Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Little Bit

While at Anthropologie in New York in November, I picked up three mercury glass votives.  I have been wanting to decorate a bottle just a bit so this was a good place to start.  The kind and generous Allison from Dishy Vintage shared a HUGE stash of vintage laces in a blog giveaway recently so I used that as background and made a rosette from music paper and added some glitter to the edges.  I think rosettes are one of my favorite things.  On Saturday I had a chance to stop at the Sunshine Resale shop in Bellaire and they had 25% off jewelry so I picked up a few pieces including this rhinestone cluster, which was part of an earring.  I don't have much jewelry in my stash, but this stuff was $3/pair so I thought that was fair.  I added some pale pink seam binding and called it done.  Its in the kitchen now, holding sugar.  One down, two to go. 

I'm in the process of changing jobs - something that happened quickly and from out of the blue.  But a nice shade of blue, that is for sure.  I start Dec 29th.  I've been at the same place for five years and boy, I've been riding the roller coaster of emotions.  Especially when you have worked in your industry for 30+ years and have no children, your work is pretty darn important.  Or at least you think it is!  At our Christmas party this year, our President made mention of the various departments and said some very kind and nice things about me.  It made my heart sing.  And still has for days later.  It is so nice to be appreciated, even if it is as you are walking out the door.  I'm so looking forward to CHANGE in 2011.  I'm giving up familiarity, not to mention some great business trips but who knows what will replace them.  I can't wait to see.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Round and Round

Lots of news happening on Northampton.  I finished two projects - whoo hooo!  Wanna see? 

We started these last weekend on Black Friday during the scrapathon at my house and I finished during the week.  You can see my map one turned out slightly different than the original creation, which was perfect.  I'm not perfect and I didn't make "good" cones.  Learn from me, people.  I debated on the white one whether to add little bits of bling in the middle and decided to leave them as it.  You could easily glitter/mica flake the edges...  You can also make them from paper.  For the map wreath I started with a cardboard circle and the white wreath was a twig wreath from Hob Lob and I had a flannel remnant so I used that.  Improvise, thats what I say!  I stapled the map cones to the cardboard and flattened them but that looked dumb so I stuck tissue paper inside the cones.  The airmail stamp came from the Graphics Fairy

Have you heard the news?  Rachel is moving to Round Top...its true!  According to Cote de Texas she bought this house and will be redoing it.  What are the chances of staying in the abode?  Thinking slim.  none.  but fun to dream!

After a sweet visit with my Mother, that hopefully will include a haircut, I'm going to be making Cream of Cilantro soup, which is one of her favorites.  Its a very simple soup (and you don't have to chop the leaves, just throw them in the blender sans stems.  I love it and the weather is perfect soup weather.  I don't have my recipe book, someone who shall remain nameless packed it up with their stuff last weekend and so I'm resorting to online recipes, which I am thinking is the same one.  And I'm cranky from battling a cold/sinus/sore throat bug even though I've stayed home 3 days and babied it.  Can you tell?

While the soup is simmering, I'm hoping to make a few Christmas blocks ala Miz Juney... My last stop at Home Depot on a Monday night yielded 25 blocks from a $1 remnant.  No joke. 

I know I still have New York details to spill.  One of my favorite things from the shopping on Saturday was these dolls that Molly Nay purchased (one) at Bergdorf Goodman. OH The Inspiration!  I have found a couple of heads/feet in Glenflora and now I'm searching for the perfect vessels for the body or maybe a rhinestone lipstick case... Such fun.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love at First Sight

I fell in love this weekend.  It was very exciting.  And as a Southern girl, this is very hard to admit but I fell in love with New York.  I know everyone else loves it but I just didn't see myself doing that.  But I did and there is no going back. 
For the past couple of years, Debby Schuh, a teacher in the scrapbook world would post on her blog about her weekends in NY (she lives in Buffalo) and we all marveled at the pics and places, and asking her repeatedly, to take me with you!  Well, this weekend, she did.  26 of us and it was a blast and damn near perfection.  I'm exhausted from walking 8000 miles this weekend and my camera was on the fritz so I only have a few hundred photos.  Luckily, my pals Sandy and Wendy took photos and Marsha's hubby photographer came along with us.  But don't think of Marsha as a good influence on me... first, telling me where the B&H Photo store was (near Macy's).  I didn't even realize they were IN NY - I bought my Canon 40D from them, along with my lenses.  Secondly, they convinced me to buy my Ipad this weekend (an apple in the big apple of course) - why wait?  Made total sense, and I'm so glad I did.  It is fantastic.
I'm still writing in my envelope journal and I haven't unpacked but I am going to share one of our site visits.  Sunday morning we started off at Balthazar's in SOHO for brunch and it was fantastic.  I split my breakfast with my new pal, Lisa - she had berry waffles and I had salmon and poached eggs.  Afterwards, we made our way to the MoMA store, right across the street and to Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic.  It was perfection... I fell in love with each little bit in the store and took a picture of all that I could... The frou frou prom dresses, the inspiration board, the petticoat light fixture, the large crucifix and sacred hearts.  I could have stayed all day and I would love to own the Grand Chaise or large squishy chair.  It just looked so comfortable, inviting and simply beautiful fabric.  I bought a napkin with a silver crown - silly probably to some but I had to have it and I wanted the card and bags... to add to my scrapbook.  Also in the store were several Coronation (Queen Elizabeth June 1953) mugs and memorabilia, which made me happy as I have several pieces myself.  So many of our crew had gone into Sabon and purchased something, so we made our way over a couple of blocks to experience it ourselves.  They have a beautiful large round ... er, guess you would call it a sink but you stand and wash your hands with their sweet smelling soap (Patchouli Lavender Vanilla) and scrub with sea salts from the Dead Sea and then of course, lotions to smooth it all out.  Well, let me tell you, I have enough lotions and potions to sink a boat, I don't need any more so I thought, nice try - not going to buy into it.  But it did make my hands super silky.  So I picked up some soap shavings that smell just like my  grandma's rose scent...  That was all I was going to contribute to this hi-jinks.  And now, I totally regret it and I'm calling up tomorrow to order the soap and scrub and lotion.  And I may get some face cream too!  It was just that amazing.  I took a bath with the rose soap and it was so wonderful.  I have to have some of that!
I'm going to go unpack a bit...I'm exhausted.  Thanks for all the kind comments about Silver Bella.  I am home for the next month and so looking forward to settling in.  I will post more about the trip and Silver Bella after I've gotten some rest.  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bella Done

From Teresa McFayden
During opening night, our project included a mat that was to be glittered.  Well, I know well enough not to do that and place it in a suitcase, (plus I've become more of a mica flakes girl than a glitter girl).  One girl did use some green/aqua glitter and didn't apply enough glue so she had gaps.  Well, another girl had Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in a green chalkboard color, I think they call it mint chocolate chip.  I am telling you, it filled in beautifully and looked fantastic plus the shimmer was so nice.  I want some of this stuff...
I'm heading to New York City tomorrow - first time in a long time with 25 girls (rooming with Sandy Hoho and her daughter, Wendy) to shop with Debby Schuh. There is a class Saturday night at Tinsel Trading, Marcia Ceppos is closing the store for us.  I think this is going to be heaven!  For several years now, we've heard of Debby's NYC trips and said, I want to do that... and now we can!  We're visiting Purl Soho, Kate's Paperie, The Ink Pad, Rachel Ashwell's store Shabby Chic and the major department stores that have the Christmas windows plus Friday on our own to enjoy and explore the city. 
embroidery design by Allison at Dishy Vintage
I got my 16 x 20 canvas from Canvas on Demand yesterday - of the picture at Delfshaven (the blog mast) and I have to say, its beautiful and I love it.  Wish I had ordered 3 more Groupon buys... I think it was $40  and included shipping... good stuff.  For Christmas I want to make a canvas ala Red Letter Words since my 3 inchie swap name tags were so easy to do in Picasa... so I was thinking of taking a simple flat background of the hardwood floors or perhaps the street and doing the street names of all the houses we've lived (for my brother).  Not original but sounds fun! 
I realized this morning after I woke from a good sleep that I am grateful that this separation with my Mother happened to me at 53.  I think I have the fortitude to face it with good grace.  I'm lucky that it is happening now and not at 43 or 33.  I'm going to try to focus on that thought all day.  Sister visited Mom yesterday and she was (for the most part) enjoying herself.  I know she will be happy, eventually.  I look forward to being home all of December.  And on Black Friday we're having a crafting day at my house.  If you want to joins us, let me know! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bella Time

I've been up for an hour or so...and the bills are paid so I'll finish my Silver Bella review, part deaux.  On the final day of Bellaness, I had the morning free, which was very nice - wake up relaxed and putter around.  I finished up an envelope journal and organizing playing with my new swaps and small purchases.  The next class was Secret in a Bottle with Lisa Kaus and this time, I was locked and loaded for a good class.  I got into the watercolors and collage.  Its not my strongest suit but I embraced it.  And I have to say, I was blown away by Lisa's willingness to share her art.  I mean, this is her livelihood and here she's showing us how its done.  I love that kind of spirit.  Blogger won't let me upload any photos, so please refer to my Picasa album.
There were alot of new bellas this year and some bellas from previous years that I missed... definitely the Houston crowd of Debe, Linda, Virginia and Julia.  Kinda lost without them.  Jodie from Louisiana. The new bellas were very enthusiastic about being there, which was so nice.  Kerry Barrick was a happy redhead from Oklahoma that was fun to visit with.  Nancy from {Scrap} St Louis was there and it was fun to visit again with her. 
Last class was Sally Jean Alexander and Prize-alicious - soldering a two part pendant that was really beautiful.   I'm not a jewelry maker or wearer but I did enjoy the class.  It was a rectangle and then gothic window shape (that's all I can think of calling it - its 4 am).  I did manage to put together a cool image - me at 2 circled in rhinestones and the word "twirl", with a meaning from this blog post.  I embrace that thought several times a day (or at least try to).  My taping was a bit thick but I also embraced it - it was mine and I created it.  Perhaps I can incorporate it into another art piece.  It was fun to make but I don't think I have the patience to solder as a craft.  I sat with the Bella clique in that class, by accident and felt like I was back in high school and feeling very un-in.  .  It is probably why I won't go back to SB next year - there are so many nice people that share and play nice but that core group that just get, well, boring with their snootiness.  Sorry, I got sidetracked - I wish it didn't bother me but it did.  This year they held a closing dinner and the keynote was Jenny Doh.  I sat with some awesome Dallas girls, Lisa and Susie and Suz and Donna and it was a nice ending for the weekend.  This years classes were fun and enjoyable and I'm so glad I participated in all three swaps.  I enjoyed my Bella time.
Still no pics allowed from Blogger.  Paper boy drove by and I'm back to bed.  

Edited to add:  I wish I hadn't judged those girls so harshly.  It was the last class and required alot of focus.  I've apologized for the name calling and we've mended the fence.  It is a good reminder of this quote:  Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bella Ball

Jill Sibbald's artwork - fantabulous!

I'm back from snow covered Omaha.  It snowed a big heavy snow Friday night - pretty amazing.  I took 200+ photos and have placed the majority on Picasa.  Do you use Picasa?  You should - it is pretty darn amazing and free!  I've used it for years - I have PSE (that's photoshop elements) that I use for cloning but I use Picasa for all my photos.  I'll make a collage for the month - just to look at and remember.  Let me tell you about my third Bella experience.  I loved the classes and yet, for whatever reason I didn't connect with alot of people, save a handful, with people like Laura of 52 Flea.  We met on the shuttle and spent the better part of the afternoon together at lunch and Second Chances.  It was fun - she's a flea market connoisseur and so while we shopped, each of us would say - I have that or I want that... it was fun. I'm hoping she will find some leather high top victorian baby shoes for me in her stash.  Thursday night we had a buffet dinner, did a frame project and then... the swaps!  I participated in three so I was very eager:  vintage trims, banner and 3 inchie embroidery swap.  For the vintage trims she placed them in decorated egg cartons, cute and cleaver.  I received six beautiful laces/crocheted trims, and a couple of beautiful ribbons and a few I'm not so fond... I am happy I participated - the laces are just lovely so I'll focus on that.  Both the banner and embroidery swap I just loved - beautiful artwork and its so fun to inspect all the details - I will take pics and post, I promise.  Afterwards, I moved rooms (long story not worth telling) and came down for the crown, bra and necklace one-on-one swaps.  I am telling you - it was amazing to watch.  The work was off the charts and it was so fun to witness the joy and excitement between the participants.  Way cool.   
Friday we started classes and my first one was with Colette Copeland (of Toronto) called Project Runway - there was tons of photos in Picasa.  We had three darling muslin dresses to decorate.  Our table was filled with fun and inspiring women, all collaborating - Suz and Donna, Gretchen, and sweet Melissa. Colette was so kind and generous - I gave her part of some lace and she came back with an aqua doily - it was just a wonderful time - the energy in that room.  My second class was the Teacup Fairy with Beth Quinn.  I think everyone was thrilled with that class.  I didn't realize under the teacup was a wire body and we attached fabric and trims.  I want to redo mine and instead of tying, I'm thinking of either tiny attacher or french knotting... I think it will look cool.  Take a look through Picasa, there were so many beautiful china cups.  My final class on Friday was with Lisa Kaus and I have to say, I struggled and fought it.  It was called Joy Within and I just wasn't feeling it.  It was using watercolor crayons and smudging and I can't tell you why but I put some paper down but couldn't get my groove.  I don't like getting dirty while making art.  I also didn' t like that there was a $10 "lab fee".  I don't get that kind of mentality... So we ended Friday with the Vendor Faire which I hit promptly at 6 pm.  I mentally had decided not to buy much and I didn't.  Of course, with Jenni Bowlin - there are always some things that need to go home with you.  What I love is that she is fair with her pricing.  I found some absolutely fabulous lace from Kim H that came from Mae West's estate - both for $6.  Really beautiful stuff.  And a few frozen charlotte doll head and I called it done for the night - onto the casino and out into the heavy snow.  That snow was just crazy.  And I left my coat sitting at the kitchen table.  But I managed - by losing my shirt.  But what the hell.     
Shall I stop now and finish up tomorrow?  Its been a long day.  We moved my mother out of my home and into assisted living.  I have been dreading it for a while now and it went as well as can be expected.  She was really angry that we left her but I know it is the right choice and a good place for her.  She will love all her new friends, hopefully very soon.  Its funny but I feel as if she is my child now and I hope they will take good care of her.  Tonight at home, though, I am so thrilled when I realize I can sleep through the night and that no care givers will be in my home tomorrow ... I can definitely get happy about that. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Silver Bella Bound

You know how you futz around all night doing stuff you don't need to be doing, and avoiding what you really need to get done.  Yeah.  Well, that was tonight.  I ordered a canvas print that I'd bought from Canvas on Demand through Groupon.  Yeah, it should be pretty cool.  And of course, I had to Wiki the location, Delfshaven.  Well, you know why.  And then I ordered 5 prints of a family photo I had photoshopped for my cousin...6 months ago.  Because that really had to get done tonight.  But most importantly, I did manage to get photos of my 3 inchie embroidery swap that I finished last night, that's going to Silver Bella in three sleeps.  A week or so ago I had finished my banner swap and wondered what to do for the 3 inchie... Since I've never done embroidery, I didn't have an arsenal to chose from.  One night while bloghopping, I saw this girl, and my heart went pitter patter when I saw this beautiful dress.  Allison at Dishy Vintage lives right down the road from me and was kind enough to let me use her design.  And so I made this:

There are 12 girls in the swap and I'm so excited to see what the others created.  I swing between panic and pride at any given moment.  I learned, though, three years ago - get in the swaps after seeing so many beautiful art pieces, especially Debe's recipe book that was amazing.  I participated in three this year - vintage trims, banner and 3 inchie... Thanks, Allison for letting me use your design.
Along with stitching this weekend, I made time to go to Urban Market and found a few good things.  An old fashioned white street sign that says, Magnolia & E. 11th.  Three large acorns, two beautiful books with deep engravings of an atlas, two black globes and one regular globe and some vintage trims from the German lady.  I don't know her name, she's just the lady at Cole's/Warrenton that has beautiful and expensive linens.  I found the globes, books and acorns from Kay the book lady - very nice lady.  Don't you want this little trophy... We missed you Megan and wish you were here. I hope you can reschedule.

Made a quick trip to Anthropologie tonight, looking for a teacup for my teacup fairy project.  I know my mother has several beautiful dainty cups in one of the boxes in my garage but had no interest in searching.  I did find this, with the scallop, I think will do just nicely.  And just like Target, I can't get out of that store for less than $100 - too many pretties to buy.  And a few pics to snap.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows Eve

This history is written in Wikipedia for Halloween - I thought it was very interesting...

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in).The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced Kálan Gái av).

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

I hope yours is filled with light, joy and good times.  I'm going to run by the Quilt Show for a short bit, get a fabulous massage here and then work on some crafting... I am exhausted from working yesterday at the Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods booth at Quilt Market but I hope to post some photos later today...

The vintage image is from Flickr Group - Collage Images and thanks to Suzee Que.  Here's a secret - it is a TREASURE-TROVE of free images of fine quality...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Draw Along Side

I was walking out of work this week with a colleague and talking about what we were going to do for the evening.  I was going to finish a banner for a Silver Bella banner swap and she said, oh, I'm not creative at all.  I have to laugh when people say that to me.  Because I'm not either.  I always wanted to be but didn't have a grandma to show me sewing or embroidery (I know, poor pitiful me).  The other comment that cracks me up is - oh, I don't have time for that... and I just realize, I'm gonna make time to do this because I love it.  I am so happy when I'm crafting and I'm happiest when I'm crafting with friends.  On Saturday, a friend stopped by and collaborate on my banner - well, that's damn near Bliss.  I made 12 of these.  I hope they meet expectations... I'm trying to improve my sewing skills, they are very rudamentary, as you can tell.  I realized afterwards that we weren't suppose to sew up the sides... but oh well.  I like it.  We will get 11 other designs and they will be hung together on a ribbon.  I had fun with it.  I have one more swap - a 3" embroidery square I believe.  Better get on it - SB is in less than a month!
Guess we should do some catch up.  I had a wonderful time in Rotterdam.  I feel like a princess there - my colleagues treat me very well.  We have great dinners and lots of laughs.  I learn some things and share some things and I'm always glad I go.  I spent Saturday in Amsterdam and it was a bit frustrating.  There was a small outdoor market and I picked up some great vintage cards but not much else.  I found a bookstore with vintage books but it seems that 1/2 my order didn't make it into the bag or she overcharged me.  Really bummed me out because there was so much cool stuff there.  

The following weekend I went to my favorite place in the word, Las Brisas Farms which is out in the country about an hour and a half west of Houston.  This couple has built nirvana there and with 18 other scrappers, we played with paper and stuff all weekend.  And I sold some stuff!  I made journals out of hardback books and Halloween blocks.  I though... oh wait, I did take photos, wanna see?   It felt so great that weekend because I accomplished alot... all these projects that I couldn't seem to get started at home... I finished!  The Fairmont Whistler book is from Debby Schuh's Anthropologie bag class.  The Halloween blocks Julia showed me how to make.  The books are from Janet Hopkins CE class from a couple of years ago.  I figured out a great way to finish them on the inside.  I'll take pics this weekend and show you.  I added a piece of foam, fabric and ribbon (on each side) under the binder mechanism.  Looks cute.   The envelope journals have lace on the front.  I think I can actually take credit for them... Wow - that's a first. 
I'm getting excited about the Quilt show in two weeks.  A friend, Sue Gower has a booth with the most incredible trims ever.  Her store is in Rhode Island, called Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods.  I fell in love with it last show.  I'm going to work on Oct 30th and bonus, I get to go to the sampler spree next week.  Manufacturers sell small packs of new fabric for super fantastic prices!  Oh, good times!  Susan has a new fabric line, called Vintage Art store.  I can't wait to see it in person... 

There's alot to look forward to in November.  It is also the anniversary of my sister's death and I can feel the grief already.  She died 3 years ago from colon cancer, very quickly (within three weeks).  She suffered from schizophrenia since adolescence and I do mean suffered.  I have acute hearing because of my sister.  We were always listening to make sure she didn't walk out the door.  One time she did and ended up in Omaha.  No joke.  At work they think I'm crazy because I hear every little sound around me.  I can't help it.  It started a long time ago.  But how can I explain that? 
When I think of her I try to remember the gorgeous 17 year old girl who went to prom with a boy name Joe back on Ingrid Lane in Metairie.  She wore a powder blue dress and her hair was up and her smile was brilliant.  She was beautiful.  I don't want to paint some rosey picture - it wasn't.  She was a great big sis back then.  After that there were lots of unpleasant memories.  Oh well, what can you do?  Live and learn.  What did I learn from her?  I don't know, I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Title = catch up

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wicky Sticky Warrenton

See the banner photo?  That's where I'll be this week - in Rotterdam.  The photo is actually Delfshaven.  I love saying that - Delfshaven - like a Dutch person.   I'm real stressed out about going but I'm sure it will all work out in the end.  Work is really busy and stressful right now and I have alot of things planned.  Like Friday, when I went to Warrenton with one of my besties, H.  H and I were neighbors for 18 years.  We take 529 west and stop in Bellville for breakfast at Newman's Bakery (yummy plus I found a crocheted baby bonnet for $2).  From there we take 159 and then a little right turn for Warrenton and we come in right at Cole's.  Easy peasy drive and of course, we talked the entire way, so time flew.  The parking lot at Cole's was muddy - apparently we'd just missed the rain but unfortunately, the humidity soon followed.  And I'm tellin ya, it was just miserable.  Hot and muggy and sticky and it was almost not fun.  Almost.  And yes, we found some goodies, wanna see?  Oh, wait a second I'm getting a head of myself. 
Oh, and I can't talk about this yet, either.  That was found inside, at Cole's.  at Wendell's booth.  Let's stick to the stuff outside. 

My first purchase was a Texas handkerchief for $5.  It has the cities and just was cute and neat.  I know it will come in handy one day.  At the same booth as we were leaving, I spotted an Anagrams game for $20.  She was happy to tell me that all the pieces were there.  I was thrilled.  I've been watching them on ebay and quit at $40.  Yep.  this was a good buy.  I found the pink felt baby booties for $5.  I don't know the names of these booths, I just recognize them and I usually find a goodie or two at this one.  I found the wooden spools at the very end for $8.  The trims we found at the booth in Cole's for $1/yard except for a scallop velvet which was $3 (and at another booth - its an older lady from California - she's always in the same spot - very sweet).
The westie was $3 at a junk booth and the letters were $1 near Wendell's booth at Cole's.  I think that covers it.  Except for Wendell's booth.  He had that color gem cabinet marked $79, I got it for $65.  It has small 2 x 2 plastic slots to hold things.  Its not a fancy wood or construction, by any means but I love the staircase aspect.  I may paint it white.  I think its cool.  When we were going to pick it up I saw the picture easel and let me tell you.  I have always loved stars/moons.  It was marked $48 and I was only willing to pay $15 really.  He came down to $30 so I took it.  It is just so unique.  I turned the picture around so you can see it - and the picture isn't that great - I was too lazy to download from my camera so I used my iphone, which I switched to 4G this week.  Last week Kathleen was whipping through hers and since mine crashed, the replacement is slow as molasses.  Guess Apple's marketing ploy is to give you a piece of shit so you'll upgrade.  Sorry for the negativity, my patience is really challenged these days with computers and hot water heaters.  But thats a story for a different day. 

I made this baby block this weekend for a baby shower.  My Mom's caretaker needed a shower gift so I whipped this up.  It was good practice.  I had seen the paper shoes on blogs and tried them but still don't have it down pat.  It was fun to put together.  She mod podged and glued the buttons so she could say she made it.   We used a paint pen to color the babies hair and I painted a bit on the face and then wiped it off to tint her color.   She needed a to/from  card so we added the diaper and she wrote a note.  Those diapers from vellum were one of the first things I ever made - I found the pattern in a BH&G book and I bought all the pink/blue footprint vellum from Michael's.  Remember how old that stuff is?  We added pink and white buttons down the side.  I spray painted the clip white and added a button in the center.  We stuffed the baby shoe with kleenex - probably could have picked something better but that is all I can come up with.  I hope, one day, to look back on this blog and look at my staging photos and think, man I've come a long way.  I've learned alot of things with this scrapbooking craft but my staging skills are sad and lacking.  One day I want to be in the Heather Bullard league.  Really.  I do. If you're going to aim, aim big.
Well, I have two chores left, three really and I don't think they are going to get done so I will close now.  Hope it is a great week for you.  Thanks for visiting..

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I want to blog about my weekend, before I forget the details. I had a workshop in Milwaukee for work and I thought. Yuck, that's just great. Who in the hell wants to go to Milwaukee. Well, let me tell you - I was in for a surprise. First of all, it was cool, which was super. And the workshop had an incredible keynote speaker, Jason Dorsey who talks about the differences by generation and how to communicate with each other. So funny, so true - watch his video. If you watched 60 minutes about a year ago - he was the guy talking about Gen X. Okay, back to Mwk - they have a casino. Uh, huh. Did you know it was the home of Harley-Davidson? Me neither. And they have some pretty nice architecture downtown. We stayed at the Hilton, which was built in 1924 and recently refurbished. The details in the elevator were amazing, on six different levels. I know, who'd a thunk - an elevator. Once the business was over, my CE/SE roomie, Jeanne picked me up and we headed out of Dodge for the greater parts of IL. We stopped at the Third Ward in Mwk (thanks for Design Sponge for the city guide). There were 3 stores in the area - Broadway Paper (so-so), The Home Market (super yummy but -spensive!) and Utrecht art (small but good). We passed a junk store and squeezed our way in. Ohmygosh, I felt bad for the owner. I don't know why other than she was a serious hoarder and we had to push our way through her store, through all the junk, there wasn't even a path hardly. Not complainin, just sayin. I found a couple of cool things - a glass/plastic owl (from Avon), a white "cold" hardware knob, some tiny 1" vases and a 2" princess and an old flower frog. We headed out of town and stopped at the Olive Pit and while we're waiting for our sandwich, scoped the antique store next door. It was set out very nicely so I equated that with expensive. I was w-r-o-n-g, thank goodness. I found several goodies: a large ledger for $16, a hotel spoon, 2 vintage books. There was another larger store close by but we were running late so we only did a quick recognizance and no purchase. Antioch was our destination and we met up with three former CE lovelies, Kathleen L, Shelley F and Kathy W. And Hannah's was having a garage sale. I only bought a couple of Tim Holtz supplies (those feet thingies) but had fun looking around. Hannah's is a true crafts store, not just scrapbooking. I was tempted by the latest collection from My Mind's Eye but didn't want to haul paper. We stopped for coffee and a fox ran down the road over yonder. Way cool. Then we were heading to Schaumburg for the Big Bowl and dinner with Cathy D, Nan G and Candi. It was fun to hear about their projects and Cathy's view on 2010 CE and just all the latest events. Then we headed to Crystal Lake and Jeanne's abode. I've never met her 3 old English sheepdogs and 2 border collies and so there was no time like the present. We had a nice visit with her hubs. She has such a comfortable house with alot of land - I could have spent days just visiting and relaxing. And what's not to love about a pile of pups in your lap/feet/floor/everywhere! On the way to the airport, we stopped at Woodstock and looked at one of Jeanne's haunts. Fun to see all the hardware and piles of printer drawers. I saw two women looking at a photo album (the type I collect) and they couldn't figure out why it was upside down. I couldn't either, I've seen several like that - I figure someone tried to repair it and put it in wrong... that's all I can figure. Anyone know? So they bought the album and gave it to me to fix. Hmmmm. Fate is an interesting visitor.
And to answer your question, Linda. Yes, I am taking off Friday and heading to Warrenton, hopefully with Miss Sandy and if not, we'll hook up while we're there. I love the idea of going for 3 days, you lucky duck. Looking forward to a day off, looking at junk albeit expensive junk - let's hope for cooler weather. What about you, Debe?
Oh, and one last thing. I tried priceline and I'm super happy. I wanted to stay at the Renaissance in Amsterdam because of its proximity to the train station but it was $215 or $240 or something so I pricelined it at $125 and got a 4 star... that happens to be the Renaissance. Interesting! Looking forward to their cooler weather next week.
Hey, would you mind leaving a comment? I'm feeling a bit lonely here...

Monday, September 13, 2010

15 days

It's sizing up to be a nice month, the rest of September. I had a good weekend, starting Saturday morning when I headed up to Cypress for a craft fair at the Berry Center. I did my usual - parked on the side, entered and went straight for the back. I found a vintage linens booth with incredible piles of linens neatly ironed and stacked. I was first in and allowed myself a pillow case, table runner and pillow. Oh so pretty embroidery. I walked past a booth with Christmas decorations. You know the kind, it just speaks to you, personally and directly. I have been wanting mill spools. I know, I know, everybody bought mill spools in the 80s, okay maybe 90s. But I don't have a one and I wanted more than one. So I bought 5. One has a scalloped metal edge. Yummy. She also had a cool egg basket, in red. Across the way, she had plastic, kind of like oil cloth (but not)lunch bags. I got a Dick and Jane one and a Queen Elizabeth one, each $8. Did I ever tell you that I collect QE coronation memorabilia? Mostly because my brother loves royalty stuff but I also like it. I've picked up a few very cool items. I will photograph them one day. We also sent a birthday card to the queen one year and she wrote us back, thanking us. Of course, AFTER I bought all that stuff I realized I needed a baby gift for my Milwaukee trip this week. I hemmed and hawed and bought nothing but I saw cute stroller bags made from blue jeans skirts. So, of course I stopped by the Goodwill on the way home and bought two cute skirts. (Are you the kind that can't ever buy just one of something - you always have to buy two. or more? me too). I think I have it figured out - follow me. I will sew a lining to the bottom of the waistband and then sew the bottom of the skirt closed, with the fabric. I will put two grommets on each side (or maybe just one) and run some thick, maybe grosgrain ribbon through to tie it to the stroller. Oh, and add some decorative ribbon trim on the front and back, perhaps I should do that first, before the lining. Okay. I have two chances to get it right.
So Saturday afternoon, some girls came over for crafting goodness and we made decorative blocks ala Julia. We are kicking ourselves for not taking photos (I mean, really, what kinda scrapbookers are we? - okay, Julia isn't a s/b but I am). Because it was so much fun and no one wanted to quit, we made cute Halloween blocks too. Julia is such a talent. I love it because we all had a great time, and when everyone leaves they want to know when's the next time. It's just so much fun. Time to laugh and connect. And BONUS - I got to show off the room of shame! The empty room of shame, that is. (a spare bedroom, that now is truly spare). I still have more work to do for the garage sale, but we're making progress.
Sunday I headed over to Richmond for an auction, this auction. I was a bit surprised. It was smaller in person. It was a good day to attend, very small crowd and low low prices. But there was nothing that I had to have. So I bought a wooden iron board. Mainly because the vintage linens lady from Katy that I'd met the day before said she loved ironing on her wooden ironing board, that there was nothing like it. And I only paid $10. And then I realized when I was driving home. We HAVE an ironing board in our den, in the wall. My house is 50 years old and we left it in... I should go look and see if its wooden. I'm sure it is.
I'm headed up north for a couple of days for work. OMG, its 90 flippin degrees here this week. Disgusting. Its a high of 60 in Milwaukee. Saaaawwweeeeeeet. and yes, I will so enjoy it. Going to see my scrapping peeps and meet Jeanne's dogs. Can't wait. The following week is WARRENTON, can I get a hellyeah. And then to Rotterdam for some even cooler weather and hanging with my Dutch peeps. Okay. wait. I have Dutch colleagues, that's it, they're not peeps. Who am I kidding. I'll report back after Warrenton.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thinking about 1899

I thought I would share some photos of pretty things that arrived in my mailbox today. I bought a photo album on ebay. It really is lovely. I scanned a few of the keepsakes that were included with the album (which I have to say, is a kind gesture from the seller). This one is probably my favorite - a page from a book.

And a calling card from 1899. There is also a beautifully embossed graduation announcement for the West Point High School in Krause's Hall June 8th, 1899. Love it. 11th annual... I just did some research and WP is located in West Point, Nebraska. I love researching history - now I'm going to go back into the album and try to figure out the connection. On the outside of the announcement, it lists the 14 graduates, all but 3 were women. It includes program and announcements. Perhaps I should take it apart and scan it properly? I tell ya, I've had the worse luck electronically lately. My new Dell desktop is even acting up... so I have to scan through microsoft, which is kind of weird. So bear with me...

Do you know what Sapere Aude means? It's a Latin phrase meaning, dare to discern or dare to know. I <3 Wikipedia.

There are a couple of pieces of lace and probably part of a pillowcase with initials embroidered. I love that these were someone's keepsakes and I can cherish them for them. I wonder why someone in the family didn't keep them?

Now, are you ready for scandal? Look what I found in another photo album... Look closer. Yep. Isn't that just shocking? I mean, not now but back then - for it to be caught in photo. I love it. Brokeback Mountain.

That's all I've got for you today. It's a Monday.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dorothy was right!

There is no place like home. I was gone for eight days on a business trip with a weekend of fun included. The trip started off great when I was bumped to first class and a studio room at the hotel, Avia. I cannot rave enough about this place and look, they have a location in The Woodlands. Its modern (which isn't me) and fabulous - free computers with TV monitors. Interesting design details. The room is very well planned and elegant. I found myself comparing the subsequent hotels to it. The business worked out very well also. I did a presentation on Worker's Compensation (oh, fuN!) and we took a tour of the Port of Los Angeles and cleaned up Cabrillo beach as a community service project. Let me tell you - that is tough duty picking up cigarette butts (I was imagining large handfuls of trash) and traipsing through the sand in jeans (work-appropriate) gear. I mean, let's face it, are you going to get in a swimsuit around co-workers? No, think not. It was still a fun afternoon (we got to tour the aquarium and touch sea life - see photo) and a fabulous dinner at Trump National golf course. Our host asked an interesting question - what was your favorite concert? So fun to hear the answers and reminisce also. I asked the same question at a dinner the following week and talked to a guy who saw the Beatles in Toronto in 1964.
On Friday I headed over to Vancouver for the weekend and was blessed again with pristine weather. If you've never been to VC, you really should go in this lifetime. It is so clean, weather is fabulous, the people are nice all the time and there is so much to see and do. Okay, let me qualify that - the homeless people cuss you out when you don't give them money, serious.ly We went to Granville Island, Gastown and Stanley Park, shopped on Robson, saw the library (an architectural gem). On Sunday we headed up to Whistler for 3 days of meetings. Yeah, I know. On Monday we toured the area and saw the Olympic venues, which made me wish I had watched the Olympics. We saw the bobsled/luge track, the ski jump and the biathlon track. We took a gondola up to Blackcomb and peak to peak gondola across to Whistler mountain and then down on a chair lift. Yes, I was pushed through my fear of heights. It is so quiet you can hear the wind and we saw a bear on the way down. Payday. After the meetings on Tuesday we enjoyed an adult beverage and watched this entertainment. What a different world. We met a 35 year old French guy from Japan who was spending 5 days riding the mountain. I loved seeing the passion in these guys, doing what they love. You could feel it when they rode through an S curve - how natural it felt to them and how much they loved it. The meetings in Whistler were also great and we (meaning the operators who do all the work) won a safety award with our group. I was proud. With all that being said, I can tell you it felt so good to get back home, yes, to the Houston heat and cuddle with my pups and be at home. I finished 3 different projects last night and went to bed at 3 am! Yikers. Still feel good today and hope to finish a couple of large projects - a blackboard tray, another printer block mirror and a vintage page wreath. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekend Goodness

It feels so great to start a project. It feels even better to finish it... all in a weekend. I've had these printers blocks and mirror for over a year and finally put it together on Saturday. Turned out just how I had it pictured in my mind. I saw one in a shop in the Heights a couple of years ago and thought, I could make one of those. What's a little time and distance... I think I will sell it - great way to start off an etsy shop, although its heavy. I have another mirror and more blocks - but boy it is hard to find a flat one (mirror). I love anything having to do with wood and print... yummy. I have several small printers trays, I found two in London that have Fleet St or London on them. Really love those. You'll hear in a minute the connection with printing and this weekend. Pretty interesting and cool.

I was also going to show you a little stitching I did tonight. I need to learn this stuff, mainly because I want to but also because I don't want to embaress myself in the Silver Bella stitching swap that I joined. It's an Anthropologie kitchen towel and Julia asked if I made it, so I figured I should doll it up somehow... I really like how they did the swaps this year. There are 23 of them and you had to sign up for them, max of 5 and you gave your preference. I signed up for 3 (don't ask me about the other two - I've been fighting with my computer and camera tonight to upload and its after midnight - I'm too tired to look it up). Anyway, I got in all three and I'm really excited.

Wendy H from Silver Bella last year just did an Around the World swap and we submitted them before July 4th so I can't wait to get my package. I lucked out and got France and I even learned a few things about the country! I didn't know much about Marie Antoinette but it was fun to search for pictures of her. There were 20 participants.. can't wait to see the rest. I really enjoy doing swaps, it makes you stretch a bit and I enjoy the repetitiveness of putting things together - its happy crafting to me.

Want to see some of my treasures from Glenflora? I found these two german bisque dolls that are a nice size and include hands/feet that were originally marked $50 each, I got them for $12.50. I think one of my Silver Bella class involves these dolls... I also found a beautiful wooden drawer from a cash register that I really had to have ... so glad I treated myself. And 8 small bottles for 25 cents each. A few linens, okay several linens - you know I can't help myself when pretty fabric is around. And about 4 1/2 yds of black toile. Too pretty to pass up for $18. I'm really going to have to learn how to sew... (oh, by the way, I sewed on the France tag - to make a pocket for the Marie doll - do you love the french script laundry markers? totally, my favorite)

This is one (okay, maybe second) of my favorite finds... its a criminal courts docket from Matagorda County - I should have taken a picture of the ledger pages... awesome. All kinds of petty crimes and the fines. What was funny was it was laying on the floor in a back room - kind of tossed to the side and yet, it is so absolutely cool looking inside. It's another Glen Flora find. I have to thanks Ho Ho (who could update her blog) for the introduction to GF. It's past Sugarland but not all the way to Victoria on 59 and now there's a Bucee's at the exit. This time, Sandy was in Florida and so I went across the way to Wharton and looked at their shops. There were several on the town square, but one totally stood out. Let's see, if I can remember the name of it. Oh yes, I googled it - History's Hardware. This place was unbelievable - it was like stepping out of a sandstorm into an oasis. First of the all, the shop is filled with oak, gorgeous rich handsome oak, tiger sawn, whatever kind - it is rich and it is gorgeous. And then they have fabulous drawers filled with hardware. Drawers of hardware that they've salvaged and cleaned and restored. And every other kind of antique you can think of - if its wood or attaches to wood, or cabinet cards - just all kinds of lovely items. He was a lawyer and this was their retirement dream. Unfortunately, he was involved in a serious auto crash last year and their life has taken a different turn. And as much as I was awe-struck by the shop and all of its lovely contents, it broke my heart because their pricing is super super expensive. Like kinda crazy, expensive. Like maybe you're smoking something, expensive. $245 for a photo album with cabinet cards. Okay, I'll quit being mean but really, I felt so bad for them because there's only a couple of people maybe in California that would pay that kind of pricing. It is still so worth a look. I wanted to buy something, anything but I just couldn't, in good conscience. In these thrifty times... when I'm cruising the MAM or Salvation Army, can I pay that kind of money...
And I left the best for last... the event that placed a smile on my face the entire weekend. I received a message on Facebook asking if I was a Big Sister back in the 80s. And I was and it was a sweet boy named Harold that I befriended at DePelchin. It was so sweet that he remembered me, okay not sweet but amazing. We chatted a bit on line and yes, I'm going to hook up and see him - he has a little boy of his own now. Oh, and you know what he does for a living? Printing... I even looked up DePelchin today and they have several great volunteer opportunities. (their webmaster must be 18 - look at the size of that font...)

Okay, one last pic for good measure...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Let me tell you what is cool. You have some friends over on Saturday and today you see all these hook ups on Facebook of everybody friending everybody else. I really like that. We had 10 people over on Saturday for some crafting goodness and other than the usual, good food to eat (spaghetti pie, taco dip, fruit salad, better than sex cake), laughter, stories, super talented people creating all kinds of amazing stuff - yeah, it was just your usual awesomeness. I had a blast and everybody else did too, so we're doing it again in August. I really tried to be low key about it and not get worked up over the preparations or any of the food. I totally forgot to make coffee - dang! It's funny how people see your world, Julia blogged about it here. I love it when she says, stealing religious medals just screams bad karma. There was incredible inspiration flowing - Michelle wants to make a lamp out of a metal rounder that I have - so I bought a lamp kit today. I love how friends can inspire you and motivate you. Sandy and Kristin and Cindy were creating some awesome layouts. I love the sharing part - Cindy's going to get together with Michelle and Harriet to do an record album using an LP, which is sooo right for Michelle, who loves music. Julia, who has decorating skills galore was moving prints from Etsy artist, L. Young right. then. and there. You gotta love that! We had a newbie in the group and it was fun to offer up some stash for her wall art.

Here's the recipe for the Taco Dip b Jeanne Davis (I forgot who she is - it was on TV a long, long time ago - all my recipes are from a long, long time ago)
12 oz jar of salsa
15 oz can of Hormel chili (no beans, please)
8 oz of cream cheese
16 oz. sour cream
2 c cheese
small can of diced black olives (because I like them)

Mix the salsa and chili together. Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together. Then layer it, starting with white, red and cheese - do that twice and throw the black olives in whenever the mood strikes you. Microwave and serve with tortilla chips. I put it in a 8 x 8 glass pan.

Oh, and things like this happens alot when you're scrapping with friends...Michelle saw the book, the Four Agreements and mentioned she was reading it. I told her how I overheard an old guy at the airport talking to a young married couple, giving them advice (whether they wanted it or not) and he said, Happiness is an inside job. At the end of the flight, I mentioned it to him and so he told me about the book and how much he believed in it. In essence it tells you to: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't take anything personally, Don't make assumptions and Always Do Your Best. Good stuff to ponder and produce as often as you can. Anyway, I digress. So not but 5 minutes later, Julia comes into the sunroom and is trying to help Keisha find a quote for her project and tells her. Yep. you guessed it. Freaky!

I'm going to see Wicked on Thursday - should be great fun. And then starts a nice long weekend. Can't wait! Here's to a good week for all of us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


These thoughts have been circling through my brain lately and I should be telling you all about Inspired in North Carolina, but bear with me while I clear this junk out. I'll insert crafty pictures, how's that for a compromise?

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This is the table in our journal class with CD Muckosky. It was very free spirited and playful and dirty. I'm not a dirty artist but it was fun to use stuff that isn't meant for art, to make different designs. Pam Garrison's journal is second and Sandy (my roomie's) mosaic piece in infancy.

Anyway, back on point. I deal with accidents - in my regular job and so I read ALOT of reports about how things went wrong, to figure out whether we're liable,which means we have to settle and pay money. I also like "lessons learned", which I find helpful (but not everybody does). But I'm always astonished when learning about accidents how one choice, made differently would cause a different end result. One lane change not made = no accident. That one choice you make, in a split second, that if made differently can sometimes alter a life - alot of lives really. I know all this sounds so damn deep and its really not. You probably think about it too. I guess its on my mind because I'm reading alot about the BP blowout and wondering what could have been different. Did you know they were celebrating 7 years of no lost time on that rig on the day of the accident? So ironic. Okay, back to the point. I made a choice last week not to lock my car and someone else made a choice to take things that didn't belong to them. Not big or expensive things but it wasn't theirs to take. And it has really made me feel so vulnerable and afraid, ALOT of the time when I'm out in public. Like, okay, so what's going to happen next? What other shocker is going to happen to me. You go along swimmingly in your little life, little bubble and then, boom. Its sort of funny because - you know all the stuff you've been bitching about? Well, I'll give you something to stress over! And really - IT WAS NO BIG DEAL. They didn't steal money or keys or credit cards, for God's sake. But they stole a piece of my peaceful little life from me and I want it back. I stand at the front door now before I go to bed and wonder if they're walking around right now - can I catch them at it again?
Anyway, its just affected me in a profound way. When I think about it, I guess it is a good faith tester. Am I going to be negative and cynical and think of all the dishonesty in the world or will I believe in people's goodness? That's been my talk, so I guess I gotta walk it now.
And really its simple. I let down my guard and so now I just need to be careful. But when do I trust and when do I protect??? Good question.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Class-y ME

I take two suitcases when I go to a scrap workshop or art retreat (whatever you want to call it). One for clothes and one for supplies and stuff I bought. That one is still stuffed, lying open on the chair waiting to be unburdened. I haven't taken pictures of what I bought either... I don't always get around to that timely, do I, Megan? I can do commentary, though, if you'd like. The Chase Park Plaza has everything you would expect from a grand dame hotel. I had breakfast in the cafe in the morning but it was fairly empty - only Kaari Meng and a few others. There was an upscale grocery next door with a fine deli for lunch. My first class was with Kaari of French General to make a Charmant Bracelet. I'm not a jewelry wearer or a jewelry maker but I enjoyed the class and learning the proper way to open the ring-things and thread the pin-things. I added a Mary medal from my religious medal collection. There were two choices of color - sea foam and pink. Here's a picture of Pam's blue rendition. Its funny to look at other photos of Mary's studio and seeing things for the first time. There was just SO MUCH TO SEE and take in. There was also some incredible talent in the joint. I mean raw, palpable talent like Debbie Dusenberry of Curious Sofa. I saw two of her projects and they were jaw dropping. It is not - oh lets think of something nice to say about someones project - its eye blinking - lets take it all in stuff.

The four classes were 3 hours in length and in between the two classes on Friday were 3 lectures of an hour each. You could attend two and have lunch during the off-hour. I went to a legal one about copyright and trademark given by Mary's former lawyer, Emmett. It was interesting and alot of people had questions - people who are starting businesses. The second lecture was given by a young art student, "Event Coordinator" for Renegade Fairs which is a big event in Chicago. I don't know anything about them but he was funny, in a comical kind of way but not being mean spirited. He was twenty something and said "like" about eight thousand times. Renegade Fairs seem like the Renaissance Festival meets Art Car Parade or something like that. Okay, now, don't anybody come back and say ... YOU DON"T KNOW RENEGADE? No. I don't. But its coming to Austin in a couple of weeks if you want to get to know it.

My second class of the day was Matthew Mead of the magazine, Flea Market Style, along with his wife, Jen. It was a cool idea for a class. He brought a bevy of props from his stash and we got to choose about 5 or so and set them up for camera shots. He then photoshopped them a bit (using mostly watercolor filter) and printed them and we placed them in a small jewelry boxes that you could attach in any kind of configuration.
I had two favorite props from this class. One is a vintage dachshund flower frog that I had seen in his magazine and fell in love and began feverishly googling "dachshund flower frog" to try to find one. Ha. No such luck. I offered my first born child for it and he said no, which is probably a good thing since there is no such beast. He did say that he may have some made... which would be cool. I also loved the little girl vase. Sweet.

There was a 20-something cutie in our class who made this... I liked the style of the set up and the newsprint. It was "out of the box", so to speak.

And then there was D Dusenberry's rendition of Printer Art. Do you see the difference? Its art, people, lets face it.

This is Lainey from Missouri, she works at Hallmark and she's kooky and fun and was in two of my classes. She kept calling me Mary's sister LOUDLY so that other people would hear and then later ask me, are you really Mary's sister? I do see a resemblence and actually later two other people asked me the same question. I need to email Lainey.

It was nice because you weren't whipped at the end of the day - with just two classes. It was relaxed, nobody was rushing around. There were 130 people at the event (or rather 130 students), which was nice. Some classes were almost filled but not packed. That evening we met up for dinner with my sweet friend, Barb R from St. Louis who attended Scrap Etc. with us a few years back and also Scrap St. Louis for the past two years. She is a good egg, as my Mother would say. Easy to be around, interesting to talk to and just downright nice. We walked to dinner at an Italian place with Carolyn from Atlanta and Debe from the Woodlands and enjoyed a relaxing evening, first with some wine in their room and this fabulous cheese from St. Louis called palermo or something... What was it called, Carolyn? We ended the evening, running through the rain from the Cupcakery, drenched but smiling. Justine and her sister in law, Claudia knocked on my door and we visited for an hour or so - delivering her set of Year of Tags from the swap, since she missed us the night before. It was better that way though - visiting with both of them and getting to know them better. I met some really great people at this event. I'm closing up shop for the night. Suitcase still needing to be unpacked and desk covered with junk. Perhaps tomorrow I'll get the photos taken. Oh and so, tomorrow, remind me to tell you about Dee Foust. Yes, THAT Dee Foust. There really is a person named Dee Foust. I didn't know there was a person named Mackenzie Childs!