Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is it Derby time already?

This must be the time of year when most "normal" people hold their Pinewood Derbies. By normal I guess I mean the Boy Scouts of America. I say this because I just got an email from the place I ordered trophies from last year. They were offering them at 10% off. Always wanting to save some money, I went ahead and ordered them. How's that for being ahead of the game?

For those of you wanting to plan for the Derby, nothing definite yet, but my in-laws said that the middle of the month is easier for them to get away than the beginning or end. So plan for the middle of probably June or July. I'm guessing by August they'll need to get back home for the start of school.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas 1948

Prior to Thanksgiving my aunt and uncle did some sorting of the various slides that they have and divided them into piles for some of the various family members- some for me, some for my cousin, and some for my aunt's cousin. This is one that I got. It is my mom, my aunt, and my uncle celebrating Christmas in 1948. I LOVE this picture. Had to go out and get a new slide scanner so that I would be able to get a print of this and others. I love how Aunt Cathrine and Uncle Rob get that they are supposed to be playing with their toys, but my mom just is quizzically looking at the photographer.

Or what about this one?

"Santa, how did you know I wanted a new dolly? You're the best! I'm going to try to pretend that I don't notice how dirty the trim is on your suit. Maybe it got that filthy from going down all of the chimneys? And I'll also ignore how fake looking your beard looks."

Meanwhile, Aunt Cathrine, being the smart young lady that she is, is just laughing to herself about how gullible her baby sister is.

Ah, those were the days.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Days 5, 7, 8 and 9

Day 9

Are you looking for that perfect gift this year for a teacher’s gift? Well this is a great gift cheap & easy....Cookie Mix in a Jar

I made these about 4years ago when Kyle was in preschool for his 3 teachers and they loved them! I got this idea when I saw them at the store selling them for whatever ridiculous amount they were asking for them! After reading the ingredients I thought I could do them myself for half the price! And there are so many different ways to make these such as different cookie recipes or decorating them your jars and the best thing they don't have to be just for a Christmas gift a great gift for many occasions! I couldn't find any mason jars so i found this jar and found some snowman decorations that are made of some kind of plastic and i cut the head off and glued it to my jar makes my jar look a little extra special for a Christmas gift!

Now you will get your ingredients for your cookie mix and will layer them into the jar one by one. Layering flour on the bottom packed down (don’t push hard it will go all over believe me!..lol), mixing the rest and pack them down tightly (if you don’t have enough room for the chocolate chips (you should not have too, but i thought it would be cute to put them in a baggie and you could tie them to the jar).

After you have packed all your ingredients tightly in your jar you are ready to decorate your jar your own way! Put your tag on it with your baking directions and there you go Cookie Mix in a Jar! It will probably cost about $8 (not including the ingredients you may already have them) to make, can’t beat that for a gift and its the PERFECT HOMEMADE GIFT!

As you can see, I decided not to go with a cookie mix. I just didn't know who I would give a cookie jar to. However, I have the perfect person in mind for this "jewelry making" jar.

Day 8:
Let it Snow!!! Let it Snow!!! Let it Snow!!!

This challenge is to scrap about what snow and the holidays mean to you! You may interpret this broadly. You can do a page about a great snow storm you had on Christmas Eve. A sled as a present. Or maybe that Christmas Cruise to Mexico where you actually MISSED the snow. Or maybe your holidays are always snow-free; how do you feel about that?

Other than the snow/holiday theme the other requirements are:

Use blue or purple as a prominent color on the page.

Use something shiny! (Bling, glitter, glitter letters, whatever)

Use circles and/or snowflakes (which are kind of circular)

Okay ladies! I want to see a two-page layout. I hardly see these and I am guilty of never doing them. Here are my rules.
Two page layout (no smaller than 8 1/2x11) 7 pictures 7 patterned paper 7 buttons and last but not least...... 7 different techniques (such as distressing, inking, sewing, paint, doodling)

Day Five
My challenge will go with the 12 days of Christmas song. So the 5th is the Fiiiiiiiive Goooolllldeeeen Riiiiiiiiings part. :) like my singing? My challenge is to scrap a page using gold and tones of gold (tans, yellows, etc.) and iincoorperate ONLY round and circular embellishments into your page. (five would be SWEET)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Scrappiness continues

I guess I'm in a creative groove, because I think I've been making something pretty much every single day. Plus I spent some time yesterday working on cleaning up my room a bit.

So here we have the 3rd tag for Day 4 and a birthday card for my nephew. I also made this year's holiday card, which I did for Day 6, but I'm not going to post it here yet. Don't want to spoil the surprise.

Now to get cracking on Days 5 and 7. I have an idea of what to do for 7, but no clue about 5!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

So in my last post I mentioned that I was participating in a "12 Days of Christmas" challenge over at Tally. Here are my entries for days 1 - 4, as well as the rules that went with each one.

December 1st Challenge
"I Believe"

Welcome to the first day of the 12 days of Christmas! I present you with your first challenge.

I was driving along and heard this old song "I Believe in You" by Don Williams, and thought, hey, this is my theme for the "Twelve Days of Christmas" challenge!

So your challenge is to Google the song, and lyrics.
*Use any part of the song; the title, lyrics, etc.
*Use the word "Believe" in either your title or journaling or both.
*Use red. A little or a lot, the choice is yours.
*You creation need not be Christmas related, the choice is yours!

December 2nd Challenge
Times are so different from when we were kids. Parents had to put together gifts, baking was an all day event, Advent Calendars, the specials on TV. Remember the sights and sounds of childhood. I can still envision my favorite Christmas. The things we did as a family. Our traditions. Some may have slipped us by and we should remember them.
Your challenge is to:
  • Scrapbook a tradition from your childhood that you no longer do and miss now.
  • Must include journaling and the color red.
  • Use Wordle somewhere on your page or let it be the page. The words should be thoughts of your traditions from Xmas. Wordle.
DAY THREE This challenge is about YOU. As parents we are so busy running from toy store to electronics store to walmart and to a zillion other places we tend to forget about ourselves. So this layout focuses on you. It should be titled "Dear Santa/mom's Christmas list". Requirments: 1. Your Christmas list 2. You must use at least 2 different alphas on the page. 3. Santa must be somewhere on your page. 4. Must use a stamped image of some sort. 5. Colors must include Red, green and blue. 6. Must include a photo of yourself!

Welcome to the 4th day of Christmas! Today your challenge is to make FOUR things....don't worry, they're small! Your challenge today is to make one ATC and three gift tags. You can keep the ATC for yourself, or trade with someone else who completes this challenge. The gift tags are for you to use on your gifts this year, since a handmade tag adds a lovely personal touch to your gift!

Sounds easy so far, right? Okay, here are the rules:

1. Your ATC (sized 3.5 x 2.5 inches) has to include at least FOUR things from the following list:
  • a reindeer
  • an angel
  • the colors green and white
  • Santa Claus
  • a snowman
  • bling (ie glitter or rhinestones)
  • a tree
  • the colors red and silver
  • a candy cane
  • a star
2. Your gift tags must be the same size as your ATC or smaller. They need to have the words "To:" and "From:" on them, but otherwise....anything goes!

Ooops. Just reread that as I was posting and see that I need to make a 3rd tag. Guess I'll be taking care of that tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

Over at Tally I'm participating in a 12 Days of Christmas challenge. For the first 12 days of December a new challenge is being issued every day. No idea what I'm doing for yesterday's challenge yet, but I have some good ideas for today's. One element for today's challenge is that it has to include a Wordle, so pictured is the one I created, using the words to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. If only I could be at home scrapping.

In other Christmas news, since probably 1999, every year we get together with my dad for Cookie Baking. Originally it was one of his theme weekends, but due to schedules it's now pretty much become a one day affair. We use to schlep all of our stuff out to Secret Lake, but in recent years we've had it at our place.

Anyway, in 2002 I started to make an annual cookbook, including pictures and recipes from that year. Last year I was stressed with a number of different things, so I didn't make the cookbook. A couple of weeks ago I had a coupon code for a free photo book and I'd been hoping to finally make a book for last year. That's when I found out that due to a computer crash I lost all historic record of last year and that is bumming me out a bit. I tried looking at pictures of what we made, but many of them are blurry and I can't tell what anything is. (Also, many of the bars end up looking similar.)

So now I'm starting to look at digital scrapbooking items and wondering if I can essentially make the book ahead of time so that all I'll have to do is drop in the photos for this year. Anything to make the process go more quickly, right?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend To-do list

Yesterday I was working from home so that I could be there for the cable guy, but it also gave me a chance to get some stuff organized for the craft faire. (I will be so happy when it's over!) There's still plenty more that I would like to get done, but now I feel comfortable with what has been done. Most of the day was spent with printing price signs, taking photos of some of Chris' puzzles and editing them, etc. One of the things on my list, was to make more lavender sachets if I had time. The ones I had made previously were knit, and probably took about and hour and a half to two hours each to make. Due to a minimum order requirement, I had TONS of lavender, so I figured I would sew some up instead. So in about 2 hours, maybe a bit more, I made 25 of these. I hope I sell most of them, because otherwise I have no idea what I'll do with all of them!

Friday- tonight
  • Redo price signs for sachets- changing price of knit and making new sign for fabric ones
  • If there's time, make some more cards (Ha! this one is really wishful thinking on my part)
  • Iron and price apron
  • Sew cupcake print coaster sets (these have already been cut out. however, if I don't get to them the world won't end)
  • Start to load up the car

  • I typically have skating on Saturday mornings, but due to the craft faire I'll be missing this week.
  • Craft Faire- set up starts at 7:30. Not sure if we'll be there that early or a little later. Sales goes from 9-2.
  • 11ish have to leave the Faire to go pick up my mom. Not really wanting to do this, but if saves her from having to find rides in both directions.
  • Afternoon- relax/ nap?
  • Dinner most likely at Sunset. I think we'll both be too exhausted to cook. And if we go, we'll probably run into friends who told us they would be there.

  • Brunch at home of one of Chris' coworkers
  • Relax!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I lied

So on my last post I mentioned that I had lost my thumb ring. Guess what- I didn't! I can't sleep with my rings on, so I always put them in this little dish on my dresser. Turns out that when I was putting on my other rings, I never put on my thumb ring.

Today I've been "working" from home. The cable guy came to get us set up for digital cable, but I've also been busy getting things ready for the craft faire- taking pictures outside in 25 degree weather, editing those photos, creating price tags, etc. Now that the rest of the things are more or less under control, I may start making some more product. I'd like to make a few more cards and some more lavender sachets. We'll see....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday.... to me!

So I wake up and Chris says Happy Birthday. I ask him if I can have my gift yet (a new camera). He says no, it's not wrapped yet. I say, but I know what it is, so what's the point in wrapping it? And I'll want it to take pictures of my cube (since I knew Vanessa was going to decorate it). He still said no.

I little while later I get up and I see the camera sitting on the dining room table. Yay! I call him to make sure that I can open the box. Yup. Yippee! I take out the necessary components and bring it with me to work so that I can charge the battery.

On the way to work I notice that one of my rings is missing. :( I've had this ring since summer before senior year of high school, so 14 years. I've lost it before, but I somehow always find it again. It certainly has no monetary value, but there is sentimental value. You see, my dad and I were at Wal*mart to get me a watch before I went on a youth group trip. Watches are in the jewelry section, so I was looking at the rings. I kiddingly asked him to buy me one. He said no. Later that evening we were making dinner. There was a steel ring holding a bag of potatoes closed. He took it and gave it to me as my ring. I've worn it ever since. Except when I've lost it.

This has happened a few times. Partly because I wear it on my thumb and so it needs to be pretty big to fit on over my knuckle, but then it's loose so it can come off easily, and partly because it's an adjustable size style, so it can get snagged on things and come off easily. Normally when I loose it I find it pretty quickly. One time though, I searched and searched and couldn't find it anywhere. I gave it up for lost. I bought a bag of potatoes to get a new ring, but it just wasn't the same. It didn't feel right. A few months later I found it in my car. In a place I know I had searched before.

Well today I thought over my actions on my way into work, and my hunch is that it is either in the garbage bag that I left on the curb, or it fell off when I put the bag into the garbage can. I'll try to check when I get home, but I imagine it's gone.

So after that, coming into work and seeing my decorated cube was a great way to put a smile on my face. And after charging the camera battery, I was able to test out the camera and take some pictures. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

How was your weekend?

Mine seemed rather hectic. It's amazing how long some things take. Thinks that you would think would be really quick. Here's a run-down.

  • Skating
  • Michael's
  • Christmas Tree Shop
  • Old Navy
  • Haircut
  • Refundables
  • Yarn store
  • Target
  • BJ's
  • Stop & Shop
  • Lowes
  • Shaw's
  • Clean
  • Game Night

  • Read the paper
  • Take photos of lots of Chris' puzzles and ornaments
  • Trial set-up of Chris' stuff to get a sense of how much stuff there was
  • Help with pricing, labels for boxes, etc.
  • Trial set-up of my stuff. Good chance to see what I had.
  • Start to create an inventory list
  • AC Moore for dowels, page protectors, and photo corners
  • Target for boxes for Chris
  • Finish knitting chocolate frosting for cupcakes
  • Add sprinkles to one cupcake
  • Finish bird ornaments
  • Finish quilted coasters
  • Watch The Unit
  • Bed

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chris knows how to blog?

Time to breathe. The past few weeks have been a bit crazy. Self-imposed craziness. A friend’s blog has links to other blogs listed in the sidebar and it tells you when they were last updated. At first mine said one week, then two, then three…. You get the picture. It now says “one month ago” but it’s actually been 7 weeks. Yikes! I keep meaning to update, but the longer you go, the harder it is. There are just too many topics that you want to cover. Sorry if it reads a little disjointedly. It’s taken me over a week to write this, and I’ve kind of been jumping around.

I love Halloween, and at times I’m a bit of an overachiever. I guess you saw that already when I made 18 mobiles with 54 witches. And I had to use the good beads on them. I couldn’t use just some cheap plastic ones. I try not to think about how much I spent on those. More about Halloween later.

So one topic that I seemed to overlook, was a trip that we took over Labor Day weekend. LL Bean offers free concerts during the summer. We looked over the schedule and saw that Lonestar was going to be performing. Rather than making a 2-3 hour drive back home after the concert, we decided to camp in the area. This was a week after we returned from camping in Acadia, and a week before camping at Hammonasset. Lots of camping!

We found a state park right next to Freeport. Pretty quiet place. Might have been nicer to spend some more time there. We had plans to hike some of the trails at the park, but never got around to that. Too much of the “normal” activities for us to do- Land’s End, Freeport, etc.

We arrived up on Saturday afternoon. Got into Freeport and spent longer than usual trying to park. We wondered why many of the entrances into the LL Bean parking lots were closed off. Finally we found a spot and started to head over to see how many seats were claimed already. Yikes! Now we know why parking was so bad. When we’ve been to concerts here in the past, it’s usually just seats on the grass. This time there were LOTS of bleachers set up! Luckily we found a spot fairly close to the front, although it was off to the side. After putting down a blanket to save our spot, we headed off to do a little shopping. As it turned out, mostly window shopping. I guess that’s good though, right?

Then it was time to head back to the concert area. Wow, it had filled up with lots of people in the short while we were gone. The concert was a lot of fun. I wasn’t that familiar with their songs before we went, but it was still a fun time. Certainly not bad for a free concert. I got a video of their finale- it was a montage of a bunch of covers. Started off with Van Halen’s “Jump” and as soon as I heard that, I grabbed the camera that shot video. Not online at this time. Actually, the quality of it is pretty horrid. But it’s still fun. Maybe one of these das I’ll add it to YouTube.

Sunday we headed off to Land’s End. It was at Land’s End that Chris proposed to me, so it will always be a special place to us. Of course it was cold and miserable that night so we had to stay in the car. And then I called Andrew in my excitement to tell him that I was engaged, and his response was “no you’re not”. Thanks, bro!

We took our pictures with the Land’s End Lobsterman, and then I waded into the water a bit. There were lots of little crabs there. Hard to walk without stepping on them.

And the cribstone bridge. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only bridge of it’s kind. And we’re afraid that they will be getting rid of it. Ok, truth be told, we have no idea what’s going on. But there was a bunch of construction work going on right next to it, and it looked suspiciously as if a new bridge was being built. This makes me sad. I just did a bit of googling and found this. I didn’t read into the 402 page attachment, but it seems as if the state gave them some money for repairs.

Monday we headed home. And on the way, while Chris was driving, he ran out of gas. Fun. Sitting by the side of the road, roasting. Broken AC. Waiting for AAA.

Besides going to the James and Gaelic Storm concerts that I previously blogged about, I got a new car in September! We decided that my Echo was a bit on the too small side. Plus, with the broken AC it was fairly miserable driving around. So, after doing a bit of looking, we settled on a 2009 Subaru Forester. Unfortunately, this means we now have a car payment again and are further into debt, but things are still going pretty well on the debt reduction front.

September also provided me with the chance to meet another Tally friend. Jan and her family were up from South Carolina vacationing in Newport, RI. Tami came down from NH and we headed off for The Ocean State. We had lunch and then did a bit of walking around and poking into shops. While we were walking we got surprise calls from both Minda and Christine. How fun to say hi and pass the cell phone around.

In September/October knitting news, I knit some eyeballs. Super cute. Unfortunately I had them in a candy dish at work, and I guess some people thought the eyeballs were something that they could take, rather than as a decoration like I had intended. I’m now down to only 4 eyeballs. Guess I’ll have to knit some more next year.

The last concert of my month of concerts, was New Kids on the Block. The concert was on the 26th, the same night as the Glass Pumpkin preview. Mel sent me my ticket so that I could try to be in two places at the same time. I went to the preview, scouted out some that I liked, grabbed some dinner while I waited for Chris, conferred with him briefly about ones I liked, and then headed off to The Garden. I missed the opening act, but I was ok with that. I got there not too long before the concert started.

I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in a while. I found it very funny how so many women were still so enamored with this band. It was fun, but I certainly wasn’t screaming for them. (Sorry Mel.) I was glad I went, but I think I’ve moved on.

I’ve blogged in the past about MIT’s Great Glass Pumpkin Patch. It’s an annual fundraiser that they have and we’ve gone for a number of years now. This year we knew we wanted a certain style of pumpkin, so we saved a little bit every month to be able to afford what we wanted. Now that we have it, I’m not sure if I’ve fulfilled my pumpkin wishes or not. I’m still saving, so I guess that means not. Or at least this way we’ll have the option to get another if we so choose.

This year it was raining for pumpkin weekend. They always say that if it rains on the Saturday (the traditional day of the sale) then the Sunday will be the rain date. But what do you do if the forecast calls for rain on both days? They put up a HUGE tent! Luckily when the sale started it wasn’t raining and they were able to move some of the pumpkins out into the daylight for better viewing. As we were headed back to the car the sprinkles started. Perfect timing!

Rather than putting lots of photos here of pumpkins, here’s a link to a layout that I did about this year’s pumpkin patch. You can click on the image to see it bigger.

Glass pumpkin day happened to be Chris’ birthday. He gave me lots of crap about making him get up early, but I think I made up for it when we got back to the house and I gave him his birthday gift- a Wii. He opened it up and started playing, and I took a nap. Later that evening we invited people over for cake and an impromptu Wii party. In recent weeks it hasn’t been played as much, but I think in a few weeks life will quiet down a bit and we’ll play some more.

So as I mentioned earlier, I am an overachiever when it comes to Halloween. This wasn’t completely apparent at home- I pretty much had my standard decorations, although I did add the Yankee Candle haunted mansion tea light thing. Finally! Only took me 3 years. They’ve always sold out so quickly that I had to buy it in August.

My Halloween overachieving transpired at work. In an effort to make the work environment more fun and to encourage interaction between departments, we had a Halloween party. And since it is known that it is one of my favorite holidays, I was asked to help plan it. Ok, go ahead twist my arm. And the best part? All of the stuff that I bought for the party- I get to keep it

So not only was there a party, but as one of the activities there was a cube decorating contest. I decided to bring in my apotheScary from last year. I had seen online vinyl sheeting stuff that I mentioned to Chris I would use as a backdrop. He had something even better! Turns out that Brandeis had overbought some vacuform brick wall for a show. So we took a sheet of that and then Kristin painted it for me. It looks fabulous! So good, in fact, that people have said that I should keep it up year round. (I foresee a fireplace for the winter months, and then in the spring and summer maybe some ivy and flowers?)

But since I’m an overachiever, apparently just having the wall and the apotheScary bottles wasn’t enough. I had to go and get a streetlight. And a bloody/rusty lantern to hang from the ceiling. And then people were commenting that I was really only decorating one wall, and not my entire cube, so then I went and got some of the vinyl sheeting stuff and decorated outside my cube and put in a little cemetery.

I guess it was worth it, since I won, but I spent a lot more than my $50 prize. Good thing I can reuse everything!

Remember how I said I’m an overachiever? The cube decorations are only part of it. I also had to carve the company logo onto a pumpkin and then bake and decorate 4 dozen cupcakes. Yup, self-induced stress.

There also was a costume contest. I was completely blown away by how many people got into the spirit of things and wore a costume. It was fabulous! Funniest was “Super Garbage Bag Man”, Best costume was a lion (fabulous mane!), and scariest was a witch. I went with the Ice Princess costume that I made for Linda 7 or 8 years ago. People weren’t quite sure of what exactly I was, but after I told them they all seemed to get it.

Back at home after the party, I added my new tombstones to the yard, scattered some bones, and hung up the skeleton. (The bones and skeleton had previously been party decorations.) My pumpkins- I kind of took a quick approach to these and very roughly had carved “trick-or-treat” into them. And a few days later I think a squirrel absconded with one of the pumpkin lids. Not really sure where it has disappeared to. Better the pumpkin though than my newly planted bulbs.

And so that brings us to what’s going on now. There’s a craft faire that is going to be held at our church on the 22nd. Chris is going to have a table. I’m going to have a table. I’ve been crazily working for the past week or so knitting, sewing, and making other items. Here are pictures of cupcakes, toadstools, and sachets that are awaiting the lavender that I ordered. Lots more to do. Hopefully I don’t stress myself out too much!

I’m also insanely behind in my scrapping, so in an ideal world I would manage to get a bit more “caught up” with that. Yeah, I know, I should stop dreaming. If only work didn’t get in the way!

Congratulations on having made it to the end. Hope you’ve enjoyed, and maybe I’ll be better about updating more regularly. I’d like to have once a week be my goal. Maybe every other week.