Help for Hobbies of all Sorts by Rene' Hobbie

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This was an awesome book.  Who wouldn't like a novel that opens with a quote from Dr. Seuss?  However, this is not a kids book in any stretch of the imagination. 
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant...
An elephant's faithful- one hundred per cent!"
-Theodor Seuss Geisel, Horton Hatches an Egg

I can't wait to see the movie! 

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

(Review taken from

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's understandable why my husband, darlin Arlin, wasn't impressed with my Bisquick pancakes when we were first married.  He had grown up eating pancakes made from scratch that his dad made for the family.  They are scrumptious!  Isn't it a cool thing that Arlin now makes them for us?  Are there recipes in your family that have been handed down through the generations?  We'd love to hear about them. 

Grandpa's Pancakes
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
3 cups sifted flour
4 T. soft shortening
2 t. baking powder 
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. sugar

Mix wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Combine wet and dry ingredients in one of the bowls.  Add regular milk at the end until batter is of a desired consistency.  Our batter ends up being quite runny.  Heat a griddle to 425-450 degrees and use shortening to oil it.  Pour batter to form pancakes thinning out circle to make thin pancakes.  Flip when brown on one side.  Repeat the second batch of pancakes by applying more oil to griddle before adding additional batter.  Serve with butter and warm syrup.

This is a scrapbook page that I made several years ago.  On it, I told that making Grandpa Hobbie's pancakes is something we do as a family, and we each have a job.  Have you scrapbooked your family's favorite recipes? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My son got his spring pictures back that he had taken at school, and I need to send those out to several family members.  I thought this would be a fast and easy card to mass produce for that purpose.  Once all the pieces are cut out for this card, assembling them will be a snap!  Plus, I think it's cute and cheery.

Materials Used:
Cardstock:  Tempting Turquoise, Poppy Parade, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper:  Build a Bear Workshop Pawsitively Prints
Ink:  Instead of using inkpads, I colored the stamp itself with two different markers (Old Olive and Poppy Parade) before stamping it on the white cardstock. 
Stamps:  Hello Blossoms
Embellishments:  Tempting Turquoise ribbon
Tools:  Scallop Edge Punch

This card measures 3x6 inches.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and couldn't put it down.  It's a beautifully written story about a childlike view of Jesus and heaven. 

Heaven is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.
(Review taken from

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's for dinner?  Since we don't have much time during the weekday mornings to cook a big breakfast, I try to cook it for supper at least once a week.  We also really like Mexican food, so this recipe is a double hitter!  Breakfast Tacos is a family favorite.  The ingredients listed make about 8 tacos...still too much for our family of three to eat.  If your family requires more than that, you'll want to adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Use1/2 a pound of Owen's sausage and 1/4 cup of chopped green onions. 

Brown them together in a frying pan.  Add cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere's to taste.  Drain.
Mix 6 eggs in a separate bowl and add to the meat mixture.  Continue to cook ingredients and stir often until eggs are done. 

Remove from heat, add a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese, and cover.

In the meantime, heat flour tortillas on both sides in a non-stick frying pan over low heat.  We use Kroger's flour tortillas that they make in their store.  After you eat those, you won't want any others!

 Your egg and sausage mixture should have a yummy layer of melted cheese on it by now. 

The breakfast tacos are ready to be assembled.  Top with your favorite salsa.  Ole'!

1/2 pd. Owen sausage
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Cajun seasoning to taste
6 eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
flour tortillas

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Have you read anything good lately?  That's a question that I'm asked often by children and adults.  Actually, the kids in the library ask me if I have any good books.  Of course, I read all the time, but I used to draw a blank when asked.  So, now I write down what I read in this pretty little Vera Bradley (love those products!) notebook.  When someone asks for a book recommendation, I have an answer right at my fingertips.  This might be a weird librarian thing, or you might want to try it, too!

There are other ways to track what you  read. is an awesome tool.  They have thorough reviews for titles.  As a member, you and your friends can share information about different titles that you've read.  If you decide to join or are already a member, please look me up!  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In my last post, I showed a small owl box that could be used to hold a little gift...great for graduates.  Here is a card that I designed to go with it.

Materials Used:
Cardstock:  tempting turquoise, daffodil delight, black, whisper white
Pattern Paper:  tempting turquoise designer series papar
Ink:  tempting turquoise
Stamps:  Say It With Scallops (retired)
Embellishments:  white and black gingham ribbon, rhinestones
Tools:  owl punch, 3/4 inch circle punch

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Do you know anyone whooo's graduating?  This simple craft might be just the present for you to give.  It is a small owl box that is perfect for holding a small gift-money, cash, a check, etc.  I still remember calling my mom upset the first week I was enrolled in college.  My first bill was due, and I was in a panic.  I'm guessing that money is still probably a popular gift with college students.  Now for the owl box...

After you run a colorful piece of cardstock through the Big Shot using the Pill Box die cut, you'll have a shape that looks like this:

Put red sticky tape on the small flap as shown. 

Fold the box closed and leave flat.  This will make it easier to decorate. 

Using a heart punch, punch out two hearts.  One will be for the owl's feet and one for his beak.  Adhere the owl's feet at the bottom of the box.  Then, using a 3/4 inch circle punch, punch out circles in a coordinating patterned paper.  I used 10 circles for his feathers plus two more to cut in half where needed on the sides of the owl's body.  Add the circles to the owl starting at the bottom of the box as shown.  You'll only want to use adhesive at the top of each circle, so you can curl the circles up at the bottom with your finger or bone folder. 

Apply the second heart for the owl's beak.  Punch out his two wings using a large oval punch and glue to the top of the box.  For his eyes,  you'll need two 1 1/4 inch circles in white and two 3/4 inch circles in black.  Place the circles together as you see in the picture.  Don't forget the rhinestone bling! 

Finish making the owl box by folding in the top and bottom flaps.  I used a small glue dot to hold them in place. 

Check back in a couple of days to see a coordinating owl card. 

Interested in joining a stamping club?  We'll be making this project during our club this month.  We'd love to have you join our fun group.  Feel free to e-mail me if interested. 

Materials Used:
Cardstock:  whisper white, black, tempting turquoise
Patterned Paper:  tempting turquoise designer series paper
Embellishments:  rhinestones
Tools:  big shot, pillow box die cut, three heart punch, 3/4 and 1 1/4 circle punches
(All products used were Stampin Up.)

This adorable project was cased from Kerry's Paper Crafts. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm a rule follower, and that used to pertain to scrapbooking, too.  Here are some of the guidelines that I felt the scrapbooking police required of me:

*Every picture I took had to be scrapbooked.  
*My scrapbooks had to be in chronological order.
*Each page had to be a masterpiece.
*I could only scrapbook on one size layout.
*My scrapbooks had to be of a particular brand only.
*All the scrapbook pages in one album had to fit cohesively by a theme.

Wow!  No wonder a hobby that I once loved was becoming more like a chore.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law introduced me to an awesome book called The Big Picture by Stacy Julian.  In her book, the author states that the most important function of scrapbooking is to capture family memories and tells you how to go about it without all the stresses I mentioned above.  I wish I'd read this book fifteen years ago when I started scrapbooking.  Although this book has an older copyright (2005), I turn to it often when I get back into a rut or need inspiration. 

There are other great books on the theme of breaking the rules of scrapbooking.  Here are two:  Scrapbooking Life's Little Moments by Rebecca Sower and Cut Loose by Crystal Rieger. 

One of the best rules that I broke was feeling that all my scrapbook pages had to be 12x12.  Now I enjoy making other sizes, too.  The following 6x6 page of my son was quick, easy, and fun to make.

Materials Used:
Paper:  whisper white and green cardstock (SU), green and white polka dot (Creative Memories)
Embellishments:  rub-ons, chocolate chip satin ribbon (SU)
Tools:  scallop edge punch

Are you a rule follower? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A friend of mine just became a grandmommy for the first time, and what does every new grandmother need?  A brag book to show off that sweet baby, of course!  So, I made this little scrapbook for her to keep her grandbaby's pictures in. 

To make this scrapbook, you'll need to start off with a double sided piece of designer series paper and a solid piece of cardstock.  Both should be 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches. 

Run them through the Big Shot using the Scallop Envelope diecut. 

You'll end up with two shapes that look like this...

Using the printed piece of paper, fold the top scallop down and adhere using red sticky tape.  This is the only adhesive I've found that really holds stuff down. 

Turn your printed piece of paper over and place more sticky tape where shown.

Turn the printed piece over and adhere it to the solid piece of cardstock.

Turn the piece over again and place more sticky tape as shown.

Fold flaps down. 

Turn the piece over to see the front.  We now have a pocket to hold a small scrapbook page.

Now for the scrapbook page to insert into the pocket...Cut a piece of white cardstock 3 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches for the page.  To decorate it, stamp a scrap of white cardstock with the design of your choice.  Use a 1 1/4 inch circle punch to punch it out.  Mat it with a coordinating piece of cardstock.  I used a 1 3/8 circle punch for the matting.  Glue the circles to the scrapbook page using a pop dot. 

Repeat the process of making the number of pockets and scrapbook pages that you want depending on how thick you want your scrapbook to be.  Put all your pockets together and punch two holes in the bottom.  I used the crop-a-dile. 

Tie all the pockets together with a pretty ribbon. 

This type of scrapbook could be made to fit so many different themes:  for a teacher, coach, recipes for a bride, advice for new parents to be, etc.  The possibilities are endless. 

Materials Used:
Cardstock:  Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip, Pear Pizzazz
Printed Paper:  Nursery Suite Designer Series Paper
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Pear Pizzazz
Stamps:  Bold Blossoms
Embellishments:  Baja Breeze striped ribbon (retired), rhinestones
Tools: Scallop Envelope Diecut, Big Shot, Crop-a-Dile, Circle Punches
(All materials used were Stampin Up.)

This project was cased from the Artistic Advenger. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Karen Kingsbury is a contemporary Christian author, and her books are awesome!  I've read almost everyone of them starting with Redemption from the Redemption series.  In this book, the Baxter family is introduced.  They definitely have their ups and downs but remember to stay strong in their faith and let God work in their everyday situations.  Reading the last book about the Baxters (there are three series) was like saying goodbye to dear friends.  Thankfully, Mrs. Kingsbury continues to include the Baxters in her current novels.  She has also written stand alone titles that are great, too.

I just finished reading Karen Kingbury's latest book...Leaving... in the Bailey Flanigan series. I'll anxiously be awaiting the second book coming out in June. 

  The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City. She's determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive. 
In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan.

Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story.
(review taken from

For those of you who have kept up with Bailey and her love life...Are you for Team Cody or Team Brandon?