Friday, November 30, 2007

Check it out...

We are giving away some rockin' stuff over on the Luxe blog. Just comment over there on todays post and enter to win some gorgeous handmade tags by Pam Lambie. Also help us spread the word about Luxe, limited & post there to be eligible to win one of our limited edition kits just in time for Christmas!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And now for something completely different...

HOW CUTE IS THIS??? Ms. Meg was in the chorus of her high school production of Annie. She's the lovely chorus girl (maid) talking to the littlest orphan during curtain call. These kids were amazing. They had a combined high school& elementary school cast - even 2 live, very well behaved dogs. It was super impressive.

I'm totally digging Meg's new "do". She has the signature Hargis curly hair {like me} but she has really fine hair {like her mom & grandmother} so it doesn't usually bounce. Well apparently a stint in hot rollers does the trick...isn't she adorable? It made her very easy to spot on stage since all the other girls had theirs pulled back or straight.

I was in drama in high school. I did Noises Off as Dotty, Equus as the mom - even HMS Pinafore as Buttercup. When we did HMS Pinafore we had a first year choir teacher directing us...and small world - she is Meg's choir teacher now.

Gotta dash...I'm exhausted. I overblogged earlier & I still need to blog over on Luxe tonight. Debby arrives tomorrow...whee!

What a difference two years makes...

this is my story.

Two years ago today I worked late at Magic Scraps. I was at the office alone. Then I drove home. Our pilot light at home had blown out and it was the first cold day of the season. So when I got there Matt had just figured it out & was getting ready to go up in the attic to fix it. He met me at my car and was telling me about it. I sat on the porch for a minute (I had been getting out of breath a lot) on the way in the house and he went inside.

For some miraculous reason he turned around to tell me one more thing and that was it. It didn't make any sense, it felt like someone was pouring a glass of warm water over my head. I felt the warm sensation "pour over" the left side of my body and everything relaxed. I started to fall. Matt looked at me and asked what was wrong. I told him I didn't know and I kept slumping over. He said - "get up, you're scaring me" and I said "I CAN'T, I'M SCARING ME" & I told him he needed to "make the call". He ran in & grabbed his phone. While he went in the house I did something stupid. I tried to catch myself from falling all the way to the ground. I threw my body forward and grabbed onto our porch railing to catch me which completely twisted my body.

Matt came out and kept asking me if my leg hurt. I was crumpled in a lump on the porch at that point, but I couldn't feel anything. I couldn't move either, but I was strangely calm and detatched. When the paramedics came they asked about my leg too...I felt nothing. Then they unfolded me. That little stunt of trying to catch myself didn't work out so well. I dislocated my ankle & my knee & tore my mcl. My foot was snapped backwards and my knee was twisted in at a crazy angle. It was in the ambulance that I heard it for the first time - "you've had a stroke". That's why I couldn't feel my leg.

If I had stayed an extra 30 minutes at work I would've been alone & would've died. If it had happened behind the wheel I would've died. They told me I had about a 5 minute window and if Matt hadn't been there talking to me when it happened I probably would have been dead by the time he came back down from the attic.

It was the worst day of my life. And the beginning of it.

I had been getting sicker & sicker for a long time. The reason I quit banking in the first place and started teaching scrapbooking in the first place was because I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. I was diagnosed when I was 28, 2 months before I got married and they told me if they hadn't have caught it I wouldn't have made it past 30. When I collapsed from severe CHF at 32 they said I wouldn't have made it past 35. When I had the stroke at 34 they said it was a miracle I made it at all.

Two months later I got my pacemaker and everything changed for me. I feel GOOD. Alive. I've never felt this good before.

I did so much physical therapy. At first I was in braces from my foot up to my hip and using a walker every day (that felt like forever). Then I had a bad limp. Now, unless you really watch me you wouldn't know the difference. I'm still slow on stairs & my leg drags when I'm tired. I still can't feel most of my left leg below the knee. I have difficulty moving my toes. And sometimes I still get agonizing leg cramps because my left leg is still so much weaker than my right. BUT I'M ALIVE.

I fought to teach scrapbooking again even more, I was so fiercely rededicated to telling women to tell their own story. I came so close to not having my own voice anymore. The day I had my pacemaker surgery, Advantus told us they were closing Magic Scraps. I stayed on through the rest of the teaching calendar (through most of the year) then went with Imagination Project who decided to exit scrapbooking within six months of hiring me. Then I joined Luxe...where I feel like I'm "home". I'm doing more than ever & traveling more than ever because I CAN. It feels good.

Has it only been 2 years? Sometimes it feels like yesterday. Sometimes it feels like several lifetimes ago. All those agonizing hours where I wondered if I'd ever be better? I've discovered how strong I am, how much Matt loves me, how many people truly care for me, and more than ever I believe every day is a gift. I have to say a few important thank my husband Matt, who built me a handicap ramp by hand while I was in the hospital so I could come home - and who destroyed it with such passion when I didn't need it any more. He cared for me, bathed me - did everything when I could not for myself. He was my rock, my angel, my everything. Thanks to my family who were so scared for me and took turns releiving Matt and doing everything from taking me to the doctor to just keeping me company. Also a very special thanks to my friend & inspiration Teresa Collins, I couldn't have gotten through my recovery mentally without her counsel & support.

Now my doctors say I'm going to get "old & wrinkly" - and I think that's fabulous.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Call me a photo kamikaze...

You ever have a "perfect shot" in mind, but you don't know quite how to pull it off? That was my case today. Pam & I did a couple of Christmas projects today {I did the tag & Pam did the card} & I wanted to do some super cute photos, especially since I was blogging on the Luxe side later than usual. So I got a "great idea" on the way home. I decided to stage our projects in amongst the Christmas trees & jumbo toys at JoAnn's.

Sounds like a great idea.'re a control freak {like me}. I started setting an entire "scene" around a white Christmas tree. I was bringing over Santa's, snowmen, a picture frame...going generally bonkers and all the while trying not to draw attention to myself {lest I be forever labeled as the crazy lady in the Christmas section}. I was avoiding detection and was slyly bringing my camera up to snap my first picture {amongst an insane set up of gathered stuff} cell phone goes off, at top volume - the theme song to "The Office". I froze..........and immediately an employee popped around the aisle and said "cute ringtone...ooooooh. O. K." And she cocked her head and just looked at my little creation in her pristine Christmas tree display section. Oopsie :)
I quickly told Matt I'd call him back and tried to explain my blog. She just ended up having a good laugh and told me to knock myself out. I ended up not using the elaborate set up shots and picked some simpler ones {in the white tree & with the humongo snowman}.
So, I felt like a photo kamikaze today & I'm pretty sure they're going to have a good chuckle over me when I come in again. {And, yes, I put everything away - lol}

What's happening...

Well, my box set of Twin Peaks arrived the day after I made the buttons. {sweet} I started rewatching them as I was cleaning my scrap room at 5 this morning. Yes, I'm still not on my "normal" schedule yet - usually I stay up late and sleep in a little...but not since I've been back from Amsterdam.

Work is awesome/busy as usual - we're creating some amazing kits for "LUXE, limited" {see post here}. I'm working on creating some custom printed pages for my kit as well as a really cool project with instructions.

Other than that I'm excited about Debby coming in this weekend - can't wait to show her around the Lone Star State!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Sense"-ational Sundays

buttons. and more buttons. Still selling like hot cakes. Our most popular set by far is still You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, but we added some new ones this week {inspired by my amazon dvd ordering habit} - Rocky Horror Picture Show, Annie Hall {La Di Da} and the soon to arrive at my doorstep Twin Peaks.


I TASTE: ...I've been tasting entirely too much to go & restaurant food. I haven't been to the store since I got back from the trip & we didn't abscond with any leftovers from Thanksgiving at Matt's aunt & uncles'. Must grocery shop today.

I TOUCH: well, a big giant mess. I've been cleaning the guest bedroom {formerly the junk-gathering graveyard of my house} & starting on my scrap room in anticipation of Debby Schuh coming to stay with me later this week!

I SMELL: Glade Holiday Cookie air freshner. I only there were cookies to back it up...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This was in my mailbox...

...I forgot that I ordered it from amazon a while back. Sweet!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wish I would've when I could've...

I'm so in love with...oilcloth. My "wish-I-would've-when-I-could've" non-buyer's regret is settling in - I saw some amazing oilcloth bags in Amsterdam & talked myself out of buying one {or truthfully several} and now I'm totally kicking myself!!!! I'm on a mission to make one or find some to buy over here. The patterns they have in oilcloth now are awesome & I love the no muss/no fuss clean up & care for them.

ETSY pick of the week....Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae Roberts
I found this amazing artist on Etsy and fell in love with her whimsical mixed media art. She sells prints of her work on the site and I'm eyeing a couple of them. Particular favorites of mine are Wear Red Shoes, Tell Your Story & In her Hands.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to you...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Taking time to give thanks...

giving thanks
Originally uploaded by emilykhadams.
I've been reflecting on all the things I have to be thankful for in my life so I took a break from my regular routine at work today to make this layout. I threw it together in less than 15 minutes, but it felt good to list some of the important things I will be giving thanks for. Count your blessings & have a safe & happy holiday!

My photos from Amsterdam & Brussels...

I had a chance to upload some of my pictures from the trip. I got some great shots from the few hours when we weren't at the event. So, if you have a chance check out my flickr album of Amsterdam & Brussels. The architecture was breath taking in Brussels. I hope to be able to go back someday when I have more time to expolre.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back on American soil...

Back in the "Luxe Lounge" at Chicago's O'Hare airport. The weather's absolute soup outside & we're worried about getting delayed. So close to home....and bed. So far I've stayed up & my goal is to stay awake until I get home tonight. I watched Ugly Betty episodes all the way home {and yes, I'm hooked}.

Scrap-a-Ganza was absolutely fab - such wonderful, talented & fun ladies - we're so excited to be going back next year! Also, I fell in love with Brussels and hope to go back sometime when I have more time to explore. I took a ton of pics, but can't post them from here...I will from home when I get a bit of sleep.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Sense"-ational Sunday...



I TASTE: Chocolate pop rocks - still!!!

I brought a few new button sets with me for some of the other instructors I don't see very often (Karen Burniston & Jen Starr). We made these up just before we left & they're selling like hotcakes! It's the "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" Set.

I SMELL: tobacco, everywhere.

bonus...I FEEL: awful...apparently I have a food allergy I'm not aware of. We had a tasting menu for dinner so there's a lot of suspects. Here's how bad it is...I had to leave the restaurant mid dinner nauseous & completely broken out in hives. It itches! aaaaaaaaaaargh!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finally & safely here...

Well I'm here - in Amsterdam & I'm probably too tired to be blogging, but here goes:
  1. Despite the waking up at 3:22 in the morning before I left I somehow was not able to sleep more than 4 hours on the plane. So I'm a little like a zombie.
  2. The train ride from Brussels to Amsterdam went really fast because that's where I ended up sleeping.
  3. The hotel where we are tonight is lovely, however our dinner reservations fell through & we had to start from scratch.
  4. Dinner had one of the worst & best food experiences I've ever had - worst: deep fried, tuna stuffed banana - best: chocolate covered pop rocks.
  5. It's really cold.
Well, I hope that can suffice for an update until I get some serious zzzzzs. Amsterdam is 7 hours ahead of Dallas so it's the middle of the night & I'm going to bed! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blogging on the road...

...or rather deep in O'Hare airport. Travelling with Jen is really an experience. She flies so much they treat her like a princess {not exaggerating - and totally in a good way}. Anyway....I'm not exactly where in O'Hare we are but...
  1. there are bouncers at the door
  2. there are computers {obviously}
  3. there is champagne
  4. there are chocolate covered strawberries {on the buffet}
  5. I feel under dressed

We leave for Brussels at 4:30 & this is a very fun place to kill some time. :)

On another note...I posted some new holiday buttons in the etsy shop this morning yet and we've already sold a couple of them! There's a "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" set , a "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" set & a "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" set.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trying to get acclimated...

I leave for Amsterdam & Scrap-a-Ganza tomorrow and in an attempt to conquer jetlag I woke up obscenely early this morning {"O-dark-thirty"}. So, forgive me if it's a little stream of consciousness this morning...I usually don't get out of bed until 7:30/8. I still have a lot of running around to do & loose ends to tie up before I leave so today will be errands, packing & crossing things off my many to do lists...

We're flying in & out of Brussels - which I'm very excited about; never been to Belgium before. We're taking the train into Amsterdam {love the trains}. This Texas girl is gonna be says it could snow while I'm there....what???? That's what I get for checking while I'm still groggy- that jolted me into consciousness!

I've been loading up my mp3 player with good stuff for the long trip- the Shins (thanks for the recommendation Pam), The Apples In Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Rachael Yamagata, Emiliana Torrini, Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson & Jose Gonzalez.

I'm not taking my laptop so I won't have email access, but I will be with Jen who promised to let me blog from the road :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

ETSY Pick of the Week...johnclark's Shop

This is what I do - I spend too much time clicking around online. So this is the new thing - along with web pick of the week I'm going to do an etsy store each week to support other independent sellers. If you're on etsy, please go to our family shop {mostly Matt's}, ManHandled - we'll be adding a lot of new items for the holidays.

johnclark's shop
When I saw his stuff for the first time I just gasped...I LOVE IT! He does tons of screen prints on pages from books. Tons of different faces & expressions {163 today}. In almost a year and half he has sold over 1300 prints with a 100% customer service rating - which is downright amazing. At $10 each for prints they're a real bargain.

WEB Pick of the Week - ORANGE BUTTON

This is a recent find for me, but it's worthy of the list...
Orange Button
Another quirk & fabulous site. It's a handmade, a little retro, a lot quirky & with just a touch of goth {my favorite combo}. If you want to hit the highlights I recommend: toys, jewelery, bags, hair, clothing and of course paper & crafts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sensible Sundays...

Well, I'm sticking to are the highlights of my 5 senses this week.

Meg, who spent the night last night. She worked at Luxe all day yesterday & I went up with her to work on artwork. Since last night we've ad a movie marathon...I've introduced her to 9 to 5, Stripes, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels & While You Were Sleeping.


I'm going to have to go with HONEYCRISP apples!!! They're the best apples I've ever tasted - a very yummy lunch with a Jif to Go peanut butter single & some Rold Gold Honey Wheat Pretzels...

Made some more button sets this morning...I've been wanting to do a SUPER DUPER MEGA set ever since the Wizard of Oz set last week. I figured a nostalgic I love the 80's set was the way to go. 35 buttons for $20...not bad when they're usually $1 per button. Matt & Meg have been a regular button factory! We've also added a small Marilyn Monroe set, a Mega Casablanca set and some 5x5 and 8x8 blank board books & unfinished dice for altering!

eggs, bacon & coffee {I love my husband}!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday smiles video...

I love this song...when I was younger I could do this completely by memory & a capella - usually in the car. It came out in 1992 (3 years after high school for me) & I thought this song"was" the ultimate portrait of high school romance. I loved it - still do. Meryn Caddell is awesome {bizarre} - this song is from her album Angel Food for Thought.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another creation in red, black & white...

I did this page yesterday, but in the evenings - my "blogging time" I've been going to sleep "early" {for me that's 10 - 11 instead of 12-2} so I haven't gotten online.

I've finally started a gallery on 2Peas. I upload stuff over there when I have time. It's funny...when I broke my pages down into their tags I realized my pages have a lot in common: ALL had lined or striped paper, doodling, hand journaling, distressed-aging-ink, hand cut elements (usually hearts), most had black and white or bright colors and some kind of rub-on. Black, white & red seems to be my most often used color combo.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tag - I guess I'm IT...

I've been tagged by, well, let's see - Cath, Jen & Jen. So there's no more ignoring it...I have some questions to answer. :)

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged:
1.Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs

OK, so here goes:
1. I love jazz & blues - especially Nina Simone, Etta James & Ella Fitzgerald.
2. I'm a science fiction junkie & I've been to my fair share of "cons" (comic book conventions - my favorite comics are Spawn & Batman). I've picked up an interest in anime from my cousins, Amy & Meg.
3. In high school I dyed my hair blond-ish with sun-in to be more like Vicki Vale (Kim Baissinger) in Batman.
4. I played Magenta in a stage show of Rocky Horror Picture Show for a year.
5. I love walking barefoot, but refuse to wear sandals. Also, I can't walk in shoes without at least a strap on the back or I fall completely out of my shoes.
6. I collect skeleton figurines.
7. There's a 6 1/2 foot long operational hovercraft in my garage. (the ultimate garage sale find)

Now here are my 7: Angie Arey, Teresa Collins, Debby Schuh, Ashley Smith, Robin Beam, Tim Holtz & Wes Thomsen. Who do I think will actually do this??? Angie & Robin...Who would shock me if they do this??? Ashley & Debby...Teresa's out of town & I have no idea what Wes or Tim will do, but I would love to see their answers...

Photos from Fort Worth...

I had a blast on Wednesday seeing Jane & exploring Ft Worth with Jen...I went ahead & did a flickr album of our day... We started off with a small lunch at the original Kinkaid's and headed out to kill a little time in Ft Worth before Jane called us & said she'd arrived at her hotel. We went to The Artful Bead - which was fabulous & where they let us "trick or treat" for candy & finger monsters (which provided hours of amusement). In the same shopping center was Imprints & Harbor Freight Tools (always fun). By the time we were finished we headed over to pick up Jane for dinner. Jane was in from Chicago for a couple of days shooting some clients before she went to San Antonio this weekend for the Fiskateer Round Up. We went over to Simple Things and browsed for what felt like ages - so many wonderful old things to see in there. We also drove through the neighborhood Jen will be moving to & checked out the trick or treating activity. We ended up at Duce for dinner and had a fabulous time! I can't wait for Jane to come back - because next time we're doing Dallas!

Sensible Sundays...

I'm trying to get back in the habit of regular blogging, so I'm starting a new thing on my personal blog. I'm calling it "Sensible Sundays" and I plan to cover my 5 senses every week - what I'm hearing, tasting, touching, smelling & seeing. I've been thinking about it & I think it will be a fun challenge - if you want to try it feel free to & let me know so I can read up on what you're sensing too.

Our nieces Amy & Haley who spent the night & who are total dynamos of energy zipping around the house this morning.

I've been totally into Ingrid Michaelson lately & love the imagery in the video - great message.

The "best" thing I cooked this week was a chicken & black bean soup & a green chile cornbread. I haven't made cornbread in ages...I forgot how much I like it. Now that's the weather's cooler I'm gearing up for more soups & stews in the crock pot. Speaking of crock pot - we realized this morning I left it on warm since, like, Friday without the crock in it. I had thought I unplugged it...oops. Anyway, all was safe & it's fine so no harm, no foul.

Buttons. Lots & lots of buttons. Sales have been great on Matt's site and we've been churning out some new sets. Usually we sell buttons in sets of 5, but we had a request this weekend for a jumbo set from the Wizard of Oz so we put these together.

Renuzit Sunny Laundry air freshener & SoftSoap for Men.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday smiles...

...some of the most imaginative advertising about color. Their stuff always makes me smile!

Web Pick of the

Despite the spelling, this is an American site and it's one of my favorites for color inspiration. There's so much to see here, just carve out a small chunk of time to just click around.
"COLOURlovers™ is a resource that monitors and influences color trends. COLOURlovers gives the people who use color - whether for ad campaigns,product design, or in architectural specification - a place to check out a world of color, compare color palettes, submit news and comments, and read color related articles and interviews."

...yes, that & it's so much more. Talk about a great source of color combinations when you're laying out a scrapbook page! I can't tell you how many times I've felt uninspired that I've clicked onto COLOURlovers & gotten a new idea or direction! Search palettes, read the message board, follow their blog, read the articles & revel in the eye candy! This site rocks...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Color Me...EXCITED

Well, the new paper's in the warehouse & I got it uploaded to the Luxe online store yesterday! We're running a special drawing from anyone who orders the new Color Me paper this week - we're going to give away some of our new product {our holiday lines - Stilletto, Ski Parka & white rubs} before it gets released!

I love the new Color Me paper. I used some of the Color Me...Loved on the "I Hear Voices" layout I did the other day. At .65 per sheet - the whole set of 6 papers is less than $4, so check it out!

This is Color Me...Sweet. There are five other designs: Color Me...Loved, Color Me...Cozy, Color Me...Happy, Color Me...Diva and Color Me...Starstruck.