Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We lost our kitty yesterday...


We found her under Joel's car. He'd just refilled his anti-freeze on Saturday, so we think she may have licked the drips. We'll never know for sure. She was a very, very sweet kitty. Great mouser too. I figure she was about 8 years old. She was born in my closet. I gave her a love and a pet when I put her out at 5am, and we found her about 1:30.
I am SICK! Send any good wishes/vibes/prayers my way. I've been getting up to work, and then going back to bed for the rest of the day. I also need a crack seamstress who can make my daughter's dress for her first church youth dance tonight. Any takers? It's an easy pattern!
Anyway, just keep us in your thoughts. The kids were pretty upset about the kitty. Even Joel, who wasn't the cat's biggest fan, will miss her mousing skills.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ring out Wild Bells~

Christmas all goes by in a blur, doesn't it...

Ah, December! I know it's not quite finished yet, but I've been thinking of a way to sum up the month. In December, we celebrate;
  • one birthday (daughter J)
  • two anniversaries (mine and my husband's parents)
  • one memorial moment--my Grandmother's birthday is also in December, and even though she's no longer with us, I like to take a moment and remember her on her birthday.

We also particpated in:

  • 4 Christmas concerts. One band concert for J, two stake Christmas Community Concerts, one special Sunday meeting. Sometimes there are elementary concerts, but the snow the last week of school changed that. J plays in two bands at her school--the Varsity band, and the "by appointment only" Jazz band.

And, of course, there is things to make! I made

  • dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies
  • several loaves of bread
  • cinnamon rolls for Christmas day breakfast
  • 4 pairs of pajama pants
  • 3 shopper totes
  • one new bracelet
  • one "Cute Skirt" for J.

There was more things to be made, but that was all I was successful at. I also got new glasses this month. Love them! Instead of a wireless, disappearing frame, I went with something a little more trendy.

My and my sweetie. A quickie pic taken today. We don't have many pictures together, and those we do are usually thanks to Joel's long arms. Here's to sixteen years together! Still going strong, and grateful for the good in our marriage. I'll post something schmoopy later.
One of my December Anniversary surprises was a new Flip Camera. This has been a fun tool to play with this month. And because of that, I can leave you with this gem--I call it "Boy with Cookie."
video
I hope your December is finishing up as delightful as mine is! Here's to another new year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If you are still doing some last-minute shopping...


May I recommend The Dirty Soap Company?

This is my sister's soap company and it's WONDERFUL! She makes terrific soaps and other body care products. If you have anyone with sensitive skin in your family, you should check out her line of fragrance free/stuff free products. You will love them. It some of the nicest soap I've ever used! And--she is having a free shipping promotion. Just enter SHIP4FREE as your promotional code when you check out.

You'll love it, I promise! I really can't say enough good things about it! And since it's handmade, you can count it as part of your Homemade Christmas goodies!

Friday, December 5, 2008

An Ultimate Handmade Christmas List

Sew, Mama, Sew! has compiled the ultimate Handmade Christmas list. I would have called it that even if they didn't already, because that so perfectly sums up what it is! Follow the link to more links for recipes, tutorials and more!

Hope that helps someone get a handle on their holidays.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yesterday, she turned fourteen


And I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for this next phase of her life. She's my oldest, and I depend on her a lot. Sometimes more than I should. So far, we are navigating the murky waters of teenhood pretty well. I hope that continues. Something I DO know, is that she is amazing, and I'm proud of her all the time and glad she is mine.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Go-See! Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas

If you've ever wanted a step-by-step tutorial for some great and grungy collage looks, head to Tim Holtz's blog for his repeat of his 12 tags of Christmas. LOTS of great ideas and techniques for his products, plus a daily giveaway!

While you're there, you can check out LAST year's tags, and get other technique ideas as well.

You won't regret it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things I Know Today--Grateful Edition

Crater Lake Oregon. Taken by me in 2006 (I think)
  • I miss my mother terribly--but I'm grateful for the 14 months we had while they lived here.

  • I'm grateful that my 5 year old seems to be outgrowing his speech delay and other delays in leaps and bounds. He's already starting to read to me and is hungry for knowledge each day. Go Mrs. Weldon! (she was H's kindergarten teacher as well, and she is a fantastic teacher!)

  • I'm grateful that my almost 14 year old daughter still talks to me about the important things on her mind.

  • I'm glad that we can spend Thanksgiving with so much of Joel's family. He's one of 9 children, and 7 of them live close enough to come to Thanksgiving. Our family dinners usually include about 50 people. One remarkable year we only had 35. I've never cooked a turkey. But I've peeled lots of potatoes (well Joel does most of the peeling) for mashed potatoes.

  • I'm grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. I'm grateful for the time when people work together for the greater good.

  • I'm grateful for all of my material blessings. We are lucky enough to enjoy several wants and have no unfufilled needs.

  • I'm grateful for the knowledge that I am a daughter of God who knows me and loves me.

  • I'm grateful for an extended network of loving supportive friends. There are times when it's my friends who get me through the day.

  • I'm also grateful for those who read this blog. I'd probably write anyway, but it's nice to know people are reading what I have to say.

  • I'm grateful for my kids, my husband, and the togetherness our little family enjoys.

  • I'm grateful for paper and crafty outlets.

  • I'm glad I can sing. I love singing.

  • I'm grateful for hugs and kisses from my kids

  • I'm grateful my middle child H has started coming into my room to talk to me about girls before going to bed. I sometimes worry that he gets lost in our daily life. I like being able to connect with him each night.

  • I'm grateful for my health. I'm learning that you can't take it for granted.


I'd like to encourage you to give some definitions to what you are grateful or thankful for. Not just because of Thanksgiving, but because it can really help your perspective. Perspective, in my opinion, is a good thing. Hopefully, you'll find you have more good in your life than you thought.



And that's the other side.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Free CD Case Calendar



I've added a link in the "free downloads" section for a Downloadable CD Case calendar. It's purposely left very bare--perfect for your inner minimalist, or decorate it up with stamps, stencils, patterned paper, and so on to fit your tastes. You'll want to cut it into 5 3/4 inches by 4 5/8 inches to fit in your CD Case. Enjoy! If you make it, link back here in the comments section so we can see it! Thanks!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things I Know Today


Practicing "Ghost" images with H



  • There's nothing quite like a Snickers bar when you've got your crave on. (although the full-size bar is almost too big!)

  • In order to make life worth living, EVERYONE needs to be passionately inspired by something--whether it's a great conversation, a neat creative project, a good book, time to yourself, time with your kids, your job--everyone needs to be inspired by something to get the most out of life

  • I am SO VERY STOKED about a series of classes I am designing for next year at Stampin'Cat. Called "No Ordinary Stories," my plan is to have this be part journal prompt, part personal history, part mixed-media collage, part art journal, and part bookmaking. It's going to be an awesome ride!

  • A bright sunny day hovering at 70 degrees is the perfect antidote for gray, rainy, colder days.

  • When the day is bright and sunny, it's nice to have one great song after another come on the radio.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Alcohol Ink Magnetic Advent Calendar

I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out! This is one of my November classes for Stampin'Cat. I wanted to make a magnetic Advent Calendar for some time; I had a clear vision in my head how I wanted it to turn out. It took longer than I thought it would though! I used Alcohol Inks to change the color of the tin, and some other products from Making Memories, Paper Accents and so on. I used the Slot Punch attachment set for the Making Memories Instant Setter to make the flaps on the folded pieces.

Products:

This is a Service Advent Calendar. The inserts all involve things to do--some for other people ("Put money in a bell-ringer's jar") Some for yourself ("Kiss under the mistletoe"). I'll have the formatted squares in the Downloadable section of the blog in case you want to make your own. I was really thrilled with how it all went together!

Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

From this:
To This:

Happy Halloween!

Things I Know Today


*written as I waited in line at the middle school to pick up J.*



  • I want to write in my Journal more

  • I miss sleeping past 4am

  • I really need to exercise more

  • I like blogging and writing and miss it when I don't do it

  • I like taking pictures

  • I want to find something I can make and sell on etsy unique enough to be mine and something that people will buy that I can make quickly enough to be worth it

  • I'm happy in my marriage

  • I'd like to be a better student of the gospel

  • I can't remember much of my New Year's resolutions/goals

  • I still want to write my novel

  • lately I feel like a lazy person who would rather vege than do much else. Maybe it has somthing to do with not sleeping past 4am

  • we need to prepare better for the future

Just random thoughts that were swimming through my head as I waited that day. I had the urge to write them down so grabbed my journal as I went out the door. For some backstory: I started writing a Young Adult novel last year about this time. I really love this story, and there are times that it consumes me. Yet I am having the trouble making the time to write it out. It's still important to me though, and I'd really like to finish it. The 4am stuff? It's my new job. I've been tutoring Korean children over the phone. They are in Korea, I'm in Oregon. They read assigned newspaper articles and basically I quiz them on it. They give me a summary, we discuss it, we have vocabulary words. 10 minute lessons in all. I've been enjoying working with the students, and find it crazy that when it's 4:30 am my time, it's 8:30 pm the same day in Korea. I work for about four hours, so by the end of my shift, it's after midnight for them. Crazy!


I've been thinking a lot about preparing for the future. Buying one or two food storage items when I go shopping each time. Trying to think of what we can do without. Planning a homemade Christmas as much as possible. I'm really grateful that for once, my hubby did what we've been talking about and had a small portion of each paycheck put into savings this year so that we actually have a small fund for Cmas purchases already set aside. I'm also grateful that my kids don't have a huge sense of entitlement. That helps.


So what's on your mind today? Write it down, make a list, or blog about it. If you blog about it, leave a comment and a link so we can all support each other.


Tell us what you know today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some Good Advice from Glenn Beck

I found this on the'net and thought it was too good to keep to myself. Some really great advice about a situation we are ALL facing right now.

Glenn Beck: "Get Ready..."

I don't talk about politics very often here, but as I said, we are all going to be dealing with this. Let's get ready and meet things head on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Updated my Playlist!

Scroll down to hear my playlist. It won't start automatically--that always freaks me out on other blogs.

I know that I've promised you more "I Carry Your Heart" entries. I've been super busy with my new job. I will get to it soon. I have lists of things for Handmade Christmas ideas. Lists! Lists I must share!

Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Six Secrets

Jill tagged me and challenged me to share Six Secrets on my blog. I've shared through blog memes in the past, but maybe now I have different readers so it would be worth sharing again. Who knows?!?

Here goes:
  1. I've moved over 50 times. Once I hit 50, I stopped counting. Mostly small moves within the same city, but still...that's a lot. We've lived in our current house now for 5 and half years. That's the longest I've had one address my entire life.
  2. I was on the fencing team in Junior College. At the one tournament we had (it was a small school) I beat all the other female fencers. And a lot of the guys. I wish I'd been able to keep it up. I liked it a lot.
  3. I started singing when I was 3 years old. I still sing every week. It's one of my favorite things to do.
  4. I was a contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire in it's heyday in the year 2000. I met Regis. I didn't win anything. We had a carryover contestant that took the bulk of the taping time. I totally got gypped. Usually they have 4 "fastest finger" round per episode. When I taped, there was only two. The only guy who beat me in the practice rounds was in the chair when we finished taping. Statistically, I would have been next. At least, that's what I tell myself. Either way it was a fun experience! (and no, I've not scrapbooked the pictures yet. I was trying to figure out the best way to showcase them).
  5. I can't stand pickles or ketchup. I don't even like the smell of ketchup. Blech! I buy it for my family--who love it. That's how selfless I am. I even wash their ketchup-y dishes.
  6. It's not really a secret, especially among those that know me well, but I LOVE bargain hunting at thrift stores and the like. It really makes my day to find something wonderful for just pennies on the dollar. Like a few weeks ago, I picked up a brand new piece of Pampered Chef stoneware for $5. I love the thrill of the hunt!

That's all I could think of for now. I'll tag Allanna and Satina, Cate (who deserves a shout-out anyway for being a loyal blog reader!) and anyone else who wants to play. Just leave a comment here so we can follow you to your blog!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Go-See! Halloween Miniature!

I am IN LOOOVVVE with this super-cute Halloween Minature. Makes me want to run to JoAnn's and get a fake pumpkin. If you scroll down a bit, her fall tree paintings (a project you can do with your kids) is pretty awesome as well. Heck, the whole thing is bursting with interesting, kid-friendly, fall crafty projects. Take a look around while you are there; I know I'll be hovering for a bit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Carry Your Heart Part One Half

First, you need to print out the copy of the poem. I'd print it out on a cream colored cardstock. This is an important part of the faux handwriting technique that I'll explain later.

I'll post pictures tomorrow. The first thing you want to do is notice that I've put a link to the .pdf of the handout I used when I taught this class at Stampin'Cat on the side of my blog. There's a .pdf there for the previous class I taught on this blog, "A Little Bit Me" (tag: ALBM). Those will help you as well. I still plan to post step-by-step pictures, but haven't quite gotten my act together yet. I wanted to get you started, however.

So: First Steps. Ink one side and the edges of your coaster with your Distress Inks (or other inkpad). I used the Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Vintage Photo. We don't want any white edges to show. If your coasters are another color, you might want to skip this step. Just choose coordinating patterned paper.

I'll tag these blog class posts with this tag: ICYH. That way, you can go to the "labels" section and see all the posts at on time if you need to. Questions? Leave a comment.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Carry Your Heart--part of Handmade Christmas

I'll be posting the next few steps of the "I Carry Your Heart" class later this week as part of my Handmade Christmas series. Thanks to all who have been patiently waiting. Isn't it funny how life sneaks up on you and demands your attention?

See you soon!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Clear Stamp Storage





Storage for clear stamps can be a tricky issue. I used to have mine in binders--until I outgrew that system. I still liked the ease of sliding them in and out of page protectors, so I tried something else. I have mine on a free-standing paper towel holder. I put binder rings around the page protectors and then filled them up with clear stamps. For the smaller sets, I used the half-sized page protectors. I punched holes in my CTMH sets and put them on the binder rings also. So far, it's working out beautifully. I have all of my "cling" type stamps (some of mine are rubber as well) in one place. Which was my biggest goal. I hated rummaging through three different kinds of storage for a stamps that essentially functioned the same way.

I found a simple free-standing paper towel holder--just the long middle bar, no others--at Goodwill (it's this ethos paper towel holder --but mine is white). I put three binder rings around the holder and put page protectors onthe rings...it's similar to the idea of the 7 gypsies holder but I think mine is easier,because it can be adapted to all sizes of stamps and because I can use regular page protectors instead of specialty ones. In those page protectors, I put my clear stamps. The larger Technique Tuesday stamps go in the full size protectors--as does my Inque Boutique cd case stamps. The smaller stamps are in half-size page protectors. I put sheets of cardstock in the page protector if it was a little floppy. When I need to use a particular set, I just slide it out of the protector (once your rings are full, it can be beastly to open and close them--much easier to just slide out what you want). If I am traveling to a class with my stamps, I just put them in another page protector or a plastic bag to protect them. I've had my stamps organized this way since May, and as I've said before, it is working out beautifully!


I hope that helps some of you!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Are you ready for another Blog class?

I have one up my sleeve....

Remember the Art book I wrote about in this post? That's what we'll be doing!

Gather up 8 coasters (or chipboard cut into 4x4 squares) 8 pieces of patterned paper (just a bit smaller than your coasters) some Distress Inks, some Paint, a black journaling pen (preferably an 08 nib size) glitter, Diamond Glaze, a craft mat, a rubber brayer, and some adhesive. And some letter stamps with black ink.

More details (and a pdf) coming soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

File under "S" for Stupid


Or, how NOT to blend homemade tomato soup that's been simmering/boiling for awhile. Or that you should really use the lid that came with your blender rather than just covering the top of it with a cream cheese container lid. Or that you shouldn't blend boiling hot soups on high. Thank goodness for first aid training! This would have been worse if I hadn't had any. Thank goodness I only hurt myself, thank goodness my oldest daughter was home to help me and to clean up the mess. Thank goodness it was only a 1st degree burn (well, maybe 1 and a half degrees, if there is such thing).
I'm going to buy an Immersion blender. I don't want to risk doing this again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

As Promised: Fall in Oregon

Fall in Oregon is a beautiful thing.

The sun is shining and the sky is a bright blue. The air is cold and crisp. It doesn’t look cold, but you can feel the shift in temperature as soon as you step outside. You can smell the difference; you can smell the edge of the chill.
You can feel it all the way to your toes when you inhale deeply.

It’s a delicious shiver.

Fall is a respite from the rains of spring which sometimes linger into summer. It’s a chance to see the sky before the rains of winter.

We are lucky to see evidence of earth and growing and harvest all around us. The richness is a part of the earthy smell in the air—the good kind of earthy. The kind that makes you wish you had planted a garden this year after all, so you can taste the corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, and other squashes.


I love the colors of fall.

I love the changing of the leaves—the bright pinks of the sugar maples, the salmons and scarlets of the Japanese maples, the brown of the oaks and the gold of the ginkgos. I love the crunch of the leaves. I relish the orange of the trees against the blue of the sky. The colors sing to me.
I love the catalogs with the new colorways announcing the shift from the bright and shiny to the deeper colors and textures of the shorter and colder days.

I love the names of the colors: pumpkin, loden, terracotta, aubergine, plum, cranberry, and moss; love the deep richness of the colors themselves.
We (my children and I) plan costumes and Halloween. We plan that the children will need to layer under their costumes to keep warm. We plan for wet, we plan for mud, and we plan for umbrellas and raincoats. I buy the candy we like to eat because the past five years have taught us that few trick-or-treaters will brave the dark of our street to get the treats at the end. We carve our own pumpkins and put them out as sentinels to light the way.

I don’t mind the mucky visits to the pumpkin patches with the school field trips. I know now to bring my own plastic bag to sit on so the wet haystack doesn’t seep through my coat and pants. I know to wear boots and bring an extra pair of shoes for my child. I bring another plastic bag for the mud-covered boots. There’s no way we are getting out of that pumpkin patch with just a pumpkin or two. The muck is coming with us.

At least there will be apple cider at the end. It has its own glories.

Fall makes me want to light candles, to wrap up in sweaters, to read books warm and cozy in my home. I switch from the lighter fragrances of summer to the deeper scents of fall. I trade my pink grapefruit and lemon verbena for cinnamon cranberry and orange evergreen.

It’s time to bake pies and bread, to fill the house with the smells of yeast and apple and comfort.

It’s time to hunker down and nest, snug for the season.

It’s fall in Oregon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Projects for Stampin'Cat: Celebrating Fall

I'm calling this class "Celebrating Fall." I wrote an original essay about Fall in Oregon (which I will post here in it's entirety), scavenged my photo files for pictures that would fit, and used some vintage clip art from Dover Publications (did you know they give you free clip art each week when you sign up for the newsletter--it's come in handy! Just follow the "Free Samples" link at the bottom of the page). It was nice to use up some old Basic Grey letter stickers on this project--I bought a bunch on clearance and then realized I don't really use letter stickers all that much. Time to share the wealth in my classes!


Speaking of classes--I'm thinking of having another blog class--would you like that? Leave a comment and let me know.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Wedding was a Wonderful Thing!

I felt honored to be a part of it. More Later!








Friday, September 5, 2008

Bike Update

After the bike disappeared, I made sure to tell my neighbors--I mean, we are all a little lax about what we leave out because of our relative isolation. One neighbor (who has a son J's age) offered her the bike his ex-wife left behind. It's nicer than the one that was stolen, and he didn't need it at all. It worked out for the best. It's now kept inside the garage!

I'm shooting my first wedding today, so send me all your good vibes!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Headines Don't Sell Papes--Newsies Sell Papes!

Nelsons in Gray hats. H. is wearing one of the Newsie bags I made
J. was moving...
"We need an earthquake..."
"...or a war" (lamenting the bad headline of the day, and wanting something that would help them sell more "papes")
I forgot which scene this was, but I liked the action. Nelson kids towards the left

getting ready to go on strike and fight back for the Newsies rights
"And the world will know..." (my two kids are in the front in the matching gray hats)

It's a fine life! Carrying the Banner! Yay! We beat 'em!

All in all, it was a terrific way to end the summer. My kids had a lot of fun, learned some, and made some friendships. I hope we are invited back to particpate next year. If not, we'll have to invite ourselves!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What-the-Heck?

Today we noticed that my daughter's bike was gone from our yard. This leaves me feeling blue and bummed and annoyed and a bit incredulous.

Let me paint the picture for you. We live at the end of a street that's at the end of another street. None of these areas are high-traffic areas. If you are driving down our street, you are either delivering mail or have a specific purpose for your visit. Strange cars in the area are noticed because they are out of the ordinary. The bike was about 9 years old--I think it was a no-name brand, 21 speed mountain bike that was originally about $100 at Fred Meyer. It wasn't nice, pretty, or even desirable. It had slightly rusty handlebars. I doubt it has resale value intact or in parts. It was transportation and a little independence for my oldest daughter. She could take herself to babysitting jobs in the area, to visit her friends, and so on. It had a locked Krypton bike lock held high on the frame with zip ties (we lost the keys for it about 6 years ago). It's been outside our house now for 5 years. Only recently had my daughter cleaned it up, lubricated the stiff parts, and started using it. Our yard is littered with kid stuff. The majority of our neighbors (and the entire neighborhood) is retirees.

Her helmet was with the bike. It's gone too. I'm just disgusted about it.

One of my neighbors has his girls visit on the weekends. They like to come over and play with my kids. My kids like them because there simply aren't any other kids in the neighborhood to play with. It helps that they are nice and polite and generally a lot of fun to hang out with. That's why we noticed it was gone--everyone came over to ride bikes and play together. One of the girls went up and down the street asking about the bike--no one had seen it. Not surprising, really. Most retired people don't need a girl's bike.

I'm just feeling mad! While it wasn't worth much, it is something that won't necessarily be easy to replace. I did just start another job (more on that later!) but since I haven't worked all summer, our budget is pretty tight right now (as is most of America). I hadn't planned on buying another bike. In fact, I was glad she had it because it cut down on my gas usage for her small trips around to friends, etc. She even rode to play practice a few times.

What a crappy thing to happen. Hopefully, we'll go out sometime this week and find it in the yard again. We heard rumors that some other children of divorce that sometimes spend time at their grandparents house (conveniently located next door to me) have been riding our kids' bikes when we are gone. Maybe they "borrowed" it and just haven't returned it yet. We'll see.

Still, it makes for a lousy end to our summer vacation.

Yesterday he ordered off the regular menu

and I'm not sure I'm ready for him to leave the kids menu behind...

More Newsies pictures coming.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Backyard Plays

For the last two weeks my kids have been involved in another Mom's backyard play. It's something she's done for the last four years. She organizes, produces, directs, etc. an abridged version of a musical. This is the first year we've participated. They are doing "Newsies." This show is based on the newspaper boys strike of the late 1800's. It's been fun for my kids so far. I should mention that this friend of mine was also the Cub Camp Director for our Boy Scout District, and is in charge of the children's worship organization at church. She is always doing something, and usually does it beautifully! I'm glad my kids could have this opportunity. I love theater, and this is a good way to pass that bug on to them. All I've had to do is help gather their costumes, sew a few newsie bags, and make their hats! (well, and get them to rehearsal from 1-4 each day the past few weeks). Today is their first performance. Of course I will take pictures. I'm really looking forward to it!

I'll share some more later this week!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Go-See! Home Decor Canvas Project

Heather Nichols, of the PaperTrey Ink Design Team (among other talents) has the sweetest project on her blog right now! I want to rush out to buy a canvas and make one myself! Go check it out--you'll want to make one too!

Canvas Home Decor Wall Art

Go spend some time looking around her blog---I've long been impressed by her creativity and her work.

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Playlist!

I figured out how to add my playlist to the bottom of my blog. It's not on autostart, so you'll have to scroll down and click play. I was able to find the majority of my 18 song playlist I have to my MFT friends. The playlist has 48 songs in it, so just know that the disc I gave out ends after the song "Broken" by Antigone Rising.

Enjoy!

My Favorite Things--Simple Shopper Tote


So! My gifts for the annual My Favorite Things Party consited of four things: a framed picture I took of a pretty bluff in Yellowstone Park this summer--I called it your "Find a Happy Place Happy Place" for those times when you need a happy place, a mix cd

with some of my favorite female musicians on it (I called it my "Salute to Strong Women" mix, a pocket hand lotion---I am almost never without hand lotion! And, lastly, to hold it all together, a simple shopping tote made from fat quarter pieces of fabric I'd been collecting. I used this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew for the basics of the bag (but instead left off the outside pocket, used ribbon for the handles, and the fat quarters decided the size of my bag) and did either a 6" gusset or a 5" gusset, depending on the final dimensions of the bag. Nearly all the bags had contrasting sides (since I almost never bought two of the same fat quarter). It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed myself immensely! I'll post my playlist later....I'm hoping I can get one of those playlist thingys I've seen on other blogs.

I will leave you with this--the first song in my mix!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Supports You?

I'm very excited for tonight's "My Favorite Things" party with a group of my girlfriends. It's a small group (on purpose) and we each bring the girls in the group something that represents our favorite thing for the year. We've been meeting now for--well this is the fourth year. Usually we meet around Christmastime, but our founder and hostess wanted to do it earlier this year. I really love this group of women, and love picking things out for them. I try to personalize my favorite things for each of them. One year I made Swarovski crystal bracelets, one year I gave candles and my favorite lip balm; I'd tell and show you what I'm giving this year, but I want it to be a surprise. I'll take pictures before I wrap it up and show you tomorrow.

I'm very lucky to have a wonderful group of girlfriends here in Albany. There's the MFT group, as well as my Project Friday group, my coast retreat group, among others. It's such a blessing to me to have women friends who love and support me, where I am safe to express my ideas, thoughts and opinions. Where I can be loved and supported even if I am disagreed with. And half of my enjoyment comes from getting to love and support them back. It's definitely a two-way sharing relationship.

Who supports you? Who do you support? Is it an online community or is it a local group. Is it your sisters (or your brothers) or your husband? I know I have my husband's unquestioning love and support, but it's different to have your girlfriend's love and support. I cherish those differences. I joke that a good part of our Project Friday group meetings revolves around girlfriend talk therapy.

It comes down to this: we all need to love and be loved in return. We need a safe place to share ideas equally. And I think, that we as women, need a greater circle that just our husbands to love us so we can grow and thrive. Here's to women friends!

And that's the other side.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tomorrow at Stampin'Cat Studio

Well, it's the third Saturday of the month, and that usually means you can find me teaching back-to-back classes at Stampin'Cat Studio. Tomorrow's gems are "I Carry You In My Heart"--an accordion "art book" to put on display featuring the famous e.e. cummings poem, lots of different adhesives, coasters, Distress Inks, stamps, Making Memories Travel papers (an "oldie" but one of my favorites), ribbon bits and my favorite "faux-handwriting" technique. More on that later.
After that, I'm doing a Heidi Swapp Clock class. I used the Tim Holtz inking tool to make my background, as well as a couple of sets of Technique Tuesday stamps and some Heidi Swapp bling. I also forgot to take the protective film off the front of the clock overlay before I put my goodies on it. I didn't even know it was there. I don't feel so bad, 'cause Lisa (the store owner) did the same thing when she made hers.

That would be my hubby holding the clock for me.
If you live near Salem, Oregon, you should really check out the store---it's a papercrafting wonderland!
I'm also hoping I can connect with Amber. I have some vintage baby patterns (meaning things I wore as a child) for her and she has some ribbon for me! Lovely!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Scrapbook Quickie and a Prize!

Jill, one of my loyal readers, nominated my blog for a "Brilliante" Award. I'm touched an honored! Thanks Jill!

Jill is a wonderful scrapbooker, a "busy mom" like me, and an inspiring runner. She was recently chosen for the Chatterbox design team. Go read her blog and get inspired! I know I am on a regular basis.

The rules for the "Brilliante Weblog" award are:
The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
Link to the person you received your award from.
Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
Put links to those blogs on yours.
Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

So, who to nominate....Well, I'm often inspired and uplifted by Amber (just click on her wedding post tag to see some of her wonderful craftiness!) so she's my first one. Then I have to go for my comrades-in-blogging--Allanna and Satina. It's nice to have friends IRL (in real life) that enjoy blogging as much as I do--or like Satina--willing to come along for the ride! That leaves four more...I'm going to have to pull the family card and nominate some of Joel's blogging cousins...and some friends who's blogs I've been stalking, (but they don't know I found 'em--yep, that's me, internet blog stalker...) Anyway, here's my complete list

  1. Amber Lee, of the Ribbon Jar
  2. Allanna
  3. Satina
  4. Sara (man she inspires me!)
  5. Lisa
  6. Anna Really, I wanted to choose all the Rampton cousins 'cause they are all so wonderful, so follow her links to the rest of 'em!
  7. and finally, 'cause he's a bit quirky, and probably my only blogging relative, my cousin Brent.

And now for the Scrapbook Quickie!

One of the things I want to do on a regular basis is inspire you with quick, easy-to-do pages. Here goes my first idea! First step: clear some space on your desk. Don't worry about what's on it--just push stuff aside so you can dive in!


Next--grab 3 pictures, one sheet of cardstock, some alpha stickers, and some scraps. I pulled colors from the colors in my picture. The blue of the cardstock from the walls of the Bubble Room, the green from H's shirt, red & yellow (going with the color wheel here--red, yellow and blue are primary colors so are destined to look good together) with splashes of white just for fun. Orange is the opposite of blue on the color wheel (meaning complementary colors) so might also work as a splash of color.

We are going to be arranging our pictures linearly across the page. I only need bits and pieces of the other colors to make this work. I cropped two of my pics just a little bit, so they were smaller than the picture I chose for my focal point--it's going on the big piece of yellow, to help set it off and make it more important. I decided against the orange and just went with red/yellow/blue with the green and white. I overlapped everything just a bit to keep the eye moving across the layout.
Add the pictures, the letter stickers (for the title) and some journaling and you are done! Voila! This took about twenty minutes to put together, tops. Some things to think about--I used my own handwriting because it was faster than typing or stamping or anything else, I made sure to get the date in there, as well as labeling the pictures (the "who" of the layout). I continued to overlap things by making sure my letter stickers touched a bit of everything on the bottom of the layout.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more quick pages. My goal is to have at least one a week.
Enjoy!