Monday, September 24, 2007

I just LOVE fall.

One thing I love about being in Maryland is the changing seasons. I especially love fall and spring. Both of those seasons remind me of my childhood town where I grew up on California. Oh, I miss California but being in Maryland has brought me so many blessings.

The weather's been wonderfully mild. The morning is dewey or foggy and crisp. The humidity is super low. You can open your windows at night and let the cool breeze in.

I love open windows and screen doors. I also like clothes drying on a line outside. I'd love having a vegetable and flower garden with maybe a few fruit trees. I'd love to live on a self-sustaining farm. But my reality for now is a suburban home and a long commute which leaves little time for other stuff.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another busy weekend and some cute projects to share

I had a crop at my house this past weekend. We had fun, learned new techniques, shared stories, and ate good food.

The Creative Memories vendor, Kim Turner, showed how to make a shaker box using the Creative Memories Custom Cutting System. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture to show you the final projects.

I taught how to make a tag album using K & Company McKenna paper. Here is what it looks like:

I want to share with you a project that I was inspired to create after taking a class taught by Cheryl Barnett of Scrappin' Dreams during the Great American Scrapbook Convention. During the class we made this cute little box and 8 cards made using Melissa Frances paper. I really loved the concept and ended buying a boat load of the bare boxes which all came with bare albums inside.

This is a 9" x 9" paper mache box with a 8" x 8" accordian fold paper mache album inside.

I first painted the box with acrylic paint and then used American Crafts Play paper on the top and sides leaving a 1/2" border of exposed paint. I added dimension to some of the flowers on the top with buttons and embroidery thread.

For the album, I painted the base pages the same yellow as the box, inked the edges of American Craft and Die Cuts With A View papers with Quick Quotes Powderpuff Ink, and accented some pages with buttons. Here is a picture of some of the album pages.

The next project I was inspired to do after seeing what Korie has done as shown on her blog We Will Always Have Paris. I've also seen examples in the major scrap mags and at the convention. I altered a small rolodex card file to store my scrap-related business cards and buddy information using Basic Grey Phoebe Theme Set and Bazzill black paper. I put the monogram letters through the laminating cartridge of my Zyron machine to help them hold up to the wear and tear of frequent use.

That's all for now. I hope to blog again soon.

This is something I firmly believe in...

Monday, September 10, 2007

The not so simple life

Well, the last two weeks have been busy. I have not been living the simple life.

We had a not so small Labor Day cookout where about 50+ family and friends attended. We served 12 slabs of BBQ ribs, 40 pounds of chicken, 10 pounds half smokes, 10 pounds hot dogs, 10 pounds hamburgers along with fried fish, 15 pounds of potato salad, baked beans, seafood salad, garden salad, veggie tray, 8 dozen deviled eggs, and three types of cake, ice cream, and 3 watermelons. Of course there were cases upon cases of soda, water, and beer. The first guest, who was also our DJ, came around 3:00 pm and the last guests left around 1:00 am.

Smartie Pants and friends played Playstation and computer games most of the day. Little Miss and friends ran in and out of the house all day. And, Miss Diva and friends posed for each other a whole lot. Later on that night the billards and card playing started. This is Big Daddy's and friends favorite activity during cookouts.

I cooked a lot, cleaned a little, ate a bunch, and socialized. Around 9 p.m. I retreated to my studio, watched educational TV, and played with my supplies. I was exhausted. The next day I didn't get out of bed until afternoon.

I find that the older I get, the more introverted I become. Once upon a time I was thrilled to attend and throw parties. In college we started partying on Thursday and didn't stop until late Sunday night. Now, organizing a party is a huge project and by the time it's all finished I'm emotionally and physically drained. Does that mean I'm getting old or is life too complicated? I love getting together with friends but it's not the same as when I was 20 something.

Saturday I attend a 12-hour charity crop. The crop generated money and donations for Soldiers' Angels and was organized by Kristie Lippert, a TLC Consultant. Her husband is currently deployed and has been away for 2 1/2 years. E.V. and I attended together (of course) and the place was packed! Kristie sent the group an email saying we generated hundreds of dollars which will provide many phone cards for our soldiers. It's all good.

I'm hosting a crop at home this Saturday. It will be an intimate gathering where I may teach a class or some technique to the group. I've been considering holding charity crops to benefit cancer research at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. They've saved my life more than once and I'd like to return something to them and other patients. I'm still perculating ideas and methods to accomplish this. Please feel free to share your thoughts to help me along.