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More cuteness.

I've really been in the mood lately to do these fun, girly layouts of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh.  These photos are from Monday... Eraleigh isn't crawling yet, she just went straight to standing on her own and it's looking like she might just skip crawling all together!  Honestly, nothing would surprise me with this little one.

Look Mom No Hands
I got to use one of my new felt flowers!  I just love these and I can't wait to get my hands on some more of these awesome buttons in different colors and styles.  The circle is Technique Tuesday chipboard and I stamped the hearts on it in Hibiscus and then painted over it and backed it with glittery lace paper.  It's cool in person with all the dimension.

And now to bed!  We have an early company meeting tomorrow morning... I hate meetings this early.  Not even free donuts can take away the sting of crawling out of bed two hours earlier than usual... lol.

In honor of the playoffs...

...and of the hope (knock on wood) that the Caps can knock off the Rangers in game 7 tonight, I wanted to post a layout I did of the Avs v. Caps game on October 17, 2000 when Patrick Roy broke Terry Sawchuk's record for most goaltender wins.  I actually had tickets to that game before I realized it might be the big one so when Patrick tied the record the game before, I was super psyched to think I might be there to see history.  Sure enough, the Avs won in overtime on a beauty by none other than Peter Forsberg (assisted by the awesome Ray Bourque).  I took plenty of pics during the game and pulled out my favorites for this layout that I did as a tribute to Patrick and that game.

Even through Martin Brodeur broke Patrick's record earlier this season (March, I think) I still think Patrick is the better goalie.  After all... which goaltender was on the winning team when the Avs and the Devils played to game 7 in the Stanley Cup championship back in 2001?  That's right... it was Patrick Roy :)

Fun with Felt!

I got a couple packages of gorgeous handmade polymer clay buttons from Tessa Ann this weekend and I had to play with them.  Once I saw them in person I decided they were way too cool to just plop on a layout or stick in the center of a plain old paper flower, so I pulled out my box of felt and my sewing supplies and made some more wannabe Princess Lasertron-esque felt flowers.  The felt was perfect for these!  I love the stuff I've made so far:

Blog - Felt Flowers
Of course I can't think of anything to put them on quite yet, but I'm sure they'll end up being perfect for a layout in the near future.  And seriously.  Aren't those buttons awesome?

After that I printed out a few more recent photos of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh to scrap.  Since I had my sewing stuff out, I decided to try my hand at creating some kind of felt and fabric butterfly.  You can't see all the detail but I think it turned out pretty well - it's much cooler in person if I do say so myself :) (Although I must apologize yet again for the crappy color in the photo...)

Just Say No to Grass
I'm starting to get halfway decent at chain stitching and french knots.  Fun stuff... it was really relaxing to work on all of this with the window open, listening to the rain outside.  It made for a nice, calming & cozy weekend :)

Our little ray of sunshine

Well, I suppose that's only true if it suits her to be a ray of sunshine.  Isn't that the way of the diva?  And from what I've heard so far, Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh is definitely a little diva.  But she's just so cute!  These are a few shots taken at mom & dad's house in Virginia.  She's pretty irresistible in her little yellow outfit!

So Cute, So Happy 
The "so" parts of the title (So cute, so happy) don't show up too well in the scan, but they're more apparent in real life.  Also, the cut-out butterflies are all popped off the page for a little dimension.  I feel like I'm moving from a color blocking phase to an embellishment grouping phase.  I'm using things I've had for years this way, though, and I'm really liking the results.  Maybe someday soon I'll COMBINE the styles!  There's a thought.  lol.

Anyway, it's Dutch Day today at Thanksgiving Point (part of the Tulip Festival) and I'm trying to decide if I should go.  Between overcast / rainy weather and the fact that I don't really want to go until my new camera comes, I'm kind of waffling.  I guess I'll wait and check the mail and see if the Amazon Fairy brought me a package :)  (And for those who are wondering... what kind of camera?!?  I finally got a Canon Rebel XT dSLR body to go with the lenses and filters from my old EOS 300 film camera.  It's not a super fancy or newer model, but I'm no pro so I'm starting cheap and basic in the dSLR world :)

Can I get a high five?

Standard deviation It's celebration time... I FINALLY finished my online stats course (from Harvard, no less!) after many hours strapped to my computer listening to all that mathematical mumbo-jumbo, taking copious notes and working through the exercises until I understood them.  Then, I sucked in a deep breath and dove into the exam.  The other two guys at my office that got into the EMBA program with me finished first but both of them had to re-take the exam.  I'm happy to report, I passed the first time and my score was 20 points higher than the required score to pass!  (And yes, I think I WILL be rubbing that in! hehe.)

That's it.  I get a cookie.

P.S. That horrible, nasty looking thing above?  I, the right-brained math impaired artistic type that I am, learned to calculate that by hand and even got the answers right!  It was a total fist pumping geek moment.  And from that point on I started doing it in Excel.  lol.

And now?  I move on to Accounting.  Which, as I've heard, is much easier.  Good!  I need it.

The Great Wall

Our second to last day in China was the one most of us were most looking forward to... our visit to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China.  It was unbelievable.  We climbed up there and I ended up with a small group of six (me, Heidi - with Connor on her back, Emily, Veronica, Catherine and Chanel) and we went up the steep side because there were hardly any people hiking that direction.  I can tell you why!  That was one seriously steep climb... I felt like I needed climbing gear in some parts!  Fortunately there were lots of railings to help pull us along.  Just being there, though, and thinking of the history of it and then looking at how massive it was and thinking that it was all made by hand hundreds of years ago was kind of mind-blowing.

So, finally, I did a layout about The Great Wall.  I think there will be at least one more (I got a LOT of pictures I want to use), but this one has most of the story of our visit.

The Great Wall
And here's a view with the journaling pulled out:
Great Wall with Journaling
The artwork on the left side is a little silk painting reproduction I picked up at the Silk Market... I love that I was able to work it into the layout!  I also sometimes think that I journal too much on my layouts, but at the same time, when I look back 50 years from now I'm going to be so glad that I was so verbose.  lol.

Happy Friday!

An evening in Paris

I've had the makings of this layout sitting off to the side for a few days... I started it and it wasn't working so I figured I'd just come back.  Last night I went back to it and it just pulled right together!

This is from November 2005 when Nicole, Dad and I went to Paris for a long weekend.  On this particular evening Nicole and Dad had gone back to the hotel but I stayed to hang out and just wander around while I watched the city light up.  I've always thought Paris was at its most romantic at dusk... it's so beautiful!  Nothing like wandering around the city with a hot crepe people watching and poking around on streets that tourists normally don't bother with.  That night was one of my favorite parts of that trip.

Crepuscule a Paris
I might have to move back East after I finish business school just so I can catch those quick, cheap weekends in Europe.  I totally miss being able to do that easily.  Oh well... I just count myself super lucky that I've been able to do it at all!

The verdict is in

I've had the new car for just over a month and I love it!  I'm still a little sad at leaving Barney behind at the dealership... he looked so lonely sitting there with the plates stripped while I drove away!  But, I can't deny that my new car (which has been officially named "Sport" by my friends at work) is a pretty nice ride.  I need to take new pictures with the tinted windows, but I wanted to do a layout about the day I got it and saying goodbye to Barney so I used pictures from the first day along with some older ones of Barney being towed last Summer.

Dear barney
It's so nice to cruise down the freeway with the A/C on and not worry about the engine!

Snobby yet ubiquitous

I saw this quiz on Rae's blog and couldn't resist. It's a quiz and references food! duh.

You Are French Food
Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.
What Kind of Food Are You?

I found this to be pretty funny (French food?  that's too perfect) although I'm still wondering if the person who wrote it actually knows what ubiquitous means (I'm snobby yet omnipresent?).  I also changed my favorite choice of snack food to nachos and came up as Mexican food so apparently, depending on my snacking mood, I'm also spicy but dependable.  lol.

Hello Mr. Treadmill... long time no see!

In honor of the fact that finally, after almost four months to the day, I'm able to start exercising again without pain, I give you a layout about the knee injury that I've whined about on and off during said months.  lol. 

The title doesn't look so hot - I keep trying to line up my letter stamps and put them down all at once and it never seems to work as well for me as just doing them individually.  Oh well, the wonky lettering could be symbolic I guess :D  The whole layout is pretty simple since I wanted to focus on the story and I was a little hard on myself in the journaling, but the situation made me frustrated and it kind of spilled over.  I also have the results of my MRI attached to the backside of the layout.

An Apology to my Knees
Now that I'm back at it, though, the hardest part is going to be keeping it up and not pushing too hard, too soon.  Not to mention getting past the nasty blisters until I get the calluses back from my tennis shoes. lol.

P.S.  The new Depeche Mode album is out today!  I grabbed it right away, naturally, and I'm enjoying it more and more the longer I listen.  Can't wait for the concert!

Alaska Baby

I can't believe the weekend is almost over again!  It always flies by way too fast for me but the good part is that it means I'm that much closer to vacation time!  Just a few more weeks...

In the meantime, I haven't been feeling inspired to do any travel layouts but fortunately, I still have lots of cute pictures I haven't scrapped of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh.  I thought these were too cute... from a few weeks ago when she was modeling her little coat with the faux fur trim that was just too perfect for our little Alaska baby.

There's a combination of flowers and snowflakes because she's wearing her little coat at the beginning of April... and because I really wanted to use the stamped flower images that I colored yesterday... lol.  I just love the little hand gesture in the big photo that seems to be saying, don't I look adorable in my fur hood?

The flower stamps are Papertrey Ink colored with Copics with a dash of Stickles for sparkle (that you can't really see.  oh well!).  The snowflakes are a QuicKutz Silhouette design and the page design is based on a sketch from Page Maps.

Flashback to 1992

I've been feeling a little nostalgic over the last several days and so I've been going through old scrapbooks and photo albums and I realized that I haven't done very much to document anything before college.  Of course, this is also the part where I discovered how many of my photos are still in my parents' basement.  Oops.  I'll have to try and pack all of that up the next time I go home.  I did have photos from a few trips to Canada while I was in high school... this was one of my favorites.  The summer after my junior year we went up to Quebec to visit Quebec City and Montreal.  I loved Old Quebec City - cafes, colorful houses, old city walls, artists peddling their work in cramped alleys and good food!

Old World Charm
Despite the fact that I was working in a photo lab, I didn't take quite as many pictures back then as I do now.  I was pleased at how much I did have, though... and it's pretty fun to look back and see how young everyone looked!  It was almost 17 years ago.  Time certainly flies, doesn't it?

Easter Cuteness

Erin has posted lots of super cute pictures of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh lately, but the ones from yesterday were so cute I had to scrap them right away.  She's sooooo adorable in her frilly little dress and sweater and her excitement over her first Easter basket is just too cute.

First Easter
Sorry for the funky scan - the pearls I glued onto the chipboard butterflies made it a bit too thick for the lighting to work right.  It's actually a 2-page 8.5x11 layout and I LOVE the flower stamps on here - those and the little egg circle tag stamp are both recent Papertrey sets.  I'm a little annoyed by the title - the stamps I used for "Easter" are too soft to give a good impression with white ink so I had to play with it a bit to make it passable.

So that's it for today.  Time to hit the sack!

P.S. - the new tinted windows on my car are really sweet.  I almost didn't recognize it when I stopped at the dealership to pick it up after work!  Hopefully that will really help keep the heat down in the car but even if it doesn't, it sure looks good!

Happy Easter!

It's been a pretty nice Easter Sunday for me... nothing exciting or fancy, but relaxing and enjoyable.  We had a nice church meeting (although I miss the Easter programs and choir cantatas we have back home) and the Easter bunny left me a lovely grown-up basket a few select pieces of my favorite Easter treats :)  Watched the Avs play (and lose) their last game of the year, sniffling as I watched them give away their jerseys to winners from the audience and thinking it might be the last time we see Joe Sakic as a player.  Whipped up some mojo marinated chicken and cheese polenta and even made a batch of Turkish kunefe.  The recipe I found isn't nearly as good as what I ate in Turkey... if I make it again I need to revamp it a bit.  Still good, though!  Watched Twilight with the director's commentary (Rob Pattinson is a crack up) and even squeezed in a little scrapping!

This layout is from Turkey... from our day in Cappadocia.  We went to see the famous Fairy Chimneys and it was cold, windy and pouring rain.  It was still pretty incredible... the top photo here is 3.75" x 21.5" and I made it out of 7 different photos I snapped in a row to get the whole landscape in front of me. 

Fairy Chimneys
Cappadocia is one of those places where photos can't do it justice... even if I was a good photographer I still don't think I could have captured the awesomeness of it all.

And now, time to get ready to go back to the grind tomorrow... have to be at the car dealership bright and early to get my windows tinted :)

A little late night scrapping

Just thought that while I was up working on the last layout for the Journaling 101 class (it's already been 12 weeks... yikes!  Where does the time go?) I'd throw up another layout I just did from Turkey.  Since I've been struggling with these I thought I'd try working from a sketch this time and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!  This one is from our visit to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)... the building itself is amazing but all of the Iznik tiles inside (which is what gives the mosque it's nickname) are jaw dropping.  It was hard to get good pictures inside, but between the three of us we got enough to help us remember what it was like.

Blue Mosque
And with that, back to trying to think of a title for this other layout so I can finish it and send it off!

A Trip in a Nutshell

Well, it's been a few days, but I'm back!  I flew in from a work trip to San Francisco at about 1:30 this morning, got a little sleep and went right back to work.  Thank goodness it's almost the weekend!  It was a fairly short trip, but a good one.  Here's a glance at my trip in a nutshell.  The very cool and funky hotel the company put me up at, our SF office on the pier right by the ball park (on opening day no less!) and a few shots of the Chinatown / downtown area close to our hotel when the three of us there on this trip went out for dinner and a little sight-seeing / shopping after work on Tuesday.

Blog - SF at a Glance
One of my friends in the SF office recommended a good place to eat right on the edge of Chinatown... The House of Nanking (bottom right above).  It was a zagat rated hole in the wall, small and jam packed with people.  We squeezed into a table next to two other gentlemen and looked over the menu, each of us calling what we wanted to order so we could all share.  One of them hadn't had any chinese outside of a trip or two to Panda Express and both of them made me realize that I'm a much more adventurous eater than I ever thought I was (although I'd still never be a judge on Iron Chef... lol).  We stretched their comfort zones had some really fabulous food and as we left there was a long line of people waiting to get in.  Good timing!  Wandering through Chinatown was fun, as always.  One of these days I need to just go for a long weekend and hang out and see the sites I haven't been to yet.  Cool city.

So anyway, I'm back for a while (as far as I know, anyway... lol) so hopefully back to the scrapping soon!

Play Time!

While I was at it, I decided to do another layout with a recent picture of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh.  She's loving the new walker toy-thingy (the official name, of course) that mom got her since she had to leave her old one in Kodiak.

Another of my handmade felt flowers... time to make another batch!  And now, off to work.  Happy Monday!

Nine months already?

Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh is now 9 months old.  I can't believe how fast time flies!  As Erin said, she'll be having her first birthday before we know it!  Now that they're back in Virginia, it's always fun to hear here little voice in the background when I call home.  As my mom said, she's darling, stubborn and spoiled.  lol.  Somehow none of that surprises me!  Anyway, Erin posted a few 9-month photos about the same time I saw a sketch from Page Maps (via the Pink Paislee blog) and I knew it and the photos were perfect for each other.

Eraleigh - 9 Months
She's definitely the most adorable 9-month old in the world.  I'm not biased at all.

One of these days...

... I'll learn my lesson about staying up all night working on layouts that aren't working instead of just walking away and coming back with a fresh perspective... lol.  So remember that layout of the Spice Market I posted yesterday?  Since I was snowed in this morning I was working at home in my attic and that layout was staring me in the face all day.  Finally after work (and after watching the Avs lose... what is it, the 9th in a row?), I couldn't stand it anymore and attacked it.  So much happier!  lol.  I updated the post below with new pictures.  It's definitely time to chill and work on other stuff until I start feeling more creative again.

This is *so* not a joke.

But I really, really, REALLY wish it were.

Blog - April Fool's Snow
This would be the current view from my upstairs window.  An hour ago, the streets were clear.  I left to go to work and the roads were terrible... then I got down to where I could see the freeway and it was stopped or at a crawl in either direction.  That's when I decided it wasn't worth it and came home to log on to work from here.

Yes, I realize it's Utah and the weather here is crazy, but seriously.  It's APRIL!!!  And there's another storm coming in on Friday.  Nice.  I think this calls for chocolate of the hot, liquid variety.

Spicing things up

Sorry... couldn't resist the hokey post title. :)

*Edited post* - Redid the layout so I had to update the text :)

Been working all evening on this layout - I couldn't cut down the pictures anymore the first time I did it and it just looked to crowded so I changed things up - added the flip-up behind the enlargement to hide some of the photos and create more space and changed the color of the background paper.  Kraft is so much better than white for spices!

This is from our last full day in Istanbul when we visited the spice market.  I loved that place!  It smelled amazing, naturally, and we had a great time shopping and tasting (and buying) Turkish Delight.

A Feast for the Senses  

And a peek where the enlargement flips up to show more photos (doing it this way, I could actually ADD a photo!)

A Feast for the Senses - Inside

I just loved all the mounds of spices... so much color and texture!  So I needed lots of pictures of them on my layout to help me remember the awesomeness.

With that, it's time to crash.  I'm going to pay for this in the morning :-P  I'll learn my lesson one of these days.  lol.