooked shaky smile and tears pouring over his tender cheeks. He wraps his arms tight around my neck and bury his head in my neck and sighs)




**


Dear God, it is with a very heavy heart and soul.  We give you our Mr. Cool to be your Angel Horse. Ride him well.
With Love
The Durnans


**


Baring my soul…


Today is the day we have known was coming for quite some time. Knowing doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Last night my hubby and I discussed how we just feel beat up by everything happening in life lately. It is emotionally, but it wears on you physically. Also, decisions were made about what is right for a child to be a part of in the “this is a part of life” scenario. He abruptly lost his puppy and still is emotionally touchy about  her over a year later. Some don’t understand the place pets can take in our lives and be a part of our every day family life. They are just one of us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are thought of every time we leave the house, every time we come home, every time we go on vacation, every weekend as we plan, and every day before breakfast and dinner. How can they not become a part of us.  I, also, know that we cannot willing go on with our oldest horse living in this much pain, after managing it for years and it now grows, and suffering other effects as well as his body breaks down. Winter is coming and last winter was difficult for him. It has been cold one week here and already he was another ten years older it seemed. It still does not make the lump in my throat go away, my eyes dry up, my lungs feel like I can breathe again or  stop my heart from feeling like a heavy raw stone in my chest.


I thank my husband for having the strength to be who he is. I thank my friends and family who have listened to me talk this through over and over. I thank our vet for listening to me talk  it  out with her. Her kind words noting that she knows we, as owners, have not made any decisions lightly regarding our animals. And sitting with us patiently after. I thank my friends who will pick up my kiddo after school. I thank you for reading as I bare my soul. Sometimes this blog becomes my therapy log.


I still wish on the eve of today, today was over, and tomorrow was starting already, but I know in advance the heart ache will still be here tomorrow. So with my best friend, we will go through it and lean on each other. Then explain to our son, this evening, that sometimes “part of life” isn’t fun and laughter, but heart ache born from a bond of love that has enlightened our lives. Through it all, we will still have each other to lean on as we are family and friends.


my regards
chris



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Private Princess Party






The benefit to being the only girl grandchild out of 5 grandchildren is....
Private Princess Party!!

last week Nanna and Boppa had a private party for my niece P. (Pea)  because they would be out of town.
It was tons of fun. When Pea went home she told her Mom that she was to tired because my kiddo had played with her to much. I found this amusing as did my sister, her Mom.

And then.... when we were on the way home... My kiddo told me that he was going to contact Nanna about having his own Private party next year for his birthday. Because to have two birthday parties should be for every grandchild. I tried to explain to him that it was because N&B were out of town so that is why and the big party was on Saturday. My little one just smiled and said. I am gonna tell Nanna. To cute. Really I just rolled my eyes. It was fun!

And notice the squirt gun... next to the ice cream cake.. Necessary for all Private Princess Parties. Necessary also when there are so many boy cousins. haha.

And this is my lovely sister. It seems when my Aunt is away and not around to steal the crown (or tiara as it was explained to us by our Mom. woops total social faux pah to call it a crown). When the Aunt Jill. is away we all have time with the crown. Well those of us who want it... I expect soon my Sis will be asking Nanna for her own Private Princess Party as well. hahaha.

Love our lives.. filled with smiles.. parties.. fun and ... "Tiaras"

Enjoy!
Chris


Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!

My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!

And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Godparents...







 This past weekend we were asked to be Godparents to a friend's daughter. They are that type of friend that are so close they are family. This was a great honor for us. This is the cross I made for her to hang on her wall. When she gets older she can undo the pink bow and use the metal cross on her keychain or wherever she'd like. It looks almost white here but is a pale pink. I had most of the pieces in my craftroom and my hubby took a walk for me through the craft aisle and came home with the metal cross and heart in the center. Which I thought was the perfect addition to it. As I was laying it out. The hubby said. I think it needs more of the bling. Cute! Love him. As soon as she opened it. It went up on the wall in her room per her request. Awesome.

We had a great time and below are some pictures of the girls and us.

I love Bear Hugs. My Dad always did a Bear Hug which is everyone together as tight as possible.Love it.

And this is totally my goddaughter M, she just does her thing. Love it. Her sister R has hair to die for. I was staring at it and wondering if someone had given her extensions. I should have taken a better picture.

And this is M and I. Whenever we see her, she knows I want a hug so she says
GIVE ME HUGS!. It's the best.

A moment in our life. enjoy!
Chris
Chris Durnan, designer at www.visualdesignsbychris.com GSD KNK WPC AI SCUT files for your personal digital cutters for use with scrapbooking, cardmaking and other hobbies. Whatever your creative mind can come up with!

My files work on many machines. Some of them are: Klik-n-kut, Pazzle, Wishblade, Silhouette, Cricut, Craft Robo. Some of the software involved with these machines are: Funtime, Scrapbooking, WinPC/Signlab, Inkscape, Create & Cut, Illustrator, KNK Studio, Robomaster, DesignMaster and the list goes on..... Enjoy!

And our cutter file "freebies" are kept in the forum. We add to them as we can.

**