Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Photographic Wednesday

Can you believe it? It's already Wednesday. Wow. Highlights from today:
  • I went to Potbelly this afternoon for a snack. I came back with sour cream and onion chips and an oatmeal CCC. Yum!
  • We have a new member of the neighborhood. The couple next door have a new baby boy. There were blue balloons flying outside their house when I came home from work today. Awww.
  • I was so thankful for the sun this afternoon. I went around the backyard with my camera to shoot some pictures of Mom's garden. Here are my favorite shots. And of course, I had to take a few of Ginger, right before she took a nap.
  • I continued to work on my inventory for the upcoming craft fair tonight. My crafty mood's in overdrive because there's no spin tonight. Tonight I focused on Mother's Day cards. I made several, but I couldn't choose just one that was my favorite, so I picked two. Hooray for Prima flowers!
Pictures from today...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Custom Order Birthday Card

I slept thought spin tonight with my post-work power nap. The bed had too much of a gravitational pull. Sorry, Janice. I'll probably see ya on Friday morning for Anna's 8:30 AM class.

One of my co-workers asked me to make a birthday card for him. He preferred that the card include some pink and green. I also needed the card to be fairly flat because it was going to be snail mailed. I came up with this origami dress birthday card. I had one sheet of this origami paper left, and it was perfect because it was pink. The original card didn't have the flowers, but I thought it had too much unused space, so I went back to add them using a cherry blossom punch. If the card wasn't going through the postal system, I would have added some rhinestones or flower gems to add some interest.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Prima, Batman!

I wore one of the dresses that I bought yesterday to work today, and the HR lady that I saw at spin on Saturday was like "That's not the woman that I saw at the gym on Saturday" as she walked by me in the hallway. Ha ha. No, I'm not coming into work sweaty and gross. Spin tonight was a good workout. My goal this week is to go M, T, FRI, and SAT. I already went yesterday, so 1 class down, 4 to go. Hello, swimsuit season.

Random thought: Ahhh, freshly vacuumed carpet. Buh-bye, miscellaneous paper pieces!

My ebay auction win of 400 Prima flowers came in the mail today, yay! I have never used these flowers before in my cards. Man, I was missing out! The lot that I got today had flowers of varying sizes and colors, so I foresee using them frequently in future cards and for the upcoming craft fair. Like today's card. I was inspired by Fall-To Layout #79 over at clean&simple stamping. They are also a great way of using the set of brads that I had gotten from Michaels a while ago.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Stamp: The Paper Company Studio- Whimsy Greetings (sentiment)
Paper: My Mind's Eye- Bloom and Grow
Flowers: Prima
Brad: Making Memories Brad Value Pack- Chelsea's Place collection
Song of the day: "Just Stop Believin'"- Lady Gaga/Journey mashup. Rerun from yesterday. Time for 24 and some dinner, byE!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shopping Sunday

I made it spin class today, yay! I was a little hesitant because the instructor was someone I hadn't seen before or taken a class with. Given that the last class that I took with someone unfamiliar wasn't too much fun, I was feeling a little nervous. However, I was pleasantly surprised that he was...pleasant. He looked like Chris Daughtry, which made it easier to remember his name because it was Chris too. Ha ha. The class was good- no yelling + good music. With the help of some endorphins, my mood went from "Meh" to "Today's going to be a good day." Cute front desk guy ask me how Chris's class was, and I said that he was good because he didn't yell that much. I went to get my purse and jacket in the locker room, and then thought "Wait, he didn't yell at all." So on my way out, I stopped by the front desk and said that I wanted to change my answer. "He was good because he didn't yell at all." Cute front desk guy and one of the trainers laughed, but I dunno if they were laughing at me or at what I said or what. I've decided that it doesn't really matter.

After a shower and something to eat, I made my way to the A.C.Moore in VA that Meg took Page and I to recently. I wanted to check out their clearance stamp section again. They still had a good selection left, yay! The lines were rather long, which was actually good for me because as I stood in line, it made me think of what I really wanted. I ended up taking a few stamps and ribbon back. However, I did buy some new stamps on clearance, a chalk ink pad on clearance, scrapbook paper on clearance, blending stumps, and a package of rhinestones on sale. As I was exiting the store, I remembered that there was a Michaels nearby, so I punched it in the GPS and made my way to that direction. What I didn't know was that there was a Dress Barn near the Michaels. Detour! I had been wanting to buy some more "professional" clothes for work, and they were having a sale...score! I ended up buying 4 dresses. Heh. They will be good to wear this upcoming summer. Ok, back to Michaels. Meh, nothing too interesting there, except for some cupcake stamps. I ended up getting 2 and using my 50% coupon. It's been a good shopping day. :)

Random act of kindness: as I was ripping out the coupon from the Michaels insert, I could tell that the lady in front of me was watching me. "Where did you get that?" "Um, the Washington Post." (pause) "Are you going to use all of them?" "Nope, here you go." I'm not going back to Michaels this week, so someone else can enjoy those coupons.

For today's card, I actually didn't use any of the crafty goodies I bought today. Weird, I know. Goals: use as many scraps as possible and use one of the border punches from my sister. I actually had a blue circle that I saved from when I tried out the Martha Stewart circle cutter (but ultimately returned), so I wanted to get it off my desk and onto card. I had some DCWV Citrus scraps around so I cut them up and rounded some corners. I think the card came out kinda abstract-y.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Punches: Fiskars Twist & Flip 2-in-1 corner punch, Fiskars Threading Waters border punch
Stamps:Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment)
Paper: Die Cuts With A View- Citrus

For a smile: check out these cute kitty cookies.

Song of the day: "Just Stop Believin'"- Lady Gaga/Journey mashup. Heard it at spin.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Foody Saturday

Today's primary activity was eating, as you could probably tell by the title of this blog post. But I kinda evened it out by going to spin this morning. By the way, I fell asleep around 10 PM last night, only to wake up at 2 AM super hungry. Like stomach hurting from hunger. What's up with that? Yes, very unusual. The director of HR at work was at spin this morning. I guess we're just both wanting to get our workouts done and over with first thing in the morning.

After spin, I went to my friend Laura's apartment with Jenny and Cristina (::wave::) for a potluck lunch. See lovely tablescape below. The menu consisted of spinach/artichoke dip, pizza, meatball subs, crescent rolls with chocolate and almonds, fruit and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Yum! I wish I could burn more calories by just talking because right after the lunch and some chatty time, I went right to an Italian restaurant for a family dinner. Menu: salad, chicken marsala, fettuccine with shrimp and scallop, filet mignon, fried calamari, etc. More yum! Check out the chocolate cake that we got for everyone to share. Don't drool over the computer screen, mmmkay? I secretly told the waiter that we were celebrating my parents' birthdays and asked if it'd be possible to bring some bread pudding with a candle. My mom and dad were so surprised. The bottom left picture is of them watching the restaurant staff sing Happy Birthday. The bottom right picture is of them laughing and laughing and laughing because this will be Mom's 3rd birthday celebration. Dad's just ready to dig into the bread pudding. And yep, I reserved my spot for tomorrow's 8:30 AM spin class.

After dinner, I came back home to work on my inventory for the upcoming craft event on April 10. I think I'm up to about 90 cards, which is a really good start. About half of them are leftover from my last craft event last Fall.

Ok, it's seriously time for bed. Niiight.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Cookies

Despite the fact that it's Friday (yay), I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. My neck/shoulders are a little sore and I think that's because of the cardmaking I did last night. That's what I get for being ambitious. Instead of being a whiny baby, I'll elaborate on all the good things that happened today.
  • I woke up to a Etsy sale this morning. It was actually an origami dress card that was on the Front Page a while ago.
  • I got a text from Page this morning, informing me that her mom will no longer be on chemotherapy. Whew/yay!
  • I had a good lunch with co-workers that I don't normally talk to. Hooray for making new friends. I had a crepe with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach.
  • I baked yummy cookies this evening, and I ate 3 just to make sure that they were okay for consumption.

Gross thing that I saw: on my way to the post office, the guy walking in front of me dropped his half-smoked cigarette in the busy intersection. Then, he proceeded to pick the cigarette up and smoke the rest of it! GAH! Are you serious? Hello? Germs, motor oil, dirt, etc.? Sigh.

I'm going to a brunch tomorrow (theme: comfort food) with the MPH girls, and my contribution is my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I've lost count of how many times I've done this recipe this month, but they are yummy and people will enjoy them and that's all that matters. I'm feeling really drowsy, so I think I'm going to make my way to bed. Yes, at 9 PM. Like an old fogey. I'm hoping that going to bed earlier will make getting up tomorrow for spin not so painful.

Song of the day: "Love Story Meets Viva La Vida" - Jon Schmidt.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Upcoming Crafty Event, Yay!

Upcoming crafty event news: last night, I was perusing Craigslist for upcoming craft fairs and I found one in VA about 40 minutes away on April 10. Yay! It's at a church, and the vendor fees go to help the church's summer camp. I emailed the pastor this morning to reserve my spot. Let the preparations begin! I'm so excited to have found this event because a) it goes to a good cause and b) I really enjoyed the craft fair experience last winter and I'm glad that I don't have to wait until this winter to have it again. It was a great way to get buyer feedback and find out what people like and don't like.

I had good intentions of going to the gym for spin tonight. I even set my alarm to wake me up from my nap at 6:30 PM, but I just totally slammed down on the snooze button and slept for 30 more minutes. I guess my body needed it. I still have Saturday morning's class to make my week spin class count: 3.

With the energy that was gained from that power nap, I started increasing my inventory for the upcoming craft fair by working on some origami shirt/tie cards. Because many of my cards are on the girly side with glitter and rhinestones, I need to make sure that I have something for the guys as well. By the end of my crafty session tonight, I cranked out 16 origami shirt/tie cards. Whew!

Random act of kindness: when I was walking to the post office today, I walked by a Quiznos employee who gave me a "buy 1 sandwich, get 1 free" coupon. I don't really eat at Quiznos so I gave the post office lady the coupon. Maybe she and a friend can get a yummy lunch in the next few weeks before the coupon expires.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bad Dog, Bad

At work today, I went to a presentation that my my co-worker was giving. His presentation was broken up into Part 1, Interlude, and Part 2. Apparently, he had promised some people that he'd make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to lure people to this presentation. However, there were none of said cookies in sight. Instead there were Girl Scout cookies, a suitable substitution. In his Interlude, there was a slide that said "Where are the cookies that D___ promised to bring?" The next slide was of his dogs in their doggie beds with speech bubbles, one said "Yummy!" and the other one said "So sleeeeepy...." Funny for us, but probably not so funny for my co-worker.

I had lofty plans to go to the gym tonight, but instead I took a nap after work. Heh. It was a good nap though! I'm planning to go to Jeff's class tomorrow night.

For tonight's card, I wanted to use the other border punch that my sister got me for my birthday. I noticed a brown background trend in my recent cards, have you? I like that it's still neutral but not as boring (or depressing?) as black. I am really pleased with the result. It's springy, colorful and therefore, cheerful. At some point and in some other card, I'll try threading ribbon through the holes created by the border punch.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Citrus, Lipstick Red, Chestnut Roan
Stamps: Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment), Studio G (butterflies)
Paper: Die Cuts With A View- Citrus (floral), Recollections Basics- Green Damask
Punches: Fiskars Twist & Flip 2-in-1 corner punch, Fiskars Apron Lace border punch
Foam adhesive: Making Memories

Song of the day: "Love Story Meets Viva La Vida" - Jon Schmidt.

P.S. Happy birthday, Dad! :) Good thing I have a large family with many aunts/uncles/cousins because otherwise, we'd be done with family birthday celebrations after March.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ummm, Stuff?

I couldn't come up with a title for this post, but I couldn't just leave it blank.

Funny quote from today. This is from one of my contacts for a project that I work on. "I just had a meeting with my boss, the Dean. She's the only one who has higher priority than you, Tina." Aww, that's nice to hear. This is coming from the same person that said that he had a special folder in his junk email just for me. Ha ha.

Janice's spin class tonight kicked my butt. My thighs are feeling sore as I'm sitting here typing up this blog post. She reminded us that swimsuit season was coming up. Now, THAT'S motivation to stop eating the junk and keep exercising.

Well, speaking of junk, there was a selection of leftover desserts from yesterday's potluck. Nope, I didn't eat any of them. Go me. However, right before I went home, there were sandwiches from Potbelly and Subway and baklava in the kitchen leftover from today's meetings. Of course, I took 2 sandwich halves, a bag of chips, and a piece of baklava. Heh. Yummo though! Good thing I went to spin tonight. :)

For tonight's card, I wanted to try out another stamp that Page got for me last weekend and a punch that my sister got me for my birthday. After some debate, I decided to make a card that had no-sentiment on the front. How rare for me! I added rhinestones to make it an apple tree. I like the extra bling. I also took my sister's suggestion of threading some ribbon in the holes created by the edge punch, although a bow probably wasn't what she had in mind.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Lime Pastel
Stamps: Autumn Leaves- Build-a-Flower (dashed line), Hampton Art- Terrific Tree
Paper: Die Cuts With A View- Citrus (floral)
Ribbon: Spool O' Ribbon
Punches: Fiskars Twist & Flip 2-in-1 corner punch, Fiskars Threading Waters border punch
Foam adhesive: Making Memories

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Craft Goodies

Today, at the office, we had our annual International Potluck. This was timed really well because the Board of Directors was at the office for a meeting so they could join in on the fun. My contribution was fried rice with mixed veggies, egg, and Polish sausage (thanks, Mom!). There was also food from countries such as Kenya, Burundi, India, etc. The desserts table was rather overwhelming with eclairs, carrot cake, cheesecake, brownies, s'more bars, etc. We have a "healthy food policy" at the office, but obviously we didn't follow it today.

Janice taught tonight's spin class and for a second, I thought it was Tuesday because that's the class she usually teaches. I was feeling a little disoriented because I had taken a nap right before class. "Cute front desk guy" was not his cheerful self today. Perhaps he's having a case of the Mondays.

My final birthday present arrived today from my sister, a month late (cough). She's a busy and poor graduate student so I'll cut her some slack. She made up for it by getting me some new craft goodies in the form of new border punches. She thought I could use new ones because, until today, I only owned one- the scalloped sentiment edge punch. So the two new members of my crafty stash are the apron lace and threading waters edge punches from Fiskars.

I appropriately used one of the punches for today's card, specifically the threading waters one. I was going for a cheerfully colorful card, so I used a bright red piece of patterned paper that I had used for another card earlier (don't want to be wasteful, right?), stamped the flowers, heat embossed the sentiment, and finished off the card by tying a knot with ribbon. I was thinking of adding buttons in the space between the sentiment and the flowers, but then I decided that it'd be overdoing it.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Stamps: Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment and flowers)
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Lipstick Red and Yellow Citrus, StazOn in Olive Green
Paper: Die Cuts With A View- Citrus (red)
Punches: Fiskars Twist & Flip 2-in-1 corner punch, Fiskars Threading Waters border punch

Sunday, March 21, 2010

'Cause I'm All Alone

Donkey from "Shrek": Cause I'm all alone. There's no one here beside me. My problems have all gone, there's no one to deride me. But you gotta have friends...

Mmmmyeah. Everyone's gone. Spring break is over, so my sister and cousin have gone back to school. Meg and I dropped Page off at the airport this morning. I said my goodbyes to Meg's family last night. Sighhh. It has been a good weekend though, and I'm very fortunate to have such awesome people in my life. :) Cue warm fuzzies.

Stuff that's not long enough to get their own paragraph:
  • Happy birthday, Mom! I got her a nice bouquet of flowers. She's simple like that.
  • Funny cat video from Laura (and her mom). Thanks for the laugh!
  • Inspiring story from The Washington Post a few days ago. Visit his blog.
For tonight's card, I wanted to use one of the clearance stamps that Page had bought for me as a birthday gift during the trip to A. C. Moore on Thursday. I was really drawn to the leaf background stamp because it looked versatile. I had some butterflies leftover from a custom order a few weeks back; I thought it went well with the nature theme. I tried a new method of knot tying that I saw on YouTube (I wish I remembered what the link was) where the woman tied a knot around her finger, took the loop off her finger and then cut the loop to make the tails of the finished knot. I like how the knot lies flat better than other knots I've made for cards. I was going to heat emboss the sentiment on the bottom, but the knot was in the way a little so I put at the upper left. Thanks for the stamp, Page...I love it!

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Lipstick Red, StazOn in Olive Green
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Gardenia (leaves), Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment)
Paper: My Mind's Eye- Bloom & Grow (butterfly)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marathon Day

Wakey, wakey at approximately 4:45 AM. I didn't know that that time actually existed, but apparently it does in order to get to the Suntrust National Marathon on time to see Meg at Mile 3. Page, Meg's family, and I (in our lime green Team Meg shirts) were ready and waiting for her as she ran by and tossed us her arm warmers and gloves. We stuck around for about 2 hours at Starbucks to see her come around again for Mile 17. We all spread out along Mile 17 so that we could get multiple shots of her. For one day, I felt like the paparazzi. I was getting a little worried at Mile 17 when I saw a girl completely wipe out. On the street. Screaming and crying. Very scary. As soon as I saw Meg, I breathed a sigh of relief. Once Mile 17 was over, we took the Metro to RFK Stadium for the finish.

We hung out at the finish and waited for Meg to show up. Unfortunately, I was distracted by the other runners and commentators that I totally missed her! Her sister even came by to tell me that they were at the tents, but what I failed to understand was that they were at the tents with Meg. Oops. I waited around the finish line, getting really worried, when in fact, Meg had already finished. Fortunately, Page took video of the finish so that I could see it. Way to go, Meg! You are officially a marathoner. We are so proud of you!

Upper left: Page and I at 7th and Constitution, where we met up with Meg's family. It's now affectionately called "32 Wallaby Way, Sydney." P and I had to repeat it in our heads a few times so that we'd remember where to meet everyone, similar to Dory in "Finding Nemo."
Upper right: This girl was giving people high fives at Mile 17.
Lower left: I made a new buddy. She's short and only has a few teeth. It's Meg's niece (age: almost 1). She's super cute.
Lower right: Me with Marathon Meg.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Marathon Day Eve

This morning, Page and I made our way back to Meg's place. But not before Mom made sure that Page got another helping of dumplings for breakfast and some bread from a Taiwanese bakery. There's an unofficial rule that people don't leave my house without something to eat.

The majority of today was spent at the Suntrust National Marathon Expo so that Meg could pick up her goodie bag and bib. We walked around to see the different vendors and I saw this shirt in one of the clothing booths. It made me smile. It's going to be an early morning for all of us tomorrow. Send good vibes to Meg tomorrow...the start for the marathon is 7 AM tomorrow. Page, some of Meg's family, and I are planning to be situated at Mile 3, 17, and 26.2. I'll definitely have an update...stay tuned!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Good Company = Good Times

Hello blogosphere! So continued from yesterday's blog post, I got Page from the airport, ate lunch, and went to Meg's apartment to wait for Meg to come home. Page and I had a lot to catch up on, so we chatted...for 5+ hours (!). Meg got home and went for a quick run (chatting continued while Meg was out) and we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Today, after breakfast, the three of us went to A.C.Moore aka my favorite place in the world, but this one wasn't the one that I normally go to so it was like a new adventure. They had a huge section of clearance rubber stamps, yay! Page was very nice and treated Meg and I to dinner last night and some craft goodies. :)

After lunch this afternoon, we went to the National Mall and took pictures for Meg's cousin's Flat Stanley Project. Flat Stanley "R" with the Washington Monument (see left picture), Flat Stanley "R" with the White House, etc. The weather was especially nice today which was a big bonus. Funny story: while near the Washington Monument, I saw a gentleman taking pictures of a Flat Stanley character, and I asked him if he was doing a similar project for someone. Yep, he was. The Flat Stanley he was holding had been to Europe and Montreal and eventually would make his way to Brazil after his stop in DC (!).
Tonight, Meg had a dinner event to go to so Page came home with me and my mom had prepared dumplings for her. You must understand that Mom making dumplings is a special occasion. You must be really important for her to go to the trouble of prepping the meat and veggies and assembling 100+ dumplings. And yep, Page is that special. We scarfed down the dumplings and made another batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for Meg's 3rd or 4th, maybe 5th? birthday celebration on Saturday after the marathon.

It's been a busy bee day, but very fun with these two gals. It's been about 1.5 years since we've hung out as a trio, but it's as if time didn't really pass and we can pick everything back up like *snap* that. This old MasterCard commercial describes our dynamic, except we're girls. It's funny because one of the kids has a red backpack, and when we all first became friends in undergrad, Page had a red backpack.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring is (Almost) Here!

I don't think spring is officially here, but I don't think the flowers know that. I snapped a few photos of Mom's crocuses in the garden this morning. I can't wait to see the daffodils come up. The yellow is always so cheerful!
I'm taking the rest of the week off from work and hanging out with Meg and Page (another friend from college) and eventually Meg's family. We're all gearing up for Meg's marathon on Saturday, March 20. Whoo hoo!

I'm off to the airport to get Page...Happy Hump Day and St. Patrick's Day! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hello, Sun

Hello, sun. I've missed you. Ginger missed you too. That's why she's hanging out in the sunroom today. Check out her kitty badunkadunk.
I decided on a late arrival to a family dinner at my uncle's house tonight because of spin class. I NEEDED to go because I knew that I wouldn't be able to go the rest of this week due to awesome out-of-town visitors and Meg's marathon on Saturday. When I set my water bottle and towel on my bike, Janice the instructor was like "Ah, Tina, you're getting with the program. No more playing hooky, right?" Mmmyep. I miss one class and she's totally onto me, sheesh.

I already had a bowl of curry rice before going to the gym tonight, but I still had some room for dinner at my uncle's house: noodles, edamame, some squishy thing that tasted good but no one could tell me what it was, and 1.5 squares of Mom's homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I guess it was a good thing that I went to spin!

Can't keep my eyes open...must go to bed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Spinning Surprise

I went to spin class tonight, and as I was getting a towel from the front desk, the spin instructor was getting the microphone for class. She turns to me and says "Oh, I remembered" and gave me a CD. Flashback to last Monday when I told her that I really enjoyed her class, I also told her that I liked the music that she played during her classes. When I put the CD in my computer when I got home, I realized that it was a mix of her "regular songs." How nice/thoughtful of her! She is awesome. It was a good workout tonight...I was definitely a hot sweaty mess after class. And then I proceeded to go to the grocery store to pick up butter for more baking this week. Mmmyeah.

I was feeling a little guilty that I will not be able to spend as much time with my sister and cousin who are home for spring break later this week because of out-of-town visitors, so I baked some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for them (yes, second time in less than a week)...while listening to my new CD. We're going to my uncle's house for dinner tomorrow, which will be a good opportunity to share with other cousins.

Conversation from tonight:
me: "Do you want to help me make cookies tonight?"
sister: "Um, no. I want to watch 24. (Pause) Ok, I'll do the fork and sugar thing."
Ok, fine. That's better than nothing.

Card goals for the night...a) use scraps and b) use purple. I'm not really a purple person, but I was inspired by the dress that I got from Ann Taylor Loft over the weekend and wore to the office today. Color is good. This was an excellent opportunity to use some cardstock scraps that a friend (hi, Cristina ::wave::) had leftover from her wedding invitations. I was digging in my mom's old button stash for a big white button, but came out with this green one instead. I like how it matched the ribbon. :)

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Stamps: Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment)
Paper: Recollections Basics- Green Damask
Punches: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch

Great episode of 24 tonight! It'll be interesting to see how CTU functions without electricity. Jack Bauer to the rescue! I imagine that in 12 hours, all will be okay.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sleepy Sunday

On my drive to the gym this morning, I was hoping that we'd have a different spin instructor than last Sunday. Unfortunately, my wishful thinking didn't work, and the lady from last week taught today's class. Hmm, ok. She wasn't as bad as last week, but I still wasn't feeling her style and I couldn't understand some of her commands. I left feedback at the front desk. Like last week, it sounded like she got mixed reviews today too.

I was feeling really sluggish today. I don't know if it was the weather or the fact that I went to bed late last night. It's probably a combination of both. It's been really gross and rainy outside this weekend, and since I had no where to go today, I spent most of the day curled up in bed. I think I was a cat in a past life. =^..^=

I wanted to use some scraps in tonight's cards. There's a growing pile of them near my paper trimmer, so I figured the best way to decrease the pile is to use them. I selected a few and cut out four-sided shapes of varying sizes and adhered them to a piece of white cardstock. The pink paper pieces have some flowers dry embossed on them, but I think it's hard to tell from the picture. I stamped the sentiment, punched it out, and adhered it to the green scalloped circle. After some thought, I didn't think that the green stood out enough, so I put another scalloped circle behind it in pale yellow.

Card Specs:
Ink: StazOn in Jet Black
Stamp: The Paper Company Studio- Whimsy Greetings (sentiment)
Paper: DCWV- Citrus (glitter stripes), Martha Stewart (pink), KI Memories- Celebrate Life (blue bubbles)
Foam Adhesive: Making Memories
Punch: EK Success Circle punch (1 3/8 inch), EK Success Scalloped Circle punch (2 inch)

Song of the day: "Love Story Meets Viva La Vida" - Jon Schmidt.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Alexandria, VA

I could not muster the energy to go to spin class this morning, but I figured I'd even it out with the amount of walking I planned to do with Meg and her grandparents this afternoon. After lunch, I met up with Meg and went to Alexandria with her grandparents. I had met them several times while we were in school (the last time was at graduation, 5 years ago!), so it was very nice to see them again.

The first stop was Ann Taylor Loft. They were having a 30% off sale of everything that was regular price, so I bought a fuchsia (a pinky purple?) dress to add to my work wardrobe. Next, we went to "Why Not?", a children's toy and clothing store. They had quite a selection of finger puppets, all kinds of animals: chipmunk, dragons, hummingbirds, etc. And yes, Meg and I played around with them. "Oldies, but goodies" were there, such as Curious George and Peter Rabbit. I hope those guys never go out of style.

For dinner, we went to Villa D'Este, an Italian restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, and the food was VERY yummy. I had the spaghetti carbonara and a piece of tiramisu for dessert. Here are some pictures from the evening. Meg's cannoli with sprinkles and the dessert tray. I wish I took a picture of my dinner, but I was too busy scarfing it down.
When I left the restaurant, I felt very, very full. But then after I got home and peeked in the refrigerator out of curiosity, I found curry rice. I figured I had some room for "second dinner" and my cousin and sister (both are home for spring break) sat at the dining room table and caught up. They are helping me eat the bag of jelly beans I bought yesterday. Hooray for a great day! :D

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fall-To Layout 82

Whoops, sorry for being MIA yesterday. I came back from spin class last night and after a shower, I plopped myself in front of the TV to watch Real Housewives on Bravo.

Yesterday's dental appointment was a success. Ok, so you know how engineers work hard to make cars quieter? I think they need to divert their energy to making dental equipment less scary and loud. Hello? Drill, in your face? Yes, very scary. Can you guys get on that, please? Thanks.

Easter candy update: Sweet Tart jelly beans are gone. Moving on to Starburst ones. I know. So SO bad, considering I went to the dentist yesterday.

I got a request for an update on Employee Appreciation week (Hi, Jenny! Are you reading this? Ha ha.). Wednesday- Nothing was on the schedule. Thursday- The office offered CPR (and first aid?) certification. They had offered two days for the training, but I couldn't go to either because of appointments and conference calls. Oh well. Today- we had an office sponsored lunch at Austin Grill, and we didn't have to come back to work after the meal. Score! :) I spent the time at my cousin's house since family members were chatting over there and got some laundry/errands done. I went to both Michaels and A.C.Moore, and only came back with a $1 spool of hot pink ribbon. I even had a bunch of things in my hands as I was walking around the stores, but after some thought, I didn't NEED them, so I put everything but the ribbon back. Check out that self control! I have been on the look out for a W R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, but apparently the A.C.Moore that I go to won't be restocking it anytime soon, so I'll have to find it online.

Here are some kitty pictures from today. Ginger's facial expressions are so funny, especially the picture on the right. I think she's trying to convey disapproval of my camera antics.
For tonight's card, I wanted to try a clean&simple sketch, specifically Fall-To Layout #82. I stumbled upon this blog earlier this week and really liked what they had to offer. I broke out the hot pink ribbon that I got today and a stamp that I hadn't used yet from my Ebay auction that I won. I liked how the bow and the black/green/hot pink color combination turned out. I think what would have made this card better is a larger floral stamp to take up the right side of the damask paper. That way there'd be less space below the time, I'll know better.

Card Specs:
Ink: StazOn in Jet Black
Punches: Fiskars Twist & Flip 2-in-1 corner punch, Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Stamps: Hero Arts- Thinking of You Messages (flowers), The Paper Company Studio- Playful Expressions (sentiment)
Paper: Recollections Basics- Green Damask
Ribbon: From A.C. Moore

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cookies and Kitty

Nothing interesting to report from today. Ok, wait. Let me try to think of something. Ummm...I went to Starbucks today for the first time in forever. Does that count?

Mmmyeah, didn't think so.

Instead of making a card today, I decided to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for the office tomorrow. Two co-workers (one yesterday and one today) mentioned them...well, the first guy was like "Tina, cookies!" Ooook. I guess he's a fan, right? Otherwise, he wouldn't have said anything. Anyway, they came out great. I would know. I ate five just to be sure. Heh. I was doing quality assurance. Umm...did I mention there's spin class tomorrow?

I'll leave you with two Ginger pictures. She's so patient, letting me be obnoxious with my camera. She decided to leave shortly after this photo session. Shocker.
Tomorrow, after work, I'm taking a trip to the dentist to get a filling. Yeah. My life is super exciting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Totally Busted

Before I get to the title of this blog post, let's talk about other things that happened today. Today was Day 2 of Employee Appreciation week at work, and the perk today was mini manicures. I decided to forgo the manicure because with all the paper crafting I do, I knew the manicure wouldn't last very long. I did get free food though in the form of pizza, cheese, and a candy bar (the new Milky Way caramel. It's just chocolate and caramel, no nougat. Yum.).

Janice the spin instructor totally busted me for not coming to class last week. I guess when you regularly go to class, people start to notice when you're not there. In my own defense, I felt like *censor* last week so that's why I didn't go to her class. It was a good class, but went by too quickly! The gym was offering free body fat percentage measurement sessions tonight. Last week, I thought it'd be a good idea to do it. But after all the food I ate today, mmmyeah. It didn't sound that great anymore.

I finished the custom order that came though this past weekend with 2 mother-of-the-bride cards. Per the buyer's specifications, I did an origami wedding dress with the sentiment she provided. I added a rhinestone for a little bling bling. Now I wait to get confirmation from the buyer that we're good to list, accept payment, and ship.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Oh yes, you read that right. Who knew that Mondays could actually be good days? Speaking from someone that has Garfield syndrome (dislikes Mondays just because they are Mondays), today went really well. Let me count the ways...
  1. Today is Day 1 of Employee Appreciation week at work. Every day this week there's a little perk offered at the office. A 10-minute chair massage was offered to staff today, and I was totally all over that. It felt really relaxing at the end of the day. I could feel that I was holding a lot of tension in my shoulder/neck area, and by the end of the session, I felt like jello. I dunno how the guy managed it. Rubbing that area must have felt like concrete judging by the way I was feeling this afternoon. Crisis neutralized.
  2. Ok, so yesterday, I was totally bummed when I thought that the Super Spin instructor was leaving, as in dropping all of her classes. I was bracing myself for another sucky substitute, but I was pleasantly surprised that the Super Spin instructor was teaching tonight. I had totally misunderstood what was going on. I found out tonight that she's just dropping her Sunday class, not all of them. I made a point to go and talk to her tonight and tell her how much I appreciated her and the class. I'll have to find another use for the card that I made last night. I'm glad that she isn't feeling as bad as I originally thought, but I hope, for her sake, that she feels 100% soon.
  3. "Cute gym front desk guy" was working tonight. 'Nough said. :)
  4. Because of the recent snow storms, the roads here have been filled with potholes. There's a really bad spot on the way home from the gym, and I was totally ready to drive to the side to avoid a startling *THUMP*, but it turns out that the County people have repaired that spot. My car and I (and the neighborhood cars) thank you, County people.
  5. The expiration date of the milk is tomorrow, and there was quite a bit left (nooo). Thinkthinkthink. ::light bulb goes on:: I dug in the pantry and found the pudding mix that I bought on Friday and used 3 cups of the milk for it. Suh-weet! Literally.
The end.


Work on the custom order that came in this past weekend is on hold until I get more details from the buyer. No point in assuming what she wants because that could potentially result in wasted effort and supplies. Instead, I worked on a card just because. I think I'm still on the butterfly kick that I was yesterday. No stamps were used in this unusual, right? I like how those American Crafts stickers were forgiving when I had to reposition some of the letters. This card would have to go to someone that had an appreciation for rhinestones and sparkle. Bling bling.

Card Specs:
Paper: Martha Stewart (brown butterfly), My Mind's Eye- Bloom & Grow (green butterfly)
Stickers: American Crafts Remarks- Serendipity, Color Set 4 (smile)
Punches: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, Carla Craft cherry blossom punch

Song of the day: "Bleeding Love" (Jason Nevins Original Radio Edit)- Leona Lewis.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spinning Sadness

Time for bad news/sad news/good news. I'm going to go with the bad/sad news first so that I end the post on a good note.

Bad/Sad News:
  • OMG, I am so SO bummed (did you catch that emphasis on the 2nd "so"?)! I found out at spin class this morning that the instructor that usually teaches the 1 hour spin class had to resign for health reasons. She is such a sweet, encouraging person. I feel so badly for her. I knew that she hadn't been feeling 100% lately, but I didn't know that it had gotten to the point where she couldn't teach spin anymore. She seemed to like teaching spin, so this must have been a tough decision to make. I really enjoyed her classes, and I will miss her. I plan to leave her a card at the gym (see -edit: second- card below). Sounds like she might need some support.
  • The substitute that taught class this morning was no good. For someone who was here on a trial basis, she did NOT make a good first impression. a) The first thing out of her mouth was that she didn't like the layout of the room. o_0 b) She kept mentioning that she wanted to teach yoga. Yeah, ok, there's nothing wrong with wanting to teach yoga, but this is SPIN. She just sounded like she didn't want to be there today. c) She got off her bike and walked up and down the aisles sometimes. None of of the other instructors that I go to do this. Hello? Personal space? d) She stopped the music towards the end of class to switch CDs and then couldn't find the song she was looking for. e) She yelled and clapped at lot. I thought that was annoying. f) I think there were other people in class didn't like her either because several people left 10 minutes early! Just got up and left! At the end of class, I thought "Ok, maybe I'm being a little too harsh. I have to give her a chance. It was her first class." After talking to "cute gym front desk guy" (see 1st bullet under Good News), other people had left bad feedback on this lady too, so I didn't feel as bad anymore. UGH. I think physically, it was a good workout, but I didn't feel mentally/emotionally refreshed afterwards. There's probably going to be a sub tomorrow too...I hope it goes better tomorrow. Puh-leeeze let it be better tomorrow.
Good News:
  • "Cute gym front desk guy" was working this morning, and I even spoke to him briefly (as in more than "hi" and "have a good day"). Double yay. :)
  • I made brownies for my cousin this morning. I'm more of a cookie person, so I think I was suffering from some baking amnesia. Do I grease the pan? What about flour it? How do I mix the eggs in so that they don't cook? They turned out a-ok though. Whew!
  • It was a productive afternoon! I continued to work on the custom order that came through yesterday by cranking out 12 origami butterfly cards. The buyer is a big Dolly Parton fan. My embossing tool definitely got a workout.
  • After the 12 cards, I took a 2 hour nap. Napping counts as being productive, right?
Random News:
  • The Director of Human Resources at work was at spin class today. Small world.
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Paper: Martha Stewart

Here's the card that I came up with for the spin instructor. I wanted to go with a really bright and colorful theme. I think I had spring on my mind as well since we had wonderful weather here in MD this weekend. I hope it cheers her up. :)

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Lime Pastel, Lipstick Red, Yellow Citrus, Chestnut Roan
Stamps: Hero Arts- Thinking of You Messages (sentiment), Heidi Grace Designs- Paradise (flowers)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Citrus
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch

Song of the day: "You've Got What It Takes"- Michael Bublé and "Naturally"- Selena Gomez.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Tropical Day

Today started out with going to spin class. The first time since Monday. I've been battling a series of headaches after work, so spin was a no-go. I was happy to get a good workout in today though. I think every bike was taken! Maybe everyone's getting a head start with getting in shape for summer? I'm planning to go tomorrow for the 1 hour class. We'll see if I can wake up on time.

Has anyone tried the Sweet Tart jelly beans? They are awesome!

When I won this Ebay auction of clear stamps, some tropical stamps were included. My first thought was "What am I going to do with these? Umm, maybe I should give them away or something since I dunno what I'd use these for." Well, it was a good thing that I had them today because one of the cards in a custom order that I received today was a tropical-themed birthday card! This is my beta test card; I'll have to incorporate numbers to indicate which birthday the recipient will be celebrating (the buyer's going to give it to her mother for her 92nd birthday!).

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Orchid Pastel, Yellow Citrus, Lime Pastel, Blue Lagoon
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Surf's Up (hibiscuses, wave, palm tree, sun), Fiskars- Flip 'N Flop (flip flop), Saavy Stamps (sentiment)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Citrus (blue)
Punches: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch

Song of the day: "Save the Last Dance for Me"- Michael Bublé. Double sigh. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Casseroles, Yum!

Instead of getting a $5 sandwich for lunch today (which probably would have lasted one meal), I decided to go to the grocery store and buy food to make when I got home from work. Cooking at home is the more economical thing to do anyway, right? This evening, I whipped up a tuna noodle casserole (from scratch! Complete with mushrooms, onions, peas, and cheese) and a green bean casserole. I took pictures so that you could see my culinary masterpieces, but the lighting wasn't so great. Oops. I promise, it was super yummy!

Tonight's card theme is food. I was inspired by a clear stamp that read "Eat Cake," but I wanted to make the card specifically birthday related. Mmm, cake. I wanted each of the tiers of the cake to be a different pattern, so I alternated between cardstock with a heat embossed pattern with patterned paper. I used the scalloped edge punch to add some interest to the cake too. Bon Appétit!

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in clear
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Punches: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Ink: StazOn in Jet Black
Stamps: Fiskars- Birthday (sentiment), Martha Stewart (polka dots, bubbles)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Citrus (orange floral, stripes)

Song of the day: "Save the Last Dance for Me"- Michael Bublé. Sigh. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am Grateful For...

Who says that it has to be Thanksgiving to feel extra appreciative?

I am grateful for...
  • my family and friends for being understanding of all things Tina, i.e. craft addiction, food, giggle fits, mandatory nap time, occasional potty mouth, etc.
  • my job and supportive boss. I'm SO thankful that we jive.
  • the spin instructors at the gym for being encouraging and providing a good workout a few times a week.
  • the creative people at all the crafty companies (Hero Arts, American Crafts, My Mind's Eye, Inkadinkado...just to name a few) for inspiring me and feeding my cardmaking and origami habits by continually producing fabulous products.
  • the people I interact with in Etsyland, Twitterverse, and the blogosphere. I really appreciate your business and feedback.
  • Michael Bublé because listening to his music makes me happy.
  • Tom Welling because I love watching Clark Kent kick bad guy butt on Smallville.
  • dramatic (read: trashy) reality television, i.e. Real Housewives and MTV's The Real World, for the entertainment.
Now, it's your turn. What are you thankful for?

For tonight's card, I wanted to practice my ribbon tying skills. It took me a good 15-20 minutes to get this knot juuuust right, but when I got it, I got it! I seriously did a mental happy dance in my head. Ah, it's the simple things in life that make me happy. :)

Card Specs:

Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Lipstick Red
Stamps: Fiskars- Just Between Friends (flowers)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Citrus (red, stripes), Die Cuts with a View (yellow stars)
Buttons: Favorite Findings in Ocean
Punches: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Ribbon: From A.C. Moore

Song of the day: "All I Do is Dream of You"- Michael Bublé...on repeat tonight. :)

Oh, whoops...Real Housewives is almost over! I guess I'll catch a rerun tomorrow or something. Niiight!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Joyful Wednesday

Is anyone's week whizzing by? Raise your hand. ::raises hand::

Hooray, I snagged an Etsy sale today! Someone is getting ahead on his/her Easter shopping because the card that sold was my origami panda Easter card. My day gets a little brighter when I get an email from Etsy Transactions. :)

There was no spin class tonight, so I spent time working on a card for submission and one to post on my Etsy shop. This is what I came up with. It's a spin off of a sketch that The Paper Crafts Connection included in their September/October 2010 call for submissions. I wanted to get some use out of the DCWV Citrus matstack and use a stamp that I haven't used before. Here's what I came up with. I love that shade of red that I used for the sentiment. Whoa, there are a lot of patterns going on there, but I think it works.

The other picture is of tonight's dinner aka today's Project 365 picture. My aunt prepared some beef that goes really well with noodles in soup. Check out that yummy goodness!
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Lipstick Red
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- You Go Girl! (sentiment)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Citrus (red, stripes), My Mind's Eye- Bloom & Grow (polka dot butterfly), Die Cuts with a View (yellow butterfly)

Song of the day: We have a tie! "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train and "All I Do is Dream of You"- Michael Bublé.