Thursday, December 31, 2009

Local Goodies

I promised to share my goodies I found yesterday at the local scrapbook store here...I am so addicted to the vintage-style that I seem to gravitate towards it!!

...Adorable "playing cards" from October Afternoon for Christmas layouts...

...I also found myself drawn to the Valentine's papers with the new year right around the corner & found some fabulous vintage pages from Fancy Pants' Vintage Valentine Collection! SOOOO Cute!!!
  ...They had tons of "Heartwarming Vintage Collection" Stickers & embellishments! I found a fabulous domestic goddess postcard collection with a little stamp set & a sheet of mini-calendar images that the store had used on this great Maya Road flip book!

...And here is the little make-n-take I did yesterday too. It was really quite clever! They had taken an office memo pad & cut in 2-inch strips with a paper cutter.

Then we used paper to make a little cover over it & embellished it with an adorable owl & a 2010 little calendar inside!

...This is the little frame that I did for Nick's business partner & the other is for the lady that takes care of my MIL.

That's it for now...Catch ya in 2010!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A surprisingly good day!

Greetings from Topeka!
I had a surprisingly good day today even though it started off a little iffy with the hubby in a "mood." But I had already told myself that I was going to get out today & do something for ME & I did!

First, I went to the local scrapbook store - Scrapbooks, etc. It is really a nice little store & I got lucky enough to come in on a day that they were doing a great little make-n-take! (I'll post photos tomorrow as I don't have my camera with me right now.) I found some fun little treasures to share with my "partners" at home (aka mom & Kim) & got a feeling for some products that aren't carried at home that maybe the Scrapateenies could work into some kits!

After that, I headed to Barnes to pick up a couple of my favorite publications by Somerset; grabbed a coffee & lunch at the cafe & then off to the store for chili fixins!

When I got home I collaged together a couple of frames for last minute Christmas gifts. It felt good to craft & get away from all the negativity at the homestead!

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve & we have "early" dinner reservations in this "party" town.
So, Happy New Year to all of you! I wish you all a bright & prosperous 2010!!
Raise a toast for me too as I'll be sawing logs by midnight!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Complaining from Kansas

Oh what a joy it is to spend time with the in-laws! {wink, wink} My sister/brother-in-law aren't too bad to hang around & they have so graciously opened their home to us so we don't all have to crowd into the MIL's (mother-in-law) house w/one bathroom for 8 people! And the older cousins are fabulous with Maggie!

But, when it comes to spending days with my MIL I could just shoot myself in the foot in order to get away from her constant negativity! She could find the downside to any situation or thing! Like today, she was glancing through the photos on a wall calendar. The image she stopped on was a sunset over the desert in Africa & a single elephant in the foreground. Instead of the typical, "wow, what a beautiful shot!" she said, "Now isn't that sad? That poor animal out there all alone!" HUH??!!! And there is absolutely no reasoning with her on things! She just gets more defensive & then accuses you of attacking her! She was grumbling over something that happened between her & her caregiver (Edie - who is a saint to put up with all the BS, but a little odd in her own right!) & when Nick tried to find out what was bothering her, she bit his head off & accused him of criticizing everything she (MIL) does! She's nuts!

I am hoping to get out for a little bit tomorrow & the next day to wander through some thrift shops & the local scrapbook store. I need to find some fun little trinket for my mom & sister to make me feel less guilty for what they are going through right now as I write all this!!

On the Home Front (Scrap-a-Teeny Girls)
They are busy pulling our merchandise out & moving the furniture we lugged in to close our little shop at The Barn by the 1st. We went in so excited to be there; to start a new community of paper-crafters in the area, teach & carry unusual items. But we just weren't getting the kind of traffic, support or interest we wanted. We found ourselves scrambling every week; working our tails off to get more stuff into the shop, that we weren't even enjoying it. We found that we were spending money on things that had nothing to do with scrapbooking - like furniture & decor nic-nacks just to make rent each month. We were promised by the manager that she would help promote us & our classes, but when I asked the advertising person to send out an email to the client list, it wouldn't get done. We know that if we could have afforded to stick it out longer, we would have gained a little more of a following through word of mouth & such, it was just too time consuming on the things we didn't want (furniture, working the front register, etc.) & too expensive to keep going in that venue. So, after the first we will re-group. We will take some photos; put together more kits & organize some classes (not sure where we will teach them yet!) & get our "store" filled up on Etsy.

I am looking forward to re-grouping at home too. I consider myself a pretty good multi-tasker, but with all the business stuff, I was really feeling overwhelmed! Now that we don't have to scramble to find the odd thing to fill the shop & can focus on kits, books & such, I should be able to get a better handle on things again! And because I have been so busy trying to make this business thing work, I have had to drop EVERYTHING else - including some friendships that have been pushed aside. (I know I've been just as guilty of not checking in with people over the last few months, but I believe that I am not the only one that has a phone or email address these days!! Huh, sometimes you learn the hard way who really supports you & who doesn't in your endeavors. Sorry to bitch, but I am tired of feeling guilty for being busy & working hard on a dream!!)

Whew! Sorry! Went off on a tangent there! I need to get off of here for a little bit or this entire post will turn into more of a bitch-fest!

Catch-ya later (probably still in Kansas)!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Red & White Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

There's about 6 inches of snow on the ground here & it's still snowing off & on! Yesterday we had near blizzard conditions here in Topeka, Kansas! Crazy rain/snow mix for the morning quickly turned to snow by mid-morning & didn't slow down until "sun-up"!

We drove out from Denver on Wednesday ahead of the storm hitting town there to visit with Nick's mom & brother for the holidays. The drive was a little intense in some areas until we reached Hays, Kansas with icy roads & strong winds. But despite
the conditions, we made it in 9 hours!

Yesterday I captured these beautiful cardinals pecking at the seed still visible in the snow. Cardinals just signify Christmas to me! Aren't they gorgeous against the snow! I hope to capture a few more shots today when the sun comes out!

We're getting a slow start this morning at my brother-in-laws & Maggie is anxiously awaiting us to get dressed & head to Grandma's to see what Santa has brought for her. We are still waiting for my other brother-in-law to arrive from Utah this evening to finish up the festivities.

Although I miss my parents & sister back in Denver terribly, it's nice to be with some form of family & loved ones during the holidays!

I wish every one a Very Merry Christmas with loved ones & I'll check in throughout the week from here!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Vaca Next Week

Things have been so crazy this week that I thought I'd better get on here real quick to let everyone know that I will be on vacation next week.

We are taking our annual trip to Maui & although my hubby will have his Mac, I don't plan on getting on it too often.

So, if ya don't hear from me, "see ya" in a week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

In the House of Scrooge!

Every year it seems that Christmas time sneaks up on me! I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week & Christmas is only 1 month away already!

Since we go to Maui every year the first week of December & then trade off going to Nick's family's home in Kansas every other year, I always debate about putting all the decorations out to only enjoy them for 2-3 weeks. I love to have it all up & get my Holiday Mojo going, but I am the only one that does it in our house! My husband is a Scrooge! His family always celebrates the holidays, but they never had any traditions!

I have so many fond memories of decorating the tree with my family as a child & melancholy ones of taking it all down after the new year. Every year on Christmas Eve, my sister & I were allowed to open one special gift before we went to church. Then we'd be up so early that we'd have to wait for mom & dad to get up lest we get in trouble sneaking downstairs to see what Santa brought us! We always started the morning opening stockings, then have a traditional breakfast of Eggs ala Golden Rod (egg whites in a white gravy over toast w/the yolk sprinkled on top! The BEST!). We would spend the rest of the morning tearing through presents & laughing at the reactions. After that, it was hanging out in our pjs until about 3 when we would get ready for dinner - usually a big Smithfield Ham & all the trimmings. I loved those days & I want my daughter to have as many fond holiday memories as I do.

This year has already been no exception for my scrooge of a hubby. But I had the wonderful help of my 3 1/2 year old this year to hang the ornaments on the tree instead of taking them all off like last year at this time! We didn't even get a "hey, that looks great guys!" (Albeit, he had other things on his mind when he got home at 7pm, but still! Bah Hum Bug indeed!!) I am determined to show Maggie all the magic of the season & maybe her joy will bring her silly father around to our side!

Happy decorating!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

blah, blah, blah, BLOG!

Just checking in real quick.
No offense, but sometimes it's really a chore to hop on here & blog about things - especially when I am updating 2 blogs at once! The business blog is definitely getting all the attention these days!

Nothing new to report on the home front! just that I am domestically challenged lately! Between crafting new stuff for the shop & searching for deals at thrift stores to fill the shop & driving back & forth from Denver to Castle Rock on a daily basis, my home life has taken a turn for the worse!

I never see my husband anymore because I eat dinner & then retreat to the studio to work more! I am so far behind on laundry that I will probably be taking dirty clothes with me to Maui in a week (just kidding, but it sure feels like it!) And I think my daughter thinks I'm a stressed out nutcase all the time since I don't get to have much fun with her lately either! I just can't seem to find the balance! How do all these other crafters with families (especially small children) do it?? When do they find the time to re-group??? I know that my sister feels the same way as I do - that we are busting our butts in the business, & slacking in our "life" to ensure that the business that we feel so passionate about gets off the ground soon! We (mom included) really want it to succeed & we don't have a lot of time since the $$ can run out at anytime! Ugh!

Sorry, I didn't want to get into the work stuff, but that does seem to be my life lately! On the other hand, I am half-way looking forward to our annual trip to Maui. Why "halfway" you ask? Well, I've put on about 20lbs since Feb. & I am not looking forward to a swimsuit, let alone hanging out in one next to my ultra-skinny & fit new sister-in-law! Other than that, I think that Nick, Maggie & I could use the time away to re-connect as a family & not think about work for a week!

Well, I've written a lot more than I had even thought existed in my exhausted head today, so I think I had better stop now before true diarrhea of the mouth sets in! C'ya!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My New Fashion Accessory!

I haven't been blogging too much these days - between our little cruise, Maggie being really sick earlier in the month (couldn't tell by the bucket head pict!), Nick's mom having health issues & getting ready for The Scrap-a-Teeny Open House & filling the shop with goodies it's been hard enough to keep up with the business blog.

On top of all that, both Nick & I started getting a cold on the first day of our cruise (Oct 1st) & it is now 11/2 & he's all better & me, well I have been fighting it ever since! So, even though Maggie's head's in the pot above, I really feel like I'M in there!

Today, I finally called the doc! I am tired of sleeping with my mouth open because I can't breath through my nose, & my husband is tired of my snoring! The doc said that I have a stupid sinus infection prescribed some antibiotics & sent me on my way.

But these days when you go out sniffling & coughing everyone looks at you like you have
The Plague!
I actually saw a lady at the pharmacy cringe when I coughed (into my elbow I might add!) in the waiting area! Really?!!! Get a grip people! It's just a cold & the flu is just the FLU, albeit a highly contagious one, but still! It seems that everyone around me has some form of icky sickness this fall & they say it's going to continue for quite some time. If everyone would follow a little hygene these days, maybe so many of us wouldn't be hacking up a lung!

Ok, I'll stop complaining!
I really had just wanted to write to let everyone know that I was still alive,
but breathing through plugged nostrils,
& that I have added a new accessory to my wardrobe...

Really, it's the latest trend!
It goes with me everywhere!
You can get so many different boxes now that it even usurped my Burberry this fall!
And, I hear that the new must-have for your Holiday Party Look this season
is a HONKER as bright red as Rudolphs!
What a trend-setter I am!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ode to Trunk...

I had to say good-bye to a dear old friend the other day...I know it's silly, but I am going to miss my old steamer trunk!

I've had it since I first moved out of my parent's house into my own apartment! It has been lugged up & down countless stairs & into many elevators, cars, garages & basements over it's short life-time with me. I can't even imagine the stories it could tell of it's previous life & the mysterious C.J.P!

Perhaps many journey's across the oceans to far away & exotic lands? Or across the country by rail? Oh the bygone era of sophisticated travel! When it was frowned upon if you DIDN'T bring your entire wardrobe in one bag! If I could travel like that, I'd have no trouble figuring out what to pack - just bring it all because you CAN!!

But alass, I was lugging my beloved trunk one more time into our shop space at The Barn, when two kindly sisters spotted it! I hadn't even made up my mind to sell it yet! We made it about 100 yds inside the door & it was sold! So sad to see it go, but they saved us the trouble of one more set of stairs! (The porters on the trains & ships must have been super studly!!! My beloved trunk weighs a ton!!)

So, I bid farewell to you, my beloved trunk. I shall miss your squeaking wheels, rattly drawer handles, funky hangers & wonderful vintage smells! I hope the sisters restore you to your original glory & you find another loving home! Maybe we'll meet again, in another life, on board a beautiful ship, traveling the open seas together in all our glory!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The End - or Begining of it - is in Sight!

I just can't believe how crazy life can get!
I have been going full-speed ahead since I can't even remember!

The Scrap-a-Teeny Girls (mom, Kim & me) will move into our space at The Barn on Thursday, October 1st! We have been doing a lot of business-related work for the past few weeks & not a whole lotta "fun" work! We have managed to squeeze in a few creative sessions here & there, but mostly it's been all business! (More info on The Barn move-in on!)

I am feeling totally overwhelmed these days! As I've said in the past few posts, I've been busy with the STG stuff, trying to get this Alice project done (which is sooooooo close, but I am not sure it will get in the mail before I leave) & prepare for a cruise with my hubby for our anniversary!

So, on top of the planning, the packing, the organizing, the finding a pet-sitter, the clothing delima because I haven't lost any mother-in-law is not doing well.

(That's her with my late father-in-law in the 60's)

So, to add to the stress of mine & my husband's already stressful life lately, we are worried that something might happen to her while we are abroad! I purchased travel insurance (Nick wasn't too happy that I did that since he thinks it's a waste of $$) at the last minute & hope that all will still be well when we return! It's so hard to watch your parents get older! Nick seems to think she'll be ok & that they will opt out of doing a triple bypass because she's in her 80's, has type 2 diabetes & they aren't sure if she has any veins in her legs to work with during the surgery.

It just sucks that it all hits the fan at once! He's super busy at work & is in dire need of a vaca, but is stressed about leaving work stuff on top of family stuff! I am stressed about not leaving too much for my mom & sister to take care of with the STG shop on top of Kim taking care of Maggie while we're gone & the family-in-law stuff & hoping that my husband doesn't end up in the hospital too!!!

It's just never-ending!
I know, deep, deep breath!
Everything has a way of working out!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Alice fell down the...

No! Not really! But I did scrap the paper mache Alice.
She just wasn't working for me!

The deadline is drawing near & I am 90% done! Hooooray! I got super way-layed with new Scrap-a-Teeny Girls biz - check out our news at the other!!

But I have pretty-much finished Alice's "room;" her body is done, I just have to make her dress & figure out the hair. Then I have to figure out how to secure her into the room so that she doesn't come loose during shipping to CPS!!! All that has to get done before the 1st! Only 1 1/2 weeks! UGH!

So here's a peek at where we stand...
I created the floor & chairrail out of balsa wood & then covered it with Alice in Wonderland "wallpaper" I found on this great "Paper Minis" site. On the table is a photo of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in the Tim Burton version coming out this year (CPS suggested we draw inspiration from the new movie). I was originally going to use a shadow box for the room, but they are expensive & Alice was too tall for them! So, I opted to go green & up-cycled an acrylic package I had!

I am super excited to finish this project & get it off in the mail before we leave for our cruise on the 3rd! I hope I can do it! I'll post more pics when I finish it all up!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Too Many Irons!

I have been swamped! We (The Scrap-a-Teeny Girls) have been super busy looking at a couple of co-ops in Castle Rock & think we've found a venue that we are trying to get into before the holiday rush begins! So, in addition to ironing out the money & set-up needs for one of these places, we've been making things like crazy! From cards, to books to tags to's scrap time ALL the time! It's fun, but a little overwhelming when we all start brainstorming or get inspired by something else along the way! All I can say is FOCUS girls!!!

With all the craziness over at STG, my Alice project has been waylayed a little bit. I decided to toss out the paper mache doll, as it was too big & just wasn't coming together for me. I re-sculpted her face, hands & feet from Sculptey & am much happier with it. Now I need to finish her body, clothes & decorate her room! All before October 1st!

At least I have a fun day planned at the Ball Park Market with my BFF Rachel Carlson for her b-day! That will be a very nice day & a much needed break from crafting!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 39 of The Alice Project

I spent the afternoon at my mom & dad's yesterday & managed to get Alice's body formed/stuffed. I used 16g wire for the armeture, foil to fill in the wire so that I can bake her later & then old nylons to wrap over the wire. This allowed me to bend her into the position of climbing through the glass of her box.

It was easy to do, but time consuming since I was dealing with the distractions of Maggie & our dog Tula visiting grandmas for the first time! But it got done. I was so mad at myself though - I completely forgot to grab the PM out of the fridge! So I wasn't able to start sculpting! Grrr!

After the Magpie went to bed last night, I began laying the paper mache onto my form for Alice. I had a little difficulty keeping her in the foam block I set up to help me - the leg wires kept poking through! Grrr! And the PM didn't want to stick to the nylon very well. I think that in hindsight, the traditional paper-strip method would have been easier for this project. Oh well, live & learn right?!

She is now resting nicely on my desk, drying naturally. But I think later today I will pop her in the oven to speed things along. I can't start on my shadow box until a few things I ordered online arrive, so it's just a waiting game today.

Mom, Kim & I are going to check out a local store in Castle Rock, Sassafrassa, to see if we can afford to rent some space to sell our Scrap-a-Teeny Girl creations. Wish us luck! We need to move some stuff so we can afford to make more! Our Etsy listings have expired, but we haven't put more up because we're not sure that that venue is working for our medium. We'll see.

Project: 30% complete
Deadline: 10/1
Days remaining: 39

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Taking Shape

After a little more research on doll making & some trial & error with the paper mache, I believe my Alice is starting to take the form of a doll!

I decided to make 2 heads - one with sculpted features (to the left) & one with no features (above) because I have this image in my head of painting the face in a little bit of an avatar/Japanese style, but I don't know if I can pull it off with out having to resurface the head to paint over what I screwed up! Ugh! It's always the first try at something that makes you so timid!!

Either way, working with Activa's CelluClay is fabulous! So much better than the strips of paper in the glue mess! AND it can be sped-dry in the oven! So instead of days, it only takes hours (depending on the thickness of the layers). Simply fab when you're on a deadline!

As the heads are "cooking," I am forming the lower half of the legs & trying to figure out how to do the hands. I don't think I can do the fingers that small in the CelluClay, but I might try it anyway. I desperately wish I had a doll push mold, but in some ways I think that's cheating!

Well, off to enjoy a glass of vino, brainstorm a little on the shadow box & then cook dinner with the hubby!

Project: 5% completed
Deadline : Still 10/1 to ship out!
Days remaining: 40

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alice is in the Building!

It's 11 pm & in an effort to avoid another sleepless night, I have been brainstorming all day & well into the evening on the "Alice Project," as I have affectionately come to call it today!

After running an idea past my mom this morning, I think that I have the basics figured out on the external structure of "The Project" & spent all my free time today researching how to make a papier mache art doll for my Alice.

First of all, it's hard to find any online help on making these art dolls! It would appear that artists who specialize in this rather odd area don't divulge their secrets too willingly!
And! Who knew that papier mache could be so complicated! There's the original "French" way of making pulp first & then sculpting with it. But it takes a day or two to make the pulp! Then there's the way we did it in grade school with the balloon & strips of newspaper, but apparently, that way is outdated & probably wouldn't work for this anyway! So off to the library I went with Maggie in tow!

Once there, the meager selection of doll books depressed me & the papier mache titles were slim pickins too! The only book I found was "Make Something Ugly for a Change," by Dan Reeder. He describes an altogether different way of using paper, paste & cloth than what I'm used to! But, I'm game! I'll give it the 'ol college try! At least he has talent & wonderful instructions!! His collection of "merry" monsters is outstanding! Check it out at

Later, after a little more research online for a back-up plan, I began to sketch my Alice's face this evening & think that in honor of Tim Burton's macabre style & upcoming version of Alice in Wonderland, MY Alice will have a little dark side to her. I found inspiration in several drawings of Alice, as well as some Japanese Anime images. We'll see if I can replicate my Alice-face onto the form once I have the doll done!

I think I can safely say that I am on my way to being 10% done with the concept! I am hoping that once the doll is done, the rest will just fall into place!

See you tomorrow, when I will be ass-over tea kettle in goo & newspaper!

Come with Me Through the Looking Glass!

I went to bed last night, picked up the 3rd book in the Twilight series, read my obligatory 5 pages before my eyes began to shut. Off went the lights! I was out cold in 10 minutes when Nick decided to snuggle up to me & wake me up! Grrrr! It's so rare that I fall asleep that fast! After that, I was unable to get back to sleep because visions of Alice were running around in my head!

You see, my mom & I have decided to enter Stampington Publications call for projects that center around Tim Burton's upcoming rendition of Alice in Wonderland.

(Don't you just LOVE Johnny Depp!)

I had all these ideas of how to accomplish my project going through my head that I just couldn't get back to sleep! Ideas of art dolls, painting & glass kept blasting past my mind's eye & figured it was a sign for me to get to work on this crazy challenge! My only hope is that my brain-candy can be transferred into a workable piece of art!!!

Project started: .05%
Deadline: October 15th, 2009
Days left: technically 51 (but will be gone 1 week in Oct., so really only 44!)

Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Validation Feels Good!

I've won a little contest on "A Peek into Yesterday's" website. It was a tiny little challenge to create a layout using photos of your parents as children. I say "little," because there were only 4 entries, but it still feels good to be the winner. And it's always nice to have your talent validated, right! So now, I have a little $20 GC to spend in their store! A nice little bonus for doing what I love!

I've been busy these past few weeks - been up to the family cabin with my fabulous sister & great BFF for a little R&R & crafting. We had a wonderful time hanging out, enjoying the views, the weather, the crafting, the girl talk & a little too much food & drink!

After finishing another travel journal for Scrap-a-Teeny Girls (that makes 3!), I decided to work on some of my personal stuff. I had a fun time trying to fit 3x5 photos onto a 7 Gypsies "city scape" album! I am still in the process now! Ugh! I think I need to reprint them into a smaller format & re-think my layouts. Either way, I covered the album w/some vintage-style papers & postcard images & now just need to fit my picts in. It'll be great when its done!

On a more personal note, I am in the lovely process of trying to lose weight before October 3rd. That's when my hubby & I are heading to LA to board a ship for a little anniversary cruise to Mexico! I hate exercising & dieting, but I feel poopie after gaining 15-20lbs over the last 5 months & really need to get back on track! So I am off to exercise right now! Have some chocolate for me everyone!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scrapbooks, life & funny pink stuff...

"Road Trip"

It's been a busy couple of days for me!
I have finished one of my travel-themed albums & now I am hard at work on the 2nd one!

(Just a little sneaky peeky of the vintage-style Hawaii album I am working on now!)

In between all this wonderful time I've had working on these albums, I have been uploading new photos to The Scrap-a-Teeny Girls' flickr album! Most of the work we haven't sold will hopefully be up over the next couple of days as well!

We are in the process of trying to figure out if the online venues (Etsy & eBay) are worth our time & money to sell these creations of ours. So, over the next week, we three will check out some of the local shops that showcase local artists. I'll let everyone know soon!

On a personal level, I am behind on everything! The laundry keeps piling up; the dishes never end, the fridge is looking a little bare & there's this funny pink stuff growing in the upstairs toilet! I have a long list of things I WANT to do around the house - like re-decorate the kitchen into a fun milk-theme, but time & money are holding me back at the moment. But that's a whole other blog! ;-)

Over the weekend, I got together with my BFF Rachel & went to the Fancy Tiger's 3 yr anniversary party. It was great fun & very inspiring! Afterwards, we visited the local Goodwill for some great treasures! I am just itching to paint & sew some great new purses! Oh, why can't I be a better multi-tasker like my mom!! She's always got at least 3 projects in the works!
Nick got roped into going rafting with his older brother & family who are up at the cabin for the week. So I took advantage of him being gone & dropped Maggie with Auntie Kim for the day/night & tried to get some work done! Didn't accomplish too much, but it was nice to have some uninterrupted time to do nothing in! Then Kim was kind enough to bring Maggie back to me on Sunday & stay for an afternoon of scrapping. Neither of us accomplished much that day either! We did watch some Bond together as well as "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Scrapping in front of the tv is fun, but doesn't help the juices flow!

My wonderful Laughing Magpie is still as busy as ever & I have decided to change her 1/2 days at school 2 days a week to 2 full days so that I might regain some of my sanity & not feel like such a life-slacker!! Plus, she wakes up everyday & asks me if it's a school day! She just loves it!

Nick is crazy-busy with his new office build-out & will hopefully settle down by the end of August when they are hoping to be officially moved in! Until then, he has little time for anything leisurely! We keep talking of a road trip or camping, but he just can't leave for even a long weekend until everything is under control! I am hoping to plan something as a surprise for when things settle down - probably an impromptu camping trip nearby.

Right now, everyone is in bed but me & I am listening to the rain cascade down the windows of my studio. It's such a peaceful way to end a busy day!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sisters, Scrappin', Wine & Scary Movies!

This has been a pretty good week for me!

With my brother-in-law (Kim's hubby) out of town for the week, Kim & I took advantage of a little girl-time (with kids) & I crashed at her place for a few days. (I think my hubby, Nick, secretly looks forward to this time of peace & quiet AND he gets to sleep in the middle of the bed, where it's not sagging!)

It's also fabulous for me, since I get to have lots of girl time (gossiping, griping & sharing those girly moments!), & scrap most of the day with my sister, who is first & foremost, my BFF! Sure, I have another BFF & lots of great gal-pals, but Kim always comes first (sorry BFF #2!). It wasn't always like that - we fought like cats & dogs when we were younger. Funny how time changes things! Now, we hardly go a day without talking!

It wasn't all smoo
th sailing this week though - We had to deal with a very active 3 yr-old, a "bored" tweener, & a couple of crazy-barking dogs. And to top it all off, plumbing issues for the better part of a day! But amidst the chaos, we scrapped, played Bananagrams with cocktails in the evening (SOOO much fun!) & we watched 2 very stupid "scary" movies - we should have skipped the IFC ones & just watched the re-makes of Friday the 13th & My Bloody Valentine! Then we wouldn't have felt so cheated after-wards! (Don't bother with "Dark Mirror" or "Surveillance "!) Since our boys never like to watch the scary ones, so we like to get together for the terrifying ones! So far, nothing beats The Strangers ('08) for scaring the crap out of us!!!

The other benefit of hanging with her this week, is that we started on some new Scrap-a-Teeny Girls work! We are both working on travel albums to sell on ourEtsy site! Here's a little sneak peak of mine...
(Road Trip travel album in chipboard & acrylic)

We also brainstormed with our pal Rachel about possibly finding a local venue to either display/sell or buy outright our work to get some more exposure. The Etsy thing isn't going so great. We will talk to mom when she returns from a week in Ohio with friends to see whether we want to give eBay another shot or try the local venues. Either way, we had a great couple of days working on our projects together & swapping ideas.
Needless to say, there's nothing like a sister! I love you Kim!!!

PS - check out my Flickr Gallery by the end of the weekend! I should have some new work up by then - I have finally finished putting together my albums from our Italy trip from 2 years ago!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Scrap-a-Teeny Girls

Just a quick little note to let everyone know that we, The Scrap-a-Teeny Girls, have just marked down our Teeny Albums on Etsy by 15%! Pass it on!

Hope everyone has a happy & safe 4th of July!

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the Spotlight

Just a quick one today...I meant to get on yesterday to toot my own horn, but life got in the way! So here it is today!

I am in the GCD Studios Spotlight this week,
so check it out at

I'll hop on a little later with more from my travels & what I have in store for some scrappin' time!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Strangling & Stinging

Greeting from Down Under!

Yesterday, we had a FABULOUS time on our rain forest trek! We met up with Steve (no not the Croc guy, he's dead ya know) at 8 & climbed into a Land Cruiser, picked up a few more people to fill the 8 seats & headed to the bush! That's right, I said "the Bush!" Ha! Did you know that the "bush" refers to the area of jungle/forest before the climate changes into the rain forest? Absolutely beautiful! Full of towering eucalyptus trees & cedars, ferns, palms & more! Usually this is where we'd see kangaroos, but it's getting late in the season for them, so no luck yesterday.

When we got to the actual rain forest, the entire scene changed! jungle so dense that you couldn't imagine Atherton driving his 100 cattle & family across this untamed land hundreds of years ago! Or any of the number of explorers that were commissioned to do map & rail surveys! Our guide took us on a couple of walks through the rain forest - the first one being the most treacherous...Some of you might know that Australia is home to hundreds of deadly species, from plants, to bugs, to fish & reptiles & we got to see one of those things yesterday. There's a plant here called the Stinging Tree & it only grows here, in North Queensland & over on Papau New Guinea. It looks like a harmless little plant with yummy raspberry-like fruit growing from it. But it is extremely painful if you touch it or brush against it! The entire plant is covered with little silica hairs that are filled with poison that causes such excruciating pain for up to 4 months! Legend had it that a surveyor & his horse galloped through a patch & the horse went mad in seconds, having gone head first into the plant. They had to put the horse down on the spot! The poor rider was in hospital for months! So, Steve-the-guide was keen to point those out on our walks so as not to have a casualty!

Here's just a little list of the things we could have encountered on our trip:
1. Stinging Trees
2. River Crocs
3. Red-bellied Snakes - Aggressive snake w/deadly venom if not treated immediately
4. Taipan Snakes - also very deadly & aggressive
5. Cassowary Bird - not just any bird, but a SIX FOOT ostrich-type bird that will charge you & lash out at you with his middle finger that has a protractable 3" claw on it!!! Sounds like a Velocoraptor to me!!!
6. Deadly plants that seem to contain sustainable food to eat, but if you do you die

That all I can think of, but I am sure there is more! This land is crazy! But the Aussies don't think twice about it anymore. They are raised to be aware, but not terrified of it all.

Overall, it was an amazing trip. We stood next to a 1000 year old palm tree that looked like rhubarb stalks with palm fronds on it. We walked around a 750 year old strangling fig tree that had encapsulated a 900 year old cedar & dropped its vines to secure itself to the forest floor as it slowly sucked the live out of the host tree! We saw the type of vines that Tarzan used; other vines that corkscrew around another tree until the other tree grows right over it & looks like someone lifted the tree & twisted it!

We also saw a man that gave up all his worldly possessions & went on walk-about one day & disappeared into the bush. Then one day he was seen running into town. He does that now every few days, although he doesn't run anymore, to gather supplies. Everyone in Cairns knows his story & one of the hostels puts him up for the night & gives him a shower. One year, the local Today show tried to interview him. They waited for him to come down the mountain to do the interview, but he wouldn't stop for them! He just kept running & the reported had to run with him! Amazing!

This truly is an amazing country! The people are super friendly & the accents are thick, but oh so fun to listen to! Today I hope to hang in the glorious sun for a bit, watch the harmless birds fly around me & absorb some more of the culture with no Stinging Trees nearby!


Friday, May 29, 2009

G'Day from Down Under!

G'Day everyone!
Here I am posting from half-way around the world!
Yep, I am in the Southern Hemisphere; specifically, the resort town of Cairns in Northern Queensland, Australia!

We boarded the plane in Denver at 5pm on Weds. evening & after a gruelling 18hrs on 3 different planes & roughly 5 hours in various airports, we arrived in sunny Cairns just after 10 am on Friday! Actually, the 12 hr leg of the flight from SFO to Auckland wasn't as terrible as we thought, but the final 5 hour flight was a little tough! We were all getting a little wiggy & ready to jump from the plane the last hour or so! It probably would have helped if I had slept more, but the onboard entertainment was too enticing! Over 72 movies, more tv, books, music & games! I never even picked up my book!

We all made the dreaded mistake of falling asleep before dinner yesterday & awoke in the middle of the night wide awake - nothing that a sleeping pill couldn't cure! i was up before dawn & grabbed my camera & walked down to the Esplanade to capture the sunrise!

Not sure what today will hold for us. It's cloudy, but hot & muggy. So rain might be in our future. We're all fairly tired still, but will head out in a bit for some breakfast & plan our day!

I was hoping to upload a photo or two, but the card reader I borrowed from my dad isn't working! Grrrrr!

Catch-ya later!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life & Stuff

Does life ever slow down?!

I can't believe I haven't been on here in some time!
Sorry about that! No excuses really. Just life.

I've been busy working on some mixed media projects for gifts &
scheming up some ideas for a few DT's & magazine submissions.

Other than that, just pluggin' away at the daily grind!

Creatively, I have enjoyed a few group crops with some new gal pals & as always, my mom & sis! It's so much fun to hang out with other creative ladies & share tips & life stories!

I went to my first junk market last weekend & scored tons of ephemeric pieces to add to my eclectic collection! Can't wait to try some transfers with the stack of Ladies Home Journals I found!! My friend Rachel also introduced me to a FAB store - the Colorado Antique Gallery! I spent a lot of money there & was inspired to re-do my kitchen this summer! She's such an enabler! (Love ya Rach!)

Lovely Rachel at the Ball Park Street Market

My dad would love to put this on his wall! But I couldn't afford it!!

Time, time, time! Where does it go?

These were the most gorgeous windows!!! We all wanted them!

On the flip side, as usual, I am super busy with Maggie & home stuff. Nick & I will be leaving for Australia at the end of the month &I have been gearing up for that. Trying to drop a few of the 10 lbs I have gained recently so that I can wear my existing shorts & things! UGH!!! I hate getting older! It takes twice as long to get those pounds off!!

Off to ride the bike!
Happy trails!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Need I Say More?

Here's the problem!!

Just wanted to post a little humor in all the pandemic hoopla!

Happy Friday everyone!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eye Candy Delivered!

I just got a package in the mail!

*GASP More!*
It's the kits I ordered from Crop Suey
my first subscription issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors!

Lots of new papers & elements to play with!
Yippppppeeeeee! I'm so excited!
More great ideas from other artists!
Can't wait to have a minute with them all!!!

I'm a lucky duck!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Drink Me?"

This must have been similar to what Alice felt when she drank that potion that made her so HUGE! But I have not stumbled into a world with marching sea birds, crazy tea parties or a rabbit who's so late for his important date!

I have stumbled into the world of ATC's (Artist Trading Cards)!!

And it's all because of my BFF, Rachel, who went to a stamp show the other day here in Denver & became even more intrigued with these little works of art. So, we've decided to start our own swap with our monthly crop group. I blame her for my new obsession! She's such an enabler!

The day before yesterday, I stewed over what I might do for our first theme, "All About Me" until I came up with my "I am the Queen of..." idea. I was really excited about it & did some digital work on the computer with my picture & even found a new technique or two to try. Even though I think most people will start their trading at our May crop, I wanted to either have mine done or at least have the parts to work on for our upcoming crop.

I was even more thrilled that my friend Melissa invited me to scrap at her house yesterday & I would have all day to work on the parts...Anyone who has a preschooler knows that it's virtually impossible to get things done without interruptions! Don't get me wrong, Maggie is a wonderful kiddo & she can play on her own for good periods of time. But yesterday, she was into everything! My only uninterrupted time was while she napped! And then it took forever to get my mojo on!!

Se la vie!
At least I had a wonderful time visiting with Melissa & seeing her lovely home, but we didn't get much done!! The worst part about scrapping with friends is that you talk so much that you don't get much done! The best part about scrapping with friends is that you talk so much that you don't get much done! Tee Hee Hee!

Oh sorry, I kind-of got off subject there! Back to the tiny world of ATC's! This world is truly amazing but surprisingly hard to begin! It's hard to work in such a tiny space & yet be a little more artistic than usual! I managed to get the photo & a few digital elements printed the right size, but it's still hard to think in such a small scale! To fit all the elements that I want on my cards AND have room to write about myself, I wish I did have some of Alice's shrinking potion! Then everything would already be tiny! I can't wait to hear what my other swap-pals have to say about their experiences with these tiny gems!

I'm off to start my day...filled with tiny things & a 7 Gypsies class this afternoon taught by the aforementioned BFF, Rachel Carlson!

It's a gloomy, rainy day today - the PERFECT day to be creative! Hope you find your magic potion today!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Early Morning Ramblings...

This could be a long one...My brain seems to want to ramble today!!

I awoke this morning at 4 to my little one crying from a bad dream. So after I settled her back down, I went back to bed & tossed & turned until 5. I just couldn't turn my brain off! Why does that always happen in the early hours?? I was thinking about my sister & her troubles; my parents & how generous they are & how I hate to see them get older; a new ATC swap my BFF Rachel is starting; a few contests & challenges I want to work on; how I need to clean the house & my studio; give Maggie a haircut; get dog food & do laundry...round & round it went! I was also thinking about a disturbing dream I had just before I woke up to Maggie crying.

It was one of those dreams where you can't remember the details, but you remember the "feeling" of the dream. Do you know the kind I'm talking about? What I can remember is that I had been hanging out with my friend Rachel one minute & the next we were arguing about something & we got so irritated that we were no longer friends in the end! *GASP!*

I awoke w/a sense of profound sadness & despair from that dream! I wondered what we could have been so upset about that it would break-up our new friendship. And what ever would I do if that dream were reality! I can't tell you how much her friendship has meant to me over the last 4 months! She has taught me so much & made me grow in my creativity as well as pushed my confidence level up a notch. She is such a wonderful, caring, giving person & I am all the better for knowing her. She is the friend that I have searched for in my adulthood - the one that I have so much in common with that we can each pour our hearts out to each other when needed or even tell the other she's being a giant flake! She's a lot like my sister in that respect! (Of course no one can replace my Kimmy, but Rachel is a close second!) GAWD! I hope we NEVER have a falling out over anything! Ya hear me Rach?!!! My sister had one of those with someone & it really did cut to the bone. It seems now that she's very cautious when making new friends.

Speaking of my sister, Kim. She truely is an amazing lady & I worry about her so much lately as she goes through some stuff at home. I hope she knows how much I respect, admire & love her! In fact, I think I will end there & go call her & tell her that!

Hopefully the day brings more happy feelings & lots of productivity!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Under the Wire!

There's nothing like slipping a project in just under the wire!

For some reason, today I got a bug up my butt to try for a challenge on Moxie Fab World. It would really have been no big deal, if only I had decided to do this challenge say, last week when it was posted! ARGH! But no, I was too busy with other stuff to check it out more! So, today at about 6 pm, I printed my photos & set them aside. Then I went about my usual evening - fix/eat dinner, bath Maggie, do dishes, start laundry, etc. So, when I finally had the time to escape into my room, it was already 9:30pm & I had until midnight MST!!!

Well, I got it in at 12:01, so hopefully I will still qualify! I had a lot of fun working on it! The theme was "A Stitch in Time" & they really wanted us to use stitching as the focal point for the project. Most of the other submissions did cards with flowers & such as the focal point. But I decided to have a little fun with it & did a layout with Maggie & me.

The pix were taken at the park last week & she was cracking us both up! So, the title of my layout is "You Keep Me in Stitches!" with a photo of me surrounded by stitching. It may not be what they are looking for in order to be the winner, but no matter what,
it is wall-worthy in my house!

Off to bed now! I'll clean my room tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Spring!

There's just something about Easter that makes me feel like spring has finally arrived - even if there is snow on the ground, which is very typical of Colorado. Not this year though, it was just rainy & foggy all day. But today, the sun is shining, the leaves on the trees are popping out & the flowers are coming up! I love spring because everything looks so new!

Speaking of new (well new to me anyway), I just discovered a great magazine - Simply Handmade! I picked it up the other day because of it's recent spread on fairy-tale projects (having a daughter leads to an endless supply of princess stuff!) & was pleasantly surprised by ALL of its contents! There are so many wonderful projects in there - from cards, to layouts, to home decor! Even a great section on "green" projects! I think I dog-eared most of the mag!

In addition to all of that, they are having a FANTABULOUS giveaway - either a Sizzix Big Shot or a QuickKutz Silhouette! Which is great, cuz I have been debating about saving my pennies for a Cricut Expression, but after reading a little more about the Silhouette, I am leaning towards that one more! And if I were to win one, I'd have more moo-lah for other fantabulous things!! Like some Graphic 45 papers or WebstersPages collections! Or maybe a search on Etsy for some vintage ephemera to add to my projects! Oh! The possibilities!!! Check out he giveaway here:

Today, Miss Maggie has her 3 yr checkup! I can't believe she's 3 already! She is so tall that I think her Britax seat will be pitched by the end of summer! She's super funny & so VERY verbal that mommy sometimes feels like screaming just to hear my own voice over hers! But seriously, I love her so very much & I can't wait to hear what the doc thinks of her these days!

After that, I am hoping to hang out with my wonderful sister, maybe craft or watch a movie. But it will all depend on the Mags - I can't remember if she'd due for shots today - sure hope not! If so, she will definitely be in a mood that may require some TLC & maybe a trip to the park for a little distraction before nap!

That's it for now. I hope everyone is enjoying the new season as much as me!
Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Right this way to the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet!

Of course, they don't really call them "AYCE" anymore, just simply a "fixed-price-reload-your-plate deal." You know the ones - sometimes a Sunday brunch with loads of sugary confections, cook-to-order omletts & sliced roast beef. Or maybe it's the lunch buffet at your local pizzaria, Indian or Asian cafe. What about the ones that are under the guise of a Souper Salad joint??? Ya think you're eating healthy, but you always head to the pasta or desserts first! Which ever one you've chosen, your eyes are ALWAYS bigger than your stomach & you walk in with the plan to try everything you see, but never can accomplish such a task!

This entry really isn't about food, but do I believe the "eyes are bigger than my stomach" thing applies to me when I am gathering my materials to host or attend a crop!! Today was going to be a perfect crop day! I had some friends coming over around 10am; about 5 hours of uninterrupted time while Maggie was at preschool & a few more when she got home. It was going to be the day that I finished my dad's birthday mini-album - I only had 8 photos/4pgs left & then start something new, maybe a DT call or a new challenge. So, it should have been easy-peasy to get it done in say, the first 2 hours of the 6-7 hours we planned, right? WRONG!!

IT TOOK THE WHOLE TIME!!! How silly is that!!! Of course, the first hour or two were spent showing recent work, sharing ideas, catching-up, snacking & lots of me getting up & down for supplies to use/share! But, I still had 4-5 others to work, right! I just couldn't get my mojo on!! It took me one hour to do 2 photos!! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love cropping with groups because of all the time spent sharing! But, I am usually very strict with myself when it comes to crop time! When I get those few precious hours without too much responsibility, I have the primal NEED to work! I even HATE to get up & use the restroom or make something to eat!

With all that said, even though I was at my own house, I brought ALL the supplies out that I needed to finish my little project AND start another! I DO THIS ALL THE TIME! Whether I am at home or at a store or another friends house! Why can't I see the forest for the trees? Rather, the trees IN the forest??? I need to have the ability to EDIT what I think I can accomplish & KNOW what I can in the amount of time I have! UGH! It leaves me feeling bummed about not getting my projects done! I can work quick under a deadline, but not under the fun & silliness had during a crop! NUTS! (I really do need to hang out with Rachel more so that I can learn to travel with a toolbox & a shopping bag to these things!)

Hmmmm, now that I've read what I've put down here, maybe I need to edit this a little too, hee hee!! I think I'll end it here! Nighty-night all! I will be dreaming of my next project & all the things I think I need & WILL leave behind at the next crop!!!

PS - I did get the all the photos on the pages of the mini-album & few tidbits written, but it's not done yet! Maybe in another 4-5 hours? ;-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm in the Spotlight!

I may not have made the design team at GCD Studios, or won the drawing for my layouts using sewing stitches at WebsterPages, but I am being featured on both sites!

At GCD, I was 1 of 40 women chosen to be spotlighted on their site over the next 3 months! They haven't posted any of the design team or contest winners' work yet, but here's the link to the idea page where I believe things will post eventually...

Over on WebsterPages "Inspire Me" site (, my layouts are running in the featured slideshow on the main page (around #30/100) or in the actual "Featured" section in the photos area of the site.

This is very exciting to me & I couldn't have done it without the little "pushes" I got from Rachel! She is such a wonderful friend & never stopped encouraging me to try for all these various things. I am so lucky to have her in my life! She's right up there with my mom & my sister as the women that inspire me! Thanks Rach! I love you!

Speaking of Rachel, I gave her her little surprise yesterday before we went thrifting - a cupcake made from clay & other embellishments. She seemed very touched by it! We had such a great day together running in & out of various thrift stores. It was very fun & I am looking forward to doing it again soon!

Later that evening, Rachel & her hubby, Rich, came over for dinner & it was a perfect end to such a great day. I think that the boys got along very well & I hope that we can plan some excursions together soon!

Well, I am off to the park with the Magpie in hopes that she will get tuckered out enough to let me get some work done today!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I am so excited - for a few reasons!!

1) Today, I am hanging out with my BFF, Rachel & we are going thrifting! She is the queen of thrift! I am going to be VERY good & only spend a wee bit since things are very tight these days! I am hoping to find an old metal dust pan to repurpose into a cool photo holder that I saw in Cloth, Paper, Scissor' Studios magazine. Other than that, I'm just along for the ride & her wonderful company!

2) I have made a special surprise for her, but I cant say what it is until I pass it along to her - just in case she logs in this morning! (I'll post photos later!)

And finally,
3) I am hoping to be chosed for one of the GCD slots they are announcing today. Unfortunately, I won't be home to participate in the "Party" all day, but I hope to get a call from them at some point! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

That's it for now...just a little hint for Rach if she's reading:

"Let them eat cake!"
(not really said by Marie Antoinette, but fun nonetheless!)