Sunday, November 23, 2008

In a Van Down by the River*

*This is no motivational speech, just a private joke. It's Sunday and I am sick as a dog with the flu. Okay, it might just be a cold with a sore throat but that doesn't sound as dramatic as the pain I feel, so let's just call it flu, please. And I'm hot. I saw this train coming all week and there was nothing much to do so I jumped on board today. Oh well.
I can't possibly catch up all that has happened in the past week, but here is a short recap. Silver Bella was fun and inspiring and interesting. I learned some new stuff and I totally loved the opening dinner when we all stitched a small bird on a pillow ornament. It was a brilliant classic idea and the sight of 200 women stitching was magical. Honestly. I took interesting classes and met really neat people and came home with a suitcase that still is loaded and laying on the floor. I want to play with all my stuff but I think I'll just go get back in bed. Maybe tomorrow. I promise to post photos soon. This is one of Charlotte Lyons' Prada Schmada bags - oooooh so cute, I fell in love with it. And I got a kit at vendor night! Yipee. This is Second Chance, the antique store near the hotel. Really fun and amazing and stuffed with junk. My kind of place - good prices too. I loved Omaha - the downtown area is really nice.

Madonna was great - she really put on a great show and danced like a maniac but also showed a softer side. I am glad I went. She did a routine with jump ropes - double dutch and individual and you know, you can't fake that kind of stuff - she was non-stop amazing. I noticed in some of the photos the next day she had a bandage on her knee.
I want to make a shout out to the coolest birthday girl ever, Laurel, who celebrated her birthday this weekend. I am sorry to miss the show but I know we'll get together soon and party like rockstars.
I got a postcard from my niece, Rachel who is in Navy basic training in Great Lakes, IL where it is freezing ass cold. I am sooooo proud of her and she is doing great. I think of her every morning and can't wait to go to her graduation in December.
And finally, I found Jacki's great blog in South Africa a while back when I saw this post. This week she posted about a local HOUSTON project - too crazy, huh. The Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies to represent the lives of innocent children taken in the Holocaust. The exhibition will be shown in Spring 2012 - I think I can make that deadline. So now I'm searching for just the right die for my Cuttlebug so I can get started. I hope you will consider supporting the project also.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Photography 101 ala Karen Russell

Here is anover rave post. I spent Friday and Saturday taking classes from Karen Russell and all I can do is say OH WOW. Super amazing. My photography has taken a 180 degree turn and what I learned was off the charts. I am so thrilled because I never understood all that stuff - aperture, f-stop, shutter speed, light. She walks you through it and I GOT IT! I'm not saying my photos aren't blurry but I now have the tools to practice practice practice so that I can have clean photos. I was like a giddy child inside during the entire class - it just made a world of difference. If you get a chance to take the class- do what you have to get there and and DO IT! It was my first KR experience and there is something so down-to-earth and real about her. Probably what I love the most is that she genuinely wants to share and has no qualms about it - if that makes you a better photographer or scrapbooker. She's not one of these copyright fools. You know the kind - that post all kinds of warnings on their blogs about written permission and copyright. Please. You didn't invent this. Okay, sorry, off soapbox - back to class. Her online class has a 200 person waiting list and once I've practiced more I may sign up for it but I picked up way more information to work with now... Anyway, I played around a little bit yesterday and took some photos of the dogs (Junior in photo). They really aren't keen on getting their photos taken (I don't know if its the beep or the shutter noise). This one is close to right but not quite there. I'm just so happy that I learned how to use the lens that I bought (and she recommended). It was a great class and a great day because all kinds of friends were there. Ronda & Penny (pictured - without permission!), Sandy and Karen, Laurel and Cindy and Josiane and Cari. On Friday I got to hang out with Sandy and take Karen's scrapbooking classes. The first class was an album of 10 Reasons. I hadn't prepared my list so it was mostly walking through the pages. The second class really rocked - interactive pages - with lots of add ons to a scrapbook page - a great way to add a ton of photos to an album or page. Really great ideas and ways to add pics - loved that class. Lots of great product given. It was great fun to spend two days with a great scrapbooker and photographer. So unassuming and enjoyable to be around. We did make it over to By Design and Novel Approach. I went nuts at By Design over all the Webster's Pages product - a new (to me) design that I am crazy about. Up close they are just gorgeous. Novel Approach is putting itself back together and looks good - they had a little more of WP to add. Now, it's back to work... and a plane ride on Thursday for Silver Bella! Yikes.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fixing to - it's a Texas Thang

Life is fixing to get crazy, but that’s okay, it’s a good kind of crazy. We have our customer appreciation party tonight at work which is a very nice cocktail party. I’ve always enjoyed a good party – the meeting and greeting part and this has a long tradition that most people look forward to and it kicks off the holiday party season. So I say, bring it on.

Urban Market was last Sunday and the new location was a hit. Buyers swooped in early and by noon the crowd had thinned out quite a bit. I found several goodies: a tiny red footstool (for display), a beautiful gold hand mirror that I’m thinking of using as the base for an accordion album and a large wooden – well, all I can think of calling it was a spatula, but its like 15 x 25” with a handle. I love it. Oh and trims – lots of trims, five for a dollar, most of them about a foot. They will be great for projects. Ronda found a gym basket for $15 and Sandy Hoho found a nice round end table. Along with the popularity, pricing has gone up but I guess that is to be expected. Ronda has made me promise that I’ll go to Marburger in the spring… it starts March 31. It's so much fun to roam a market with scrapbook friends who love to junk and collaborate with great ideas.
I'm totally enjoying making Janet Hopkins junk binders. The real thrill is searching for books to use at resale shops and Half Price Books. I love the challenge of finding great titles, at cheap prices and made a great score yesterday. Its a book called The Expected One and has beautiful Madonna and angels on the cover and (get this) fleur de lis pattern on the inside. I don't even think I'm going to cover it with paper - just use gel medium. Just like any project, its best to run through it once and make all your mistakes... I sliced through too hard on my first book, but no worries, it had a crappy title! I've only started on the basics and haven't assembled the inside yet but found a few goodies at the office supply store to add. I'm going to use it for Ali Edward's Dec Daily album. I hope to get it put together on Sunday.
Why Sunday? Because Friday and Saturday I'll be at the Junkie taking Karen Russell classes including her famed 9 hour Photography class. Yippeee. I am sooo siked. Since I've gotten my Canon 30D I have only played with it so I'm looking forward to learning it inside and out. I will also have time to stop by By Design and Novel Approach while I'm on the south side. AND a day off of work, what's not to love! After reading the posts on All Things Tim Yahoo board, I'm looking forward to getting the Grungeboard tabbed album and Basic Grey's eclectic album. I'm thinking the dark chocolate will be yummy too.
I've been totally enjoying my Cuttlebug. I've never owned a die cut machine and used it so this is novel for me. I've been cutting felt circles like this for Christmas and I about flipped when Jeanne turned me on to Spellbinder's Nestabilities. OMW, and in scallops too. They're on sale 30% at HL this week. I also picked up Ali E's latest book this week (yes, I used a coupon) and one of my favorite ideas was a mini album about the books you read. Too cool. One day (somewhere in the far far future) I will make one of those...
A year ago I lost my sister to cancer and so its been grim the past few weeks. But I'm coming out of it and the creativity has been flying. But its a little bit like how I do my house organizing. I'm here there and everywhere and its never done in a straight line but rather from room to room. At the end it all gets done but in the middle its chaos. Organized chaos but still chaos.
Next week will be my first Silver Bella - I'm getting so excited to learn new things, meet new people and see Omaha and experience some cold weather (yes, we're paying Reliant for a/c right now). In the meantime, I need to get to that job that supports this passion. Oh and I almost forgot, I scored Carol Wingert's white album - I didn't make the same mistake twice and wait too long to order. It's beautiful! Can't wait to assemble it later this month.
Like I mentioned earlier, what I'm grateful for the most this week is getting some time either in person or on the phone to visit with scrapbook friends and sharing new projects, supplies or ideas. I don't take it for granted for a second. It is good to be back in the light.