Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mystery Birthday Party Scavenger Hunt!

Warning! LOTS of pictures!
You'll remember that the party started with THIS purple cupcake with a clue inside...that sent the party goers to a park in Downtown Albany. All the clues were in red envelopes, and we used purple helium balloons to help pinpoint the locations.
The Intrepid Birthday Crew! I should mention that it was COLD!!! (about 28 degrees)

Their first clue was this:
Find the location where this picture was taken
Hint: you are closer than you think.
Look for the dumpsters and the broken door

Then this picture was in the envelope: Taken during our Summertime photo shoot mentioned HERE.

Even though C was in the picture too, J directed them to the alley near the park--see the balloon? Their next clue was on the dumpster along with a candy bar
C opens the clue with great concentration
Their next clue was:

Your next clue isn't one store, but many stores all in one place
Old things reign supreme!
If you aren't sure where you are going, head west through the alley and turn left.
Open Envelope A for more instructions.

They then went through the alley, turned left, and found themselves at the:

Envelope A's instructions were:
"Pretend Shop" for J and choose something from the store that is her favorite color.
Show it to her, and tell her why you chose it. If it's not her favorite color, it doesn't count!
(and you'll have to "shop" again)
Remember where you got it because you'll have to put it back!
You must finish by 1:40 pm
Open Envelope B when you are done "shopping"

D. chose a purple vase for pretty flowers

J. chose some pretty flowers

and C chose a purple glass slipper

The next clue was this:
Exit the store and turn East.
Find the girl with the purple balloon.
She'll be near the white-flowered tree.
Solve for X and tell her the number to get the next clue
No clue unless you can tell her what the number means and why it is important to J.
Hint: it has to do with the Italian words "'et" (meaning little) and "clarino" (a type of trumpet)
Originally, we were going to do the party on a Saturday, when Magnolia's music store was opened, so that they could purchase a #3 reed for J's clarinet. But we moved the party to Monday, and the store was closed. Luckily a good friend of ours was willing to step up and meet them on the street to give them the next clue (and a reed).

The next clue was:
You'll be SURE to have a good time at your next location.
Don't forget to FIRE up your creativity!
Lilee will have your next clue.

That sent them to Surefire Design, a paint-your-own-pottery shop, where I pre-paid for a tile for them to paint in honor of J's birthday. Each of the partygoers took a section and wrote a little note.
planning the tile
C adds a finishing touch

Next clue:
We've got SPEARIT, yes we do!
We've got SPEARIT, how about you!
To find your next location, get a BEAD on 131 Broadalbin
When you get there, open the next envelope
Spearit Beads & Co.

The next envelope said:
One of J's hobbies is making jewelry
Use the $10 included to choose a special bead for J.
Each of you needs to choose a bead.
This will be made into a keepsake bracelet later.
Open Envelope B when you check out.
opening the envelope
J & D bead shopping
The whole crew shopping for beads.
Next clue:
This word means "bunny rabbit" in Korean
But you'll be eating chicken.
See the purple balloon?

We took our food to go (I ordered it when we were at the bead shop) and ate at home. That way we could have CAKE!
Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake
Whew! That was quite a day! Everyone had fun, and J had memorable birthday! Now what do I do next year?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Handmade Holidays Master Lists

I know that the Sew, Mama, Sew site can be confusing to navigate sometimes, so HERE'S a link to the Master List of 2009. (plus from there you can see 2008 and 2007)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Swooning over Turquoise Subway Tile

Dear Santa,

For Christmas, can I have Becky Higgin's Kitchen?
Not only have I been a good girl, but for those turquoise subway tiles, I'll be good FOREVER!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Favorite Christmas Music

So what are your favorite Holiday music CD's? I am REALLY enjoying compilations--like the Hotel Cafe Wintersongs, and the Starbucks CD's from the past, --but I am especially enjoying a certain mix of old and new:


I bought it on iTunes, and especially loved that it had all of the dialogue and such. Something about Bing Crosby reminds me of my Grandpa Price. His voice is just one big hug, don't you think? I also love the line, "Right or wrong, I sing either way!" (also how I feel), and it's nice to realize that David Bowie has quite a lovely voice. But for me, it goes back to the hug of Bing Crosby's voice. I never get tired of that!

What are your favorites this season? Leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's a Birthday!

from the end-of-June photoshoot, blogged HERE

We rolled up the invitation in a plastic envelope and stuck it in the center of the cupcake. We are planning a "Birthday Mystery" party that'll be part Amazing Race, part Solve the riddle. Even the information came in the form of a clue:

Get a Clue!
Join us for a
Birthday Mystery Party!
Here’s your first clue:
Meet at the ad from the 1800’s, near the Sunburst.
Lost? Look for the
purple balloons.

She's 15, and excited to be older.
In a way, I am too. I'm excited for the future of our friendship. I'm excited for the experiences she's going to have. It's going to be quite a ride!

OH!~ Since I'm pretty sure the invitees to this party DON'T read my blog, here's where we are meeting:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Marshmallow recipe

I was reading through the Handmade Holiday on Sew, Mama, Sew, and found a recipe for HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS! I'm totally going to try these!

and ANOTHER ONE here!

Oh yeah, smore's boxes on the way!

Let the Handmade Christmas begin!

It's DECEMBER! Time for the Handmade Christmas ideas! Yay!

First--if you haven't been following the Sew, Mama, Sew Handmade Holidays III--go NOW and check it out! (then come back for more ideas and links) Click on their blog for the list of goodies. You won't be disappointed!

Second good thing about today: Tim Holtz is starting his "12 Tags of Christmas" (double yay!) This is the third year he has done this (archives on his blog) and if you craft, if you've thought about crafting, if you're curious, if you want to see how to use cool products you never thought existed but now absolutely MUST have, if you're breathing today--go and check it out!

My last Homemade Christmas suggestion comes to you by way of a wedding planner blog. LOVED this idea, and thought it could easily be adapted as giveaways this holiday season. I have a friend who makes her own marshmallow--that would be a super addition to this goodie. Even if you go "old school" and buy your marshmallows, it's still a great idea. You could even experiment with microwave directions! Go HERE to see what all the fuss is about!

What are YOU making for the holidays? Leave a comment and share with us! Also, it's my goal to have some GIVEAWAYS this month--to enter the giveaways, you need to comment! I have card sets, paper sets, creativity kits--all kinds of good yummy things to share with my blog readers. Pass it on!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Try a little Tenderness

This Boy.

This boy is six years old.

This boy can be so EXASPERATING!

This boy can make me absolutly CRAZY with his whines and wants and fits. (I see the other mothers of six-year-olds nodding their heads in understanding.)

This boy can also be incredibly tender. Case in point: While crafting for the Bazaar, I inadvertently cut the side of the bottom knuckly of my thumb. Not wanting to bleed on what I was making (people don't really appreciate that), I asked him to get me a bandaid. I turned around to take it from him, and he said, "Here, Mom, let me do that." and proceeded to oh-so-carfully put the bandaid on the cut while pulling the little tabs off to the side so that it stayed sterile, just like I do for him. When he'd finished, he said, "There, that'll do it!" and gave me a little pat. My heart just melted into lovey goo.

Oh, this boy...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photo Cards

I did something fun for myself and for the Bazaar. I took some set of my pictures to a local printer and had cards made. I boxed them all up this morning in clear boxes and they look great! It's hard not to feel a small thrill of pride in myself. If they don't sell, I know my Mom will like them!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Been Shooting (and Christmas Bazaar)

Pictures that is! I have done 5 senior picture photoshoots so far this year, with 3 of them last week! You can see them at My Photostream on Flickr. All but one or two shots are SOOC or "straight out of camera," meaning no post-processing involved. I have one more shoot to do before time runs out for these seniors, but it's been rainy and she's been sick.

In crafty news, I'm in charge of our local school bazaar this year. I've been a vendor the last four years, so it's interesting being on the other side of things. I'll have some pictures later of what I'm's fun! Hopefully I'll inspire some of your Christmas crafts! My main goal is to make all of my stuff without buying anything! (okay, I'll confess, I bought some clear boxes for my Krafty Card sets...but so far, that's all!) I used the green, orange, and bright blue cards to make sets of six. Love those Tim Holtz Stamps!
My head is also full of ideas for blog posts--look for more as the holidays get closer!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Eerie! (by Basic Grey) Card Class for Stampin'Cat Studio

Martha Stewart spiderweb border punch, sparkly orange paper (I think it's Die Cuts with a View.)
The spiderweb and spider are stamped on separate pieces of acetate so it looks like the spider is floating on the web.
Just a tri-fold Card. Basic Grey stamps.

I found this fold on Splitcoast Stampers. I think it's the "Joy Fold Card."
Martha Stewart's "Around the Page" punches in the Spiderweb design. Stamp by Tim Holtz.
I used a glue pen to draw over the black bats printed on the paper and then I flocked 'em with black Doodlebug flocking. Any black flocking will do.
For the crow, I used clear embossing powder on the Versafine Ink (you have to be fast!) and then used Tim Holtz's inking tool to smudge the Dusty Concord Distress Inks all over the image.
Spider punch by Martha Stewart. I punched it twice, once from patterned paper, once from black. I popped it up with a piece of foam adhesive so it would look shadowed.

Supplies: Eerie paper collection from Basic Grey, Clear stamps from Basic Grey (also from the Eerie collection) Clear stamps from Cosmo Cricket's Haunted line, Tim Holtz stamps, inks were Tim Holtz Distress Inks (spiced marmalade and dusty concord), as well as Tsukineko's Versafine in black.
The class is THIS Saturday, October 17 at 1:00pm at Stampin'Cat Studio. Sign up by Thursday to attend!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I REALLY need to update this blog

But I must admit, I'm a bit stumped for inspiration right now. Any thoughts/requests on what to blog about? Leave me a comment with your two cents worth!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday!

gratuitous birthday picture...
Today is the birthday of one of my Korean students--Christine--so I just wanted to take a minute and wish her a SUPER TERRIFIC birthday!

Does anyone you know need some good wishes in their lives today? Go bless someone's life!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Card Class at Stampin'Cat Sneak Peek

I gave the bird here a slight wash of red color pencil...apparently I took pictures too soon!
I added some red and blue edging to the butterflies on this one, as well as some red stickles...
The really fun part? All of the patterned paper for this class was from SECURITY ENVELOPES! Inside bills, etc. How fun is that? Cupcake punch and Butterfly Punches by Martha Stewart, Gems are Me and My Big Ideas Icon bling, while the phrases are Catslife Press, AMuse Artstamps, and Hero Arts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Backyard Plays and Lucas Grabeel

This year, the backyard play is High School Musical 2. We are having a blast getting this ready! I'm helping out with vocals and costumes, and all three of my kiddoes have parts in it. I've decided that Lucas Grabeel is probably the most talented cast member though! He needs more of the spotlight! While looking for more of his stuff, my daughter and I ran across this great peppy song:

I dare you not to tap your toes or dance or something! I think he also directed and produced the video as well. What I love is that it's up-beat and fun with NO swear words!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Pictures--Beach Paper Bag Book with Waterfall Fold

The Waterfall Element was my favorite part. Well, the shimmer alphabet stickers were my favorite part, but I used them ON the waterfall! I also used papers from the Lime Rickey line from Basic Grey and stamps were by Tweety Jill

This was a fun class to teach! I'd be willing to make a pdf of the class handout if there were interest. Leave a comment and let me know!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Joel!

This is the man I married nearly 17 years ago. Our first date was just a bit more than 19 years ago. I’m happy to report that it’s still going strong.

He usually takes very goofy pictures like this:

There’s something about having a camera in front of his face that brings out the goofy mischievous side of him. I finally had to tell him that “we deserve to have some good pictures of you!” I’m still working on that.
My favorite picture of us:
This was taken when we went to Boston in May 2006. What a great trip! I am longing for another—especially another trip with him. We usually get away for a bit around our anniversary but circumstances prevented that this year. I didn’t realize what a touchstone those trips were for me until I found myself yearning for a getaway with him this spring. Circumstances have yet to materialize to make that possible. It seems we’ll have to make our own.

I love being married to him. Even with the goofiness and so on, being married to him is such a wonderful place to be. Occasionally I dream a night that something terrible has happened to him and I am now alone in the universe. I had such a dream last night. Half asleep, I reached across the bed to make sure he was there and instead of his sleeping form my fingers closed around the small toy left there by my six-year-old when he took himself to his own bed. “It’s okay,” I reassured myself, “he’s just downstairs.” But it was 1:30 in the morning and my paranoid self rules that hour of the night. Half asleep, I reached over again to see if anything had changed. Still nothing. Now my paranoid self was fully awake even though the rest of me was asleep and was imagining all sorts of horrors, from being caught in a videogame world to a heart attack on the couch just as he was coming to bed. I was left with no choice but to stumble to the top of the stairs and whistle our special “I love you” whistle and then listen for the right response. He was alive and well and all was right in my world. My rational self was now able to take over and put my paranoid self in its place and go back to sleep.

I don’t have any big secrets to a long and lasting relationship. It’s full of ups and downs. I do know this though—it’s easier when you grow together. When the rocks in his head fit the holes in my head. I know that I could ask him for anything and he would do everything in his power to provide it for me. So I try not to ask. And I try to give enough back to him on a daily basis to stay worthy of the asking, should I decide that I need to. It works for us.

It’s his birthday soon. He’ll be the same number as I am. He loves to lord it over me during those three months or so between our birthdays that I am, indeed, his “old lady.” I stopped being bothered by that awhile ago, but I play along—it’s fun to be all harrumphy about it, and besides, soon enough, the calendar catches up to him and all is somewhat equal again.

We are good together. I’d choose him again. Each time. Every time. I look forward to our future together.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nelson Family Reunion 2009

Just the Grandchildren (and a few GREAT grandchildren!)
The entire family! (hubby is one of 9 children--this is his immediate family)
And a good time was had by all....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feeling Krafty with Tim Holtz and Chalk Inks

I also used some stamps from Hot off the Press and the "Tiny Wise Words" set from Wordsworth. These are fast becoming my go-to gift when I need something quick--especially when packaged into sets and these terrific clear boxes from the Paper Zone. Very classy, quick, and easy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

300 Words--inspired by Anne Lamott

random picture from April's self-portrait session

I just finished reading Anne Lamott's book titled "Bird by Bird"--thoughts on writing and life. Loved it. Really got a lot out of it. In it, she recommends that people who want to be writers need to write at least 300 words a day. For practice, for creating the habit, for improving their skill, and so on. I am intrigued by this idea and want to use my blog for some of that writing practice. I wish there was a word counter here! I'll have to use Microsoft Word and do some cut-n-paste finagling instead. Either way, I've been thinking about possible 300 word topics--I hope to have the first 300 word "essay" up later this week.

40/40: I've read two of the 5 non-fiction books (the above mentioned "Bird by Bird" and the new "Peaks and Valleys" by the guy who wrote "who moved my cheese"--his name escapes me at the moment). I'm on Goodreads if anyone wants to follow along with my reading. I read a lot, so there's a lot to discuss there! I've also seen the dentist and my nurse-practioner for my checkups. I hadn't been to the dentist in years so it was good to go and get that up-to-date. The beach was so much fun last week that our plan is to go as a family this friday and just hang out at the beach. I have to say that having this list is good for focusing my attentions. I've been enjoying it overall. I hope it's not boring for you!

Thanks for coming along for the ride! Don't forget to sign up for Jessica Sprague's free class. There are all kinds of neat daily freebies going on this week--I didn't realize it and already missed two of them--don't let that happen to you!