Friday, October 31, 2008

A Balmy Halloween

I can't ever remember a Halloween where we had weather like we did today.  When I woke up this morning it was 72 degrees.  It's down to 68 right now (at 7 p.m.) Growing up in S.E. Idaho we were used to trick-or-treating in the snow.  If you couldn't wear your snowsuit under your costume, you found a different costume.  Although the weather in Boise is milder than where I grew up, this year my kids are out trick-or-treating in sweat shirts. Highly unusual.  The average high temperature for Boise on Halloween is 56.  The record low was 13 in 2002.  I think I remember sending my then-two-year-old son out trick-or-treating that year.  Burrrrrrrr.  Anyway, it's a pleasant evening and the kids are out having fun.  I'm at home trying not to eat all of the candy before the neighborhood kids get here.  I hope you had a great day and that the weather is as kind to you this year as it was to us.  


I've been super excited about the new Decor Elements line of vinyl wall decorations, but I've been so indecisive in choosing one for my own house.  It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I couldn't commit.  Until today.  I knew when I saw the "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" one that I'd found my match.  Today I finally got it on my wall and I'm THRILLED with how it turned out and couldn't wait to show you all!  
I was nervous about getting them on the wall straight and where I wanted and how they would go on my orange-peel textured walls.  Turns out there was nothing to be worried about!  I followed the directions that came with them and broke out my husband's level, and voila!  

Ok, enough sharing for now, I'm off to visit my boys' school Halloween parties before they're out for early release today.  I have a Christmas Card class on Saturday and I still have my club projects to show you from October, so I'll be back soon.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A week in my life . . .

I finally stopped putting off the Week In My Life project and took pictures and documented last week.  When I told my oldest son that I was going to take pictures of my life for a week, his response was, "You'd better make sure you take pictures of the laundry and the computer."  I guess in his 8 year old mind that's all I do all day.  Maybe he's more right than I'd like to admit! HA!  Anyway, here's the first installment.  These pictures were taken on Monday, October 20th.
I think my favorite of these pictures is the one of me helping in Dawson's class.  One of the teachers was sick that day and I actually got to help with Chemical Testing.  Dawson took the picture.  Although I help in his class every week, I don't usually get to be so hands-on.  It was a fun day.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

If you're a mom, you should watch this video.  Click the link below:
Nicole's sketch "The Invisible Woman" brings a powerful message of hope to every taken-for-granted woman in today's world. This video shared with permission from Fresh Brewed Life, Inc. and Nicole Johnson

More Holiday Mini Swaps

Hey!  How was your weekend?  We're counting down to the end of soccer season and I'm never so glad as when I leave that last game and know I have a bit of a breather until Spring soccer starts.  Everyone keeps asking me if my boys are playing basketball and I have to restrain myself from saying, "Are you nuts!"  Two more weekends and we're home free for a few months.  YAY!  I have a vision of starting my "week in the life" project tomorrow.  Maybe after I finish this post I'll go make some notes so that maybe I can actually get going on it.  Oh, and put my camera next to my bed!  I did want to pop in for a sec. and share a few of the awesome Holiday Mini Catalog swaps I got.  I won't provide a bunch of details, but I did put the names of the creators onto the photos. I made them small so I could fit a bunch without making this post 10 miles long. If you have any questions, shoot me an email or drop me a comment and I'll try to help you out! 


Oh, and don't forget about the party over at the Spraground.  Tonight is the start of registration for the Stories In Hand class.  I'd love for you to join me!  

Friday, October 17, 2008

Holiday Mini Swaps - 3

I'm excited to show you my last Holiday Mini swap.  Sometimes coming up with three great ideas for one stamp set can be a little challenging when you're under pressure to get the cards done on a deadline.  My girlfriend, Carrie, and I brainstormed this one and I was thrilled with how it turned out - elegant, simple, pretty. This card also went together quickly enough that it could be mass-produced.  It's definitely in the running for our family Christmas card this year.  
I again used the "Home for Christmas" stamp set.  I stamped the main image on white card stock with Baja Breeze ink.  Then I stamped the sentiment on vellum card stock with versamark and embossed it with silver embossing powder. I wanted a silver edge on the vellum, so I just ran the edges of the vellum along my silver encore ink pad.  A word to the wise, silver encore ink will NEVER dry on vellum.  Never.  I waited about 4 hours and it was still wet.  A week later I even found a piece I had messed up on and set aside - the silver ink was still wet.  I loved how it looked, but what a mess! I ended up embossing the edges with silver embossing powder just to set the silver ink.  To attach the vellum to the card without adhesive showing through I used silver brads to attach it to the white layer.  I added some Baja Breeze striped ribbon, and attached one of the fun new Little Felt Flurries felt snowflakes in Baja Breeze with some silver cord.  I attached the vellum and white layers to the Baja Breeze base with dimensionals. 

Ok, today I leave you with a "green" question. My husband is the recycling king of the world. Every week when he sets out the trash we have one trash can (for our family of 5) and the recycling is stacked high. If I throw something in the trash that can be recycled, he digs it out and puts it in its proper place (and now my kids to this too!) In our little attempt to take care of the world God gave us, I also purchased re-usable grocery bags a couple of years ago.  I LOVE them - they hold so much more than the plastic or paper bags and I love that I'm doing my tiny part at reducing the waste we make as a family.  Here's the catch.  When we were using plastic grocery bags, we used them as trash can liners in the house. But because we haven't been acquiring as many plastic bags, we have now depleted our supply of plastic grocery bags. I can't stand the thought of buying plastic liner bags for the kitchen garbage so we can throw them away.  Does anyone have a good suggestion for a compromise?  What do you do? Does it really make sense to spend money on plastic garbage can liners when I could use plastic grocery bags and save a few bucks? Does anyone know if the plastic trash can liners you buy are better for the environment than plastic grocery bags?  I like the thought that the purchased ones will fit the trash can better and that they won't have the holes that are usually present in the grocery store bags, but I'm just struggling with the thought of spending money on something I can get for free - in these tough economic times.  Ok, sorry for the rant.  Thanks for any suggestions you have!  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holiday Mini Swaps - 2

I'm back!  I got my iMac back this evening and vow never to be separated from it again!  Everything seems to be in working order so far.  So, as promised, I wanted to post another one of my Holiday Mini swaps tonight.  
As I mentioned in the last post, I used the "Home for Christmas" stamp set for all three of my swaps.  The main image in this stamp set lends itself well to watercoloring and I was excited to put ink to paper on this one.  I stamped the main image on watercolor paper with stazon ink.  I used Always Artichoke ink from the lid of my classic pad and my aqua painter to color the greenery on the image.  It took a while to do that on 15 cards, so I was looking for a way to speed things up.  I also wasn't happy with how the image turned out when I used the same technique to color the door, so I tried a new technique (new to me.)  I used my markers to color in the rest of the image - focusing mainly on the areas that needed extra color or shading.  For example, I used my Chocolate Chip marker to color over the grain lines on the door.  After coloring over the lines, I used my aqua painter to blend the color over the rest of the image.  I was thrilled with how it turned out and with how much quicker it was than picking up the ink from the lid of the ink pad.  I'll definitely use this technique again in the future.  It also produces a bolder image because more color is added to the image with the markers than you get when you pick up the ink with the aqua painter or blender pen.  

I used Crystal Effects to make the bow on the door shiny, and to add some glittery detail to the snow on the image.  I also happened to be assembling these cards at my girlfriend, Carrie's house, so I made use of her "Winter Post" stamp set to add the Riding Hood Red snowflakes to the same color card base.  A little touch of the yummy new Alpine Ribbon Originals striped grosgrain ribbon finished off this card.  

Thanks for hanging with me through my technical difficulties this week.  I'm so glad to be back up and running!  Check back tomorrow for my final Holiday Mini Swap card.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

The best intentions

Well, my good intentions of having another swap to post today went out the window this morning. We have an iMac. I LOVE it. It was my semi-birthday present last year. (That's another long story - remind me later to tell you that one.) I've been completely converted over to the Apple way of life and will never go back to the dark side. But last week I put a disk in the iMac and it spit it back out. I tried again, and it did the same thing. I called the local Apple service shop and they said they would replace the drive but that I needed to bring it in so they could, "get the numbers off the machine." I asked if I could take it home while they waited for the part to come in and they said I could. But when I took it in today, they kept it. I've had to resort to writing this post on our old PC which I'm pretty sure dates back to the time before Noah and the flood. It takes about an hour for it to boot up and isn't much faster once it does. Oh, and all of the pictures I took of all my swaps and club projects are on the mac. grrrrrrr. So, the part is supposed to be here tomorrow, but the guy wouldn't guarantee that I'd have it back in less than 3 days. I'm basically crippled. I'm having withdrawals from google and appreciate my pretty, speedy, efficient, pretty (did I mention that?) iMac all the more.

I do, however, have a couple of things I can ramble on about. First of all, the run my hubby did yesterday was called the Gresham Jazz Run (not fun run.) Not really sure why I thought running 13.1 miles would include fun. My mistake. He placed second overall and brought home the championship tropy for the Masters category (over 40). His time was just a bit slower than the one from last week, but still fast enough to bring home the goods. He got a trophy and a medal. The kids bascially think he's a god at this point. They'll probably take all of his medals for show and tell.

I have a couple other things I've had my eye on for a while and want to incorporate into my way-too-busy life soon. One is Ali Edwards' "Week in the Life" project. I wanted to do it when she did and I didn't get it done. I swear every day that I'm going to do it and every day I forget until about noon. I think I need to put my camera and notebook on my nightstand so I see them first thing in the morning. It's my only hope. If/when I do get going on this I'll be sure to post some pictures and info here about what I've done. I think it's a super fun idea to capture the day-to-day stuff from a week in your life. It would be so fun to see something like this from a week in the life of my grandparents. Hopefully someday my grandkids will be able to look at it and see what life was like in 2008. You can see lots more info from Ali on her blog here.

I also wanted to share something cool that Jessica Sprague has been up to. She is starting a week-long class called "Stories in Hand". Her description reads,"Our lives are more than the sum of the events in them. What you do matters. So does what you say. In this week-long online class you'll develop a system for capturing the stories that matter most." Oh, and did I mention, it's FREE!!! I've taken a couple of Jessica's digital scrapbooking classes online and she is simply amazing. I'm super excited about this and about figuring out how to incorporate it into my "Week in the Life" project. I'll keep you posted on my progress on that too. In the mean time, join me in the class! There is no limit to the class size and it's FREE so you have nothing to lose. Registration begins at midnight eastern time on Monday, October 20th. You can find all of the pertinent information here. Can't wait to see y'all there! Oh, and Jessica did promise that the class would include some cute projects. Knowing Jessica, (well, in a blog-stalking sort of way) I expected nothing less!

Well, I'm not making any promises about posting tomorrow unless I get my iMac back. Honestly, I don't have time to sit around and wait for this dinosaur of a PC to boot up. *wink* I do expect I will get a LOT done around the house tomorrow and I will promise to post as soon as my piece of Apple goodness is back home where it belongs. And you can bet that I've used this opportunity to lobby heavily for a new MacBook too. Although my hubby is growing weary of the , "You know, if I had a MacBook . . . " story, as I'm sure you can imagine. It's almost always followed up with, "Well, then, if I had an iPod touch . . . " Thanks for being patient! I'll be back to share my swaps and club projects soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Holiday Mini Swaps - 1

Holy Cow!  How is it that it's been an entire month since my last post?!?  One of my blogging buddies even emailed me this week to make sure I was still alive.  You know things are bad when people start noticing you're missing.  Thanks, Kristin, for checking on me!  I keep thinking things will slow down around here, but I only seem to get busier.  Especially during soccer season.  Yesterday we braved 3 soccer games.  The high temp here was in the low 40's and the wind was blowing.  So, when I say we braved them, think frozen fingers, toes, nose, and all-over frostbite! It was bitter cold.  I have so many things to share with you.  I'm going to start with my latest swap cards, but keep reading for an update on my husband and his running obsession and fund-raising efforts.  

The new Holiday Mini Catalog started on October 1st and I participated in three Holiday Mini swaps.  Over the next few days I'm going to share the cards I made as well as some from the other swappers.  For all of my swaps I used the new stamp set called "Home for Christmas". In way of providing a little background - my dad ran the ski school at the local ski area when I was growing up. As a result, we grew up on the ski hill. Like it or not. We were there every weekend from before the lifts opened until after they closed.  We got new skis and parkas and snow pants for Christmas every year and usually our skis had our names engraved on them. We were a skiing family.  Although I don't ski much now, when I saw the "Home for Christmas" stamp set, it called to me. The skis and sled and decorated door brought back so many memories of days spent on the slopes skiing and sledding. It was really the only set in the new mini I knew I couldn't live without. So here's my first swap including a close-up of some of the detail.  
I stamped the main image on vanilla textured card stock with Sahara Sand ink and I sponged the edges with the same color.  Then I colored the wreath portion of the stamp with markers and stamped it again on watercolor paper.  When I colored the stamp with the markers, I colored the bow on the wreath with black so that it stamped a black outline.  After I stamped it, I colored in the wreath with Riding Hood Red ink and my Aqua Painter.  I punched out the wreath with the 1" circle punch and layered it on the Designer Label punch in Riding Hood Red matted with Chocolate Chip and Always Artichoke.  I attached the punched image with some of the yummy new Alpine Ribbon Originals chocolate felt ribbon.  I love the stuff.  The sentiment is also from the "Home for Christmas" stamp set and was stamped on the textured vanilla card stock with Chocolate Chip classic ink.  The whole main panel was layered onto Chocolate Chip and Riding Hood Red card stock.  I was really happy with how all of my swaps turned out, but this was probably my least favorite, so I can't wait to show you the other two!  Be sure to check back tomorrow.  

On the home front, you might remember from this post that my husband committed to running four half-marathons in 5 weeks to raise money for the Heaven's Gate orphanage in India that is run by our church.  He raised nearly $2,000 and the group of 8 runners together raised over $10,000 for Heaven's Gate and money is still coming in.  What an amazing blessing this money will be to the children. Mike's first race - the City of Trees Marathon (even though he ran half) - was last weekend here in Boise.  His goal was to finish in less than 1 hour 45 min. and he came in at 1 hour 33 minutes!!  YAY!  He was so fast that I pulled into my parking place just in time to see him run past the car and I didn't even get to see him finish!  I was supposed to have 10 more minutes to get over there before he came through. DRAT!  He placed first in his age group and 15th overall - out of about 400 runners.  I was so proud!!  Here's a picture of him during the race.  

Pay no attention to the hot chick running next to him (NOT with him.)  Suffice it to say, that is NOT me!! I'd be pushing it to run around the block and I certainly wouldn't be smiling and waving to the crowd.  he he he

Yesterday he flew to Portland to run the second race which is the Gresham Fun Run.  The race was this morning.  There were not as many runners in this race, but he called me this afternoon to say he placed SECOND OVERALL!!  I couldn't believe it!!  I'm so proud of him.  I forgot to ask him his time, but I'll be sure to update this post with that info when he gets home tonight.  Next week they get to rest before running the last two races here in Boise on October 25th and November 1st.  

Today I'm uploading a BUNCH of pictures of my swaps and club projects from this month, so be sure to stop back over the next few days.  Oh, and welcome to all of the new subscribers who somehow had enough faith in me to subscribe even though I've been a slacker-blogger.  Glad you're here!

The Fine Print

The content of this blog is my sole responsibility as an independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. The use of and content of the classes, services, and products offered on this site is not endorsed by Stampin' Up!