Saturday, July 29, 2006

Great pics from Atlanta...

Took a bunch of great pics today...we were stuningly color coordinated. Here's our "in crowd". Ginger, Emily, Teresa, Debby, Anita, Barb & Laura. Sometimes being ourselves & mostly being silly...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

LIVE from Atlanta!

Surprise! I brought my laptop! We arrived in Atlanta this afternoon and immediately ran into our "people" headed out of the demo hall. We all hung out on the lobby couches & ate "bar food" {nachos, hot wings & the like} and had a nice visit. We kicked off the must watch this hilarious {and sideways - oopsie, thought I could rotate that} video of Teresa Collins being totally embarrassed Ginger Rohlfs and Stacey Panassidi at the tailgate. Here are some pics from dinner...we ran into the adhesive kangaroo at the bar and couldn't resist an impromptu photo shoot...

group photo: back row - Ginger {Gin-X}, Debby {Canson}, Barb {Gin-X}
front row: me & Ashley {Magic Scraps}, Laura {Gin-X}

...where else can you run into a drinking pink kangaroo in a bar??? I just love CKU!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Off to Atlanta...

Well, it's that time again...CKU-A Atlanta here I come! I will be teaching High Society & Directions to about 240 awesome scrappers over the weekend. I have piles of laundry to do, not to mention bill paying, dishes & oh, yes - work. So off I go...I'll be back on Sunday!

pictured: High Society & Directions

Digi of the day...

I went to the PDP Chat last night and I won a signed 2006 HOF book!!!!!! I guessed 5 and it was one of the three lukcy numbers that won. I've never won anything before, so I'm pretty psyched! There's another chat tonight at 9 PM CST with another giveaway and you know I'll be there...

I picked out some more digi kits today {this sale is just too good to be true! don't forget to bump up your order to $10 to win the wacom or $20 for a free burned cd with your art}. Here are my picks of the day:

This stuff makes me want to learn digital scrapbooking! The chat tonight is on using Photoshop Elements and they're giving away a subscription to the photoshop elements newsletter {now - i've seen these & they're amazing - I just didn't want to shell out the serious cash to sign up! I'm sure lightning won't strike twice, but this is so worth winning}

Here are some questions for many of you are interested in learning more about digital scrapbooking? How would you like to be taught? (online, in person, etc.) What do you consider your biggest obstacles? What would you want to learn?

I'm not converting - I think I'm evolving, becoming a hybrid scrapper, I'm just plain digi-curious...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In a digital frenzy...

I am going bonkers over some of the new digital art I'm seeing!!! I have so many ideas for creating fun blog features {starting with a new header} that I want to use them for. Polka Dot Potato is having their Grand Opening this week and I've been eating it up! Specials, new stuff, giveaways {they're giving away a Wacom tablet & a HP Photosmart 8250 printer} not to mention ALL THE ART IS DISCOUNTED - the works...Tonight is their chat with the 2006 CK digi HOFers {9 PM CST}. My handle is "jellybean", I hope to see you there! Be sure to order at least $10 to be entered for the Wacom drawing or at least $20 for free CD burning service! Here are some of the kits I'm, getting...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Home from CHA...

Well, I made it...what a crazy couple of days. Working with Noritsu was really interesting and the quality on their machines is amazing! I got to make a lot of new friends by hanging out with my fellow Imagination Project Design Team members. What a fun crowd!!! {not to mention talented}

The girls (and Morris) at Imagination Project made me feel like a part of the family. When I wasn't in my booth or asleep, I was running around with them. {below: Ginger & Laura}.

We all went out to a dt dinner at Uncle Julios Friday night. It was a long wait, but we filled it taking lots of pictures. {group photo, top left: back row:Janice Tsai, Emily (me), Ginger Rohlfs, Sharon Laakkonen; middle row: Barb Hogan, Shelley Andersen, Terri Davenport, Brittany Laakkonen; front row: Laura Stoller, Kim Brock & Jane Hasty}. Dinner ran so late, we barely made it back in time for the 2Peas gathering...we did run in though in the last few minutes and I got to see Margie H. {hi!}.

Saturday I went to the CK reception at the Embassy Suites and got some down time with Ali Edwards, Tracy White & Leslie Miller...not to mention some goofing around with Tiffany Tillman and - yes - more time with Ginger. {are you catching a pattern here?}

Sunday I got the chance to walk the show floor with my good buddy, Debby Schuh. {pictured in pink} She took me over the highlights of the show. I liked so many things...I'd say my tie for top pick of the show would be Ranger's Acrylic Paint Daubers {see the demo} and Ranger's new varieties of Glossy Accents {sepia, crackle & matte}. They will change the way I scrap. Other outstanding booths: 7 Gypsies, Junkitz, Autumn Leaves, Technique Tuesday, Imagination Project (of course), Hampton Arts & Heidi Grace {Fiskars}.

I saw so many old friends, and I got a kick out of their reaction to my new look. A few of them didn't recognize me {I had to laugh - you know who you are}. Jane on the IPDT is a professional photographer and on our way to the CK session she stopped us and did an impromptu photo shoot outside the had just started to rain and we were all talking and laughing and she took some incredible shots! Anybody who needs a new headshot - go to Jane! We were able to print pages of wallets out the next day at the Noritsu booth then we all swapped like we were in high school with our school pictures. Here's my new look...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CHA & unveiling the makeover...

I am headed off to Chicago tonight for CHA Summer. My friends go...."ooooooooh Chicago, must be nice" Well, yes, I am extremely thankful for every single day I can work in this industry, but to clarify this is all of Chicago I'm probably going to see. That is the glorius Stevens Convention Center the site of this CHA {again}. It's in the O'Hare airport complex - so I will see airport-shuttle-hotel-shuttle-convention center {reverse, repeat}. So it's not quite as glam when you look at it from that perspective.

I will be debuting the new look I have going on. I got contacts last week after 6 1/2 years of glasses. They're great...I forgot about my addiction to sunglasses. I immediately rushed out and bought a pair!

Then I went a step further...I went to Ashley's hairdresser Irina this morning and got a great cut and "golden beige" highlights. Um - in case you didn't catch that there is blonde on my head. I haven't dyed my hair in about 10 it's a little wierd. But good. Irina is very talented & very, very honest. In her heavy Ukranian accent she said "I not your friend, say things to make you feel good about yourself. I your hairdresser. I tell truth." So she told me that my forehead is way too narrow and that I should wear bangs to cover it up. According to her I'm all soft now and my giant cheeks are all balanced.

Oh - and I got skirts {that aren't ankle length!}. Enough said.

I'm leaving the laptop at home, but taking my camera. I'll do a whole review when I get home {which will be pretty late Sunday night}. While I'm gone my inlaws will be crashing at our house. This is the weekend of the Adams family reunion up in Bonham. I hate to miss it, but Matt's family is really good about getting together. They have 2 official reunions a year and about 4-6 other all-family shindigs. I won't miss the heat,'s been running over 100 all week {even into the night} and the humidity has been 30 - 50% {ugh}. Chicago isn't predicted to go over 78 while I'm there. aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh..............

oh, about the blog...I got all the links back up! the header will follow...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Oh no {very bad word}...excuse me, Mr. Blogger?

I was trying to add something new to my sidebar {an almost daily obsession lately}, and well I hit something....some random key and I don't know what happened.
*poof* my template's gone *nightmare*
I could commit hari kari just about now. It was there last night, but this morning....blank. My screen was blank. My template was BLANK. My screen was BLANK. I HAD NO MORE TEMPLATE. This will take a while....especially leaving for CHA. Sorry guys.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Where did the time go???

I did get up and get some work done this morning, but this afternoon was all about family...We headed up to Murphy today for my niece, Elyssa's 11th birthday party...they had all just had makeovers at Club Libby Lu - which explains the glitz. It seems like only yesterday that I met their mom on my first day of work at the now-long-gone Storkland. We became instant friends. I always thought she would be perfect for my oldest stepbrother, Chuck...and it turns out she was {yes, I introduced them - smartest match I ever made, not counting my own}. We figured out Terrie & I have been friends for 16 years now. When did these girls get so big? Elyssa turned 11 & will be in sixth grade next month...Sarah is 7 and will be going into 2nd grade.

It was a really nice afternoon. We stayed at least an extra hour visiting with my dad, Terrie & the girls. I love hanging out and talking with my dad.

It was so darling...the girls asked me and to be their Godmother {a title I get to share with my stepsister Nancy - I told her I'd take them on weekends & holidays and she could deal with adolescence and paying for college - LOL}. Both girls had their best friends there, but Sarah's friend was like her shadow {so cute - they dressed alike and everything}. They all piled on their Uncle Matt & managed to keep him pinned down for a few minutes...he's so sweet letting them beat him mercilessly like that {goodness, I have a cute husband!}.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Girl's Night Out...except at lunchtime

Well, with this crazy month, there is no time for a girl's night we settled for a gossip & giggle session at La Madeleine for a long lunch. Temptation, thy name is pastry. We both ordered the chicken friand {I had a side caesar, she had a cup of french onion - aaaaah}. It felt nice to take time to just hang out. If I didn't have some work to do this afternoon, we would've headed to the mall for a makeover & a movie...{I think I'm headed for my second adolescence over here.}

I'm looking at another working weekend at home. I will take a break to head over to my niece, Elyssa's birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Speaking of nieces, Amy & Haley are leaving tomorrow for their big summer road trip with their Nana - which will take them from Graceland to the American Girl Place in Chicago. Sounds like a blast.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Staying in my own ballpark..."

After my review of the festivities, the city secretary has politely requested I "stay in my own ballpark", among other things. Too bad...I thought I gave a tongue in cheek recap of a day that was unexpected, but of a memory I cherished. I meant no offense to the 462 decent, hard-working Americans who put on this festival, towards her personally, or towards anyone who lives in a small town. Contrary to "appearances", I am a Texan and Christian.
I don't know what else to say other than I'm sorry.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

About Noritsu...

As you know, I will be working in the Noritsu booth {#3000} at CHA Summer in Chicago next week. Several of you have emailed me asking me about the company, so I thought I would tell you more about them. {For those of you that have speculated, I wanted to quelch the rumor - I am not working for Noritsu on a permanent basis, although they're delightful folks and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them at the show.} There is an excellent press release about Noritsu and digital scrapbooking on Yahoo Finance right now. You also might have read about them in the July issue of Craftrends magazine {page 74}, which rated them as a top provider of digital output machines ideal for scrapbook stores.

Noritsu leads the world in photo processing and digital imaging technology. What you must see at CHA:
  • DP100 - The new DP-100 is a stand-alone digital dry inkjet printer designed for low volume, professional photofinishing applications. The DP-100 is the only professional-grade, dry inkjet printer in the industry to offer an extensive variety of print sizes in addition to occupying a minimum of floor space {6.5 square feet}. The DP-100 outperforms other professional inkjet printers with its print size versatility and high image quality. Output from the seven-color, pigment-dye printer is highly water-resistant and offers superior print longevity compared to other inkjet systems. The optional laminator attachment gives DP-100 prints an additional smooth finish and higher-gloss appearance.Capable of printing a wide range of print sizes: 4”x 6”, 5”x 7”, 8”x 10”, 8”x12”, 10”x 10”, 12”x 12”, 11”x 14”, 12”x 18”, 12”x 36” Not only can you offer prints to your customers, you can reproduce their pages making you a one stop shop for all their memory making needs.
  • EZLab Home Kiosk Software - Installs on your customer’s home computer, enabling them to create print orders and send them online to your DP-100 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. EZLab Home Kiosk Software provides customers with the option to "print to store", so they can alter their photos or do their digital scrapbook page at home then upload their images directly to your machine. Just call your customers when their prints {any size} are ready and you have them coming into your store all the time. Printing via the internet provides the customer with the ultimate in simplicity. You are in full control of pricing and fulfillment options such as in-store pick up or mail delivery.
Noritsu says...
"...the retail scrapbooking market today {is very similiar} to the photofinishing landscape of seven years ago. {When digital cameras came out, people were worried that film would be abandoned. In retrospect, the two continued to thrive hand in hand.} The mixing of traditional and digital techniques is a growing trend in scrapbooking, bridging the divide between traditional paper scrapbooking to pure digital, where all the elements of the page are digitally produced. Because of the origins of the hobby as a hands-on craft, some controversy has arisen. There are some who narrowly define scrapbooking to exclude digitally produced pages. Yet the National Scrapbooking Association recently suggested adopting a broader definition of scrapbooking in order to make the hobby more inclusive to avoid driving away newcomers. As the industry adjusts to digital scrapbooking, the debate has spawned a new class of retailer who are actively seeking to unify the "warring factions." A new type of hybrid scrapbooking retailer has emerged, in response to the increased consumer interest in digital memory keeping. The objective of this hybrid retailer is to preserve the friendly, social aspect of scrapbooking while leveraging the convenience and speed of digital."

Emily says...
I think they're very smart. I think our industry and our craft is constantly evolving and to ignore that would be fatal. I love paper scrapping, the feel of paper, paint...the messiness of it - everything about it. Here's the thing - I have a digital camera. I use a computer in my scrapbooking with journaling. I'm already incorporating digital into my world. We all probably are to some degree. I have no plan to go 100% digital {that's just me}, but I do want to explore this exciting new way to preserve memories. The gift giving aspect is so inticing {infinite reproduction}. Have you taken a look at digital lately? Really looked? It's come a long way in a short time. If you doubt digital, just look at my blog header {that's a fun use of digital kits}. I also get a little hot under the collar when people say it isn't "real scrapbooking". Um, I thought the whole point of what we do is to be creative and to preserve our memories in any format. I'd love to talk to you more about what's happening in the scrapbooking market and about the hybrid future of our craft. See you in Chicago.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A weekend in New Braunfels...

Well, we trekked to New Braunfels Friday afternoon. I think they moved it. Longest drive of my life...we got caught up in Austin rush hour traffic and the 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive turned into five and a half hours! I packed a ton of work and got so much done. We stayed up and visited {while I worked} Friday and made plans for Saturday.

Saturday morning we woke up to the deer nosing out into the clearing around the front of the house waiting for their breakfast. Matt's dad feeds them every morning. There were over a dozen at one point, they looked at the camera whenever it clicked. I love how trusting they are and how close they get to us. Then Elizabeth did it up with a full breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs. Matt & his dad took off garage sale shopping {yes, we brought home another riding lawn mower, $25}. Elizabeth took Tammy shopping in the morning and I sat down and wrote {and wrote, and wrote} was heaven - no distractions, pure concentration. When the girls got back Elizabeth & I hit the quilt shops, looking for cool fabrics. Ran across the "Stein Parade" {funky decorated beer steins - only in New Braunfels!}, had to take a photo - that's my mother-in-law, Elizabeth with the stein outside the downtown quilt shop. I found some fabric I couldn't live without...especially the sock monkeys!

Elizabeth made enchiladas {yummy} for dinner. Matt and his dad went out on the go karts 'til dark, Tammy went to a party, Elizabeth sewed and I worked...'til after midnight. Matt went to bed early - he had a plan. He woke up at five to come home. That's five in the morning. Let's see - I got to sleep after two, what could possibly be wrong with coming home at five? He finally got me in the car by six - and I was OK until just before Waco. We had to make the required stop at the Czech Stop in West. As always, Matt ordered the jalapeno kolaches {he never remembers they are hotter than he really likes}, I got plain smoked sausage and we got a pair of the strawberry cream cheese. And we couldn't go without an extra dozen plain sausage to bring home...If they were closer I'd be in serious danger of gaining a hundred pounds.

So I think Matt's napping on the couch - it's the last day of vacation for him, that's always a somber day...I see a proper, non-car nap in my immediate future {and maybe another kolache}. Then, oh joy - more work to do. There's a sneak preview at some of the stuff I'm looking at on the right. I'll drop you clues as soon as I can...let's just say I'm working on two projects at once.

It's good to be home...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Shopping without me???

There's going to be a sale and I'm not going to be there....but if you live in the DFW area you must go!!! We're holding another amazing scrapbooking garage sale at our warehouse in Richardson.

Walking through this place is getting exciting - I see this stuff every day and I still want to buy it all myself!!! If you came to the last one, come again...Not only did we find great new stuff to put out we will have twelve women here with individual tables {compared to just the three last time}. They'll be open from 9 to come early and bring your cash and your friends! Happy shopping!

Also at the garage sale there will also be demos for Polka Dot Potato with the fabulous Lindsie Clowe all day!

Coming & going...

After posting almost every day for a while, I felt quite guilty taking a day off. I am crazy busy preparing a new class for {well, it's a secret - but it's huge...I'll tell you as soon as I can}...well, let's just say I'm thinking about it 24/7 and researching, writing & making samples whenever I'm at home.

I am packing up the work and taking it with me to New Braunfels this weekend for an impromptu trip down to Matt's parents. No Schlitterbahn {Matt's sister Tammy has the weekend off from being a lifeguard there}, no wienerschnitzel, just quiet...I'm looking forward to it.

Matt's vacation is drawing to a close & we laughed about his three small town adventures this week - Avery, Bonham {a quick trip to his uncle's} and now New Braunfels. And by the way - Matt is so great - today he did all our floors, did laundry & dishes and even cleaned out and washed my car so I could get more work done. Gotta love that man!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Only in America...

Have you seen what can be done with 101 2-liter bottles of diet coke & 523 mentos????

"What happens when you combine 200 liters of Diet Coke and over 500 Mentos mints? It's amazing and completely insane.The first part of this video demonstrates a simple geyser, and the second part shows just how extreme it can get. Over one hundred jets of soda fly into the air in less than three minutes.It's a hysterical and spectacular mint-powered version of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, brought to you by the mad scientists at"
p.s. install QuickTime to watch it if you don't have it already.

um...excuse me, but I need to go buy some mentos now...

God Bless America...

Happy Fourth of July!
Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Scrappiness!
Land of the free, home of the paper crafter...
Oh beautiful for spacious crop tables; for plentiful racks of cardstock...

happy holiday - I'm scrapping!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Life after lawn mower races...

Well, we did it - we went to the Avery Tomato Festival/US National Lawn Mower Races...I am so sunburned it hurts to move, almost hurts to think...

Not quite what we were expecting, but a great time. We set out at 7:30 am {waking at 6:30, wanting to "get a jump on it"} and rolled into Avery about 11. By 11:15 we had done about everything there was to do...the "hundreds of craft booths from across the country" were 10 - 15 stalls the locals staffed with awnings from the local funeral home; the "extensive farmers market" was 2 card tables with the pickings from one woman's garden; the "live music all day" was gospel & country; the "rides" were non existent unless you brought your own horse or atv to the place; no petting zoo; $6 glasses of lemonade; no air conditioning; the only 2 buildings on main street were locked or closed to the public... It was soooo hot & humid Matt was ready to leave by noon {the races started at 2}...well, I did it - I went insane and started ranting "We drove all the way out here and are getting heat stroke and we're going to stay here until we make a memory, dammit. And I want some pictures!!!" I guess it was the right thing to say because we all burst out laughing - and tried to forget the heat and the fact we forgot lawn chairs, sunscreen & bug spray {so much for planning ahead} and just had fun.

I would do it all again in a heartbeat - the racing was unbelievably fun to watch! Matt's "inspired" and swears he's going to get serious now so he can race on the circuit {oh boy}. There is a girl racer - she has a pink and a purple mower {two different classes} and really knows how to kick some grass! Loving her motto "Congratulations: You have just been passed by a girl!". Sometimes the pictures just speak for themselves...I posted all of them in a new flikr album on the right - I also added the video clips I shot of the races. You must watch at least one {they're short} to get the whole ambiance of the day...If you ever go - bring your own lawn chair, cooler, sunscreen, bugspray, umbrella and be prepared to eat a lot of dust or get an occaisional rock to the head flying off the track.

After a good hour of race watching we were ready to head home...called and cancelled the hotel room in Paris and headed back to civilization, showers, air conditioning & Chili's...I'm a little bummed I missed the Texas Eiffel Tower photo op, but we were so bedraggled, dirty & sunburned at that point further pictures weren't as exciting.

I loved it - dirt, heat and spite of it all we had amazing {and definitely memorable} day!