Thursday, June 25, 2009

One Last Creative Crunch Before My Vacation.....

Summer has finally found its way into Michigan. After a long cold winter, cool, wet spring, we have hit the normal temps of summer in June. It has been hitting the upper 80s to mid 90s this past week, with heat index reaching 100 degrees.
I'm really not complaining, it was long winter & spring. So to beat the heat & since our whole house isn't air conditioned, I retreat to my creative space in the cool basement!
This is what my creativity led me to yesterday........

I had these baby pictures of my sister's and me. My dad is holding my older sister, Pam. Pam is holding me & my mom is holding my littler sister, Robin. For some reason neither of my parents ever held me to have a picture taken.........I always knew I was the adopted one in the family (wink, wink - family joke!)

Don't even begin to ask me what papers or products I used, as I just started digging through my stash & this is what I found!

Well - dh & I are leaving on vacation tomorrow for a week in Maine!! I am SO excited! I must be off now to finish laundry, packing, cleaning our my car - Libbi's been riding a long a lot lately & there's lots of her fur & slime on the windows to clean!

Have a great week everyone! If I can, I will post pics throughout the week - but I'm not making ANY promises!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Doodle....

This week in my "doodle class" - my mom would roll her eyes if she knew I was taking a class to learn how to doodle! She would get so mad at me in school because I doodled so much in my notebooks she didn't think I was paying attention!
Anyways, Stacy showed us her technique for "freehand" doodling. She told us to start with a letter and then gave us pointers on different things to do with that letter for different effects. So I started with the letter 'v'. Don't know why, but I just did.
As I'm playing with my letter v....I then added an a....then a c.....and so on and so on. By the time I had watched Jon & Kate + 8 AND the Cake Boss of TLC, this is what I ended up with....

Can you tell where my mind is right now? I think this is what my friend Sandy means when she calls me an overachiever.........I sometimes tend to get carried away with my projects.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Memories......Light The Corner of My Mind......

Wow - has it been a year already?? A year since I met all my fabulous CJ friends face to face? A year since I was sitting on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay in 80+ degrees? A year since I ran into the "Brown/San Francisco Twins"?I cannot believe that the time has sped by so quickly......yet I can. It seems to go faster the older I become. Yet I feel that I appreciate things in my life as I get older. I love my family deeply, I know I have a HUGE network of support from my family to my friends to my church family. This last year has brought so many ups & downs, but they always do. I am stronger because of them, because of my family, because of my friends, because of my faith in God.
I am so fortunate to have met such wonderful ladies in my life. Just think, if the computer had never been invented, then the internet.......none of us would have EVER come to know each other. We would have stayed in our little corners of the world going on with our lives as they were and never becoming richer for knowing each other!

So to each of my CJ friends - may our friendship continue on forever and wherever it may take us. Who knows - someday they make a movie about us, eh? But then again....probably not. So here's to dreamin about our next get together.......our next step in bonding the friendship even more. To the love & laughter we have all shared in the past & the memories we will continue to make as time goes by......
Miss you all - but I am confident that we will get together again.......let's make it Michigan next time!!! ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Taking One For The Team...

Yesterday was an amazing day! I spent it working "behind the scenes" all day at church prepping for the concert we were hosting last night, featuring Christian recording artists, FFH. What a phenominal group of people.
I was the "go to - concierge - personal assistant" person for the 2 groups performing yesterday. At one point I was in the great room of our church which is where we serve dinners, host receptions and all those type of those things. The kitchen is off from this room. I was in a conversation with our event coordinator from church and our worship director when the phone began to ring in the kitchen. So I ran for it! As I rounded the corner into the kitchen, the toe of my sandal caught on the kitchen floor. You know, those industrial type floors that have the "grit" mixed into the paint to prevent slippage?? Well, I didn't slip, but pretty much went face first into the oven warmer unit and straight down on my knee!

Isn't it pretty? I have to laugh about the whole thing because I managed to get up and still get across the kitchen to answer the phone all while Rob & Sue are still out in the great room conducting their conversation. I cannot believe they didn't here me crash into that warmer unit!
Oh well, I took one for the team. It was a great team of people to work with all day. The bands and my concert committe from church. We had a few hiccups through the day, but God carried us through.
We weren't able to have the fireworks though because God conducted His own! We had powerful storms ripping through our state throughout the night before and then again about an hour before we were to shoot off the fireworks. But His power & majesty reigned on inside the church as FFH performed and shared their amazing journey & testimony.
Yes - God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!
Can I get an Amen???
AMEN!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Little Something..Something Quiz

I was perusing through blogs this morning while drinking my coffee & thinking of all I have to do today & tomorrow! We are having a huge concert @ church tomorrow night & I am the concierge for the 2 groups & I have tons of donation pick ups to do today.......so here I sit browsing blogs.........I guess I'm just relishing this down time before I get up & really get going!
I found this little quiz over on The Simple Things by Jennifer Stewart. So I thought I'd take a few before my crazy day really begins.

What is your current obsession? Scanning family slides into computer, doodling, enjoying my lazy summer days before going back to teach summer school. For some reason I've really had an obsession with office supplies too....notebooks, paper clips, post its......????

What is your weirdest obsession? Hmmm....everything on my desk in my classroom must be "in its place" - it bugs me when I've had a sub & when I come back I find my desk is rearranged!! I actually hide my favorite pens when I know I'm going to be gone. My bed must be made every morning - can't stand a messy bed!

What are you wearing today? Well, right now I'm still in my jammies. I told you....I'm relishing my morning (more like milking it) for as long as I possibly can!

What would you eat for your last meal? Pot roast complete with potatoes & carrots!

What's the last thing you bought? Creating Keepsakes magazine, notebook, milk duds and a white pen.

What are you listening to now? ESPN Sports Center - NO I'm not watching it, just listening to it because my son is watching it!!

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I'm not really a fan of ice cream (I know - that's a sin in some countries) but if I have to choose, I choose Rocky Road.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? On a beach somewhere warm & private.......anywhere.......

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Greece

Which language would you want to learn? Italian or French.....never really thought about it.

What's your favorite quote (for now)? Trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him & He'll keep your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6

What is your favorite color? Blue - duh. Look at the color of my font!!!

What is your favorite time of day? Anytime that I can spend creating & playing in my creative space.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? A brown dressy type t-shirt I bought in California last summer! Oh.....and the navy blue fuzzy soft fleece pants I just inherited from my son! Yummmmmm.....

What is your dream job? I really love what I do at school, but if I could dream it would be as a designer or teacher of some sort in the "industry".

What's your favorite magazine? Real Simple and any scrapbook magazine.

If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? I'd save it and spend it on my trip to Maine next week!

Do you admire anyone's style? Shabby chic, grunge and altered. I like a lot of Tim Holtz's creations.

Describe your personal style? Same as above....

What are you going to do after this? Taking my shower and then runny the gazillion errands for tomorrow night's concert with FFH!!

What are your favorite movies? Grand Torino - Traveling Pants series - White Christmas - any of the old classics with Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope..........you get the idea!

What's your favorite fruit? Peaches & Mangos. Mmmmmm....mix them together in a smoothy with vanilla yogurt!!

What inspires you?" My camera, favorite blogs, magazines & books....

Do you collect something? Not really.....unless you count my scrapbooking stash.... :) oh & i have a fixation for pitchers - you know....for water, lemonade, wine, margaritas.....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Time

With summer time comes lots of special events and things to do. One of my favorites, if you haven't already guessed, is to go to the beach on Lake Michigan. I try to go a couple of times (more if I can) every summer & just lay on the sandy beach, read a good book & chill. It's the perfect way to unwind, relax & enjoy the day.
Also comes the beauty of the flowers in our yard. We have converted to planting more & more perennials every year. They return year after year & the expense is no where near as great as it is when we plant the annuals that have to be replanted every year.
These showy yellow flowers, I call them "buttercups" because I don't know the technical term, come back every year. We have to thin them out every year as they will take over your flower beds if you don't contain them. But when they all bloom they are gorgeous! Yesterday while out in the backyard I happened to notice this bumble bee happily dancing from flower to flower pollinating them.

Sunday night we had a picnic in the park with 4 other friends. We had fried chicken (yumm-ee!), pasta salad, fresh fruit, stuffed tomato halves & a spinach/pear salad. Of course we also had dessert - yummy 7 layer bars & white chocolate chip cherry cookies! While dining on this feast we enjoyed the bluesy/jazzy sounds of Crossroads. They are a local group who were performing at "The Stage of Kindleberger Park". Almost every Sunday night through the summer there will be a different band performing. I'm really looking forward to 2 other groups - one with the sound of The Beatles and the other the sound of Ol' Blue Eyes - Frank Sinatra. Steve can hardly wait for the reggae band in August.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June CJ Challenge Complete!

Since last week was a cool, rainy week and since I'm leaving next week on vacation, I had plenty of motivation to work on my June CJ Challenge. This month's challenge was to use 3 printed papers and get as many projects as you could from those 3! You were allowed to use as much cardstock as you wanted.
As I posted last week, one of my favorite songs growing up was "Brand New Key" by Melanie. I've had this little silver key in my stash forever & it was perfect for this page. I also used my "doodling" technique that I'm learning from Stephanie in the title for this page. Even though the picture is at Christmas with my mom & my sister, Pam, it is fitting because we always seemed to get roller skates for Christmas & it was a popular song about the time of this picture - maybe a little later.I used 3 patterened papers from My Mind's Eye Dreamy 2 collection. They are the Delightful - "Best Friend Forever" Zest for Life / "So Sweet" Totally Dotty / "A Girl Is" Sugar Stripes.
I can't even begin to tell you the color of the Bazzill cardstock I used - it's been in my stash for SO long & I was SO excited to finally use it up! I had a ton of it.
I cut the flowers from my Slice & I used Basic Grey Bling It's for the flower centers. I also used plenty of stickles in various colors here & there. I used my new punch from EK Success to get the notebook paper edging on my journaling piece.
This is my 2nd project from the same products. This page also has included some
sticky chipboard pieces that I had in my stash = sorry, can't even begin to recall the name of them. I also used sticker letters from my stash for the title. Lots of chalk inks were used in both projects to edge & highlight the projects.
The final & 3rd project I got from these 3 pieces is below. I'm hoping by now that Rocio got her birthday card. If you didn't Rocio = act REAL surprised when it arrives in the mail. I made her a birthday card, but the monogram piece come off so she can hang it wherever she may want to. The beads for the handle are also from my stash - trying to use a lot of it up this summer. It also helps me stretch my imagination in using different tools/textures/fibers and so much more.

I also am working on a 4th project with the few remaining scraps that I have, but that can't be posted until after someone else's birthday next week!
Have a great Monday everyone!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beach Day!!!

Yesterday turned out to be a wonderful day to spend at the beach. Temps were in the 70s & the skies stayed blue all day! Lake Michigan was pretty chilly, but it didn't stop my nieces from getting in & cooling off. Actually Kylie had no problem getting in, but Dani was another story. Kylie tried her best to "help" Dani get used to the water.

This is a wonderful tradition for all of us. We spent the day just soaking up the sun & reminiscing about our life growing up. It's so nice to just share our memories with each other & keep the memories of our parents alive.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let Summer Begin....

Libbi has the right idea - the lazy, hazy days of summer are here! She loves laying out on the porch, especially on the love seat. Well, I'm gonna take a lesson from her & lay around today at the beach with my sisters & nieces. It's kind of become a tradition on the 1st Friday after the girls' & I are out of school that we head to the beach. The weather has been rainy & cool all week, but today I woke up (at 6 a.m. mind you) to sunny, blue skies! YAY!!! I almost didn't get to go though - my son has my car at school working on repairing my air conditioning. He couldn't get it finished yesterday so he left there overnite. No problem, I'll just take him to school this morning. Right? Wrong........he got out of work last night @ 10:30 and called home. His car died as he pulled out of the driveway. So this morning we were down to 2 vehicles with 4 people needing to go somewhere. I got up early & took Steve to work and Shaun got up early & took Chad to school & then he went to work. It was a little chaotic & upset the normal routine in sooooo many ways we won't even go there, BUT in the end, I still get to enjoy my day on the beach!
I'm also going to really get to test out these new glasses. They have the tint in them that changes in the sun. Since we haven't had much of that around here & I just got them on Monday, I'm excited to see how well they work! I've been wearing them all week & haven't been too sure about the "new look", but I must admit that they are growing on me. I do like the little bit bigger lense - they are very comfortable.
Well - I must be heading off to the shorelines of Lake Michigan! I will be back later to post pics of my day. Hope you all enjoy your FRIDAY!!
Toodles!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hey, Hey We're The Monkees!!!

Okay - so that was kind of random......but it got your attention & now the song is stuck in your head isn't it???? The last few days' have been absolutely wonderful!!! School's out for summer! AND I've been able to work in my creative space and have some absolute fun. While I am working on click on Pandora.com and listen to MY favorite music. It is such a cool website - you just type in a group or a specific song & it will create a radio station for you w/o commercials with songs along the same genre that you've entered! If you don't like a particular song, just click on the "thumbs down" & it will quit playing that one forever!!! LOVE IT!!!
So - The Monkees, Herman's Hermit's, The Beatles & The Beach Boys' - to name a few - have been serenading me the past couple of days!!
Now onto what my creative mojo has been producing......
#1 - Doodle Class with Stephanie Ackerman of Homegrown Hospitality fame. It is one of my favorite blogs to follow, just click on the link and you'll see why.
About 2 months or so ago she offered this "Online Doodle" Class. I have always been a doodler, so I thought, "why not?". Lets take my doodling to a new level. Well it was supposed to start May 15th, but due to circumstances beyond Stephanie's control = it was delayed, then delayed again, and then yet again. Product for the class wasn't being (& still hasn't) shipped. SO this past weekend she made an executive decision for us who signed up (& if you go to her blog you can still sign up & join us) to start without the product. Just use what you already have!!!
This is my first completed project............
YILM (as my cousin would say). Now, Stephanie provided the b&w doodle & I just did the coloring & embellishing. BUT she provided different ideas & techniques to snazz it up. I stepped outside the 3 colors she suggested & added my own twist to it. I also inked the edges of the project to make it "pop" some more!
#2 - now onto my next project. Remember a week or so ago I was working on another project. Well I finished it AND I made a video of it, but I can't seem to get it to upload, so here are a few shots of the finished project.
It's an altered book - you just cut out the guts of an old book (I buy them for $1 @ the local dollar store) and you alter it to a travel journal. DH & I are heading to Maine for a week at the end of this month, so I made this journal to take along.
I made one last year when I went to California and I love going back through it. Having it with me during the vacation makes it so much easier to jot down the things we're doing and the feelings & sights & sounds & smells are fresher in my mind than trying to remember them when I get home!
Again - YILM!!!
#3 - Now onto the final project. One of my students has been in the hospital for a week now. She's 18 years old and her lung collapsed very suddenly on her last Monday night! No warning, no previous issues, just "pop" and it was flat. After many long days of testing & guessing & finally figuring it out, they did surgery on her this past Sunday to repair the "leak". She will now be in the hospital at least until Thursday.
This young lady is a very strong, focused and determined person. I admire her greatly & love her to pieces. I've been posting back and forth with her on FB and I noticed one of her favorite quotes: "Live - Laugh - Love"
So this idea popped into my head on Sunday and I've spent the last 2 days playing around with it. I think I've finally gotten what was in my head completely out in this project.

I am waiting for a few of the embellishments to dry completely, plus I'm without a vehicle today, so I will probably take this up to her tomorrow. The longer it hangs around my space, the more I keep adding to it, so I should probably get it to her soon before I do too much to it!

Well, I still have some creative mojo running around in my brain. The song, "Brand New Key" has been stuck in my head all morning & I have an idea for a layout involving an old pic of my mom, me & my older sister. I used to play that record, yes an old 45, until my mom would scream to shut it off! She couldn't stand that song! Last year I was in World Market with my DH shopping & this song came on the XM radio. Steve came around the corner to find me smiling, yet crying. Memories of my mom had come flooding back to me at that very moment. I could hear her as if she were standing next to me, "Paaaaatttttiiiiiiii - turn that thing off!"

Oh, in case you were wondering.....I got outbid on the AccuCut Die System. It still went pretty cheap - but I would rather spend my money in Maine...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, Monday, Dah, Dah, Dah, De, Dah, Dah....

Good morning everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful, restful, funfilled weekend! Mine was a good one. Especially when I realized Sunday night that I didn't have to get up for work in the morning so I continued working on a present for one of my students (she had surgery yesterday) until 11:30 last night! Now that's is usually WAY past my bedtime, but the creative mojo was a flowing & I just didn't want to stop. I'll post a pic of it later when it is all dried & completed. This student graduated with my son last year from high school & has kept in touch with me. She's a remarkable young woman. Last week she ended up in the hospital on Monday night with a collapsed lung!!! Weirdest thing - they put a little apparatus in her to help inflate the lung, but by Friday realized that the lung wouldn't stay inflated, so they did surgery yesterday to try & repair it. The news I've heard is that all went well. She expects to be in the hospital for 3-5 days yet. So I'm making her a little something-something to hopefully cheer her up
Over the weekend we had a local "online auction house" open up. They had a big grand opening on Saturday which I wasn't able to attend, but I started browsing online Friday night. Well, I found this little "diddy" as posted above up for auction!! It's an AccuCut Die Cut system and it comes with 88 various dies. The bidding was only @ $20!!! So I thought about it & thought about it, but decided "no - I really don't need this. Saturday night Steve & I were talking about it & he said to check it out.......so I did. It was up to $50, so I put in a bid for $51. It's still holding & the auction ends tonite! This unit (as shown above) starts @ about $2,000 for the machine & a starter set of dies. So we'll see if the bid I put in holds out until closing @ 8pm tonite!

It's a rainy day today here, so I plan on spending my time inside crafting & probably some cleaning. I have to finish my above mentioned project AND I finally get to start my online doodle class!!! It's been held up because supplies for it haven't made it to the teacher yet. She has finally decided to start the project without these supplies & has sent me the 1st email to get started today! I can hardly wait! So I guess it's off to the shower for me & then on to the creative corner for me! Toodles all - have a great Monday!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Vacation Begins!

Today is the start of my summer vacation! I am SO ready for some time off, even if it's only for the month of June. I start teaching summer school in July, but that's okay. It's only mornings & 4 days a week. Every summer I declare Friday as beach day & I plan on doing it a LOT this summer. Anyone who wants to tag along is always welcome!!
My nieces & I started a tradition a few years back that our 1st Friday after school is out is a BEACH DAY & we are heading to the beach next Friday since they have another week left of school.
Today I slept in, had my coffee & then I will be heading out to set the stage at church for Sunday service. Our theme for the summer is "Haven Summer Vacation" so I'll have lots of fun setting up a summer scene this morning.
Steve & I are taking our 1st vacation without the boys' at the end of this month. We are heading to Maine for a week. We've never been there before. I am getting SO excited! We'll be 1 block from the beach. We are renting a unit from a friend of mine @ school. She told me we need to do the 4 L's.........Lobster-Lighthouse-L.L. Bean. :)
So what are your plans for the summer? Hope they include lots of fun & relaxation with your family & even some time for yourself! Whatever you do, be safe & have the time of your life!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad's 75th birthday. He's celebrating in heaven with mom. I still miss him so much.
This picture was taken in 1972 at my grandparent's 45th wedding anniversary dinner. My mom is in the foreground. My dad loved his plaid sport coats, his plaid pants & OH! the lovely green, yellow & white checked golf shirt. He loved to be a snazzy dresser.
So dad, I know you're watching down today. I feel your presence in my heart & I still hear your laughter in my head.
Happy birthday dad - love you!!!