Thursday, January 29, 2009

My big announcement...

... is NOT that I am walking in the 3-day. Sorry!! Susan is walking again and we're going to try and raise more money for her instead.

In terms of something healthy, my hubby and I are committed to doing the duathalon. What the heck is that? It's like a triathalon with the exception of the swimming. My hubby sucks at swimming. When he first mentioned doing this with Kevin, I asked him the swimming question like, "Are you going to have to swim?" and he said "No, just bike and run on 2 terrains." I said, "Good cause you'd sink like a anchor!" He agrees which is why Kevin and Steve decided to do the duathalon. Unfortunately, Kevin got seriously hurt at work and can't do it - he can't even walk for 5-6 months. So, I volunteered to do it instead. Steve was so excited about doing it but won't do it by himself so I am going to get healthy training with him. The course is something like: 6 mi run, 14 mi bike ride, 2 mi run on terrain. I've started training for the bike portion because Kevin loaned us this contraption that my bike is sitting on so that I can ride stationary. I watch the news or whatever when I ride for 30 min in the morning. It's too freakin' cold to do anything outside at this point...

Keep guessing...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Even more stuff...

So, I am really excited to be scrapbooking like a maniac right now... nothing like a layoff for some creativity... My husband is going to freak when he sees that I haven't done much housework. Sigh! Must get up tomorrow and do it all quickly before he gets home! So, here's what I did...

A trio of cards: Sparkly (you can't really see the stickles) ones just perfect for the season...
... and a refrigerator notepad. I got this idea from a friend, Tara, who is very creative! I embellished a bit differently and the ones we will be doing are a bit different but the same in basic style.

Here's a side view to show how the binder clip perfectly holds a thick pen so you always have it right next to the pad. Off to finish my layout for Scrapdango's Layout Tag!

More Stuff from yesterday...

Here's some more new stuff I did this week...

Ever go to a restaurant and get those drink coasters? Ever think of swiping them and making them into a mini-album? I do... Check it out... This took me about 1.5 hours to make, including modge podge. I love the fun topic and the different look to each page even though they are using the same line of papers. Here's a fun thing: the coasters were red on one side with the bar logo... If you look a a couple of pages, you will still the red background. Great way to color chipboard without any effort on my part! I am using this theme to put together the first fundraiser for my sister's 2009 3-Day Breast Cancer walk fundraising. Interested & living in Metro Detroit area? Stay tuned for more information!
This next page has a lot of significance for me... This is the layout I did for Janice's family to let them know just how much she inspired me. My challenge to you is to find someone who inspires you and let them know, whether it be through a page or just some kind words... before it's too late. Lastly, this is a sneak peak of my news to be broadcast later this week... Stay tuned for this announcement, too!

Dang it's cold outside...

As I sit and look out the window at the snow coming down, I feel the need to say something really loud... but I can't cause Annde's finally asleep from coughing all night. So, I'll say it here:

I hate Michigan winters.
(courtesy of Jen Dera's blog)

I don't hate winter in general - there are tons of fun things to do in this season but Michigan has this unique spin on winter that makes it just suck: Windchill! It's so flippin' cold outside that there is no playing in the winter white, for fear of another trip to the Dr's office. I look through the scrap magazines at those wonderful winter pages and realize that none of those people live north of the Mason Dixon line... They all probably live in the Rockies where it snows beautiful masses without the sub-zero freeze factor. I should know, growing up out there... Sigh! No wonderful winter pictures today.

So, to counteract the winter blahs that I have, I've been scrapbooking in bright and fun colors. Here's a few of the pages I have done lately...

First, my stuff for the Zone. I got the Teresa Collins' Crush line in addition to some cute Thickers black bling shapes.

I love this first layout - my Mom wanted some pictures of Annde on Christmas Eve. Her camera wasn't fast enough to catch these cute poses but mine was! Don't worry, Mom, I will send you a copy of them! This was my second page - about Annde's last Valentines party at Miss Lynne's. Shocker! I forgot to scrap it!! I had printed out the pictures and "kitted" them with some very un-inspiring paper. I definitely like how the Crush line matched...

Lastly, over Xmas break, Annde went to Nickie's birthday party (she turned 11). It was a big deal because it was an overnighter with 3 older girls (all 5th grade). I have to say that Nickie, Paula, and Kitty were the best 11 year olds that I have ever met! They totally didn't play down to Annde and included her in all their fun. We only had one tantrum all night - when I made Annde go home at 2am because I was pretty sure the girls weren't going to sleep (as they settled in for a movie)... Annde sobbed for a hour before she dropped from exhaustion. You know, I realized here that I really do use a lot of sketches for inspiration. It's not necessarily because I am on a sketch DT... It's because using a sketch, such as Lisa Bearnson (How Sweet You Are) or Becky Fleck (Can I take your Pic & Party at 11) allows you to see a layout in your head and really get started without stressing over what to do with the pictures. When I first started scrapbooking, I would do the same thing every time - crop a picture into squares or circles or with those Fiskars pattern scissors and then block pattern them before attaching to the page. Add a few stickers and some journaling and I was done. But all my pages looked alike with different topics. Now, I love my layouts because they don't always look the same! I do sketch myself and create my own layouts (see the 2 layouts below the Pink Sketch page) but sometimes it's nice to not have to start completely from scratch. Especially if you are short on time or you don't know where to start or you want to use your creativity mojo on twisting the sketch to fit your needs! A lot of times, my pages barely resemble the sketch I started with and that's okay. In the end, what's important is what you do with your pages that you like.

Here's my layout for Pink Sketches last week. If you check out the site, you will see that the original sketch is 90 degrees off of mine. Additionally, there was no center pictures. I added that because I couldn't part with the faces of her gaming on the computer.

Here's some more layouts that I did... I have a few more but they will have to wait a bit longer because you are probably getting tired of reading my chatter.

I really, really love this page. It is totally me: full of texture and bright colors and sassy attitude! I took this pictures at a playdate with Keegan and Annde. Aren't they hilarious? I love the layered journaling blocks and the ribbon and bling. This page is just full of fun!

Here are some closeups to show the layering and the ribbon. The paper for the Always remember today and the date were originally white but I wanted to distinquish it a little bit so I grabbed some chalk ink - always a fun addition! I love all the pearl dots on the ribbon and various flowers. I even used one to mark what date it was on the calendar circle.

This page shows a softer side of the Keegan and Annde relationship, with Aiden, too. The time has just flown by, hasn't it? Tracy had uploaded the pictures from 2005 into my Snapfish and sent me a note that I didn't need to scrap this Blast from the Past... but how could I not? The 3 kids have grown so much but still look the same - Annde still can't seem to focus on looking at the camera, eh? This page was a lot of fun because I did a ton of texturing... I actually fingerpainted the stickles. The look of it came out just perfect.
Steve mocked me on this page because I was sewing on the butterflies after I fixed one of his dress shirts - it needed a few new buttons on the collar points. Anyway, after I did the shirt, I grabbed some embroidery floss and start sewing on the page. Every page I have done since then, he's asked where the stitching was or why I was stitching on the page... what a dork! I guess I do stitch a lot too - all by hand though. If I pulled out my sewing machine, I would never hear the end of it! :)

Well, ta-ta for now. I am off to entertain the kidlet. I will have some more later on. Yesterday during school, I did 2 layouts - my one for Janice - and a mini book in just under 3 hours! I was very inspired, I guess... Plus, later this week, I will have some great news to post. (Before you ask, no, we're not pregnant!) C YA L8R!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In Janice's Memory

I know that there is a bunch of other boards with people who knew Janice. If you want to participate in our scrap challenge, either head over to CC and upload your layout or post a link here to it and the page you scraplifted.

I doubled the prizes to 2 to make it fair... Every layout or set of 4 cards is worth one entry.

Here's the "Family" kit - perfect for valentines day. Janice loved her family and loved to scrapbook about them...

Here's the "Smile" kit - using the bright colors that Janice loved to scrapbook so much with.

Feel free to join in our fun. You can see Janice's work at:

Coordinates Collections
Back Porch Memories
Magistical Memories
Scrapbook Dreamer
Willow Traders
Your Memory by Design

Spread the word - I am sure Janice would have loved everyone's creativity based on her's.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sad news...

I belong to quite a few message boards and I have gotten to know this woman over the last 2 years through a couple of them. Her name was Janice Nielson. She had such a kind and giving soul. She was so creative, positive, and full of energy. She truly loved life here on earth and her Father above.

I was saddened to hear of her passing from her daughter, Rachel, this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. She truly was an inspiring woman.

In her honor, Coordinates Collections will have a Scrap Challenge to scraplift Janice's work. Each layout loaded will be entered into an RAK for a scrapbook gift ($25 value) that I am donating. I think it's a great way to honor her memory.... Besides, knowing Janice, she would have entered 10 layouts herself if she could!

(I'll amend this posting with the RAK when I get home tonight. )

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A little bit of excitement...

... I had another layout picked up by Memory Makers for publication! I was very excited to get the news this morning. It was a layout I did about the current economy and my job. Yippee!! Check it out in the July / August 2009 issue. :)

... I watched the inaugeration of the President of the United States today. Even if you aren't an Obama supporter, you can still feel a sense of history and patriotism in the air. I am excited because being a witness to a historic event is still very cool to me. I had goose bumps watching the ceremony and some of the events leading up to it. There is such optimism in the air! Regardless if you agree that he will be able to accomplish what he has been promising, you have to admit - right now isn't so great and something can be done if EVERYONE works together (both parties, all those really high paid elected officials of every party). It's going to take all our efforts to pull out of this mire, not just a President and I think a lot of people are missing the boat on that one. Obama is just a man with a job to do. If he does it to the best of his ability than I can find no fault with that. Remember that there are a boatload more people in Washington than him that have to buckle down, lose their attitudes, and get the job done. It's those people that I have fault with right now - the ones who are still there with a chip on their shoulder or with apathy in their hearts. I am hoping that America - who elected this man - will give him a fair shake and those who are there to do their jobs will do so. Ok! Off the soap box...

... Plus, my all time favorite singer - Garth Brooks - performed at the pre-party. He really rocked the house, or should I say country? Fabulous!!

Off to accomplish some more stuff and watch some more coverage. Yeah America!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Blog Award - Marie Antoniette

The Marie Antoinette - A Real Person, A Real Award!

So, I met this woman online named Jana who scrapbooks. Believe it or not, there are quite a few of us... She nominated me for this award for having a fun blog to read... I love to post but I don't know how many of you actually read anything I write. That's cool! I am glad that some of you get something from my mindless chatter and fun scrap stuff. So, Here's the rules, of which there are only 5:
1. Post the logo on your blog (above pic of Marie Antionette herself)

2. Post a link to the person’s blog from whom you received the award (thanks, Jana!)

3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs (see below listing)

4. Link to the blogs you’ve nominated, and

5. Post a comment on those blogs to tell them of their nomination! Simple!

So, here is my list of 7 blogs... Check them out!

Stephanie at Homegrown Hospitality

Staci at Stop!! It's Scrappin' Time!!

Lain at ScrapHappy

Crystal's Blog

Sophia at Pretty Shabby Chicky

Sarah at Red Oak Lines - she's giving an RAK so check it out!!

Virginia at Black Flip Flops

Off to let them know... They are all very inspiring so check their blogs out... :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Time to Remember and A Time to Predict...

... Every year, I pick some new year's resolutions and then follow up the following year by reviewing what I have accomplished. This year, I did okay... I accomplished about 1/2 of my goals.
Here's the layout:I tucked the journaling in behind the picture on a card that pulls out...
Then, I decided to do 2009 using the word Patience as my word for the year. There's so much coming for us this year that I need to remember to be patient and flow with life and good things will happen...
Both of these layouts were part of a Cyber Crop last week at Scrapbook Doodle called Scrap-A-Thon. The goal is to do 20 challenges over the period of a week using mostly scraps out of our bags. One of my resolutions with the downturn in my job was to really reduce my scrapbook supply purchases and use more of what I already own. So, I didn't buy a single thing for any of these layouts (above or below). They were all part of my stash in the house.

This is a page about a day at the beach with Annde & Nickie:

And here's a couple of cards... If you wonder why they are blank, it is because I never know what kind of card I am going to need at the last moment and by leaving them blank, I can insert the right sentiment or quote for whatever sentiment I am going for...
Lastly, here's a page I did about my 35th birthday a couple of weeks ago. I love the ornate layering with the simplicity of the topic.

More stuff to come... I have some design team stuff for the Zone to post as well as some more layouts I have done this week...

Peace out from my blog!

Monday, January 12, 2009

With the Start of the Autoshow...

... here is an ad that a friend sent me that is just too funny.

It says in small type:
"We got you to sell your 20 MPG Surburban to buy a 15 MPG Sequoia. We convinced you that your 33 MPG Malibu actually gets worse mileage than our 30 MPG Accord. We convinced you if you quit buying GM, Ford, and Chrysler that we will build more plants, but we just announced we are closing our NEW Prius plant in Mississippi. Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Pontiac scored above average for JD Power Quality, while Acura, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, VW, Subaru, Scion, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Land Rover, and Mini all scored below the industry average - and you still believe American brands can't compete. We got BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN INCENTIVES PAID FOR BY THE US TAX PAYERS TO BUILD THE FEW PLANTS that we do have in America and you didn't care. And best of all, we didn't even have to make you believe that the auto LOANS were really a free money bailout... you came up with that one yourselves!"

You might agree or you might think that it's still spinning the truth, but it is correct by my fact checking so I'm posting it. Most of you know how I feel about what's going on or you will now... :) More pictures and scrap stuff coming later on.

I'll get off my soap box now... I am glad that I am not the only one up there!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Apron Strings are fun to wear!

So, you might have noticed that a new little banner has popped up on the side of my blog... I am very proud to have been chosen for a Apron Strings Sous Chef (DT) position for 2009. I must admit that the DT has a fun twist - you can only use what's in the kit (except for distressing stuff like stickles, stamps or your diecut/cricut machines). It really forced me to go back to the basics and get creative. So, when I got my first kit for January - the Smaller than a Bread Box kit (I love the papers: I had fun mixing and matching the Bo Bunny, Fancy Pants and Pink Paislee papers), I took my time to try and do sometime unique on each page. Here's what I came up.

This was my favorite... I just love the simplicity in it as well as the doodling!
This is also a favorite. I love the flourish on the paper as well as the bracket and I didn't want to cover them. So, I used my craft knife to trim them out and I love how pretty it turned out. Love the glitter glue!!
This was another fun one. For this one, I used these fun but not very good pictures. They fit the topic perfectly!
While the next two pictures aren't great, I LOVE this page about me and Tracy and this page about Jeff and Annde. On Tracy's: I don't tend to use frames - I like how it came out, just hanging on the picture.

I rarely do 2 page layouts but it's a requirement for this DT which is cool - I wouldn't have scrapped these pictures otherwise and I like how it came out. We used a sketch by Becky Fleck and here's the results...
Lastly, I made a few simple cards with the leftover scraps...
Check out the site - the link is to the right! The kits are very reasonable in price and come right to your door! I got 6 layouts plus 5 cards and I STILL have more paper...

Wow! I'm behind!!! LONG post ahead...

The last month has been super eventful for the family... To write it all down would take all night ... so here's the abridged version:

* Steve (back) and Annde (croup) are both recovered. Annde managed to pass on her cold to just about everyone who was in the house over the Christmas vacation. Most of us have recovered... Mine is still lingering and I think my mom might still have a touch of it left...

* My birthday ended with a bang too. We ended up going north to Frankenmuth and the land of Chicken & Christmas ornaments. Instead of doing an all-day trip and having dinner up there, we watched the news about a sleet/snow blizzard-y storm coming and high-tailed it up for lunch instead. The food rocked at Zehnders! I absolutely love going there for the family style fried chicken. Yummy! Then, we went over to Bronners - the BIGGEST Christmas store in the World. I could get lost in there for hours. Unfortunately, with Steve's back and the coming storm, I got about 20 minutes. So, Mom, Annde and I power-shopped... I must say, I got some cute ones! Then I drove the 2 1/2 hours home in the storm while EVERYONE (yes, you too Mom!) slept. We stopped at the store to pick up some meds for Steve and I broke the car - yep! Rolled down the window and it wouldn't go back up... in a sleet storm... several miles from home... with a car that doesn't fit in the garage... Oops! Anywho - we kinda fixed it and got the window back up but in the process, broke this plastic piece, the mechanism inside that rolls it and down, and sheered off the bottom of the glass. A $636 oops! Sigh! So, we went home and played cards. Mom, Dad and I played my favorite card game, Phase 10. I narrowly (okay, 100 points...) beat Dad and we annihilated Mom (Don't be a sore loser, Mommeo - 500 points is a lot!)!

* Christmas eve was good... Annde spent all day trying to get to open gifts - Note to self: Don't put out gifts until AFTER dinner next year! - and Susan made it safely from Texas. We ate a TON of appetizers (family tradition) and opened gifts... Annde was excited about that part. In fact, when Susan got there - she was barely in the door when Annde tossed her gift at her and told her what it was! AHAHAHA Afterwards, we went to church and sang carols.

* Christmas Day was good too. Steve's parents joined up and I cooked up a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I thought it was awesome, even if the stuffing wasn't in the bird! Annde got geeked about the whole Santa thing. Santa rocked - she got LOTS of Princess stuff, Animal Doctor kit, books, stickers, little pets... We listened to Christmas music, played with all kinds of toys and puzzles, and ate way too much. After the sickos (Annde and Steve) went to bed, Mom, Dad, Susan, and I played another card game called Swap. Only one injury and a lot of laughing! (How's the hand, Mom?)

* The next night was Wicked. We were 8 rows off the stage and it was FABULOUS! Much better than the book or the original - it all makes sense now! :) We did dinner at the Melting Pot and I just love their chocolate fondue! It was a wonderful evening, until we sat in the parking garage for 2 hours waiting to get out of our space because traffic was so bad... trust us to pick the show that lets out at the same time as the Motor City Bowl, just down the street... :)

* The rest of the vacation / lay off was uneventful. Annde got sick with the flu and we did some fun stuff as a family but mostly we just vegged. I needed to recharge my batteries after all that cooking.

It was truly a wonderful holiday season. I was so happy to share it with my family... it seems like forever between visits and I do miss seeing my parents and my sister! Love at you three! Yes, there has been some bad stuff lately with my job - I will be laid off again for 2 weeks in about 2 weeks and we all took pay cuts - as well as Steve's brakes died the day we got the car back from fixing the window (Murphy's law right?), but we are all still mostly healthy, happy, and employed! :) That's all that counts right? :)