March 31, 2010

The Missing Piece

Another Layout Inspired by the Nostalgia Emotion

Two years ago today, a piece of my heart went missing. Like a puff of smoke, it went *poof* and disappeared. This piece of my heart had already been bruised and wounded and torn and bleeding and put back together and beat up once again. But on this day, two years ago, it just disappeared.

She is our eldest daughter.

Death did not take her. Abduction was not the cause. HER heart and HER mind decided that HER life would no longer be a part of ours. She went her own way. Without another word, without another gesture, she just… left. She left her father. She left her younger brother. She left her little sister. She left me. She also chose to leave grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who also care so very much about her.

Two years ago today, we made difficult choices of our own. We requested a change of heart on her part. We pleaded for honesty. We asked that she move home and let us have the chance to help her. We were denied. So we changed our lives...out of necessity, not retaliation.

Two years ago today, I lost one of my best friends… one of the people with whom I loved to share conversations, adventures and dreams. I lost someone who was beautiful to look at and watch grow; someone who had interesting thoughts and opinions.  I lost someone who I thought had a beautiful, honest heart and a sensible mind. I found out otherwise, in very hard, sad and depressing ways. Her choices are not mine. Would never be mine. She is not of my blood, and my time in her life is merely one-half of the time she has lived.  But I had hoped for more… more time, more influence… both ways. I may have been her third mother, but she was, and will always be, my first daughter.

My mother died of cancer and left me behind. She didn’t have a choice. Two years ago today, my eldest daughter chose to leave me…us…behind – just because. That is, in so many ways, more painful than my mother’s death.

Two years ago today, I was so very angry. So very hurt. So very broken.

Today, I’m simply a little sad – and a lot numb.

I still miss her.

Tomorrow is her 23rd birthday. Happy Birthday, dear daughter. From the bottom of my heart, wherever you are, Happy Birthday.

March 30, 2010

What I'd Say To My Littler Me

This month's emotion at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out is Nostalgia.  It has been both a wonderful and a hard trip down memory lane, and I did not scrap everything I had planned or hoped to.  I have so many ideas still, but I ran out of time.  Well, I ran out of time for the challenges.  Just because the month is over at SFTIO, doesn't mean I can't scrap nostalgia anymore.  I will definitely be spending more time "here".

The layout above is my response to one challenge on the boards to "speak to you as a little girl".  The challenge also said to make the layout "girly-girl" or "tomboy" depending on who you were.  I was very much a tomboy, but I liked being a girl too.  And despite what I'm wearing, I remember hating pink... and lace.

Here's the full challenge, so you can get an idea of what goes on over there (if you've never been to Inside Out before):

Little Girl: What are your memories of being a little girl? Were you cared for and cherished, or were you more of an adult in a child's body? Were you shy or outgoing? If you had sisters and/or brothers, were you treated the same way as they were by your parents, or were there differences? Were you a girly girl or a tomboy? Were there strong messages, from parents, grandparents or other adults about what your role was a a child, and about what you believed you could accomplish as a grown woman? If you have a daughter, do you find yourself treating her in very specific ways that are about her being a girl - are there different rules for girls and boys, and are they justified? What would you tell yourself as a little girl if you could go back and talk to her?

Please create a LO where you 'speak' to your 'little girl'. What would she need to hear to make her life easier? What do you want her to know?

As you can see in my layout, I had a lot to say.  I probably have much more to say.  Of course, what child listens to what their elders tell them, anyway?  But, boy... do I wish I had the opportunity...
What would you tell your younger self, if you were able?

March 29, 2010

Jes' Playin' 'Round

Hello!  I spent all day yesterday scrapbooking for SFTIO's monthly emotion: Nostalgia.  I'll post a layout tomorrow.  But I wanted to confess today.

It's no real secret that I dropped some bucks at the scrapbooking expo where I was working this past Saturday, but... and here's my confession... I don't regret it one bit!  Not one single iota.  And I spent some time playing around with my new funsies.

Here's what I purchased (some of)...

These are my new stamps.  They are bits and pieces to layer and work with to make up a whole image.  I LOVE THEM!  I am completely enjoying playing with these and have had my mind zooming with the things I can do and make with them (and previous purchases for which I have renewed ideas).

These are new pastels. I haven't worked with chalk in a long time.  These don't smear, which was quite appealing to me.  And if I get it in areas where I don't want it, a simple white eraser picks it up cleanly.  These dandy buggers gave me renewed interest in my dry-embossing brass templates.  I haven't used them in years (and there are no photos to be had of them), but after seeing the things you can do with these pastels... I'm ready to play again. 

But the pastels aren't the only thing... these glazes are awesome! 

I already use my Glossy Accents to pop things off a page and "emboss" it but these lovelies have a tint to them, which opens up all kinds of avenues.  Again, it renewed my interest in my brass templates... but also so much more.  One demonstration had a photo of water printed in black & white... and then they traced over the lake with the blue glaze.  Once it dried, it was simply stunning and such a different "look".  These were all over the Expo... and the odd part was, they weren't tied to any one company.  The company I bought them from had their logo on the package, but I found them in other booths with other packaging, but the same, exact product.  Weird.  I have played with these a little, along with my stamps... here is a simple little image. 

The jar has been glossed over with the yellow-tinted glaze, but it's hard to see in this photo.

Last but not least, I also bought these micro beads (ugh, sorry for the bad picture).  I wasn't sure I wanted them, but I caved.  I had to have it.... just for something different that ISN'T glitter.  I haven't opened these yet.

All I've done with it all is played.  The tree and jar above ended up in my Junk Journal.  But playing around has simply been lovely.  Although... I have a list going for all the things I didn't buy... but now NEED (like another hole in my head).

Hope you've been finding time to play around in your crafty fun stuff!

March 27, 2010

Catching Up...

Been a little quiet on my end.  Hear the crickets out there? 

Actually, I've just been working... both jobs.  But today was a FUN day of work.  The scrapbook store where I work participated in a scrapbooking expo, and guess who was working at the booth all day?  ME!  Of course, we were working in a team, so at some point I was able to leave my pal and wander around. 

Lesson learned:  stay in my own booth!  Do NOT walk around.

Oh.  Bad me.  I spent SO much money.  Money I didn't have.  Now I have to work MORE to cover what I spent. 


It was...

SO much fun!

I played around a little with my newly bought playthings tonight, and now I'm simply exhausted.  I'm about ready to wash my face and head to bed.  I will take a few photos of the play I did (it's all stampin' people... I'm a card-maker too, 'member?) and show you tomorrow. 

If I ever wake up.

Thanks to all who responded to my Digi scrappin' questions.  I think I will need to take one of those classes that y'all recommended.  But first, I have to pay off my spending spree today...

March 25, 2010

Traditional, Hybrid & Digi... Oh, My!

Okay my blogging friends... I'm a 100% traditional scrapbooker... papers, ribbons, bling, blooms, glue... I love it.  I'm firmly entrenched in this traditional "there's no place like home" scrapbooking life.


I also love my computer.  I love designing newsletters and brochures, advertisements and other graphic-laden projects.  It is partly what I do in my jobs and it is fun.  Sometimes, when I'm working on some computer-based work-related design, I get excited... like the man behind the curtain.


I am thinking that I would really love to learn how to Digi-Scrap... or perhaps combine it together and be a Hybrid-Scrapbooker.  I own Adobe Photoshop.  I also have Elements.  In fact, I have Creative Suite 2.  I use PhotoShop for some of my design, but my knowledge of it only scratches the surface.  I have never touched Elements.  But I'm kinda scared...

Please Help!

I know some of you out there are digi-scrappers.  I have so many questions and I would love any tips you can give me on how to get started.  I want to learn.  I want to expand my brain! 

To get YOU started in answering, here are just a smattering of my questions:
  • What program(s) do you use?
  • Did you take a class to get started?
  • Do you scrapbook traditionally too?  Why or why not?
  • Once you have your digi-layout done, what do you do with it?  Do you print it and store it in an album or do you keep it on your computer somehow?  In a file folder?  Or do you have some version of an online digi-album?  This is where digi scrapping gets curiouser and curiouser.
  • What would you suggest I do to get started in the digi-world?
Please... I need someone to take me under their wing.

I already get some emails re: digi-freebies or sales, but I've never done anything with it because, well, I just didn't think I'd go down that avenue.  I know I won't ever get rid of my real-live-to-the-touch papers ... because I {heart} paper...


I really want to grow my knowledge of Photoshop and Elements and I want to play on my computer in a scrappin' manner more often...

...especially when my brain is melting because The Hubs is snoring away on the couch... next to my scrappin' room.

March 24, 2010

Six Things I Like & One I Don't

Just a few things today that I think are pretty cool and wanted to share:

These lovely dessert treats by the Pioneer Woman. I loved them when she first posted them, I love the recap she posted today and I still want to, but have not yet, tried making them.

Nathan’s Famous Kosher Dill Pickles. OMG, these are the best dill pickles on earth. And so hard to find! Not sour. Perfectly heavy on the garlic. Not too salty. Crispy. The only thing that comes close to these are the sandwich slices that are used at Potbelly Sandwich Works. I ask for them as a side dish every time I go there.  Hmmm... PW's ice cream, Nathan's pickles.  Uh, NO!  I'm not pregnant.

Okay, let's get off the food....

Sticking with nutrition a moment longer (not that the dessert and pickles above are exactly health food... but there was a theme here)... I found out a while back (less than a year ago) that I was super low in Vitamin D. A normal level of Vitamin D should be over 20, closer to 25 or 30. I was at a “4” when they tested me. Since starting to take Vitamin D (almost) daily, I have definitely felt a difference in my energy level, if nothing else. And I’ve discovered that while I’m pasty-white and have no melanin to speak of, I still need to make an effort to get out in the sun for 15 minutes a day without sunscreen. This is tough, but I’m working on it. Even though I take 1000 IUs a day, I still just barely hover around 20. Yikes!

Articulate. This is no where NEAR food.  It is a new software program that I’m using at my day job to create rapid e-learning modules (web-based self-training) for our company. It certainly has it’s glitches, but overall, it’s a pretty slick-o program and I’m totally loving playing in it!  (This shows you that I'm a closet computer geek because I'm so happy and excited about a new software program.)

Thirty-one Gifts – I can’t find a picture to post, although I’m sure once I get my first bag, I’ll be posting it. The Hubs just accepted an IT job for this company. Prior to them seeking him out for employment, I had never heard of this place. Now… of course… I’m finding all kinds of things to buy that may end up competing with my scrapbooking money!

T.I.G.E.R.S. I never had heard of this place until recently when I logged into my Facebook account after months of ignoring it, and discovering that one my nieces applied and was accepted into their 2-year apprenticeship program. I won’t tell you the expletives that first went through my mind. I mean, for 2-years she will live and breathe this job… no time off. Not weekends. Not holidays. That boggles my mind. But reading into the site a little further, I can see the appeal… for a 22-year old with no full-time job. Yep. Pretty neat.

And this is the one thing I'm not liking at the moment:

I'm very scared of this.  Not the bee...well, in real life outside, I am afraid of being stung.  But that's not the issue here.  The issue is the distinct and scary dying off of the honey bee.  If they go, people, we are surely going to suffer.  Global warming notwithstanding... the bee pollinates too many of our foods.  This year's losses were the worst yet!

What's going on in your world?

March 23, 2010

Springtime Pressures...

First off, I want to thank y'all for some really great suggestions from yesterday's post.  Exactly the inspiration I needed, and I'm off and running.  Thank you, thank you!

Next, I need more help.  More suggestions.  It has to do with all those springtime pressures that push on me at this lovely time of year.  My number one pressure:

S P R I N G   C L E A N I N G

How do you do it?  DO you do it?  Do you have a specific plan?  Do you do the same thing(s) every year?  When do you start?  When do you finish?  Does anyone help you?    Please help!

One specific thing that just overwhelmes me:  I am a "collector".  I collect things until I am overwhelmed. I can't throw things away.  I can donate, but it's tough for even that.  I have clothes, STILL from when my mother died in 1998.  HER clothes.   And I can't bear to get rid of them.  I have plans to have a quilt made from some of them, but why have I waited 12 years to get this started and/or done?   I have a teddy bear collection.  Over the years this has grown and been reduced, and grown again.  I have only the bears that have major sentimental value now.  I have plans to take photos of them and make a mini-book that includes photos and "stories" for each of them... with the intention that I then donate them.  I have had this plan in mind for 3 years and have yet to get them down and get photos taken.  I've even bought the album and papers I will use... I just can't bring myself to get rid of them.  Why?  Why?!  Clothes I don't or can't wear, old make up, nail polish that I never use... papers... kitchen items I never use... tchotchkes... I have tchotchkes up the Wahzoo!  So many things with so much sentimental value attached... and yet, it's just all clutter.

I need to declutter my outside life.  I think that will help me declutter my insides as well.  My one little word is Release and I have such a very, very hard time of it.  Suggestions, anyone?

How 'bout a visit for those of you who are good "tossers"?  I'll let you throw away my junk... and cry the entire time... I just can't figure out how to get myself to do it.

Please... comments, suggestions...all welcome here.

I won't even begin to go into my yard and gardens... that's a whole different, frightening topic for a different day...

March 22, 2010

Suggestions, please?

So, at my "day job", I work at an office, sitting in front of a computer all day.  To help the overall mood of the office, we recently re-started something called "Business Buddies".  Each person participating (all but two... believe that?) picked a random name out of a hat and that person is who you will be a Business Buddy to.  For example, I previously had pulled "Jen" out of the hat.  I would leave "Jen" little gifts in her mailbox or taped to her office door.  I twice even hung laminated "VSP (very special person) reserved parking" signs on the wall in front of where she usually parked.  Just little things to help the person stay cheered throughout any given day.

Anyhoo, we recently started this again, and I pulled a new business buddy's name out of a hat.  This is someone who I'm not particularly friendly with (nor would I be on any given day) so it's hard to come up with fun little things for her.  I sorta-wanna use some of my scrappin' skills, but since I'm the only obvious scrapbooker in the office, I know that will blow my anonymity.   We all fill out little questionnaires about our likes/dislikes but this gal put down very little, which isn't helpful. 

So.... I'm looking for any suggestions here.  I have a few ideas, but this goes on for a while. I  don't want to be a slacker Business Buddy.  And since this is someone who I'm not super fond of, it's even harder to feel creative.  Please help? 

March 21, 2010

Strangers Texting Strangers

Whew... yesterday's post was a little strong. I am sorry.  Not about what I said...but, well... maybe I'm not sorry.  It really helped me to release my pent up feelings about it.  Thank you so much for listening and your comments.   If anyone learned anything from it, I'm grateful.  SO... to lighten the mood around here, I thought I would share a funny little experience today.

The Hubs and I often have friends over to play games on Sundays... today was one of those days.  So we're all sitting around the table and The Hubs's phone dings. A text message came in.  The only person who texts him who wasn't in the room already is our youngest, so he picked up his phone to check.

The text message simply said, "I love you."

I blinked.  Really?  Who was it?  He didn't know.  It was an unknown number and an unknown area code.

Sooooooo, feeling a little spunky, I thought, well heck, I'll text the person back.  So I picked up my phone and entered the number and wrote, "Why are you texting my husband that you love him?"

The people around the table laughed a collective nervous little laugh.

See... I'm the least jealous person on the face of the earth. So sending this text message was so opposite of who I really am.  I think they thought I was truly upset.  But I just thought it was pretty funny.  Back to the game we went.

Next, I receive several short calls... where someone calls, but hangs up relatively quickly.  It was that number that I texted.  It came up as "Texas".  Texas?  Really?  Now I wonder if this person is going to blow up my phone with calls and hang-ups, but then I just figure the person is trying to text me back but can't seem to do it without actually dialing the number.

Finally came a text message.  I open it and read it out loud to the waiting group:

"LOL!  Apparently I texted the wrong number.  I am sure your husband is a great guy, but I am a guy and I don't love him...awesome!"

Everyone burst out laughing!

March 20, 2010

On My Soapbox: Sounds of Silence

Every once in a while I get a bug in me and it grows... and I end up on my soapbox.  I spouted about Splenda prevously.  Well, it occurred to me recently that in an argument, there is one thing I cannot cope with: The Silent Treatment. Over my lifespan, this seems to be the method that people in my life utilize when angry… with me, with each other, with life. It isn’t just a romantic relationship thing. I have this used on me by people I have called friends as well as other family members. I don’t understand this. To me, the silent treatment (aka the cold shoulder) is a form of abuse. It is painful and it is immature. It is a control device.

Is it just me, or should the silent treatment be banished from existence? I think it is worse than an all-out, knock-down, drag-out, hair-pulling, blood-letting fight. I would rather be punched in the face then given the silent treatment; at least then I would know for sure that what I did or said was offensive. When I receive the silent treatment, I am left wondering what exactly I said or did to cause this person in my life to stop speaking to me. In many cases, I know; in others, I really, really don’t.

“To me, this is a form of torture. Nothing positive comes from this type of behavior. What makes more sense…blowing up about something, cooling off a little and then talking about how to resolve it OR not blowing up about something, staying completely pissed and not doing anything to help resolve the situation? If you said the latter… you’re a dick. When someone is administering the silent treatment they are trying to show that they are dominant over you. The silent treatment (when it becomes a mutual one) is a power struggle in pain tolerance…whoever the winner is, cares less.” source

Whoever the winner is, cares less. That resonates loudly within me. The Hubs used to utilize the silent treatment on me for long periods of time, earlier on in our relationship… a minimum of 2-3 days. It was, at the time, the only way he knew how to “end” (avoid) a fight. I detest this. When you’re “done” being angry (and I’m open to a short cooling off period), please let’s talk about it and clear the air. All a silent treatment does is create tension and fester the wounds. There is no resolution. There is no opportunity for growth or release. It’s horrible and hurtful and stressful and overall emotionally abusive.

My daughter is/was another user of this. She gave me the silent treatment for a full week once. And she bullied her brother and sister into joining her in giving me the silent treatment, when they weren’t involved in the original situation. When I told people of this, I remember one friend saying how immature that was. Yes… and it doesn’t matter how old you are (she was 18-ish at the time)… it is immature, whether you are 18 or 25 or 40. When this particular silent treatment was over, she told her dad that she didn’t even remember why she was angry. What the *&^!@#:???!!! On top of that, she told her dad that she wasn’t angry any more… TWO full days before she came and talked to me. I was FURIOUS (for the silent treatment) and let her know it.  Apparently, as you may be able to tell, I am still wounded by this.

This was the very beginning of the end of my tolerance for silent treatments. I told my husband (remember, I said he used to be a silent treatment giver) that should he decide that was the solution to a fight, that I would not partake of it. I would not beg him to talk to me, I would not apologize for as long as he was silent, and I would not forgive him for it when he knew how much it hurt me. I would give him an appropriate cooling off period, and then I expected and hoped that he would be mature enough to come to me to discuss the problem further – in an appropriate time frame less than 24 hours. Since the week-long silent treatment from my daughter, I am thrilled to say that I haven’t had any from The Hubs. Not very long ones anyway. I think he finally saw the ridiculousness of it when he was an outsider looking in.  It really has strengthened my love for him that he was able to change this piece of his behavior.

“If you are being given the silent treatment, you are being punished for something, but you are not actually being told what that something is and how you can make up for it. […] It is not your job to fix something for someone who isn’t using their words. Give yourself permission to stop trying.” Source

This is the year of Release for me… that is my One Little Word. And I carry a lot of emotional baggage over friends and loved ones who have treated me with such little dignity. I agonize over it. As you saw above, I'm still carrying wounds from the cold shoulder my daughter gave to me for so long.  I’m like that… I have such a hard time letting things go (hence my one little word for this year). And today, I’m letting it all go. I’m releasing it. Silent treatments will affect me no more. I give myself permission to stop trying to fix something for someone who isn’t using their words. If they care so little about me that they choose to start a silent treatment, then they will be participating in it alone. Starting today, the only Sounds of Silence that I will listen to will be by Simon and Garfunkel… and I will enjoy it.

Okay, off my soapbox.  Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

March 19, 2010

Continuing Christmas...

I put my Christmas album together last night.  I was pretty impressed over what I have been able to accomplish.  Keep in mind that I am a very slow scrapbooker, but I think I did pretty well over the past two retreats.  Between both getaways, I created 22 pages for my scrapbook, plus two Disney autograph books.  I think I did really well and I'm very happy with my progress. I have about 3 more 'years' of Christmas photos and I will then be caught up to "present".  Meaning, I still have to print and scrapbook 2009. 

I took a lot of pictures of my layouts last night. Unfortunately, I didn't have good lighting so they came out horrible.  And very yellow.  Except this one:

This was the first Christmas The Hubs and I celebrated as a married couple. After we moved into our house, I got him a dog (he was getting catted out with my furry purrballs) and we named him Rocky.  Bonus points to anyone who can guess who we named him after.  Anyhoo... this was Rocky's first Christmas.  I love the layout because I used masks and spray ink/dye for the first time ever and for a first time, I think it turned out pretty cool.  Add some stickles for some glitz and it is pretty awesome for what started out as white cardstock!  Otherwise, not a very exciting layout. 

More layout photos later... after I get some good lighting. 

And not as strange as my Christmas tree Can't Breathe layout from earlier. 

I promise. 

March 18, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

These were actually up a week ago when I was at my scrapbook retreat, but I just hadn't had a chance to post them.

My crocuses are in bloom. Crocuses?  Or Croci?  I just haven't been home before dark to take a photo.

But I didn't want to skip it... Spring is here. 

And I'm ready!

March 17, 2010

Wistful, Wishful Wednesday

Sometimes I just daydream and get really caught up in my wishful thinking. Here are a few wishes on my mind today:
  1. I wish losing weight was easier than gaining weight.
  2. I wish losing weight wasn't a billion dollar business.
  3. I wish that I could be a stay-at-home-wife… I would love for someone else to bring home all of the bacon, and I’d gladly fry it up in the pan. And wash the pan when I was done. This is not to say that I wouldn’t work… but I don’t want to HAVE to work.
  4. I wish that I wasn’t going to be turning 40 in two months. I really wish that.
  5. I wish that people would yield to animals that attempt to cross a road. Right now, especially Canada geese… nothing hurts my heart more than seeing a Canada goose on the side of the road, dead. Especially during this season, when they’re mating and getting ready to start a family.
  6. I wish that Canada geese would FLY across roads instead of taking their gloriously slow time to walk and waddle and honk across the road. I mean, they DO have wings!
  7. I wish I had worked harder, when I was younger, to stay debt free. It’s taking an awfully long time to get there (debt free) now.
  8. I wish I could get more sleep at night. It isn’t that I can’t sleep… but I go to bed way too late for my sleep to be effective. I wish someone was making me adhere to a standard “bed time”
  9. I wish I could sing. In tune. I don’t want to be the next American Idol… but I’d love to not have people wince when I opened up my mouth to sing… even “Happy Birthday To You…”

    Seriously, I could peel paint off the walls.

    Well, maybe not literally. But - one of my (now deceased) cats, when I was much younger, used to bite me when I’d sing. Truth! One of my cats (now) will run from the room when I sing.

    Yeah, I’m that bad.
  10. I wish I had more energy/time/space/talent/courage/etc. to do the things I want to do, rather than the things I have to do.

Just sharing a few wistful, wishful thoughts from me today. How about you? What do you wish for?

March 16, 2010

One Amazing Place...One Wonderful Time...One Awesome Person

This is one of my favorite places:

It is where I spent most of my last week.  This is where we host a scrapbook retreat.  This hotel is awesome.  It's in the heart of Amish country and is simply gorgeous.  It truly is one amazing place.

This is the lobby. 

You should see it all decorated up at Christmas time.

If you get bored of scrapbooking, they have this cozy library, complete with fireplace. 

You can curl up with a book and a cup of hot tea.  Not that I did.  They also have an indoor pool and a hot tub, should you want to throw on a swim suit and delve into some water therapy.  Not that I did.  Obviously... as I didn't even take a photo of that area of the hotel.

I missed taking a photo of our room too.  It was pretty... but I wanted to take it when it was clean and made-up, but every time I was in there, I was messing it up, so the photo never got taken.

This is part of the cropping room.

These three gals brought a lot of stuff... but that's typical of an average retreat cropper.  No?  These are some of my favorite campers.   They're regulars and oh-so much fun.  They were missing one of their group this time.  Bummer.

Here is our mini-store.

It takes up quite a bit of space.

And here is my stepmom. 

My wicked, evil stepmom.  Doesn't she look the part? 


How about this photo?

She cracks me up.  Every time I went to take a photo of her, she started to say something, which resulted in her looking mad. 

But, I finally got her to smile.

That's better. 

I corrupted her.  I take complete responsibility.  I got her started in scrapbooking and now she's ADDICTED.  A complete member of our... uh... club!

See that Cricut to the top-right?  She used one once at a different retreat and went straight home and looked for one on Craigslist and Ebay.  Quicker than you can say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, she had one.  That makes it easy to buy for her at Christmas and birthdays.  Except now, to my dad's dismay, she's addicted to online scrapbook shopping.  And Ebay.  But.  Who isn't?  I have to remind her near holiday time to stop buying cartridges to allow for some of us to be able to shop for her.

I want to thank my wicked, evil (I never said ugly) stepmom... I had a wonderful time spending so many days with her.  It was really great that she was able to come down and spend time at this retreat with me.  She is one awesome person!

I just love her:

Can't wait until the next time!

My Other Craft Obsession...

I probably make more cards than I do scrapbook pages. Well... maybe not, but it's close to a tie.  At the store where I work part-time, I am the only one who teaches cards classes, and I really enjoy coming up with new ideas.  At the retreat this past weekend, I taught a class of three cards featuring "poor-man's flowers".  Flowers you create out of paper circles.  I love them!  I wanted to make spring flower cards... a co-worker/friend suggested this style and off I went.  So much fun!

Here are two of the designs.  I don't know why I didn't take a picture of the 3rd.  Oh well...

Just thought I'd share...

March 13, 2010

Christmas Quirk

Here's one layout from my retreat.  It may be the only one you get to see, at least for a while.  My camera card reader is dying.  It will breathe a bit of life now and then, and when it does I transfer my photos to my computer, but I may have to visit a store soon to get a new one.  Stupid reader. 

Anyway, you may or may not know, but I have made a promise to myself to scrapbook all of our Christmases as a family (from 1998 to 2008) before I can get more photos printed.  And I have been scrappin' Christmas for 6 months now, at various retreats.  As an introduction to this layout, let me come right out and admit, I am a quirky person.  I don't think I am until I do or say something and then notice someone else look at me in such a way that screams at me "Crazy Person!"  I've been getting better about not feeling embarrassed or diminished by these things ... I am who I am.  And if I'm a bit quirky, well... ya just gotta love me for it, right?

So this layout talks about Christmas tree toppers.  I can't stand them!  Even more, I feel like they suffocate the tree.  It's bad enough we cut the poor tree down (and I'm completely against fake trees, too) and brought it inside a house and then slathered it with shiny balls and blinking bulbs... the poor thing should be able to breathe, right?  The Hubs, however, loves tree toppers.  So when we first started dating, we bought a beautiful angel.  After he placed it lovingly atop the tree, I felt my chest tighten.  A voice inside my head was screaming, "Get it off!  Get it off!"  It was the tree.  It had to be, or else I might have to commit myself to a psychiatric ward.  Yes, I suppose hearing a tree would be cause to commit myself, but let's just pretend, for the sake of arguement, that I'm like Dr. Doolittle, only I can talk to trees.  And flowers. 

I did mention above that I'm quirky, right?

So, a few years passed and every year we bought a new angel tree topper.   Every time we did, I thought something along the lines of "she's lighter" or "she's smaller" in the hopes that I could get past the tree not being able to breathe.  *sigh*  The angel pictured in the layout is the last topper we bought.  We no longer have one on our tree.  The Hubs finally conceded to my insanity.  Instead, the trees are all tall enough to hit the ceiling (not allowing for a topper) and now all of the angels line the tops of our bookcases as Christmas decoration.

And the tree and I both breathe easier.

March 12, 2010

Somebody's Happy...

Mommy's not home to tell her to get down, or get off, or stop chewing on my paintbrushes, paper and photos!

March 11, 2010

Dreams Do Come True, It Could Happen To You...

Well... here I sit at my scrapbooking retreat and what am I doing?  BLOGGING!  Actually, I had to get on the computer to update the spreadsheet for the mini-store we bring with us, and then I got sidetracked with email... and then a comment or two from here... and thought, hey... why not blog?!

I'll be working on two Disney autograph books today.  On my last day at my last retreat (last Sunday), I used the Cricut that was there to cut all kinds of layered Disney character pieces.  The Cricut is an amazing machine. I'm sure I could have figured out how to do this on my Wishblade... somewhere, somehow... but the Cricut was there and available and I was half brain-dead from sleep deprivation and sinus congestion (ugh, will this cold ever go away?).  Anyway, yesterday after we organized the crop room and built our store, we had a little time left over and I finally assembled my pieces.  I gave up on Tigger... I have no idea how his pieces go together.  I still have the Beast to do... but he looks pretty complicated too.  But I am pleased with with I did get put together.   They're cute!

Now... on to the autograph books!

March 10, 2010

Baby, You Can Drive My Car...

Six and a half hours.  That's how long I was in the car tonight after I left work.  Granted, it was broken up with a ... ahem... scrumptious dinner at a truck stop with my dad and stepmom.  Hmm, perhaps scrumptious isn't the right word... actually, words fail me. 

Remind me to tell you later of our lovely dinner... and my father's opinion on 'rinky dink' restaurants.  It's opposite of mine.  (Love ya, Dad!).

Anyhoo... six and a half hours.  I met my dad half way between my hometown in Ohio and his in New York to swap passengers (my stepmom).  Halfway is in Pennsylvania. 

What makes six and a half hours bearable, after a day of work?  Let me tell you... caffeine (lots of it), plenty of rest areas (need it after all that caffeine) and music that I can sing with at the top of my lungs.  And boy, did I...

But the very best part of the whole six and a half hour drive?

Three and a half hours of wonderful conversation with my stepmom.  I loved every minute of it.  Although, I will admit, I spoke for probably three hours and fifteen minutes of it... but hey... she got 15 minutes in.  LOL.  I am exaggerating.  Slightly. 

Why is she visiting?  Because she's joining me at the next scrapbook retreat I'm going on... Wednesday!  Woo Hoo! 

Yes, yes, I will post layouts.  Later.  Now, I must concentrate on what I'm going to scrap...

What projects are you dying to get done?

March 9, 2010

Junkin' It Up...

I know that I promised photos of some of my scrappin' fun this past retreat weekend.  And they will come.  I promise.  I honestly have been on the run since coming home on Sunday evening.  Work today, then hair cut (gone bad... another story for another time), then home to eat and now heading to bed after I finish up this little ditty. 

In the meantime, I feel I must redeem myself and somehow prove that I have been crafty lately.  Because I honest and truly have... much more than typical.  And it feels so good!  So, I thought I'd share this:

A gal on SFTIO shared some links to YouTube videos of a junque (junk) journal created by Tangie Baxter.  It was like angels sang and a light shone down upon me when I saw these videos!  Finally!  A place to put all that stuff I collect.  Pressed pennies.  Rose petals.  Fortune cookie fortunes.  Dove Promises that I love.  Tea tags with invaluable quotes.  Movie ticket stubs.  Little notes I get from friends and people I love.  So many things hanging around that I now have a place for.

Here it is... MY Junk Journal... well a few bitty pages of it at least...

And now... I must hit the hay.  I still promise photos of my scrapped pages... and perhaps a few from the Nostalgia kit - the emotion this month at SFTIO... after I get home from my next retreat.  That's right... I'm off to scrapbook again... this time as a hostess for the store where I work part time.  I will be leaving my boys at home again to play bachelors for a long weekend.  Think of me Wednesday through Sunday of this week, while I will once again be off scrappin' and not sleeping.  What fun!

March 8, 2010

This Too Shall Pass...

If you haven't seen the treadmill video by OK Go... check it out by clicking here now... it's fun.  It's also been copied a lot since it's creation (and embedding the video from YouTube has been disabled by request... which is why I only provided a link above). 

Very ingenious and nicely practiced.  And... lots of balance needed.

I thought... very cool... how will they ever top something like this?  Well, released recently, I am not disappointed in This Too Shall Pass - a new video by OK Go.  If you haven't seen it already, check it out:

Four months went into make this "one-shoot" video.  A LOT of work... and I can just imagine the thoughts going on in their heads... "I just know something will go wrong and I'll have to be shot with paint again!"

Just something fun to share... back to our regularly scheduled programming now.

March 7, 2010

Home to the Jabberwock

Cheshire Cat

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The end of my scrapbooking retreat was topped with a cherry... a trip to the movie theater to see Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland with my friend.  Despite it being crowded and way too hot... I was thrilled to finally get to see this movie.  PSYCHED is truly the word.

If you like a little nonsense in your life, with some great CGI to boot... I highly recommend it.  And the Bandersnatch is not as frumious as you might think.  Not frumious at all.



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