Monday, November 16, 2009

Silver Bella Show-n-Tella

I'm having my lunch and starting to ruminate over and relive the past four days in Omaha at Silver Bella. For these kinds of events I usually say, "its all good" and there may be a few things that don't necessarily suit me but overall, I find them worthwhile and enjoyable. And I can say that I don't try to "dollarize" the event, i.e. did I get my moneys worth or enough freebies. I don't do that about my travel either. It's the experience that I want and I got alot of it this year. Good times!

Like Julia's trip to London (we missed you, Julia!), I'm going to try to spend the week writing down my memories of Silver Bella. I'm not sure where to start, there's alot of ground to cover: vendor faire, projects, teachers, swaps, aprons, social life & Omaha, keynote speaker Jo Packham. Why don't I start there, with Jo. Yes, she makes you feel like you can just call her Jo, that she's your friend and she's a regular... well, you know. It was unfortunate that her speech was cut short (because of time) because we could have listened to her stories for hours. which she offered! She created the book and magazines, Where Women Create. She is just a downright lovely person even as we fretted over which Rebecca Sower journal to purchase at the vendor faire. And even with her kind personality, when she gave her keynote speech and talked about helping women and promoting women... I was all over that! Especially women that are young or less fortunate than us. Side story - I was at my bank drive-through one Saturday morning and saw two older hispanic women dumpster diving. It broke my heart. On the flip side, though I was proud of them because they weren't standing on the corner asking for a hand out. Typical of women, we are going to go - get it done - one way or the other. I'm sure they didn't understand a word of my rambling but I shared a small bit of cash I took out of the bank with them - because as women, we owe that to each other. Okay, sorry about the side track. Jo was just clear and pure in her message and it was great to meet her and get to know more about her. Corny but she had us all at "hello" and she spoke straight to the heart and had me reaching for a tissue when it was all said and done.

My favorite project was Rebecca Sower's cigar box because it had 3 elements: a top string of beads or buttons and middle section of 12 inchie blocks that were a bit funky and out of my comfort zone with their "ruffle" and a bottom vingette of stick and flowers. I love how she incorporates nature (with sticks) in her projects. And she is just a kind and down to earth person herself. I also loved her hodge podge journal.

The weather was cool and refreshing, especially at night when we walked to dinner. I loved the cooler than Houston temperatures and the downtown area near the hotel is quaint. Great restaurants and vibrancy. Friday night, we had an impromptu dinner at M's Pub, based on a passerby's recommendation. WOW. Fabulous, unusual menu (I had a steak). Debe and I were headed out and she added two friends (Sabrina and Janet) and then we ran into two Bellas (Betsy & Carol) that were stumped on where to eat... and it just turned into a great meal with fun conversation and laughs. Betsy's sister, Kelly joined us but please note I have to call her Becky (after her idol, R. Sower). They were all newbies so it was good to hear their experience and see if from a different vantage point.
I've run out of time today but I'll be back tomorrow. I have unpacked one suitcase, one to go. And need to take photos of my vendor purchases. Hmmmmmm. Yummmy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I was Thrifty!

What a fantastic weekend... With this kind of weather - it had to be good. Started off a bit rocky, but leveled out quite nicely. I had a chance to download some photos from Boston and thought I would share this one of Boston Harbor from my hotel. I resisted photoshopping this because I thought it was just spectacular the way it was. What do you think? I had the chance to cross the harbor in a water taxi every day - what a fun way to travel.

I also made it back to the International Quilt Show on Saturday for a couple of hours. I couldn't believe it because a sewing box that I saw on Wednesday night - was waiting for me! Now - how often does that happen - something you pass up is there when you go back to retrieve it! I also found some great twill ribbon - with the alphabet and icons. Cute stuff.
I do have a new obsession and I'm probably the last Bella on earth to know this... but I found Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods. Susan Gower is from Rhode Island but goes to Brimfield and the quilt shows. Oh my word, I restrained myself from the $12 ribbon but I DID have to have a few other items. Look at that dachshund ribbon - I have never seen dachshund ribbon before. The cushion above (spool silks) is a lavender sachet that smells amazing. I've been keeping at my office and it is so relaxing and just beautiful to look at. Susan sells the image and you can make your own. I wish you could see the buttons she used - very unusual. Apparently - she's famous - just google her and you'll find an article in Country Living, on Kaari Meng's blog, she's at Brimfield. Oh my - her booth is all color coordinated and just amazing. I have been on a mad search for vintage French embroidered ribbon with monogram in red script. Yes, Susan had some but not my initials. Oh well - I'm not complaining - I found enough goodies to make me happy. Afterwards - DeWayne and I went to Mardi Gras for dinner and I took my bag into the restaurant just so I could touch, feel and play with it again...
Here are the fabrics I bought - not many - but I only make fabric pages for scrapbooks. I didn't look at alot of fabric at the show but loved what I found.

I am so thrilled - I've finished all three swaps for Silver Bella. And I loved two of them... No - really I loved all three but for some reason, the Year of Tags stumped me. I spent weeks working and reworking my tag until finally, Saturday night, it came together. And now I'm excited and proud of what I made... I can't wait to see the rest. I also participated in A to Z swap and Saint Tags. It's my first time to participate in a swap so I hope mine are up to par - especially, Silver Bella par... Here's a sneak peak. I got to use the new Stars embossing folder with my Cuttlebug - I found it on ebay where the shipping was reasonable.

Okay - past my bedtime. Good night! I'll be in southern California this week for a couple of days - if you need me. For work - quick trip, there and back. Thanks to the slow economy, I get to stay at the Fairmont Newport Beach. See, there's a bright side to everything.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Okay, I have roughly 16 minutes before my bedtime... ha ha remember those days? Our parents were strict and we did chores during commercials and we had a bedtime... Anyhoo...Let me get this off my chest before I start. I really want this ~ No. ~ stamp that is in the Kenner Road kit this month. I really do - it looks cool. But as you can see it is limited edition KR so I'd have to pay the kit cost and I'm just not into it... vintage or not. Argh. I guess if that's the only thing I can bitch about, then I'm doing okay. But, I really want it...
I went to a post CE crop last weekend at By Design and I have to say I am just loving the direction that that store is moving in. She's known as the Heidi Swapp pink store... but she's really evolved and now she carries alot more one of a kind stuff from smaller providers. I enjoyed just taking my time and looking at all the goodies. She bags them up nice and small or prints House of 3 designs - so you don't have to mess with the digital stuff. And her displays are interesting - the kind that make me wish I had the stuff in my house. It's just nice to have a store thats a bit different. She said that some customers were not digging it at all but I sure am. The crop was nice but I felt a little out of place since I didn't hang with those girls at CE. I should spend more time with them next year... Cool creative stuff going on, especially Tove's Halloween banner.
So yesterday I decided to use my last vacation day and go up to Round Top. I'm glad I did because it wasn't crowded at all and there was no rain (its predicted to rain this weekend). Unfortunately it was blazing hot and I got a sunburn on the back of my neck! Is that crazy or what! The heat really wore me out... Round Top means different things to different people. You have the high end expensive stuff that designers like Cote de Texas shop. Lovely to look at thousands of dollars, not made for this girl. Then you have the vintage notions for crafters to actually use. There is one shop that is run by a young couple and they have BOXES and boxes of things - pick a subject and they have pounds of it. Scrabble letters, game pieces, typewriter keys, all kinds of alphabets... I just love rummaging through. I didn't buy alot and I'll take pics in the morning if I don't wake up too late. (you know, the bedtime thing). I found a cute small chalkboard for $2, crystal prisms including purple ones! I couldn't pass up two different bags of vintage white buttons for $5 and $10. The second is a quart size bag full - I'll take a pic next to my current stash... I really didn't need more but... just couldn't help myself. One of the first booths I hit was a guy who had paper goods from a Minnesota estate and - man, it was some good stuff... but you know how when you first arrive some place... you're all antsy and can't wait to SEE IT ALL. That was me - so I pick up a few pieces but I had to get moving... I don't know... I don't have any connection to Minnesota so it wasn't pulling at me. Ah well, what the hell. I was too tired to go back and get this house made from windows, similar to Linda Smith of Canton. They were much simpler but still pretty for $160. Wish I had taken one home...

My best find at RT was monogram embroidery ribbon with the initial P... at a european linen store at LaBahia... similar to this. (sold out) They only had a handful of choices and I was searching each one... thinking of friends! Oh, I have been on a mad search for this stuff but it cannot be found... (edited to add: OMG, I think the ribbon got left in the bag and thrown away and its garbage day! I've got to go see...)

Well, its the first of October so I'm going back on my no purchase diet. Wish me luck. I'm home for the entire month... can you believe that! I have two Silver Bella swaps to finish this weekend. Looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Guess Who's Going To See Mary!

I am! in St. Louis next April! I'm so very excited to get in the classes that I wanted to take with Charlotte Lyons, Matthew Mead and Kaari Meng. Wendy Addison, Linda Solovic and Claudine Hellmuth are also teaching , plus a few others. I am so thrilled to be going to an event that has such diverse talent for teachers. Just the whole notion of the event gets me excited because I think it will be like no other. I thought it was interesting that they are offering two lectures also. I'm taking the Copyright class and Artistic License. I figure - why not! Mary was the keynote at last year's Silver Bella and this year's Scrap St. Louis. So, the thought of being able to tour her studio - and having been a fan for - forever - I'm just ecstatic. Can you tell? I've never stayed at the hotel, Chase Park Plaza. And by the way, they just reduced the room rates at the hotel - the new rate is $170 - whoo hoo! If you want to go too, you can sign up here. Drop me a note and let me know you're going.

We started a Yahoo! Group for the event, it can be found here. I'm hoping to participate in a swap or two before the event...

Monday, September 21, 2009


I can't help myself when it comes to Paper Source. The quality and color of the envelopes are heaven to me and as I selected my colors - I had every intention of checking my inventory before I went to Boston, but it doesn't look like I have but one duplication of red envelope #9. I'm going to print this page and mark my inventory - really I am. I usually treat myself to a little prize and this time I picked up some chalkboard wallies. I love chalkboard. I still have a large mirror outside to convert to a chalk board. Lots of projects... always.
Boston weather was beautiful, as was the location of the Hyatt. I arrived Wednesday and left early Sunday morning and while it was a bit windy at times near the water, the weather was generally in the 60s. Hyatt Harborside has some great fire pits on the patio and we all sat outside one night, enjoying the fire and the evening. I took a water taxi to get to downtown and enjoyed some Italian food and then Mike's Pastries in the North End. OMG, they had some pistachio cookies that were amazing. I shopped on Newbury Street and on Charles Street and found some fantastic pens and turquoise embossing powder at Rugg Road. I walked around Copley Place and took the subway back to catch the water taxi. I had dinner one night at Union Oyster House, which was very touristy - you can skip that!
I'm getting very excited about Round Top in two weeks! Very. After looking at this schedule, I decided to take off Wednesday and spend the day there. I may go back on Saturday if I haven't spent all my money, errr, I mean - seen enough of the sites! Oh c'mon... we're talking about Round Top, twice-a-year-filled-with-the-good-stuff, Round Top not HL.
And Saturday we're having a post-Creative Escape crop at By Design - I won't be missing this one! I'm not too sure what I'll work on.. probably a Silver Bella swap or the beautiful canvas I won on Carol Wingert's blog. Yep! That was me! Lucky girl, me!
Sorry I have no pics... I looked at using one from Flickr but it just feels too creepy - like you're stealing... So until I get a memory card for my replacement Sony camera - we'll just have to use our imaginations.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Unfamous

It was another great time at Creative Escape in Arizona this year. I feel a bit jaded because I don't share the new love enthusiasm that I keep reading about. Instead its kind of like old married love - sure and steady and warm. That's good too. It was great to see my friends - it is so easy to be with them and laugh. We had dinner Thursday night at Macaroni Grill and laughed. Gosh, did we laugh. Wednesday we shopped like raving maniacs at Melrose Vintage, Creative Quest, then Mystic Paper (my new favorite), then SAS Fabrics. The ribbon is like $0.25 a yard at SAS... just unbelievable. I spent $11. We also went to Scrapbooks etc. - the flagship store for the event. On Thursday morning we went to ANOTHER SAS and Scrap Happy Sisters... Am I forgetting anything? No, I don't think so. I didn't really buy that much. Really, I didn't. It felt good too - to be choosy.

Thursday afternoon was the trunk show and technique boutique. It was alot simpler this year, thank heavens. I was intrigued with the chipboard number that we painted black and sanded, for Paula & Deb's 7 Gypsies class. With the 4 brads added and the swatch of _____ behind it (I can't think of the stuff - nubby heavy fabric) - anyway - it looks way cool. That wall art project turned out to be my fav. But not by much because Lynette Carroll's wall art was just my style. Loved it too.

Sorry for the interruption but I realized, before the night got any later, I needed to pick my classes for Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion workshop. Registration is tomorrow at lunch, so I wanted to have that all figured out. Looks so interesting - artist of fabulous caliber and different ranges. It will be quite nice to attend. It's going to be an expensive day tomorrow... Donna Downey's Inspired also registers... AND we were able to register for 2010 Creative Escape after the event closed on Saturday night. Whew. That's alot of workshops all at once!

Okay - back to the event at hand. Friday we started off with the 7 Gypsies wall art project and like I said - loved it. I really sucked at taking photos and I'm having a hard time finding photos from others so just bear with me. Our second class was a bird book with Heather Bailey. I was disappointed that she didn't do a fabric project. I think she really missed the mark here - but what can you do? After that we had Tim Holtz and of course, it was genius and fun and we learned something about Ranger products. And our last class for the day was Carol Wingert. Picture is blurry - my bad. I loved her explanation of how on Christmas morning her daughter made tea for her - the tea bag was this shape and she had just a couple of days to design her project and poof - there it was. I also liked the other ideas for the project - with feet or Christmas tree inside. I could definitely make another one - and will, once I finish these 8! I was kicking myself when I saw kits of hers that I haven't bought. Book of Lists. Oh, too cute. I wish there was a black market for Carol Wingert kits... ha. There was a nice sit down dinner Friday night and Tanya and I slipped off to the pool and jacuzzi for a relaxing bit.

Back at it again on Saturday with Lynette Carroll's black wall art, that I just loved. Loved her style and her teaching and the project. Nice surprise, because I knew nothing about her before the event. She's an Aussie living in Boston (where I'm going in two weeks!). Our next project was a cute CE book with lots of Debby in it. I made an Anthropologie album for my friend, Heather who celebrated a birthday a few days before mine. Fun stuff! In the afternoon we had Marah and even with her drill sargent manners, I liked her - she was take charge and bossy but charming. I slipped out of class to get some class kits that went on sale at 2:45. And I scored 5 Tim Holtz! Yikers... The Chicago girls needed them and I didn't want them to be disappointed. We missed you, Jeanne! Our final class was Heidi and it was cute and fun to make - easy too. I don't know if I'll make it but it was definitely cute!

And then it was time for dinner. With dessert first of course. And lots of free gifties - of which, my roomie, Ronda won one! Very nice scrapbook frame box - forgot who makes it but it was very cool and I thought about sneaking it into my suitcase, but didn't. I bought several raffle tickets for the lamps, especially Pam Blacks. Oh man oh man, did I want to win that lamp. Our new friend, Shelly Berg did, so I can't be too sad. I also bid on Tena Springers and Heather Bailey's - but no such luck. The auction for Heidi Swapp's lamp yieled $8200. Our gang thought for sure it would all be under $4,000 - what with the economy and all. Ha! fooled us! Tracy Keith from By Design was bidding heavily for it - I really wish she could have brought it to Houston. But it wasn't meant to be. The bidding for Tim Holtz's lamp started fast and furious and ended at $29,000. Wowza. I think the word was vahklemped - he was teary eyed and speechless. It was really magical to be in the room and witness it. Just like last year. A girl from SF Bay area bid it, Nicole, who we met Thursday morning during breakfast. There were 6 girls in their group, first timers - outgoing and friendly. So that's $45,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And as a person who lost a brother to Hodgkin's disease, I was glad for this! Sorry but I don't remember the Key Note speaker's name. She was pretty and funny and interesting but ... well, I just wasn't in the mood much. So, I'm glad she got off the couch and ran a 1/2 marathon for her friend and we'll leave it at that.

It was another great event, I'm glad I went, I'm glad I spent the bucks and I signed up for 2010. I feel lucky being a 5 timer! And now I'm a sleeping girl because I'm off to bed. Nighty night.

Birthday Celebration.

I had a birthday... on the 24th... it was fun. I was surprised and had alot of nice people at my house that are also called family. And we ate alot of nice food called spaghetti pie that is an old family recipe. And I opened alot of nice presents. And then I went to CE. I didn't get any pictures because a) it was MY birthday b) I left my camera on the plane from Rome to London. Yeah. I suck. But so does the douchebag that didn't turn the camera in when they found it. I must be getting old because a while back the word "db" used to offend me. Oh well. I'm a year older.

I'm making this story short because I want to talk about CE... But I also want to remember the surprise. My husband woke me up at 8:45 am on Sunday with the offer of birthday breakfast at the Egg and I. Who can turn that down??? Not me, that's for sure. I love that place. We went to ACE Hardware and wasted an hour or so and then not one, but two Half-Priced Books. Right then and there I should have realized something was up - for my husband to say, let's go to another store - across town. But I was unsuspecting... And on the way home, I said, let me run into Lane Giant and get some unmentionables... I'll just be a minute - wait in the car. And when we pulled onto our street I noticed my brother's car still at my house. He visits my Mom on Sundays so I was excited that he was still there... And then I noticed Nancy's car and then my stepdaughter's car... and then it was Oh! duh! There's a party for me... Yipee. It was very nice to be waited on - and my sweet niece did all the work of preparing not one but TWO Spaghetti Pies and a cake and fixins... My husband surprised me with a gift card from Crate and Barrel for a kitchen table - whoot! and a baby Dell so I can sit on the sofa and read blogs. Secretly, I think he got the computer so he could look at gun stuff... but we'll just keep that to ourselves. Okay - birthday over... on to Phoenix! Oh, here's the only photo...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Fair is Fair

I had several coffee-spitting laughs over Julia's blog post adventure of obtaining an acceptable passport photo (she's going to London this year). And in my haste, I said I would post my passport photo if she would post hers.
She did so now I will, being a girl of her word.

I get a bit of a pass though, since the holographic is on top of my face...

I'd rather post a photo of me when I was 6, so I will.

So Linda, its your turn. Have a good Sunday everybody! We're going to Mardi Gras Cafe on Shepherd for a birthday luncheon for my mother's 86th birthday. Only problem is I have to find something non-fried there to eat! Good luck.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


I just returned from a 10 day business trip to Roma and Rotterdam. Yeah. Sometimes even I can't believe my own luck. I handle insurance for a corporation and we join with others to buy certain types of insurance - that's called a captive. Our captive has board meetings twice a year, always outside of the US and 3 years ago they set the location as Roma. It was a smaller turnout with the downturned economy but my boss graciously allowed me to go and cancelled his spot. So, that's how I got to go to Roma for a business trip - I added on 3 days because you don't travel 10 hours in the plane and stay for 3 days... You just don't.

For some reason, over the past month various people felt it necessary to share their Italy gypsy horror stories which scared the socks off of me. My hubby doesn't like international travel so when I ran into my former neighbor, H two weeks before the trip, and I knew she had just gotten her passport, I offered an invitation and she accepted. And oh my gosh, did we ever laugh and talk the entire trip... til 2 and 3 am sometimes. We were neighbors for 18 years and her family was so good to my (single) self, always - including me on holidays when I didn't go home to NOLA. So, off we went, H and I on our Roma journey. After the first week, she stayed in London (to see her brother) while I went to Rotterdam for work - the scheduling worked out very well.

I wasn't quite prepared for the heat of Roma - it's just like Houston yet there we were expected to go trapsing around in it. Even the bus tour around the sights was exhausting since there was no a/c and scorching sun up top. We toured the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which was totally amazing. We ate pasta and pizza and drank many cappacinos late in the evening. And talked.
The only unfortunately note is that I left my little Sony camera on the plane and just learned this morning that it hasn't been turned in, so half of my photos are gone. I don't know, maybe it will show up... I can always hope. When people do bad things, like not turn in lost property, do you ever wish bad things for them? I do. Don't they believe in karma?

The meetings went very well and we were treated like royalty. Every evening the dinner was spectacular, only to be exceeded by the next night's event. The ballroom of the Westin Excelsior was transformed with tromp loeil to Italian street scenes and a buffet that included a pig's head. I want to remember how sweet the canteloupe was in Italy. Monday night we had dinner at Piazza next door, Borghese at this restaurant. It was a fantastic evening, but unfortunately, very warm (while wearing elegant cocktail wear). And the final evening, topped it all when we had opera singers serenade us after a 7 course meal at the hotel. Unforgettable. I had never been in the room with an opera singer. They reach right in and touch your heart.

So anyway, Rome was interesting and hot and the food was very expensive. $7.50 for a Coke Light. But it was also amazing and fun and hot and I would go back, ... only during winter. I would have liked to go to Florence on the train, but you have to leave things to do for the next trip.

On Saturday we flew back through London (we flew British Airways) and Harriet stayed in London with her brother and I went on to Amsterdam and then Rotterdam by train. The weather was so nice and cool in Holland. I stayed twice at the Renaissance Hotel in Amsterdam and just loved it. BA delayed a bag so I had to wait around Sunday morning for it and the hotel staff was very helpful. I got a crappy iphone photo of the central train station in Amsterdam, which is an amazing site to see - bicycles in all directions. thousands of bicycles. everywhere. It is so cool how people of all ages use this mode of transportation.

Sunday I spent the afternoon with a colleague in den Hague (see, I can speak Dutch!) at Madurodam, which is a park with miniature replications of the various sights of Netherlands. With the economy, many folks are staying close to home so it was busy and the weather was sunny and cool. We then headed to the beach and had dinner, which was v. nice. Monday and Tuesday were meetings, which went very well. My Dutch colleagues are really good people and I am enjoying working with them more and more. Monday night I had an amazing dinner at the restaurant at Euromast, which is a needle that goes high above Rotterdam. The food was excellent and the views are expansive with a great look at the various canals of Rotterdam. It is within walking distance of our office with a gorgeous park next door. We had lunch both days at a restaurant in the park.

On Tuesday afternoon, I left to visit the northern part of Netherlands, the home of a colleague in the small village of Driehuis, which is just amazing. It is so green and peaceful and tranquil. I fell in love with it. It is near Ijmond and Velsen, which I visited earlier this decade when I worked for Reliant and we operated the power plant there. So funny how life evolves. Did I think that 10 years later I would be standing on the banks of that canal? Anyhoo, it is a magical town and I will have to go back and visit. We had a wonderful dinner overlooking a bluff, outside and by the last night of my trip, I was so done with food. Imagine that.
I'm over the jet lag and happy to be home, this weekend. It was a great trip and I have great memories and a few pictures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


A great place for inspiration is found at the local Anthropologie store in Highland Village. (pssss - here's a scoop - it looks like we will have one at Town and Country mall!) There are a couple of gorgeous cupboards in the store. I haven't seen the white one in a while - it may have gone on to another store.
My love of wood makes me drool every time I see this beauty. Its somewhere between a library card catalog and a map file. Just makes me happy.
The other thing I've noticed about this store is that they have a couple of skylights in it, that brings in such a light and airy feel to the space. It's probably a good thing that I don't fit into their clothes - age or size because I find enough good stuff for the home. And it looks like now, with the new clutter free manifesto that I'll be going for inspiration only! I'm serious about this clearing out bit... I really am.
Now I'm asking you: who has the job to update Anthropologie's Facebook page? How freakin awesome would that be? And they have now posted their Fall Windows which, of course, look fantastic. Did you know there is a whole following of Anthropologie displays on Flickr?
The fall windows remind me of the Art League house from last year - the inversion house. Did you see it? Pretty amazing, up close and personal. I wish they had left it up longer.
Oh well, I have a Saturday to tend to which includes cleaning up the scrap room and then going to see Phantom of the Opera tonight. And yes, a friend and I are dragging our husbands to it and hoping they will love it as much as we do!
And then its an early flight to Bahamas for work, but back on Tuesday. Wish me luck.
I wish the sunshine outside wasn't so dang hot. It sure looks pretty from inside air conditioning!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From Round Top to Rome

I'm stressed out at work right now - and getting ready to make a quick trip to the Bahamas so that I can work. on Sunday. It's no luxury either - it's be hot, in the sun, in a nomex suit out on a jetty. And I have a fear about actually getting on the jetty in a basket. It's one of those times when you have to suck it up and be like the guys. And you know, these days I'm just not all that thrilled about doing that anymore. It will be a far cry from last weekend when I was scrapbooking in Round Top at this lovely place. And taking pictures of this lovely woman, Miss Barbara. I had such a great time - no chores, just playing with paper in my pjs. There is such a freedom in getting away and working on projects, and laughing and meeting really neat people. There is such a kinship with other scrapbookers. Sometimes it just amazes me.
The best thing that happened last weekend was that my neighbor said she would go to Rome with me in two weeks. Yep, just like that. I shake my head sometimes because the way it happened was really mystical. Boom - all of a sudden, I have a friend to go with me and besides that she's one of my favorite people, who is terrifically funny and so now it's all set. She's going to London to see her brother while I go to Rotterdam and finish business and then we fly home on the 5th. Easy peasy. About a month ago she got a strong urge to get her passport, worried about her grandson, Sonny Boy who is fighting over in Afghanistan. But the real reason now appears... it was to go to Rome this summer. We're going to have a great time.
I never did write about Carol Wingert's project for Inspired. Carol wow'd me in 2006 at the first Creative Escape when she took a file folder and folded it in half and made a travel portfolio. It just fascinates me when she designs such great books out of everyday office supplies. And this project was no different, but this time it was 3 projects in one, with lots of cool twists and turns (using aluminum tape from Home Depot) and glimmer mist - something I've not really been fond of - but with the parchment paper, it just pops! The project is two pieces of cardstock, folded to make a folder/book. Inside she added envelopes, folded accordian style, some canvas and her signature booklet that is "stitched". I'm sure there's some proper title for the style - saddle stitch or something... I don't know but it's a great addition to this project.
I also worked on Carol's Betwinchie kit and just had a blast with it - more book binding but what really appeals to me is the symetrical betwinches (1 and a half inch) on the cover. Very similar to Tim Holtz's project, Transparent Illusions. It's not finished yet, but I hope to soon.
My mind has been rumminating over the life cycle of buying, organizing but not scrapping - I've spent alot of time doing just that the past couple years and have two rooms that are crammed full of stuff. And I'm ready to change and do something different. I want to live a clutter free life and so I wrote a manifesto - it's only in draft form right now but it involves some serious change. No more aimless buying - at Michaels, or Hobby Lobby or local scrapbook stores or vintage or junk shops either. I want to narrow down the types of art that I do and haul off the stuff I'm not using. I'm concerned because I really don't do much stamping but I love stamps... that one is going to be hard to clear out. I've made a dent in my paper and gave away quite a bit in Round Top but I think I'm going to stack up the rest and sell it on ebay in lots. But if that becomes too much of a hassle, I'm just going to box it up and give it away. I'm just done with hoarding all this stuff that I couldn't use in a lifetime. It amazes me how many of us do that, part of me wants to understand why I do it (I think I know) and all of me wants to stop doing it or at least dial it down, way down. A real inspiration has been my friend, Tanya in New Mexico who has been working with Aby Garvey for inspiration and Peter Walsh from Oprah fame. And part of this change involves cutting down on emails and blog reading. I get emails from all kinds of sources about sales and I've already unsubscribed to 20 or so... and I delete plenty more now. It's such a drain on the brain - always trying to keep up with reading all this crap. Sure, it inspires me but I'm not spending my time making or creating, like I want. It's funny because with just these small changes I can feel a difference - I made 3 mini albums last week - poof! During the week... after work. It felt great. I'm ready for more of this. Bring it!
Oh and one last comment. I don't watch alot of TV but enough already about MJ. We really don't care. Just let him rest. Jeez Louise. I don't know how stay at homes tolerate it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Texas heat. What can you say about it ... my neighbor says its better than snow, you don't have to shovel hot. I can go with that but dang, it is just stiffling right now... I had a great trip to Long Beach and Chicago and the work part was good too. I stayed over the weekend in Long Beach and visited Fabric Barn - a great warehouse of ribbons, trims etc. that are cheap! I picked up some tulle also in lucious summer colors of melon, lemon and peach. I took a chance on the hotel and stayed here. Its a bit scary at first - on the roof is a sign that says BATH IN EVERY ROOM. The Varden is a historic building (thus the sign stays) that's been modernized in modern European style and I loved it. The staff treat you like family and it was quiet - I abhor slamming doors and noisy children. The room was like a comfy cocoon and everything had its place (plugs for cellphone). For a neat freak like me - that works! Saturday I spent at the Tall Mouse in Cerritos and downtown Orange which has lots of antiques include Country Roads. I found a few tidbits but was saving my $ for the Long Beach Flea and its a good thing because it was FANTASTIC. It was vintage and cheap from A-Z - I was in heaven for 5 hours plus the weather was nice and breezy. I found all kinds of goodies and my feet hurt more than my arms so I wouldn't make a trip back to the car to drop my stash. I found vintage children's books for $5, stitchery, linens, cream colored iron picture frame. What was fun was hearing the conversations - seems that everyone knows each other - dealers and customers. So interesting. I even ran into SB Mary Smilove from Sweetpeas and Snapshots. Small world. I would definitely recommend the LBF and hope to go back again. (I'm having trouble with Blogger now).

This weekend included two classes at By Design with Debby Schuh. You can always count on Debby to include some nifty pages and this time was no different. My favorite was the second class - a vintage travel album that started off with grungepaper. The end result is just too cool - with some paint and ink - voila! a vintage look. And it was nice to finish both of the projects the same day (a little bit at home). Bonus was spending time with Ronda, Cindy and seeing Gigi.

My friend, Laurel has been on my mind all day. Her husband died suddenly last Sunday and I am keeping her in my thoughts. So amazed at her strength and wisdom. She is so beautiful and keeps talking about how proud she was to be Mrs. Gregg Witwen. Lovely and graceful. I am at a loss for words.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh those Boys

Forgive me for not being able to place this You Tube video in my blog. some people just can't!

Tell me if you can only watch THIS once... I couldn't. I think it's just the funniest - thanks to Silver Bella local, Linda for posting it on her blog. She always has clever stuff... pics, videos, projects... Love to read what she's doing. I'm off to Long Beach, CA and Chicago - both for work. I wrote my presentation for Chicago at 4:30 today... what can you do... I am staying over the weekend and going to the Long Beach flea on Sunday morning at 6:30 am! Looking forward to seeing what's out there in Cali. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Here's a hint. Before you send that email... about some great Internet revelation or some awful thing that can happen if you wear your underwear backwards... go here first and type in a few words to see if it's real. or Internet fodder. It'll save you lots of time. and embarressment.

I'd also like to suggest that you consider Be The Match - the National Bone Marrow Donor program. I joined several years ago after being a stem cell donor for my brother, who had Hodgkins Disease. In the past, obtaining bone marrow was a painful process - it isn't anymore. For me it consisted of taking 5 shots to build up my stem cell count (we got it up to 9 million!) and then the transfer process is about 4 hours and it's easy peasy. The worst discomfort is that you're cold - I mean really cold - so they cover you with warm blankets. Hmmm. I keep hoping they will contact me - I would do it again in an instant.

I'll share a funny story that happened after I donated the cells to my brother. It was right before Thanksgiving and they run your blood through TONS of checks, of course, HIV. Mine came back Positive and it was just so comical (now). I had just gotten married and so thinking about HIV was the farthest thing from my mind. They treat it very seriously (at the VA) and they warn you TO TELL NO ONE. NOT EVER YOUR HUSBAND. As if. (I'm lousy at secrets). Their logic was powerful - you're damned either way - if you've positive, you've got a whole world of changes coming about and if you're negative - after the holiday, you'll have to call all those people and say - guess what, False Positive, folks! And it was a 3 hour drive back to Houston - alone so I could ponder the possibilities. But I didn't. What was the point. It is just funny - looking back on it. The good news was that they couldn't transfer the cells to my brother, so he got to come home for the holidays. and it was his last - and that guy enjoyed his food. So we were all together at Thanksgiving. Good stuff. On Saturday I got the call from the head of the BMT unit that I was not HIV positive. Such a nice doctor - to call me at home - during his holidays. Very cool dude.
Memorial Day was vacation week for me and my hubby in Destin, Florida. Well, actually it was a week long vacation that included my favorite places: New Orleans, Destin and Canton... how's that for a home run! We spent the night in NOLA at my cousin's and enjoyed some amazing charbroiled oysters at Dragos (best ever!) and then spent 4 days at the beach - exploring new beaches (Grayton, Santa Rosa, Seaside) and a bit of shopping (Zoo Gallery, Belks). We took our time driving to all 3 destinations - stopping at a casino or antique store, whatever struck our fancy - all the way across Mississippi and Louisiana. Good fun. And great meals in Destin - at Bonefish Grill and The Back Porch. We had fun rummaging through the junk in Canton but I think I'm maxing out on "stuff" right now - I really need to open an etsy shop and unload some of this stuff... So, on Saturday we headed over to the Crafty Scrapper in Waxahachie. Man, I just love that store. And the Robin's Nest next door - both are just amazing places. (It's a good thing I received Karen Russell's online photography class book this weekend - all of my beach photos were overexposed. ugh.)

In my world, there is no such thing as a bad blogger. Blogging is optional. Guess I should put that on today's grateful list - since I'm not self-employed and it doesn't affect my livelihood - I can do it if I please. or not. Even though I am Catholic, I cannot go there - blogger's guilt. Nope.

So that's what I've been up to... All good stuff. I'm headed to Bahamas tomorrow for work. Wish me luck - last time didn't go so well so I'm hoping for a better outcome this week.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I was Inspired

I participated in Donna Downey's event in Concord, NC last weekend - with some of my peeps... And even though it was the second event in 2 weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed it with my creative flame ignited. The event set up really worked for me - the hotel was luxurious without being expensive - just the right mix. I loved having 3 hours for each class (and somehow we didn't finish the painting class). The on site store was downright addicting and I knew well enough to get into Jenni Bowlin's booth first thing. She offers the best vintage goodies and AT A FAIR PRICE, which I just love. It is so nice and refreshing - its like she shares her stuff with you, with a little money involved. The other booth, Random Arts had very eclectic artsy things for sale - most I didn't understand but I knew a few good things when I saw them - blue bird ribbon and copper plates. Of course the fabric store was inviting and the trim/button store had some lovely goodness that I selected - a vintage yellow puppy dog ribbon. I haven't unpacked much nor downloaded my photos so I'm either going to have to steal from someone's gallery or you'll have to wait. Better wait.
I have to say I was put on fire with Susan Edmonson's sewing class. First of all, kudos to Donna for having a nice large room, and plenty of sewing machines, that all worked and a great TA who kept them threaded and fixed for us. It was a joy and a pleasure - I've been to events where the electrical issues weren't thought out so this was great appreciated. And the fabric journal that we made just makes my heart sing... after all its sewing - machine stitching and since Silver Bella anything sewing really is making my creative heart dance! We even skipped the next class so that we could go to the fabric store, Sew Much Fun and get more moda goodness. I selected pastel fabrics and sewed 3 "pages", that still need buttons and writing etc., but they're sewed! It really was soooo much fun - just like scrapbooking but with fabric. Its a whole new world! I've also been grappling a bit with my creativity lately because it seems I only create when I have an end in mind - I want to make a gift for someone - and this was more about just putting pretty fabrics together, er - creating. Its not perfect, its my first time out but I just kept going. It felt so good and light and happy. I want to do more of it. I will do more of it. I learned how to thread the machine by putting my two index fingers together and putting the thread through the needle and it works! Okay, I'll cut the exclamation points - are they getting annoying? I just can't say enough, how much I loved this class and want to incorporate it into my creativity.
My favorite workshop (I did 4) was right as I stepped off the plane, with a Stampin Up demonstrator, Anna Marie Still. She put together a bracketed mini book made from a Big Shot and already embossed with gorgeous sparkly SU embossing powder. It was pretty and delicate and made me want to buy the stuff - good marketing tool. We watercolored with crayons (SU of course) and a water pen. Lots of fun play time with different technics, small project which was just right for an hour workshop. And I loved the pink version (there were three colors to choose from - green, blue, pink). Look down a couple entries on her blog and she shows them being kitted. I promise to photo mine this weekend. Promise. I have to say I was really taken back by her because she seemed such a confusing combination of a person and I mean this in a good way. She has lots of tattooes, but she's an SU demonstrator, she had a baby strapped to the front of her and yet she was dressed young and hip and so-not-mom like... It just makes me laugh at me for thinking old and trying to pigeon hole someone into one category. People can surprise you and I enjoyed her individuality.
Right now I have a little girl that needs to go to the beauty shop (Grace) and a job that's calling my name. I'll talk more about Inspired this week. Especially the heavenly goodness like Carol Wingert's journal, which I can definitely make over and over again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

FKS SSL Project Pics

Was that whiney enough for you? Sorry about that - it sure did feel good to sleep in my own bed. Late this afternoon we had a HUGE thunderstorm that knocked out electricity for a couple of hours. After IKE, I bought a large lantern that sure came in handy tonight. A little after eight, we were back on and I could start the unpacking process. Because I'm lazy, I'm stealing a couple of photos from other people to show some of the projects from this weekend. I loved the size and style of Cheryl Mezzetti's beautiful project - the colors from CI's Narratives line really resonated with me, along with a few fun techniques that she added. I knew nothing about her before the class, but with her BAWston accent and funny stories, it was a great class to close out the event. Loved the attention to detail.

I wish I had a photo available of the Clear Scraps Scrap St. Louis project that we made. It really is terrific - I loved making it and I love that it is so unique! Last year we made a cute Mickey Mouse album and this year was just as spectacular. I still haven't unpacked all of my goodies and my project was pretty close to finish. I'll take photos soon (don't you hate when people promise that kind of stuff - kind of like - let's do lunch).

Anyhoo, using Ten Seconds Studio metal, we made a very cool tag with Linda Cain. She was just delightful and so relaxed and easy to be around. I would definitely take another class from her. And like I suspected - I loved working with the metal.

Wendy Vecchi's project was cool - fun to play with grungepaper. I'm just a wee bit of a freak about getting all that ink on my fingers... I know - lame but thats just me. I liked the design of the project but I just wasn't firing on all cylinders for that class.
Okay, I was a total dweeb today. I saw this project on Layle Koncar's blog and went to Pier One at lunch and bought a bird stand. Also picked up a beautiful blue bird plate... not sure if I'll keep it on my desk at work or in my scrap room. I really wanted one of these beautiful pillows (it has embroidery on it), but I drew the line quickly. They had some very cute white patio furniture ...
Oh and one of the St. Louis ladies, Ann Caryl used a Mighty Bright light during class - spiffy and we all oooohhhed and aaaaahhhed over it. Think I just might need one myself. It uses LED bulbs and she says she's had it forever and never replaced one!
That's all I'm saying. Good night.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Home Again Home Again

I'm dog tired and back from Scrap St. Louis. When I get back home I am so exhausted... I had a great time, hanging with Tanya and seeing all the Chicago girls(Jeanne, Cathy, Nan, Melissa and Kathleen and Finn), the local SL girls (Barb, Kathy, Julianne, & Kathy W) having a good time at Rock, Paper Scissors and dinner in St. Charles... and of course, all the classes at SSL. It is such an good easy time being there - the classes were fun and I got to try some metal work and some grunge paper flowers ... Lots of favorites: the St. Louis Clear Scraps album we made (way cool), Cheryl Mezzetti (who was a hoot) plus her project was all Karen Russell design - just gorgeous, the metal work we did with Linda Cain (who was just the nicest) and I fell in love with the spring line that Margie A's used in her project. It was all good and I'm just tired... What was so beautiful about St. Louis in spring was all the red bud and dogwood trees blooming. Just gorgeous. Tanya and I had a chance to walk through Missouri Botanical Gardens (my second year) and the tulips were phenomenal... Just lovely. Sorry I can't add much more - I'm just beat. I'll exit stage left through the tulips..

Friday, April 17, 2009

How Could I?

forget... On Sunday I tried herding some squirrels, er puppy dogs and out of 200 photos got a couple of good ones... I would love to post some of the out takes because now I sympathize with all the moms when they're trying to get their kids to stand still, look at the camera, for a picture. Jeez Louise, these dogs were just as bad. They really aren't keen on me whipping out the camera. Look, even my angel, Killer boy is misbehaving! (click on the smaller picture and you can see the devil coming out) Can you believe! Anyway, it was fun to once again try to capture them all together on film. I had such a difficult time getting all three in focus, so I'm really looking forward to getting into Karen Russell's online photography class in June so I can fix it! Just fix it. I did take my Canon to a retirement party for our company president, which was hard to give up my easy point and shoot Canon for the manual mac-daddy. But its the only way you'll learn. So hard to give up that comfort zone.

And I am so happy to say that in November, I will be attending Silver Bella again. Absolutely thrilled. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it until several months later but besides being a fantastic event (well organized, good people - like Scrap St Louis which is next week!), I thrive on those types of projects now. I didn't say I've been doing the stitching and glittering, but I love looking at them... Another great way to get out of your comfort zone and stretch... I will get there! I'm taking two Rebecca Sower classes, one Charlotte Lyons, one Pam Garrison and one Corba. It's too early to go look them up and I'm going to be late for work... Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I {heart} Anthro

Been doing some fun things lately. Created this for my hubby - an accordian album for his desk at work - b/w pics of his father, who died 30 years ago. I made this simple and sweet - I didn't want to over do it - confuse the focus. When we did the Donna Downey project in Vancouver in 07 of b/w photos on bazzill 3 x 5 cards - it crystalized in my mind the need to get old photos out into view... and I've made several versions as gifts.

Last night the downtown Central Library had a workshop about memoir writing, given by an author, Thomas Larson who wrote a book called Memoirs and the Memoirist. It was a fascinating talk and we spent about 45 minutes writing also. He explained that an autobiography is (drawing hands out like an accordian) is about a lifetime whereas a memoir can be like a vertical cylinder - about a specific person, passion or life event. It was thought-provoking, different group of people and a great way to spend an evening. Thanks HPL! I'm kicking myself for not buying his book. He hails from San Diego - not sure why he came to Texas, but glad he did.
Lunch today involved some inspiration, thanks to our favorite, Anthropologie. I mean - what a great store. The creativity just flows like a river when I enter the store. I realized today in the middle of it are several large box skylights - no wonder it is flooded with light and feels so nice. Okay, tell me this cabinet is not the yummiest?? A large concept library card catalog - too cool. I'm not thrilled with the rolled book "collage" but it is an interesting concept. The drawings are very mid century modern, (another way of saying 50s) - v. interesting. I picked up several cute things, but I can't show them to you because some of them might, just might be gifts for friends that I will see next week in St. Louis. St. Louis, rah! I can't wait... to see all those Chi town girls plus the STL girls - it will be just too much fun. In 6 wake ups, as they say on the Yahoo board.
And have you seen Tim Holtz's projects posted on his blog today? I am in love with the second project, Transparent Illusions. I'm pretty sure it is an IKEA mirror. It fits me to a T - I am dying to make one. How much fun to spend the day learning all those technics. Will he do something similar at CE? Who knows! I am so on the fence about taking his class at Ten Seconds Studio in June... I would just love to do it (bonus is hanging with Cheryl!) but first I have to make it through May, which is going to be brutal. Not for me, but the hubs, who isn't thrilled when I travel.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Texas Shopping

I have seven minutes before I have to get ready for work. It was a gorgeous Texas weekend full of all good things but best of all, Texas Junk. And once you've had junk, you don't want anything else. I learned that this weekend. We made it to Warrenton on Friday and parked at the first entry way in. Silly us, we didn't realize it went on for MILES and MILES. We shopped and got SO MUCH COOL STUFF. This was a favorite find - this little pink elephant that I got at Uncommon Objects in Austin. I got to spend as long as I wanted there and it was fantastic. I didn't realize it is many different owners - the display is fantastic. Every nook is done so well. Okay, but back to W... We parked and our first booth was a tin man with gorgeous tins from a church in Comanche with fleur de lis. How lucky is that, oh and at $2 each. I will use it as a cover plate for a 6 x 6 book! What should I do with the other 9? These pillow cases are perfect, purple and cross stitched with Mr. and Mrs. We also hit a resale shop in Austin and I found a mirror for my printers blocks - for $6.50 and two boxes of envelopes (80 lb) for $1 each. I want to try this trick with them... Well, I can't find the tutorial on SCS but you slice off the top and use it as a gift card holder... I'm 8 minutes after 7 so I have to run. I still have LOTS to show and we're going back for the day next weekend. On our way back from Fredericksburg, we stopped in again from Round Top this time and laughed at how much there was... This is living!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I is Important

I smile when I ride the two elevators at work with our sales guys. With each trip down they whip out their Blackberry, scrolling, reading emails, Oh so important. And I smile because I’m getting the same emails. They’re going to clean the carpet on Thursday night. Or pest control is coming on Wednesday. C’mon. Please. You’re not that important. Now when my husband is looking at his iphone while we're out or at a meal, he'll quietly say, Thursday. They're cleaning the carpet on Thursday.

I learned the Important lesson in 1984 when I was a pup, working a frenetic pace, (before Blackberrys) working late and weekends and thinking what I was doing was Oh so important. Please. It's insurance. It's not that important. I got sick and missed several weeks from work and that lesson got propped up right in my face, so I would get it. If you’re working in corporate America today, you are not that important. They will step over you if you think you need to lay down your life for the job.

I started going to scrapbook events around the country in 2006 and it has moved to a frenetic pace lately. I’ve added vintage and glitter and sewing to the party with events like Silver Bella. And I learned that I love it and its introduced me to a whole different group of gals, who are like me. Who get it. And I love seeing their art.

In the past week I’ve been inundated with some really mind-boggling messages – probably, because I read too many blogs. ha. But I am flabbergasted at how the cost for these events have gone through the proverbial roof. It is unfrigging-believable. I’ve attended Creative Escape for all 3 years and I hope to make it a fourth. They increased their price to $749 for a 3 day event. Locally for NSD, Heidi Swapp is teaching 2 days for $200, Junkie is having a two day event without a teacher for $100. In the vintage word, I found a whole schedule of weekend classes in 2009 for $500 or $750 – that’s a weekend with one teacher. Yes, they are AMAZING artists but damn. That’s a lot of smackeroos. I think there are some people that are confused about their importance.

I’m just shaking my head right now because I am one of the fortunate ones. Both my husband and I have great six figure jobs. And for the most part our chickies are out of the nest and on their own. Its all about us right now and if he wants to add to his gun collection, he does. If I want to attend an out of state workshop, I do. We’re one of the lucky ones... I just wonder though about all those gals trying to raise families or living on a tight budget. I just want to ask myself - who ARE these people that are paying these prices? Is it just another rung up the ladder, another tier up of society. But I also think that at some point, its will hit the wall, stop and come crashing down. It can’t sustain this frenetic pace. It will be burnout and then we’ll come back to a softer side of sharing art. For fun. For the art that we love. And those character figures with dollar sign eyes will disappear.
I look at it like the box stores. For a while its all about big stores and bagging your own stuff and pretty soon people will get tired of the vastness and then it will be all about ”personal service” and smaller stores and enjoying the experience. I get it - it’s a cycle. What comes around goes around. (okay, that's not the right metaphor but it sort of applies). Right now I’m just watching it swirl into its frenzy. While I wait to go to Scrap St. Louis and Inspired. And for the CE lottery ticket and the Silver Bella sign up to be announced. I still WANT to go but part of me is just shaking my head and saying, Wait. Slow down. Don't burn out. Enough is enough already.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I love calling my nieces and screaming into the phone, WHAT UP??? Life has been humming along at a steady pace and evening out quite nicely. I'm enjoying it and appreciating the many gifts that have been given to me. Trying to stay level and grateful. A quick trip to New Orleans for work and I enjoyed Friday night dinner at my cousins while I was there. Shrimp stew. My cousin grew up with my Dad so in a way it's like hanging out with my Dad - same mannerisms. Same deliberate movements, like me. I spent Friday afternoon walking in the quarter, picking up a few new fleur de lis objects. One beveled glass with etchings and one colored glass in purple and green and gold.
Work has been pretty intense lately but satisfying. I don't like getting all torqued up and stressed out, the way I did in my 30s. Life is just too short. It only got that way when I left for NOLA. Any time I leave the office, I feel this need to clear the stacks that may have been sitting there for months - all of a sudden, they need to go the day before I leave town. Crazy.
My husband gave me a 1980s photo album of hunting pictures that was falling apart. He is a scrapbooker. My husband. He wrote journals and titles with a dynamo label. How cool is that? I put it back together in a new album and saved the red labels. We actually had dinner with one of the guys 2 weeks ago - pretty cool. My husband, the scrapbooker.
We're going to Warrenton & Round Top next weekend and then on to Fredericksburg. Pretty fluid trip, I hope to stop in at Uncommon Objects in Austin. Looking forward to getting away with my man and hunting. That's about all I've got for right now. Life is good and I've got no complaints.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Looking Forward

I'm home now for all of February, which allows for some great time to catch up on all the projects - I did clean up the spare bedroom and dropped off donations to Turning Point. We had a simple Valentine's Day. I made a board book for my husband, Ten Things I Love About You. I had a good time creating it. I have to say I am loving my Genesis trimmer - it really does cut like butter. So clean and crisp. And I managed to get into Karen Russell's photography class starting in June. Yipee! She's an amazing teacher - I can't wait to get some feedback. My photography skills lacking - here's a photo of the kids... I love them so much!

I'm looking forward to Saturday when I have breakfast with my brother and sister at the Egg & I. We started a monthly visit (last month). I am IN LOVE with the Egg & I - a franchise out of Colorado. They just serve breakfast and lunch, and the food is scrumptious - just the way you order it! Terrific orange juice, great flavored coffee. I highly recommend it, it's on Memorial near Kirkwood. Nothing makes me happier than flavored coffee and breakfast out! In the afternoon I'm heading to Elida's for our NW crop. After a handful of stores have closed in my old neighborhood, the customers have banded together and we have our own Yahoo group (Houston & Beyond) and monthly crops. I don't participate often but I enjoy this group every time I go. Not sure what project I'll work on... I still have Carol Wingert's white album to do!

I was thinking of doing the art journal for Scrap St. Louis, sign up deadline is February 28th. I said if I had a page designed by then, I would sign up. I would love to incorporate three different sections on the page, and an arch separating two of the sections, in the middle of the page. I can visualize it, now I just need to get it down on paper. I did sign up for Barb Reiniger's page swap. So many interesting teachers - Wendy Vecchi and Linda Cain. Really looking forward to this event. Two weeks later is Inspired in North Carolina. I am totally jazzed about the different vibe for that event - paint, canvas and TEN SECONDS STUDIO metal. Yes, Cheryl D will be teaching - so much to look forward to. But let's get back to the here and now... After watching an Oprah show about hormone replacement therapy, I'm thinking about signing up for it. I spend too many nights awake from 2-4 or 3-5, which seems to be a common problem. Anyone have experience with it? In any event, I'm going to lay my head down now. Good night.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Urban Market

It was a nice day at Urban Market today and I found plenty to buy. Once again, the pricing has increased but what can you do? I didn't snap a picture of the quilted pillow from the Gaudy Sisters that says - Its never too late to live happily ever after! If that isn't so true for my life now... I had to get it. I really enjoyed visiting with Pam and Sherry - lots of fun. I plan on checking out their shop, Second St. Antiques in Katy. I also found this beautiful stool with china mosaic on top at their booth. Yummy. The legs are a dark brown but I'm going to paint them white. Matter of fact, they had alot of stuff I COULD have hauled home.

Next door to them are some sisters that do wholesale upholstery right in my neighborhood. I made a bee line for their booth when the doors opened. They have trims 5 for $1 and then fabric bits for $2, $3 or $5. There is so much possibility with these fabrics - I just love it.

Beautiful trims (sorry that my picture isn't fully in focus). When I saw the green trims, I thought of Rebecca Sower's Prayer Collage from Silver Bella - these would go beautifully with it.

The linen on the left reminds me of Anna Griffin paper. Great embroidery. Some other shoppers were convincing me to cut out the embroidered parts on the bottom piece... I had to make noise because
they kept calling me back to the stack to show me more pieces (all of which are below). Last weekend I picked up 10 pieces of quilted or cross stitched pieces at Canton - I washed them and they look gorgeous. I am set with fabric...

Next to the upholstery girls was this beautiful piece of WOOD. Yes, it is carved wood and I just love it. Painted in the lightest pastel colors. With a cherub. What more can you ask for?

These were vintage baby linens for $1 and $2 - from another booth.

Afterwards my friend, Theresa came over and we made a light box for her little niece, Jocelyn. It was all in pinks (pink toile for the interior) - and I used a pink crystal knob that I got in Chicago at Christmas - thanks Jeanne for showing them to me! It really was just the right touch! Only thing left to do is find a photo for the inside. I enjoyed today.