Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Reports...

I've been reading a lot this summer, so I thought it was time for a few book reports.

I sucked down several audio books the first half of the summer {I so *love*!} - The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass, Lemony Snickets and Pride & Prejudice {again}.

In the spirit of the reread I took The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil with me to Chicago. I fell in love with the story when it was a silly little movie back in 1989 and always meant to pick up the book. I randomly saw it at Half Price Books about a year ago and was shocked at how dark it was. I wanted to reread it when I wasn't so off guard for what I was getting into. It's dark and absolutely twisted and I love it! I must remember to read more by Fay Weldon...

Whoohoo! The seventh "undead" book is out & I finished it off in a sitting {goodbye sleep}. This witty series by Mary Janice Davidson is like Sex & the City meets Dracula. The books are all about Betsy Taylor - a shoe shopping, sarcastic, self-involved 30-something who happens to accidentally be the Queen of the Vampires. These books are FUNNY, quick reads and downright enjoyable. Check out the rest of the series:
  • Undead & Unwed
  • Undead & Unemployed
  • Undead & Unappreciated
  • Undead & Unreturnable
  • Undead & Unpopular
  • Undead & Uneasy
Speaking of Undead...I started Twilight earlier this summer and put it down about a month before CHA because I couldn't keep up with a paper book time wise while prepping for the show. I really liked what I read so far and am going to pick it back up tonight. For Meg's {belated} birthday we're taking her to the midnight book opening for the fourth book in the Twilight series {Breaking Dawn} tomorrow night and getting her the book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Italian Chop Salad...

Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention...Thanks to the coop combo this week I came up with a new salad I love! I'm calling it my Italian Chop Salad...

Chop & toss the following ingredients:
lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onions, banana peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, feta cheese, parmesan, red pepper flakes & oil and vinegar dressing.

Yum - I highly recommend. Enjoy...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sunday...the Adams Family Reunion version

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses for the past 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.

Where is Bonham you ask? Well, It's about an hour north east of Dallas near the Oklahoma border. We rent the same cabin twice a year on the shores of Lake Bonham. The kids can swim, the men can play golf (there's a 9 hole right outside the cabin), there's a lot of playground equipment & the women usually sit around with a bottle of wine & catch up. The cabin's not spectacular, but the view is amazing and it has windows on all sides so it's easy to always keep an eye on the little ones. It is somewhat air conditioned & for winter has a great wood burning stove in one corner for heat.

I SEE: Family Faces
Yes I took my camera to Bonham? Did it come out of my bag???? NO. Man....anyway....
There was a great turn out at the Adams family reunion this time around despite the melty heat. All of Matt's siblings were there, his parents and his favorite cousins, aunts & uncles and a gaggle of children including 3 of our nieces and 2 of our nephews and 2 dogs came - one in a stroller.

I HEAR: Laughter, Games & Gossip
Such is the nature of the Adams get togethers. We played Whoonu, Gin Rummy, You Just Became a Millionaire and the always played Train Dominoes. I also did a few rounds of solitaire while fighting off a migraine. Here's the news of the reunion I can share...Rusty & Dee got their house & will be moving to Trenton sometime after August 15th, one Matt's cousins is pregnant with twins and since David's (Tammy's David) deployment has been delayed they're looking at apartments in San Antonio & might be moving soon.

I TASTE: Aunt Mary's Snickerdoodles & Homemade Banana Ice Cream
We always do pot luck which is sometimes hit or miss. I always bring veggies & fruit since some years it's a chip & fried festival, but this year it was just lovely. And I got to have my two very favorite things - Aunt Mary's Snickerdoodles (which are THE BEST I've ever had) and Uncle Derl's & Aunt Fran's homemade banana ice cream (it's a KNOCKOUT!).

I TOUCH: Cold Drinks
We packed coke zero, mountain dew & bottled water for the day. It was so hot we went through the drinks at a record pace & they felt so good just resting on your forehead or your neck.

I SMELL: Nothing
*sniffle* My allergies were in full force...

It was a good day. So now we're set until the next reunion - December 20th.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Preparing to melt...

It's Saturday morning & I should be frantically doing things, but here I sit.

Today we're headed to Lake Bonham for an Adams family reunion. It will be 102+ ugh. Anyway, I made a gi-normous fruit salad & packed a few pounds of carrots & celery and have iced down the ranch dip, so my part of the pot luck is ready to go. I still have to figure out some kind of swap-bingo-prize-thingie that's supposed to be an existing item in the house(???). I have a couple of bottles of wine ready for when we get back too...It's still in the air, but we will either have 2 or 5 overnighters coming home with us from the reunion.

Wish me a cool day & sanity - off I go...don't worry, I'm taking e camera!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pictures of the Luxe booth from CHA...

Created with flickrSLiDR.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sunday...the CHA/Chicago version

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses for the past 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. I posted a little early - I won't have internet access on Sunday, so I figured I better go ahead & blog tonight. :)

I SEE: Old friends (and new ones!)

Always so good to see old friends at these shows. Here are a few of the people I reconnected with this week: Paula, Laura, Kimberly Brock, Jane (pictured, above), Christina & Jen from Windy City, Nikki from Japan, Jen & Claire.

Here are a few new friends I connected with this week: Lynne, Sherry, Celine, Angela & Kaelinn from Scrap'n'Art & Jenn from Split Coast Stampers. And I finally met Al (pictured, second) and Jen from Windy City in person!!!.

I HEAR: Bagpipes

Every year this procession of guys opens the tradeshow...gotta love 'em.

I TASTE: Giordano's Pizza

I TOUCH: Booth Samples

I touched a lot of paper & adhesive mounting squares this week...

I SMELL: Aromas

I smelled so many of these before I decided on a combo I liked - if my nose could have handled it I would have smelled them all, but I went on sensory overload...

Want an update?

Check the Luxe blog for pictures from the booth yesterday as well as photos from our Pizza Party last night!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Classes in Chicago...

For a GOOD TIME call

Jen & I are teaching Color Me Creative at Windy City in Lincoln Park Saturday night from 7-9 & they told us the other night they had a few seats left. If you can't get out in time for the class, or want to concentrate on the FABULOUS shopping, Pam & Cindie will be doing a make & take with beautiful cards in the store during our class. W.C. carries our entire line, so you'll have no problem finding the look of Luxe!!!

Well, off to the show...e

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Live from Chicago...

Hello readers...well, I'm back in the hotel room in time to get an early night's sleep before Cha opens (if I get off the computer, lol). I gave a breakdown of the last few days over on the Luxe blog if you want to see what we've been up to.

Don't get me wrong, these events are a lot of hard work, but we had a few free hours and Jen wanted to make sure we were able to relax and have a quiet dinner & an early night before the show since we busted a move & had everything ready for tomorrow by this afternoon.

So, in light of not blogging the same thing twice (since I already did the official post on the other blog), I wanted to tell you a little about our short shopping trip out to Lincoln Park & about our dinner this evening. Once we found somewhere to park we started walking around the neighborhood and happened across AROMA Workshop. The place was so fascinating looking we had to go in. They will mix your own personal blended scent (so much fun). We worked with the people in the shop for a while to create our own custom blends. Here are the darling little bottles that were EVERYWHERE...

And here we are...or rather here are the girls & my hair - what was I doing over there in the photo? Who knows...btw, my scent is a blend of fresh air, white tea & chaos (love it).

If you don't know the crew here's the gang (from left to right) Jen, me, Paula, Pam & Cindie.

We also ended up going into Lori's Shoes, "The Sole of Chicago". As you know, I'm not normally a shoe person, but wow, I could convert. I bought a pair of Pr!vos & the girls picked up some other things (Jen found a pocketbook and Paula found a ring she really liked). I ended up leaving in my new shoes - it might be the only thing that got me through the day. The honeymoon is over with the shoes I bought before I left, or maybe my feet are just swollen. Anyway, these are heavenly.

For dinner we did tapas & cava sangria at Cafe Babareeba (go Jen, great choice). It was wonderful since we were all able to have tastes of so many yummy things without getting all full and heavy feeling. My personal favorites? Let's see - the garlic potato salad, the Spanish artisan cheeses and the shrimp with garlic, olive oil & red pepper flakes. Yumm-o.

Well, to get my glorious beauty sleep I need to log off & turn in. I plan to blog booth pictures tomorrow night (prob on the Luxe blog), so be sure to check back. Viva Luxe!!! Hope to see you if you're here!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Looking for moi???

In case you're in Chicago looking for me here's the scoop...

During the show I'll be in booth 4214/Hall F (near the entrance). Staying at the Westin on the shuttle route & teaching at Windy City Saturday night. I'm uber booked in the evenings, but would love it if you stopped by the booth!

Well, I better crash...I'm getting up early to fly out in the morning. Chicago, here I come!!!

Tea Time...

I officially dedicate this project to my BFF, Angie. I was thinking of her the entire time I was working on it. :)

Angie is such a tea nut! She loves everything British (history, literature, culture, etc.) that she started drinking tea just because. Anyway, she really appreciates it & tries a lot and I thought - how perfect, I'll make a little tea bag box for her desk at work!

The box is from Maya Road & I used the new brown Simply Luxe, Color Me...Percolated (one of the new designs) and our lace border rubs.

Angie...your tea box is taking a little road trip to Chicago, but you'll get it the next time we get together!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sunday...

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses for the past 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.

I SEE: Generation T, 108 Ways to Transform Your T-Shirt
Meg got a new book while she was in North Carolina visiting her sister...Generation T - and she's SO into it!!!!! I think she's kept every t shirt since elementary school so she has a lot of material to practice on. She brought a gi-normous bag of tees over to the house to work on. It's a bit of a flashdance flashback, but she can really pull off the look. She's been cutting & re-sewing for days.

I HEAR: the Clunk-Chunk Sound of the Button Maker
Matt's pounded out 1,000 buttons for Luxe for CHA this weekend. This show they'll be extra hot!!! If you collect our ltd edition Luxe buttons be sure & come by our booth in Chicago. Here are the nine new designs...Sorry about the glare, my aunt borrowed my camera (something to do with Meg's birthday surprise) & I had to shoot these in a hurry!

I TASTE: Blueberries
I really missed having my regular coop dose of fresh fruits & veggies. So when I was at the store I was delighted to find perfect blueberries on sale. I got two containers & have been eating them with vanilla yogurt - yum!

I TOUCH: Paper Projects
Today is an altered Art Blanche round clipboard I did up with our new line, Sugar Cookie and some pink simply Luxe and lace border rubs. I loved the "fake ribbon effect" from cutting the pinstripe paper on either side of the stitch print.

I SMELL: Cavalli's
Haven't been as good as I should have been on taking my lunch to work this week...again, I'm blaming lack of produce (amazing how quickly I've become dependent on it). So when you don't bring fresh the freshest you can get is always Cavalli's. I am particularly in love with their Capri sandwich & the Bianca.

The Coop Report...
Let's see, I got another $7 box this week & it looks pretty good - with lots of stuff that will keep or that Matt knows how to prepare while I'm gone, which is a great thing! Broccoli, new potatoes, yellow onions, spinach, tomatoes, beets, peaches, bananas and a ton of limes (sweet!).

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Had so much to do this weekend...and am currently resting - a major item on my to do list, but one I usually blow off...

Meg was with us through last night so I got up early and wrapped her a little "I-know-it's-your-birthday-and-we're-technically-celebrating-later, but-you-totally-needed-a-little-present-today" present, a manga kit. I even made her favorite, chocolate chip waffles for breakfast. Meg & I helped Matt get started on some awesome promotional buttons for Luxe before she got whisked away by her parents for a day of birthday fun. Then Matt & I ran to the post office and had lunch...then came the errands from hell.

Why is it the average lifespan of a shirt is from tradeshow to tradeshow and before every show I need to go shopping? Shopping for clothes was, well, torture & took forever (usually I have luck, but today was just painful) but shopping for shoes (which I usually hate) was blissfully wonderful. Yes - I just used the word blissful to describe my shoe shopping experience. So here is my answer to CHA success - these shoes in black. SO comfy, great support & such soft leather...and get this - they're rocket dogs!!! I didn't know they did "real" shoes - I love my dogs! And you know you can't go to CHA without a back up pair so I got these too.

Anyway, it was, like - over 100 degrees & I was all melted so I went home. Tomorrow I have to get some hair product & go to Staples for some CHA stuff, do laundry, pack, run to Target & make a few booth samples. But tonight...tonight I relax. :)

My new brain...on paper

I am a list maker. No doubt about it. If it gets done it gets written down first. My personal downfall??? Post it notes. I love 'em. I love to write just one thought down on one and carry it around until I get it done & throw it away...problem is half of my most important information is on those post it notes and half the time I can't find them when I need them. SO, I made a little list journal. I had a small stack of the metal spirals lying around for a class I ended up never teaching and I finally made up one for myself! These metal spirals really hold up well in a purse or computer bag & I've made several for gifts. I added more fun papers & label stickers inside. On the outside I used papers from our new Gingersnap collection, a paper from It's About Time, arrow rubs & Maya Road sheer ribbon and alpha stickers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What you can do with REALLY good rub ons...

Yep. These took me about five minutes. I grabbed these particular bangles at Sam Moons, but I have gotten them from Target on sale before too. This trick only works with certain brands of rub ons, but when they work the results are stunning! (Yes, Luxe's rubs do work & I used the paisleys in the project...but I don't want to turn into a total infomercial...)

I've really been into simple projects lately...probably because of being in that busy time of year, but also it's really satisfying to get things completed. As we countdown to CHA I'll be sharing lots more of my latest creations so stay tuned.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Deal with it...

I made this altered playing card tin on the 4th...I had bought a couple of vintage finish card tins from Target a while back (dollar spot markdowns - my personal favorite) knowing I wanted to do something with them. I had been working with prototype of brand new product for a couple of hours, but all of a sudden I got my inspiration from a lone sheet of Stiletto Stripe that was hanging out in my scrap stash. I covered the lid with paper and added a strip of ribbon and a label sticker...I was cracking myself up with the title (yes, I am easily amused). Now I'm glad I have a few extra of these - I want to keep one & make up a few more as little gifts.

Monday, July 07, 2008

WINNER - 4th of July RAK

Congrats to Lisa J who said...

"Oh what a blessing that would be. I am in Lynchburg, VA and I have no plans because my hubby is working and my daughter is with her father for the weekend. So I am sitting at home being pitiful!"
10:07 PM

Pity party over, now it's time to scrap! Lisa, please email me your mailing address so I can get your prize out to you this week. ( Thanks to all of you who shared your plans for the 4th, I loved reading them!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sundays...

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses for the past 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.

I SEE: the new Luxe catalog
Well, not quite for real, yet...I've seen it on the screen in front of me & in printed black and white proofs and in low res pdf's. 48 pages of goodness. Laying it all out really made me go - wow - I really love Luxe! Here's a sneak peek of the cover. You're really going to notice a unified look from Luxe going've seen a taste of it with our previews and the postcards. Our new catalog and soon to be relaunched website all have the same contemporary, clean graphic feel. The website is so close to ready I am doing my happy dance!!! I'll keep you posted as to when it goes up.

I HEAR: 80's Movie Marathon
My 4th was a quiet one - I holed up in my studio the afternoon of the 3rd & kicked my creativity into high gear. It's been a while since I've completed so many projects in a sitting and I did it all to my favorite 80's movies to scrap to - all 3 Back to the Future movies, Better Off Dead, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink & Sixteen Candles...

I TASTE: Lemonade & Limeade
Ah, limeade, the taste of summer...I ran to our local grocery store to pick up a few things to get me through the 4th of July weekend & picked up a carafe of Simply Limeade & Simply Lemonade as a treat. I love these drinks but rarely buy them. They tasted so good (especially the limeade), I knew they were going to be my pick for this week.

I TOUCH: Paper Projects
I ended up making several 3-D projects for our CHA booth on Friday - an altered family schedule chalkboard, a covered round clipboard, an altered ideas & inspiration cork board, a tea bag box, a holiday photo frame, a paper mosaic-ed wooden skull & crossbones, a covered tin that holds playing cards, an altered metal spiral notebook, 2 bangle bracelets done up with paisley rub ons. and this keepsake box I made to hold letters and cards.

I used papers from Luxe's Classic Black collections & a raw box from Walmart (I went on a late night run for mini easels & bubble-lopes on the 4th and there it was - $1.97 - can't beat that!) The knob was a gift from a friend who got me this one & a red one from Anthropologie. She knows my weakness for vintage & reproduction flower cabochons & thought I would love these (she was so right - thank you Marina!) I'll share more of the projects I made over the coming days leading up to CHA.

I SMELL: Honey Mustard Marinade
With the coop, we've been so much better at meal planning & cooking at home. The coop took a week off since so many were out of town for the holiday, but no worries, I still have PLENTY of veggies to go through. Actually, it's probably for the best since it will give us a chance to "catch up" on our veggie cooking quota.

So we've started buying the larger packs of chicken & pork chops, prepping & freezing in portions. It's a little extra work, but it's curbing our grocery store visits and we love having portioned, ready to cook stuff on hand. I made my honey mustard marinade for some of our chicken & chops and it made the house smell so good!

Emily's Honey Mustard Marinade
In a skillet squeeze out a lot of honey (I never measure these things - feel free to "eyeball it" based on the amount of meat you're marinating). Cook it on low heat until the honey is liquefied. Add an equal amount of stone ground mustard (I prefer one with whole seeds). Add a couple of spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and some coarse ground black pepper. Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Cool and use to marinate pork or chicken - great to grill!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!

To celebrate Independence Day, I put together a red, white & blue RAK for a random poster on this thread. (includes: 10 sheets of red & Blue Simply Luxe, 2 sheets of Color Me...Strarstruck, 2 12 x 12 sheets of alpha stickers, 1 red & 1 blue sheet of die-cut journaling jotters, 1 set of red label stickers, 1 white dot border rub, 1 white alpha rub & 1 set of blue epoxy stickers) All you have to do is hop on and post your name, location & what you are doing for the weekend. I will name a winner Monday morning. Good luck & have a fun & safe 4th!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Visions of Luxe....

...swimming around in my brain! So many projects I've been working are all at the finish line. The catalog went to the printers yesterday (whew). The pre-show postcards arrived and are going out the door. The website is very close indeed. It feels really satisfying. Granted it will feel even better when the catalog is actually done printing and the website is relaunched, but knowing it's a matter of days or a week is a tremendous relief. Now, there's still - oh, all the booth stuff we have to do (so I won't be napping or anything), but I'm just saying it feels really good.

Here's a peek at our pre-show mailer...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Have you been looking for LUXE?

So far we've rolled out 4 previews for the summer show & well, they're just yummy!!! I really can't remember the last time I've been so excited over an upcoming release (seriously).