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March 2008

Of Tears


I think this is possibly my favorite song by The Lover Speaks.  At least right now. Obviously, my CD came today and the first thing I did when I got inside was drop my bags on the floor and go to the stereo.  The recorded version of Of Tears has no words; David Freeman felt that singing a falcetto to the music felt more of tears than the actual words.  It's just beautiful.  This record might be 22 years old, but has resonated inside of me from the very first time I heard it.  I'm glad this was waiting for me tonight.

(Oh, and I'm so proud of myself for figuring how to add the html for the audio player :D  Although, posting this is a risk... I may find that I'm the only one who appreciates this.  lol.  Oh well!)

Can we please keep the Spring-like weather?

It was SO nice outside today.  The gargantuan pile of snow that I've shoveled that's been piling up all winter is almost gone!

Despite being glued to the game last night and tonight, I did get a layout done.  More playing with stamps :) (And another layout from Paris.  I want to get some of these travel ones done before I go to China and I'm seriously behind!)


I also need to find a pen that does better on those journaling stickers :-P.

And now, because I can't resist, I just have to say that the Avs of 2 weeks ago most likely would not have scored with 15 seconds left to tie the game and then gone on to win in the shoot-out.  Right now, they're sitting in a playoff spot!  Crossing my fingers that Forsberg's immigration papers go through quickly so he can follow the team back to Denver.

Apparently, I really like Arcade Fire.


I think this is the first time in months that Muse has NOT been #1.  That being said, I'm seeing a lot of consistency here.  Not good.  It's time to diversify.  (Except for Muse, of course, because they're seriously amazing and they also have a new live CD/DVD coming out from the last tour that I'm all giddy over.) 

Since I've already been geeking out over the Avs for 2 days, I might as well add that I was feeling like a kid in a candy shop yesterday when they announced their trades to bring back Adam Foote and get Ruslan Salei from Florida.  I LOVE that Foote hopped on a plane and showed up at the Saddledome as they were already starting, got suited up, and jumped out on the ice with the team before he'd even met most of them.  I love even MORE that they won. Can't wait for tonight... Salei should be playing and Forsberg will be in the building.  This is the first time in a while that I'm not watching the games with a book handy.

I need...


Another art journal page.  This one worked itself into a kind of personal to-do list.  Aside from what I ended up putting here...

I need to remember that hair is shorter when it's dry.  Of course this wouldn't have been an issue if the stylist had actually cut my hair to the length I specified.  It got a bit shorter when she added the layers.  Nonetheless, there's a silver lining... it will be the perfect length by Nicole's wedding so I won't need another trim.  Not that I don't like it now, and it's nowhere near the pre-teen atrocities that I committed while attempting to be stylish way back when.  It's just a bit shorter than planned.

I need to continue avoiding making this wicked recipe I found for fried polenta cheese balls (the recipe calls for gruyere, but I bought brie).  It's for my own good.  I keep telling myself the brie will keep.  It's already mold, right?

And I NEED to see Peter playing with the Avs again. (Come on.  You HAD to see that one coming, right?).  Too bad there's no teleportation to get him from Sweden to Calgary for tonight's game.  I'm guessing nothing before the weekend but hopefully sometime on this road trip.  I'm also thinking the next game in Denver will be a sell-out.  Just a hunch. (I'm such a geek about hockey sometimes.) Have I mentioned that several of my co-workers had worries about my sanity starting about 3 seconds after I read the news that he signed?  Kylene asked me which cheerleader I was channeling.  Actually now that I think about it, she asked me that before I read the news.  I'll blame that on the diet Code Red.

I think I'm going to cry.


This news just broke on  All is right with the world.  For now, at least.  Seriously.  Holding back tears.

Oh, and in other tear-worthy news, my favorite scrapbook store (read that as one very close to my house with lots of good stuff) has just announced that they're closing.  Probably good for my wallet, but still. I'm sad about it.

Did I mention that Forsberg is coming back to the Avs and I think I'm going to cry? Tears of joy, mind you, but tears none the less. 

More proof that I have the cutest nephew in the world.

This is all in my unbiased opinion, of course.  Erin (my SIL) posted this picture of Ben on their blog recently and I had the "awwww" reflex.  I found it so cute, in fact, that I broke away from scrapbooking travel pictures (shock) to scrap it.

My page du jour:


I absolutely adore this kid.  I can't wait until Nicole's wedding to see him in his little tux. :) 

On the hockey front, it was great to see Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny all back on the ice tonight, but the Avs only have 19 games left to pull it together and make the playoffs.  Another nail-biter stretch run, I guess.

Oh, and I just got notice that my copy of The Lover Speaks ships tomorrow.  Woohoo!

When does it go from "creative mess" to just plain old "mess?"

I think this is the tipping point:


The pile on my right-hand side got about a foot tall (okay, so I'm exaggerating a titch) when I couldn't take it any more and I had to just stop and clean before I could finish my project.  I know right-brained people are supposed to be able to work in a mess, but apparently I have a low tolerance.  I did finish, however... after it was clean.


I really love my Papertrey stamps.  Of course, the sets I used tonight were circles.  Was there ever any doubt that I'd end up owning stamp sets like that?  It's like it was destiny.

Now off to finish re-reading The Blue Sword.

I have succumbed at last.

So there's this album from a very little known British band that I've been looking for for years.  YEARS!  I'm not exaggerating in the slightest.  I have a cassette copy that I copied from someone else's copy about 17 years ago and a few mp3s that I found on different volumes of Rare Hits of the 80s.  Aside from that, even in this age of digital downloads, that's the limit of what I've been able to find so I'm stuck looking for the CD.  (If it weren't for the fact that I don't have a turntable in my car, or anywhere other than my bedroom, I'd probably settle for vinyl.)


The thing is, when you do find a copy of the album on CD, it costs an arm and a leg.  Sometimes also a firstborn child.  Tonight, though, I finally found a copy for a price that I could live with.  I bought it.  And honestly?  Considering the fact that it was kind of an impulse purchase, I'm not sorry now and I'm sure I'll be even less sorry once it shows up in my mailbox.

If you've never heard The Lover Speaks this might help - Annie Lennox covered one of their songs; No More "I Love You's". Of course, her version is nowhere NEAR as good as the original.  Most people don't even know there IS an original.  But there is. And it's amazing.  The entire album is fabulous.  And now, I've already talked myself into being super happy about my purchase. :)

P.S.  Despite the fact that the Avs totally gave a point to Phoenix tonight by giving up a goal with 2.8 seconds left, the 12 rounds of the shoot-out (including a win) were pretty awesome.

A little art therapy.

So while I was working (playing?) in my little attic room tonight, I noticed my old art journal on my shelf and flipped through it.  I think that was fortuitous... maybe serendipitous?  I've had a lot on my mind lately and looking at my old entries (I haven't touched it since before I moved to Utah) reminded me that I have an outlet where I can work things out a little.  I pulled out some paint and stamps and just started throwing things on the paper.  After I took this picture I added the words.  It was cathartic. 


I'm keeping this book out.  I need to do this more.

Earthquake? What earthquake?

I woke up this morning to the radio DJs talking about an earthquake.  I was like, huh?  Apparently there was an earthquake this morning in Wells, Nevada that was felt in California, Idaho and Utah.  I didn't feel a thing.  Not the first earthquake I've slept through!  lol.  If the earthquake ever originates in Utah, however, I could be in big trouble since the chances are it would be happening directly under my floor.  I think I'm glad I missed the excitement.

Librarian So I had this movie, The Librarian Quest for the Spear waiting in my mailbox when I got home tonight.  I was in the mood for a movie so I put it on.  I'd never even heard of it before Netflix suggested it to me but it was just a fun, light movie.  It was like Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft only totally not serious.  Bob Newhart is a trip.  Anyway, fun stuff.

I think it's possible that ambrosia *might* have something to do with gorgonzola cream sauce.

Now, I don't have any delusions that anyone really cares what I had for dinner tonight (as if that would stop me from writing about it anyway), but right now I'm feeling that if I had to take the calories that came with this culinary miracle then I need to share how it's done so that others may suffer / swoon along with me.


This, my friends, is heaven on a plate.  I'm not trying to brag or anything... I'm a good cook, but honestly, I had nothing to do with this aside from making sure the sauce didn't burn.  So what is it, exactly?  Pork roast, roasted asparagus, tomatos and gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce.  Aside from the fact that this is the best pre-made gnocchi I think I've ever had (thank you Pirate O's!) the sauce had me all but licking the pan before I did the dishes.  It's SUPER easy to make.  You dump a small carton of heavy whipping cream into a pan (and right there you see the potential, am I right?) and then while it's heating up you crumble in a good sized wedge of gorgonzola.  Stir so that it doesn't burn and the cheese melts and then when it's done, dump in your drained pasta (or gnocchi) and cook it the rest of the way in the sauce.  Soooooooo good.  I can't remember the last time I was this excited to eat leftovers.

With that out of the way, I got my first shipment of stamps from Papertrey Ink today. I say first because I can already guarantee that there will be more.  These are awesome stamps.  So naturally since I had been excited to get these, I had to run upstairs (after I finally pulled myself away from dinner) and start playing.  I ended up doing this layout of my Grandma's birthday celebration at our last family reunion. 


All the flowers and vines are stamped from one of the sets (Beautiful Blooms).  So much fun!  But now, I'm exhausted and I've stayed up too late, so I'll have to wait to play more tomorrow :)

P.S.  I'm kind of glad that I forgot the Avs were playing last night and missed the game... what's up with the crappy play / lack of scoring lately?  Although I am sorry I missed the fights.  I guess there was a little old school Colorado - Detroit rivalry during the game.  I'm smelling a potential trade before the deadline.  I hope they do something... I want a team to cheer for in the playoffs this year and right now it's looking like it's going to be Montreal (of course, since my dad might be reading, I have to say that I'd cheer for Montreal anyway, I just don't get their games on Comcast... lol).

Even on President's Day, walking the street dressed as Uncle Sam might be overkill.

Yeah, yeah.  I'm sure it was a publicity stunt for a sale, but I saw some guy in an Uncle Sam costume walking down 123rd while I was driving to meet Melody this afternoon and I just laughed.

Since I was off work today, I joined Melody and Angelina in their round of make and takes at some of the scrapbook stores nearby.  Angelina has been loving doing her own scrapbook pages... she's so cute while she's trying to put everything together.


Blog_bored_logan_in_lssAnd not to be left out, to the right we have Logan, discovering at a very early age that boys and scrapbook stores do not go together (I think he's yawning in this picture).  From there we went to Pebbles where Melody and Angelina made cards while I wandered a bit and then praised whenever called upon by Angelina to tell her what a great job she did... lol.

Melody had received a gift certificate to a store up closer to SLC that neither of us had been to before (Paper Creations) so for our last stop of the day we drove up and found it and it's definitely a big store.  Mostly we wandered around just trying to get a feel for it all, but for me (and I can't believe I'm about to say this) it was more about realizing that now that I've been there, I don't need to go back.  lol.  Most of what they carry I can either find closer to home or it just isn't my style.  But it's always fun to try new places, right?

Blog_visit_to_piratesSpeaking of new places, tonight on my way home after our little scrapbook tour, I finally dropped by the gourmet food store in Draper that I'd heard about.  It was bigger than I'd expected and they actually had most of what I was looking for and then some (YAY!  no mojo criollo marinade, though. pout.) I finally got my hands on some instant polenta and my favorite brand of veggie chips.  AND... they carry this brand of gelato that I've only seen at Wegman's before.  The pistacio is to die for.  Mmm.  They even have a cheese ROOM!   I'm so glad to know they're there and I'll definitely be heading back now and then.

Finally, despite all the running around to scrapbook stores today, I didn't actually get any actual scrapbooking done (I watched 300 instead.  FABULOUS movie!)  I did finish up another layout last night, though.


And now, off to read a bit before bed... I just LOVE getting up for work the morning after a 3-day weekend.  sigh.

Drive-by layout posting.

It's been a while since I've posted any actual layouts, huh?  I got a chance to play a little today and I did one new one and then re-did one from the Paris album I've been working on that I wasn't happy with (have I mentioned that I can be kind of anal?)

Here's the first one... this is from a restaurant outside of Johannesburg where Nicole and I and her co-workers went one night while I was in South Africa last May.  The Cig Cig Wat was FABULOUS!!! and all of us girls got our faces painted.


The_face_of_jetlagThe second one, as I said, is a redo.  The original is to the right.  I'm shuddering right now.  Seriously.  I kept trying and trying to make it work and went way past what would have been an  *okay* layout to a really bad one.  I'm just going to blame the whole thing on the fact that I was living in corporate housing when I did this one.  So here's my redo...


Much better, yes?  Looking back at this, I just have to laugh.  Dustin was pretty funny on that trip.  I still love the bear.

Nothing says "I love you" like a parachuting robot.


So last night I was finishing up a few Valentine's projects for friends that I knew I wasn't going to see on Valentine's Day and as I was finishing up and putting away my stamps I ran across this little set of Bam Pop parachuting robot stamps that I've had for a long time and never used (does that sound familiar at all? doh.)  I've never really *gotten* using random robots and similar things in scrapbooking and card making (so don't ask why I have these stamps), but what caught my attention was the little heart in the center and I thought, ooh, that's Valentine-y.  So before I knew it, I'd stamped the little bugger and once I started coloring it, I was kind of seeing the fun of it all.  There might be more of this.  So Mel, I hope you don't mind that your envelope has a robot on it.  lol. 

Oh, and in what is definitely a highly unusual event, I went into Archiver's last night while I was treating myself to a little shopping at the mall after work.  I had been looking for a set of stamps that I saw on 2 Peas that A's is carrying now, but they were sold out (and honestly, I was half-expecting that).  So after circling the store twice looking at everything else, I put on my coat and left empty-handed.  I think that's some kind of miracle, really.  You'll be glad (or not) to hear that I made up for that lapse, however, here.  The universe can now return to normal. 

Mom and Dad, you made my day :)

It was such a wonderful surprise to come home from work and find an unexpected box on my doorstep.  I opened it up thinking it must be my bridesmaid dress, but lookie what I found inside!


Fannie May Mint Chocolate Meltaways.  One of my favorite kinds of chocolate in the whole world.  I love that my parents know me so well :)  Thank you!!!  I'm going to enjoy these.  Slowly, though.  There's still that bridesmaid dress I have to wear in April ;)

Happy Valentine's Day :)

ETA: My co-workers LOVED the red velvet cake balls.  I've been emailing out the recipe right and left.  lol.

Riddle me this...

Q:  How long does it take to drive 20 miles on a 4-lane freeway?


I'm not even kidding.  If I had known what the traffic was like before I left work (which I didn't because Nasty_traffic the news-radio station that normally does traffic decided that doing a basketball pre-game was MUCH more important than informing thousands of commuters about massive gridlock up and down 2 valleys), so as I was saying, if I had known I would have stayed there, gotten some take-out, and read my book or gotten a hotel.  But no. I didn't know.  And the traffic was fine for a few miles or I would have turned around and gone back.  So by the time I realized how bad it was it was too late.  And then it got worse.  I had to get off once to get gas (although I should have had enough for at least another day), and then it took 20 minutes to get up the ramp back onto 15.  (I think it would be TMI to mention that after 5 hours I was practically driving with my legs crossed, right?)

So, what's the riddle?  Well, it's a total and complete riddle to me as to why it took so long to get home.  I mean, I've NEVER seen traffic like this.  Not driving home from Duck on Memorial day, not even on the Beltway at rush hour on a Friday before a holiday weekend.  So, after 4.5 hours and we were just starting to climb point of the mountain, I was kind of hoping to see a jack-knifed semi or something that would justify this.  I know it was snowing, but the roads were fairly clear and it was definitely not blizzard conditions (and for those who know how much I hate driving in the snow, that's saying a lot). Maybe there was something and I missed it but I can't figure out why after 5 hours, things hadn't sped up.  It blows my mind.  Anyway, I'm home and my blood sugar is so low I'm about to pass out, so I guess I'll have a snack and go to bed.  lol.  Sigh. It was the perfect ending to a completely crappy day :-P

Hey.  At least this will make a good story, right?

(ETA... I guess there were white-out conditions for a few hours before I got that far north that had everything stalled.  Bleh.  At least I made it!)

Don't ask.

As I mentioned in my post where I shared the valentines that I made after an inexplicable desire to do something Valentine-y, I detest Valentine's day.  So why am I indulging in yet another project?  I don't know.  Maybe by actually participating in the holiday cheer I'll like it better (I can't even type that with a straight face).  Not that I don't normally do something... even if it's just dinner and a movie with the girls.  But this.  This is weird for me.  I blame it on Tastespotting (and Kylene has officially banned me from the site.  Or at least told me that I'm stupid to go there because every time I do I'm printing off another diet-wrecking recipe.  At least I don't actually make most of them.  But I'm getting off track.)

So.  I made treats so I can mail something to my parents and grandpa.  I figured if I was sending the homemade card, I might as well go the whole nine yards.  So, I present to you, Red Velvet Cake Balls.


They're easy to make and they're not bad (and I only had one!  I'm so proud.)  I think I mostly made these so I could do some cute packaging for the bunch I'm shipping off.


Well, I like it anyway.  And, although you can barely tell, I got to play with GLITTER!!! (And yes, I still stand by my quote.  It is like the herpes of the craft world.)


I think I'll package up the rest and inflict them on my co-workers :D

If you want to know how to make them, easy.  Red velvet cake mix - make the cake and then dump the baked cake in a bowl with a container of cream cheese frosting and mix them together until it's fairly creamy.  Refrigerate until it's firm enough to roll into balls.  Once it's at that point, roll up a whole bunch of balls about 1" around.  Get some candy-coating-chocolate stuff (yes, that's the technical term) - I think I used CandyQuick.  Melt it in the microwave (or melt a bag of chocolate chips with about a tablespoon of shortening - it will do the same thing) and then dip and roll the balls in the chocolate.  I use a Wilton dipping spoon to keep finger prints out of it.  That's it! 

Just crossing my fingers that I manage to get out the door early enough to stop at the post office on the way to work.  :-P

And now, back to the music. I'm finally getting into Arcade Fire even though I've had two of their albums for a few months.  Great mood music. I've also been downloading lots of awesome rare Muse tracks tonight.  They did killer versions of Can't Take My Eyes Off of You and Morrissey's Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.   Loving it.

An open letter to the evil, evil product developers at Making Memories.


Please, please, PLEASE stop putting out such cool and irresistible stuff.  My will power is slowly being drained and it's at a dangerous low right now.  For the love of every penny I'm trying to KEEP in my checking account, could you put out a bad product line or two so I have time to re-group and build up my will power again?  Pretty please?

Thank you.

P.S.  To those people at Brachs who put out the Sour Cherry Gels at this time of year - you're evil too.  Just sayin'.

Close encounters with the Karate Kid and other tales from a Friday night.

So last night Mel and I got together at her place for some more scrapbooking.  Since there was a Jazz game last night, Dustin couldn't come over to play with Vic, so he went and rented a movie to watch while we scrapped.  Somehow, he ended up with The Karate Kid.  I honestly can't say that it's been more than a few years since I saw it last (thanks to a bus ride to Kirtland with the singles ward a few years ago), but Angelina had never seen it before.  She was riveted.  I don't think I've ever seen her sit in one place without speaking for that long at one time.

Exhibit A:


Okay, I do have to admit to scooting forward so I could watch the final fight myself.  Some things never get old :)

Also, it appears that Logan is already developing an obsession with paper.  Not just any paper either.  No, he went for the good stuff; the lace paper.  I think the kid has an eye for quality. Combined with his newfound creeping skills, my crop bag may no longer be safe on the floor.  lol.


Anyway, it was a good time and I even finished an entire layout (!) which I'll get around to posting at some point in the future.

Runemarks_2 Anyone who knows me knows that I'm pretty much always reading at least one book and this morning I finished another one - this was Runemarks by Joanne Harris.  I don't usually give shout-outs for the books I've read (although I've read some great books lately... Sharon Shinn and Trudi Canavan are awesome).   This book was very cool, though... different.  Imaginative, compelling, well written and just a great story (very much based on Norse mythology).  If you enjoy fantasy or similar genres, this book rocks.  Seriously.

Holy pink hearts Batman!

You know, I find what I'm about to post a little ironic considering my very strong dislike for Valentine's Day.  But, I'm a sucker for cool projects and I've been feeling really inspired lately by a lot of the cards I've been seeing on blogs (mostly here and here), so last night I figured I'd make some.  After all, I do have a few people that I'd like to wish a happy Valentine's Day.  So here, in all of their badly-lit-glory, are the cards I made last night.


And what's a crafty little post like this without close-ups?


You can't really tell, but lots of Crystal Laquer action in this one...


I think this one is my favorite (shock!  It's got flowers on it... lol).



And last but not least...


So, that's it.  I'm actually also planning to make goodies to go with my cards this year... I'll post those after I make them next week.  I'm not sure what exactly has gotten into me, but at least it's been fun so far :)

One of these kids is not like the others.


As promised, the shot of all the adorable babies at Sunday night's Super Bowl get-together at Jason's (as it was on a Sunday, I'm refraining from using the word party.  Semantics.) 

Now, all of these babies are darling, but something here is a little off.  Oh wait, is that Logan?  Yes, he was doing perfectly fine until they moved the little girl to the center.  Isn't he a little young to be afraid of cooties?  But notice... who's the peacemaker?  That's right.  The girl.

I'm now off to simmer some more about that last call in OT of the Avs game... one ref blows the whistle for a dead puck,  the other one signals a goal.  How many goals by the Avs have I seen called off because the whistle blew as the puck was going in the net but they said it was the INTENT of the whistle (before the goal to stop play) and not the timing?  Something seems to have happened to that reasoning in this instance since they decided that despite the review and a freaking OBVIOUS whistle, they were going to let the goal stand.  Okay, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's almost the playoffs so every point is huge.  I feel better now.

Woohoo. It's Monday.

Looks like I'm being a blog slacker again.  Honestly, though, there hasn't been anything too exciting going on in the last week unless you count working a lot and shoveling snow on like 4 separate occasions.  Seriously.  What's up with the snow?  I know we need the water to get out of our drought, but can't it wait until spring and come down in nice rain that doesn't have to be plowed and shoveled?  Pretty please?  I had another 10" or so yesterday morning followed by another inch yesterday evening, but at least shoveling makes a nice change of pace as far as my workout is concerned.  lol.

So this weekend I worked in Photoshop with Nicole and Mom on the phone trying to get the final version of the photo she's going to include in her wedding invitations (which ended up being 3 photos, actually).  I took the photos on the left and top right, our uncle Merrill took the other one.


Can I say how weird it is to be working in an office where almost no one is even mentioning the Super Bowl?  Most of the people I work with didn't watch it (I guess that makes me the bad mormon of the bunch, huh?) but everyone is talking about who's going to be in the next First Presidency.  I can't be too bad, though, since yesterday we had enough snow that all of the wards in my stake were canceled except mine (of course) and I still went to church!  Between my ward and the people who came from other wards, the chapel was still only half full.  But I figured if I was going to a Super Bowl party, I really needed to go to church too :)  I got a really cute picture of all the babies at the party last night... I'll have to post it once I get it off my camera.

And right now, Nicole is off to London for the month.  Can we say jealous?  Sigh.