The world is but a canvas to the imagination...
Henry David Thoreau

Monday, September 29, 2008

When we are in UT I love to go to this store. It is great for inspiring ideas with it's funky, slightly crazy eclectic style. (All things that I love in decorating) My style tends to be a little simpler than the way they merchandise, but I find little pieces in there that I just love. My sister-in-law teases me that I always pick "little" things. I don't know if it is still a hold over from living in our townhouse for 12 years or if my OCD with "little details" comes into play. :-) At any rate, she is right, it always seems to be the little things in life I am drawn to...a single Gerber daisy, a great ribbon, a candle, an iron bird...on this trip I found a small metal vase with metal flowers. All of these little things come together and add a great big pop of eclectic interest in our living room. Joan was naturally drawn to the "royal" things in the store...which is totally fitting for our reigning Ostler matriarch. We even found her a crown. :-)

This is the top view of the vase I bought. I could make the flowers, but I just loved this.
A ribbon, a buckler and a fun little flag add a punch of fun above, while below the bird and the finial just make me happy.
These ceramic balls were fun, they actually had a hole through them so you could use it like a giant bead on something. I loved the hand hooks too.
Such a simple touch, a little bottle, a little graphic and a little ribbon. Hmm, even I notice a theme here, Colett, Amy, do I need an little intervention? :-)

These crazy dolls cracked me up. I didn't buy one but for some reason they make me smile.

I fell in love with the pink flower vines. It is hard to tell in the picture, but they are actually little lights. If we were in England we could call them "fairy lights".
Joan found her scepter and a tag that says "Queen of the World". Like she needs a label, her royal bearing tells the story. :-)
That's better, every Queen needs a crown.....

This is the till. I think that it is fun how they left the ceiling open to warehouse space. There are great little (there we go again) chandeliers everywhere.

Does this go with my crown?

This was a lot of fun. Can't wait until next time...

Friday, September 26, 2008


One of my very best friends, Wendi, called tonight. I was so happy to hear from her. She moved back to Utah two years ago to be closer to family. I only see her a couple of times a year now, but the phone is a marvelous invention. It is strange how we can be just talking away like we saw each other yesterday, when in reality it may be anywhere from 3-12 months since we really were together. Wiping tears away and serious one moment and then having to wipe away tears from laughing so hard, we finished our call tonight and discovered that almost two hours had flown by! Friendship is such a precious thing. I went to Utah in August for a scrapbook convention called CKU, where I took roughly a billion pictures (give or take a few). Surprised anyone? After talking with Wen tonight, I was thinking about that trip. The whole thing was great, but one day stood out in particular because I spent the entire time with not one ~ but three of my best friends! Combine that with one of my other favorites (scrapbooking ~ surprise again!) and you have the making of a fabulous time. Wendi, Rachelle, Joan and I took a combo scrapbook tour/shopping trip. All of the places gave us tons of amazing freebies and opened up their warehouses at huge discounts for shopping.

We started out at this store in Tremonton (sp?) The owner was the one who arranged the tour. The store was in the basement of her house. The dynamic was a bit strange, but there were some really cute things for sale at large discounts. The only bummer was that we waited in line FOREVER because the computer till was very slow. Luckily, we just talked and had fun.
Next stop was Carolee's Creations, which is also known as Adorn It. She was one of the first ones in the scrapbook business. Her start was with tole painting patterns, which she turned into paper. Those were the beginning ones that lots of people liked, but were a little too cute for me. I like a lot of their stuff now though. She has great boy paper. It was really fun to hear the process that she went through. After the history, Carolee (who is a sweetheart) showed us how they create their papers with a combination of painted pictures and computer graphics. We also learned how her company is almost completely run by family~which I thought was cool. One of the things that they specialize in is wood home decor shapes and letters that you can scrapbook, then display. Carolee helped me find a few of the sets that I have never been able to find here in MT, then instead of charging me 18-25 dollars for them, she sold them to me for 8 each! She also gave us the most adorable large box to store the handmade cards you make until you use them. Thanks!
These were some backboards from a CHA trade show. Rachelle was doing a little modeling ~ showing the Fall 2008 Happy Scrapbooker look that is so popular right now. :-)
Next was SEI. They make a wide range of product. I love their lines. We went on the tour where we were given a full size of their spray dye and one of their iron on designs. One of my favorite parts was when we went into the board room and were taught how they design new lines. First they showed us the mock up boards where they pin all of their inspiration pieces. The next boards showed the paper lines that were designed from them. Then came a surprise. We were asked to vote on our favorite 3 out of 5. The winning 3 paper lines will be printed this spring. It will be exciting to see if any of ours were picked! If all of this wasn't enough, a couple of people struggled in with bags at the end. In the bags were decorative boxes filled with two albums and all of the paper, embellishments and ribbon to create them! Wow!
We had to rush to get to Bo Bunny, eating on the run. We came in the back, so I am not sure what their sign looks like, but the first sight that met our eyes was a huge aisle of ribbon! I could have stayed there looking for a long time, but the girls at Bo Bunny had an awesome mini class prepared for us. Thankfully they had some snacks and bottles of water for us. They even took the time to wrap each bottle with a sticker that thanked us for coming. They also tied an adorable pink ribbon around the bottle neck. Refreshed and sugared up, we then took a tour and saw a ton of cute projects. At the end of the tour we went into the warehouse again, where they had laid out a sale table, almost everything was a dollar, cards of ribbon, packages of brads, rub-ons...there were some bigger ticket items too, but everything was priced very low. It was very fun, I am a sucker for ribbon and brads. As if all of this wasn't fun enough, they packaged our purchases in the cute lime and green bag Joan is holding in her picture. So fun! I use it for a church bag now. They also gave us rub-ons as a thank you for coming. Joan won the prize so we all were happy about that! Go Joan!!
Cosmo Cricket was hard to find..but one of my constant favorites. I really like their paper and chipboard. I finally found their Cogsmo line for little boys that I have been searching for. All kinds of neat robots and gears in happy colors. They opened up their warehouse too, with below wholesale prices. They have one of the cutest scrapbook company websites I have ever seen. The Jon the Warehouse Guy videos are very funny. We were given snacks, water (very welcome ~ even for the Diet Coke girl) and a very cute lacing card home decor kit. I have been eying those kits forever so that was very exciting!
Rusty Pickle was even harder to find. A thousand thanks go out to Rachelle for all of the driving that she did while we were down there!!! Rusty Pickle also opened up their warehouse, with their paper that normally cost 60-89 cents marked down to 10 cents! They had big boxes of chipboard to go through for only 5 cents each! So much fun! Then when we checked out we were given a bag filled with at least 2 inches of paper as well as being stuffed with other goodies like alphabets and embellishments!

This was such great day. I loved spending time with my friends! All of us live in different towns now, and don't get to spend very much time together so this was doubly treasured. Joan and Wendi were our models for the goodie filled trunk. I think that the car was riding low by the time we were finished! We were all exhausted, but we couldn't believe how fast the day flew by.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bebop time!

I am very proud of Joey and Lissie. They tried out for the Venture theatre play "Bebop with Aesop". It is part of the program, "Venture into the schools". I knew that Joe planned on trying out, but Liss wasn't sure. When it came down to it though, she and her twinner tried out together. As fate would have it, Patrick (the director) had them read lines together. They have always been close and when performing, tend to magnify each other. Joey got the part of the Boy who cried wolf and Lissie is the wolf. She's happy because she is able to speak and dance in it, and Joey is excited because he has quite a few lines. Liss really cracked us all up. She was enthroned on her favorite place (daddy's lap) wrapped in her pink princess blanket, looking very angelic as we discussed how fun this was going to be. Joey explained his role and showed some dance moves. He moves very easily and is enjoying the whole experience. Shon then asked Lissie who she played. She looked up at him with huge blue eyes and dimpled saying, "I'm the wolf. I get to eat Joey's sheep. They are my friends." Just her delivery had us cracking up. We are looking forward to the whole experience. The music is so catchy and fun. The play is well written. I'll post pictures as soon as I have them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just a minute or 30! of your time...

Below is a perfect example of fun, useless things that you can waste time on. I sat down to update my blog and somehow ended up playing on this site...

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at

Monday, September 15, 2008


I love Montana. There is a beauty to the rims, and the sky can be the bluest I have ever seen. However, these pictures show the kind of country I grew up in and I think that there will always be a part of me that misses the ocean. These pictures are literally of my Dad and Annette's backyard. They live in an area called Deep Bay in British Columbia. I love the wildness of the water, somehow it seems to calm me no matter what mood I am in. I love the smell of the ocean (except at low tide) and the sound. I don't like crowded sandy sunbathing beaches very much. I love to be able to climb on a rock and watch the sea. Feel the spray on my face and laugh at the seals playing. More often than not, see an orca flip it's tail. Sea gulls wheel and complain, they are sort of like the Woody Allen of the bird world, constantly fretting. Never bored, I could wander for hours listening to the nature filled silence, turning the occasional rock over and smiling at the antics of frantic little sand crabs. Every once in a while I would see a glint, a hint of color ~ blue, maroon, green or even a frosty white ~ bending down to look ~ I would score another piece of beach glass for my collection. Once just a hobby, now each piece is my own little ocean in a bottle, trapped, just like the homesickness that sometimes threatens to overtake me. Most of the time it is fine. I love Montana, I can see how for most people it gets in their blood. I call it home. But sometimes when I see pictures like these, I miss the ocean it so much. For just a moment I take the lid of my jar of beach glass memories off and I hear the scream of the gull, I feel the spray of the sea and I am touched by the pull of the tides. For just a moment. Then I put the lid firmly back in place. I have to, this is my home now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fear. There is nothing like the fear that grasps you when your child staggers into the room clutching at his throat. We had a very frightening experience Monday night when Joey choked on a piece of meat. Terror and panic were in his eyes and he expected me to be able to fix it. That's what mom's do right? They fix things. Everything felt as if it was happening in two parallels. One slow as molasses and the other in double time because I knew he couldn't breathe. When he first came in and gasped water I handed him my glass, he couldn't swallow it, then in the next few seconds, he couldn't cough or make noise. It is a very strange experience when adrenaline takes over. Once I knew he was really choking on the obstruction and it couldn't be coughed out, I flipped him so he was facing the opposite direction and preformed the Heimlich maneuver. It took two strong thrusts and the meat literally popped out like a cork. We looked at each other in shock and then he understandably started crying. Shon was in the room by this time and we just sandwiched him in a hug. I was trying to be strong for him so I kept my head up so he couldn't see the tears in my eyes too. Kids recover quickly, although he really stuck close to me the rest of the night. We let him stay home yesterday, he was pretty sore, both his throat and stomach muscles. I think he was pretty shook up.

I literally want to thank God for the scouting program. Those of you that know us well, recognize that the scouting program is a huge part of our lives. As leaders in this program, Shon and I have both taken First Aid and CPR classes. I've also taken the Citizen Emergency Responder Training. The ironic thing is that I have always worried that I wouldn't remember what to do in an emergency. In fact, if we had been sitting visiting on that very Monday, I would have told you I had only a hazy recollection of the Heimlich Maneuver. What an amazing thing our long term memory is. What a crazy thing adrenaline is, I didn't consciously think, I didn't consciously expend the physical energy, but it happened and so very quickly. Both Joey and I were sore yesterday, I didn't even realize I was using those muscles.

I wavered about whether or not to blog this, I didn't want to come across as bragging. But after some thought I decided to post it because I feel like this saved my child's life on Monday. It is such a simple thing to do, to set aside time for the training. One day. That's all it takes. Every town has First Aid and CPR/Choking training. These can be taught in a variety of settings. Hospitals, civic classes and Enrichment meetings. The American Red Cross estimates that more than 3000 people a year die from choking. A day doesn't seem like a high price to pay to keep our kids safe. Below are some diagrams of what happened to us. It is important to try and actually get the training because if it is done improperly, on someone who is too young (very young children have a different technique) or if the person is not actually choking, it can cause physical damage. You will have to use your imagination when you look at the diagrams, apparently Joey and I have taken the time to get killer tans! loll. :-)


An acute upper airway obstruction is a blockage of the upper airway, which can be in the trachea, laryngeal (voice box), or pharyngeal (throat) areas.
Symptoms vary depending on the cause, but some symptoms are common to all types of obstruction.
Gasping for air
Wheezing, crowing, whistling, or other unusual breathing noises indicating breathing difficulty
Agitation or fidgeting

The universal sign for choking is clutching his or her throat with both hands. If the person can cough get him cough until the choking piece comes out. If the material is not coming out and person cannot talk or cough any more and becomes pale he or she needs immediate help. The current well accepted practice is to perform a Heimlich procedure on the choking person. Do not perform this procedure unless you are sure that the person is chocking. Because choking cuts of oxygen to brain, the victim needs immediate help. Heimlich procedure is performed as below:

1.From behind, wrap your arms around the victim's waist. 2.Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim's upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel. 3.Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands. 4.Repeat until object is expelled.

Friday, September 5, 2008

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