Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Welcome to the world, Zachary Xavier Adams! {Xavier for short} Matt's youngest brother David & his wife Julia had a little boy this morning at 9:09 am. He is 6 lbs 6 oz & 20 1/2 inches long. Julia had to have a c-section a little early because of some issues, but she and baby are doing fine. No picture yet - I'll update when we get one! This brings our niece/nephew count to TEN!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I bought you a present!!!

I didn't forget you when I was gone! In my quest for a few souvenirs I figured it was time for a fun blog giveaway. I got this cool metal lunchbox in London. It has a shoulder strap to boot. Anyway, I thought I'd send somebody this cool lunchbox with a set of 10 alcohol inks. It would be awesome for toting around your tools or scrap stuff. I admit, I bought one for myself too.

So, here's the deal. If you want this add a comment to THIS post with your first name, last initial, city & state {country if not US}. So for example, if I was entering I would comment "Emily A. from Richardson TX". When I pick a winner I will announce it like that, along with the time you logged in & it will be up to you to email me your info. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, go ahead & please do so on the button on the sidebar. I have had delivery issues so far, but am confident it will be actually sending soon. There's no need to sign up for the letter again if you already have.

So, go crazy - tell our friends! Enter away! I'll cut it off on Thursday, March 1 at noon CST.
***REVISED***Don't know about alcohol inks? Um, get ready to fall in love. I found a free downloadable video to show you how they look when used - they're best known for colorizing metal {like the lunch box} & other slick surfaces.

Teaching at Away with the Fairies...

Home from the UK & finally able to update...

Home, sweet home. You know it's a long plane ride when you watch some in air TV, a movie, eat a meal & read 5 chapters of your book & then realize you still have SIX hours to go...but I made it & there were even groceries in the house waiting for me. :)

I haven't had internet access since last Tuesday night...hence the long break from blogging. We had 1 day in London and I had a few hours in Oxford to sight see. The weather took a miraculous break and I got some great photos. Click here for the FULL UK GALLERY.
Wednesday morning, Janice & I set out to see some of the city. We lucked out & saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. After that we toured Westminster Abbey. I've been before, but didn't go in. It was really emotional & beautiful. I cried a lot. Lit a candle for my mom. It was nice. After that we took in some of the shops at Covent Garden. I still can't get over the weather. It was amazing the way it cleared up. Apparently, I was really into the tilted photos on this trip.

Thursday we were in Chelmsford with a group of retailers & the ScrapGenie group. Most of the day was spent prepping the kits, then I got my teach on in the afternoon. We all went out to dinner together afterwords. It was so much fun...another night out with Amy & John {so cute - you know, Mr & Mrs Starfighter}. Laughed the evening away with everybody.
The next morning Becks took us out to visit some local scrapbook stores. Wow. God Bless America. The UK stores I visited were so tiny and random - usually just a corner of a general craft store {each place was about the size of one of our crop rooms}. Appreciate your local store - apparently they're not everywhere!!! Friday afternoon we headed back into London to catch out to Oxford. It was one of those once in a pink moon opportunities. My good friend, Claire Hampton {owner of the Card Fairy shops & education director & designer for Hampton Arts} was throwing a retreat in Oxford that weekend & she squeezed me onto the schedule to teach! I had all 90 women at once & ended up teaching and circulating through the room from 8-midnight.
Saturday morning I took a bus & met up with Orlando's {Claire's husband's} mum, Jamie & she showed me around Oxford. We went the shopping route & had a lot of fun. They have a covered market there with lots of unusual, eclectic stuff. I bought a bunch of old postcards, mail & stamps in a second hand shop. After shopping she took me to her private club, Qi {stands for quite interesting & is a play on words for iq} - which made me feel like I was getting the full British treatment. We had tea. I absolutely adore Jamie.
I actually took a few classes while I was there - 2 from Tim, 1 from Claire & 1 from Leandra from Paper Artsy {fell in love with their stamps!}. Also met the Art Girls. Alain was there too {I admit, sometimes I talk to him just to hear his accent - South African, which apparently, I'm really into}.
Sunday afternoon it was on a bus & back to a hotel by the airport for the long Monday flight home. As for jet lag, it's not so bad. I was 6 hours ahead, the only good thing is was I woke up at 6 am & got going today. I also went for a walk. Nothing like a trip to London to remind me I don't walk enough. Might have to get Indian food tonight...having withdrawal...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another day, another restaurant...

The show is over...always a good feeling. I will miss the people I've been hanging out with. A special hello to all the Brits from the ScrapbookGenie booth & the Dutch gals from ScrapBook Mate!

We caught the 5 o'clock train back into London & are staying in Notting Hill at Janice's friend's flat tonight. We had Lebanese tonight & ate outside {which was great in this weather - there were heaters up}. This cute area is St. Christopher's Place & is full of fun cafes & great window shopping.

Tomorrow is a free day & I think we're going to get in some sightseeing before we travel into Chelmsford tomorrow afternoon for teaching on Thursday.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Catching up in the UK...

Nothing too crazy to report here. Yesterday {the first day of the show}, we didn't get a wake up call, so the day started out kind of rushed. We're splitting our time between two of our distributors booths, ScrapGenie & ScrapbookMate. We're in there with several other manufacturers & it's fun to catch up with old friends & make new ones.

Last night Janice & I went to BaraJees for dinner {Indian}. Our hotel has free DVDs so we've stayed up & had movie night every night since we got acclimated. So far we've watched Notting Hill, The Wedding Date & How to Lose a Guy in 10 days. I so love our hotel. It's a bit of a bummer we're checking out in the morning.

Tonight we had Tapas with Amy & John. They're a really fun couple and it was nice to relax & hang out with people. Brave souls, they have a car. We rode with them back to our hotel. Brave, brave, brave drivers. I prayed a lot. Not necessarily their fault {honestly, not at all their fault}, I'm still having those moments when I'm praying in the cabs because I'm sure we're careening into certain death down the wrong side of the road.

Vote here...

OK, all you, no-posters out there. I know you're out there. I met John & Amy from Lasting Impresstions {actually Amy's from there, he's "just" her husband - they're working the booth with us at the trade show} and I was slapped with a flashback to the Last Starfighter in 1984. One of the great campy scifi movies of the 80's. I think maybe John was 2 when it came out...geesh. So VOTE. Do you see the resemblance? Did you see the movie? Do you miss me? Just leave a comment!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Setting up & setting out...

Well, I took some photos today. Janice & I set up our portion of the ScrapGenie booth where we're exhibiting at Stitches today. We're at the NCE which stands for H-U-G-E. Our lackluster cabbie dropped us off at the entrance for the equestrian show this weekend, which we walked through to get to our hall.

After setting up we took the train back to Birmingham New & rested a bit at the hotel. When I say we rested a bit - I don't know what Janice did, I fell asleep. I did get to call home and talk to Matt...which was great & made me cry. I miss him {am unusually emotional & mushy}.

We headed out to look for dinner. Actually we are around the corner from the hip section of Birmingham. It's really pretty here at night. There was this mad scientist fountain with all these mysterious tubes & levers. Janice got in it {that's her on the right}.

The walk down to the restaurants and pubs was beautiful. If we were party girls there was a spot, Reflex 80's Bar, which we would've gone into if we'd felt a little more chic. There was 80's music blasting out of the place & pacman flashing up on the big screen...

We were prepared for the restaurants to be jam packed & were surprised and delighted to get a table right away at Tin Tin {awesome deep fried tofu}. This whole area is just beautiful. I couldn't help snapping pictures of the canal, the bridge & a snap of bustling Broad Street.

Tomorrow the show starts & I will do some snaps of the booth.
Oh, I almost forgot!!! I forgot how much I love the breakfasts here! Their bacon is beyond description & I love anywhere you can have roasted tomatoes & grilled mushrooms in the morning. And I adore hot tea wih milk. aaaaaahhhh....

Friday, February 16, 2007

The end of a very long day...

Well, we made it to the hotel!!! It's almost 11pm here & I'm on Janice's Mac, so the screen doesn't look the same. After a packed train ride we made it to Birmingham & our hotel. A long, hot shower never felt so good! I was going to add a link, but I don't see the spot on here {it's true, I'm a pc girl through & through} so here's where we'll be thru Monday night: Now I'm going to sleep, sleep, sleep this minute!

4752 miles & 6 hours later...

Well I made it! The flight was a breeze - had a whole row to myself , got to lie down & thanks to Simply Sleep had over 8 hours {which is unusual for me}. So, I made the 6 hour trasnition pretty well. There were a lot of trains & in case you didn't realize it, let me share a warning with you: there are virtually no "lifts" {elevators} on the tube system & each platform is seperated by stairs. So remember that when you're packing - he fewer bags the better!

We're hanging out at Janice's friend, Gloria's apartment & watching her darling 2 year-old Noah zip around. It was really nice after the 2+ hour ordeal of switching multiple trains to get into the city to have somewhere friendly to nap {1 hour only} & eat take away {chicken shawarma wrap & hummus - yum!}. We have another train ride tonight - it's about 1 1/2 hours to Birmingham where we will be staying the next few days.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

World's quickest blog post...

The shuttle is picking me up at 3:20 to go to the airport. I'm slightly freaking out like I forgot something. I think I've done everything - I mean I still have to go to Target, but that should be quick! just wanted to say bye before I jumped the pond. I land in the UK at what will be 9:55 am tomorrow {a lousy 3:55 am here} and will need to meet up with Janice and do quite a bit of train juggling with 2 suitcases, laptop & purse of my own - so I don't know when my next post will be - but I promise to post when I can!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Well, happy valentines day!!!! It's a big day for me - I'm kicking it off by getting issue 2 of my newsletter, Playing With Fire sent out in the wee hours of the morning. If you missed it you can read it here. I have been having some sending errors, but am doing my best to get all the delivery issues squared away!

I'm going to be on the Diva Craft Lounge radio show today at 12:20 PT. Click here to tune in. It's Diva Danielle's 100th show & she's having a big celebration with lots of giveaways.

Imagination Project draws for their "big, new & free" Valentine Giveaway this afternoon! Sign up by 3 EST if you want to enter! The response has been unbelievable - at the time I'm writing this we've already topped 1100 entries...thank you - scrappers rock!

Today is also special because it's the 4th anniversary of when we bought our home.

I am celebrating the first anniversary of the greatest valentine gift I could have ever received which I got last year {even though it technically happened on the 15th, I will always associate it with Valentine's Day}. That's right it's been one year since I got my pacemaker & I got a new lease on life! I'm happier & healthier than I've been in years. {perhaps ever}

I will be packing & getting ready to leave for the UK tomorrow {argh}, and my patient, sweet husband has agreed to suspend our Valentine celebration until I get home. I have the perfect guy for me - I am blown away by him every day, we'll have been together 11 years now {married 7} & he's still surprising me. I LOVE YOU MATT!

I will be gone from the 15th through the 27th & will try to blog as much as I can while I'm there. I wish I could say it was for relaxation, but I will be doing 3 events in a row - and who am I kidding -probably loving every minute of it. UKScrappers, here I come!

if you're lov-ing the card I pictured as much as I am you can check it out at Rock Paper Scissors!

Monday, February 12, 2007


by Stacey from Junkitz, 6 quirky things about me. Okie dokie:

1. I collect skeleton figurines. I have them all over my house.
2. I love color! My living room & dining room is red, kitchen orange, studio yellow, hallway green, bathroom brown, our bedroom will be royal blue & our guest bedroom will probably be turquoise when we get around to painting it.
3. I was on stage with the Rocky Horror Picture Show for a year. I was Magenta & I had the perfect hair for it!
4. I was the President of the National Honor Society in my high school.
5. When I'm at a trade show or teaching event {like CKU} I get so excited and revved up I only sleep about 3-5 hours a night. Even when I'm home I have problems sleeping sometimes - too much to do and/or think about.
6. If I had a fantasy dinner party I would invite: Rachel Ray, Alton Brown, Ellen Degeneras, Bill Engvall, Paula Dean, JK Rowling, Philip Dick, Jane Austen, my mom, MC Escher, Shel Silverstein, Georgia O'Keefe, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonardo da Vinci & Robin Williams. Man, we'd laugh a lot & have so much to talk about.

Ok, since I have to pass the baton on this...I tag Debby Schuh and my bff, Angie Arey. Should be fun - keep it going girls!

One of "those" pictures...

You ever get home & start to look at the pictures you took & realize that you did something more than capture a moment, you captured some one's soul? I took this last weekend & it was really dark so I didn't pay much attention to it. I was holding the camera out of Meg's reach & clicking pictures from above, well, to irritate her, because that's what cousins do. I didn't think they would be anything special. Well, I just went in to adjust the light levels to see if any of these were salvageable & this emerged. I was stunned. It is the spirit of the spunky, old-soul, eye-rolling 15-year-old that she is. Already extremely mature, rolling those big blues at the concept of being treated like someone her age. I can't wait to scrap this one...I wish the others had turned out from this set, but there was only this one. This perfect one.

GREAT GIVEAWAY at Imagination Project...

Hey, everybody...I just posted a great giveaway on the Imagination Project blog! Just hop over there & enter your first name and email address to win. We got a case of the winter-stir-crazies/Valentine-mushies/new-product-in-the-warehouse-wildness and wanted to share the love. So we'll be randomly choosing 2 lucky winners to receive boxes with our newest releases {they will be the FIRST new stuff shipped out} and with some of our hottest favorites. So what are you waiting for? SIGN UP! {please do not sign up here, doesn't work that way} :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nothing beats good books...

It was a busy day full of errands & going through stuff. We were so wiped out we had an early dinner & went to bed around 6:30...once we rested for a bit we realized it would throw our schedules completely out of whack if we actually fell asleep that early so we headed to the closest half price books. As usual, we didn't find what we set out for, but I found an ancient copy of Dickens' Old Curiosity Shop in great condition that just came in for $3.50 and this beautifully illustrated 1956 copy of The Wizard of Oz for $5. I love old books and reading something that's been read before always makes me feel like I've shared in a collective experience...

Well, I did say we were each on a mission for a specific book so we headed over to Borders. The one by us is closing this month & was having a sale. Matt found his - The Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay {I'm slightly alarmed, but he's happy as a clam, so OK then}. And I found mine - The Tipping Point. My friend, Debby recommended it to me. It's a study of social epidemics in today's society and how small things can make a big difference. And I found a new magazine that I love & I can actually afford subscribing to {LOL} - Beatuiful Decay. "Beautiful Decay was created to bridge the gap between art and graffiti, underground and mainstream, design and fine art, Punk rock and hip hop, illustration and design, and most importantly high and low art." - how can you not just eat that up?

I have a great problem - I don't know what to read next. I'm going to shelve Son of a Witch for now. I'm just too excited about reading some of to bed with a good book!

Friday, February 09, 2007

home, sweet home...

This is our favorite neighborhood place. We had lived here three years before Ashley happened to introduce it to us at lunch one day. It is about 3 minutes from my house and some of the freshest tasting TexMex I've ever had. Here's what I love about Amigos...
  • they make their hot sauce fresh twice a day and I get a large container of it almost every week - it's super fresh & heavy on the lime & cilantro, just the way we like it
  • when I get their hot sauce home I eat it with scrambled eggs, I make queso with it & tend to cook fajitas when I have it on hand
  • They make the BEST BREAKFAST in the world {weekends only}. We love the beef fajita omelets - they're amazing
  • we never feel "heavy" or tired after eating there
  • Everybody gets a free appetizer spicy-baby-tostada-thingie.
  • Awesome taco salad & great guacamole.
  • Their margaritas are strong & taste great. Before 7 pm they're $2.00. On Monday they're $2 all day.
  • The waiters know us. The owners' daughter is in our nieces' girl scout troop.
  • It's small but bustling spot that has become another "home" to me. It is the first meal I want to eat when I get home from a trip & the one food I really miss while I'm gone.

I was trying to figure out my topic for today at dinner tonight {you know where} & I realized this was it. Do you have a place that feels like home? I was surprised that I've never even taken a picture of or scrapbooked about one of my favorite places.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

ow, ow, ow, ow...

Well, I got the temp filling in today. Thought I'b blog before I hit the tylenol pm. It turns out instead of breaking a tooth I broke off a rather large filling. When I had my wisdom teeth out a few years ago I went under a general anesthetic & they did some extra work {I remember they had to saw out a portion of my jaw - that got my attention}. Apparently, according to my dental records I did have a monster cavity & a giant filling during the same surgery. That's what came out. When I get home from my next trip I get to look forward to a root canal & a crown...whoopee.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Schedule fun!!!

I added this note to the calendar I created today {more tomorrow on the IP blog} to remind myself to make time for fun & family. I love my work so much, it's tempting to get over-involved.

As a matter of fact - I'm letting myself have some fun right now...tonight on VH1 Classic is a 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders marathon & we're loving it! Matt's into it as much as I am & of course we're playing fashion police. There's not much of an age difference between us {I'm 2 1/2 years older}, but it really shows during programs like this. As usual, I'm sitting here thinking I should watch more VH1 - I just adore their graphics & whole look. Considering I had chicken fried rice and a small glass of wine & it's been a perfect evening...

Simple joys & a warning...

Some days it's the simple things that make you happy. I was buzzing through Target on the way to pick up a prescription & walked down one of the valentine aisles. I saw this awesome stacking container that held tea bags. Now, I love hot tea so the contents and the container together were a must have. And they were ON SALE. I'm going to need to cover the labels in some way, but that should be an easy fix. I don't know what I'm going to put in there, but it's gonna be fabulous!

I really like my new dentist. Apparently my mom was a little too vague for me growing up, so let me clear this up for you in case you're in the same boat...when you hear things like "don't chew your ice", "don't grind your teeth" & "don't clench your teeth when you get mad - it's not good for them" - "Not good for them" means maybe, one day when you're innocently biting down on a graham cracker in the middle of the night, half your tooth might just break off from being totally ground down & stressed out. If she said "your tooth could fall out" - I think I might have stopped, or at least slowed down or been more afraid. Since Saturday I've been terrified all my teeth were going to fall out of my head & it turns out I don't even have a single cavity...hmmm. I'm probably have to get a mouthgaurd {sexy} for when I sleep {and maybe for when I do artwork}, but if it works it will be well worth it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

at the end of a long day...

Long, long day. First of all, I didn't get in the dentist this morning {insurance issues}. Went on a wild goose chase looking for a new dentist during which I found out my cardiologist closed his practice & moved away. Had I not gone looking for him this morning, I would've found the announcement of my new doc in the mail, but I had to do it the hard way. It was pretty traumatic - my cardiologist has gotten me through a lot & I really liked him...long story short - dentist tomorrow.

As for Sharon's surgery, it was about twice as long as expected. They went into her shoulder to mend a torn rotator cuff & "bolt it" {is that the right term?} onto the nearest bone. When they put the pin through, they found out the bone was probably too soft to hold it in place, so they drilled several small holes through it & sewed through the bone. {shudder}

After about 6 hours of dedicated hospital time I went grocery shopping {glutton for punishment}, had a turkey pot pie and lemon DaSani & started in on today's work emails. My husband is in the chair behind me, hugging me and leaning on me - daring me to type something inappropriate. I've already typed in a couple of shockers & deleted them just to see if he's paying attention. You have no idea how carefully I'm double checking this before I post it to make sure all the saucy bits are deleted!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Awesome super bowl Sunday...

Today started like any other day. Matt & I are visiting a new church & really like it, so we went this morning & met my Uncle Glen, Aunt Carol & cousin Amy there. Afterwards we all went to Highlands Cafe {adding Meg to the group before lunch}. Amy had a Japanese club meeting & a big calculus project so she peeled off after lunch to do her own thing...

Speaking of Amy, while I was in Anaheim she went ahead & enlisted in the army!!!!!!!!!! She leaves for basic training in South Carolina in August after she graduates. She made a perfect score on the military aptitude tests & with her passion for math she wants to be a cryptographer. They're impressed that by 17 she's fluent in Spanish, has a pretty good handle on Japanese & has picked up a good dose of French, Latin & German as well. With her language aptitude, they're talking about sending her through intense linguistic training soon. After her first year she wants to apply to go to West Point. We are so proud of her for following her dreams - but understandably we're all scared to death.

Anyway, back to lunch...every year on super bowl Sunday my aunt & uncle and the girls do a movie marathon at the dollar movies. This is the first year in several years that we weren't having family over or were at some one's house. Matt wanted to stay home & dose in front of the game. I had planned to work during the game & then watch the commercials, but this was just to good to miss! I work too much anyway...

First we saw The Return, which had a vague nightmarish quality, but wasn't "great". I did like the choice of leading man, Peter O'Brien - courageously a little older and dirtier than the typical leading man - mmmmmmmmmmmm, mmmm-hmmm. 'nuff said.

After that we saw DeJa Vu, which was so good it had me reading the credits to see if it was adapted from a Philip Dick story {high praise for me}. Really good. Luckily I was sitting next to Meg & we got to squeeze the heck-o out of each other's fingers.

Then we had a short break & saw The Prestige, which I liked too. Another thinking thriller & this time I couldn't peg all the twists. Makes me want to run around & say "Are you watching closely?" in a slightly creepy way...

We wanted to finish on a lighter note so we picked something we thought would be fun, but we had NO IDEA it would be as funny as it ended up being! We watched the 9:30 show of Flushed Away. If you're a Wallace & Gromit fan this is a must & it might just be the cure for any day that's a little too serious. The slugs rocked!

Then through Wendy's drive through for dollar nuggets & soon to bed. I'll be starting the day with a first thing emergency trip to the dentist {I don't want to talk about it} and hopefully making it cross town to the hospital where my stepmom is having shoulder surgery by 11.

Friday, February 02, 2007


aaaaaaaaaah. It's so good to be home. When I got in yesterday it was SNOWING {kinda fun} - a nice welcome home. People asked if I was spoiled by the lovely California weather - but since I never really got outside the convention center the answer is not really.

I have so much to say - so many thanks & I'm trying to figure out the best way to do a slideshow to music of the zillion pictures I took. I had to post this one...If you haven't seen it yet, go to Ginger's blog for the before pictures. I couldn't resist crashing in the sea of manequins after taking down the booth...should've taken off my purse before I got down on the floor.
My niece's birthday party starts in an hour, so I better get going. I will have many, many more things to say later! Check out the IP blog to see our release dates, online catalog & videos I took of the booth and around the show!