July 07, 2008

Quick Update

It's been a while since I've posted. Like all blog breaks, I never intend to take a break, it just sort of happens. So, before this turns into a slump, I thought I should at least post a line or two.

Summer is off to a good start. Things have been busy lately. Business is booming and it's such a great feeling to see this dream of mine continue to grow and evolve. It's shaping up to be a banner year and that really excites me.

I throroughly enjoyed the long holiday weekend. For the first time in a long time, I didn't have any obligations on the calendar! It was such a rare treat to just make up the schedule as it went along. I spent two blissful afternoons at the pool on Thursday and Saturday. Did lots of reading and Sunday, I took a nap IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! I never do that unless I'm sick, so this was such an indulgence for me.

Rich and I were both off on Friday and had a fun day of hanging around the house while I cooked up a traditional Independence Day feast of barbeque ribs, potato salad, chilled broccoli salad, baked beans and cornbread. Then for dessert, we made sundaes out of my Island Inspiration brownies. We had his mom over for dinner and to watch the first inning of the Cubs/Cardinals game. It was a great day!

How was your 4th?

June 21, 2008

Color Inspiration Challenge #12

I had a little more time to think about this challenge than last week. I'm not actually sure how the colors were picked, on my monitor I'm just picking up a chocolatey brown and white, but I was able to pull this palette together into a cute little pocket card.

What do you think?

June 16, 2008

Today's Faves

Food: Thyme Grilled Chicken with Maple Chipotle Glaze
Drink: McD's Sweet Tea
Fruit: Sweet strawberries

Ice cream: Graeter's Coconut Chip
Candy bar: Mounds
Music: Lady Antebellum
TV Show: Jon & Kate + 8
Movie: Sex and the City
Book: Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin
Sound: The peaceful splashing sound of my float moving through the water.

Smell: Coppertone continuous spray sunscreen.

Sight: The latest release from Papertrey Ink
Touch: Floating in the cool water of the swimming pool on these hot days
Taste: Coconut-Walnut Brownies (oh, my)

Riding in Cars with Dogs

This boy would love nothing more than to spend all of his days riding in cars. In the days when it was just the two of us, we took many drives together, but these days, not so much. Over the weekend I made a quick overnight trip to visit my parents and took Riley along for the ride. He loved every minute of the ride there and back (3 hours each way).

I snapped this shot of him while I was driving yesterday. (Don't freak, I just held the camera with one hand and kept snapping away - this was the only picture out of many that was usable.) It perfectly captures his fantastic personality and his love for the open road. I loved having him with me and it reminded me that I need to bring him along for the ride more often.

June 13, 2008

Color Inspiration Challenge 11

It's time again for the kwernerdesign blog Color Inspiration Challenge. The palette and inspiration shown above is brought to us by Ikea. Read on to see my entry and to read a little bit behind the design.

I really liked the palette for this week's challenge. It was much easier for me than the previous challenge. As Kristina pointed out when she posted the challenge, the inspiration uses a great deal of white. I love working with white as much as I like working with color. In terms of impactful design, white, when used with limited amounts of bold color can really provide an incredible result.

This card is very simple, but I think that's what is most striking about it. I love the layers of petals, the dimension of the flower, the texture of the piercings really pop. This challenge was great fun. Hope you enjoy!!

Cardstock: So Saffron, Stampin' Up; White Opaque, Cougar
Inks: Rose Red, Old Olive, Craft White: Stampin' Up
Stamps: Friendship Blooms, Lots of Dots Jumbo Wheel: Stampin' Up
Tools: 1" & 3/4" circle punches: EK Success; Mat Pack: Stampin'Up; Stampin' Dimensionals: Stampin' Up

June 09, 2008

Haves & Have Nots

This looked like a fun activity. I've seen this on several blogs over the last few days and decided I would play along.

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula (and not bloody likely too, either!)
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (Tennessee, that is)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse (by accident, but still...)
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy

70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing Nyquil helps)
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair

103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird (if this can include the one found on both my hands he he)
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox. (Holly Hobbie!!)
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers (i hate that i have to admit to this)
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Photo Mosaic

Back in February, a few of my scrapbooking friends introduced me to photo mosaics. It is form of scrapbooking, where you cut photos up in to small squares and adhere them to a piece of 12 x 12 paper to form a grid pattern.

I was intrigued by this concept, but to be honest, not excited about the prospect of cutting photos into little squares. So, when Marc posted the TOP challenge for this month, a light went off in my head. So, using some of the photos I used for my initial grid, I have created a photo mosaic.

Now that it's all together, I definitely would choose other photos next time. It's helpful if your photos have similar background. I will try this again to see if I can achieve the look I am going for, but thought I would at least post this to see if it might inspire anyone else to do the same.

Please email me if you would like instructions on how to do this.

No Show and Tell

Rich and I returned from a great weekend trip to Memphis last night and I have nothing to show. Believe it or not, I didn't take a single photo. So if you want to know what we did for three days, you'll just have to read on :-)

We got ourselves packed and the boys loaded in the car to leave the house at 8:30. Dropped the boys off at the kennel and headed west. We got about 45 minutes down the I-40, only to realize that I had left my corporate card at home. (*&^*)&%(*!!! Although this trip was mostly pleasure, it was a business trip and I needed my corporate card, so back to the house we went.

We finally arrived in Memphis about 2:30, and headed straight for the tournament. It was SO HOT this weekend. Holy moly... these are August temps! Luckily we had passes for the cabana (thank you FedEx) on the 18th green, so we were able to sit in the air conditioned comfort and enjoy some great food and cold beverages.

We left there and checked into our room at the world famous Peabody Hotel. After a brief rest, we changed and headed across the street to The Rendezvous for some of that great Memphis Barbeque. From there, it was back to the hotel, where we grabbed dessert and went back to the room.

Rich had to leave around 6:15 Saturday morning to go play golf, so I lounged around for the morning and then headed off to Archiver's. I had been looking forward to shopping there for the past month. Oh my goodness... all sorts of fantastic goodies to bring home. After the very intense shopping, I headed back to the hotel to meet up with Rich. He was tired from his golf game, and wanted to rest for a while before heading out to dinner.

We chose to eat at Cayenne Moon, cajun restaurant just a few blocks from our hotel. The food was incredible! We both love cajun/creole cooking, so this was a great treat and got me looking forward to my upcoming trip to New Orleans in September (Natasha, I'll be emailing you about a get together!).

We finished off the night with Indiana Jones. What a strange movie...

The tournament was calling our name, so we headed back over for a while Sunday morning before we started on our way home. But, not before one more stop at Archiver's... it's probably a good thing we don't have one here in Nashville. I would be broke, for sure!

On our way home, we stopped in Jackson, TN to have lunch at The Old Country Store. Oh my goodness! I am not a buffet kind of girl. I typically refer to it as fondled food. But, this place is so good. Lots of great country cooking, so I am willing to look past the fact that it is served on a buffet. I ate way more than I should have, but I made up for it by skipping dinner.

It was a wonderful trip and so great to get away, but sleeping in my own bed last night was heavenly.

How was your weekend?
What's up with the heat?

June 06, 2008

Birdies, Blues and Barbeque

Rich and I are heading off for a fun weekend in Memphis in about an hour or so. We're going for the St. Jude Classic PGA Tour event, but are looking forward to hearing some of the great music on Beale Street and a tasty dinner tonight at The Rendezvous.

This will be my first trip in many years without a computer... I'm a little apprehensive about leaving it behind, but I just feel like I need to get away. Besides, it's not like I don't have a full browser and email on my iPhone, so I won't be completely shut out. I haven't told Rich that I am doing this yet, he will be COMPLETELY shocked.

Have a great weekend, ya'll!

June 04, 2008

Let's Polka

This card is for my latest card swap over at splitcoaststampers. If you are a scrapbooking or card making enthusiast, you should check out that website. There is great information available in the forums. That's where you can sign up for swaps like this one. The gallery is also a great place to go for a little inspiration. Lots of gorgeous eye candy!

The theme for this swap was Let's Polka. The only requirement was that we were to use polka dots somewhere on the card. I created this layout in February, and loved it so much I thought I would make a few tweaks and use it for this swap. It's a very fun little card and the sentiment makes it perfect for just about any occasion... or no occasion at all.

Cardstock: Soft Sky, Stampin' Up; White Opaque, Cougar
Inks: Soft Sky, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip: Stampin' Up
Stamps: Polka Dot Background, Make It Count, Polka Dot Posies: Stampin' Up
Ribbon: Fern Gingham, Offray

I made it!

So very excited this morning to learn that my father's day card was selected as one of the Top Ten submitted for kwernerdesign's Color Inspiration Challenge 10. I really struggled with this color combo, so just finishing was an accomplishment.

June 03, 2008

Take Out Photo - June Challenge: The Grid

My blogging friend, Michelle's husband just started a new blog. He's an amazing photographer and is sharing some of his genius tips and tricks. This month, the challenge/tutorial was how to create a grid of photos using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Creating the grid and following that pattern wasn't much of a challenge for me. Although, I will say the graphic designer in me, just wanted to bypass this step in Photoshop and just lay it out in InDesign. I am not a pro at Photoshop... I can find my way around to do some very basic stuff, but Illustrator and InDesign are definitely where my strengths lie. But, I did learn some cool tricks in Photoshop that I am quite excited about. Thanks Marc for the tips and for hosting this awesome challenge. Looking forward to learning more from you!

Here is the result of my efforts. What do you think?

June 01, 2008

Color Inspiration Challenge #10

This is the first time I've been able to participate in these challenges. Normally, these run during the week, when I don't have time to sit and think about how to make a design work with a specific color palette.

Since we were working with more masculine colors, I wanted to craft a card to give to my Dad for Father's Day. I learned some things in the process of making this. I don't have many stamps that are appropriate for a card for the male gender. I don't like working with a blue/green/yellow color scheme. And most importantly, never loan your stamp pads out! I let my friend borrow these colors because 'I dont' ever work with these colors'. Thank goodness I have all the markers!

Given these 'challenges', I am pleased with the results. The numerals are a perfect choice for this card. My Father was a mathemeatics instructor, so this will have extra special meaning for him.

May 30, 2008

Looking for something crafty to do this weekend? Why not participate in the kwerenerdesign Color Challenge? Head on over to her blog for all the deets, or if you're not interested in playing along, you can always just skim through all the great eye candy.

Lost in Ribbons

A few months ago, I stumbled onto the a blog post by Nichole Heady with Papertrey Ink. She posted photos and information about her new home studio. To my delight, she posted lots of specifics, which is going to make it so much easier for me to use many of her ideas for my space as well.

So far, I've taken two steps in this process. I've purchased the white photo storage boxes (thank you 1/2 price sale at Joann's). Yesterday I began the tedious, task of organizing my ribbon. ALL. MY. RIBBON. Between my shopaholic tendencies and Kristi's generosity, I have more ribbon than I know what to do with.

To get it organized, Nichole recommends wrapping it around old-fashioned clothespins, sorting by color family and storing in great glass candy jars. Here's a photo of how she displays/stores it in her studio. It's so pleasing to the eye, and the best part is that you always know what you have and it takes up much less space than spools.

Last night, I sat down on the couch with a grocery bag full of loose ribbon, 60 clothespins and a box of straight pins and got to work. I like having mindless work to do while I"m watching TV. I thoroughly enjoyed the season finale of LOST and filled up all of the clothespins I had. Still lots more ribbon to convert, but I'm very excited about the progress.

May 29, 2008

It's been four long years

I've been waiting for this for four years. The return of Sex and the City. I lived for my summers with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. It was a big part of my single-girl life. I loved hosting season premiere and finale parties each year for my girlfriends. It was always so much fun!

I've got tickets for 7:30 tomorrow night (gotta love Fandango) and I can't wait. Meeting Lisa for dinner and then we're off to the theater to get caught up on the lives of the fab four in Manhattan.

May 13, 2008

SPT: Something New

OK - So I know I am breaking the rules here... Lelly, please forgive me, as there is no S to go along with the PT. But, there is something new that I am beyond excited to share.

I've listened to this song, like 100 times already (I was able to download it last week) and I can't wait for the entire album to be released.

For those of you who are fortunate to live close to NYC, don't forget these guys will be performing live on Rockefeller Plaza on Friday morning for the Today Show.

How Rude!

I've been contemplating this post for a few weeks now. The rudeness of *some* people just astonishes me sometimes. When I first started thinking about this post, I was hesitant to put it out there, because I don't want to give my customers the wrong idea. 99.9999% of my customers are incredible. It's the .0001% that send me over the edge.

I just don't understand how people can be so nasty. Do people just feel like the internet and email give them license to be a jerk? So, I throw this out here into the blogosphere hoping that my great blogging friends can help validate my feelings - or tell me I'm out of line (either way, I just needs some perspective).

Scenario #1:
I received an email reply to a promotional email. This person took the opportunity to express that they were completely dissatisfied with my company, that it takes too long to get product, there is no order confirmation and that if I'm not going to respond to emails, don't post my address on my website. WELL... this bothered me. A LOT. So I spent a considerable amount of time to write a response. I had never received an email from this person before, she selected the slowest delivery method offered by the USPS and her spam filter may have blocked the confirmation email. Her email was very harsh, and I could understand somewhat because she had been sending emails about her order (to the wrong address), but she never apologized for her hurtful comments. I'm a big girl, I can take criticism, when it is warranted, but I do take offense to someone making mean-spirited comments and not following up with an "I'm sorry" when they realize they had made a mistake.

Scenario #2 (has happened on a couple of occasions):
A customer ordered a product, received it and emailed to say there was a printing error and DEMANDED a replacement be sent immediately. Granted, I make mistakes - more often than I like, and on those occasions, I always get a replacement out quickly. But, in this situation, it was the customers who made the spelling errors, not me. So I email them back apologizing that it isn't right, but that it was printed as specified in the order and that if they wish to have it re-printed, they would need to place another order online. On every occasion... no response. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but I would at least expect a quick - I can't believe I made such a mistake. Is that too much to ask?

What finally prompted me to post about this is all the hub-bub going on over at creativity, musings and such. I just don't think people realize how powerful their words can be... in good ways and bad. It is okay to have differences of opinion, in fact it's good to have differences of opinion. It's okay to share those differences... but not in ways that are hurtful to someone else.

It just seems to me that in this electronic medium, *some people* tend to make hurtful comments that they would never make to someones face. The anonymity of the web allows us all to be a bit more open than maybe we would normally be with relative strangers, but that shouldn't give anyone the "courage (read: cowardice)" to lash out with venomous words.

The rules of common courtesy and mannerly behavior should be followed in every situation. I don't think there is ever a valid excuse for being rude or disrespectful. There is ALWAYS a better way to get your point across.


April 22, 2008

Creative Friday - The Results

One of the big highlights of my trip to Salt Lake was taking part in Jill & Michelle's Creative Friday. These girls are onto something, I tell ya. I will post more about my trip and all the great blogging fun in another post. I have seen lots of comments about the cards I made while I was there and thought I would do a little post about that. This is the craftaholic blog, for goodness sakes!
Jill recommended that I stop by a great craft/scrapbook store called Paper Creations while I was in Salt Lake. All I can say is WOW! That store was beyond incredible. Lots of gorgeous things there. I wanted to pick up a few things so I could work on a few cards while I was at Creative Friday. I picked a color palette and as you can see from the results, was able to craft several different cards.

Card #1: thanks
Solid Cardstock: Bazzill Washboard, Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Ribbon: American Crafts, Felt Letters: Thickers by American Crafts.

Card #2 - hi
Solid Cardstock: Bazzill Washboard, Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Ribbon: American Crafts, Felt Letters: Thickers by American Crafts.

Card #3 - thank u
Solid Cardstock: Bazzill Basics, Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Felt Letters: Thickers by American Crafts, Die Cut Letter: will get back you on this

card #4 - friends
Solid Cardstock: Bazzill Basics, Ribbon: American Crafts
I will post directions to this card soon!

card #5 - hi
Solid Cardstock: Unknown, Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Felt Letters: Thickers by American Crafts, Chipboard

back home, back to the doctor and back to blogging

It's been exactly 2 months since my last post. Far too long, I know. It's been a busy couple of months. Highlights since my last post:
  • Business trips to Williamsburg, VA, Cincinatti, OH and most recently Salt Lake City, UT - more to come on that shortly.
  • My BFF got married on March 8.
  • My husband celebrated his 40th birthday with a big birthday bash.

I'm feeling pretty worn out from all my travelling. I returned home Sunday from Salt Lake feeling pretty bad. I stayed home sick yesterday and went to the doctor where she confirmed I have a sinus infection. I had a steroid injection and she wrote scrips for prednizone and 10 days or antibiotics. I'm feeling much better today and am getting back in the swing at work.

After my GREAT visit with fellow bloggers last week, I have a renewed interest in bl0gging. I have missed you guys and I am looking forward to getting back in touch and sharing of thoughts and ideas. Hope to hear from you soon!

February 22, 2008

American Idol: After the Eliminations Week 1

This was the first week of fan voting on American Idol. After four hours of performances earlier in the week, it is clear who our top 12 will (should) be. No big surprises in the eliminations from last night.

First to go was Garrett. Somebody get this boy a haircut... seriously. I'll be glad when the preppy 80's look is back in style. I am trying to recall anything noteworthy about his performance, but I honestly cannot. Guess that's why we won't be seeing him (or his hair) anymore.

Next out, Amy. She was a very cute girl, but her nerves really got the best of her. I agree with the judges that she should continue to work on her craft. She has proven she's a good singer, but that is only part of it.

The third one to go wasn't a shocker, but I had hoped that the rocker chick would be eliminated instead. Joanne is a great singer and quite striking. She didn't have a great performance and on this show, this early in the competition, that's all it takes.

Lastly, we said goodbye to Colton. Simon caught a bunch of flack from the audience for telling him that he should probably give up on a career singing and focus on getting a good job. I couldn't agree more. This kid didn't suck, but he is not good enough to be successful in the music/entertainment industry. The advice Simon gives is usually right-on, although not always delivered in the most tactful way. Hopefully Colton will heed his advice, study hard, get an education and find a local choir or choral group where he can get his fill of singing without the disappointment that will surely follow if he is to persue a career in music.

I think my faves are David & Alaina. I am amazed at their talent and poise at such a young age. Looking forward to more performances (and eliminations) next week.

Are you an AI fan?
What are your thoughts about the performances and eliminations?

And the winners are...

Address Labels: Linda Chasin
Folded Notes: Kristi Cutler
Calling Cards: Chris Riker
Enclosure Cards: Kelly Atzbach
Flat Notes: Michelle Kohlhase
Luggage Tag: Traci Bayley

Congratulations!! Watch your email for info on how to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone for playing along. I will definitely be doing this again!

Contest Update

Thanks for playing ya'll!! I will be drawing the winners in just a bit.

February 19, 2008

SPT: Pick Me Up

When I'm feeling out of sorts and need a pick me up, without a doubt, a crafty project will always brighten my spirit. It doesnt't have to be any particular kind of craft. In this photo, I am trimming a basket I just finished weaving. But, I mostly stick to paper-crafting... card making for the most part. Lately my thoughts have been totally consumed with card making.

February 18, 2008

Random Act of Kindness

Yesterday, Rich and I were at Bed Bath and Beyond getting some new stuff for his bathroom. We get in the check-out line behind a guy with a buggy full of all sorts of great kitchen stuff. Seriously it looked like he was setting up his first 'big-boy' kitchen. Cookware, knives, small appliances... and the good stuff.

I was shocked at how much money he would be spending. Easily over $1000. I saw the price on the Calphalon cookware ($599) and nearly had a stroke... not because of the price, but because he had NO COUPONS!! I had a stack of them in my purse (seriously, like a dozen). I get them constantly in the mail and even though there is an expiration date, they really never expire.

As he was hoisting the monstrous box of cookware from the buggy, I pulled a coupon out of my purse, made sure calphalon wasn't excluded and gave it to him. The look on his face was priceless. I mean, I basically just handed him $120. He was so appreciative. Then as we were leaving, he drove up and gave us two thumbs up.

I STILL feel great about that. It was such an easy thing to do, and even though he obviously could afford to pay full price, there is something incredible about giving someone an unexpected gift... especially when it doesn't cost you anything.

One thing is for sure, I'm gonna have to do more of this!

great weekend... hard on the pocketbook

Had a marvelous weekend. Didn't do much, lots of chilling out, some baking, some laundry and oh yeah... shopping.

I started out Saturday morning buying this.

Confused? It's the new Crop o dile II Big Bite. I've got the smaller version, but having a 6" reach on this bad boy is quite incredible. Right now you can only get it at HSN, but the price was great, and it will be impossible to find in the stores when it is released.

Went to Joann's Saturday afternoon and picked up some random craft supplies. Nothing too exciting.

Sunday, I made a major purchase.
Yes, an iPhone. I'm obsessed with it. It's so cool, I can't even tell you. The only downside... it's difficult to get any work done with this thing around. Nothing like a new toy!!

February 14, 2008

Creative Burst Contest

Thankfully, I have had a creative burst in the past couple of days and have designed a couple new stationery collections. It's always fun to see my vision come to life. So, there are quite a few new goodies online that you should really check out!

This is a luggage tag in the new Scallop Label design. I just love how versatile this design can be... and this font just makes me happy. As always, you can customize your colors. This particular color scheme was inspired by one of my favorite blogging friends.

On to the contest...

Next Friday, I will draw one name for each of the following product giveaways. You get to choose from any of the designs on the website and customize to your exact specifications, then I'll pack it up and ship it to you absolutely FREE!
  • Address Label
  • Calling Card
  • Enclosure Card
  • Flat Note Set
  • Folded Note Set
  • Luggage Tag

How do you enter? It's very easy... just enter your name and email address in the promo email signup box (look on sidebar.) Even if you are currently getting my promo emails, you will need to enter your info. Please only one entry per person. Entries received between now and next Thursday at 11:59 pacific time will be included in the drawing.

February 08, 2008

Totally Gross

So... I'm sitting here at yet another chef conference. As I look to my left, I see a dead hog hanging by it's feet at the end of the room. It has been gutted (ew!) and is ready to be slaughtered. I now understand what a cleaver is really for and I'm disturbed. It's a fairly violent process - definitely nothing I care to witness from such a close distance again. Is it time to go home yet?

By the way, for those of you who prefer a picture with every post, be thankful that I don't have a camera with me.

January 31, 2008

Oh Oh OoOh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh Oh OoOh, The Right Stuff

Have you heard the news?
New Kids on the Block are reuniting! Can it really be true, or is this just some cruel joke being played on all us 30-something year olds? Check it out at http://www.nkotb.com/. I feel 16 all over again (well, sort of)!

January 30, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's that time again, when I load up the car with all of my craft supplies and gadets and head off for a glorious weekend of crafty goodness. Oh yes, it's the Crop Til You Drop Winter Retreat 2008.

I started planning this event last August. This is the second year I have organized and hosted a crop. Last year was a great success, which helped me sell out all the tickets before Labor Day. The past few weeks have been hectic with all the last-minute prep. I'm so excited for Friday to get here. I was a total slacker last year when it came to taking photos. I'm gonna try to improve upon that this year.

What are your plans for the weekend?

January 29, 2008

Self-Imposed Good Mail

It's been on my mind all day. Just knowing what was waiting at my doorstep. Tick-tock, tick-tock. It seemed like the minutes passed by sooooo slowly.

Imagine my delight to come home and find all this goodness just waiting to come inside with me.

I would not normally go quite so bonkers buying this much Vera Bradley product at once, but both of these fabric patterns are retiring. So sad. The Capri Melon I already had in a few pieces, but needed a couple more. I had been wanting the Petal Pink for a while, but couldn't deny myself any longer when it was all 25% off.

By they way, isn't this packaging fabulous. I just loved how the smaller items were in this gorgeous green gift box. Such an awesome presentation. I was totally expecting everything to be in poly bags thrown into a box. I never imagined all this... so lovely. Ahhh. I'm in a little pink paradise right now.

Do you partake in self-imposed good mail?

January 25, 2008

Random facts about me

My friend, Lisa, emailed this little quiz to me today. I am not a fan of the old 'send this to five people you know' kind of emails. So annoying. But, I did think this would be a fun blog exercise. So, feel free to learn a little more about me... and if you wish to do a similar post yourself, feel free to do so and leave a comment so I can get to know you better too.

    Yes, well, sort of. My first name, no. But, my middle name is May. My maternal great-grandmother was named May, and my paternal great-grandmother was named Olive May. So it worked for both sides of the family.
    Last week. Can't remember what day, but I laughed so hard, I cried.
    Most of the time. I do have nice handwriting, but if I don't focus, or when I'm in a hurry, it can get really sloppy.
    Boar's Head Oven Gold Turkey Breast
    Not yet. But, I do have two dogs that I love like they are my children.
    Of course!
    Oh yes, perhaps too often, but it helps me get through the day at work.
    Um, no. I was in 2nd grade when I had them removed.
    Not a chance in the world.
    This is a tough one. I love cereal! I guess my all-time fave would be Cap'n Crunch PB Crunch.
    I don't usually wear lace up shoes anymore. But even when I do, no. I always slide them off, but I do untie them before I put them back on.
    Yes, pretty strong.
    Graeter's Double Chocolate Chip (see my sidebar)
    Never really thought about this, but probably eyes.
  15. RED OR PINK?
    Red, but I am really digging pink lately.
    My size/weight.
    Melba B. (8.25.96)
    Jeans and khaki suede Merrell's.
    Chicken, green beans and mac n' cheese (might have something to do with #16 - ha)
    The sound of my fingers hitting the keys.
    Clean laundry, freshly baked cookies, Longaberger baskets, new Coach purse.
    Well, of course I do!!
    Professional Football
    Dark Brown
  27. EYE COLOR?
    As Paula Deen would say, "Don't you know it's rude to ask a fat girl what she likes to eat. Judging by my size, I've enjoyed most all of it!" - ha ha
    How about funny? I like funny.
    Clueless (it was on tv the other day... takes me back to college days, oh, the memories!)
    Bright pink hoodie from Nantucket
    See #29
    Well, I've started reading another Nicholas Sparks book, but I haven't picked it up for a few months, so I doubt that still qualifies as "reading".
    No mouse pad. I use a laptop.
    Celebrity Apprentice
    The ocean.
    Neither, ick!
    Guadalajara, Mexico
    I have many talents
    Just outside Chicago, IL (won't give the town because this is one of the secret questions that many websites use for password requests).

So, there you have it. Wasn't that fun? Don't forget if you do one of these yourself, leave me a comment so I can come check it out!

PS - Aren't you impressed... two posts in one day!


Don't know about you, but I do enjoy sudoku. A few weeks ago, Rich and I travelled to Destin, FL for a visit with my parents who are vacationing there for a few months. My dad is totally into it. He spends a few hours a day working on these puzzles. He's a brainiac, so he likes the really difficult ones.

But, they did have one of these handy little spiral bound ones lying around, so I picked it up and before we left, I had finished the last 20 puzzles or so. I won't lie, they were mostly beginner puzzles, but that's about all I really care about doing right now. I'm too impatient to work through the tough ones.

Anyhoo, so last night I have a good mail package from my Mom. And inside are two new books just for me. The same one I finished up of theirs and the 2nd volume. The size of these is perfect for when I travel, because it fits right in my had perfectly and the spiral binding at the top is total genius. I've got lots of travel coming soon - so this was great timing.

If you want one of these bad boys for yourself. You can order from Barnes and Noble. Volume 1 or Volume 2.
Do you Sudoku?

January 01, 2008

I'm Twittering

Since I'm really slacking with keeping up my blog these days, I thought I could at least add Twitter updates. So if you really want to know what I am doing, check out the Twitter Updates on my sidebar. I send them in via text messaging from my phone... so cool!

Hope everyone is having a great start to 2008!