Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sundays

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses once a week to explore my sensory world. I challenge you to do the same. If you choose to do so, just blog your 5 senses every Sunday & let me know, I'd love to read them.


Simply far as the eye can see & it's a beautiful sight! This hot new sub brand from Luxe includes 6 basic designs (lined, dot, stitched pinstripe, ledger, grid & calico), a color jotter, a sheet of alpha stickers, label stickers & epoxies in Luxe's 6 core colors (black, engine red, tiffany blue, island green, cobalt blue & hot pink).

The Apples in Stereo. Such happy sounds.

Warning: do not read this if you're on a diet. There's this new place that just opened by our office & Meg wanted a sweet treat yesterday because we're up at the office this weekend working hard. So I ordered their "small dessert pizza" and OH. MY. LORD. What we got was a calzone filled with nutella, crushed hazelnuts and dark chocolate.They brushed it with evoo, sprinkled it with sugar and put it in their wood burning pizza oven so the crust got a sugar crisp layer like cream you see where this is going? This could have been the best thing I've EVER eaten.

It's been one handed, but I've been cleaning my office. I've really let it slide over the last couple of months and it feels so good to be back in control of my space.

I got this little shelf at Office Depot yesterday (so cheap!) & Meg assembled it for me. I finally have a spot to store/sort samples. Much better than the box village they were in before.

Whenever it's clean like this, I look at the blank spots on my wall and daydream about what I want to put there. I ordered this small print yesterday to hang with my layouts on my curtain rod. What I really wanted to get was this print, but I can't justify spending that much (I'm thinking ahead to custom framing costs), when I already have another poster at home that needs a custom frame which is destined for work as well.

Vanilla cupcake candle - that means I've been spending a lot of time at my desk at work because that's where it is...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Exciting things happening at Luxe Designs...

Luxe is running an online promotion through March 31st. Buy $30 worth of any Luxe products on our online store and receive a FREE tin of Maya Road for Luxe Sheer Alphas in Clear (pictured, $8 value). We're going to be running regular promotions on our online store, so be sure to check it out if you're looking for Luxe!

Yep, you read that right. Luxe will be running a contest for a design team. Keep reading the Luxe blog for details, we will post guidelines and an application there on APRIL FIRST (no joke).

Luxe just launched their own MySpace page. It's pretty basic right now, but we are looking forward to really decking it out and making it an active community for our friends & fans.

To celebrate the launching of the page we're doing a "friend drive". If you have a MySpace page and add Luxe as your friend by midnight at the end of March 31st, we will giveaway a $50 prize package to one of our new friends!

We also opened a Luxe page on FaceBook. All the Luxe Girls use both MySpace & FaceBook so we decided to open on both sites. It's really neat - we've already started a gallery & an event calendar. We have a discussion board as well as our wall where you can interact with us - we can even email you updates, etc once you become a "Luxe fan".

We're drawing for another $50 prize package from among our new FaceBook fans, so sign up to be eligible to win!

Here's the report...

I was going to share a pic of my elbow today, but it's still a little disgusting so I'm sparing you that trauma.

I went to the doc today & am healing very well. He was impressed with my range of motion, but I still have a LONG way to go. I will have 2-3 one hour sessions of pt a week for the next 8 weeks. I have NO nerve damage in my hand. He reiterated I probably won't be able to completely straighten my arm again - but I love proving doctors wrong, so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. He also said there's a chance he'll have to go back in in 6 months & take out the long screw, but only time will tell.

So, I'm taking advantage of being on the home front for a while and I am talking to some local stores about *finally* teaching classes in the DFW area! I'll keep you posted as soon as I have details.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter...

Here's an oldie, but goodie. I did this layout back when I was working for Magic Scraps. I used to dress up like the Easter bunny, thinking if I put on the suit I might be able to fool him into showing himself...

"Sense"-ational Sunday...

Yep, I'm back in action. My arm is still quite sore, but I'm managing better than I thought I would be. Every day it gets a little better. Here's what I can do - dress myself, drive & finally type with 2 hands. Here's what I can't do - straighten or bend my left arm, pick anything up with it, touch my face or my head - and I can't pull my hair into a ponytail!!! (that one makes me a little crazy - OK, a LOT crazy).

So here's my "sense"-ational Sunday in the spirit of getting back in the swing of things...

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses once a week to explore my sensory world. I challenge you to do the same. If you choose to do so, just blog your 5 senses every Sunday & let me know, I'd love to read them.


That, my friends, is the inside of my elbow. I had to pick up my x-rays today for my follow up appointment this week & was pretty impressed with all my new hardware. The scar is pretty awesome. I still have nasty knots on my left temple & left knee, but they'll go down sooner or later.

I HEAR: The food network. I've been too sore to clean or craft & too pain-pilled up to be motivated to read, so I've been vegging on the couch in front of the TV this weekend.

I TASTE: Blackened scallops & shrimp. My good man took me to Rockfish tonight for an Easter date. Also - I've been tasting other people's cooking. My aunt Carol has cooked for us a few times, so has my cousin Meg. Also our neighbors brought us dinner one night - it's been a tremendous help. Cooking one handed is really rough.

I TOUCH: Pillows, blankets, pills & the remote control. Boring, but true.

I SMELL: It's a tie - clean laundry (my aunt stayed over one evening until 2 am doing all the laundry in the house) and chocolate chip waffles - which Meg made from scratch for me Saturday morning. And yes, I'm feeling a little spoiled, but I really appreciate everything!!!

Thank you all for all of your well-wishes! I loved seeing your comments, they meant a lot to me!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Emily update a la Meg

Happiness, thy name is green towel. Emily has one green towel which can be folded into innumerable configurations to magically make her arm comfortable.

This is Meg. I'm babysitting Emily today. It consists of such merriment as the ongoing quest for the green towel. Which props up her arm. And is sneaky.

There is also pie. And new hair. But mostly pie. At this point I would like to take responsibility for the existence of the pie. Emily was so impressed by my pie making skills that she commanded me to blog. In the sense that she asked.

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the highlights of Emily's day. Self imposed physical therapy, ingestion of pain pills, napping. And attempting to locate the elusive green towel. In my own narcissistic way, I would like to think that my arrival was also a highlight. As well as pie.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Emily On Break ...

Hello there. This is Emily's Aunt Carol blogging for Emily, as she is currently without computer access.

It turns out that Emily was sicker than any of us realized. She managed to get extremely dehydrated over the weekend. When she got up to go to the bathroom early Sunday morning, she passed out and fell in the worst room in the house. There are no soft surfaces in a bathroom! Emily landed on her elbow and hit her left temple on the toilet paper dispenser.

Unfortunately, Matt had left to visit his parents, thinking Emily was on the mend. After she came to, she called me for help, and I told her to call 911, as they could get to her faster than I could. She was able to call 911 and unlock the front door before she passed out again. I met her at the emergency room, where her blood pressure was so low it would not register until they administered some fluids. Meanwhile, Emily's dad and stepmother arrived at the ER. Dad called Matt, and he headed home from New Braunfels.

As the day wore on, Emily responded to the rehydration, her blood pressure reached normal, her arm was x-rayed, she got a CT scan of her head, her pacemaker was checked and found to be functioning normally. No concussion, but the arm was broken at the elbow in several places. It was splinted to provide comfort until an orthopedic surgeon could check her out. She finally was admitted to a hospital room at about one o'clock on Monday morning.

Later on Monday, the bone doc visited and told her that surgery was required to assure mobility of her left elbow and fingers. She underwent the operation on Tuesday morning, complete with screws and plates to hold hold that elbow together. Once they opened her up, the breaks were somewhat more extensive than they appeared in the x-ray, but the doctor thinks she'll recover well and achieve good range of motion.

Physical therapy begins today. If she responds well, she'll be home by the weekend.

Emily's a trooper, and she has maintained her sense of humor throughout this whole disaster. She has plenty of family on hand to make sure she takes care of herself during the recovery process. Matt's on vacation this week, so he's been available for moral support. He's not a hospital kind of a guy, so he's given himself a variety of chores and projects to make life easier for Emily when she comes home.

Emily won't be traveling for a while. Luxe has been really wonderful. Jenn will be teaching Emily's classes at CKU Chicago this week. Em's really sad and disappointed that she cannot be there, but that's the breaks (ha ha).

We'll keep you posted as we can.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sponge Bob Says...

...I'm sick all right. I haven't been this sick in a long time. I couldn't even make it out of bed yesterday.

Bad coughing, congestion, clogged ears...fever yesterday 102.7 - this morning? Well, according to Sponge Bob I'm at 103.1. No wonder my head is splitting in half.

You might wonder why I have a Sponge Bob thermometer. It was the result of sending my dad or husband to the store for me (I can't remember which). However, it sure is easy to find when I'm sick.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Sick & tired...

...not sick & tired of anything, just VERY sick & VERY tired. I am so jet lagged it feels like every sentence has a 2 second delay and like my body's swimming through jello. I woke up at 2:30 am to excruciating pain when I swallowed on my right side and acute pain in my right ear. I felt otherwise awful & took my temperature - 102. Oh boy. I emailed Jen (who's been dealing with insomnia lately) and let her devise a plan. She will be going to Canada for me to teach at Memories Wholesale tomorrow (weather permitting, but that's another story!).

I just got back from the doctor and I have a bad sinus infection that has enlarged my right tonsil (rather ridiculously) and that has moved into my eustachian tubes and started congesting in my lungs. So much for flying - an ear infection will keep you grounded every time. I have 3 sets of drugs & a lot of soup and they assure me I'll be better soon. Everything aches, I'm going to dose up & go to bed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Seeing Narita...

Aya joined me on the bus ride, transferring from Tokyo to the hotel by the airport for my flight tomorrow. Jen forwarded some tips for what to do in the Narita area & Aya had some others and we ended up out walking the central Narita district from about 2 - 6. It was a lovely day. I'm a little worn out from the marathon blogging session (I wanted to post as much as I could before I flew home & crashed) so I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Observations on my week in Japan...

This week I've had "Tokyo-TexMex" twice, "Chinese" Chinese food, McDonalds & Starbucks. No sushi. I guess I have to do that next time.

After hearing my class taught 7 times, I understood it in Japanese. I corrected Aya a couple of times ("I haven't said that yet") and really surprised her.

Um, hello - no karaoke??? Next time, watch out Tokyo - I'm singing!

I want to import Pocky, C.C. Lemon, Karada-Meguri-Cha & cheap stationery and export cupcake supplies, Pink Grapefruit lotion, corn nuts & trashy magazines (long story). Just call me Art Vandalay.

Long live Tokyu Hands. Especially their stationery floor. Next year they better take MasterCard, that's all I can say.

I have a new appreciation for squishy western beds. I also have a new appreciation for complicated eastern toilets.

I really bonded with Bill & Donna & Mr. Pickle this trip. They were a fun crew to hang out with.

Here's what I can say in Japanese: Ohayo gozaimas (good morning), Arrigato (thank you), Sumimasen (excuse me/pardon me/I'm sorry), Konichiwa (hello, how are you?), pink (pink - I found this out quite by accident when I was teaching. Surprise! I knew another word!), Sushi (ick), Kowai (scary. example: Pulling the whole sheet of rubs off the backer - KOWAI!), Kawaii (sounds like Hawaii - means cute. As in -my students thought my projects were really kawaii.).

When Dee asked me if I wanted to eat her lovely shoe cream I just about fell out of my chair. When you're in Japan, that would be a SHU CREAM and if someone offers you one EAT IT!!!

It just occurred to me I haven't eaten with a fork for a week...I haven't watched TV either.

I *love* the 100 Yen Store!!!

I want "Girl's Day" (Hinamatsuri - oh! another word!). I want those little cakes!

Thank you Japan...

It's my final night in Japan...and honestly? I'm quite sad. I connected with country in a way I never have before. I've met so many new friends - especially Aya, Tracey & Dee, who I will miss so much. We've vowed to do inter-continental swap boxes to keep in touch. My heart is so full & there's so much I want to say, but for now I will just say thank you.

Thank you Megumi, Naoya and the Sun-K team for running a fabulous event and inviting Luxe to teach here!

Thank you to all of the 200+ wonderful women (and "#19") who were my students at CKU-J. This was more than just an event. This is more than just a craft. This is the begining of a beautiful friendship.

Thank you Aya, Miho and Kaoura. Miho & Kaoura - you worked so hard in my classes. It was an honor to work with you and I treasure the letter you gave me. Aya - what can I say??? I feel BLESSED you were my interpreter. Not only did you go above & beyond during classes, I couldn't have done Tokyo or Narita near as well without you. Love you! (and a special thank you to your beautiful mother!)

Thank you to Tracey & Dee from Scrap the Planet.'re the ones that made me want to move here. You two nuts - I LOVE YOU GUYS! I can't wait to see you in Texas later this year! I feel like we really bonded & I'm looking forward to keeping in touch. Thank you for a wonderful day!

Thank you to all the wonderful ladies that came out to Kawasaki for my class for Scrap the Planet. I love that you got the Madonna joke....

And thank you Japan. This pristine, polite & friendly country soothed my soul. So, thank you and I'm sure 'll be seeing you again. Arrigato gozaimas!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What to do when you're in Tokyo...

Here's what you do when you're in Tokyo - go get an eye exam! The hotel is attached to a mall & when Donna went to look for frames she came back with the most adorable completed glasses...She told the other instructors and we all headed for the mall.

I just had my vision test for contacts a month ago & my prescription changed drastically in one eye, but my insurance told me I wasn't eligible for new glasses for 14 months...With my blind eyes my last glasses (which I don't even like that much) cost about $600.

The vision test was cool. My interpreter & Donna went with me. I was worried I would have to be able to read Japanese to read their eye chart, but I guess they have a lot of international business, so they had an international test with shapes (so cool - I really prefer their exams). Since I was just tested, I knew my current prescription and they got it spot on. They had more cool frames in one place that I've ever seen. Donna & Aya helped me pick these out. I adore the red!


Eye exam...FREE
Frames...5,200 yen (just under $50 American)
Fancy Lens Upgrade (extra UV, ultra thin, no scratch)....around 6,000 yen
Fancy glasses case & lens cleaning cloth...FREE
Total price for hot new glasses...just over $100!
Time to complete glasses...30 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the best money I've ever spent on a trip & I love my new specs!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Want an update from Tokyo?

Check out the Luxe blog...I'm off to another day of teaching! :)