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Feeling the weekend love.

I love the weekend... sleeping in, having time to exercise, reading, watching TV and... shopping!  Not that I went nuts or anything, but I did go out and get some summer clothes on sale as well as the Martha Stewart border punches I wanted at Michael's (50% coupons rock).  I also love new toys because they inspire me to work on layouts.  Here's one I just finished (using said border punch, of course!):

An Ode to Brahms

I can't believe it's been almost
3 years since this night.  Wow time flies.  I used some older pictures in the hopes that looking at them would inspire me to spend more quality time with my treadmill.  I think it's working.  I might even go wild and attempt to find a time when the one and only weight machine in my complex fitness center is unoccupied.  I know, that's kind of crazy talk.  But this is the first time since I sold my Bowflex that I haven't had a gym handy and it's killing me.  These pictures definitely want to make me find something that will work, though.  Oh to have a decent metabolism.  Sigh.

Well, I'm off to play some more.

P.S.  Steph - what are your thoughts on all of us moving back to the same place again so we can have more play nights?  lol.


Canned Art

So my boss went into labor late Monday night... 2 weeks early!  My co-worker and I are flying solo now and hoping our training sticks :)  So far so good, but it's been super busy.  Speaking of work, one of the things I've been working on for the last week is our team's contribution to a fun project for the community.   Our charitable giving committee came across this website and thought it would be something great for us to do as a company.  So we've been planning, shopping and constructing.  This afternoon we pulled in all of the food that our team has purchased and got to work building our canned food sculptures.  Here's a little peek at the action:

Blog - Canstruction

Can you tell what it is?  Despite careful planning and work, the person who donated and cut the wood we were using to level the top forgot to cut out the half circle that would make it look like a bite out of a sandwich.  Unfortunately, without that I think it looks like a triangle of cans.  lol.  It's supposed to be a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.  The guys next to us did Delicate Arch.  I hope the symbolism of our sculpture wins it for us, but either way, the food bank will love all the peanut butter :D

After work I stopped at the store to spend our left-over money on extra food to give to the food bank when they come on Friday and then came home and didn't accomplish much else thanks to the arrival of a fresh shipment of books from Amazon.  One day I will darken the door of the library, but I love the immediate satisfaction of having them on hand with no wait-lists and instant ability to re-read too much for me to go there.  Sigh.  So instead of working on any projects I read a book.  Oh well!  I did make some tweaks to a layout I did recently, though.  This one has been bugging me ever since I posted it.  It just needed a little something more and I finally decided what I wanted to do.  So voilà!

Layout - Off Road Take 2

It's hard to tell with the bad lighting in the photo, but the scalloped cardstock is yellow.  The added color made all the difference.

Well, I have a company meeting super early tomorrow (do the offices in Europe and Australia really need to be able to call in?  lol) so it's past bed time for me!


Post-holiday crash

The only problem with the 3-day weekend is having to turn the alarm clock back on for Tuesday morning.  One of these days I'll actually act like a sensible grown up and not allow my internal clock to get all screwed up just in time to go back to work.  Maybe next time... lol.

I saw Indiana Jones yesterday - loved it.  I also loved that the first preview was the Twilight trailer.  It was fun to listen to the buzz of all the people around me talking about it as it was running.  For me?  Seeing it full-size gave me goose bumps.  But if you have to wait until December for your #1 choice movie of the year, Indie is a nice way to pass the time; the snake scene was classic and I thought Shia LeBoeuf was great. I also thought they did a pretty good job of making Harrison Ford seem ageless.  He can still bring it!

While continuing to mess up my internal clock, I did actually make progress on some projects for July.  I also did another Africa layout... this is from the Apartheid Museum:

Price of Freedom

Granted... this isn't about America, but I did a layout about freedom on Memorial Day!  (It was accidental, however.  lol).

Another good thing about 3-day weekends?  It's one less day until the next weekend!  (Do you get the feeling that work has been busy lately?)


I think I'm addicted to Iron Chef America.

A few years ago, I watched the original Iron Chef religiously but then I managed to break free of the addiction.  I'd heard about the American version but never seen it until this weekend.  I'm fascinated by it.  It doesn't matter that I have a severe mental allergy to all things seafood and 3/4 of the battles I've watched so far were seafood battles.  It's a compulsion.  I'm also not sure if I'm more enthralled or amused by the judges.  Watching this, though, makes me realize that no matter how much of a snob I can be (or seem to be) about food, I'll never be a gourmet because of my seafood issues.  I'm a faux food snob.  That may be worse than being a true food snob.  Of course, that didn't stop me from ignoring my sensible frozen dinners again tonight in favor of mojo beef with sweet corn tomatillo and guacamole.  It's no shark fin soup, but I enjoyed it. :)

So before I head back to watch tonight's brand new episode of Iron Chef America, I thought I'd post the other fairy tags I finished this weekend.

Birthday Fairy Tag
Thinking of You Fairy
P.S.  Is anyone else who uses Typepad totally and completely annoyed by the new changes?  Great in theory, but my defaults and compose settings are trashed and editing anything you do is a total pain now.  I'm wishing I'd taken them up on their offer to beta test so I could have commented before this release went live :-P


A few fun fairies for Friday

And not just fairies, but pointless alliteration in blog titles. I guess the fact that it's the Friday before a 3-day weekend that's making me a bit whimsical :). 

Last night I stamped some fairies and then did some coloring during Ugly Betty and Grey's and afterwards I was trying to figure out something to do with them and I ended up making a few gift tags. 

Fairy Tags

I have a few more that are stamped and waiting to go on tags, but I had to give up working so that I could get a little sleep at some point last night... lol.

Anyway, I'm ready for the weekend. I'm hoping I can get in a matinée of the new Indiana Jones at some point and maybe even work ahead (gasp!) on some projects for July. That might be too industrious, though, so we'll see.

Happy Friday!


Let me just state that I never watch American Idol. However...

...it's almost impossible to live in Utah and not get a little interested in the whole Archuleta thing so I watched this week.  Wow that kid has an amazing voice.  I can't wait to see where he goes with his talent.  I wasn't disappointed that he didn't win, though, since Cook was awesome too - I have to admit, I'd be inclined to at least listen to a record he put out since he leans towards the type of music that I enjoy.  So in honor of all things music, I did a layout about my personal love of music.  I've been thinking about doing this since Steph posted on her blog a while ago about her thoughts and I thought it was cool how similarly we felt.  So...

Pure Bliss

Despite the fact that I thought they could have done a great AI finale in an hour instead of stretching it to two, I just have to say... was anyone else laughing as hard as I was over the whole Guru Pitka / Mike Meyers thing? That movie looks so hilariously stupid that I don't think I'll be able to resist going to see it. And Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. as the Pips? Enjoyable.

And now, off to remind myself that today is not, in fact, Friday, no matter how much it feels like it should be. Sigh.


I so did not want to get out of bed this morning... I just laid there listening to the rain and wishing it was Saturday... lol.  I don't know what's up with me this week; maybe I'm ready for a vacation?  Hopefully the 3-day weekend will help :)

So... since I have nothing else interesting to say, I'll post another layout!  This is another recent favorite from my cousin Ryan's wedding in December.

Ryan and Jill

Now I just hope that they're done blowing up balloons for our CEO's birthday soon. They're using a machine and it's really loud!


I think it's going to be one of those weeks...

...where each day kind of blends into the next until on Friday it feels like one humongous and painfully long day.  Just a hunch.  Right now I'm just crossing my fingers that my boss doesn't go into labor early.  Of course she's due in about 2 weeks or less so I'm trying to learn everything she knows as fast as I can.  It's nice to be challenged, though, and I'm definitely being challenged right now.

In any case... here's the layout du jour. 
Off_road

Obviously another Africa layout (with the top cut off)... this is from the Lion Park my first day there.  We did a game drive and although we were mostly visiting the lion camps, there were a lot of other animals there too.  My favorite of this bunch was that cheetah that got right up close to us.  Gorgeous!  Simple layout, but even though I feel like it needs something more, everything I looked at adding just seemed wrong so I stuck with simple.

With that, off to do some work and pay for my habit er... hobby.


Another week at the office...

You know what one of the best things is about Monday?  It's a whole week before it's Monday again.  I'm taking 2 seconds to just breathe... it's crazy today and I needed a break before I started to get overwhelmed.  I'm picking up a bunch of new projects all at once and learning all of our systems at the same time so I'm just trying to keep my head on :)

This is a project that I've had done for a while but never shared because I've been too lazy to get it into sharing form :)  It's a mini album I did from when Steph and I went to Dallas in November to celebrate her 30th.
Texas_mini_album

This was tons of fun to make... I did it all in a weekend.  I cut the pages out using a US States dingbat font and my QK Silhouette and I traced the shape onto chipboard and cut it out for the covers.  The closure with the star and ribbon on the cover is magnetic :)  I was feeling especially clever when I did that.  lol. 

Well that's all of my mental break time for now,  time to get back to work!


Lazy weekend

I thought about going to see the new Narnia movie yesterday, but I decided that was just too much effort... lol.  I did manage to put together the little Ikea table I got last week to put in my guest room and I mounted some rubber alphabet stamp sets that I've had sitting around unused for a few years so I guess I was somewhat productive ;).  I need to remind myself to use my alpha stamps - they tend to get ignored in favor of my other goodies so I think I'll set them out where I can see them because I love them and I have tons of them!  Speaking of scrapbooking, I did do a layout yesterday between mounting stamps and watching TLC.

Playa_del_coco

I realized that I still haven't scrapped most of my Costa Rica pictures... this layout uses photos that were taken two years ago tomorrow. I can't believe it's already been that long!

Well, I'm off to research DVD drives... Brian sent over some links on Friday.  Time to upgrade the old computer a bit. :)


Tales of a complete and total lack of will power.

Maybe that would be better stated as a lack of common sense.  Wednesday night I started reading The Host as I was eating dinner.  I stopped reading when I finished the book at about 3am.  I also had to get up early the next morning to get to a meeting at work.  So yeah.  Not so smart, huh?  (But the book is FABULOUS!!!  Not that I expected anything less, of course.)

So I think to myself, self... you need to go to bed early tonight to make up for that.  Like right after Grey's.  So, um, yeah.  If you can see the time on this post, it's 12:20am as I'm writing.  Whoops.  But here's the thing.  I had to stop at Michael's on the way home - there was just one thing I wanted.  They didn't have it.  However, I decided to wander the aisles while I was there just in case.  Lookie what I found!

Blog_threading_water

Why yes.  That is the ever elusive Fiskars Threading Water Border punch that's sold out everywhere and backordered at the manufacturer.  In fact, there were two of them!  I contemplated buying the other one and making a killing selling it on ebay, but I decided that would be too much effort and it would be better to leave it for someone else to find the same joy I did at seeing it hanging on the rack.

So why does this make a difference?  Did you really think I could just go to bed after Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy and not play with it?  So I had some photos and the beginnings of a layout that were sitting on my desk from Tuesday night and I felt the need to incorporate this punch somehow.  Four hours later, I sit here still.  It's a sickness (at least that's what my mom says).

Sweet_indulgence

So with that, I think it's time to finally go to bed.


In honor (finally!) of our first heat wave.

After the rain and hail on Monday, I'm excited to see warm weather, getting warmer every day!  So in honor of the sun and all things spring, I'm posting one of my favorite layouts that I've made in a while.  This one is from our last family reunion in Monterey, CA the summer before last.

Looking_for_butterflies

I started another Monterey layout last night - hopefully I can finish it tonight.  Because that would make it so that I can continue procrastinating editing wedding photos and getting them uploaded with prints ordered so that I can do Nicole and Brian's wedding album.  I can also continue to procrastinate making the sample and kits for this year's family reunion album.  Doing things last minute is so much more fun, right?  lol.  I think it's time to set goals and make plans and stuff.  We'll see how that goes ;)


It's a CRAZY day!

I have 7 meetings scheduled today, one of which I just worked through attempting to put out fires.  sigh.  Last minute changes to major promotions are not fun.  But, scrapbooking is fun.  (Nice segue, huh?)  So I'm posting a layout I did this weekend.

The_wycliff

This is another Africa layout... Nicole and I went to this super chic hotel called the Wycliff for brunch my second day there.  It was amazing.

And with that, back to the craziness :)


Mmmm... cupcakes.

Blog_cupcakes_2Yesterday I posted about the incredibly wicked cupcakes I made this weekend and I thought I'd put up the recipe for anyone who's interested.  I made the cake and frosting both from scratch using some of Martha's recipes.  You can find them on her site - there are several to choose from.  These are the ones I used (I did a half batch).

Cupcakes:

3 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C buttermilk

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add buttermilk last. (Batter will be thick.) Bake at 325 F for about 25 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Buttercream Frosting

2 C butter, room temp, cut in pieces
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 scraped vanilla bean (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C milk

Mix until smooth. Frosts 2 dozen cupcakes.

This next one is a special picture *just* for my family who makes fun of my dinner creations.  Last night I got a little crazy and I promised to post a picture for general familial amusement.

Blog_funky_food

FYI... cheese polenta madeleines, roasted asparagus and organic tomatoes, handmade (by Whole Foods) potato gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce and fresh ground pepper.  Honestly?  I usually have meat with polenta and I missed that and I probably wouldn't do polenta and gnocchi in the same dish again.  It was a little crazy, but I was craving both of them so I combined.  It wasn't bad, but I'll stick to simpler in the future.  So with that fun insight into my gastronomical experimentation, I'm signing off :)


Happy Mother's Day!

I wish I could be back in Virginia today to celebrate with my mom, but since I'm not I thought I'd post the Mother's Day project I sent her (which she opened on her birthday after I told her not to.  She said she's opening it again today.  lol).  I made her a photo cube with pictures of her children (and children-in-law) and grandchildren.  Here's a quick overview (including crappy lighting... I put in the new energy saver bulbs in my scrap room, but it makes the lighting bad for photos :-P).

Blog_mothers_day_cube

I also sent a bag of chocolate covered cinnamon bears.  Somehow I don't think there were any left to open today ;)  Here's the card I made... nothing too fancy, but my mom loves birds so I couldn't resist using one of my bird stamps (love them!)

Blog_mothers_day_card

As for me, I'm celebrating with a batch of the most wicked cupcakes I've ever tasted.  I got the recipes from Martha Stewart; I'll try and post them sometime in the next few days.  I need to force myself to take the extras to work tomorrow so I don't eat them all... lol.

Happy Mother's Day!


Less than 9.5 hours until it's Friday.

Melody and family are off today... sniff.  I already miss them.  This means I'm going to have to do something really crazy like, I don't know, make some more friends!  I'm working on that.  Another girl at work is a single food snob like me and we started a list on my white board today of all of the international restaurants in the area we want to go to.  We're starting tomorrow night... I'm excited to go out with a few girls from work tomorrow.  We're going to the Beehive Bazaar and grabbing some food.  Should be fun!

In the meantime, just another recent layout from Africa.  I know I used this lion cub picture on a different layout, but I just love it so I used it again on this one too. 

All_hail_the_king

I love lions... they're such stunning and fascinating creatures.  It was such a great experience to be so close to them.  I've said it before but I'll say it again... I need to go back to Africa again some day and do more of this safari stuff.  It was just unbelievable.


Woohoo!

Remember way back in January when I posted this?  It's now, finally, a done deal.  The final payment on the tour itself has been made and I just bought my plane tickets and airport transfers (thanks to gov't incentive and finding a deal that was about $500 cheaper than expected).  All that's left is to get my visa and for that I have to wait until I'm within 2 months of the trip.  China here I come!!! 

I feel like I need to go home and make a paper chain or something.  Although a chain counting down until September would probably be kind of long, huh?


Quick birthday projects

Just wanted to quickly share a few things that I made for my mom's birthday package :)

Blog_moms_bday_projects

The card is done with the Papertrey Ink It's a Celebration set and the bag topper, which was my solution for the fact that the store where I got the gift didn't have gift boxes, was done with my big scallop scissors, Hero Arts clear stamps and Copic markers.

I love making little things like this for gifts.  It makes it so much more fun for me to give them :)

Last night  I went over to help load up the moving truck at Melody's place.  It's so sad that she and her family are moving away :(  We're going to get together tonight one last time before they take off and then I'm going to have to start saving for a trip down there.  We're also going to be on the lookout for any great scrapbooking conventions that we can meet and go to.  In the meantime, Jason and Dustin are planning to teach me to play Warhammer and Starcraft so that I can fill in for Vic when they play... lol.  Sounds fun to me!


Countdown to December 12.

And if you don't know what December 12th is, well, maybe that just proves what a geek I am.

Here's a clue:

Twilight_poster

Can't you just taste the excitement?  Oh yeah.  And The Host comes out today too.  I have to go to Borders and pick up my pre-order.  Just a little something to pass the time, right?


Happy Birthday Mom!!!

By now I'm sure she's enjoying her fabulous birthday dinner, but I thought I'd post anyway :)

Larabar Also, just wanted to share a newfound love.  Larabar.  I had read about these online and heard that they were great so when I found them at Whole Foods I picked some up.  I had banana cookie this afternoon (which consists of almonds, dates and unsweetened bananas and, according to the vegan, soy free, dairy free, etc... certifications on the wrapper is probably the healthiest snack in the world) and it was fabulous!  I'm definitely going to be picking up more.  I felt so nice and healthy after eating it that I was easily able to say no to Krispy Kream donuts at the admin's desk around the corner.  To me, that's like a snack food with super powers.


Cards, organic food, go-karts, golf and a monkey.

Play-day started early yesterday... I got up about 6:20 so I could get ready and head over to my LSS for the early bird NSD sale.  I picked up a few things for me and a few for Melody since she was teaching clinicals and couldn't make it. 

Later on, I drove back over there again to meet Melody for a little NSD mini-class they were offering.  While I was waiting I did a few of their make-and-takes:  a mini calendar album and a goodie bag topper (complete with goodies!)  Our class was fun... we made a little album out of tiny diecut envelopes.  Everyone else had been there for the first 2 classes so we felt kind of isolationist sitting by ourselves at the next table.  Especially after we had been done with our projects and talking for 15 minutes when everyone else was still half-way through... lol.

After the class we went back to Mel's to set up for her Stampin' Up workshop.  It was her first one and we were both excited.  We put together a sample for her to show using chipboard and all kinds of other stuff and then in the workshop we made two really cute cards.  I'm saving them for later - I know I'll use them!  Here's all the stuff I made yesterday in the various workshops:

Blog_nsd_projects

Blog_whole_foodsAfter the workshop, Melody and I ran to grab sandwiches and cookies at Paradise Cafe... mmmmmm.... then, look what I didn't know was right there by her house all this time!  Melody knew right where it was since that's where her mom insists on shopping when she comes to visit (oh and Steph... it happens to be right by a Chipotle... lol).  It was like finding a little slice of home.  I picked up a few favorites and a few new things to try and then we took off to meet up with everyone at Boondocks for the farewell get together for Melody, Vic, Angelina and Logan.

I had been at Boondocks last week for a work outing.  I have to admit, it's a lot more fun when you go with friends instead.  Angelina was so exited that she was able to ride in the big go-karts with Vic... here she is, showing off one of the many valuable things Dustin has taught her over the years.

Blog_ready_to_ride

We also golfed.  The course is a little boring (nothing at all like Woody's off of route 7 back home) but in the later holes we kept it fun by playing our own brand of golf.  Hitting each others' balls, shooting at the balls that others were trying to putt, etc...  Dustin, of course, came up with his own unique way of making it more exiting:

Dustin_pool_styling

Surprisingly (or not?) this particular technique was pretty effective!

After that we played a rousing game of laser tag. I'd never played before, but I had the high score on our team!  I also have a fascinating bruise on my arm that looks something like a tiretrack.  I think I got it from slamming into a pillar when I was trying to dodge enemy fire.  I'll have to play again - that's pretty fun! 

Finally, we had to use our tokens in the arcade.  Despite his laser-like shot, I beat Dustin in an animated game of air hockey (where he scored half of my points for me... lol) and Al and I played 2-player Ms. PacMan.  There was ski-ball and free-throw shooting and then we used the rest of our tokens to see who could hit the punching bag the hardest.  I actually broke 8000! We pooled our tickets and then Al and I went to select our prize.  The available pool of prizes was, of course, extraordinary.  It all came down to the whoopie cushion vs. the hackey sack until the guy offered to spot us 2 tickets to get us up to 100.  With that, Dustin got a little blue monkey as a belated birthday present :)

Blog_dustins_monkey

The rest of the pictures are here.  It was a great day!

P.S.  I just talked to my parents... my friends, especially my fellow single LDS friends, will enjoy this.  My parents have been called as the Single Adult reps in their ward.  I've been told that I'll be on call when they need suggestions.  I told them that they know how I feel about the need for a separate mid-singles group and guess what... the stake knows and is toying with the idea of creating a ward!  If I end up back in NoVa in the next year or two (and the chances are better than average), that could be great! 


Starting NSD bright and early

NSD = National Scrapbooking Day, of course.

About 10:30pm (tonight? last night?) I was on my way upstairs and stopped to put something in my scrap room and ended up getting sucked into the vortex.  Or something.  Two+ hours later, I finished a layout I had no intention of starting... lol.  But I'm excited that I worked on something.  I'm trying to get back into the swing on my travel albums despite the fact that I know deep down that I'll never get caught up unless I stop traveling.  Like that's going to happen.  At this point I'm going through my Africa and Paris albums and trying to start filling in the holes.  Looking through my Africa pictures, I realized that I had almost completely forgotten about the Indian market we went to my first night there.  This is why I scrapbook.  To remember this stuff.  That was such a cool night.  The photos are terrible, but at the same time I like the blurring... I think it really kind of represents the energy and feeling of movement that was there (and the fact that I was taking pictures without a flash and trying to be all surreptitious-like so that people wouldn't try to rob us... lol).

Joburg_indian_market

All of the journaling is on the pull-out tag towards the top.  One of the things I like best about this layout?  All of the paper and most of the embellishments are things I've had for literally years.  The only things even remotely new are the bird and journaling box stamps.  I love using my stash!

And now, off to bed so I can get up in a few hours and get ready to go play all day :D


Get out your brooms and cue the dirge.

Sniff.  The Avs are out.  Swept.  Crushed in game 4.  I think the fact that so many players were out injured and they were down 3-0 kind of made them give up a little.  I'd rather they get swept than drag it out and lose anyway.  I just wish they had won a few early on to give themselves a chance.  The fact that it was the Red Wings is like salt in the wound.  Oh well, there's always next year :)

At least with my team out of the playoffs I have time for other things.  Like Grey's Anatomy and scrapbooking.  After the game last night I finished a layout that was languishing on my desk for a week while I ran around doing wedding stuff and watching hockey.

This is from the Linkin Park concert in March.  The green circles on the transparency aren't quite this neon looking in real life (and the glare stinks too, but I was too lazy to re-shoot this in better light... lol).  I'm still trying to decide if I want to keep the ticket stub clipped there.  The layout looks better without it, but I'd really like to save the ticket with the layout.  Dilemma.

Lp_38

Here's a close-up of the bottom without the stand... these guitars were the part I had to have.  I confess, I built the rest of the layout around them.  I made them with a dingbat font, PhotoShop and my Silhouette.  I also hand-drew and cut the logo to the left (I copied it from the logo they were using for this tour.  I thought it was cool :D).

Lp_detail

Now I just need to get enough time tonight and tomorrow morning to get some more pictures printed and supplies together to crop for National Scrapbook Day.  First, however, a little farewell get together for Melody's family tonight and Mel's first Stampin Up! demo tomorrow.  Should be a blast!


You'd *think* that it being May and all, Spring would be here.

So why was there an inch of snow on the ground this morning and flurries here and there as I was driving to work?  Sigh.  I really miss Virginia now... it was so nice and warm there.  It's time for me to renew my lease and part of me really wants to up and leave.  I'm not going to, though.  At least not for a while :)

I think tonight will be the night that we see Colorado exit the playoffs.  I'm sad.  I really hope that Montreal can suck it up and come back so I have someone to cheer for, but they're down 3-1 in their series.  Bleh.

Nothing else today... just posting a layout from Africa.  This was from our last game drive near the Orpen Gate at Kruger.  I love these pictures... it was so cool when our guide, Ettiene, caught the leguaan and we were all able to see it up close and touch it.
Crocodile_hunter