Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Didja Miss Me?

Hey, blog peeps! I've thought about y'all so much you wouldn't believe it. I was inspired to update my blog after having coffee with my girlfriend, Gina last week. I told her my biggest blogging obstacle was resizing all of my pictures and she, being the photog genius that she is, told me I could "batch process" my pictures and do them all at once. Woo Hoo! So I'm investigating how to do that in iPhoto and hopefully that's going to result in me blogging more often. I have so many things to tell you all about and so many fun craft projects to share, but for today I'm going to start by sharing a fun fun fun giveaway, cuz who can't use free stuff this time of year?

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
Peace and healthy relationships. Right now there's some "tension" between my dad and me. My wish is for restored relationship.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
The kids always wake up SUPER early. We read the Christmas Story from Luke, then we open stockings and gifts and then have waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
A Verizon iPhone! Not that decadent, but it's my biggest wish this year.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
I have Lisa Whelchel's advent book and it's amazing. It has great ideas of things to do with the kids every day and I love the family "togetherness" it builds. The activities don't usually require any money, but they help keep our focus on the real meaning of Christmas - Christ's birth.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
A lot of card games. Monopoly, Clue, Mind?? What was the one with the colored pegs and you had to guess the order of the other guy's pegs? Mind something. Oh, and Battleship.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
The waffles for breakfast on Christmas is a tradition from my childhood. For several years we (anyone who was at our house on Christmas Eve) all went caroling around the neighborhood. The past few years there have only been me, my hubby and kids and my mom, so we haven't done it, but it's something we did when I was a kid and I love it!

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
Hawaii! I think it would be so fun to spend some time somewhere tropical in the dead of winter!

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
I think the new Kinect gaming system looks like a blast. I heard a really interesting segment on Science Friday on NPR last week about the science behind it. Fascinating!! My kids have their eyes on the new Toy Story games and I'd love to have the Wii Fit stuff.

For your own chance to win some fun fun stuff, head over to Today's Mama to find out how to enter. Fun times! I hope to be back soon with a "real" blog post. Until then, best wishes for the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today I spent some time remembering the events of 9/11. I've intended for some time to make a scrapbook page about where I was and what I felt as I watched the events of that day unfold. I've been doing a little digital scrapbooking lately and decided today was the day.

I found the images online and added my own thoughts. The journaling reads:

I don’t remember where I was when Kennedy was shot, or when Elvis died. But I do remember where I was when the terrorists struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I got up that morning and got on the treadmill to walk for a few minutes and when I turned on the TV they were just breaking in to regular programming with pictures of the first tower that had been hit. At that point they thought it was an accident. Somehow, a commercial airliner had crashed into the tower. They must have been off course somehow. The pictures were startling and everyone was in shock. And then, to our horror, as we watched, it happened again. Another plane came into the shot and we saw it hit the second tower. Anyone who was watching knew then it was more than an accident. But what? Nothing like this had ever happened before. Who would do something like this? And the terror didn’t stop there. The Pentagon was hit and then another plane crashed. Speculation was that it was headed for the White House. Little did we know how much the events of that day would change our country, and our lives. The images we saw that day will stay with us forever. The horror of knowing people were so terrified they jumped to their deaths. The hundreds of emergency responders who lost their lives because they rushed in to help. The 911 calls we heard from people at the top of the buildings. . . It’s hard now, 9 years after the fact, to even remember how different things were then, but they were. We didn’t worry as much. We didn’t have to hear every day about the troops who die in the Middle East because of what happened on that day. We didn’t see the kinds of security we see now, everywhere - at the mall, at the football game, in the airport, at school. The events of that day left a scar on our country. A scar that has healed a little over time, but anyone with a scar knows that the deeper the cut, the less likely it will disappear completely. And the scars left on that day will never disappear. Our country is changed forever. It makes me sad that my kids will never know a world before 9/11. Dawson was 2. Mason was barely conceived (we didn’t even know it yet, but would later that week.) I wish they could know that our country wasn’t always this scarred. That we didn’t used to look at so many people with suspicion. That there was a time where the thought of something so horrific had not even crossed our minds. I pray that their faith will protect them from the fear and that they will know that God was there with the 2,752 men and women who lost their lives that day. And that even though we can’t understand how anyone could do something like this, He is still God and we are in His hands no matter what the world around us looks like. And if we let it, His perfect love can cast out all our fear. Journaled on 9/11/10

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A letter to Verizon . . .

Dear Verizon,
I've tried so hard to be patient with you. Really. I have. I keep thinking that if I give you long enough, you'll come to your senses and hook up with Apple. Well, I just need you to know that my patience is waning. I'm tired of waiting for you. I've held out for years now, but I won't wait much longer. As much as I love you, I love apple more. That's really what it comes down to. So, this is my one last plea to you to cometoyoureverlovingsenses and do the right thing. You're great, but you're not so great I won't pack my bags and leave. And you should know that the day is coming. Soon. I will have an iPhone. By the end of the year. With or without you. Don't make me choose. You won't be happy with my decision. This is your last chance to DO THE RIGHT THING!

For all of you cry babies who have the iPhone 4. This video is for you:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Birthday Card & Other Stuff

Mason had a birthday party to go to this afternoon, so I made a card for him to take. This is a clean and simple card and I like how it turned out, but I'm most proud of the fact that I finally broke out of my birthday card rut and made something new!

I was inspired by this card. I decided to pull out the retired-but-soon-to-return Pacific Point card stock and matching ribbon. I actually don't think I'd used ANY of this ribbon before today. The roll looked brand new. So glad I'll have another chance to use it up! 

This week my girlfriend, Carrie, and I took our kids to Build-a-Bear so Jordan could stuff the dog Samantha got him for his birthday. Of course we documented the outing and I thought I'd share a few pics with you from our adventure. 

Here is Jordan making a wish on his dog's heart before putting it in the dog's tummy.
 Then his dog got a bath. He had several baths over the course of the time we were there. :O)
Then Jordan picked out a Boise State Broncos t-shirt for his dog.
Jordan *LOVES* his husky dog. This is just one of many husky puppies he has. They're all a family. The new dog is bigger than the others so he's the "grandpa" husky puppy. 

These are the little love birds. :O)

Here's where we got off track. Carrie and I took our Stampin' Up! Build-a-Bears so we could pick out some clothes for them. Our children were largely unsupervised while Carrie and I oooooh'd and ahhhhhh'd over the cute clothes. Me more than Carrie since she has two girls.  he he he. This is my bear in her darling purple dress and schmancy pink rhinestone sunglasses.

Here's Carrie with her bear. If you'd like to read a super entertaining version of this story, be sure to hop on over to Carrie's blog. She's a nutjob!

Here are our bears with their aprons on, ready to head out to a workshop! They're going to tag-team demonstrate, because they're BFF's! 

Here they are all ready to go out for a night on the town! So cute! 

Okay, one last picture. I took Jordan with me this morning to get new tires on my car. It ended up taking entirely too long, so he and I had to find a way to occupy ourselves. What better way than walk to Starbucks! He's a little man after my own heart! 

My mother-in-law usually sends the boys McD's bucks or BK bucks for valentine's day. This year she sent the family a Starbucks gift card. We had a fun time taking the boys to Starbucks and they were so excited to pick out a yummy drink. Jordan had the Double Chocolate Chip cream frappuccino. So now every time I stop for a coffee he begs to get a "Chocolate Coffee." Today, his wish came true. :O)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Color Renovation!!

Stampin' Up! announced this week that they're making a COLOR RENOVATION!! I'm so excited about some of the new colors and some of the old colors that are coming back! There are 5 brand new colors that will be part of the core group of colors and color families and there will be 5 more new In-Colors announced next month!! YAY!!!

Here's a look a the new Color Collections:
Here's a look at the colors that are retiring. You'll want to be sure to stock up on these. Be sure to stock up on card stock and make sure you have re-inkers in your favorite colors!! These colors will only be available until the end of June:

I'm SO excited about this change. Although there are a few retiring colors I'll certainly miss, I *LOVE* the new colors and am so glad to see some of my favorite retired In-Colors return. I can't wait to see them all in person. If you'd like to see them in person, be sure to check out the class schedule on my Demonstrator Website. My Ladies' Night Out is next Wednesday and is just $5. I also have a Birthday Card Stamp-a-Stack scheduled for Saturday, April 24th. At both of these events we'll be previewing some of the great new products from the upcoming Summer Mini Catalog! Be sure to call or email me to reserve your spot. I can't wait to see you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Occasions Mini Swaps

There were a few more participants in the Great Swaps Girls Occasions Mini Catalog swap. And as always, their cards didn't disappoint!

Sorry about the picture on this one. Somehow I got a shadow on the right hand side. Trust me that the card is perfect! It's just my photography skills that are lacking! This card was made by Sherri Barron. I'm always a sucker for pink and brown and I love how she combined them on this card. I especially like the pink houndstooth pattern and the tiny chocolate dotted pattern on the bottom. This would definitely make a great Mother's Day card. 

This card was made by Kimberly Meyers. The Saffron and Soft Suede are beautiful together. This would be a beautiful wedding or graduation card. 

This card was made by Amy O'Neill. It uses the new With All My Heart stamp set. I love the color combination she chose, and I'm always a sucker for Basic Grey. Even more so with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder! 

Mercedes Weber made this card and I can hardly stand the cuteness of that little raccoon with the glittery heart. Although it's hard to see in the picture, she even took extra care to make sure the glitter didn't cover the raccoon's little hands. SO CUTE!!  

This last card was made by Arin Burdo. I love love love how she combined the glittery paper and the shimmer paint! So so gorgeous! 

Thanks for sharing all of your hard work, ladies! It's always a thrill to see your amazing creations! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sale-A-Bration Swaps

There were only two other participants from the Great Swaps Girls group in the Sale-a-Bration mini swap. When there are only a few people in a swap I'm always disappointed at first, but then I realize that it means I only have to make a few swaps and suddenly I'm not so sad anymore! HA! Anywhoo. Here are the two cards I received from the swap.

This card is from Kimberly Meyers (I think!) I love how she made the candles and added glitter to the flames. So cute! And what great colors for a little boy card. You all know how I'm always needing those, right? 

This card is from Mercedes Weber. So clean and simple, but so darling! I'm not sure how I've resisted the pull of the designer paper with the glitter, but it's darling on the tiny hearts and I love how she added the little touch of ribbon with a brad. I save tiny scraps of ribbon thinking that I'll use them for stuff like this and then I forget or find something else to add at the last minute. 

Thanks for your great swaps, girls! (he he he, pun intended!) It's always a thrill to receive your cards!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GSG Swap

The last couple of swaps I've participated in with the Great Swaps Girls group have had fewer participants, but there's still a die-hard group of demonstrators who usually participate. We did two swaps in January - one for the Occasions Mini Catalog and one for Sale-a-Bration. I'll start off today by showing you the cards I made for the swap.

This is the card I made for the Occasions Mini Catalog swap. I used the Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslit to cut the cute heart. The pink and green paper is from the Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper Stack, and the tag is from the Tiny Tags stamp set and is punched out with the new Jewelry Tag punch. I tied the tag onto the heart with embroidery thread.

I think this was my favorite of the two cards I made. It's super clean and simple, but so elegant. I made this card for the Sale-a-Bration swap. I used the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder from the Occasions Mini Catalog to emboss the panel on the front. The focal image was stamped in Bashful Blue ink with the Vintage Labels Sale-a-Bration stamp set. I stamped the Mr. & Mrs. image from Teeney Tiny Wishes, but noticed after the fact that there's also a Mr. & Mrs. image in the Tiny Tags set. D'oh. I added some of the tiny rhinestones from the Eggcellent Eggs kit in the Occasions Mini Catalog. I seriously LOVE those little rhinestones. If they don't make it into the next catalog I may actually shed a tear. In fact, I tried last week to order more of the egg kits just to get the rhinestones and it looks like they're sold out!!  *snif* Anyway, I cut the scallopey (yes, I made that word up) oval from the Lots of Tags sizzlits dies and layered that with an oval cut from Bashful Blue and the Ovals Original die. They layer perfectly with the wide oval punch. I love it when a plan comes together. :O)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Valentine's Day Cards

I mentioned yesterday that I'm really bad about making cards for my family. Well, that holds true for Valentine's Day too. Maybe even more so because I'm always so busy helping my kids make a gazillion Valentines to give to all of their classmates. Well, this year I resolved to do better, and although I didn't take the time to create a card I designed myself, I did find some great ideas online and recreate those beautiful cards for my kids and my husband.

I saw this card on Dawn Griffith's blog and knew I HAD to make it. I demonstrated it for the ladies at my Ladies' Night Out in February and the I gave it to Mason for Valentine's Day. I have a thing for red and polka-dots, so this was a no-brainer. I used the polka dot stamp from Itty Bitty Backgrounds on red card stock and embossed the dots with white embossing powder. Then I punched them out with the new tiny heart punch from the Occasions Mini Catalog. I think Dawn added her dots with the white gel pen, but embossing them gave the card a little more texture and dimension. I LOVE this card. The inside has a matching row of red polka-dot hearts on the bottom. :O)  Thanks for the great inspiration, Dawn! 

Well, darn! I can't find the card that inspired me on this one. I {heart} the dandelion image from this stamp set and when I had a chance to earn this stamp set for FREE, you can bet I jumped on it! I inked up the image with Regal Rose ink and then accented some of the tiny hearts with Rose Red. I did the same thing on the i {heart} u image. I inked it up in Regal Rose and then colored the heart with Rose Red. The DSP is retired, but I adore those little flowers. I finished the card off with a little rose colored ribbon. This is the card I gave to Jordan for Valentine's Day. 

ETA: I found the card! This was inspired by Cindy Beach. Thanks, Cindy! You're awesome!! 

Although I saw this card on someone's blog, it's also a CASE right out of the Occasions mini catalog. I demonstrated this card at my February Ladies' Night out and showed them how to use a wheel with markers and stamp just part of the image. I really like the technique and it makes the wheels so much more versatile. The U is from the Simple Alphabet dies and I covered the chipboard with textured Old Olive card stock before cutting it out. The card base is Chocolate Chip textured card stock. I gave this card to Dawson for Valentine's Day.  

This last card idea came from Anthonette Chavez. When I saw her card I fell in love love love! I loved everything about this card. The colors. The layout. The rhinestones. EVERYTHING! I think some companies sell the rhinestones all hooked together and already in a circle, but I was able to use the rhinestones from the Easter egg kit in the Occasions mini and just glue them on with the green liquid Tombow glue. I cut a circle out of scrap card stock and put it on the front of my card and then just put dots of the glue around the outside of the circle, spacing them as evenly as I could while just eyeballing it. It's not as perfect as if the rhinestones had come all together that way, but I was still thrilled with how it turned out. The card base on this one is white textured card stock for a little added interest. This card seemed extra special, maybe because of the bling, so I made it for my sweetie. I think he liked it. ;O) Thanks to Anthonette for her beautiful and inspiring card. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

10th Birthday Card

Well, I had one more Birthday RAK (Random Act of Kindness) to show you and now I can't find it! ACK! I'll keep searching and hopefully be able to share it soon. :O(

In its place, today I'll share the card I made for my son when he turned 10. I used the Pop-up Birthday Cake die. I'm always so busy rushing around getting ready for birthday parties when my kids have a birthday, that I often don't get a card made for them. It's a terrible thing, I know. But you know what they say, "The cobbler's children have no shoes." It's absolutely true at my house. So, although I wasn't thrilled with the colors on this card, just the fact that I got a card made was a big accomplishment!

I used my Simple Alphabet Numbers dies to cut out the chipboard numbers. I love how easy it is to make custom chipboard numbers and letters with those dies! And they turn out perfect every time without all of the filing and fussing you have when you try to use pre-made chipboard. The striped designer paper and the matching olive twill are a belly-band that holds the card shut. The cards with the pop-up cake inside need a little extra help. 

Did you know that Karen Burniston has a blog? She designed some of the pop-up dies that Stampin' Up! sells (or maybe all of them!). Her blog is called "I Am Not Left Handed." She has some awesome tips on using the pop-up cake die. Here's a link to the PDF. You can find it on her blog in the column on the left where it says, "Download Supplemental Cake Die instructions & Troubleshooting Guide." If you haven't seen them you should check it out. It includes great tips that make the cake much more stable. 

I stamped the Happy Birthday with the Happy Everything stamp set and then added Dawson's name with the Billboard Alphabet decorative strip die. So fun! Dawson loved it and so did all of the boys at his birthday party. They kept passing it around. Dawson said, "She made it!" and the boys said, "Who made it?" Dawson said my mom did. You don't often see a group of 9 and 10 year old boys in awe, but they all thought I was a rock star. Maybe I should have put a Stampin' Up! catalog in their party treat bags! HA! 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Birthday RAK

Here's another card I got on my birthday from one of my stamping friends.

I got this card from one of my sidelines (we are in the same group of Stampin' Up! Demonstrators). Her name is Beth and she is one of the most thoughtful people I know. If there is ever anything going on, anyone in our stamping group can be sure that they'll get a card from Beth. She's been going through some fairly serious struggles of her own this past year, but it hasn't kept her from sending thoughtful cards to other demonstrators. I don't think Beth has a blog, so I can't link to her, but if she ever comes across this post I hope she knows how much I appreciate her thoughtfulness. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Birthday RAK

Although my birthday was nearly 2 months ago, I've failed to share some of the cards I received from my dear stamping friends. Well, I'm here to rectify that situation! I'll share one today and one tomorrow and then I promise to be back with some other cards in the days that follow.

I got this card from my dear friend and fellow Great Swaps Girls member, Vera Schoeters. This card is so gorgeous! I haven't tried this technique, but it is fabulous! And I love the Soft Suede and Bashful Blue together. I was so glad to meet Vera at convention this past year. She's really the sweetest ever! Thanks for thinking of me on my birthday, Vera! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Kitchen Finale

Well, here it is. The last update on the kitchen reno. Although I guess I should post a disclaimer that we do still have a couple small things to do. We want to put pendant lights over the island/peninsula and possibly over the sink, and I need some new rugs. Other than that, things are done!
Here are some pictures of the glass we chose for the cabinet doors. You can still see a little of what is inside, but it's more obscure than plain glass, which is what was in the old doors. The glass we chose is called "Narrow Reed" and we got it at a local glass shop. 

I mentioned in yesterday's post that there were some "issues" with the knobs. The guy who painted the cabinets said he had a great place online where he could get knobs cheaper than anywhere we could find on our own. I found a style I liked and had him order them. They were about $1.50 each for the knobs and about $3 each for the drawer pulls. We had looked around a little and thought the price was good. Here's a picture of the knobs he ordered for me. 
Although I like the look of them, I was surprised to find when they installed them that they were hollow on the back. It seemed a little strange to me, but I figured I'd get used to it with time. Here's a picture of how they look on the back:
One of the reasons I chose this style is because they had something similar at Home Depot but they were twice as much. BUT they also had a larger size that I could use on the pantry door so that all of the knobs would match. Well, after they installed the cabinet hardware I picked up the pantry door knob at Home Depot and installed it. Once that happened I was no longer happy with the cabinet knobs. The knob from Home Depot was solid and smooth on the back. Well, last week I listed the cabinet knobs on Craigs List and sold them all in one day for $1.50 each, which I'm pretty sure is what we paid for them. Then I went straight to Home Depot and got the $3 knobs. Here's a picture of how they look:
And look how they are on the back! It seems so silly, but they are so much better. We only have 19 knobs, so the total price difference was less than $30. So worth it to me. Now I'm happy every time I open my cabinet doors! 
Did I mention that we worked with a designer for some of the ideas we used in the kitchen? I can't remember. Anyway, Joe at Designs by Human helped us out and one of his recommendations was to put drapes in the breakfast nook. The drapes arrived last week and I'm so happy with how they look. Oh, and yes, we had about 2 inches of snow on the ground yesterday. Nice surprise, but only because it meant soccer was cancelled! 

Oh! and did you notice my new light fixture!?! It's a drum shade and I LOVE it! It totally changes the feel of the space. The old light cast all of the light down toward the table, but this one is open on the top so it really lights up the whole space. Here's a close-up.

Well, the only thing left to show you is the tile, and it was not without some drama. The pictures below were taken on the day it was installed. I was so thrilled with it. The tile is 1"x2" glass subway tile. It adds so much dimension. I had a hard time finding the pure white tiles. Most of them have a greenish hue. 

Finally the purple paint is covered up!

Here's where the drama starts. I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper the morning they came to grout the tile. The guy slapped the grout up and started smearing it over the tile and into the spaces and immediately my heart stopped. The grout color I chose was white. The grout they were putting up was brown-ish. Kind of a taupe color. I kept thinking, "Do I say something? Surely they couldn't use the wrong color. They're professionals, right? Maybe it dries white. I'm sure it must be right. They wouldn't make a mistake like that, right?" Well, they got about 2/3 up the wall and I finally got up the nerve to say, "So, does it dry white?" and the guy said, "NO!" At this point I may have needed CPR. I said, "I'm pretty sure that's not the right color. The grout I picked is WHITE!" The guy got out the package and it said "Bone" on it and I told him I couldn't remember the exact name of the color I chose but that I was pretty sure it had the word "white" right in the name. Well, to make a long story less long, I called and they confirmed that I had chosen "Bright White" for my grout color and the guys ended up having to scrape all of the grout out of the tiles. And let me tell you, scraping grout out of 1"x2" brick-set tiles is no quick job. They had only put the grout into about 10 square feet of tile and it took them about 3 hours to scrape it all out. Here they are working on it:

As you can see, they ended up using toothbrushes and razor blades. Even when I could see they were getting most of it out I was afraid it was still going to show through since the tile is CLEAR GLASS! You can see here that the grout is clearly NOT white!

But, alas, once they put the right color grout in, it was GORGEOUS! Here's how it looked when they were done.

Here's a shot of the backsplash. The flash went off in this shot so it's extra shiny. I was worried about how the outlet covers would look with the tile but I don't think they look bad at all.

Here's a wider shot.

And here are a few shots of the whole thing.

Well, thanks for hanging in there with me on the whole kitchen project. I'd love to know what you think. I'm super happy with how everything turned out. Like I said, we still want to try to put pendant lights over the peninsula and I need some rugs. The next project is the family room. 

I'm not going to add the pictures of Dawson's new room to this already-too-long post. I'll be back soon with the pictures of how that project turned out. 

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