Sunday, July 29, 2007

A general update

I went to back-to-back crops this weekend. I attended a 7 hour crop Friday night and then a 4 hour crop Saturday. I didn't even unpack or take my bags out of my car from Friday since I was going back out the next day. I'm not sure but I think I was experiencing crop overload by the end of the crop yesterday. But, as my desire had it, I came home and cropped some more later on Saturday evening. Yes, I'm truly a scrapaholic.

Little Miss had been obssessed with playing Kingdom Hearts Playstation 2 video game. It features Disney characters and movies throughout the game. But, there's a lot of violence in it. I always thought Disney movies were supposed to be family-oriented and non-violent.?I must have missed the change along the way. Is this change for Disney a sign of our times?

I've been procrastinating about posting more pictures of my projects. It just isn't as easy as I'd like it to be to post pictures so I procrastinate. I'm trying to unlearn this habit by taking a FranklinCovey course called FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities. Actually, the problem is much bigger than just procrastinating. I've been overwhelmed, scattered, unorganized, and unfocused for weeks now. It's been a real problem that I've been wanting to get under control so I signed up for this seminar. I took their 7 Habits course eons ago and it helped tremendously. But, over the years I stopped using their system. I think I may need to take that course again.

Did I mention that I finished reading the latest Harry Potter book? Yep, I read all 700+ pages in about one week in my spare time. Ha, ha! Smartie Pants read it in less than 24 hours! It was a wonderful read. J.K. Rowling has an enormously creative mind to be able to create an entire world, complex characters, and a story line all in one. I think I read she's the richest woman in Britain. No duh. She's an inspiration for all of those single mothers struggling to make ends meet because she was able to make it from there to being hugely successful.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Disappointing Harry but exciting new scrapbook things!

We went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. I was very disappointed. Of course it wasn't nearly as good as the book. But, the director could have picked some better scenes to include in the movie. It started out v--e--r--y s--l--o--w and the action didn't get much better until the end. By that time, I was struggling to pay attention. Big Daddy was so unimpressed he fell asleep during the movie. I would recommend that anyone who wants to see this movie, wait until it comes out on DVD and then RENT it -- don't buy it!

Check out this SUPER cute altered rolodex by the lady who blogs at We Always Have Paris. I couldn't seem to find her name at her site but lookee here:

She sells this kit for the rolodex. I've been always wanting to do an altered rolodex to keep track of birthdays. Instead of the A, B, Cs, I would put the months on each tab and then insert a card for each person's birthday. I could add their picture and what they like on the card. I also want to do one to hold my scrapping friends pictures and vitals inside. This is just another one of those projects on my growing "to do" list.

Now, the scrapbook manufacturers have come out with some new toys for us scrappers to play with at the summer CHA show . Here are some of the things that I'm digging from Making Memories:

A tool carousel. I love just about anything that organizes. I think I have an obsession with organized spaces. Unfortunately, try as I may, I can't seem to keep my space organized here at home. I think it has something remotely to do with having Smartie Pants, Miss Diva, Little Miss, and Big Daddy in the house. I could be wrong though.

How cute are these? Button shapes to adorn those adorable scrapbook pages.

And, another wonderful tool kit. They keep coming out with better versions of their tool kit. Why do they do this after I already buy my set? Do I need to buy another one just to have these pretty, green-handle babies? Man, now I know what the male species goes through when perusing the tool department at Home Depot or Sears.

Look at this darling little book is from Piggy Tales.

I love all of those hide and seek pages. It reminds me of Little Miss' books. Those interactive pages can provide hours of fun. Well, actually they provide her with a few minutes of fun before going onto the next thing. But, I can have hours of fun altering and creating a scrapbook out of this thing. I suppose for that matter, I could go to the thrift store and get books like this for nearly free and alter them. Besides getting them for cheap, I can reuse an existing item thus serving a small part in saving the environment. Uhh, that feels good. Okay, back to the scrapbooking toys.

This item is from Karen Foster Design. It's called a Memory Planner. What I like the best about this little gem is the template that allows you to draw sketches right in your planner. I wonder if they'll sell the template individually? I don't think I'll get the entire planner set because I'm partial to Planner Pad. Also, I'm taking a Franklin-Covey refresher course next week and they're giving us a planner as part of the course. Then I'll have to make another big decision as to which planner I want to use from then on out. My planner is my day-to-day guide and I depend upon it heavily. This will be an important decision. But ah, I digress ....

Now, the first type of scrapbooking planner I came across was this by Memory Dock. It is very nice but SUPER expensive. Well, maybe not now but it seemed like it was when I first saw it.

I stayed up late last night and completed a couple of scrapbook pages. I'll have to take pictures and post them later. I'm contemplating going on a scrapbook buying diet. I don't know which is more difficult--an eating diet or a scrapbooking buying diet. That's a hard one indeed. I've got a ton of stuff--which I do use mind you--but I succumb to impulse buying whenever I'm in the vicinity of the crafty 3 (Michael's, Jo-Ann's, and AC Moore stores). Hey, it could be worse I suppose. I could be a drug addict or and alcoholic. But NO I'M NOT! I'm a scrapaholic.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Look at this cutie

This is a project I finished during my crop.

It's an accordian book with canvas covers. It came as a kit by Quick Quotes. I love their stuff! I took one of their classes at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Chantilly, Virginia last month and fell in love with their techniques and designs. I'll post more projects from Quick Quote kits later.

Here are some pictures from the crop. Croppers hard at work.

The door prize and tool tables. My theme for the crop was "Celeberate Our Freedom".

The make and take table with more croppers in back.

Two Close To My Heart vendors at their table.

One of the croppers called today to tell me she had such a good time. She really enjoyed herself and wished she had more money to buy things. There's always next time.

Post crop mess

This is my post crop mess on my desk.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

An exhausting but fun weekend

Yesterday I had my first "big" crop at home. I planned for a maximum of 24 croppers and three vendors. I was going to use two levels of the home to have enough room for everyone. In the end I had nine scrappers and three vendors for 12 hours. Unfortunately, three canceled and one didn't show. That would have brought my total to 13 croppers.

I served breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts with beverages all day. There were 12 door prizes, goodie bags, four make and take classes, shopping, and lots of scrapping. From all accounts, it seemed that everyone had a great time. I couldn't have done it without the help of my family. Thank you for all of your help and support!! I love you a bunches! I also want to give a shout out to my friends who have supported me and showed me love through out the years as I try to find my path to my purpose. It was a ton of work but I had a BLAST. Now, if I can get a good base of customers I can expand my event and really roll. I'll try to post pictures later.

The weather's been stifling hot except for yesterday and Friday when it reminded me of the mild San Diego weather. I loved it.

I'm going public with my blog. Previously, it was a private blog for friends and family. I was a little creeped out about the possibility of some internet predator getting a hold of my family's pictures and doing some unmentionable things with them. I don't know how celebrity can live with so much exposure and lack of privacy. Anyway, I removed their pictures and names so that I can go live and talk to the world. I'm excited and hope I can meet some more scrappers out there.

Time to go and I hope to post again soon.,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Catching up on the latest....

Okay, I'm trying to change my background on my blog but it's not working. It should be a simple matter of choose and click. I get a response that says my change has been saved. But, when I look at the new page, its the same old background. Urgh!

According to Mikey, the latest Harry Potter movie came out this morning.

The children and I are big Harry Potter fans. We have seen all of the movies and read all of the books. I have reserved the new book, in hard back, for the children. I usually like to ask them to read it out loud to me when we go to sleep. It's a fun family thing to do. We're trying to see the movie sometime soon. My son wants to go today but I think it maybe too crowded. Plus, when the five of us go to the movies it costs about $100 by the time we buy the tickets, popcorn, candy, and drinks! Movies aren't cheap. That reminds me--I miss going to the drive-in movies. Do you remember those? Those were great. You got to see two movies and a cartoon for one flat fee. Of course one of the best things about drive-ins was getting out to get food.

I was/am a total food addict. I guess I can say I'm on the wagon but it's a struggle. My current weakness is chocolate ice cream. I used to say it was chocolate candy but the mass market candy (Hershey's, Nestle, and Mars) is too sweet and lacks the deep, dark chocolate flavor I love. I do like Junior Mints though. It has a dark chocolate exterior with a creamy mint filling. Yummy!

I'm excited about this weekend. I've planned a crop at my house! For those who aren't scrapbookers, a crop is a gathering of scrapbookers who all work on their individual projects. Some crops have a party atmosphere, some have food, some music. It's all up to the crop organizer how to hold the event.

I'm having it in our basement which isn't furnished yet except for my studio. It's one big, open space just waiting for a room full of croppers. I figured I could hold up to 24 croppers. I made plans and started promoting it about a month ago. Nothing like a short turnaround project like this. I promoted on three local scrapbooking email lists and 3 international email lists. I sent out a note once a week for the past four weeks. Plus, I sent a note to all of my contacts by email. I even gave the information to a couple of young girls I met in CVS a few weeks ago. I signed up two other vendors, along with me, to set up product tables, donate items for the goodie bags and gifts, and to teach free classes to the croppers.

Well, about 9 croppers have positively responded saying they'll be attending. This is a far short of the 24 croppers I have space for. But, it's a good start and better than having no one. I did my best to promote the event. I'm not sure why I got such little response. I'm hoping the other vendors aren't too disappointed about the turnout. Even so, the vendors will also get to scrap, eat, and have fun with the other croppers. They may even get some sales. So, it won't be a total loss. This will be a learning experience indeed. My goal is to one day hold crops at the Accokeek Fire House which could hold possibly 100s of people.

I have a great line up scheduled with goodie bags, hourly door prizes, three meals plus snacks, dessert, and beverages, and free classes (we call them make and takes) every 3 hours or so. The day will be packed full of fun. Because of the smaller number of croppers I can place all of the activities and tables in the basement instead of having them on two levels. My friend E.V. has been sharing ideas and suggestions that she's gotten from attending crops at the Cropper's Corner. Thanks E.V.! She has been to some awesome events there. I'm also drawing on my experience from attending Caryn's crops and some LaPlata crops. Caryn has awesome crops as well.

My two older children and my niece will be helping me during the crop. I gave them stern instructions that I don't want to hear any whining or complaining and the jobs better be done right or they won't get paid. Yes, I'm paying them a little bit of something for their help. I really want to try them out to see how they'll work for future events. They're responsible for helping the croppers in with their bags, taking them downstairs, helping prepare food, refresh the food tables and drink containers, and answer general questions and requests from the croppers. I want to be able to have fun and scrap too and I know how stressful having an event can be. Meeting planning is one of my "official" responsibilities at my day job.

After having a dry spell here in Maryland, we've been hit by thunderstorms and lots of rain these past few days. It's been great because the plants need the water and I don't have to spend money or time doing it. The neighbors on either side of our house have in-ground water sprinklers and their lawns look beautifully green. On the other hand, we don't have an in-ground sprinkler system. Our sprinkler system consists of me trying to get up early enough to go outside and turn on the sprinkler before work I go to work. Then, I try to move the sprinkler around the lawn to get different areas. The sprinkler we have is so ineffective. It's similar to this one.

The problem is that it waters well nearby and at the far end of the spray but all points in between don't get enough water to make the lawn green. So, I try to compensate by moving the darn thing around, overlapping areas. We end up getting a patchwork of green instead a lawn of green.

Well, that's it for this post. I going to post pictures of my scrapbooking projects later.