Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall-To Layout #160

Here are some pictures of RJ from today. This is the first time that I've seen him sit on his couch like a person. I think it's funny and weird at the same time.
This pot roast recipe is cooking downstairs in the slow cooker. I've sneaked a couple of bits and I'm really liking it. I think it'd go great with some egg noodles. I had to adjust the recipe some because I have a smaller slow cooker. I also added some beef broth and water to increase the amount of gravy at the bottom.

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #160. I started out with a piece of leftover kraft cardstock from yesterday's cardmaking session. I had stamped Antique Linen Distress Ink on it and then decided that the image didn't stand out enough. Instead of tossing it into the recycling bin, I decided to cover the whole card front with patterned paper. Crisis averted! :)
Card Specs:
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Warm Honey, Peeled Paint, Barn Door. Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird.
Paper: g.c.d. Studios- Chianti Collection
Punch: Fiskars Square squeeze punch, Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Stamp: K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (vine, butterfly), The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment), Inkadinkado- Nature (flower)
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #69




Ugh. :P

While I was able to escape the cold symptoms yesterday, I woke up this morning with a full blown cold. Achy, sweaty, nose issues. Mmmmyeah. Time to use a sick day.

Taking a sick day also translates to lots of quality time with RJ.

The rest of the day was spent doing one of three things: sleeping, eating and watching TV/movie. I borrowed Avatar from the library last week and since it's due tomorrow, I thought that this would be a good time to watch it. I dunno. I wasn't wow-ed by it. The story line was too similar to Pocahontas, so I didn't think that aspect of the movie was all that creative. The special effects, however, that must have been really cool to see in the theater, especially in 3D.

Wee Memories Challenge #69 put the spotlight on patterned paper. My thought process started with a kraft cardstock base and then a stamped floral scene that would be more tone-on-tone with the kraft background and then punched out butterflies using different pieces of patterned paper. In the first version of the card, I used Antique Linen Distress Ink for the floral scene, but after the ink started to dry, I realized that the images were standing out as much as I would have liked. In the second try (the one in the picture), I went with Chestnut Roan chalk ink. Ah much better. Now for the smaller details: letter stickers, faux stitching and brad. I kept the stickers inside the a and o in the sentiment so you could see the faded lettering in the alpha stickers. I thought it would add some texture and visual interest in that corner of the card. I wanted a brad in a color that would be a contrast to the red and brown to break that corner of the card up.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Paper: g.c.d. Studios- Chianti Collection
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Nature (leaf, flowers)
Brad: K.I. Memories- Enchanting Epoxy Brads
Stickers: Lily Bee Design- Happily Lost Collection - 12 x 12 Cardstock Stickers

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday #66

This morning started out a little crazy with RJ playing with a huge spider that got in the house. I originally thought it was a cricket so I resumed getting the trash out of the house for trash pick-up day, but then the creepy crawly thing didn't move like a cricket so I screamed, picked-up RJ and put him on the other side of the room. He yowled, probably upset that I wouldn't let him play with his new toy. The spider was so big that I didn't have the guts to pick it up so I sucked him up with a vacuum. Blech, yuck!

I was in a meeting with the Executive Director this morning. He turns to me at the start of the meeting, "Do you want to lead this meeting?" What? Uh, ok, sure. That was totally unexpected. The other surprise thing that happened today was that I got a call from my former officemate who left at the end of June. It was nice to catch up.

Here's my take on One-Layer Wednesday #66: Get Inspired by Janelle. "Be inspired by Janelle's blog...anything on her blog, from her blog banner to her family photos, from her one-layer cards to her more elaborate creations. Doesn't matter." I had never visited this person's blog before, so it was cool to see her work. I decided to make a card inspired by this card that she did on September 21 with flowers and a sentiment in the corner. I liked that she used a lot of flowers, but I took a different spin on it by using different flowers. The flowers I used were solid, while hers came in two different parts (middle and petals). My card also wasn't square. I liked how the sentiment really stands out from the busy flower business in the background.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Maroon, Rose Coral, Warm Red, Yellow Ochre, Warm Green
Stamp: Studio G (sentiment), Inkadinkado- Nature (leaf, flowers), Autumn Leaves- Journaling (frame)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dental Peace of Mind

I paid the dentist an emergency visit today. I know, ugh. I've never had to do an emergency appointment before so that's how much the situation was freaking me out. Did I have a cavity? Is there something wrong with my filling? Do I need a root canal? How much is this going to cost? My left back molar has been giving me some trouble lately, and I didn't want the problem to linger and get worse so I bit the bullet and called the dentist this morning. The receptionist told me that they had an opening at noon today and she recommended that I take it because the dentist was going to be unavailable later on in the week with the upcoming Jewish holiday. Suh-weet, ok, let's get this over with.

The hygienist took an x-ray of the problem area and the dentist didn't find anything wrong with it. Whew! I told him that I had been clenching my teeth/jaw recently and that was probably the root cause of all this pain. He gave me some MI Paste to rub on the tooth and advised me to be more conscious of the clenching. I hope the M in MI stands for magic because I'm so ready for things to feel normal again.

I sat in the reception room to be checked out. The receptionist asked if I needed another appointment and I told her I didn't. "Oh, then you can leave."

Wait, what? A free visit to the dentist? That's too good to be true. "Wait, don't I have to pay?"

Receptionist- "Oh, I was just going to send the bill to your father." The guy at the desk, filling out some paperwork turned to me and laughed. "How can you pass that up?!"

No no. Being a "grown-up" means that you pay your own bills. Everything has a price, including a peace of mind.

I forgot to get my lunch out of the fridge when I left the office today. Thankfully, there was a Five Guys nearby so I calmed my nerves with a burger and fries. I hope I canceled some of that out by going to spin class tonight (Janice played Black Eyed Peas AND Lady Gaga for me!).

You know that saying "When it rains, it pours"? Well, after I got home from the dental appointment, I was starting to feel some cold symptoms coming on. I hope they'll be gone by the morning because I have meetings tomorrow!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Day at Hersheypark

Today, Meg, Robyn and Robyn's friend Adriane went to Hersheypark. This visit was supposed to happen weeks ago, but Hurricane Irene kinda put a kink in our plans. But that was all for the best because we definitely had better weather today.

The drive there was a little interesting. We noticed two different drivers who had very strange driving habits as we drove past them. One guy was referring to his iPad while driving. The other guy was brushing his teeth.

Remember this quote: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”― Neale Donald Walsch?

Yeah, so I went on 2 rollercoasters today, which is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I don't mind driving fast, but at least in that scenario, I'm in control of how fast I'm going. I have to tell you that it's really difficult to have a death grip on the handlebars when your hands are so sweaty. The 2 rollercoasters that I went on were the Great Bear (thrill rating 5/5) and the Comet (thrill rating 4/5). By the way, the thrill ratings are the official ones given by the Park, not by me. The Great Bear's ride had your feet hanging...I thought I was going to black out at some point from the shear panic. After the second rollercoaster, we went to get some lunch and then we visited ZooAmerica and 2 other rollercoasters. I decided to sit out on the afternoon rollercoasters because my head and stomach started to feel funny after the ones from the morning. I was scared just watching the cars go up the track and then drop straight down. I can't imagine how it would have been just riding the cars. Yikes.

The day ended with going to Chocolate World and taking the chocolate making tour, which ended with getting 2 Hershey's Kisses. Yum! The end of the tour led out to the gift shop where there was an overwhelming amount of candy everywhere. Hoooorayyy! I got a Hershey mug and some chocolate candy. They had a 6 King Size candy bars for $6 deal going on, but I didn't want to buy so much candy on my own. Luckily, Meg, being the great friend that she is, was willing to split the deal with me so that we'd each get 3 bars.

Here are some pictures from the day. Notice that in the height requirement picture, I'm just barely over the line. Mmmyeah, so I'm short.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

September 8K

8K: Whoo hoo, the day is here! I got to the race site early to ensure a parking space and I actually saw my Executive Director, his wife and kid walking by across the street when I parked my car. I honked my horn and he hesitated and waved. I opened the car door and stuck my head out, just in case he couldn't seem me clearly through the windshield. I can see how it'd be weird to be waving at someone that you didn't really recognize.

The 2 mile challenge was first and it was funny to see all the little kids just runnnnnnning down the street. The 8K runners lined up about 45 minutes later. My parents were there to see me start, and we actually ran into the dad of one of my grade school friends (I went to elementary, middle AND high school with her). It's probably been about 10 years since I've seen him, so it was good to catch up. The Executive Director and his kid did the 2 mile challenge and his wife did the 8K. It was cool to see him cheering on the course and at the finish line, and it was also nice to see my parents there as well. It was really cool to see the community come out to support the runners and the schools that the race was fundraising for.

The race went well. I was happy to see that most of it was flat. There were a few hills towards the end, but I managed. My final time was 51:35/10:23 pace, which was better than my March 8K time of (52:43/ 10:37 pace). Meh, better, but not by much. I've been toying with the idea of doing the 10K that's held on Thanksgiving. Hmmm.

Yard sale: After the race, I went to my parents' house to pick up some things and chat. I also went over to my cousin's house to say goodbye to my aunt who is leaving on Monday to go back to Taiwan. Then I went to a nearby yard sale, but didn't find anything that I wanted. I was too tired to go to any other yard sales today, so I basically went home to shower, eat lunch, and take a lonnng nap.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall-To Layout #159

New 'do: Today is the first day of my 4-day weekend. I felt like I needed to give myself a reward after a week of many conference calls, and since I had the vacation time, why not? I actually got a bunch of things done last night: grocery shopping, buying air filters from Home Depot, buying cat food for RJ, returning stuff at the library. Last night was very productive. Today was productive too, as it started with a haircut, then I went to the library (this time to borrow movies), went to the bank to renew my CD, and then went to the Town Hall to pick up my race packet for tomorrow's 8K. And then productivity went downhill since I came home, put on Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief (one of the DVDs that I borrowed this afternoon) and fell asleep through it. Oops. I'll have to watch it again all the way through.

I am really liking my new haircut, mostly because it's now a lot shorter and less bulky. Now I can wear it down, whereas I couldn't before because it'd feel too hot on my neck. Yay! I requested the same hairdresser that cut my hair back in February. This time around, she was pregnant! I didn't want to ask her any questions until she told me herself that she was pregnant (wouldn't it have been awkward if I was wrong?). She's going to be having a little boy, awwww.

RJ poked his head into the bathroom when I was taking my "before" picture. Hee hee.
Card: Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #159. I wanted to experiment with my flower Cuttlebug die with some felt sheets that I bought at a yard sale recently. I had to run the pink flowers through several times for it to cut, and even then I had to use scissors detach them completely. I don't think it's a big deal for small projects, but for larger projects, the big Sizzix dies cut more cleanly and you only have to run it through once. Then I took out some buttons and squishy embellishments that I bought from Tuesday Morning a while back. I forgot that the sentiment was supposed to be on the right, so I cheated and stamped a flower the same shade of pink as the felt flowers so that that area would be right justified.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Dark Peony
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Abode, Letterbox
Brad: Recollections- Silver Circles
Die: Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals, Cuttlebug- Flowers
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker, K.I. Memories- Round Buttons Softies

8K race tomorrow...I'll have a full report!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


At the office: So, the light that's under the cabinet on my work desk has been out ever since I've been sitting there (since March?). I finally gave in and called the office manager to see if she could get someone to fix it because I just need a little light in my office, not the blazing fluorescent lights overhead. The guy came over to investigate. "Well, did you try plugging it in?" UGH! I felt like SUCH an idiot. Like one of those people that you hear stories about and laugh at them because how silly they are, but now I've turned into one of those people. Sigh. The cord wouldn't reach to the outlet so he had to find an extension cord, but all's well here now.

RJ: The Kitty went to the vet today for his dental cleaning. During his previous appointment, the vet was concerned about his gingivitis so I figured we'd get that addressed sooner rather than later. The poor guy was so excited when the alarm went off this morning, only to be disappointed that he would not get breakfast this morning because of the surgery. He inhaled his dinner tonight, as if he's been starved for weeks. I went to Petsmart this evening to get his food, and I bought him a new toy called a Twitchy Tail, which is basically a fishing pole with feathers and a furry boa thing at the end. RJ loves it and I'm glad I was able to find an alternative to mice. It's good to have choices and have an outlet for all that energy he seems to have.

The vet tech complimented me on my nails when I went to pick RJ up :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday #65

At the office: Out of my 8-hour workday, I was in meetings for 4 of them. At least they kept me busy and the day absolutely FLEW by. I actually facilitated one of the meetings (a second non-senior staff meeting...the first one was back in July), and I hope to take a facilitation class in the next fiscal year to improve on those skills. I appreciated that people actively participated and had good ideas about what to put in their performance plans for this year.

After that meeting, I had my weekly 1-1 chat with my boss, and the topic of today's chat was my performance plan, as the final document is due at the end of the month. I told her that I had seen the position description the higher level position that they were going to be posting soon.

me: "I don't want you to think that my applying for the other position means that I don't like what I'm doing now."
boss: "Oh, I don't have a problem with you applying for the new position (the new position would report to my boss too). I'd be upset if you decided you wanted another boss!"

It's good to know that she values me as her employee. At least that's how I read what she said. ;)

Nails: Time to try another image on my new Konad disk. I was going for a Gryffindor theme with the maroon and gold, but I'm not sure that the yellow came through as strong as I would have liked. Red: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Cinna-Snap. Yellow: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lightening. Konad plate #57.

Card: Here's my take on One-Layer Challenge #65: Make a one-layer card using the sentiment as the main focus (or that shares the focus with image). I picked out a large sentiment stamp that I haven't used in a very long time, probably before I even started this blog. The image didn't stamp as cleanly as I would have liked, but the help of a black marker, I was able to fill in the blanks. I wanted to also use the martini glass that I bought a while back, but hadn't used yet. Hello, girly drinks. I felt like the upper third of the card need something, so I added the squiggly line and some heart "lights" and I felt like I created a party scene.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Charcoal, Maroon, Rose Coral, Blackberry
Stamp: Studio G (martini glass), American Crafts- Dear Lizzy- Warbler (heart, squiggly line), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (border), Anita's/Sugarloaf, Inc. (sentiment)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: American Crafts Stamp Marker in Black, Lime

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #68

Running: Last week, I went to see the HR director to see if she could provide some insight as to what to put in my performance plan. Before that part of our conversation even started...

HR director- "Tina, how's your training program been going?" (She's the one that drew it up for me.) "The race is coming up next week, are you ready?"
me- "Well, I know I can run the 5 miles. It's just a matter of if I can do it faster than I ran the 8K in March."
HR director- "I run in the area that the race is. Let's run part of it together on Tuesday. I usually run there for 90 minutes. I can meet you there at 7 if that works for you."
me- "Ummm (panic...does she mean 7 AM or 7 PM?). Sure, ok."
HR director- "Let me sent you an Outlook calendar appointment as a reminder."

Later on in the conversation, I realized she meant 7 AM. The run this morning wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it's very clear that she and I are not on the same level. She actually won this particular 8K race last year. I'm just going to be happy if I run at a pace below 10:37 min/mile, which was my pace during the March 8K. While I appreciated her willingness to draw up a training plan, my motivation's gone downhill over the past couple of weeks because I haven't been able to achieve the times that have been outlined in the training program and I've gotten lazy. I think I'll have a renewed love for running once this race is over and I don't feel compelled to have to follow a training plan that I can't keep up with. Blah. Anyway...

Card: Here's my take on Wee Memories Challenge #68: No Pattern Paper projects. "You can make your own with stamps but you can not use any pattern paper for this challenge." For some reason, the word "merry" was sticking out in my head, so I decided to create a card that had "merry" in the sentiment. The sentiment "be merry" came to mind even though Christmas is months away. I used the Hero Arts background stamp again and used red in for a tone-on-tone effect. I used a border punch on the green strips of paper. To create a smooth curve on the white cardstock, I used Nestabilities circle die and some tape to make sure that the curve was right in the center. While I could have used stamps to create the sentiment, I dug out some alphabet stickers that I bought at Archivers and used them instead. The finishing touch was creating the winter scene and adding the faux stitching.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, French Blue, Warm Red
Stamps: Hero Arts- Cling Classic Fabric Design (background), SEI- Winter Song (tree, snowflake)
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Stickers: Lily Bee Design- Picket Fence Collection - 12 x 12 Cardstock Stickers
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Fally Floral Card

At the office: There's a new position opening up in my department at work, and I'm seriously considering applying for it. There is risk associated with this position because it's not clear how long this position is funded for, but perhaps a little risk is okay. The new position would give me a great opportunity to work on some different projects. This is not to say that I don't like what I do now, but I would like to entertain the idea of filling another need in my department.

One of my co-workers recommended that I take some facilitation classes as part of this fiscal year's performance plan. Ah-HAH! What a great idea! I'm so use to working on the logistics of a meeting and taking meeting minutes, but I think the next logical step would be to facilitate meetings. Practicing my meeting facilitating skills would really help me work on public speaking. I think in order to move to higher positions, I have to get more comfortable talking in front of people, so this would be me...getting out of my comfort zone. Plus, these skills will be useful no matter where I work. We'll see where these professional adventures take me in the next couple of months.

Today's card was inspired by the approaching fall weather and colors. I took 3 of my Distress Inks and mashed the ink pads directly on my craft sheet and sprinkled water onto them to dilute them into a watercolor. I then walked my Hero Arts background stamp through the puddles, but not too much because I wanted to keep the colors somewhat separate. Then I rummaged through my scrap pile to come up with the panel that has the sentiment on it. I used some of the polymer clay flowers that I created over the weekend using molds that I got from MoldMuse.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Warm Green. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door, Wild Honey, Antique Linen
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), Hero Arts- Cling Classic Fabric Design (background), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (leaf)
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Clay: Sculpy Clay in Red, Just Orange. Premo Sculpey Clay in Cadmium Yellow Hue
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Sunflower Yellow

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fox CARDS Magazine Challenge

The weekend, yay!

Is anyone else out there already experiencing the fall weather and colder temperatures? Yep, I am. I can't wait to see all the leaves change color. That'll be really pretty to see.

I am so bummed that the gym took the the 9:30 Saturday morning 1-hour spin class off the schedule because of low attendance. I hope they consider bringing it back soon, maybe when the colder temperatures set in. Even though I didn't go to spin, the other parts of my Saturday routine happened: going to yard sales and hanging out with friends. My yard sale find of the weekend was the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire DVD for $1, woot.

Towards the end of the work week, Robyn, Meg, and I quickly planned a pot luck at my place. I'd take care of the main dish (I decided on lasagna), Robyn would bring salad and bread, and Meg would handle desserts (brownies). This pot luck plan all started with Meg sending out an email that said that Thor was now out on DVD. I went to go pick it up from the nearby Redbox. I was cooking up a storm and had the lasagna ready in the fridge for when I had to put it in the oven later on. The recipe that I followed was this one. Yum yum yum! Oh, and yes, Thor was just as good the second time around.

Meg noticed my pink/black zebra nails at dinner, and she asked how I got them done. I showed her the Konad kit and she ended up going home with pink and navy leopard print on her nails :)

I went to the 9:45 1-hour spin class this morning and make a pit stop at my parents' house on the way home to pick up some of my clothes. My mom wants to start moving some of her things into the closet in my old bedroom, so she was nudging me to figure out what to do with all the stuff that's in there. I came back to my place with a bunch of clothes and as I was approaching my place with a very fully laundry basket in my hands, one of my neighbors saw me and wanted to say hello and introduce himself and shake my hand. Yeah, this was not really the most optimal time to be doing that because I had so much stuff in my hands and I was stinky from spin class. I probably didn't make the best first impression. Sigh.

Here's my fox-y card for this week's CARDS Magazine challenge. I followed this origami fox model tutorial and put the finished fox in the center of a few die cut circles. I didn't want the fox to be floating in the middle of the white circle so I created a nature scene with some grass and butterflies. The finishing touches were the sentiment and white faux stitching.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, Lipstick Red
Stamps: K.I. Memories- Garden (grass), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (butterfly, sprouts)
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large
Stickers: Basic Grey Micro Mono Stickers
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall-To Layout #158

RJ: FREEDOMMMM! I decided to take the e-collar off of RJ this morning because a) the scab fell off from his surgical site and b) I was working from home today so I could keep an eye on him in case anything happened. The last thing I want is to have to put the blasted thing back on him.
Card: Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #158. I started this card with the Hero Arts Cling Dots stamp because I didn't want the background to be completely white. I used the Rose Coral chalk ink because it matched the pink cardstock already on my desk and was a good contrast to the kraft cardstock also already on my desk. I needed to cover up the bottom part of the card because I messed up and some of the ink smudged. It was easily fixed with some Dear Lizzy paper and a scalloped border. I went with the heart stamps in my new Martha Stewart stamp set as the image focal point for this card. I finished this card off with some small pearls in the bottom right corner.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Ice Jade, Aquamarine, Rose Coral
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Round Frames, Martha Stewart- Heart and Flower (hearts), Hero Arts- Cling Dots
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Konad Stamping

I was on earlier this week to order some water filters for the refrigerator and while I was there, I ordered my first Konad plate, stamp, and scraper. I liked how everything came in a set. The original price was $14.99, but I got it on sale for $8.60. The shipping was super fast too: I placed my order on Monday and got it in the mail today. I'm still waiting on my water filters though. I was inspired to try this product out when I saw it on Kristina Werner's blog post on it earlier this year. For a first timer, I think I did pretty good. I only had to redo 2 nails. I wish this black nail polish was more opaque, but oh well. Pink: Cover Girl 3-in-1 056 Fabulous Fuchsia. Black: OPI Black Onyx. Konad plate #57.

I'm feeling "fierce." Bah ha ha ha ha. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday #64

Today started out with an email saying that my electrical bill was available for payment. I was holding my breath for a little bit as I logged in. Whoa, what? My bill dropped $40 from last month?? That's freakin' awesome. That might be because the air conditioner hasn't been going on as much. I dunno. Whatever the cause, it needs to keep happening!

At the office:
Today I donated a few bucks to Miracle Jeans Day and was able to wear jeans to the office. A local children's hospital will benefit from this effort and I didn't have to take too much time to think about what I was going to wear today, so everybody wins.

When I got to the office, I experience a vaguely familiar sound. Hmm, I wonder what that could be. Oh yeah. That's the sound of silence. All the staff from the main building were instructed to return to work in their normal work spaces prior to the Flood that happened last week. While I enjoyed having people over in my normally quiet building, I'm glad that we're getting to some sense of normalcy.

On a more serious note, it's performance planning time and for the first time, I really have to do some thinking about what I need and should be working on in order to advance professionally. I've done the writing, project management, public speaking classes...but where do I go from here? This is my first real job. I'm coming up on my 3 year mark...I have never been at an organization this long! I'm hoping that my boss and I can really sit down and have a conversation about all this serious stuff in the next couple of weeks.

Wow, that's deep.

Ok, let's go play with ink and paper and stamps.

Card: This week's One-Layer Wednesday challenge (#64) focused on coloring images. I am more likely to paper-piece images to give them color, rather than use markers or colored pencils. This was a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and use some American Crafts stamp markers I bought weeks ago. I used the StazOn ink for the pinwheels because I didn't want the markers to bleed. I think I got a little butterfly happy, oops.

RJ: Mom had me bring a down comforter to the house. Not sure why since it's not getting cold anytime soon. I left it by the front door when I came home and of course, the furry opportunist found it to be very comfortable and nap-worthy.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Warm Violet. StazOn in Jet Black.
Stamp: K.I. Memories- Garden (grass), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (butterfly), Studio G (sentiment)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: American Crafts Stamp Marker in Black, Royal Blue, Violet, Navy

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”― Neale Donald Walsch. Reference by Stacy London last night on What Not to Wear. It's my new favorite quote. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Office Field Trip!

At the office: I got an email from one of the IT guys last Friday, informing me that my new work computer was ready. Yay! Since I was working from home on Friday, he told me to come by his office first thing Monday morning. I parked my car in the garage this morning and stopped by. "Good morning, sunshine," he says to me. "You must have come straight here from parking your car." Huh? Well, yeah. I thought he was making fun of me for my enthusiasm, but he then explained to me that my new computer was already set up in my office across the street. Ohhh. Heh. "You are one of the few people that actually followed my instructions when I said to come by my office." I must have made a confused face because he proceeded to explain that most of the time, he has to go hunting for people around the office to give them their new computer. Ugh, that's annoying. Well, I'm glad I wasn't one of those people. It's best to be on the IT people's good side.

Staff meeting: Because the flood last week, the monthly staff meeting was canceled. We don't have a conference room that would fit all of us in the other building, so we'll just skip a month. What did we do instead? We went to see a movie! No joke. In the spirit of public health (that's the area of work I'm in), we went to see the movie Contagion as a group (field trip!). I thought it was suspenseful and well done, but I don't think I'd want to see it again. It reminded me too much of reality or what reality could be in the future with regards to infectious diseases. Wash your hands, people!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Solemn Sunday

9|11| Never forget. I hope everyone, whether living in the USA or abroad, took a little time out of their day today to remember what was lost on this day 10 years ago and what sacrifices were made and continue to be made because of that day.

Yard sale finds:
I told myself that I couldn't check out a nearby yard sale until I went to the Sunday morning 1-hour spin class. So, I went. That's 3 1-hour classes in a row...I'm feeling pretty strong :) After class, I took my sweaty stinky self to a moving sale near my place, and I found a lot of goodies. None of them crafty, but things that I was looking for. I got 3 stackable storage containers for my craft room ($5 each), a small table ($5), and 2 large Pyrex mixing bowls ($1 each). Without the deal, all of this would have cost $22, but the lady was nice and let me take it all for $15.

I added a picture of RJ on his couch. This is a common scene when walking downstairs. I guess he's just more comfy on his back.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall-To Layout #157

Whoo, it's work-from-home-Friday! :) I woke up at my regular time of 6:30 AM because I could hear RJ do his "I want breakfast" prowl. I took care of a bunch of work emails and then zipped over to spin class at the gym. I felt really compelled to go because I was feeling really guilty for being sucha slacker lately. And of course, the endorphins kicked in as the class went on. I hope I can muster the same motivation to go to Saturday and Sunday's classes.

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #157. I used this opportunity to use the felt that I bought at a yard sale a few weeks ago. I die cut 2 medium flowers and 1 small flower and sewed them together with a button on top. I'm not sure where the red/cream/blue theme came from. I guess I was feeling patriotic because I had been watching a 9-11 remembrance program on NBC.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, Blackbird
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Nana's Kitchen
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Round Frames, Nature
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Buttons: From Tuesday Morning
Die: Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moxie Fab World Horizontal Sketch Challenge

Here's my take on the Horizontal Sketch Challenge over at Moxie Fab World. My original intention for this card was to make it a masculine baby card with trucks and cars, but then I couldn't find the right element for where the flower is in the sketch, so I switched gears by using some of the K.I. Memories goodies I found at Tuesday Morning.
Card Specs:
Paper: American Crafts- Abode, Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost, Basic Grey- Bittersweet
Punch: EK Success Circle punch (1 3/8 inch)
Stickers: Basic Grey Micro Mono Stickers, K.I. Memories- Enchanting Glitter Stickers, K.I. Memories- Enchanting Badges

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Etsy Milestone

With the Etsy order that came in today, I finally surpassed 600 sales! :) I am sending 4 origami dress cards to Finland tomorrow. Onward to sale #700.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Trigger: Garden Glory

At the office: I went to the main building this morning to park my car in the garage and see what damage the flood had done this past weekend. My first thought when entering the suite was "Wow, it's kinda stinky." I guess that's to be expected considering how much water was in there. I heard it was ankle deep or even more. There were multiple fans blowing throughout the office and many offices had furniture moved away from the walls. The flood originated from the small kitchen, where the water line to the fridge broke. Not only did this affect our office suite, but the water leaked as far as 2 floors below us. Many of my co-workers either worked from home today or were working in my building. It was a little weird to have noise on this side of the street.

And as if things weren't weird already, the copier/scanner in my building broke. The workroom in the main building is closed until all the repairs have been made. UGH.

Card: Here's my take on this week's Tuesday Trigger (Garden Glory). Since I had a stamp that looked very similar to the flower seen on the pillow, my original plan was to do some watercoloring with my Distress Inks, but it got kinda messy and I figured it'd be best to move onto a different concept. Otherwise, I'd be up all night! Plan B was to punch out a bunch of squares out of teal, green and cream cardstock and arrange them in a grid pattern. I embellished the cream cardstock squares with a red heart for a pop of color and some teal buttons for some added dimension. Those Basic Grey Micro Mono stickers = best investment I've made in a while.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red
Paper: American Crafts- City Park (green), Abode (teal polka dots)
Stamps: Martha Stewart- Heart and Flower (heart)
Punch: Fiskars Square squeeze punch
Buttons: From Tuesday Morning
Stickers: Basic Grey Micro Mono Stickers
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #66

Even though I had the day off for Labor Day, I checked my work email this evening and found an email from the Executive Director. Apparently, there's some minor flooding in the main building. One of the accounting staff went in this weekend and came across all the water. Yikes! The mini crisis won't really affect me much because I've been working in the other building since earlier this year (although, people have made fun of me numerous times about how often they see me in the main building, whether it's to get meeting food leftovers or to chat with people).

My body woke me up around 6:20 this morning, just in time to feed RJ and give him his medication. Today was the first day that I've noticed less sneezing. Thank goodness because cat boogers are gross. After breakfast, I went to Staples to get a custom order printed so that I could finally assemble everything. I have been working with this Etsy customer since August 13, so I'm going to be really happy to ship this order off and put a check mark next to this item on my to-do list.

Productivity took a nose dive after I finished assembling everything. RJ was taking a nap on my bed, so I followed his example. We sleep in a similar fashion- belly up, limbs everywhere. I put the towel on the bed in an attempt to keep the kitty hair in one place, but that's probably a lost cause.
Here's my take on Wee Memories Challenge #66: "Just use any sentiment in your creation or as the "focal" point of your creation!" I wanted to make a card for my friend Page and since she's a fan of the Georgia Tech yellow jackets, I pulled out some Dear Lizzy paper with some bees on it (meh, that's close enough). Since the challenge focused on sentiments, I wanted to create my own sentiment using some alphabet stamps. Yeah, so the one that I came up with is kinda dorky, but I'm sure that Page would get a kick out of it. I also dug out my circle dies for this card as well, another tool that I haven't used in a while.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Yellow Ochre, Warm Red
Stamps: Studio G (typewriter alphabet), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (flowers), American Crafts- Dear Lizzy- Warbler (bee), American Crafts- Rue (question mark), K.I. Memories-Newsprint Lower (alphabet)
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large

Wow, this was an awesome 3-day weekend! Back to the grind tomorrow...

Sunday, September 4, 2011


What a difference a day makes! For reals. I woke up early to give RJ his medication and then headed out to the grocery store by 7:45. My list was longer than usual, and I wanted to beat the post-church crowd and lines. I bought quite a bunch of things that would last me a while, so I'm hoping I won't have to go to the grocery store for a long time. I went with the intention of finding things to make with my "new" crock pot: chicken, canned veggies, fresh veggies, and seasonings. When I got home, I tried made my first dish in the "new" crockpot: Crock Pot “Kitchen Sink” Chicken Stew. I had never used a crock pot before so I was a little skeptical about tossing in raw meat in with everything else, but miraculously everything cooked and tasted awesome. Julie came by this afternoon to make brownies (I moved all the baking stuff from my parents' house to mine because they don't bake there very often anymore) and was around to try some of the stew. It was sister-approved. :)

I wonder if RJ ever misses being outside. The animal shelter identified him as a stray, and I signed papers saying that he'd be an indoor cat, so he'll never step foot outside again. I keep the door open sometimes so that he can soak up the sun.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Not-So-Smooth Saturday

Ugh, so much drama today. My morning didn't start off the way I was hoping with going to an hour spin class. I got to the gym only to find a sign posted, saying that there would be no 9:30 AM super spin class due to the holiday weekend. I should have checked the holiday schedule before I left the house. So, instead of getting my workout in before going to a rummage sale, I went for a 5-mile run before dinnertime (59:41, 11:56 min/mile pace). I had to walk some of it because my legs felt like lead. Of course, I'm not really happy with the time, but at least I got a workout in.

Anyway, back to the rummage sale. It was at a local church near my parents' house. There weren't that many things there that were of interest to me, i.e. clothes, toys, books, but while I was in the kitchen section, I found 2 crock pots, a mini one and a regular sized one. The mini one was only $3, but I figured since the bigger one was $10, it was a better deal for when I need to cook things in bulk to last me the work week. This find was timed perfectly because I need to go to the grocery store tomorrow, and chicken is on sale, as well as other items that would go in a chicken stew. I can't wait to try out my "new" kitchen appliance!

I made the mistake of taking the e-collar off of RJ this afternoon, thinking that everything was healed up. I took my eyes off him for a second and he went back to licking where he should not have been licking. All the healing that had happened over the last few days flew out the window. I wanted to tear my hair out, RAWR! Between the sneezing and the healing that needs to happen at the neutering site, I'm going to be one happy cat mama when all of this is resolved!

I'm so thankful for the long weekend. I have two more days to make up for all the minor craziness that happened today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall-To Layout #156

Today was work-from-home Friday, which I spent most of the time working on a poster presentation for a national conference coming up in October. I'm about 90% done with my draft, and I've given myself a Monday deadline to send it to the co-author for him to fill in the blanks.

I was behind a lady with a wailing child in the cart at Target. The child was throwing things out the cart and seriously having a cow. I picked up one of the things that she threw out and gave it to the mom. The mom didn't even look at me or say "thank you." Sheesh, YOU'RE WELCOME!

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #156. I really wanted to start using the yellow flowers that I bought on clearance last weekend for the circle portion of the sketch.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox
Stamps: Studio G Ditto (sentiment)
Punch: Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Flowers: Prima, Recollections
Pearl: Recollections

There's a rummage sale near my parents' house tomorrow. I told myself that I couldn't go check it out unless I went to spin class in the morning. I have really been a lazy butt lately and not really adhering to the race training schedule, so I feel like I need to get a workout in somewhere, somehow!