Wednesday, October 31, 2007

prepare to pee yourself

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!


This year's jack-o.
I've been using Pumpkin Masters carving kits for YEARS. Like, 20 years. They make the best jack-o-lanterns.
Quick, easy, fun and spooooooky.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

baby book

I'm scrapbooking!
Here's a simple baby album I'm working on today. Spaces on the left for a 4 x 6 photo, spaces on the right for a little message.
I'm really happy with how it's turning out!
All patterned paper is Basic Grey.

Click on any photo for a detailed view.
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Apron A-Long

I've got more pictures to post, just waiting on the word from Cami.
Thanks for the good time, apron alongers. It was fun, wasn't it?

Some Store

Spent the weekend in Toledo with my sisterfriends, Susan and Lisa. It was so bittersweet, sitting in my spot at "The Paper". I spent so many hours in that chair, probably too many but no one would say that now, knowing the doors are closing soon. It was hard being there but I knew I had to go. Susan's exact words were, "I need you." So I went.
I hated watching the vultures come and pick the bones. I was amazed how rude folks were. Everyone knew exactly what she did wrong. All those people who if they'd supported her store all along would still have a friendly neighborhood place to crop. A place where you can go for inspiration, friendship and just a good time.
But instead, people came out of the woodwork to save a few dollars. They came to give their opinions. They came to swear at my friend. I'm not even kidding. They came in droves.
All the people who knew exactly what she should have done to stay in business.

She should have had classes. Had them. Few came even though Susan's creativity is off the chart and her teachers were top notch. I know. I was one of them. *grin*
She should have had crops. Had them. Every week. Folks would come and not spend a dime.

There were those customers loyal to a fault and you know who you are. You are part of what's kept Susan going for so long. There was even one woman who gave Susan a gift card to help her build her dream of an art studio at home. Those kinds of folks are the rare jewels. Thank you, not only for your support but your kindness and your gentleness these last few days.

Skrappaper had all the right elements. What she didn't have was a community who supported her. She had a good, solid customer base. She had some who were loyal, supporting their hobby in her store. But she also had folks who would go to one of the big box stores to buy say, a Crickut diecut machine but come to her saying, "But they didn't teach me how to use it. Will you?" And she would. Graciously.
-I- want to say, "Go back to Wal-Mart and see if they can't teach you." But that's the trouble with those big chain stores, see? They don't offer the same customer service as the little people. There's no classroom at Wal-Mart. Sure they offer the best price, but please, realize you're paying for so much more when you support the little guys. Those few extra dollars are buying such heart. And that is, as they say, priceless.

The little guys build their stores out of love for a craft. Those are the folks we should be supporting. Those are the stores I want to have my money. A store where my dollars matter. A store where my dollars are buying new shoes for a walking toddler or fresh produce for one vegetable loving kid. I don't want my dollars buying a new Jaguar for the CEO of Chain Stores of America.

I'll end my rant here.
I'm glad I went to Toledo this weekend, not only for the final crop and to be there for my friend but it seemed somehow appropriate. I was there when Skrappaper was born. It was only right I be there in the end.

Here's to new beginnings, Susan.
Peace, friend.

Monday, October 22, 2007

crafty wench

Inside: "With a friend like you, it's treats all the time."
or something to that effect.
My goal today was twofold:
  1. to actually MAKE a card and
  2. to use my current stash.

That jack-o-lantern has GOT to be a good five years old. Bought and never used. Till now, that is. I'm kind of proud of myself. It's a little hokey but my friend Susan will appreciate that. She'll recognize the patterned paper, the pumpkin and the bats (she sent me those this year - thanks friend). When a good friend is feeling low, all it takes is a few scraps of paper and some glue (and maybe a little creativity) to make them happy. Go on. Try it.

I also made a happy baby card for my cousin's baby - the one born like, a month ago. I forgot to take a picture of that one. Sorry. I sent off the mary jane baby booties too. Those ought to bring some smiles.

and it took me only two and a half hours. :o\


Friday, October 19, 2007

weekend knit

For my new little friend, Jackson who saw me knitting socks and wanted a pair.
I diverted him with the idea of a hat.
"What color hat would you like?"
"Purple" he said.
Purple it is.
I called his mom half-way through and said, "Tell Jackson I'm working on his hat."
She had no idea what I was talking about. But he did.
I delivered it the next day. His mom says he's worn it a couple of times already and that in itself is a miracle. Evidently the boy doesn't like his head covered.
Unless it's with a super special melly purple hat!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Centennial Post

Life Lists. Got one? I created one some years ago but can't recall what I did with it. I'm sure it was lost on an old computer. So, I thought it appropriate to re-create that list here, in honor of my 100th post.
I do remember my list including two things: learn to knit and go to a wine tasting. I now do both. Frequently and well. :)
I hope this encourages you to create your own life list. Think of all the things you'd like to do before you die. Write them down. Do them. We all know how life is too short. No one ever said on their deathbed, "Gee, I wish I'd spent more time at work."
Without further ado:
  1. travel. a lot.
  2. visit all 50 states
  3. see the grand canyon
  4. on horseback
  5. visit Niagara Falls
  6. fill my passport
  7. get back to the Seattle/Tacoma area to see my siblings
  8. go up in the Space Needle
  9. connect with old school friends
  10. visit Washington DC
  11. get lost in the Smithsonian
  12. vacation at the beach
  13. ride horseback at the waters edge
  14. collect seashells
  15. cruise Alaska
  16. watch wales jump
  17. tour California wine country
  18. keep a wine journal
  19. learn to play my guitar. well.
  20. sing and play with my sister, Robin
  21. organize my photos
  22. back them up
  23. learn to use my camera. well.
  24. scrapbook more
  25. sew more
  26. procrastinate less
  27. knit a full-sized sweater
  28. keep a knitting journal
  29. volunteer
  30. learn american sign language
  31. learn to read music
  32. learn to play the piano
  33. own a piano
  34. learn to play the oboe
  35. sing more
  36. read the classics
  37. learn more about wine
  38. bring color to the inside of my house
  39. try more exotic recipes
  40. eat at foreign restaurants
  41. learn more about art
  42. purchase a favorite
  43. lose weight
  44. grow a vegetable garden
  45. grow a flower garden
  46. see Les Miserables on stage
  47. ditto Lion King
  48. ditto Phantom of the Opera
  49. ride Amtrak somewhere far
  50. recycle
  51. bring canvas shopping bags with me to the store
  52. hike
  53. stay in better touch with my siblings
  54. take a cooking class
  55. learn the art of pastries
  56. exercise
  57. walk my dogs
  58. meet Cathy Z.
  59. have more parties
  60. send more thank you notes
  61. write real letters
  62. journal more
  63. drive cross country
  64. take a motorcycle trip out west
  65. make a real quilt
  66. make jam
  67. master pie crust
  68. camp
  69. take a pottery class
  70. get new bedroom furniture
  71. learn to identify birds
  72. vacation in an RV
  73. learn to budget
  74. build our savings
  75. finish my degree
  76. start a movie club
  77. join a book club
  78. raise puppies
  79. own a cat
  80. renew my wedding vows
  81. follow politics
  82. play more games
  83. learn to ice skate
  84. ditto rollerblade
  85. get regular pedicures
  86. go back to NYC
  87. go back to Hawaii
  88. re-decorate my bedroom myself
  89. host a dinner party
  90. spend a romantic weekend away
  91. picnic more
  92. fly kites more
  93. write my own will
  94. find a comfortable pair of heels
  95. go to a Colts game
  96. run again (after the lose weight thing)
  97. run a half marathon
  98. be more organized
  99. have more fun
  100. DO the things on this list!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


We haven't gone geocaching in months.
About an hour into it, I remembered why: it felt a lot like exercise. heh
We did see some neat things. This iron bear sculpture sits outside of Eagle Creek Park. It's HUGE. And I didn't get a picture of all the graffiti, but Irene was there.

Ken and I hiked about three miles, looking for a cache where we could set our travel bug loose.

The cache was called Old Homestead. I couldn't find any information about the area. All we know is there used to be a ton of houses back here and maybe they were all torn down when the reservoir was built.

It was really something to find little remnants here and there of the old homesteads: bits of foundation, old gates and stairs leading nowhere.

More pictures can be found here.
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

So long Skrappaper

My heart is heavy this week. My dear friend, Susan, made the tough decision to close her scrapbook store. A place I fondly called my very own "Cheers", you know, the place where everyone knows your name. I was Skrappaper's "Norm".
My family helped build that place.
Ken moved walls while Ashley and I painted like fools. I still have the orange and blue paint on my old tennis shoes. I may have to keep those forever.

What I WILL keep forever are the memories. My friends, Susan, Lisa and I spent many hours together there, creating and preserving our family albums. I helped others do the same. It's a feeling of necessary-ness I've been lacking in my life since the move. I've missed "The Paper" every day since we moved away. Knowing it'll be gone forever? I can't even wrap my mind around that just yet.

Things change. I get that. But watching a dream shatter, well, that just hurts. And not being able to hold my friend's hand as she goes through this hard time, well...

I love you Susan.
"We are -so- screwed!"

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mom didn't always like me best

But she's liking me a lot today. And you know why? Cause I listen. And I call her from time to time. (moreso now that I'm knitting! I call and say, "Is this the knitting helpline?" I know she loves THAT! heh). That's it. A phone call and a willing ear. When was the last time you got so much for so little?
So this goes out to my sibs (and anyone else reading that has one) - call your mother. You wouldn't be here, after all, if it weren't for her.
I've been looking for some good blogging material. I'm not always crafty and do you all want to be bored with my mundania? I'm reaching for my 100th post. I'm thinking about a give-away. Tell your friends!
Shot some domesticity today. My mother would be so proud! I make my bed (nearly) every day. Today's bed is freshly washed. Don't you just love fresh bed linens?
and the next sock since I -am- a sock Knitter now!
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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Imitation Poppets

Isn't the sincerest form of flattery imitation? Well, I snagged an image off of an artists etsy shop (oh, for shame, I know!) to use in a gift album for my friend, Trish. It saved me a lot of work mostly in that I don't possess the talent to create amazing stuff like this. No profit was made. No children were harmed. No fur was used.
This doesn't make me a bad person, does it?
I say it makes me a good friend.
Happy Birthday, Trish.
If it'd make you feel better, YOU go buy something from the amazing Claudine Hellmuth. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007

stealth milk

We went to bed last night and sometime during the night, this arrived in a new milk cooler on my front porch.
Thank you Oberweis Man!
Love me some milk in glass bottles. Reminds me of when I was a kid - we'd drive up to the dairy and open the trunk, a kid would come out and carry away the old crate full of glass bottles and bring out a new crate with bottles full of milk.
I don't recall chocolate milk EVER but, that's one of the glories of being a grown up, (well this and gin) I am in charge of my own milk buying. Chocolate milk for everyone!
Watch my mom post a comment on how we went to that dairy only a few times or something.
If YOU choose Oberweis, tell them I sent you.