February 28, 2010

10 Questions Giveaway Photo

Okay, sorry for the late hour, but I've been working on a class all day... cute cards, I must say.  I'll try to take a photo and post them later... after the class has been held, of course (two weeks from now). 

Anyhoo... after I was done, I pulled together some goodies for this lovely giveaway below.  Here's what you're gonna get:

Lots of paper - at least 3 different lines, rub-ons, brads, journaling cards, stickers, ribbon and some chipboard.  Think you can make something outta that?  I hope you're interested.  If you are... and you haven't entered the giveaway already, go to the post below and answer my questions in the comments section.

Remember, you have until 9pm ET Tuesday night to enter!  Latah!

10 Questions for a Giveaway

Hello my friends!

I finally had a few minutes to put together some questions to jump start a giveaway.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the "prize" but I can guarantee it's some fun scrappy goodness!  I will try and get a photo up later.

In the meantime, to enter and win, ya gotta answer the questions.  Winners will be picked using Random.org.  Unless you are the only one to answer... wouldn't that be awesome?

My questions are a combination 'scavenger hunt' and Q's about you.  You can fnd all the answers to the questions NOT about you here on my blog. Wander around... the answers are there.  I've tried to make them pretty simple... I hate it when people feel frustrated as a result of something I have asked. 

So... answer in a comment these following questions by 9pm ET Tuesday, March 2nd and I will generate a winner before I leave for my scrapbooking retreat this Thursday.




1. What movie do I have linked on my blog that I can't wait to come out... which is coming out this week?

2. What was I so excited about on February 2nd?

3. When I got inky back in December, what did I make?

4. Other than paper, adhesive and scissors, what are your favorite three things to use for traditional scrapbooking? (If you're a digi-only scrapbooker, tell me your top three faves digitally... I'm completely ignorant on this type of scrapping, so I wanna know!

5. Which member of my zoo has actually written a blog post for me, because I was too tired after moving my scrapbook room?

6. What is my favorite scrapbooking site of all time - at least it's the most mentioned site on my blog.

7. Name two things that I listed in a post that I'm not very talented at.

8. What type of food does my husband hate (he thinks it's yucky)?

9. What movie did I just see on my most recent "date night" with The Hubs?

10. Realizing that I started this blog with a class called "Blogging for Scrapbookers", and looking back at my posts to come up with some of these questions, I realize I haven't really shared my scrapbooking much. I know this is because I'm super busy most of the time, and don't really scrap much. Something that I want to change. I also realize that most of my readers are scrapbookers themselves. So... do my posts interest you, or do you want to see more scrapbooking related posts?

11. Bonus obscure question: What is my all-time favorite "B" flick?

Stop back later tonight, too... I'll try to add a photo to the top of this post of the scrappy fun I'm sending to one of you!

February 26, 2010

Undesired Bumper "Kisses"

Hello my friends. 

Tonight I was involved in a (very) minor accident while driving home from work.  The roads were terribly icy and while I was being a very safe driver (see my rant about winter driving previously posted), the gal coming up behind me was driving too fast to stop in time.  She lost control of her car and I could see she was coming right at me.  I tried... TRIED... to pull forward more to give her more room to stop, but my wheels spun on the ice too.

So ... get this...I closed my eyes and waited.  CLOSED (!) my eyes, and WAITED (!).

I knew what was coming and there was no avoiding it and ... yep... WHAM!  She slammed into the back of my car. 


I waited briefly.  I mean... she hit me, doncha think she'd get out of her car and see if I was okay?  No.  In fact, it appeared that she disappeared.  So, I put my hazards on, and got out of my car and carefully walked back to her car.  Her head popped up (she had bent over) and she cracked her window thismuch... I swear, less than an inch.  Do I LOOK like an axe murderer?    I asked her if she was okay and she looked stunned.  Apparently, she hit her face on the steering wheel and was touching her nose and lip like she woke up a different person.  I suggested we exchange information and she started frantically pawing through her glove compartment.  I went back and looked at my car... get this, ZERO damage.  Not even a scratch.

I'm telling you... she SLAMMED into me.  Not a scratch that I could find on my bumper.  Her car looked Messed Up.  I walked back and asked her if her car was running.  She said, no, that she had turned it off.  I then calmly suggested that she at least put her hazard lights on so that the people coming up behind her could stop in time and avoid hitting us.  I was particularly concerned for MY life since I was the only one standing outside of the cars.

Finally she got out of the car and asked me if there was damage.  I told her I couldn't find any but pointed out her bashed up front end. She assured me her sister had done that in a different accident.  Needless to say, I didn't feel any safer.

Checking her face, I told her she wasn't bleeding.  She responded, "that was HARD". 


No duh.  You were driving too fast on ice and MY CAR stopped YOU from moving.  Yes, it was hard.

So, we went our merry way.  I don't think I drove faster than 25 miles an hour the whole trip home.  She was going slower than I was... she was pretty shaken.

I guess I was too.  After a few minutes to let the adrenaline drop, I looked down and thought my radio was missing out of my car, because there was a big black HOLE in the middle of my dashboard.  I blinked and had to really gather my wits about me.  No, it wasn't my radio missing... it was the space beneath the radio where I keep CD's and my car registration and insurance papers.  They were gone.

When I pulled into my driveway, I looked around my car.  She had hit me so hard that those things FLEW out of that space, and one item was in my BACK SEAT! 

Did I mention that there wasn't a mark on my car?  I hope I was seeing straight. 

Well... despite all of that, I do still intend to hold a giveaway something-or-other this weekend.  Keep a lookout.  As well as paying forward a blog award (thanks Cheri... more to come).

I think I need some Advil.

February 23, 2010


Once upon a time a person I knew used to bring these scrumptious super-deluxe chocolate covered pretzels into the store where I work. I loved them.  They were the perfect mix of sweet and salty.

Then she quit.  And I cried.

I missed the pretzels.

But her words echoed in my head: "they're super easy to do".  So I made them.  I made them again and again. I took some to family events, holiday parties and potluck lunches at work.

A few weeks ago, someone sidled up to me at the office and said that she remembered these "super yummy fancy chocolate covered pretzels" that were at this annual training event.  She said, "they really helped us get through it!".  Yes, yes... I'll make them for you again.

And so I did.  With The Hubs' help. We made these.

And these.

And this was The Hubs' masterpiece... three pretzels in one mean chocolatey package.

More than enough for both of us to take plenty to work and share tomorrow.

What a time for me to stop eating sugar!  (Yes, I had an M&M or three, and I licked my fingers once... but otherwise, I stayed true).

Sweet-n-salty.... Mmmmmmmmmm.

(PS> If you didn't read yesterday's post, please do... and leave me a comment about your giveaway preference.  Giveaway is tentatively slated to happen this weekend!)

February 22, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays...Time for a Giveaway??

First... thank you to EVERYONE who hopped on my soapbox to share your thoughts and experiences with the poison I call Splenda.  I really feel like I am in great company with my feelings.

Second... thanks for the support I got when I slipped on Friday with my mindless, albeit small, sugar intake.  One penny on the track need not derail the train.  I feel better.


Hmmm... I can't remember what my third was.  Hmmm... I'm sorry.  My brain is a little fuzzy wuzzy today.

So let me ask you this:  does sugar cause withdrawal symptoms?  Other than a viscious craving for sweets, I mean.  I am a'wondering if I have a touch of the flu or if my feelings of general "unwell" have to do with a sort of sugar withdrawal.   Just pondering.

Today is a blah day... it was raining, and it's a Monday.  Yeah, they always get me down.  Good thing it's almost over!  So, when you're feeling blah... what makes you happy?  Let's see...

I have a poll, of sorts.  Please answer the following using the scale provided:

I would like to win a scrapbooking giveaway from this blog by:
a)  Participating in a blog scavenger hunt, or
b)  Answering silly questions about scrapbooking, or
c)  Just leaving a comment, silly... I like the path of least thinking.

Let me know.  I want to do something fun, but if you'd rather I just generate a random number of one of all y'all leaving me comments, I can do that.

After all, I really do aim to please.  It's in my nature.  Ask anyone!

February 19, 2010

I Slipped...

I slipped... but just a little.  When I was on my soapbox about Splenda, I mentioned that I was giving up sugar for a trial period, just to see what would happen.  That was Sunday night when I made the decision and I was doing so well, until last night. 

It was mindless.  I wasn't even thinking.  I went to my 2nd job and picked up a pack of fruit gummies candies (any gummy candy is a draw for me)... it was one of those little snack packs you put in a child's lunchbox.  But they were in my stomach before it even dawned on me that they were sugar.



Well... back on track... I caught myself after I had eaten that one pack so I didn't gorge myself on tons more, like I would have before Monday.  I just hate it that I was so...


February 17, 2010

Welcome to Adulthood, M'Dear...

When I was a kid, I must admit that my mom was wonderful and took care of a lot of things for me, well into my adult years.  I don't know why she did it... whether it was a control thing on her part, or just because she loved me and wanted to do it.

Filing paperwork was something my mom just did for me.  Especially taxes.  I never filled out and filed my own tax return until I was (gasp) 25 years old!  I honestly didn't think much of it.  My mom just did it until I moved out of the house and to a different state.  Thanks, mom, that was awesome of you!  I even remember the first time I did it.  I was sitting on my bed surrounded by paperwork... tax instruction booklets, multiple tax forms (the one thing Mom did tell me was to do it in pencil first then copy it to a fresh form in ink), W-2s (multiple) and various other odds and ends.  I'm a smart girl... I had every bit of confidence I could do it, but as most of us know... tax forms aren't light reading material!  In the best case scenario, they're barely comprehensible!  But I did it... filed... refund... success!  What an accomplishment.

Now I'm a (step)mom and I have taken on some of my own mother's traits.  I filed taxes for our eldest daughter up until the time she left home.  Our son has been working for only 2 full tax years, and so, last year was the first time he ever had to file. As we were in a bit of a struggle with him, I just went ahead and filed for him, just to make it one less thing to "deal" with.  This year, however, I asked him if he wanted me to do it for him, or if he wanted to give it a try.  He said he'd do it, with my help.

Go, Boy, Go!  I was impressed.  I admit, there is a huge back story here that most of you don't know... but this was a HUGE step for my man-child to make into adulthood. 

Tonight was the night.  I have been "teaching" Boy to complete his taxes for the past three hours.  He just finished his last form.  Granted, tax filing is a bit more advanced these days.  He did two forms online (federal and local) but he filled out the state form via the good, old-fashioned paper route. 

I'm greyer.  I'm balder.  I'm a little hoarse, and my eyes hurt from all that (behind his back) rolling around... (because of him asking the SAME question 20 times).  My blood pressure is a little high from having to re-teach him basic math and correspondence skills.  Let me explain that last one... he told me he "didn't need" to know math and he "didn't need" to know how to address an envelope, because he has a calculator and email.  He was joking.  I was not.   It is one of my biggest frustrations and fears - his lack of "skills" which I attribute directly back to very poor homeschooling from his mother.  His older sister has the same struggles... oh, but that's a whole different soapbox.

In spite of it all, he did it.  I am so, so proud of him.  He did his taxes.  He's getting a mighty refund (what a great reward)!  And neither of us is dead.

When he was done and expressing his gratitude (in his own unique way) that it was over after three grueling hours, all I could say was, "Welcome to adulthood, m'dear." 

Ahhh, if only all children who yearn to "grow up fast" could understand... it's not all about what you "can" do when you grow up... it's about what you have to sometimes.

February 15, 2010

On My Soapbox: Splenda

Okay, in no way am I a doctor of any kind, nor am I a scientist. But I wanted to take a moment today to share my own feelings and thoughts about sugar, sugar substitutes and Splenda in general. Yes, I’m stepping up on my soapbox… apologies, but at least you have been forewarned.

First and foremost, I’m really tired of the FDA approving “safe” items such as aspartame (NutraSweet) and sucralose (Splenda) and then trying to brush aside any side effects or problems that occur from them. Really? Can you just come clean and say, ‘Hey, we’re human, we make mistakes, and by the way, this stuff has issues. Serious issues. Please be aware of them before you ingest them!” But they don’t. They just push it out so that the food makers and diet gurus can add them to our foods and push them as “healthy” and “calorie-free”.

Let’s think about this. How can calorie-free be healthy? Our bodies NEED calories to run. It’s our energy. Calories to our bodies are like gas to our cars. If we don’t take in calories, we don’t run for very long before we … uh… die. There are even foods out there that expend more energy to digest them than the calories they provide (like celery)... but they do provide calories.  But I, like so many others, want to find a way to be healthier, lose weight, without changing my life drastically (like giving up all things sweet). So, why not use Splenda… it’s “Natural” right? No… the makers of Splenda (Johnson & Johnson) don’t actually say that… their catch phrase is, “Splenda, made from sugar (or starts from sugar) so it tastes like sugar.” It doesn’t take a great leap to assume that if Splenda is made from sugar, and sugar is a natural substance growing from our earth, that Splenda must then also be natural. Right?

Wrong. They chemically altered sugar… substituting three parts of its makeup with cholorine (chlorinated sugar anyone?) to be sweeter than sugar but won’t affect insulin like sugar does. Sounds good, right? But if it’s chemically altered, it’s no longer natural. One person online likened the “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar” to oxygen and carbon dioxide. “Carbon dioxide – made from oxygen! Take a breath of fresh air.” Silly analogy, but it kind-of opens your eyes to the Splenda thing.

The makers of sucralose claim that the chemicals that are added aren’t absorbed by the body (although the FDA disagrees, stating that up to 27% can be absorbed). Therefore, those chemicals aren’t harmful to the body. (See a trend here?) Well, I argue that my body absorbs the sucralose and it’s being poisoned by it. Here’s my story…

A while back, over a year ago, I was plagued with a racing heartbeat and almost panic-like attacks. I realize I’m terribly overweight and that heart problems could be a growing issue from my weight. So, when the heart issue came up I went to see a doctor. She started me on all kinds of tests and freaked me out so much that I spiraled into a huge depression and a lot of anxiety. I couldn’t go back and see her, that’s how much anxiety I was in. I finally decided (with some help from some friends) to go see a different doctor, explaining to her my issues and whatnot. In the meantime, I had been drinking “energy” drinks (Rock Star Pomegranate), diet sodas, and Splenda in my hot tea to try and lose weight and stay awake. This new doctor convinced me to drop the Rock Stars (yes, I knew they weren’t “healthy” but I didn’t realize how much of a problem it was – taurine and that much caffeine are not good). She was guessing that I had developed a sensitivity to caffeine and that was what was causing my heart to race. I mentioned the Splenda possibility, since I had been having a lot of that recently, and she said racing heartbeat wasn’t a side effect of Splenda that she had heard. She really thought it was the caffeine. So, believing her, merrily I went continuing to drink my tea with Splenda.

The racing heartbeat lessened in frequency as did my desire to lose weight (sigh). I began to avoid all caffeine except for once a day – my morning beverage, typically a Coke Zero (sweetened with aspartame – NutraSweet – and as close to Coca-cola as I can get in a diet beverage) or a hot tea sweetened with good ol’ white table sugar. Now the only time my heart beat fast was when I was aerobically active (yes, this means simply walking upstairs, but I was trying to make it sound “officially” like I was doing my body good), or when I slipped up and drank a Rock Star.

Today, I firmly believe that Splenda is the cause of my racing heartbeat. And here’s why. Last night, I decided that I was going to stop eating sugar (added sugar and sweet things like cakes and candies, not things with sugar already in it like pasta sauce). I gave myself a pep talk and promised myself that I would have Splenda in my tea this morning… and I did.

I only got about halfway through my cup of tea this morning and my chest started to feel funny and my heart started pounding. I had shortness of breath and started feeling all panicky. Immediately I stopped drinking my tea. It took about an hour, but I stopped feeling my heart and felt calmer and was able to “catch” my breath. Now… keep in mind that for the past 5 months, I have been drinking hot tea every day during the work week, sweetened with sugar. I have not noticed any heart racing issues. Today, nothing else had changed. It was a flavor of tea I have drunk before. It was the same breakfast I had eaten last week. The only thing different was how I sweetened my tea.

People… I believe more completely than ever, that Splenda/sucralose is BAD. It is a poison that they are marketing as a “safe sweetener”. I have done the research today, and the racing heart is not an official acknowledged “side effect”… but there are many, many people stated they had also experienced it. The next time I see my doctor, I’m going to share this again with her, this feeling I had when using Splenda. I want her to understand that it is a side effect and that more people need to be aware of it. I wanted to share with you, my blogging friends, so you can also do the research. Migraine headaches are another side effect. Lethargy and brain-fogginess is another. I’m not pointing my finger, though, and demanding you stop using Splenda, if you’re okay with what it’s doing to you. Please, always take what you will from my soapbox, and leave the rest behind.

I’m not changing my mind, though, or my plan. I’m not going to eat added sugar for 2 weeks. But I’m also avoiding Splenda like the plague.

And later tonight, I’m headed to the store for some organic honey.

February 13, 2010

Sunshine & Passion

Did you ever wake up the next morning, pause in bed and then take a deep breath, letting it out into a sigh and feel how completely wonderful the previous evening or day was?  That's me, today.  The Hubs and I had a "date night" last night.  I can't remember the last time we went out, just us... way too long, for sure.  It was nice to get away even if only for a traditional dinner and a movie. 

Truly, the date night started early because, for me, it began at work when I received  these absolutely gorgeous roses for Valentine's day.

You know, a man gets bonus points for sending flowers to a place of business, because not only is that a very public display of affection, but it is also a way to make every female around the recipient jealous as hell!  Well... maybe not JEALOUS, but, well...I sure received quite a bit of attention in my office after receiving these beauties.  And the bonus points only last if he doesn't go overboard... like... men, don't send 365 roses for your one year anniversary (a rose for each day)... no.  Too much. 

But I digress...

I am not a cut flower person.  I don't HAVE to have them.  And The Hubs doesn't give them to me often, and that's quite fine.  It makes receiving them that much more touching and special... warm and fuzzy.  But I'm especially a sucker for yellow roses.  Maybe because I don't see them often.  Not nearly as much as white or pink or red. They are one of my most favorite flowers.  Yellow roses stand out to me and they softly embody sunshine.

These particular roses are highlighted in orange... which reminds me of a burning sunrise.  Or a heated sunset.  And they smell wonderful... not overly cloying like a rose in the heat of the sun, but softly and freshly scented.  They are the most beautiful yellow roses I have ever received. 

A great start to our date night.  We went to dinner at O'Charleys - Yum!  And then off to see Avatar in 3D.  I am in love with this movie as well.  I would live on this world if I could.  It was a wonderful night.

The Hubs. He did good.

Today is "In Love With Me" day... and Scrapbooking from the Inside Out is hosting a Cyber Crop.  That's a crop in your own home but with a ton of women cropping with you around the world, connected together only by a computer.  It's from 11am-10pm Eastern Time... so whereever you are in the world today, figure out what time that is in your time zone and then join us.  This month's emotion at SFTIO is PASSION (go figure... doesn't that fit right in with my post title?).  Please, come join us today at our crop celebrating YOU and stick with us all month long as we celebrate the various passions in our lives!

And perhaps, if I can get my eyes off these roses, I'll have a layout or two to share here with you.  Imagine... actual scrapbooked items on my blog!  No, no... don't faint... it could be possible!

For now, I must get ready.  I have to put these on my scrapbook table for inspiration:

Yeah, he did good.

February 11, 2010

Date Night!

I am so looking forward to Friday night.  The Hubs and I NEVER get a chance to go out... just us.  The kidlings are always around.  Or I'm working (too much)... or, well, the Hubs is a homebody.

Well, Friday night we are going out for a traditional "dinner and a movie".  I can't even remember the last time I have seen a film at the theater.  I know we're late to the table to see this movie but I am so excited!

February 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Before I get off into my post, I wanted to thank everyone who supported, pushed, gave incentives, feedback and general comments on my new scrap space.  It was a long time coming and I - Am - Loving - It!

So, it snowed pretty heavily again yesterday. After I got home from work, The Hubs and I took a little time out to play in it, with our doggies.  The photo above is Hunter.  He's a little short for the amount of snow we got... so this is him looking longingly at me in the middle of the yard, playing with our bigger dog, Rocky.  So sad, so jealous!

The Hubs chasing Rocky.  Hunter can walk under Rocky without crouching... check out how deep Rocky was in the snow.  No wonder Hunter stayed by the porch steps.

Just for fun I coaxed Hunter out to me in the middle of the yard.  He came out, but didn't want to stay.  I'm holding onto him just for the photo op.  Here he is looking longingly at the safety of the porch.  Ma, can I go in now?


Rocky pulled up a stick from under the snow... we tossed it for him twice and then he was done.  We think he got a cramp from jumping and plowing through the snow.  Poor old guy.  He's not as spry as he used to be.  We even had to take him around to the front of the house to let him in because he was whimpering and didn't want to go up the porch steps.

But after a few minutes inside and a lovely little massage from me, he was good as new and I would guess that he felt the same way we did.  It was fun!

The entire time I was outside, the song “Winter Wonderland” kept ringing through my head. Now in order to share some of my recent frustration, I’d like to share these lyrics. Please read through it pretty thoroughly, because I have question for you at the end of them:

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job when you're in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we've made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other kids knock him down.

When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

And so, I ask you… why is this considered a Christmas Carol? There isn’t a single Christmas reference in any of the lyrics. And yet, I was harassed, cajoled and bullied to take this song OFF of my cell phone as my ringback tune.

Just Because The Radio Gods Only Play This During The Holiday Season Does Not Make This A Christmas Carol.

I have the same feeling about Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg… just because the song’s timeframe is Christmas Eve, does not make this a Christmas SONG!

Whew. Sorry about that. I’ll go take some deep breaths and move on.

But first I’m going to put my cell phone ringback tone BACK to Winter Wonderland. Hah!

February 8, 2010

It's Finished! (aka The Scrap Room, The Finale)

Whew... while I'm so thankful to Sparky for posting a little update for me last night, I must say that he REALLY needs to stop moving things on me.  And The Hubs and I would really LOVE to find out where Sparky hid his wedding ring over 5 years ago!  *sigh*

Well, my blogging friends, I spent all weekend working on putting away all of the miscellaneous "junk" that I had previously been collecting on my old scrapbook table.  Everything is ... functional.  I will never be 100% organized, nor do I want to be.  I'm very adept and knowing where things are, even if they aren't in the "right" place, but what I did want was more space to spread out (check) and to lessen what I had surrounding me, as in, only the "essentials" on my table (check).  Of course, I do have MORE on my table now than I did when I was upstairs, but that's only because I have more room for it.  The biggest accomplishment was unpacking EVERYTHING that I was storing in my rolling tote and finding a "place" for it.  This is a  huge deal for me, because now when I go on retreats or go to crops, I don't have to unpack my tote of "stored items" just so I can repack it with what I'm taking. Talk about annoying.

Lest I continue on and on (and I had planned to show you the move, but why put off the finished product when it's ready?), how about a grand reveal?  Drum roll please....

Here is the best shot I could get of the whole space.  Remember, I explained previously, that this is an "L" shaped room and this part of it is the bottom of the "L".  So... I guess it would be a backwards L, if you want to be a stickler on shape.  Straight on is my husband's computer table "inside" the closet. To the left of his computer is some general storage.  To the right (inside the closet) is where I have stuffed my empty rolling tote, my still very full wood-block stamp tote and a bunch of boxes of photos from my dad's.  Also in the closet are my canvases and a few other things (frames, etc.) that I didn't have any other place for at the moment.

The black table on the right, MY space, comes up to the edge of the wall of this room and is pretty much lined up with the rolling card and cubes across the room.  If you can see the TV table with my camera bag sitting on it in the lower left of the photo, that's next to our couch, which defines the space of our TV room.

That black blob on the floor next to the bookcase is one of my dogs.

Allow me to take you on a tour, please.  And I'd love any suggestions or thoughts when we're done here...

Clockwise, around the room...

Here are my storage cubes from Crop In Style, although I think they have discontinued making them now.  They take up almost the whole wall.  It looks a lot bigger put together down here than when it was in my bedroom.  Weird how configuration can do that.  I had the cubes separated in my bedroom and the rounded corner shelves were on my scrapbook table (see what the old table looked like here).

The wooden computer cart on the far right will eventually be removed and the table that I used to use for scrapbooking will be brought down for the Hubs to use as a painting station (he paints miniatures and models).

The TV table that is standing to the far left of the photo is not usually up.  I was just using it as extra table space as I organized.

Here's the right side of the cubes... this side is a little more jumbled.  The bags on the 2nd shelf there?  Yeah, that's all paper and supplies I've purchased recently and haven't put it into a proper place yet.  You can see other bags sticking out from on top of the paper cubes as well.  I have a bad habit of doing that. 

I have also found, when I finally get around to unpacking it all, that I have purchased the same thing(s) more than once!

Here's my computer area, although it's not set up yet.  I use a laptop, and my husband has a docking station for it here, but he's still working on a computer for a friend (you can see the butt end of it on the lower shelf) so his computer stuff is all over here, still.  Once this is set up completely, I'll be able to use my Wishblade more often (I hope).  The Wishblade is hiding in the little cart at the bottom right of the photo.  You can see the white plastic of it.  This shelf pulls out and slides back in as needed.

Here's the left side of my scrappin' space.  I have made room for a kitty visitor with a cozy bed beneath the desk (left) and a space heater for my ankles also under the desk (right).

Here's a straight on shot of my table top.

And now we've come full circle.  The right-side view of my table.  We slid a small bookcase under the "lip" of the table, which is super helpful, because I always have books strewn about.  If I move my trimmer over toward my mat a bit, I believe my sewing machine could easily fit here, if I decide to get it out.  I haven't brought that down yet... still debating.

Well, there you have it!  Here's a gander, again, of the whole she-bang:

The Hubs still has all of his Raiders paraphernalia to put up and I have a few crafty projects I'll be doing so I can get them on the wall as well. 

So?  What do you think?  Me?  I'm super excited!!

February 7, 2010

sCrAT Room!

Yo!  What's up?  I'm Sparky... the King Cat of this house.  I was just pawin' around my mom's room... she was dead tired and she fell asleep before she could finish her blog about the finished toy room downstairs.  I think she calls it a... uh... sCrAT Room. It's got all kinds of fun things like strings and papers and these shiny papers with weird things on them that my sister Ashes like to chew.  Mom gets real mad at that because she says some of them are one of a kind and she doesn't have ... digi-paw or negatoy of it.  Ashes doesn't care... she marches to her own tune.

Anyhoo... I thought she'd be happy that I let you know that she was down working on the sCrAT Room from 11am all the way through the Superbolne.  The dogs didn't pay attention to that, whatever it was, but Mom let me snuggle with her for a few minutes before she went right back to work on putting the toys in special places.  She told me I was too heavy to hold, but I know the truth is she just wanted to get our room done tonight!  There will be plenty more time to snuggle later!

Before I go, I want to show you something:

This is one of my favorite things... because, of course, it talks about Cats.  It tells the absolute truth, by the way... and I help out whenever I can!  Anyhoo... she got this mug from a very good friend (who loves me!) and used to drink her tea in it until one of the other smaller humans dropped it and cracked it but good.  Now she's got these fun bristly things in it... I might steal one sometime and drag it for her to find in another part of the house.  That's my job!  Mom loves it when I move things for her!

So, now that you know our toy room is done, you'll have to come back tomorrow when Mom is awake and can show you what it looks like! 

In the meantime, I have to go move some things around, while Mom is asleep.  But first, I need to shout to my sisters for a while.  They're SO hard of hearing!


Scrap Room... Getting There

No photos of the completed room yet... just a quick update.

I have everything necessary moved downstairs now and have spent a good deal of time today trying to put things away.  I have a chair and a laundry basket FULL of odds and ends, though... and feeling a little distressed (and not the good kind of distressed) as to where things should go... or how I'm going to make them fit.  I have the table set up though, to a point where I think I have my "essentials" within reach.  I'd like to get my wood-block stamps up on a shelf, but will have to wait for my bro-in-law to make that for me and I think I just might have room to put my sewing machine up on the table, which I'm very excited about.

For now... here's a teaser... and a reminder. 

The before photo:

Yep... my huge scrap pile o' junk.  *sigh*

But here is the table that I'm talking about... a teaser of the "after"...

A blank slate.  Wellllll.... not anymore! 

I promise to post more tomorrow, IF... and only IF... I get my laundry basket completely "unpacked" and put away properly.

G'night for now all...

February 5, 2010

Out My Back Window

This morning when I woke up there was no snow on the ground.  Maybe a bit in parking lots where it had been plowed up, but otherwise... no snow.

Then, about 10am, it started to fall.  I watched it... little flakes, but lots of 'em.  11:30, the flakes were big and sloppy wet.  I cold tell the roads were getting slushy.  2pm the cars in the parking lot were covered completely and the trees had beautiful inches of snow on the branches.  4:30pm I was home, soaking wet from the humungous wet flakes falling outside.

I LOVE it.

One of my sisters recently sent me a new bird feeder as a belated Christmas gift.  After I braved the nasty roads home, I spent a few moments looking out my back window at the gorgeous snowflakes falling.  I also could not help but notice 12 or 14 birdies fighting for seats on the one lonely bird feeder I already had out there.  So, I filled my new gift and set it outside so that there could be more room at the inn.

Then I sat by my back window and within a few scant minutes, this is what happened:

No Birdies (My sister's new feeder gift is in the foreground)

One Birdie...

MORE Birdies!!

And someone who liked hangin' around...

And my special guest for the evening (so glad I caught him on camera)...

D'ya know what's odd about my having bird feeders and taking photos of the company that visits them?

I'm terrified of birds!

February 3, 2010

The Beginning of the End... Awesome!

Okay, all my Lost friends out there, I promise not to wax rhapsodic on the season premiere last night... but Oh!  Do I ever want to!  I think it set this last season up nicely to be just as full of questions and non-answers as any other season.  Just enough "answers" to forgive the enormous amount of new questions... just enough Hurley-isms... just enough of my eye-candy Sawyer with a large helping of a lot of intense emotions.

Wow!  I am so excited to see where it is taken through the rest of this season.  I truly hope I am not disappointed by the "wrap up", but so far, I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I have some thoughts and questions, though (don't read any further if you haven't seen the show and still want to be surprised) that I'd like to share and... maybe... get some comments?

1)  So... if the Locke-Lookalike is the Man in Black and the Smoke Monster, but WASN'T powerful enough (or whatever) to kill Jacob... how did bullets bounce off his chest?

2)  Where the heck have the other Others (the group in the temple) been hiding all this time?  And if Richard is part of the original Others that Ben became the leader of... who are THESE Others?

3)  Why does ash protect against the Smoke Monster/Man in Black/Locke-Lookalike?

4)  If Boone was on the plane-that-did-not-crash, where the heck was his sister Shannon?  She was on the original plane that did crash.  Apparently they had been traveling together.  hmmmmm....

5)  Where did Desmond go after talking with Jack?  And what was with the mark on Jack's neck.

6)  What do YOU think Juliette meant when she told Sawyer "We should meet for coffee ... we could go dutch!" and is that connected to her very important message delivered by Miles?

7)  Why did SOME of the Oceanic travelers on the plane-that-did-not-crash have COMPLETELY different lives... like Hurley as the "luckiest man in the world" when others were very much in the same life... like Kate, who was still in handcuffs for murdering her stepfather?

8)  If the non-clear waters (that were supposed to be clear) did not heal the Temple Leader's hand when he cut it... how did it end up "healing" Sayid?

9)  When Kate woke up from the flash, she was in a tree, but everyone else was on the ground (perfectly perpendicular to the hatch)... why was she up there when she started on the ground with them?

10)  Why did the dialog between Jack and Rose on the plan completely reverse on the plane-that-did-not-crash?

11) And last, but not least... what is up with the promo photo (above) in the form of The Last Supper.

Because, you know, no detail is unintentional.

Okay... truly... I could go on and on and on... but I won't. I just wanted to get the more nagging questions off my chest.  Tomorrow, I'll be back to my normal (is there a normal?) blog topics.  Although, I just might have to vent a little every Wednesday until Lost ends.  Oh, and please... JUMP in and share your Lost-isms if you're a fan.  I'm really a tad obsessed with it and love to talk about it!

Thank you, non-Lost-fans, for your patience! 

Now... Go!  Comment!

February 2, 2010

It's Here! It's Here!

I was going to post a little more about my scrapbook room.

Then, I thought I'd share some pictures showing my progress in my "Wreck This Journal".

Then it dawned on me what day this is.  Tuesday.  February.  Second.  Two Thousand Ten.

What does this mean?  This is a very important date!

I will be glued to my TV from 8pm-11pm.

There will be no working on the scrapbook room.

I will not be taking pictures of my Wreck This Journal.

Because.  It is...

The Beginning of The End.

February 1, 2010

The Scrap Room Part Deux

Hello!  Welcome to February (can you believe it?!)

I must say, I'm still pretty tired after all the moving and shaking yesterday, plus my first day back in the office after traveling last week, but I wanted to get online and share a little more of my "journey to my scrapbook room".  So... let's show some more of this lovely transformation.  I'm not ready to unveil my final scrap space yet, because, well... it's not done yet.  But closer than ever!

So, if you missed the beginning of the story, catch up here.  You really must see the "before" to appreciate the transformation of this space.

So... after looking around at the "man cave" when the hubs suggested that I move my scrappy supplies downstairs to that space,  we talked and planned and talked some more.  About the same time, my office was downsizing in space and furniture and had an auction on old items and supplies.  I put my bid in on a few things and a friend commented, "if you had the room for it, wouldn't that be a great scrapbooking table?"  I blinked.  I thought, "I don't have the room for it now, but I soon will..."  I hesitated briefly.  I bid.  On a solid black 3' x 6' conference room table that was in pieces.  A golden buy at my $25 bid!

After winning, I went home and told the hubs about the spectacular deal I got him on a new computer desk... and oh, by the way, I bought a scrapbooking table.  And... gee whiz... I just don't think it will fit the way we planned.  Now, that sounds a little conniving, but it wasn't.  I really didn't think about it when I bid on the table, but it would be too much when compared to how we planned the space with my original table.  The hubs... bless him... said he'd "take the closet" and I could have the rest of the space. 

Gulp.  Now I wasn't only taking over his man cave partially... I was shoving him into a closet!

I'm not without guilt.  In fact, I probably have more than my fair share.  And so, to "make it up to him" for his gracious move into the closet (he really did sound like he was excited over it), I started making my own plans.  If I was going to take over his space, at least I could do was concede my ever-present resistance to football and paint it in his favorite team's colors.

He's an Oakland Raiders fan. Silver and Black.  Off I went to visit Home Depot and find some silver and black paint.  The hubs didn't know any of what I was planning.  I wanted it to be a surprise.

Most years, I take my mother's birthday off from work, to celebrate her memory.  Last year, I planned a paint-the-room day.  I woke up and got dressed for work like every other day... I kissed the hubs goodbye and took the boy to work. (And I did this becuase it never fails that if I plan a "me" day off from work, someone else gets sick or decides to stay home too.) After I dropped him off, I had a relaxing bagel and chai tea at Panera before meandering over to Home Depot when they opened, where I bought the paint, tape and brushes. Then I traipsed home for a very busy day.  I had to move furniture and a buncha-junk to prep the walls first by sanding and cleaning the spackle, then tape up the edges.  I painted a primer on most areas since the walls were untreated.  Then two coats of paint.  Granted, it was one wall and the space around the closet... not a lot... but still... all of this between 9am and 5pm.  I rocked!

When the boys got home, the Hubs came downstairs, surprised to see my car in the driveway, asking, "when did you get off work?"  Then he stopped in his tracks, as I looked over at him, feeling a little guilty, where I was touching up one area of the wall. 

"Do you like it?" I asked.  I then hurridly explained my reasoning for the colors... silver with black accents... to celebrate the Raiders since I was taking over most of the space.  He was very impressed with how much I got done... and really liked it.  He even got changed and helped me finish up the closet moulding. And he moved back all the furniture for me (temporarily).

And then he said, "I want to paint the ceiling and the closet," ... and he did the next weekend!

It certainly was a great improvement... but there was still... so... much... junk!

Straight on shot... that's the closet the Hubs offered to move into, before he painted it.  We had lots of junk to get rid of first!

That's "my side" of the room... when I gamed and used my computer desk.  Now it was just a junk holder.

I didn't paint the paneling, although I was tempted.  The problem is that it wraps around the rest of the finished basement... where we watch TV and play Wii, etc.  I don't think I would be able to stop it at the edge of this area and still have it look okay... so I just left it alone.  When in doubt, right?  Besides, my scrapbook storage cubes will cover most of this wall...

This is the Hubs' side... at least until the closet gets cleared.  MUCH better than the unfinished drywall we've been looking at for over 9 years!  And what was even better?  He fixed the wiring so it's not all over the place!  Sweet!

I can't wait to show you the finished product... but I want to wait until I have things looking a little... no, a LOT... less messy than they are right now.  Soon.... very soon....


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