Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creating with a different approach...

We had a project recently where we (the Luxe girls) were challenged to do a "simpler style" of layout than we usually do - one that could be easily duplicated in any of our paper patterns. I thought about it & several of our designs have this neat pin stripe that has always reminded me of a journaling paper. The other half of the layout is just the reverse of the same paper. With just a stapled criss cross of ribbon and a piece of a border rub I was able to leave well enough alone & loved the results! The pictures were fun - Meg & I went to see the Orix Parade of Playhouses at Northpark Mall & this was in front of the "LoveShack"...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Voices of influence...

I scrapped today...I got a great idea for a layout that kinda spun out of control. I ended up doing so many of these fold our funky journaling pieces with different artists on their "covers"- I realized I'm going to need to do a mini book to do this idea up properly. So...enjoy, jam out & have a wild weekend! For a fold out view go to the Luxe blog.

Keep a Lid On It

These are pictures of my other Scrap-A-Ganza class, Keep a Lid On It. It's an altered Maya Road keepsake box with a 12 Days of Christmas accordion album inside. It should make for a really fun class & a great gift idea!


I've been busy finalizing my classes for Scrap-a-Ganza in Amsterdam. It's a holiday themed event so all the projects are decor, gift or holiday memory pieces. This class is called Reflections. We will make an altered miror (awesome gift) and a holiday mini album the Sarong collection from Luxe.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My happy place..

I've been at Luxe about four months now, but I really feel "at home" here. We've all been making an effort to give our offices a more personal touch and I've been having a lot of fun bringing up some things from home & getting a few new things to do up my space. It's hard to tell how soft the color is in the photos, but my walls are a mellow torchlight color {a Sherwin Williams color called Honeycomb} - they match so much and have a sunny, Tuscan glow. They're the same color as the walls in my studio at home.
I got the curtain rod idea from one of the blogs (Wendy Smedley? ScrapScene? I had a link to someone who had done this in their studio & I fell in love!) I have a curtain rod up in my scrap space at home, but I've been using it to hang my oversized sheets of paper on. I can't wait to switch it to displaying current projects!

I just wanted to share a glimpse of my space since it makes me so happy! {and since it's clean - lol!}

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Web pick of the week...Kuehn Keramik

I's in German. I was thrilled to see they finally added an English translator so I clicked on there before I posted the link. Some of my friends who have seen this look at me like I'm crazy - "you web surf in other languages?"....guilty. I go on visual adventures for cool stuff & follow the links where they take me. This time they took me to Berlin.
Cool. Cooler. The Coolest. I ran across this site in one of my online adventures researching the TrendWatcher class I taught for CKU Masters & Home Study. I was looking for cool international sites that had design elements I liked & that were on trend. I fell in love with their bizarre selections. If money were no object there are so many wacky, whimsical & wonderfully weird things I would buy from here. Click around - enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Home, exhausted & hmmm...

Well, we're back from a whirlwind long weekend. I'm exhausted, I'm happy. I'm so very happy I was able to go - I miss Amy more than ever...I'm totally preoccupied with what's she's doing again. I'm thinking about her all the time. hmmm....

Matt, Meg & I flew into Columbia SC early last Thursday morning & met my aunt & uncle who drove up. Thursday was family day so we were able to hang out with Amy all day. It was great to visit, but we couldn't leave the base. We dropped her back at the barracks and turned in early to get up for her graduation ceremony. It's hard to believe basic training has flown by like this. She's still so "Amy", but at the same time she's so different & more grown up.
We got to take her to her next post after graduation and drove the couple of hours into Fayetville NC where she will be for the next 15+ weeks. We hung out in our hotel rooms, had dinner and visited for hours.

Saturday we had until 5PM to get her to base (which was just a few minutes away) so we hung out some more. It was so great to hear her stories and be able to spend some real quality time with her.
She ended up having more free time after she logged into the base & we ended up having dinner together. We left the base after dark & took a wrong turn. We realized we had hummers in front of us & behind us - like we were in a convoy (no warning signals going off in our head, after all, we thought we were leaving an army base). We promptly started freaking out when the road turned into gravel & dirt and we were reeling into a field with a large sign posted to our right that said "DROP ZONE". about a sharp u-turn. We got the heck out of there. Once we realized we probably weren't getting blown up we had a fit of nervous laughter. And if you thought that was funny - you should have seen us going through the checkpoint getting back into the base coming from the restricted area. Once we got everything explained away they let us pass and called out "Have a safe journey. Careful folks, it's a Saturday night - there's a lot of idiots out there on the road". To which my Aunt Carol answered "Yes, and five of them are in this car!"
We got into Atlanta at 3AM & left for the airport at 6AM to catch a flight home (ouch). Matt was able to nap, but I was too wound up & straightened up Sunday afternoon. I went to the grocery store twice & cooked and tried to function on virtually no sleep.
Today we set up a cool new corner in our offices - we had slat wall installed & merchandised our own product. It sounds strange, but it was really awesome - having it all out like that made me really want to create. You can check it out here & read about it here.
There's so much more I could blog about, but I'm wretchedly tired so for now I'm going to have to sign off...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Off to South Carolina...

Life is moving so fast!!! The last couple of days have just flown by! So much to do...we leave tomorrow for South Carolina to see Amy graduate from basic training. I feel like I haven't seen her in AGES, and on the other hand I can't believe it's gone so quickly. We'll get to take her to her next post so we'll have the weekend with her (so cool). I got my first letter from her last night - she wrote it on 9/2, but didn't have my mailing address until 10/11 (when my first letter arrived - I guess I'll she'll be getting forwarded mail for a while). Anyway - got to dash!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Has it really been four years???

I'm writing this at midnight so I don't have to face this post during the day tomorrow {I mean later today}. Four years ago I lost my mom...I love this picture of us from my wedding day. I miss her so much it still aches when I think about it - so I usually try not to deal with it. That might not be the healthy way, but it's the only way I can cope so far. I just take it one day at a time. Sometimes I feel like she's still a phone call away, or like she's going to hold my hand or run her fingers through my hair...I wish she could have seen me get better. I wish she could've seen my success. I wish I could just talk to her again - there's so much I have to say to her...

I know, I know - she knows. She's watching over me. I'll see her again in heaven.

Go call your mom if you haven't talked to her today. Give her a hug for me. Trust me - you'll miss the hugs some day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Heartfelt thanks to Orlando...

Just got back from Orlando from CKU & had such a wonderful time... Teaching is one of the favorite parts of my job and CKU is one of my favorite events. It always warms my heart to meet so many passionate scrapbookers and connect with so many new students. I've done a lot of CKU's by now (a lot...over 30 now, every event since 2002) and each time it renews my creativity & dedication to my hobby. Too often I fall into a routine of thinking of scrapbooking as "work" - thank you for reminding me, once again, that it is my passion and it can be really, really fun.

Thank you to all of you who attended & special thanks to my students there. I hope you keep up with my blog, keep in touch & to see you again in future classes.

For my spinning students - if you "got the fever" for game board spinners I thought I'd put a direct link to spinners here. Also if you were looking for my husband's site, ManHandled (the source of the zillion buttons I was wearing on my apron you can get there here. To to order Luxe papers, rub-ons, ribbons, transparencies or jotters click here for the Luxe website. To visit the Luxe blog & participate in our Thursday challenges for prizes click here. If you need to refer to color photos of the class projects I taught in Orlando you can reach my class gallery here. Please feel free to keep in touch - I have an email link in my sidebar. I keep a calendar in the sidebar with when I'll be teaching where & I still plan to launch a newsletter. There's a sign up button in my sidebar if you would like to add your name to my list.

Thank you again for a great weekend! Orlando rocks!!!

Web pick of the week {this week}...

Take Two - figured I'd go ahead & post today since I leave town again on Thursday & have a crazy lot to do this week. The next must see site is:
Jessica runs this awesome blog and searches for the best of the best in unique handmade goods and other quirky items. She'll guide you to everything from jewelery to clothing - what's best - she's a scrapbooker & has a great eye for cool paper creations.

Web pick of the week {last week, that is}...

Well I'm home from Orlando & didn't have as much online time as I'd planned on so - better late than never, here's my cool online find of the week:
This blog is a never ending source of coolness - they feature everything from decor to fashion from paper to fabric - all with the purpose of seeking out the "fabulously creative". I realize I sometimes fall down posting a link a week - they post a link each day. So go check out the fly girls & browse through their archives.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Classic Movies in 30 seconds...

I hopped over (no pun intended) to to see if they had any new releases. I was lamenting I couldn't embed them until I realized I'd never searched youtube for them. I was thrilled to find this set which includes some of my favorites - The Shining & Jaws. viewer discretion is advised

Button Mania in the house of Adams...

Matt & I have been on a kick to update our etsy shop, ManHandled. Meg got us going after she came up with great idea for a "Save Ferris set".

I designed 4 new sets of buttons, have posted 2 and will be posting another tomorrow and the next on Saturday. I collect Day of the Dead figurines, so these Festival of Bones buttons were a no-brainer & just in time for Halloween. Today I put up a set called "i LOVE nerds"...

When I was in my early 20s I was a waitress at Applebee's and yes, I had to cover myself in "flair" - it was no Chotsky's, but my obsession with buttons was born! It's such a blast to make our own!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Online Pick of the Week...

I'm a big trend watcher...I've taught the trend watching class for CKU for years, and have dedicated years to reading up on generational studies and following pop culture & design trends. I spend a lot of time finding great places online where I can "increase my visual literacy". I've shared sites with a few of you - and invariably when I do this people get really I thought, "why not do a site a week on the blog?" So that's the new goal. Once a week {random day} I will feature one of my favorite places to go online.

I read The Long Tail this summer which explained how with the internet our tastes are becoming much more specialized. It's a major shopping trend we can measure - not just in our life times, but in the last couple of years. Think about it. When we were young, we would go to the big box/department store and what they had was what we were exposed to - maybe some catalog & some boutique shopping, but basically a pretty narrow selection to choose from. With the internet, we now have infinite shelf space to browse through. What percentage of Raphsody's million titles do you think they actually sell a year? Conventional business models would estimate 20%, I went "crazy" and guessed 40%. They sell 98% of their titles every year. Most of their money comes from "the long tail" - a few purchases per title but with a million titles. It's a really interesting read. As I browse through etsy and this current boom of independent retailers online, I'm usually overwhelmed how specific my tastes have become. I blogged about my music the other day and, in rereading that post I'm still surprised how definable my tastes are. It's a really exciting time in selling and marketing because all of the rules are changing so rapidly.

Wow, I'm a nerd sometimes...I'm just on fire about this kind of stuff.
Now for the website of the week: The Curiosity Shoppe

This is a fun site run by a couple that are "obsessed with beautiful things" - great premise for a shop. There's neat stuff on here. I think I might need the ice jewels - the ice cube tray that makes faceted jewel shapes (only $6). What I'd really like (that I'd probably never spend the money on) is the Owl paperweight - it's exactly like one my mom had.

And they have a craft room section to their site with wacky crafting items. Personal favorites: the paint by numbers set and the matchstick garden.

Dinner for Ashley...

I had lunch with Ashley today & we talked recipes for a bit. I've really been into crock pot cooking lately and have been trying out new recipes. Ashley's going to try the pepperoncini roast this week and I told her about my latest new favorite...carnitas! So she told me to put it up on my blog so she could find the recipe later, so here goes:
  • a pork butt roast, trimmed
  • 1 onion, cut
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 packet of LOW SODIUM taco seasoning
  • 1 c of water

Crock pot on low for 8 hours...or until you get home. THAT"S IT!!! And it's so unbelievably tender and wonderful. And it freezes well if you make too much. Serve with tortillas, sour cream, cheese & fresh pico if you have it - they make the best soft tacos on the planet!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Happy us

Eight years ago wedding day. I am so blessed that Matt is in my life. We're still like newleyweds, but it feels like we've been together forever. He is my rock. He makes me laugh out loud. He is the level head to balance out my creative chaos. I love him so much. I gathered up some of my favorite wedding pictures. Angie was supposed to be my matron of honor, but she was busy having a baby (excuses, excuses), so I had Terrie & my 3 junior bridesmaids. Can you believe those 3 rascals are Amy & Tammy (graduated last year) and little Meg. Time files...