Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy New Year

A quick goodbye before we don our Mouse Ears and head to Orlando... We're all very excited about it and can't believe the time is actually here. The weather is in the 60s for the lows and 80s for the highs so it should be fantastic. I did land a room at a Disney hotel - Coronado Springs. We've used a great website, All Ears which provides great information, including menus to all the restaurants. I'm ditching all the chocolate and sweets that we've accumuldated over the holidays and going back to South Beach style eating. I'm tired of the look, so I want to get busy and start making better choices. And I feel so much better when I eat a salad for lunch - I just have to find a nice salad that I can enjoy.
Be sure a take a look at Daily Puppy - it just a bright part of my day. Wait til you see the little bijon that they have today. So precious. I'm noticing that they have some great shots of these pups - terrific facial expressions. I picked up Allison Tyler Jones' Designing with Photos this week with my 40% Mikes coupon. I know I can learn alot from this book... Also enjoy reading Karen Russell's blog with her photography tips. If you look on the left side of the blog, you can go directly to the photography advice. I am soooo dying to do a banner like the one in the background. I have been thinking about doing a Welcome banner since Creative Escape.
Happy New Year. I am looking forward to another fun and fabulous year of learning and loving.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday Monday

Hands down, I have found the BEST internet website evah! Check this out... Can you not fall in love a million times over. Isn't it the best! I am going to have to go back in the archives, definitely... just too much fun.

For some crazy reason, the DVR on cable fried this weekend but before that I was taping Martha Stewart Crafts on DIY - I don't know what it was but watching Martha make stuff was just fascinating. You keep wondering if she'll screw up - I mean, there she is... crafting. And it doesn't always go as planned. Last week she made a very cool lattice tray, some lemon candles by scooping out the inside of a lemon and french milled soap. So cool. I have to get the recorder fixed, if only just to watch Martha.

I received my Secret Santa box today - Yipee! It rocks! I got the vintage label stamps from fontwerks. I love love love these labels - they make meeee happppeeeee! There was plenty other cool stuff in the box. White Funky Vintage alphabet and MM paper stack and cute cards. I am glad I mailed my package on Saturday. And if I didn't mention it, I am loving my stamps!
If anyone has suggestions about Disneyworld - pls leave a message and tell me where we MUST go! We're getting excited and I've decided to get the park hopper passes - just in case we want to go to Magic Kingdom.
Every week I get an email newsletter from Cheryl Richardson, author and life coach. I've learned alot from her books and her newsletters are thought provoking and inspiring. Last week she talked about a website called Tabletopics and threw out these questions:
1. What's the most beautiful drive you've ever taken?
2. If you only had 5 more years to live would you change anything about your life?
3. When you're down what do you do to feel better?
4. What's your proudest accomplishment?
5. What's the best and worst thing about being a man or a woman?
Aren't they great ... make you ponder for a bit? I think after Christmas I might order a set of these. Of course, I'm thinking of them in terms of a layout. Hope its a great week for you.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hello Mickey!

It was a slow week last week. My nose is healing up nicely from the basal cell surgery and I skipped my balance therapy (for vertigo). Rachel's birthday is Christmas and she was not excited about it - she'll be 21. I suggested that she plan something fun so she'd have something to look forward to - that's what I do. I've been toying with the idea of taking the girls on a trip and I just wasn't feeling wintery and cold so I threw out the idea - Disneyworld. We're going the 27th for a long weekend - they've never been. Both of them are over the moon excited which makes me really excited and happy. Unfortunately, the Disney resort hotels are booked except for the grande one so we're not staying there. But we're going to have an excellent time - I'm so excited to see their reaction. Plus, it's been 10 years or so since I've been so it'll be terrific. I still have to tell them at work - I don't have the second day of vacation but what's one day - they can dock me for it. I want the girls to have good memories for this Christmas, not be mopey about losing their mother. Not to say, grieving isn't necessary - believe me, we are in it. but they can have good memories about the Christmas of 2007.
Not much else to report - Suziblu has a new video up. She's just amazing. I am always amazed at her talent - every time I see a new video. I scrapped a bit this weekend - finished a baby book for a friend. Staying positive...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Chinese Backstreet Boys

It was a great weekend - Hugo Chavez got his hat handed back to him. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I really hate Hugo Chavez and I wish more Americans understood how dangerous he is to our country. I also wish they understood that Citgo is owned by Chavez and the connection between the two. Anyway, I don't get political about much but for some reason this subject gets a flare from me.
I spent all of Saturday getting in a little Christmas shopping and alot of scrapping at Michelle's house, my Creative Memories connection. She totally rocks, and I always have a great time at her house - yummy food and lots of laughs. I finished a baby book for a friend.
Ali Edwards had these linked on her blog this morning. There are some great videos on there, but hands down, this is the BEST one. It is totally hilarious. It's Chinese Backstreet Boys singing That Way. And its been viewed almost 5 million times. Watch it and tell me if you aren't swaying by the end. The first one is also good - the wedding dance. Isn't You Tube amazing.
Oh, yeah, we have lots of Christmas lights on our house... it looks pretty! Good night.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Baker Company

I had two basal cell spots extracted from my face on Wednesday by Dr. Lilyette Wright. (she rocks!) I thought it wouldn't be a big deal. It ended up being a little bit more painful that I thought but I think I'm through the worst of it.
I got this email earlier this week and felt like sharing. I checked it out on snopes and its true. Instead of focusing on my minor stuff, I want to remember these guys - somebody important. Pretty cool.
The proud warriors of Baker Company wanted to do something to pay tribute to our fallen comrades. So since we are part of the only Marine Infantry Battalion left in Iraq the one way that we could think of doing that is By taking a picture of Baker Company saying the way we feel. It would be awesome if you could find a way to share this with our fellow countrymen. I was wondering if there was any way to get this into your papers to let the world know that "WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN" and are proud to serve our country.
Semper Fi
1stSgt Dave Jobe
I'm remembering today.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Oh me. I'm getting that weary, tired feeling again. I just hate it but there is nothing I can do but lay down and chill. His name is Grief and it just wears me out. I was fine up until today. I've been making some embossed cards for Christmas - embossing is definitely my favorite. Here, I'll take a pic. I was thinking the silver looked better but really the black is pretty nice. The jingle one is made with a brass stencil and paste. I really got into paste last year and haven't done any since. But I LOVE embossing.

I mentioned a few days ago missing a bid on Tracy Niehues clown on ebay. I'm fascinated with doing a project with a little round head and ruffled collar made from crate paper. I still haven't figured out how to do it but I will. Anyhoo, she mentioned this blog and so I took a peek. WOW. Suziblu. I don't know how to describe it other than inspiring and amazing. Look at her vlogs about starting an art journal. She is really adorable and it inspired me to start my very own art journal. You start off by writing all the reasons you can't or won't have one and then you cover it with gesso. I had to laugh because about 18 months ago I kept asking everybody - what is gesso, what do you do with it, what is it for... well, now I'm a gesso, matte medium kinda girl. Crazy. Back to Suziblu - this girl has definitely got "it" in charisma or spirit or - I don't know what but I am spending my time looking at her videos.
Nannie came back from New Orleans just now - I made some yummy turkey soup. It is good that she is home. Its funny because I'm not used to living in a quiet house - I'm glad she's home.
Joy is not in things it is in us.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cats and Dogs

This morning the heavens opened up and down came the cats and dogs. It was great because I had nowhere to go and could stay home the entire day and stay out of the nasty weather. It was a wonderful day to be home. I spent the entire day organizing my scrap room and several other things around the house. I start on one project and go to get a screw driver or scissors or something and then start another project. By the end of the day, they all get done but I get side tracked easily. I have 2006 Creating Keepsakes magazines that I need to give away - if you want them, let me know. I'll check with our local Yahoo group, Houston and Beyond. I made some yummy Turkey soup from the turkey carcas, perfect day for soup. I enjoy cooking but I am not one to slave away on Thanksgiving so we ordered our dinner from Boston Market for the second year in a row. It was excellent. I also served a ham. We had a nice relaxing day and I am so thankful that life is going back to normal. Everyone talks about all the things they are thankful for and I have to agree - its the little things. I am thankful that we have dependable garbage pick up - (am I crazy or what... but I really am). I put the stuff out Fri and by 9 am it was all gone - recycling too. Now, that is pretty cool - they could have skipped it and told us to wait a week. I'm thankful for hard working garbage men.
I ventured out yesterday for a few hours and it went so smoothly. I HAD to check out Scrapbook Junkie's new location and I'm soooo loving it. Great location, nice wide open space and a terrific crop room. I never have taken a class there or cropped but that will definitely change in 2008. I stopped in at Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of Christmas wrapping and a gold star ornament that I altered with some Christmas paper. I've been wanting to do that since I saw Heather's metal ornament last week at the Scrap Etc crop. Then I stopped in at Target for the 1000 count sheets that were $19. A sales clerk went into the back and found the king flat sheet. Yipee! It was a great shopping excursion. I had thought about going out today but nixed it with the weather. That's about it - going to read my Creating Keepsakes magazine that came in the mail today. Good night.
Always remember the problems we have are first world problems.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Scrap TV

Right now I am only taping two shows a day - Oprah and Scrapbook Memories, which comes on at 4 am. I think I taped every DIY Sandy Genovese show so I had to move on... I really wish someone like Cathy Zielske would do a TV show because the two perky women on SM grate on my last nerve. But, I'm left with no other options and I do enjoy seeing Stacy Julian and have picked up a few ideas here and there. I wasted alot of time yesterday looking for a mini-album or card they did where she sewed flaps on 3 sides with a wide zig zag stitch. It was pretty ingenious. Never found it. And I looooookkkked.

Today I watched a couple episodes of Fiskars TV and I LIKED it. Look at the Hodge Podge album - very cute idea - what about adding a transparency to it and maybe a slice of a board book... The second show with Leah Fung and the clipboard calendar is a great Christmas gift - I will do the larger board and maybe landscape with a different font (I'm picky about my calendars). I really liked both of the punches that she used, that allows you to tuck in the corners. Now how can I NOT go out and buy those two punches? With a 50% coupon maybe? Watched the metal card also - I have a bunch of that stuff and the Scrapboss so I will have to try it - the audio is terrible plus the camera angle sucks but you get the idea.

Okay, here's my own personal challenge. I need to get either the calendar or album made by the end of the Thanksgiving holiday... How's that?

I also received the kits from Kimberly Kwan today - yipee! They both are wonderful... I can't wait to make them. They even smell vintage and musty - how cool is that! She included dictionary pages of C and D including a picture of a Dachshund! How COOL is that! My Killer-Boy is everywhere! Ooops, thats a photo-op... Kind of hard to see the red-boy on the red couch. He's my shadow.
Remember the photos I mentioned yesterday about my brothers and sister? Well, this was my absolute favorite one evah. She looks so beautiful there - like a little doll.
Arrggggghhhhh. I screwed up, big time! I've been waiting all night to bid on Tracy Niehues' birthday clown for Becca's Sutton's juvenile diabetes fund raiser and I totally missed it. As I was uploading the photo, I heard CLICK and I thought damn, that's the email telling me I didn't win. Damn. I'm so mad at myself. Damn.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back in the Saddle

It rained most of the night... what a great way to wake up on Sunday morning! We really needed the rain so I'm enjoying it plus I have plenty to keep me busy at home today.
I had a great time at the Scrap etc. crop at By Design yesterday - met some new people, and saw some friends from CE and MIT. Creative Cafe is in the house - which was fun to see. Lots of great Hambly too. There was a birthday party going on, along with our SE crop and it was a great combination - fun to see everyone's projects. I really enjoyed visiting with Kristin F and Heather from Geismar - even though they were across the room. We had lots of laughs about BFFs and BFTs with Cindy and Laurel (it was Laurel's birthday). It was such a relief to be out and about and playing with my stuff. It has been so hard lately to get dressed so more than anything I enjoyed just being out of the house and being with scrappers was a total bonus!
I couldn't sleep last night so I watched Oprah on tape - the second show about hoarders. It was really interesting because I think its intrinsic to store your stuff (like the cavemen) -it's human nature. Of course, the couple they showed was over the top but it made me think about my buying habits of scrapbook stuff. My first inclination was to go cold turkey and yet after reading ScrapScene I realized that was a bit unrealistic. I'm going to think about it further and put some limits down because I have more than I'll ever use and I think it is preventing me from finishing projects. I have tons of good ideas but I get bogged down by the buying so we'll see what happens. And then I'm off to thinking about another project. I'll give a think about it over the T-giving holidays.
Last weekend was the Nutcracker Market, which is my favorite event in Houston and though it wasn't a typical year for me this year, it was still fun and I enjoyed the shopping. I found this vintage hankerchief hanger from a local store, Embellishments that's probably 3 miles from my house. Crazy, huh. They are holding my Glimmer Mists for now, I'll add more to the top and bottom pockets. Isn't it a beautiful, vintage look! I'm lurving it. I love the possibilities of having such a beautiful piece and yet storage too! Win-win for me.
Silver Bella - wow. I have enjoyed the eye candy from various blogs about the event. It will definitely be on my "to do" list for 2008. I'll have to work out an arrangement with Nutcracker (their 2008 dates are Nov 13-17) but I want to be a Bella in 2008 - that is for sure! I was fortunate enough to order (I know what you're thinking!) the kits from Kimberly Kwan that should arrive this week. Can't wait! It looks like such a great event and I am moving more towards vintage creating so it especially speaks to me.

Hey, did I mention that I'm in assisted living? Yep. I'm getting assistance with the yard and housework, with car cleaning, nail polishing and dry cleaning... you name it, I'm going to get some assistance if it keeps me from enjoying my life and creating! (I heard that from some comediane and thought it was just hilarious and have now made a marked effort to get as much assistance as I can afford. )

The new banner photo is of my sweet mother holding the prettiest baby evah (moi) and my older brothers and sister. You can see there was a run on pea coats at K-mart that year and all the Nelson kids were stylin. Some of my most favorite photos in the world are of my brothers and sister when they were children. So adorable. My sister passed away two weeks ago. I appreciate everyone's kind words. I'm not much for PDG so trust you'll understand the silence.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October Moon

On Friday we sat on I-10 for four hours behind an eight car pile up that involved two car fires. Soon the moon showed its face and I caught it. Other than good New Orleans french bread, this shot was the highlight of the weekend.
I've added it and deleted it 4 times now... Life is hard right now. I just wanted to share the photo. And I'm going to CE in 2008.
Good night.

Monday, October 15, 2007


This is a picture of my beautiful baby sister on her 49th birthday. We have a tradition at my house of singing happy birthday with the lights out and getting a snapshot. I love it because I have most everyone in the family in that same chair, same shot. I think she looks beautiful, even if she still does boss me around (and she's the baby!). She's an amazing Mom.
Okay, so I wasn't feeling so well this morning and left the house a bit late and as I drove down the street out of the neighborhood, I passed a hispanic woman, probably walking to work. For a brief moment, she made eye contact with me. Hesitant, tentative. And I made eye contact and smiled. I've been noticing this alot lately. In the hallway in our 20+ story building at work. Alot of different races and nationalities and how some women look right through you. How many times have I done it to others? Oh, I know some days you're engrossed in thought but for the most part, I stay aware of my surroundings. My CE friends think its a Texas thing - maybe it is. But I say HI to damn near everybody. C'mon - we share a common bond - we're women. Let's show a little kindness to each other. Hell, alot of kindness.
I had a great shopping weekend. I went to Scrapbook Junkie and found some great Heidi Swapp stamps. Also went to a great Hobby Lobby on 45S - really big store. Bought a bunch of frames for my Allison Tyler Jones photogs - realize now that I need 5 x 7s now. Also went to By Design and picked up a handful of glimmer mists - really fun to play with. And then to Novel Approach where I picked up Canvas Concept BINDER CLIPS! I've been looking for them every where! I made a memo board for Sister and now I can finish it and deliver it! Yipee. Saturday night I went to a really fun crop at Elida's, from a Yahoo Group called Houston & Beyond. What a great group! So nice and everybody shares - it was so enjoyable. I could do that every Sat night! Sunday I went to Urban Market in the Heights and scored some goodies. A wire gym basket and a cream-colored wrought iron patio table. I love that market - 45 vendors 3 times a year on a Sunday. Really unique stuff. I made the mistake last year of not buying a santos (wooden angel) because it was like $45... now I can't find one anywhere except on ebay for $190. Damn. They also sell amazing chicken salad. So much fun!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday turns to Saturday

Yeah for Friday's ~ We're loving them, especially in the GIRL HOUSE! And October Fridays are even better - when there's a bit of a breeze in the air. This may seem out of sorts with where I'm about to go but the first blog I read most days is dooce. She makes me laugh and has some good links. I linked here and there - isn't this owl lamp adorable? I want one... so what if its $198 - I'll bet Hambly Studios has one! What do you think of the peacock pitcher?
Next I found Gwenyth Paltrow's house in the Hamptons and all I can say is WOW. It is truly amazing and everything they say about it in House and Garden is spot-on. It is gorgeous and seems LIVABLE. Take a look-see for yourself. Now, couldn't you whip up some pretty cakes in this kitchen? And I'm no GP fan either but I have to say I have a new found appreciation for her style. Simply marvelous. Look at the whole house and see if you don't agree. I love the light in the yoga room. And the needlework canvas in the foyer. I am ALL over that.
I've spent a wee bit of time at this blog and like a good book, I just couldn't put it down. So many of the pictures spoke to me. Beautiful.
Oh and speaking of books! Borders has an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love. Which reminds me, Oprah had an interview today... good thing I recorded it - it will be my nighttime viewing tonight. Another yeah for Fridays!
I have a memo board to finish tonight for my sister. Looking forward to coffee drinking and relaxing for a short while in the morning and then off to Archivers for the day. Should be interesting!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


How embarressing... I walked into the house tonight screaming, Girl House, Girl House ... thinking my husband had gone on his hunting trip. Didn't think twice about why his truck was still in the driveway, just assume they picked him up. Ooops. No. It got delayed for a day and man oh man, he was a-pouting. It was almost funny. Spent about 2 minutes trying to cheer him up and then gave up. I'd be the same way if it was a scrapbook trip! Oh, when you call out "Girl House" you have to strip to your bra and panties... Just because you can!
Anyway, work has been ferocious lately! I won't dwell, let's just say I have spent alot of time learning about Worker's Comp and it's confirmed. There's a real reason why I stayed away from it for 33 years. It sucks.
I've been reading Heidi K Swapp's blog and I have to say, it is so fascinating to see the pictures. It really is soooo coool that we can visit the country through her eyes. I thank her for that!
Well, I've spent alot of time cruising blogs - thanks to Megan and now it's bedtime. No pics, no words of wisdom, just a good night!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Down, 7 to go

Pictures, we have pictures of my first completed project! I finished Tracy's folder, inside and out: I know two girls who will be very proud of me! Last year after CE I attended CKU Houston and stuff sat around for months and even a year without getting done. I vowed to complete all 8 projects by Nov 11th... 1 down, 7 to go! I've almost finished the purse but I can't find the dang first page!
Last month when it was blazing hot, we, okay I had the grand idea of trapsing around Canton in 90+ degree heat. It was worth it, though, because we spotted this neat bench made from old bedposts and I thought/lied and said it fit in a Tahoe. It didn't fit. It had to be taken apart and then it barely fit. But we got it home and DeWayne was kind enough to re-enforce it was some l-brackets so it would be really sturdy. I also found a pretty white chenille bedspread that had a rust stain on it... today I recovered the bench and I think it looks perfect. I can't decide between a long bolster or two pillows... look at me, talking like I am a sewing-type person or something... As if. Anyway, it won't stay there, next to the front door but for now it is there. I love the architecture of it. And you can't see the top posts which are cool. It's so unique. Lurve it.
I went with DeWayne to the gun range today and shot a 38 and 380. S&W and Browning, I think. It was pretty good - I am trying to get over my fear of pulling the trigger. I've never been around guns and my hubby collects them so it was nice to do something together today. He's very patient and a very good teacher. I would like to practice my aim - it was just so hot out there. This morning, we woke to a beautiful nice breeze with just a hint of fall. It makes me so happy inside on mornings like this. We had coffee on the front porch. But man, later on it was 90 again and hot at that range. It'll be more fun in a month or so.
I have a root canal to look forward to this week... let's hope he has an appointment soon because this suckers been so painful! Good night.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Escaping with an Arizona Vacation

Yeah, I know, I've been gone but its for all good stuff. I had to cross the FIFTY finish line which involved lots of lunches and partys and gifts. I had to stretch it out the week before and full 10 days or so after... I'm here to tell you that fifty is indeed Fabulous. There is a calm and ease that doesn't arrive until you cross the threshold. I am absolutely loving it. A stillness and a peace. And thanks to Creative Escape and this great addiction called scrapbooking, a pure joy has been with me for the past two weeks. Pure. Joy.
It was a weeks vacation and I originally regretted scheduling so much time but now I'm so grateful. It was the best thing to do. Hooked up with my peeps, Jeanne and Tanya on Tuesday and we started The AZ Shop dance. We ran into Megan and her luxury tour at Happy Sisters and then stopped at the best box scrapbook store ever, Recollections. Man, I just don't get why Tom Bazzone won't put one of these in Houston. I am back on my letter writing campaign. That store was packed full of scrapbooking ecoutremonts - just the best. I loved the Go West etched acrylic albums, both compass and Christmas themes.
On Wednesday we completed an assignment by my brilliant roomie, Jeanne: photography session with the awesome and fabulous Allison Tyler Jones. In.Her.Very.Own.Studio. We were ROCKSTARS - with a wind machine and lighting and music. It was so amazing. We did combo shots with all 3 of us and then individually. I can't wait to see the proofs - we should be able to view them in a week. It was one of the best things I've ever done - getting good photos at 50 was a brilliant idea. We went onto shop at the Bazzill warehouse, Scrapbooks etc., Mystic Paper, Devine Memories and Melrose Vintage. And yes, all of those were great, each and of themselves but the high from Allisons prevailed. Melrose was an amazing store with a complete line of Anna Griffin merchandise. Oh my. Afterwards we had our circle journal dinner which was great. I miss my Favorite Canadians - all of them. Charleen and Heather each brought a friend, who turned out to be great just like them. We make a good group.
Everyone else has reviewed CE but here are my thoughts (after all it is my blog here). I admire Heidi Swapp for being so open and real. For all the negativity and hype about her, she is one very talented woman who opens her heart to us. I remain a big fan - she has great ideas and I will continue to take classes, even if it is in Chinese, i.e. Scrap etc 2008.
PS - I learned that my friend, Tanya is really a rocket scientist with a Phd and so now we have to call her Doctor Princess. :)
I was in awe of Tracy Niehaus' project - the see-through folder and I want tomake more. My goal is to complete all circle journals next 2 weeks and then all projects in the next 60 days. I'm happy to be home with no commitments this weekend. Lots of free scrapping time.
During Allison's keynote address, she showed one of our session photos and it was if time stood still when I watched the photo. She had us stand up in front of the crowd of 600. Way cool.
Sunday we drove up to Sedona for the day and looked around. Very cool. Heather finished her Carol Wingert journal from last year for her Sedona trip and did an amazing job. Canadians are very creative and resourceful.
PB delivered the replacement armoire and its now packed full of PTD (albums and projects to do). That'll keep me out of the stores for a while plus the bill from Arizona Vacation. And I'm going to have a root canal sometime soon.
And I'll close on a solemn note. My sister, Judi's father-in-law, Rudi Roemlein passed away on Thursday after battling prostate cancer. He was a good man and father and will be missed deeply by his family. I am sad for his wife, Kathleen who is an amazing Irish grandmother and my brother in law, Dennis. My sister and kids are on their way to NY for the funeral on Monday. I hope my Dad was at the gate to meet him. Den is now in The Club.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Loving Where You Are

It looks like this outside today. I love the sunlight and the shadows. We're coming into Texas August, and that's hot stuff. But I've decided hot is alot better than the storming July rains every day. Now that was brutal. And downright depressing. I don't see how Seattle people do it.
Have you ever thought about all the people that are affected when it rains? Like storm rain, really rain, Houston rain. Golfers, yard guys, everybody in construction, pool cleaners, fishing, little leaguers, really any kid sports, moving any furniture in the back of a pickup. Okay - so you get my point.
Next year if I get the idea to go to Canton during August - just slap me. Because that would feel alot better than being there. There's just no use in trying to shop because you can only move about 30 steps. I did score a major find - a bench made from bedposts. Never mind that it didn't fit in the Tahoe so we had to take it apart. Now my hubby is reinforcing it so it will be sturdy. Its very very cool. I also picked up a white chenille bed throw to cover the seat - great match. Plus theres enough left over for pillows. Now the tricky part is where to put the bench - I didn't really think it through - it was just a - I gotta have that - purchase. It will look nice in the living room. I'll take a pic when I'm done.
I'm working hard on Loving Where You Are. Not to be confused with Being In the Moment. It seems that all our lives we spend wishing we were... married, or 16 so we can drive, or having kids, curly hair, or not working or whatever. I have been working on being grateful, writing down 5 things every morning. But stepping beyond that to stop wishing I was somewhere else, whether its with my hair or my marriage or my job. Appreciating exactly where I am and quit wishing it was different. It's a big one.
Off for physical therapy on my shoulder. Be real.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Craigslist and Debby Schuh

I finished Eat, Pray, Love this afternoon during our daily rainstorm. Man, it is an amazing book - I hated finishing it. Such an interesting story - I hope she writes another book and soon! Makes me want to go to Bali and that's plain crazy! Yesterday was busy ... starting at By Design Scrapbook for a class with Debby Schuh. This book is absolutely gorgeous - it's a 7 Gypsies envelope album covered in Anna Griffin papers. I loved it - lots of pockets. We finished it in 3 hours. It was a fun class too - lots of a good chatter and interesting people. Debby is such a nice person and relaxed - great teacher too. Sandy who is also going to CE came and then Anita from Maridawn's - nice to be amongst familiar faces. I hated to leave but we had a family birthday party last night and I still had two cakes to make! I made a white cake with whipped cream frosting - I think that is going to be my favorite cake now. I used heavy whipping cream for the frosting and it was divine. The other cake was a German Chocolate with traditional coconut pecan icing. Does anyone know why a german chocolate cake crumbles? Made me sort of crazy - I guess I beat it too much. We have spaghetti pie and lots of yummy munchies. Our family spends a good hour at the hor devours table - my hubby never understood that but he was right up there with the best of 'em last night. Lots of presents and cake and everyone was happy - it was a fun night. But alot of work... I was tired today. I finally got busy around 3 and listed 4 different items on Craigslist. I've SOLD two of them already! Yippee - me likes craigslist. It's such a great way to get rid of stuff and make some cash. And no fees - that's the best part. I also ran a load of car load of donations to the local shelter called Turning Point for homeless over 55. Feels good to help those folks. Now the back of my car is empty and ready to be loaded up next weekend when we go to Canton! Yipee for First Monday and then on Saturday to Shreveport for a little bit of gambling. My kind of weekend! Now, I've just got to make it through the week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Good Read

I don’t recall who it was or what blog I was reading that recommended this book, but I am in the middle of it and it is fascinating … Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don’t know if it is the 50 thing or what, but I am open to all sorts of things that I may not have considered in the past. Learning to speak Italian sounds possible… after reading this book – and interesting. I love it when you stumble upon some real talent - it is so intoxicating. Pure joy.
I’ve also been searching for the past several months for the appropriate container for my scrapbook projects and have vacillated between a china cabinet, armoire, and just about everything in between. Glass doors or no glass doors… Antique or new. I knew it had to be white. I’ve looked at Gallery Auction’s pictures every week, seeking a painted piece from England, to no avail. I finally found this… in all places but Pottery Barn Kids. I love what they have in that catalogue albeit part of me can’t believe that there are children in this world that actually live in those kinds of bedrooms, but whatever… I love the classic lines of this piece and opted for no glass. I keep all these supplies in bins – its time now to elevate them to the proper place. My house furnishings remodel has been in full swing for the past six months. I’ve cleaned out the sunroom, given away tons of stuff and now I have to take pics and post a handful of items on craigslist. Two weekends ago I hired two helpers from a mission – it was my single best proactive move this year. Honestly. $10 an hour for heavy lifting and we did it all in 2 hours. They worked hard. It was kind of scary to hire strangers but I did it and I am so glad I did. Sometimes it feels overwhelming – all the projects, chores, deeds to be done around the house. This was just a great way of getting it done.
I'm going to By Design on Saturday for a class with Debby Schuh. Should be great fun. Saturday night we have birthday celebration at my house for my niece, Megan and brother. Spaghetti Pie, oh my! If you've never tasted this - you are missing out! It's an old family recipe (from Family Circle, I think) with sausage and spinach and cream cheese and cottage cheese! Sounds terrible, huh! Well, it is AMAZING! It's our birthday treat.
I'm getting excited about Creative Escape, which is fast approaching. We have a pre-CE crop last weekend at Archivers for four of us - Karen Clauson, Sandy Horton and Gigi Chapman and myself. What a great group! I enjoyed meeting all of them and getting to know them - nice nice women. Sandy is taking the Debby Schuh class this weekend. We're having a second crop in August at By Design - on the 18th.
Which reminds me... I think I want to go to Round Top this year... when is it? I'm going to Canton for First Monday in two weeks. Yipee!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Crillon Stamp

Oh, if this isn't too freaky ... remember the stamp I saw at Archiver's that was embossed - from Lil Davis. Well, I've been looking here and there for it on line and its always out of stock. I look in my library of stamps and there it is, along with Crillon I. Is that too weird! I knew I loved the design - I just didn't remember buying it. Bad Bad. But good good.
Guess I should go play with it now...
I did pick up some Ranger dabbers in copper and gold. I'm not too crazy about the copper - it seems more orangy but I'll play with it. I'm also hooked on a new aqua they have called "pool". Lurve it. Okay, I'm off to play ~ just had to share.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Making up for Lost Weekends

Last weekend I missed 3 trips for scrapbook shopping - Friday night I made sure we didn't repeat history! After the storms passed, I headed out to Archiver's and saw a beautiful card made with this stamp by Lil Davis, embossed in copper. It was stunning! Apparently the stamp is new and not out yet but I'll be tracking it down. They had masked the middle and put 50th for an anniversary card. It reminded me what a dramatic and classic statement embossing makes. I need to do it more often.
I started out this morning with a pocket full of cash - I sold Rachel's car to a co-worker and they picked it up this morning! Yes! I headed down south to the new scrapbook store, By Design to check it out. Well, it's everything it seems in the pictures - great attention to details and so much HKS & Anna Griffin product! This is my favorite room. These chairs were from a garage sale and the ottoman has 2 rows of bling bling trim. Look at that clock! I was amazed at all the little extras, everywhere you looked. I visited with Tracy and Pixie, who confirmed that Debby Schuh will be teaching on the 27th and 28th. I love Debby's albums and style plus she's just so nice. I'll definitely sign up for the classes - should be fun. The crop room looks great with 20 spaces.
Afterwards, I figured out a short-cut to Scrapbook Junkie and picked up a few goodies at Beth's. She's got the best, updated product and alot of it. I always manage to find a few tidbits that need to go home with me. Today I picked up the chocolate Making Memories funky vintage letters. These acetate alphabets have swirls and flowers on them - so cool! Can't wait to use them. You know what I thought was so cool - Tracy at By Design said that all the other local stores sent flowers - I saw the ones from Just4Fun and they were gorgeous. What a cool industry - that your competitors welcome you. Now that's class for you.
I came home and made fruit salad and headed over to Michelle's, my Creative Memories consultant and former neighbor - she is such a hoot. We cropped until 9 - and ate some great food. She made Hearty Tostada Soup - yum-o! You know the kind of laughing that your eyes water - well, the stories were flowing until the tears came. So much fun, that group. It was a good day.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

Here's to Old Glory and this great Nation.

We're having ribs and potato salad - relaxing and enjoying this great life in America!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Is there Email to Heaven?

That's how I'd send my Father's Day card this year. My Dad died almost 3 years ago in August - on the last day of my job at the shipyard, a week before my birthday and right when we were moving into our renovated house. It was such a crazy time - my brother was in the ICU at the VA in Houston at the end stage of Hodgkins and my Dad was in Biloxi at the end stage with Parkinsons. I didn't go see him at the very end, which may sound weird to some people but I think that is how he wanted it. It was painful to look at him - he wasn't the man I knew - he was a mere skeleton of a human being. His mother died when he was 9 and I think for that reason too he didn't want me to be with him at the end. He had been sick for 3 years - alot of doctors and treatments and nothing worked. So his death was a relief. Wait, did I really say that? Anyway, my Dad was a rock - always solid, dependable, someone you could count on. He taught me about volunteering, because he did. He explained about balancing your life, each part in the image of a pie slice. He loved golf and played alot and could remember every single shot on every single hole. He was the epitome of a gentleman and believed in using your manners all the time. He was a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, 75th MAC for a gazillion years and when he retired, his pension is what allows my mother to have an easy financial life. He met my mother in Germany, while serving in the Army and after five children, divorced her after 40 years of marriage. I didn't speak to him for 2 years because of it. I followed his career path and became a marine insurance broker when I was 17 and worked for him for 2 years when he bought an insurance agency in Port Arthur, Texas. On a slow afternoon, we'd flip a coin and see who got to take off for the afternoon. We had breakfast at Sears coffee shop for $1.10 each. He used to send me a card or flowers on the anniversary of my first day, 7/7/75.
You should have seen his funeral - it was amazing. He had an official Army burial with 21 gun salute. I know he loved every single minute of it - it was full of pomp and circumstance and he would have been so proud. I was proud. During the burial it rained lightly, which seemed so fitting. It was such a blur - the entire month. I still wish I had one more time with him - a hug and a talk and a laugh. Just one more.
I love this picture of him.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I had a terrific weekend. I left Friday afternoon and went to Arlington for the Great American Scrapbook Convention. I stopped at Recollections in Arlington, which is a scrapbook store owned by Michaels. It's super - why don't we have one in Houston? I'm starting my letter writing campaign tonight. I didn't realize they also own Aaron Brothers. They have a very cute paper mache star project that has paper on one side and look-a-like tin ceiling tiles on the other. I can't attend the class so I bought all the supplies from TenSecond Studios, along with the book, Metal Effects by Cheryl Darrow. It looks super - can't wait to try it! Next year I will definitely attend the classes - heard alot of good feedback. I shopped like a manic on Saturday morning - lots of good deals and things I couldn't go home without. Great loot.
I came home Saturday - my brother stayed with my Mom because Nancy was also gone Friday night. He said he felt like he was staying at a spa because of the master suite. It made me take a new look at my bath and he's right. It really is big and beautiful and luxurious. I want to appreciate it more often. I bought a beautiful sheer drape from Pottery Barn for my bed. I love the softness - it makes the bedroom magical. Love it.
Totally jealous of my best bud roomie, Jeanne who purchased a Canon 30D with several amazing lenses. Can't wait to see the result in September at Creative Escape. Definitely, on my wish list!
I used Craigslist for the first time to sell an office chair and it worked! Posted the notice yesterday afternoon and wahlah - it's sold! Pretty cool.
I watched the Sopranos ending last night and I thought it was terrific. It left me hanging on the edge of my seat. You didn't know what to expect... undercover FBI guys getting ready to arrest him or was he going to get whacked? I loved it plus of course Journey in the background... don't stop believing, hold on to that feeling... Loved it!
At work, I have to say I am totally surprised and very content. It's finally slowed down a bit so I can catch my breath. And I'm working for a good guy - it makes all the difference. They installed new carpet this weekend so I unpacked my desk - here's to a productive week!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Life's Sucker Punch

yet I'm still standing. Was having a great weekend until this morning. Out to breakfast with my niece when I had to do a double take. A tattoo. on her backside. Problem is, she's 20. I have a standing rule with all my nieces and nephews - no tattoo until you are 25 or I cut you off financially. I know - it doesn't sound smooth or nice but it's a deal breaker with me. And they all know it. Unfortunately today, I had to enforce it and give the consequence. And man, it is ever so hard. Don't get me wrong - I believe in the rule, totally. A teenager's brain is not fully developed until they are 24 or so. They do stupid things, based on immediate gratification. A tattoo is a life-long choice and not to be made on a whim. I won't be around in 40 years to see what all these kids with tattoos will look like...
But anyway, so I had to pull the car and cell phone and now she doesn't have a way to get to work. It is so hard to stick with this but I have to. It's not a choice. I just feel sick inside and a bit angry too. What else is there to do? I really don't know how single people parent teenagers because to me it's such an amazingly hard, emotionally draining challenge.
I did get some stuff done today - had a nice meal at Pei Wei *yummo* and a bit of shopping at Whole Foods. What a treat! And then delivered stuff to Turning Point, the local homeless shelter. And paid the dues for the pool so we can swim! It's back to the grind tomorrow - let's hope its a quiet week this week and I can get alot accomplished! I am going to Dallas on Friday for the Great American Scrapbook Convention - my first! Can't wait!

Saturday, June 02, 2007


It's the start of another great weekend - not alot scheduled and hopefully some time for scrapping or shopping for scrapping. A couple of good ideas in my head, rolling around. Last weekend I put the finishing touches on this Donna Downey project that we did in Vancouver in March. It's Bazzill 3 x 5 chipboard that you punch a hole and add little tags with sayings from 7 Gypsies. I love this project because it takes old photos out of the box, into the light of day. On the back side of each tag is the word. And yes, those are all of me, from the 60s. I love the first tag of Baby Me with my Dad. I've bought more chipboard from because I definitely want to do another one - different theme. We also used our Fiskars drill which was cool since it had been new in the package. I like learning how to use the stuff I have! At some point, I want to complete the Ali Edwards book "Evolution" - mainly because I have the photos printed plus I LURVE the transparencies and went nuts afterwards and bought a billion of them, along with the billion my BSBFF, Jeanne (and world's most totally awesome roomie) collected for me. What is life without having your peeps getting your back at the lss! Man.
So the new PB catalog arrived, along with PB Home and I almost missed this shot: Isn't that a cool use of a vintage Hamilton printer tray? Several months ago, some English blogger did a throwdown about printers trays and I was all into it - I think she did a seashell theme with patterned paper. She offered to sell and send an extra tray but as usual, I went ebay searching and found one. It's been sitting lonely by the door - now I have another idea for it. I wasn't so thrilled with cutting paper to fit all the little holes so the PB version seems more doable. Plus I hadn't settled on a theme. Hmmmm.
Fun to think about! I did one easy project last weekend - took a 99c plaque and added a cute story/poem my niece wrote about her (other) grandmother. Added a few buttons and ribbon and wah lah! Fun stuff.

On Memorial Day I did some furniture shopping at Star and snagged two cool deals. This chair arrived yesterday. I can't seem to find a picture of it but it's a nice big comfy chair with ottoman in a light microsuede fabric. I've stopped the pups twice now from getting up on it and they both look at me incredulously like, you're settling limits for us! Yep - we want to keep the new stuff looking nice for a while! The sofa is for the sunroom and it's a large celadon (green) sectional which will fit perfectly near the window. Good for naps and reading! It won't arrive til end June but first rainy Saturday we have - I'll be on it!

And finally, I mentioned I brought alot of books and mags during vacation. I finished one book in a little over a day, called 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. It was recommended to me by my new scrapping friend, Anita and she was right. It's uplifting, and an easy read. It gives a great insight into Heaven and life lessons. "Ask for help" was probably the biggest message I got, so I'm practicing that with the care of my Mother. Good stuff. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Amazing Destin

I've been working, sick, busy, beaching - take your pick. Okay, not busy enough to stay away for more than a month but what the hell... Let's just move on, shall we? I started full-time at work on May 1. So, now I have to be a grown up every day and earn my pay and act right. It really sucks. I was perfecting the art of being a slacker. No whining... I have lots of responsibility and paydays are nice but other than that - I'm just working on balance and not getting sucked into being a workaholic. I work 1-2 nights til 7 and leave by 5 on Fri - those are my rules. Oh, and take a vacation 3 weeks after you start - that's important. I went to New Orleans on Saturday to pick up my cousin, Rose and celebrate a high school graduation NOLA style, ala crawfish boil. Man, were they good! I took 100+ pics - here's the graduate, Katherine Landry. It was alot of fun to see family and eat some crawfish. The weather was absolutely pristine. I also stopped at my favorite store, Earthsavers, which is located only in the New Orleans area and is a totally amazing spa/retreat store. If you are ever in Mandeville or NOLA, you should stop in. I don't know how they do it but they manage to capture calm and relaxing in their products throughout their store. I'd love to get a massage there. So nice. Rose and I took our time on Sunday driving over to Destin (about 5 hour drive). We stopped off at Bay St. Louis to see Bay Oaks - a house that belonged to my Nanny and the place where all good crawfish went to be devoured. Every Memorial Day they had a crawfish boil that was AMAZING. Lots of great memories. I am so grateful that I went to the last one in 2005 and made a great paperbag book of it. We stopped at Casino Magic, now called Hollywood and within 10 minutes of arriving, I won 2166 quarters or $542. Yeah baby. I borrowed $20 from Rose, so we split the pot. Good stuff.
And then, on to Destin, where the weather was perfection and the shopping was hot. I was going to spend a little time by the pool on Monday but once I got a look at the beach, I couldn't resist. Perfect weather with just enough breeze. I spent all 3 days at the beach - under the umbrella, out of the umbrella, under the umbrella and then out. I brought an entire 21" suitcase full of books and magazines. I was in my glory - but still didn't manage to sleep enough. We shopped every day from 2-closing and had a magnificent meal at Bonefish Grill. The outlet stores were great - I couldn't pass up the new Coach Spring patchwork purse. I tried the duffle this time and I'm really liking it - it works well for me. I didn't capture a pic of our trunk but it was filled with packages - and apparently I came home with two too many so I have to mail Rose's shoes and capris to her. Darn it!
Before I left, my talented step-daughter, Jill came over and we created a clock for her from some graduation photos from last year. Its based on the Creative Escape Heidi Swapp clock and I think it turned out great. Jill was thrilled - we made it in about 2 hours. Great project and she's so creative and easy to be with. I enjoy creating with her - I hope we do it more often!

It's great to be home and I'm looking forward to a nice long relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Midweek Hump Day

Where do I begin? After zipping through Google news, I stopped at the story about the New Jersey govenor who has been in the hospital since April 12th with all kinds of broken bones from an automobile accident. At the very end of the story, it states that his Suburban was clocking 91 mph and he wasn't wearing a seat belt. Sigh. What a way to get taken down a notch. It seems that today I am spending time reading about anything but VT. I've heard bits here and there but haven't focused on it. There is so much in the air that I think I am getting it by osmosis. On the bright side, a VT alum in Houston is putting together care packages for the students. All 26,000 of them. Gotta love that.
The garage sale on Saturday at Maridawn's was a great success. I had a fun time visiting with a great bunch of women, made a new friend, learned some new stuff and swapped some stuff. It was kind of funny because everyone was doing it. It went something like this... Oh, this looks neat. Take it. Oh, no, I couldn't. Yeah, sure you can - just take it. Okay, you look at my stuff and see what you want...
I've been enjoying looking at this website, Grandinroad. It's very Pottery Barnish with some great outdoor furniture. Speaking of PB, I LOVE those people. My beautiful seagrass chair arrived today and looks comfy and wonderful in the living room. There was a tiny flub up with the delivery that I mentioned in the survey and the wonderful lady who called me today is sending a $50 gift card for my trouble. Man, I need more trouble! I love a good company who understand customer service. Makes all the difference in the world.
Saw Wicked on Sunday night and it was excellent. It was the last performance in Houston. I loved how the story was weaved and came together at the end. Very cute. I imagine you could see it several times and catch something new each time. It's that way with Phantom of the Opera for me.
I've tried several times to post pictures from different events and nothing happens so I'm going to say goodnight now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Finding My Way Back Home

I've spent the past three days cleaning up my scrap room, getting ready for the big garage sale at Maridawn's next Saturday. I am embarressed by all the stuff I have to sell and called to see if they have another table for rent. They don't. So, I guess I will put a bunch of stuff under the table and will move it up top when space clears. I have an entire box of books and magazines. It feels really good that I committed the time this weekend to go through what I have and purge. I also feel guilty because I went through alot of projects that aren't completed.
I broke up the clean up time this weekend by ordering the armless chair from the Seagrass collection at Pottery Barn. I am redoing my living room into a reading room. We'll eventually move out the TV and the couch will go to my BFF's daughter. I'm going to have 4 comfy chairs and lots of lamps. This is chair #2. I'll probably keep a white wicker rocker that is already in there. It's funny because my BFF's daughter has a complete set of dishes from my old house and a few other items of mine. She's graduating from high school this year and when she gets her own place - I will feel right at home! She is such a sweet girl - who likes to play with scrapbook stuff!
I've been listening to my Itunes this weekend, especially Lee Ann Womack's Finding my Way Back Home. I LOVE the video for that song - it reminds me of me so much, as a child. Riding my bike and exploring. It goes so deep that it makes me cry when I watch it! I think crying is so cleansing and good for your soul.
I made several changes in my scraproom. Moved acrylix stamps to binders with page protectors and cardboard. I moved stuff around, my paints and embossing powder, flowers and changed my cardstock from a shelf to the Cropper Hopper vertical storage, just like my patterned paper. Hobby Lobby was having a great sale on Friday and I snatched up all kinds of goodness. I also started drawing in my art journal at the end of the day. It's pretty simplistic but I know it will improve over time. And the main purpose it to stay in touch with my feelings by either writing about them or illustrating them.
I've been pretty reflective this weekend. I guess cleaning and spending time with your stuff gives you ample time to think. It was one year ago last weekend that Ruth (MIL) moved in with us. I remember being totally overwhelmed that weekend and realizing, I was responsible for another human being. It was the beginning of alot of responsibility and demands being made on me. Too much but at the time I didn't know how to say no. I'm much better at it today, that is for sure! It was also crazy time - every week there was something else on the calendar, a graduation or some new drama. Man, I am so grateful my life isn't like that today. I remember I used to thrive on drama and now I don't like scheduling three things in a weekend. Which, is what is happening this weekend: all day garage sale at Maridawn's, my brother is having an open house at his new casa and Sunday Night, I am taking Nancy to see Wicked. So, boom - there's 3. That's it - no more.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Back in the USSR

....sung to the Beatle's tune...
It's my favorite kind of morning... the sun is shining, the coffee is flavored with whipped cream. I cuddled with puppies before I got out of bed, just hanging out at home. Oh wait, here - this will give you a better visual.
I love the long shadows across the grass, which is getting very very green these days. In my first house, I lived in a neighborhood I called "Pamper Box Row" because on garbage day that was all you saw - pamper boxes. It was a simple tract-home starter neighborhood with lots of babies. And I was the token single girl (see, Charleen we're all token somethings at some time). That's why I love this neighborhood so much with the big trees and tons of squirrels - it's 50 years old (like me). And it's because I stayed on PBR for 15+ years that I can live here comfortably. It all works out, which was hard to believe sometimes when everyone was moving up and out while I stayed. But I'm enjoying what I have now.

Perhaps you've noted, I went AWOL for a while - not sure really why other than life got busy. We had the Passport Saga before I went to Vancouver. Final advice - renew your passport NOW if you're planning any travel in 2007 or 08. Mine arrived less than 24 hours before I left. Nope. Not the way I like to live. But it all worked out. I met 6 friends from CE in Vancouver for an art workshop that was fantastic. Each full day with a different teacher, which I find to be an excellent format. You can play and make stuff without jumping up and rushing off + hanging out with my peeps (Charleen, Megan & Mel) was great. We made poppets with collage artist Claudine Hellmuth that look something like this. She is very sweet and loves animals. I had a great time in class playing. Also had my first class with Ali Edwards, which was terrific. She is as nice and great as everyone says. On Day 3 we had class with Donna Downey, which was great fun. I was surprised because I wasn't sure what I thought of DD - sometimes I think she's too commercial, kind of like Rachel Ray of the scrapbook world. But once I got over feeling jealous of her good fortune, I realize she's crazy and fun and has a good heart and is a good teacher. We made two projects in her class - a chipboard book on a ring and a 6 x 6 folded book. I just figured out that the chipboard project will be ideal for a project for my neighbor. Excellent!

Jeanne, Tanya, Sandy and I went up to Vancouver early so we could enjoy the city. I feel so fortunate to have met these girls and that they're willing to go and do - just my kind of people! We had a blast even with the cold and wet! You can see my pictures here: Vancouver had a wicked storm earlier this year and it created chaos in Stanley Park: lots of huge, mature trees were down. Stanley Park is a gorgeous park on the edge of the city, 1000 acres and its one of my favorite parts of Vancouver. In talking to local Canadians, the damage at Stanley Park is tragic and I share their sadness. It was rainy both days we went to the park but that's okay. It's still amazing. In the past when I went to Vancouver, it was always warm and gorgeous weather. So, I finally "get it" - the pics of the flurry of colored umbrellas. I saw the winter Vancouver and it was still great fun!

Okay, I'm off on my southern tour, i.e. Scrapbook Junkie in Kemah, (my favorite LSS) and since I'm getting an early start, I'm going to stop at Michael's and use the 30% coupon on entire order and Hobby Lobby! And possibly Novel Approach and Just for Fun. Why not. Then I can focus on purging my scraproom for Maridawn's garage sale next weekend, where I will surely make big bucks selling all the stuff I don't want! Right. Happy Easter!

Few more pic... olives at Granville Island market .

A giant inukshuk at the beach. I bought one of these in glass. In 2010 the Winter Olympics are being held in Vancouver and you see this symbol everywhere. It a directional marker that signifies safety, hope and friendship. Love that..

Probably my fav pic of the weekend - Tanya looking pretty relaxed and accomplished while making a poppet of her family. I still laugh out loud when I think of Tanya's antics in the Business Center at the Hampton Inn (which was great, btw). Jeanne's on the computer, so I handed a ringing (in my mind, at least) phone to Tanya who answered with a naughty smirk on her face and a long Noooooooooooooooo. No idea who her imaginary friend was but I'm thinking the question was along the lines of what are you wearing, are you alone? It was priceless. It was so great to get to know her and Jeanne, Charleen (our favorite Canadian) and Sandy better. And we meet again in September for CE! I'm a lucky girl.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Little Japanese Doll Vase

It was a good week - finally getting warmer in Houston. I was getting tired of the cold and wind. I went to Crate & Barrel on Monday. That store just totally inspires me. Pottery Barn's catalogs inspire me but the actual C&B store does it for me. The colors and textures are great. Makes me feel alive and motivated. And I'm not a modern, contemporary decorator but they have plenty of other things to choose from. This chair really caught my eye. It has a nice little stripe- I would like the blue I think. But the price is $1200, which is alot. Its very comfy too. I really want to redo a room in the classic blue, yellow and white. It will probably be my living room. I love that look - Southern Living has done is several times. Yesterday, at Randalls I picked up the BHG Creative Home magazine which has a cute yellow mosaic table on the front. I've always liked BHG magazines, especially the decorating magazines whether its bedroom, bath. This one is about home decor projects - right up my alley. I would like to try some stenciling on a dresser. With spring on the horizon, it would be a good time. Back to the shopping trip - I did pick up a pretty rectangular basket at PB for my current craft magazines. I had a shelf that wasn't working - this way I can grab them quickly when I need a quick read while waiting in line. The older ones are in the mag holders on the shelf.
The BIG find this week was another Japanese doll vase at The Guild - this one is purple, which I don't have in my collection. Here is my original one. Now, these vases aren't expensive or fancy - just sentimental. A lady named Iris Gillespie gave it to me 30 years ago when I first started working at Alexander & Alexander. She was a sweet older lady at the end of her career, that was receptionist and I was 19 and just starting mine. About 2 years ago, I saw another one at an estate sale and decided to start collecting them. Since then we have looked all over Texas, including Trade Days in Canton and never see them. I've found 2 at The Guild (a resale shop in Montrose) and 1 other one at Trader's Village. I've searched ebay and never seen one. I think they are local but I should would like to find others or know some history about them. Wonder where I could post a pic and ask?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love The One You're With

This was taken several years ago and I'd like to say that they've learned to share and play nice, but it just ain't so. They still fight like this, each and every time... damn kids!
Happy Valentine's Day! I'm grateful for the people that are in my life, letting me love them. I saw an old lady pushing a shopping cart on the street, wrapped up against the cold. It made me totally grateful that my Mom is with me and doesn't have any hardships whatsoever. Her only decision is what to buy next from QVC - some food product we won't eat or another faux fur coat that doesn't get worn. I'm only half kidding. - we've had barbeque beef, crab cakes, cheesecake, pretzels, steaks from QVC. The cheesecake rocks (Junior's) - and the bbq wasn't bad but the rest... eh. (not being very grateful right now, am I?)

Two years ago I got some roses from my favorite florist, The Cutting Garden. I love this place - they always use quality flowers plus this vase is so unique - heart shaped and etched. Just love it! I did a layout a few months later - I'm too lazy to dig it out and get a pic. Sorry.
Have several projects on the burner tonight - the letter H for a friend, an altered tin project (wish me luck on that one!) and a sympathy card.
Oh, and a beautiful chocolate dipped strawberry that's calling my name. Hope you are sharing some love tonight.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Missed Connection

It's been a great week so far. Relaxed and I am enjoying being rid of my cold/flu. Yuck. I'll admit, I can't just say cold because it doesn't express the full distress of being sick. It's too plain, it's not painful enough! So, anyway, I'm glad to be feeling well again plus it got to 70+ degrees today. Nice. I'm tired of cold, especially on my Mom's behalf, because she doesn't tolerate it very well and she smokes outside. She's fine during the summer with the Texas heat.
I finished my TRUST LO - pic added. On the CE Yahoo board someone mentioned a cruise with Tim Holtz, which actually doesn't happen until 2008. I've looked at the August 2007 cruise with Sweetpeas and Snapshots and I am seriously thinking about going now. I feel pretty indulgent and a bit selfish if I book it - that's really the only thing stopping me. I can scrape the money together - it's not that expensive. DeWayne and I were trying to do an Alaskan cruise last year but it was too late. So what's not to love about scrapping and Alaska? It would at least keep me out of the casino for the most part! I don't know anyone else going but what the hell - there's got to be somebody I would connect with! I'll think about it over the next couple of days.

I've been thinking and talking with friends quite a bit about my disconnect with health and weight and working out. Hear me out. There is some kind of emotional issue that is stopping me from making the mind connection with my actions. Remember when you were 16 and you took chances - whether it was driving fast, drinking or drugs but you did it because you knew you wouldn't die young. That just didn't apply to you. Well, I have some health habits that in my mind, I know will result in not living longer, but I cannot stop doing them. And I don't think it's an issue of willpower or just making my mind up - there is something that stops me from getting off the couch and walking those 10 steps to the treadmill. In the past, I've realized that I use my size to protect myself. I feel stronger and more in control because I am larger. Same way I drive my Tahoe (I will admit it) rather than in a Corolla. People use their SUVs to make space - especially in Houston, especially in the Galleria area! It's a whole different world over there. Well, I'm pretty sure I do that with my body - I feel safer being bigger. Logically, I know that an attack/rape is more likely to happen to a girl in her twenties at an apartment complex and that's not me. It's an old fear that I want to weed out. (Is this WAY too deep for a blog?) I have some other old issues that I need to deal with and I think the time is now. If not now, when? I want to study this issue and ponder it and blog it and scrap it and get it worked out in my mind so that the end result is that I eat healthier and more in tune to being hungry. I move my body more so it doesn't ache like it does now. I want to be limber so it doesn't hurt all over when I stand up. I want to feel powerful because I work out. I don't want to be afraid of heart attacks because I get these racing flutters too frequently. I want to be proud at 50 and I don't want to feel 50. That's my goal for this year, for the rest of my 49th year. I think its also going to be my AYTR challenge. I know, I'm late but what the hell. It is what it is.

I'm looking forward to the weekend... I don't have anything planned. I may go up to the Woodlands on Saturday and shop at their mall (which I LOVE) and Lone Star Scrapbook and maybe the outdoor mall there with Sur LaTable, since I got a gift card from there for Christmas!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Creating An Escape

Whew, it was a long day and I just got back from the movies with my brother. We went to Angelika and saw Little Children with Kate Winslet. The Angelika theater is pretty cool, I like it alot - no kids, free parking after 6 and not too crowded. People actually get dressed up to go to the movies - it was wild. (And no, of course, I wasn't one of them...) The movie was interesting and thought provoking and I'm still thinking about it. I liked it because it brings out all kinds of emotions and thoughts. I was going to say that it didn't have a happy ending but it really did - KW got what was important in her life. I'm sure I'll keep thinking about it for a few days.
The morning started out with a bit of sunshine and coffee and the freedom to enjoy waking up naturally and snuggling with my pups. That's a good day. I waited til eleven for the registration for HKS/Bazzill Creative Escape in September. It sold out in two minutes - yep, TWO. Isn't that crazy? I registered but still waiting for the order ID confirmation email, which I guess everyone is waiting on. I don't know anything about programs that handle registration but it seems like someone really didn't understand how to set it up. It was nerve wracking and stressful for alot of people. I feel bad for one girl in Toyko who stayed up til 3 am trying to get in. I didn't understand it myself but kept playing around with it until it accepted a credit card. I don't know why it was so confusing. Anyway, a few people were raging about it on the Yahoo board and I've realized something - which is pretty profound for me. I used to be one of those gripers who would try to get people on my side and validate my position. Now, I realize - just say it to the people who can do something about it. Don't publicly bitch about it. It's immature and pointless. If you really have a complaint - tell it to the right people. Okay, enough of that.
I've finished the LO for my TRUST page - I'll glue it down tomorrow and post it. I'm also going to start my KNOW page for Ali Edwards and then pick a contest to enter. And who knows what else will get done tomorrow. I'd like to go to a crop - I think that would be fun but don't want to load up all my stuff. I think I'll just focus on scrapping here and getting the kitchen table cleared with all the Christmas junk still sitting on it. I know - what an embarressment! And Officer Bob of HPD comes here on Monday morning at 8 am to do an inspection and suggest better security. It's a good thing too... I found out today there was a break in at 4 am while the grandma and grand-daughter slept. That's too close for comfort. As soon as I get the details tomorrow, I'm going to make sure the security committee has all the details and we take action. That's just not acceptable at all. I'm so grateful to have my yappy little dogs because Killer isn't afraid of anyone and he barks like a maniac. That and the 38 next to my bed - I've got my protection. Good night.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More CHA

I mentioned Karen Russell's Wildberry collection yesterday - here's a pic from her blog. It just doesn't do it justice - the colors are beautiful together plus I am in love with her scalloped paper with lines!
There were a few booths at CHA that I totally missed - I don't remember seeing Basic Grey and unfort. Autumn Leaves was on the opposite end and I only zoomed by once. I'm crazy about their stamps. KI had the cutest make-n-take: a tiny red suitcase with a few flowers. I really wanted one but I didn't feel right doing m-n-t since I'm not a store owner.
These girls have some great CHA photos.
One thing that I saw everywhere was luggage (pink and this wild orange/gold) from Zutter. It's a binding machine for smaller projects. I didn't stick around for the demo but it seemed pretty neat and a TON of store owners were walking around with the luggage. I believe it was $99 for a bunch of pieces. I'll be interested to see if anyone in Houston got it.
I did see Maridawn and the ladies from Scrapbook Village at the show.
Pine Cone Press had all their beautiful BLING - it's not new but I am still crazy about it. And they have purple!
There were so many scrapbook booths to see but I did stop at one thread booth - Kreinik's. Apparently these people have been around awhile and I really enjoyed talking with Doug Kreinik because he had some awesome altered projects. The guy likes taking dollar store items and jazzing them up. He also used alot of these very cool things called beadlets. Maybe everybody has used them but I haven't. I'm ordering some today - I like jazzing up Target 1 spot stuff. Check out the Threadster pen - it was very cool. You just place some of the red tape down (and I have tons of it in all kinds of shapes) and you can draw any design with the thread. Then you fill it in with beadlets.
The Art Glitter booth was my first stop - while some of her suff is wild, I do like the art glitter. We used it at Creative Escapes and I also used it on my Christmas cards (thanks to Martha Stewart). It really does dress up a plain card. Martha showed some slides during her speech - I just love the snow effect.
Tinkering Ink has a very cool line called Covent Garden that looks great. I have to say their website it one of the coolest I've seen for scrapbooking. I'm not much for music but theirs appeals to me. Nice and mellow. This LO is from Tiffany Smith - just adorable.
My goal this weekend is to put some stuff on ebay! I've got too much stuff.