Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fall-To Layout #142

Funny story from yesterday: when I got off at my Metro stop, I thought I saw someone that I knew from undergrad. I wanted to make sure it was him before I said anything, so I walked up next to him to confirm. Yep, it was him. "Are you ___?" "Uh, yeah. Oh, HEY!! How are you??" Oh, good. I guess I haven't changed either. Even though the DC area is flooded with people, sometimes I think it's a small world after all (cue Disney World music...).

Reverting back to office mode wasn't too hard today. I need to have my head in the game because I'm doing house related things on Thursday (meeting with mortgage guy in the morning and then doing the house inspection in the afternoon) and then heading out again on Friday for work. There is no room in the next 2 weeks to play space cadet.

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #142. I was thinking of sending a card to my friend Page, and since her favorite color is yellow, I figured that was a good place to start. The house paper caught my eye and reminded me of her because she's going to be a new home owner this summer as well. Meg gave me some flower stickers for my birthday this year, so I added it for some dimension. Crafty supplies = the gift that keeps on giving.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo
Paper: American Crafts- Abode, Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Stamps: Studio G
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Stickers: Sandylion- Flower Power
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Sunflower Yellow
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Monday, May 30, 2011

Home Hunting Update + St. Simons Island Vacation Recap

Hello out there! Yep, I made it back from vacation safely. A beach trip with friends was just what I needed. I'll get to the recap and pictures in a little bit, but I wanted to update y'all on the offer that I put on the townhouse last week. When Robyn and I were driving across the bridge to St. Simons Island (Meg hopped into the car with Page so she wouldn't have to drive by herself), the real estate agent called to let me know that the seller accepted the offer! YAY! Next stop: a home inspection. I thought the timing of the call with the bridge was very know, like crossing over to a new life and all that jazz. Perhaps I'll be able to meet the "leaving the nest" New Year's Resolution after all.

The four of us stayed at Page's family's condo, and the place was so nice. Everyone got their own bed, and the property had easy access to the pool and the beach. The weather was sunny the whole time.

The vacation pretty much consisted of going to the beach/pool, watching movies and eating...a lot.

Food report: There was a lot of chocolate (we consumed 4 bags of M&Ms: peanut butter, pretzel, almond, and peanut), cookies (oh, Oreos, how I've missed you), and seafood consumed these past few days. During 3 out of 4 dinners, I had some sort of crab cake. Errr...calories don't count on vacation, right?

Movie report: We gave the local Red Box a workout during this trip. We watched The Green Hornet (fell asleep during it), The King's Speech (hadn't seen it before, good movie), Tangled (saw it in the theater, loved it), and Despicable Me (saw it on the airplane before, meh) on DVD. We also ventured to the movie theater yesterday and saw Thor, which was pretty good.

Book report: While I was at the beach, I read and finished the book Commencement. It was one of the books that I bought for $1 at a used book sale. I thought it was funny how the book paralleled the beach trip in that the book was about 4 friends that met in college and the four of us (Robyn, Page, Meg, and me) become friends in college as well. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it, even though I skipped over some sections because they made me feel uncomfortable.

Funny story from the trip: Meg (and Robyn?) brought two shells back to the condo after a trip to the beach. We thought that they were uninhabited, but were seriously mistaken when we saw the shells crawling away a few hours later. Screaming ensued. Crabs were returned to the ocean.

Here are some pictures from the trip.
Off to unpack, get some laundry done, and accept the fact that I will have to go to the office tomorrow instead of soaking up some sun on the beach. Hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Off to the beach!

"Tina, you'll be on real vacation, right? Like, not checking your work email?" - my boss, on our 1-on-1 call today.

Yep, no work email or work conference calls for the next couple of days! This is monumental! I haven't had a vacation like this in 3 years.

P.S. On the home hunting front, I put in an offer for the townhome that I saw yesterday. Send good vibes this way, please! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A New Adventure Into Geekdom

My Windows XP operating system was on its last leg today. UGH. Oh well. Time to learn something new. I could a) wait until my cousin was home to see if he could lend me an XP CD or b) I could install Ubuntu per my sister's recommendation. It's a Linux-based operating system. I was a little unsure about it, but my sister sings its praises and since I just need a computer that does basic things (print, edit photos, play music, word process, etc.), I wasn't tied to Windows. But, I did want a computer that worked. Within an hour, I got Ubuntu on my computer and at least Firefox on it is working...otherwise I wouldn't be able to type up this blog post. Who knows, I might be a convert.

In other news, I went with my realtor this afternoon to check out the townhome I've been eyeing for the past week. It was so lovely that I asked my parents to come check it out this evening and they were fans too. Dad's quite the skeptical person, so for him to give his approval right off the bat was a huge relief! I'm currently resisting the urge to tell the realtor tonight that I want to put in an offer. This is a house, not a pair of earrings that I want to buy impulsively. I'll sleep on it tonight and then contact the realtor in the morning. Holy cow.

I was asked to make a bridal congratulations card for a girl at the office. I guess it's more of a multi-purpose card because she's getting married, she's going to medical school, AND she's leaving the organization in about a week. I guess "Congratulations" sums up what we want to say, right? I wish I knew her better because then I could incorporate her wedding colors into the card. I guess my go-to cheerful color scheme of red, green and yellow will have to do. I was really stumped as to how to make the card less flat, but not too bulky. Fortunately, I had some buttons from Michaels sitting on my desk. With a few glue dots, I liked the card a whole lot more! Eek, please excuse the picture quality. The card was too big to fit in my light box.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Warm Red, Warm Green, Yellow Ochre
Paper: American Crafts- Abode, A La Carte
Stamps: Fiskars- Sentiments, Fiskars- Petals From Scratch
Buttons: Bucket White, Red from Michaels
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fall-To Layout #141

::cell phone alarm goes off:: So. Freakin'. Annoying. How dare it go off when I told it to!

Wait, what day is it? Is it Wednesday? Is it time for vacation?

Crap. No. Yesterday was Sunday, which makes today Monday. ::whine::

Does that ever happen to you? Surely, I can't be the only person.

Ok, enough with the gloom and doom.

Good thing that happened today: my hello card was selected as a "Hoolala" on the Wee Memories blog for Challenge #56.

Funny thing that happened today: I was in a meeting where the HR director was attending too. She sits next to me and looks at my nails: "Tina, whoa, yellow??" Mmmyeah, well, I guess the yellow is tough to miss. And then we started talking about crackle nail polish.

Happy thing that I'm looking forward tomorrow: my realtor and I are checking out a townhouse tomorrow around lunchtime. This will be the first property I've seen with her, and I hope it's as nice in person as it is in the pictures. ::fingers crossed::

Onto today's card. It's probably the fastest one I've done in a while. I already had the sketch (Fall-To Layout #141) and color scheme that I wanted to use (red, yellow and green...yep, a repeat from yesterday. Hey, I stick with the winners). During my shopping excursion yesterday, I stopped by A.C. Moore. I saw in the insert that they were having a 50% off sale on their clear stamps. Gimme gimme! I limited myself to 1 set, which was a mix of circular frames and sentiments. I used one of the sentiments for today's card. Ta da!
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Stamp: Inkadinkado- Round Frames
Punch: Fiskars Apron Lace border punch
Brad: American Crafts, Large Brads- Cherry
Flowers: Prima
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CPS #219

The amazing thing about technology is that it helps you be a part of events when you can't be there in person. I had intentions of going to my sister's graduation today, but with the 3 hour drive there and the 3 hour drive back and having to be in the office tomorrow, it would have been a really tiring day. Fortunately, the graduation ceremony was being broadcasted live on the internet, so I was able to enjoy the ceremony in my jammies.

The commencement speaker, Erik Weihenmayer, talked about facing adversity and going into the storms the life throws at us, instead of running away from them. I especially liked the analogy that he used to compare great people to alchemists.

You know, they can take the lead that life piles on top of them and they'll figure out a way to transform it into gold.

With an alchemist, they don't just do the traditional things that you hear about. They don't just deal well with adversity, they don't avoid it, they don't even overcome it as you hear so often.

These alchemists have figured out how to do something radically different. They've figured out how to seize hold of that storm of adversity that seems to swirl around us to harness its energy and use that energy to propel themselves forward to places that they never would have gone to in any other way.

With an alchemist you can throw them in the midst of a fierce competitive, uncertain environment, you can strip away their resources, you can throw roadblocks in front of them, and they'll still find a way to win. And I'd argue that they don't find a way to win despite adversity, they find a way to win because of it. I think if we want to learn, if we want to grow, if we want to strengthen great teams around us, if we want to innovate, if we want to create a whole new paradigm that the world follows, I think the way we harness those challenges in our lives is our greatest advantage.

Imagine while the world is digging in its heels and focused on surviving, you're out there using the energy behind this momentous occasion to drive forward, to make ground, to make an impact.

That's a pretty good quote, right? He also joked in the beginning of the ceremony that it seemed like people were more interested in his seeing eye dog than him. It is difficult to miss the dog, as he was a giant German shepherd.

I was earlier out in the crowd and somebody said, "That's the most amazing dog I've ever seen, man's best friend, what a noble creature." Then I was walking up the aisle and I think I heard him say, "Oh, by the way, that's our speaker, he climbed Mount Everest blind."

I'm used to taking a back seat to the dog.

While I was listening to the names being called out, I tackled CPS #219. I wanted to finally break into my DCWV Nana's Kitchen stack that I bought a few weeks ago. I loved the green paper, so I started with that and built the card from there. I decided to pair the green with yellow and red (yes, like a traffic light). I didn't have an oval die to match the sketch, but I did have a Nestabilities die that was a similar shape and hadn't gotten a ton of use recently. I love the bright colors and cheerfulness of the card and the extra dimension and sparkle of the gems.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, Blackbird, Warm Red, Yellow Ochre.
Stamps: Fiskars- Friendship Garden (flowers), Fiskars- Petals From Scratch (sentiment)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Threading Waters border punch
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost, Nana's Kitchen
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

At Target today, I bought a new bottle of nail polish on a whim and did my nails after dinner tonight. Yep, they are yellow. Yep, I'm going to wear them to work tomorrow. Neener neener. Sally Hansen in Lightening. Can you tell that I'm ready for summer?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Laura's Wedding + Reception

I have to say that driving a newer car is a lot more fun than an older car. I don't get to have that opportunity very often. Dad let me borrow his car today and I felt like I was zooming on the highway. Today, I headed to Baltimore for my friend Laura's wedding (::wave::), which was, of course, totally true Laura style. I parked the car at the hotel where the reception was going to be held and then took a shuttle bus to the church. I actually sat next to the mother of the groom on the bus, but didn't realize it until later on. I finally introduced myself to her when I entered the church. "Hi, I'm Tina (I paused to see if she'd recognize me...and realized that she didn't. I rushed to find some sort of context) ummm, I made some of the thank you cards?" "OHHHHH, hiiii!" Hey, if my claim to fame is the cards that I make, I'm down with that.

After the ceremony, we all headed back to the hotel for the cocktail hour and reception. The hotel was right along the Inner Harbor, so the view was so pretty. The appetizers were amazing: beef wrapped in bacon (who can go wrong with bacon?), cheese + crackers, quesadillas, and my favorite...some sort of crab cake ball. I ate like 3 or 4. Mmmyeah, I have no shame whatsoever. We kept an eye on the server lady that was passing them around and waved her over several times so that we could take another one. I also had an apple martini, yum! For dinner, I picked the chicken platter. I wonder if the chicken was purposely served in the shape of a heart. How appropriate for wedding reception food. By the time the slice of wedding cake arrived at the end of the night, I only took a few bites because I had absolutely no room...yeah, like you thought that was possible!
Random thing that almost happened: there was a lady at the wedding that had on the same dress that I WAS going to wear. How funny would that have been?!

Congratulations, Laura and Nate! The wedding was awesome! Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day! :D

Friday, May 20, 2011

"It's a Boy!" Card

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope your week is ending on a good note!

Let's see...what have I been up to...

Well, yesterday, we had a surprise baby shower at work. The lady is having a baby girl and we celebrated with presents and lots of pies (strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, key lime and something I didn't recognize). I had 2 small helpings of the blueberry and key lime ones.

Right after the baby shower, one of the managers asked me to make a card to send around for another coworker that's having a baby boy, so that's what I worked on tonight. I have been looking for an opportunity to use the airplane stamp and cloud paper, and here was my chance! I started out with a green plane, but I didn't think it stood out against the teal sky so I switched to red. Red can be for boys, too, right? I didn't want the card to have too much dimension because it was going to be passed around the office and I didn't want things to get banged up. I'm so glad that I had enough chipboard letter stickers for the sentiment so that the card wasn't TOO flat. Hello, happy medium.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan, Blackbird, Charcoal, Warm Red, Blue Iris, Yellow Ochre.
Paper: American Crafts- City Park, Merrymint, Abode.
Stamps: Martha Stewart- Toy Transportation (plane), K.I. Memories- It's a Girl (baby bottle), Fiskars- Baby (onesies)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Stickers: American Crafts Chipboard Thickers in Darling (white)

Off to my friend Laura's wedding tomorrow, hooray! :)

P.S. My card was linked in today's Moxie Fab World was the pink card I made last week (I'm the last link).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kansas, Day 3

A colleague, my boss and I were able to sleep in today since the airport was close by. I got a text for my sister, informing me that my cousin had brought over some cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes this morning. I had made a big stink about Mom eating half of my red velvet cupcake from Baked & Wired over the weekend. My cousin must have heard about it. Nom nom nom. I pretty much slept the whole flight home...yay. I was a little worried about feeling restless because I was sitting in a row with a family that included a toddler. Fortunately, I zonked out so I didn't hear anything.

I forgot to mention this my breakout group, the facilitator asked us all to introduce ourselves and say a fun fact (my fun fact was about my card making hobby), but some of the other people had cooler things to share. Within our group, we had...
  • A quilter
  • A older lady that did triathlons
  • A veterinarian that spayed and neutered animals during his free time
  • A genealogist
  • A fly fisherwoman
Kinda cool, right? I wanted to talk to all of them at lunch and ask them a bunch of questions because I was so curious, but I ended up sitting next to one of my contacts who was talking about how he converted from Southern Baptist to Judaism, which I thought was an interesting switch in religion.

Anyhoo, here's to sleeping in my own bed tonight, even though it's got a cat's worth of cat hair on it and is dramatically smaller than the king sized bed that I slept in last night at the hotel. Here are some pictures from today...cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes and Ginger hanging out in Dad's gym bag.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kansas, Day 2

The meeting today was productive, and I think everyone came away from the assessment feeling satisfied (or relieved, depending on who you were). Afterwards, my boss, a colleague, and I headed back closer to the airport and went to dinner in the hotel restaurant. I had a pulled pork sandwich with fries. Holy moly, I haven't eaten this much meat in a long time (lunch today was beef brisket, potatoes, and green beans), but I figured since I don't eat much BBQ at home, that I had better just enjoy it while I could. I snapped this picture of the Kansas capitol dome when I woke up this morning. I wish I had time to walk closer to it to take some better pictures. Oh well, back to DC tomorrow, yay!

P.S. The NCIS and NCIS:LA season finales were soooo good, but there won't be another new episode to watch until the fall. WAHHHH! I hope there's some good summer TV this year.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kansas, Day 1

Whew, I made it. I was a little worried there for a second. The plane was really delayed this morning getting to the gate at DCA and then they were doing maintenance. Oook, well, do whatever you gotta do. I would much rather wait for a plane that works, above anything else. I met my boss and another colleague at the Kansas City airport and we took a rental car to where we needed to be in Kansas.

The drive was very...flat. I saw a sign that said something about "Townhomes...starting at $114K" and I actually laughed out loud in the car. I had to make a comment about it because you could probably buy several Kansas townhouses for the price of 1 in the MD/DC/VA. Sigh. Location, location, location.

Driving around the town that we're staying in was...weird. There were no people around! Many of the shop fronts were closed, so that was kinda a sad sight. Fortunately, the restaurant that we went to was bustling. So much to the extent that they had only 1 menu left, so we had to share. The food's got to be good if there are lots of people inside, right? The restaurant/bar was called the Blind Tiger. That name sounded more appropriate for an Asian restaurant, but they served a lot of BBQ there, much to my surprise. I had the pulled pork plate with fries and veggies on the side. I really liked the BBQ sauce that they had there had a little bit of a kick.
Long day ahead to bed soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Capitol Hill Classic 10K

Today was the Capitol Hill Classic 10K, woot! I hung out with my friend Meg last night and stayed over at her place so that we could leave for the race together this morning. Since the Metro opened at 7 AM today and the race start was 7:30 AM, we didn't want to chance it so we took a cab instead. The cab driver was super nice. He was an older gentleman who talked about the exercise regiment from when he was in the Marine Corps and quitting smoking.

The start of the race was at an elementary school, and the restrooms were hilarious with curtains instead of doors (probably to prevent children from locking themselves in the bathroom) and the tiny potties. While Meg and I were waiting at the start line, I saw a former colleague of mine. She had left my organization last August. We gave each other big hugs and caught up on what we had been up to lately. And then not too long after that, the race began. There were no pacers, so all the runners were in a big clump. The fast people were definitely fast! As I was approaching RFK stadium, the fast people had already made their way around it. We cheered as they ran by. Around Mile 2, I was thinking "Why on earth did I think this was a good idea?! Ugh, another 4 miles? Am I going to make it??" Well, Meg did. She's in the teal/green shirt in the middle of the picture. Oh, me? Yeah, I made it too. Can you tell how happy I was to see the finish line? I have my arms up in the picture below, in black/black. Julie is so clever, "What are you, a ninja?" I saw Meg and Julie standing on the sidelines and I was like "Whoo hoooo!" Like, literally. Of COURSE, the race was a good idea! You work hard to make sure you get across the finish line. And it was an awesome feeling, especially when my knee wasn't hurting (like it did when I did the race in 2008) and I made it up the ginormous hill at around Mile 5 without walking (I had to walk it in 2008 because my knee was killing me).2011 time: 66:14 minutes (10:40 pace). For reference...2008 time- 75:55 minutes (12:13 pace). Hooray, improvement! This was great news because my pace for the March 8K was 10:37, so I wasn't that much off.

I am eyeing the Kensington 8K as my next race this year. The HR Director at work was super nice and offered to draw up a training plan for me this summer. She is an avid runner, does marathons, and coaches so I'm sure she's very knowledgeable about how to get my pace down. It would be wonderful if I could get closer to a 10-minute/mile pace. Onward! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #56

Here's my take on this week's Wee Memories Challenge (#56). I was originally planning to make a card for the CARDS Magazine challenge where you have to use all pink supplies, but then I realized that my finished card had some white and kraft cardstock. Fortunately, this card works for the Wee Memories challenge because it incorporates sticky things (the alphabet stickers and the rub-on).

Card Specs:
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy, City Park
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Martha Stewart Doily Lace border punch
Stickers: American Crafts Fabric Thickers in Patchwork
Rub-on: American Crafts, Mini Marks, Accents, Book Three (dots)
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8

Song of the day: "The Edge of Glory"- Lady Gaga (heard this at spin class this morning).

I'm running to the Capitol Hill Classic 10K with my buddy Meg early Sunday morning. Full report to follow. Send happy running thoughts...please. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

At the Office Dilemma

Card makers out there: what do you do with cards that you don't want anymore?

When my box o' finished cards gets filled up, I usually keep the ones that I totally love and can't seem to part with (like this one, this one, and this one) and then bring the rest to the office to leave in the kitchen for any interested co-workers. While I have been giving them out for free, I am struggling with if that's such a good idea anymore. I enjoy making cards, so I'd be making them anyway, regardless if I was making any money. On the other hand, I feel that a lot of time and effort and love went into each one that giving them away for free seems...wrong? Even if I don't receive any money in return, I feel that the effort should be credited in some way. I was thinking of leaving a tip jar next to the card box, and my co-workers can decide if and how much they'd be willing to donate. The money could go towards the Red Cross or the local animal shelter or my craft fund so that I can continue to make new cards. I ran that idea by one of my colleagues yesterday, and he was very supportive of that idea. I guess he's kinda biased because he has always been willing to pay for the cards. The receptionist came by my desk yesterday afternoon and said that she had a tip for me. For some reason, I thought she meant "tip" as in "giving advice" and I was confused as to why she was reaching in her purse. She handed me some money and said "Thanks for the cards. Here's a tip." Ah, I see the word kinda got out. I'll have to talk to the leadership to see if they'd ok the idea. I just don't want anyone to make a stink about it. I guess if anyone does, I can stop bringing cards to the office all together and donate them to Operation Write Home (or a similar organization) to help them with a worthy cause.

Thoughts, suggestions?

Tonight is the last episode of Smallville ever. :'( It's the end of an era. Instead of making a new card tonight, I'm going to veg in front of the TV. I'll share the one that I made yesterday but couldn't share because Blogger was going through some maintenance. I'm still lovin' the DCVW Mango Frost paper, so I wanted to make sure that my ink color scheme was jiving with the papers that I selected. I was inspired by a Dawn McVey card I saw online. I wanted to mimic her waves using a border punch. I love the raspberry, yellow and blue together. It has a summer feel, don't you think?

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan, Blackbird, Dark Peony, Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Wild Honey, Broken China.
Stamps: Inkadinkado (birds), K.I. Memories- Garden (sun), Martha Stewart- Toy Transportation (boat), Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment)
Punch: Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rough Morning

Oh, Ginger Ginger Ginger. She had a little accident this morning...on my 5:30 AM. Sigh. Oh well. What can you do? While I was waiting for laundry to finish, I made a card. I know. I'm nuts. I suppose I could have gone to the office earlier, but I had a meeting this afternoon, so I would be leaving the office at the regular time anyway.

I'm glad that I made it to Janice's spin class tonight. I felt bad that I didn't go last week (because of work travel) or this past Sunday (because I overslept). Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to next Sunday's class (because of the 10K) or Tuesday (because of more work travel). May's just not a good month for Tuesday night spin class. Once the Annual Meeting is over in June, I'm FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. :)

Today's card turned out a bit busier than I had envisioned. I wanted to use the white chalk ink on the kraft cardstock and then I built the card from there. I also dug up supplies that I hadn't used in a while: a glitter chipboard element, a button, and a pearl brad. I like the card base and I like the teal panel, but I don't know if they work well in combination. I might have a different opinion about it tomorrow. It might fall under my "24 hour rule," where sometimes things like food and cards taste/look better the day after, once I've had some time to step away.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan, Warm Red. VersaMagic chalk ink in Cloud White.
Stamps: K&Company- AB Lotus Greeting Stamps (sentiment), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (flowers)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Buttons: Bucket Red from Michaels
Brad: Recollections
Chipboard: American Crafts- Fieldhouse- Glitter Blue Skies
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dual Purpose Card

It was really nice to go to spin class tonight and work off some of the cheesecake that I consumed this weekend. :P

Tonight, I wanted to find a use for a fabric flower that I had on my desk. Initially, I was going to submit it for the CARDS challenge this week, but then when I finished the card and read the challenge more carefully, I realized that you were supposed to use the tutorial that they referenced to create the fabric flower instead of creating any fabric flower. Oops. I guess it pays to pay attention to these types of details. I used my hot glue gun to adhere some felt and a pin on the back of the fabric flower to create a brooch. Now the card can include a sentiment AND a present. Check out them multi-tasking skillz! Next time I want to try creating a similar card with a fabric flower magnet, instead of a fabric flower pin. I think the recipient might damage the card in an effort to detach the pin. There must be a better way to do this. But I think it turned out nicely for a first try. Oh, I used some mini glue dots to temporarily stick the fabric to the card so that brooch didn't wobble around.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Prussian Blue, Warm Green, Wisteria. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen.
Stamps: K&Company- AB Lotus Greeting Stamps (flower, butterfly), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (leaves), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (sentiment), Stampendous (music score)
Paper: American Crafts- Merrymint
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Sunday, May 8, 2011

CPS #217

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!

Ummm, yes. I can see that. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

On the homehunting front, I followed some advice that the realtor gave me on Friday and drove around to scoped out some of the neighborhoods of places that I potentially wanted to check out further. I considered it my homework this weekend, and I was sorely disappointed. The areas didn't feel safe to me. It's back to the drawing board.

On a lighter note, here's my take on CPS #217. I used the DCWV paper again because I was in the mood for bright cheerful colors (more than usual, I guess). I also wanted to use the photo tag punch again and use them as lanterns hanging from the ceiling and creating a party scene.
Card Specs:
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Warm Honey. Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Blackbird.
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Punch: Fiskars Square squeeze punch, EK Success Photo Tags Large
Stamp: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy- Warbler (flag, dress), The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment)
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Time for some junk tv...later gators.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Yay, New Craftiness!

Overheard in the checkout line in Marshalls: "If you don't ask, the answer is always no." Yep, makes sense.

Most of the day was spent reading Mini Shopaholic. After a week of travel, it was nice to not have to be anywhere.

I went to The Cheesecake Factory to pick up some dessert for Mom as a pre-Mother's Day treat. I guess I could have gotten her some flowers, but she's got a whole garden of them and she's not a huge fan of cut flowers because they only last for a few days. And then with potted ones, there are already so many in the house. In the checkout line, I saw one of the spin instructors. I waved at her and we both laughed. She said to me "I'm going to get a salad" and then she winked at me. Hah, yeah right. Who knows? We might see each other at spin tomorrow morning. All in moderation right? :D

For today's card, I wanted to create a banner with a new punch that I bought tonight at TJMaxx. The punch is intended to be photo tags, but by punching a small hole in the tag, I created some flags. I also used some of the paper that I bought at Marshalls. I love that raspberry color against the cheerful yellow. I did a little damage control on one of the tags because some ink got on it right when I had assembled everything! I had to make it work as I wasn't about to make a whole new card. I created another flag and just pasted it over the messed up one. Pop quiz: can you tell which letter I messed up on? :)

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird.
Stamps: American Crafts- Rue (alphabet)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, EK Success Photo Tags Large
Stickers: American Crafts Fabric Thickers in Patchwork, Sandylion- Flower Power, Heart Flowers
Thread: DMC- Ecru
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Song of the day: "Move Your Body"- Beyoncé. Did you see the YouTube video of her surprising a bunch of kids dancing to the song? It's super cute. I think it's great that she's using her celebrity status to encourage children to be healthy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fall-To Layout #139

Woot, Friday! And a busy one...but it's all good. All the activity made the day go by faster. I met with the realtor again tonight to touch base and turn in paperwork. We've had to revamp our search parameters because when factoring in the condo fees during the initial search, the estimated monthly mortgage payments are more than I can afford. I guess it's better to have the reality check in the beginning of the process rather than fall in love with a place that's not in my price range.

I'm so excited to be able to make a card tonight! Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #139. I wanted to take the opportunity to use the new stamp set that I bought while I was in New Hampshire. I'm a fan of the "hello" stamp, and I can see myself using it frequently in the future. I also diverted from the sketch a little by adding the gems at the bottom, but I felt that it was necessary to balance the top and bottom of the card.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peeled Paint.
Stamps: K&Company- AB Lotus Greeting Stamps (sentiment), K.I. Memories-Newsprint Lower (alphabet)
Paper: American Crafts- A La Carte (pink), Die Cuts with a View- Stack 7 (dark green), Die Cuts with a View- Sweet Stack
Ribbon: Sweet Petites from A.C. Moore
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Hampshire, Day 2+3

The meeting yesterday went really smoothly, and I appreciated everyone's willingness to be active participants. All the hard work and preparation ahead of time paid off and I think the leadership was very pleased. Woot!

A group of us went out to dinner last night at the Barley House, and I asked the waitress for a drink that was "pink and fruity," but instead I got "pink and cotton candy-ish." Mmmyeah. The drink was called a French Kiss Martini, and it wasn't exactly what I had asked for, but I finished it anyway because I didn't want to be a pain and order something else since I didn't really give the waitress much to go on. Maybe she thought I meant "pink and pretty" because the drink WAS pretty. Next time, I'll stick with the Singapore Sling, which is what the bartender gave me the last time I asked for something "pink and fruity." For dinner, I asked for the chicken pot pie, which was excellent. And then for dessert, I really wanted the "giant chocolate cake," and oh yes, it was a giant slice. I'm glad that there were 7 other people to share it with me. It pays to be the youngest of the group (by like 20-40 years!) because everyone else wanted to stay away from the desserts towards the end of the meal, I cashed in big time. Nom nom nom.

My trip through security this morning was interesting. I was thinking I'd zip right through since the airport was small, but instead I got "Ma'am, I need to look through your bag." o_0 Huh? Oook, sure. The TSA lady went through my carry on and had to rescan my carry on and then look through it AGAIN. WTH? What's so interesting? It turned out that the suspicious item was the EK Success hole punch that I bought at Marshalls on Tuesday. ::eye roll:: Yes, yes, it's their job. All in the name of national security.

I took a picture of the Concord State House before I left for the airport. Last night, I was informed that "it is the oldest State House in the nation in which the legislature still occupies its original chambers." That's the fun fact for the day. Now to shut down my computer, get something to eat and wait to board the plane. Homeward bound :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Hampshire, Day 1

I got an early start to my morning today and was able to get to New Hampshire around lunchtime, rather than the usual before-dinner time. With a few hours to myself, I researched ahead of time what was in the area. (GASP) Good shopping! SUH-WEET! I checked into the hotel and walked around. At the end of my shopping trip, I came back with some crafty items (a stamp set that I had seen on YouTube scrapbooking haul videos, fabric, and a paper punch) and 2 pre-viewed DVDs (Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3). It's been a productive trip so far and I haven't even been to my meeting yet! I also wandered into a local scrapbooking store, but the selection was very limited and I ended up not buying anything from there.

I met up with my colleagues for dinner and we went to this fabulous seafood restaurant called Newick's Lobster House. Gee, I wonder what they serve there, ha ha. The selection of food was amazing. I wish I had more than one stomach so that I could eat everything! I ended up getting a green salad and something called a bay scallop pie, which was basically scallops with a cracker topping. Yum! I was very tempted to get the clam chowder, but I'm glad that I didn't because the small portion turned out to be larger than anyone else had anticipated.

Long day ahead, but I'm ready for it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Following Through

Did anyone stay up last night to watch the news that bin Laden was killed? I wondered if that day would ever come. It brought me back to that day in college when I watched the 9-11 events unfold in my dorm room, and finally, almost 10 years later, a major milestone. ::sigh of relief:: Now what?

At the all staff meeting, I got the green light on both of my initiatives: the public speaking practice group (to give people a venue to practice their public speaking skills) and the non-senior staff meeting (to help bridge some gaps within the organization). Now it's time to actually get those meetings started.

I'm off to New Hampshire for work tomorrow. This is what I saw when I showered after going to spin class. "Dear Mommy. Please don't go. I enjoy sleeping on your empty luggage and leaving all my hair on it." Sigh.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #54

"Tina, we missed you on Tuesday," Janice the Tuesday night/Sunday morning spin class instructor says to me this morning as we're waiting for the early morning class to file out. Eek. I know, I know, I know, I'm sorrryyy! ::hangs head in shame:: The next time I feel like being a lazy, sleepy, food coma bum, I'll have to remember to force myself to go to spin to avoid this gnawing feeling of kinda letting Janice down...and more importantly, letting myself down for not taking better care of my body. I made a point to tell her that I wasn't going to be in Tuesday's class because of work travel, so that she didn't think I just lost interest in going to class. At the end of class, she asked if anyone wanted one more challenge today. I shook my head from the back of the room. I'm tired, sweaty, and probably stinky. Everyone else wanted one more song. "Tina, you can sit this one out if you want." Oh, heck, NO. I did NOT want to be the only one not lasting until the end. What's that saying? If you can't beat them, join them, so I did the last song with everyone else.

Here's my take on this week's Wee Memories Challenge (#54): paper piecing. I thought it'd be cool to use this cherry blossom background stamp that I hadn't used in a while and color in some of the flowers by paper piecing. I used black embossing powder and scraps of patterned paper to create the different colored blossoms. I used black embossing powder, instead of white or clear, to have them stand out a little more. Punched out butterflies with tiny gems completed the card. Lovely :)
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in clear, Personal Stamp Exchange- Black
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China.
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment), Fiskars- Asian Inspired (cherry blossoms)
Punch: Fiskars Square squeeze punch, Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox (pink, yellow, blue), American Crafts Specialty Paper in Pearl
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb