Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Yard Sale Find

Ginger: I ended up going over to my parents' house after the movie last night to take care of Ginger. They were out of town, moving my sister out of her rental house since her Master's degree experience has come to a close. Since I'd have to feed the cat in the morning too, I decided to spend the night there to save me the drive. She was very cuddly all night, sleeping at the foot of my bed. Awww.

Actually, I ended up going back to the house later in the afternoon because everyone was back at the house. I even took a nap in my old bed, ha ha.

Yard Sale Find: On my way back to my place, I stopped by another yard sale. I wasn't sure what I'd find here, but the proceeds were going to charity so I thought it was worth a look. I've been meaning to go to the craft store to pick up some clay so that I could make my own clay flower embellishments, but hadn't gone yet. It was just my luck when I found a bag filled with packages of Premo Clay- brand new, never been opened. There were so many colors to choose from! The sticker on the bag said $1 per package, but I asked the lady if she'd cut me a deal since I picked out 9. "How about $7?" SOLD! Based on the Premo Clay website, it looks like each package normally goes for $2.29, so I felt like I got a deal. I bought some molds from Etsy; I can't wait for them to arrive in the mail so that a new crafty adventure can begin! There was a bag of ribbon that I forgot about, but it's okay. Not like I need more ribbon anyway.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Busy Bee Saturday!

Training: 7 miles @ 11:15-11:30 min/mile pace was on the schedule today. Yeah, it was a grueling as it sounds. From my place to my parents' place is 3.5 miles so I basically went there, took a little break to say hi and ran back. Total running time was 1 hour and 27 minutes (1st half was 42:49, 2nd half was 44:55), with an average pace of 12:25 min/mile. While I'm not thrilled about my time, I was happy that I got done.

Yard sale finds: I went to several yard sales today after running and came back with 2 things: a desk chair ($25) and some Corningware ($3). The funny thing with the chair is that the woman was telling me secretly that her husband wanted it for $40, but she'd let me have it for $30. I wanted to know that all the adjustments worked. She brought her husband over and he showed me that they did indeed work. Hmmm, ok. Perhaps we can negotiate. "I'll take it from you for $25." "That would work," he said. Mwah ha ha ha. With a run through with a vacuum and a Lysol wipe, it looked brand new. Now I don't have to drag the only chair that I have in my office from the craft desk to the computer. I have a chair for each now!

Movie: My friend Robyn and I went out for a dinner and a movie tonight. Dinner was at a TexMex place and the movie of choice was Cowboys and Aliens. A movie that has James Bond and Indiana Jones has got to be good, right? The aliens were scary so I had to cover my eyes during some parts, but overall, a kick-butt movie!

Card: I decided to use a hot air balloon stamp and sentiment stamp that hadn't seen ink yet. I went with a square card again because it was leftover cardstock from when I made yesterday's card. The sentiment flag was created when I was making my shoe card a few days ago, but it was too long for that card. Good thing I kept it for this card. It matches very nicely with the background paper.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen.
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment, hot air balloon)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Nana's Kitchen, Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Threading Water border punch

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fall-To Layout #151

Training: Today was a rest day, thankfully. It was forecasted to get up to 100 degrees outside! Hopefully the heat will be more manageable tomorrow, as 7 miles is on the schedule.

Work-related news: Now that I have my new place, I have decided to take advantage of one of the benefits that's offered at work, which is working from home. I've been thinking about it for a while and didn't feel comfortable doing it at my parents' house. How embarrassing would it be to take a conference call and have Mom barge in, right? Effective today, I am working from home on Fridays. Yipee! Doing work in my pjs...yep, sign me up.

Observation: I am doing so much better about cleaning up after myself in this new place than I ever was in my own room at my parents' house. I'm the only one that will be keeping this place clean. Not my mom. Not my dad. If it's cluttered, it's up to me to clean it up. While I thought I'd enjoy the freedom of leaving my shoes and clothes and other junk around, I realized very quickly that seeing stuff everywhere drives me crazy. We'll see how long I keep this up. I mean, it's almost been a month...that's a good sign, right?

Card: Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #151. All the elements of card were created from scraps. It's always nice to have thank you cards on hand, right?
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Nana's Kitchen
Punch: Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Threading Water border punch

Thursday, July 28, 2011

High Heel Shoe Card

Training: I was looking forward to my run this evening because it gave me an opportunity to test out the watch that I bought yesterday. The training schedule said 2.5 miles @ 9:50/mile pace, but then I couldn't remember what the 1.25 mile mark was (the turnaround point). I ended up going a little further than what I thought the 1.25 mark was because I would much rather go further than not enough. I ended up doing 3.8 miles @ 10:51/mile pace. Ugh, a whole minute off the pace that I should be on. I dunno if that's due to the hills or the extra distance that I did. Oh well. I think it's better to get used to mileage. I still have time to build up speed.

I love how when I go running, I always come back looking like I went swimming instead. It wasn't even raining outside, but it was kinda humid outside, despite the fact that the sun already went down. Ewww.

At the office: I was really wanting to try the frozen yogurt place that just opened up near my office. I always see people walking around with a cup of frozen yogurt from that place, despite the fact that Ben and Jerry's and Coldstone are nearby. I ended up getting chocolate frozen yogurt and adding mochi, chocolate chips, and Heath bars as toppings. My heart sank a little when I went to the counter because I could get a big thing of ice cream at Safeway for the price of one cup of the frozen yogurt. I considered it a treat and promised myself that I'd save my money for other things. It WAS really good! I can see why people at the office go several times a week.

Card: For today's card, I wanted to break out a shoe paper punch that I bought back in May, but hadn't used yet. It was when I went to New Hampshire and I found it at Marshalls. The TSA people were very confused as to what it was when my bag went through the x-ray machine. I punched out a few shoes with the colorful DCWV paper and used my new T-square ruler to line up the shoes vertically. Then I adhered a flag-shaped sentiment panel, gemmed up the card, and finished it off with some faux stitching.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Stamps: Studio G (alphabet)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, EK Success- High Heel Shoe
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hooray, Custom Order!

At the office: "Tina, do you have any cookies today?" Nope, sorry. Contrary to popular belief, I don't bake during ALL my free time.

I love getting custom Etsy orders. The one that I received tonight was SO cute.

Hi, Do you do special requests? I love your cards and favorited your shop quite a while ago thinking I might need one of your cards sometime! With that said, I am looking for a "happy first day of school" card for my grandson.

The little guy is starting kindergarten, and he's really into sports. Unfortunately, my crafty stash leans towards the girly side, so I had to improvise. Fortunately, he has a dog, so I went with an origami dog and paper punched apples/argyle to make the card more school-ish.

Shopping: Today was a rest day on the training program, so I went to Target to pick up a few things. Hangers, nail polish, and mini Heath Bars were on sale, so I grabbed one of those. I also got a sports watch because I want to start timing myself more accurately when I go running. However, I'm just not willing to invest in a running watch yet because of the cost. I'm hoping the Timex one will do just fine for the time being. The new nail polish is a really deep red and it's not really shimmery. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Cinna-Snap.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trigger Target: Squares to Cherish + CARDS Magazine Challenge

Training: On the training schedule today was 4.5 miles at a 11:30 pace. By my rough calculations, I was able to maintain a 11:33 pace, so at least I'm not too far off. Those hills are like whoa, but at least it's good practice.

At the office: I had my salary conversation with my boss today and it didn't go as well as I was hoping considering my stellar performance review yesterday. With the recent budget cuts, I can understand why they aren't able to be as generous as in previous years. At least I can say that I did everything that I possibly could to get to this point, so all I can do now is continue to work hard and push for that promotion. God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, etc...

Card: For today's card, I decided to address 2 challenges at once. One was Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger and the other was this week's CARDS Magazine challenge that focuses on cards with gathered ribbon flowers. I noticed the olive green and blue in the trigger photo, so that's what I did my gathered ribbon flower with. I thought some buttons with thread strung through them would match nicely with the white stitching in the flower's ribbon. Finally, I heat embossed a sentiment with black embossing powder instead of black ink so it'd stand out against the patterned paper.
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange- Black
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Stamps: Fiskars- Sentiments
Paper: American Crafts- Metropolitan
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Buttons: Bucket White from Michaels. Favorite Findings in Ocean.
Ribbon: Sweet Petites from A.C. Moore
Brad: Recollections

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good News at the Office + CPS #228

At the office: My boss is in town this week. She and I had a conference call with some other people from 3 to 3:45 and I knew that she had a meeting at 4. Hmmm, so what's the best way to utilize that 15 minutes in between?

me: So what do you want to get done this week before you go back home?

boss: We need to get the fact sheet done and the menu squared away for the August meeting. And at some point, we have to go over your performance review.


me: Uhhh, do you think the performance review will take more than 15 minutes? (she laughs) Well, I've been thinking about it all weekend.

boss: Nope, it won't. You want to do it now? We can do it now. Lemme print it out.

I'm happy to report that she's very pleased with my performance at the office. She also told me that other people at the office have said positive things about me and found me easy to work with. I was afraid that sometimes I might come across as hardheaded because I'm strict about deadlines and getting things done. Her final comment was "Tina is a joy to work with..." and she checked off the "Exceeded Expectations" box. I told her thank you for the nice feedback and probably appeared cool and collected, but on the inside I was punching my fists in the air and jumping up and down like an athlete doing a victory dance. I thought she'd say something about how this would affect my position at work as I've been shooting for a promotion all year, but unfortunately, she told me that that conversation would have to happen seperately. Ok ok fine. At least we're off to a good start!

Whew. What a relief!

Card: My boss also surprised me with some gifts for the house, so I decided that tonight's card would be a thank you card to her to express my appreciation. I used CPS #228 as my inspiration. The card needed to be relatively flat in order to go in the mail. It'll be at her house to surprise her when she gets home later this week. I went straight for the Dear Lizzy paper for the patterned paper elements of the card. Everything already matched so I didn't have to go through the trouble of rummaging through my other paper stacks. I knew I needed a sentiment stamp so I used a wood mounted "Thank You" that I hadn't used in a while and a bird $1 stamp that I bought earlier this month that hadn't seen ink yet. I had to draw the eye and legs on the bird to make it come to life. How cute and simple! :)
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Yellow Ochre, Rose Coral
Stamps: Studio G (bird), Inkadinkado (flower, sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

Yay, Ben and JP are the final two on the Bachelorette! I can't wait to see who's won Ashley's heart in the finale next week. And hello, Real Housewives of New York. I watched a little bit of it tonight, but turned it off because everyone was talking over each other, it was very difficult to follow along. Sigh. I'll catch a rerun or something later this week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Housewarming Party and New Crafty Project

Hope everyone's weekend is ending on a good note! :)

Training: I was supposed to run 6 miles on Saturday, but with the high temperatures outside, I didn't want to risk anything. Instead, I went to the gym and did a 1-hour spin class. On the training schedule today was doing a 5 mile walk, so I waited until early evening to walk 2.5 miles and then turn around and walk back home.

Housewarming party: I invited several of my family members over for pizza and dessert on Saturday. Some of them hadn't seen the house yet, so it was nice to be able to show them around. When I went to pick up my order, I saw that the Pizza Hut was near a Blockbuster and a Cameron's Seafood. How convenient! For dessert, I made a chocolate pudding pie and put strawberries on top.

New crafty project: I wanted to build some sort of French Memo Board in my craft room so that I could display fun snail mail and cards that I've made. I picked up a large 24 x 30 canvas board from an art supply store near my office on sale. The rest of the supplies (fabric, ribbon, staples, thread) were things that either Mom or I owned already. After I went out to lunch with my family, I put the memo board together with some help from Mom and my sister. Some of the online tutorials suggested putting some quilt batting between the fabric and the board, but I didn't feel like it'd make too much of a difference and I didn't want to make an extra trip to the fabric store. I think the fabric is very cute. Yep, it's Keroppi...Hello Kitty's friend. The yellow in the fabric matched nicely with the yellow paint in the room. I ran out of the light green ribbon, so I'll have to find an alternative to put 2 more ribbon lines in, but I think this is a good start. Eventually, I'll put some buttons or other type of embellishment where the ribbons intersect, but for now, most of the intersections are stitched together. Hooray!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fall-To Layout #150

Whew, is it hot outside or what? I dunno how anyone can work in this heat. I feel really badly for the construction workers, firefighters, etc. I hope they are staying hydrated!

The local radio station Hot 99.5 was giving out free ice cream near my office yesterday, and some of my coworkers and I definitely cashed in on that deal. It was very generous of them, and the gesture was greatly appreciated. My former office roommate in the other building IMed me yesterday morning to tell me about the ice cream and my sister (who isn't even in this area but was listening to the station online) IMed me the same message not too long after. Everyone wants tell me that there's free ice cream available! Ha ha.

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #150. For this card, I wanted to use some scraps that I already had laying around and a tree stamp that had yet to see ink. I stamped the tree on the white cardstock and then again on brown cardstock and only cut out the trunk. With a little bit of glue, I adhered it to the white cardstock. That way the tree looked more realistic. Then I added some birds and a sentiment, and whoo hoo, that's it! I love the country feel of the card. :)
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Chestnut Roan, Warm Green
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Nana's Kitchen
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stamps: Studio G (tree, sentiment), Inkdinkado (flying bird), American Crafts- Dear Lizzy- Warbler (chick)
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

My former co-worker received her custom order of bridesmaid cards and loved them. Yay! I hope she comes back for Thank You cards ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Success at the Office

At the office: Today was a really fulfilling day at work. Months ago, I went to a leadership conference where I hatched this idea about having non-senior staff meet every other month to talk about common issues/problems and find solutions for them together. Why should we wait for senior staff to fix these problems for us, right? The senior staff have a monthly meeting to touch base, and I felt that a similar venue needed to exist for non-senior staff. Also, maybe we can bring things to the attention of the senior staff that they might not be aware of. After getting buy-in from the Executive Director and senior staff and finding/working with partners-in-crime, the first non-senior staff meeting was held today. Judging by the turnout, participation, and compliments afterwards, I would say the meeting was a success. I'm very much looking forward to reporting back to my supervisor and the Executive Director about how the meeting went and how we can get started on addressing the action items.

I don't usually have super awesome days at work, but today definitely fit into that category. It feels very fulfilling to know that I had an idea, found people to help me with it, and executed the plan with positive results. YAY!

Cookies: I was able to give all of them away by the end of the work day. Whew, I'm not stuck eating the rest on my own.

Training: Running on the treadmill is not fun, and I find it more difficult to get my workout done. I would have run my 2.5 miles (9:50 min/mile pace) outside today, but it was way too hot. The treadmill forces me to keep that pace, but in reality, my pace would fluctuate throughout the race. I get so distracted by the numbers on the display and I felt like I got tired more easily. I eventually broke down the 2.5 miles to 1.0, 0.5, 0.4 and 0.6 with some walking in between each interval.

Card: I started out with a background stamp that I bought recently but hadn't used yet. I stamped it on some cream cardstock and then matted it with some bright blue cardstock. I thought this card was going to go in a more masculine direction until I really didn't have a plan of what to use as a focal point of the card. I decided to toss the masculine card plan out the window and go with a red die cut flower. I curled up the petals for a more realistic look.

Card Specs:
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China, Vintage Photo
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment, background)
Brad: K&Company- Wild Saffron
Flower: Prima
Die: Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Trigger: Perty & Flirty

Baking: I am leading a meeting at the office tomorrow and hoping that luring people with my homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies is going to work. This gave me an opportunity to test out the oven in my new place, and yep, the cookies came out just fine. How do I know? Wellll, I ate 3 (or 4?) for quality assurance purposes. Heh.

Training: Workout plans were a little tricky today. The training program said 4 miles today, but I still wanted to get a spin class in. Unfortunately, I left the house late and would have been late to spin class so I ended up going to my parents' house to pick up some stuff and did my 4 miles around the neighborhood. It's encouraging that even though the mileage is increasing, it doesn't feel like I'm dying towards the end.

Card: Because the Moxie Fab World people are at the Craft and Hobby Association convention now, they extended the challenge a few more days. This worked out for me because it's been a while since I've done one of their Trigger Tuesday challenges. I came up with this design when I was out for my run earlier this evening. The origami dress was folded using Dear Lizzy paper and this model. I wasn't planning to have the bee show up exactly in the lower left corner of the dress, but I think it's so cute there! I decided to forgo any rhinestones since the puffy Thickers had some glitter in them already (although it's probably difficult to see the sparkle in the photo).
Card Specs:
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy, American Crafts- Letterbox
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stickers: American Crafts Glitter Puffy Thickers in Bumble
Buttons: Bucket Black from Michaels
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Monday, July 18, 2011


The couch at the new place is so comfy, especially after a day of work. I closed my eyes for a second while watching a rerun of Real Housewives of New York on tv and the next thing I knew, it was 6:30 PM! Oh, no! I'm late for spin class! Normally, I would have gone back to sleep, but the training program said "spin." I want to stick to the plan as much as possible, so I zoomed over there and still got a 40 minute workout in.

I killed my first spider at the house. I feel so accomplished that I didn't yell for my dad to kill it. I took charge and squashed it! Hiii-ya! Check out those ninja skillz.

In my card today, I wanted to use a new umbrella stamp and create a background with it using my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig. I love the bright blue with the pale pink. I wanted to tie in the flowers by using some chipboard elements, and fortunately I had some gold ones to match the yellow flowers.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Yellow Ochre, Rose Coral.
Stamps: Fiskars- Petals From Scratch (flower, swirl, sentiment), Studio G (umbrella)
Paper: American Crafts- A La Carte
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Chipboard: American Crafts- Fieldhouse- Glitter Blue Skies
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

J.P. makes it to the next round of The Bachelorette, whoo hoo!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #62

When Meg and Robyn came over to the house yesterday, they brought presents! How sweet of them! One of the goodies was a new bottle of nail polish. Purple is actually a nail polish color that I don't already own so this was a welcomed addition. Sally Hansen in Grape Going!.

My realtor stopped by this afternoon and gave me some surprise gifts: a bouquet of flowers and a container to put mail in. I thought it was funny that she gave me the bouquet since I was thinking of buying some flowers yesterday but didn't have enough cash on me AND I bought a vase at a yard sale on Friday. Now I can actually use it! :)
The milk's expiration date was coming up so one of my goals was to use it up in food today (I don't really like the way it tastes just straight). I ended up making instant Oreo pudding and mac and cheese with broccoli and tuna, a spinoff of this recipe.

Here's my take on Wee Memories Challenge #62: Clean and Simple. I've been really wanting to use this butterfly stamp that I bought at a yard sale recently. I used the embossed resist technique with my Distress Inks. By blending the red and gold color, I got the orange color in the middle. I had a scrap piece of polka dot paper that I thought would be a good contrast to the warm colors used with the butterfly. I used a scrap piece of black ribbon to break up the colors. I popped the sentiment on foam adhesive to give the card a little dimension.
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door, Wild Honey.
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), Stampin' Up- Stipple Butterfly
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

P.S. This marriage proposal was cute!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good bye, Harry Potter

Training: the workout today was to do 6 miles @ 11:30 minutes. I don't have a stop watch, but I was going to be thankful if I made it through the 6 miles. From my place to my parents' house is 3.5 miles so I figured I'd go there and back and walk the last mile. I was out by 7 AM and came home around 8:30, so I think I did alright. The heat wasn't so bad that early in the morning. When I got to my parents' house, I took the newspapers right up to the door and ran back home. When I stopped by there later in the morning, Mom told me that Dad thought it was my cousin that did that. Hah!

Yard sale: I planned a yard sale route, but the only one that I bought something at wasn't one that I originally planned to go to. I ended up taking a large hexagon table for $5 for the living room and some measuring cups for $1. Now all I need is to find a nice lamp to put on top of it.

Putting the table in my car was a challenge. I didn't fit in the back seat or the trunk. A guy walking by asked me if I needed help. "Uh no, that's okay..." He responded with "It looks like it's going to be a little tight" and walked off. Yeah, tell me about it. I finally got it in the front seat and got back in the car. The same guy walked by and gave me a thumbs up.

I came home to drop off the table and headed back out to the movie theater to get tickets to tonight's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 showing. The same area was having a farmer's market, so I picked up some peaches. I was going to pick up a beautiful flower bouquet, but I didn't have enough cash on me. Womp.

Family: My sister won 3rd place in her age group (13 years and older) in the town's sidewalk chalk contest. Her entry was a squirrel eating some ice cream.

Friends: I had my first visitors come by the house that were not family. Meg and Robyn stopped by tonight to check out the house and pick me up so that we could go see the final Harry Potter movie. We ate at a TexMex place and go to the theater 30 minutes beforehand to get good seats. We were lucky to find 3 seats together because the place was getting packed quickly. The movie was EPIC. SOOO good. I felt a sense of sadness when the movie title showed up though. There won't be any more HP movies to look forward to. Fortunately with the books all being published and the movies will all be available on DVD, I can relive the magic over and over and over again. Next up, Captain America.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fall-To Layout #149

For a day off, today was rather busy! Between 8 AM and 12:30 PM, I ran the following errands:
  • ATM and gas station. Nothing exciting there.
  • my parents' house to get some my stuff and helped Dad load up the mini van with things that needed to go to the dump.
  • a yard sale. Came back with 2 Corningware casserole dishes, a Willow Tree doll holding a heart and a crystal vase. Total: $25. I hadn't realized how much of a deal that was until I got home to Google how much Corningware is. From the looks of it, the lady was trying to sell the old stuff from the house since the house was on the market. When the woman gave me my receipt, she told me "Well, if you're interested in buying a house..." Mmm, sorry, no. I just bought one. Thanks for helping me fill it though! :)
  • Post office. I was trying to get information on how to get my mail forwarded permanently to the new place.
  • Petsmart to give the adoptable kitties some love. Eventually, I'll be able to bring a lucky one home. There was a pair of black and white ones that were especially cute.
  • Staples for some copy paper that was on sale.
  • the electric company to get the electrical bill switched to my name. They only had 1 person available to handle the long line of customers. Hello?! If you had another person in the second window, we would have been out of your hair a lot sooner! Duh.
  • the animal shelter only to find that the kennel was opening at 12 and it was only 11 AM. I didn't want to wait around for an hour.
  • Marshalls to get some baking utensils (measuring cups, measuring spoons and a wisk).
When I came home from all my errands, I worked on getting some photos printed to put in some picture frames that I had. The photo paper pack that I had really came in handy. I'm so thankful that my boss let me take the day off. It would have taken me a lot longer to get all these errands done if I had to break them up.

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #149 (my last card was over a week ago, yikes!). I decided to make a birthday card for my cousin, just in time for his birthday tomorrow! Note to self: I really need to find some more masculine themed stamps because trying to find a stamp appropriate for this card took the longest time tonight. I finally settled on a dog because he has a dog back in Taiwan. I used the stamp-off technique so that the dog wouldn't be too dark and clash with the sentiment.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Warm Red, Chestnut Roan. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen.
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), K.I. Memories- Pet (dog)
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Punch: Fiskars Upper Crest border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

My long run is on the training schedule for tomorrow: 6 miles. This should be interesting...

Whoaaaa. According to Blogger, this is my 500th post! I'll have to look into getting a giveaway together. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Hello, blogosphere! I finally got internet and cable television hooked up at my new place. I'm so happy to be getting back to blogging! :)

Craft room: Here are some pictures from my new craft room. The only new item in here was the folding table that my parents got me from Costco. Everything else, including the huge shelf unit on the wall was in my bedroom at my parents' house. I love it because I can raise or lower the shelves, depending on how high I need them. I like the flexibility. My mom bought this unit from the Container Store years ago, so I'm not sure if they have it available anymore. I love how much sunlight the room (and the house in general) gets. I have a closet on the wall facing the shelving unit, which is mostly empty at the moment.
8K training: Yesterday's workout was 2 miles at 9:50 minutes per mile (this is the pace that I'm shooting for at the September 8K). I went to the gym yesterday right after work and did the workout on the treadmill, with a few minutes walking between each mile. My usual race pace is 10:30 so cutting back 40 seconds was tough, but I managed. I'm having a hard time envisioning that I'll have to keep that pace for roughly 5 miles come September, but this is only Week 1 of training. It'll get better, right? Tonight's workout is spin class. THAT I can do.

At the office: One of the IT guys closed on his place the same day I did last week. Yesterday, I was whining about how I needed to go to the electrical company in person to prove that I'm the new owner of the house. He said "That's because you sound like you're 12 years old. People probably want to talk to your mom when they hear you on the phone. I never have that problem." Hardy har har. ::eye roll:: I'm taking the day off tomorrow to run some errands, one of them being to pay a visit to the electrical company.

Parents: Mom called me last night. "I'm making you that rice dish that you like. You want to come home for dinner?" Ah ha. She's luring me with food. Yep, that'll work. I went over for dinner and got some leftovers too!

Song of the day: "Honey Bee"- Blake Shelton

P.S. Thank you for all the kind blog comments that I've received regarding the new place! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moving Day #2

Yesterday was another busy day with moving into the new place. Dad borrowed my uncle's truck and we moved my new bed to the new place. Then, yesterday afternoon, I went with my parents to Costco. OMG, I haven't been there in a while and then I was reminded why I really don't like going there. The foot traffic in that place ranges from the "slower than melting glaciers" people that want to look at every item to the people that zoom around the whole place only looking for the items that are on their list. The store staff need to put traffic lights at the major intersections of the warehouse so that people don't ram their carts into one another. Dad was very generous and bought me a new TV for the living room and a table for my craft room. I can't wait to get my cable and internet hooked up on TH, but it's not so bad being unplugged for a little bit. At least I have internet at work.

This whole moving-to-a-new-place feels very similar to when I went to college. New surroundings, new neighbors (I met quite a few already!), etc. The big difference is that my parents are only 10 minutes away, instead of a few hours. This will lead to more opportunities to chat and raid the fridge and visit Ginger. ;)

I also killed my first bug at the new place last night. It was a ginormous moth in the bathroom. It was too high up for me to reach, so I ended up dragging out the vaccum cleaner to get it.

On a non-new place related note: my 8K training program starts today. For today, the training program says that I can go to spin class. Thankfully that's indoors. Running outside is going to be a challenge with the heat and humidity this week, but I'm just going to have to figure it out!

Song of the day: "For Good"- Wicked Soundtrack

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Moving Day

Whew. Even though I didn't go to spin class today, I definitely got a workout in by moving a bunch of my stuff into the new place! Mom and I started loading up the cars around 8:30 this morning and then 3 of my cousins came to help finish the job. Once the cars were loaded, I lead the cousins to the new place. They all seemed very impressed with the place. I think they'll be more impressed when I have artwork hanging up and the house is fully operational.

It's amazing how one person has so much stuff! Most of it went to my craft room, imagine that. After two trips today, most of my kitchen and office is set up.

The dining room table that I'm going to be using actually started out at my house and has been passed on to many family members until it finally came back to us. One less thing to have to buy!

Tomorrow the plan is to get the mattresses over to the new place, a desk for crafting, maybe a new television, and some chairs for the dining room. I'm planning to put my full bed on risers and put a twin mattress underneath for any visitors that might stay the night. Originally, I thought of using the smaller bedroom as a guest bedroom, but I don't foresee lots of visitors that would stay long enough to need a bed and I thought it'd be a waste of space to have a bed in there that's rarely used. I'm so excited to have more space for crafting. This could be dangerous, ha ha.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Settlement Success

Settlement today went so smoothly.

Actually, let me back up.

My realtor and I went by the property to do a final check of the place, to make sure that everything was in good condition. The place looked fine. It actually still looked like a home (as opposed to completely empty) since the previous owner was nice enough to sell me some of her furniture. We then drove to get the final papers signed.

Before we went into the conference room, the settlement offices had a wall full of junk food goodies and drinks. I guess they like to keep their clients, employees, visitors happy and well fed. I didn't snag anything before signing the papers, but I did take a Laffy Taffy and two Peppermint Patties and a bottle of water on the way out.

Since I had more paperwork to complete and the owner of the townhome hadn't gotten there yet, they let me start with my paperwork. Midway through, the owner, her husband, and their realtor came in. Perfect timing! We signed a bunch of papers for an hour, I handed of the biggest check I'll probably ever have to write, and the owner handed over all the keys. She was super nice during the meeting, giving me tips on how to take care of the rose bushes and things she had left at the house for me (weed controller, manuals for the major appliances, etc.).

On my drive home back from the signing, it was pouring rain so I couldn't immediately move my stuff in. However, the rain eventually stopped and I went with my parents to the new place to put some small things in there. My cousins have been recruited to help me complete the move tomorrow morning. It's nice to have help around!
I'm officially a home owner. It feels good to be able to cross one more thing off my New Year's Resolution list. (I got this fortune cookie fortune at Dad's retirement dinner. I didn't think it was especially applicable then, but it definitely is today.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Hitchhiker and a Blast From the Past

OMG, the weirdest thing happened to me this morning. I picked up my first (and hopefully last) hitchhiker on my way to work. This woman waved me down and asked her if I could drive her to the main street that I was on my way to so that she could take the bus to get on the Metro. I'm glad that I had my sunglasses on so she wouldn't see me eyeing her with suspicion. If it was a man, I would have made up some excuse about how I was late for work and zoomed off. But this woman didn't look threatening and I didn't have a far distance to go. I took pity on her because it would have been a long way to walk in the heat. She got in the car and I tried to keep an eye on the road and an eye on her purse. Was she going to take out a weapon? Am I going to be on the news tonight? As I approached the main road, she asked if I could drop her off at the Metro since it seemed like I was going in that direction. Mmmyeahno. I'm going to let you off at the light. That was the deal. I said something about having to drive on the other side of the street and not the side that the Metro was on. She understood, told me "God bless you" and got out of the car.

Why couldn't my hitchhiker be Bono?


ANYWAYYYYY...let's talk about something more positive and less creepy. So, yesterday, a fellow intern from an internship that I did at a medical clinic 5-6 years ago contacted me via Facebook. She had seen the pictures of the cards that I made that I posted and she wanted to order a custom set of "Will you be my bridesmaid?" cards! I often wonder if people go through those albums on my Facebook and whaddiya know, people do! :)

Song of the day: "Just a Kiss" - Lady Antebellum

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Commence Move

I'm one day closer to my settlement date, which means I have to pack up my crafty items to get ready for the move on Friday/Saturday. Crafty activities will resume once I'm more settled into the new place. Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Two-Step Masking Technique

One of the computer guys told me today that he knew this guy that had a cat that he needed to give away because his fiancé's allergy to cats. "Well, I know that you like cats." Aww, how thoughtful. Too bad I'm not already settled into my place, I might have considered it!

I was reading Papertrey Ink's Nicole Heady's blog this morning and I saw this post/video about a 2-step masking technique. I wanted to try it tonight, using my newest stamp set. I ran into a little trouble with the flower on the lower left corner. The scrap of cardstock was too thick and when I stamped the flower over it, some of the ink didn't make contact with the cardbase. I covered up the empty space left behind with the paper punched butterfly. Next time, I'll use a scrap piece of copy paper (like in the video) to avoid this problem.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, Prussian Blue, Dark Peony, Rose Coral
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Nature (leaves, butterfly, flowers), K&Company- AB Lotus Greeting Stamps (sentiment)
Punch: Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Sunflower Yellow

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #61

When Julie mentioned that she'd be coming home for the July 4th holiday, we made a plan to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon today. The movie far exceeded my expectations! I really felt that the 3D effects enhanced the already really cool special effects. There were moments where my jaw literally dropped, the scene was so shocking or awesome. I thought this article from described the movie well. I've seen several movies this summer already, and this one is definitely my favorite so far. Onward to HP7 Part 2 and Captain America.

Here's my card for Wee Memories Challenge #61: "Summertime." Hmm, what could be considered a summery image? I dug through my stamp stash and found one that was surfing themed. Perfect! Then I decided to incorporate as many colors into the card as possible, so I stamped the surfboard image over and over using different ink colors. The bottom of the card was missing something so I punched a border that looked like a wave and then added some hibiscus paper to complete the beachy/summery card.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red, Rose Coral, Yellow Ochre, Aquamarine, Prussian Blue, Warm Violet
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Surf's Up
Paper: Die Cuts With a View
Punch: Fiskars Upper Crest border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

Hope y'all had a wonderful 4th of July! :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

CPS #225

Dad's retirement dinner with his family went well last night. Many of my cousins brought their little kids, and they were soooo adorable. Here's Dad with his cake. Mmmm, cake.

Mother Nature was very unhappy last night. She gave us a heavy dose of thunderstorms early this morning (4 AMish), complete with exploding transformers (not the robot kind).

This evening, we invited family members and Robyn and her mom over for a July 4th BBQ, complete with steaks marinated by Julie, pasta salad, salad, corn, and homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Here's my take on CPS #225. I wanted to continue getting some use out of the Inkadinkado stamp set that I bought on Friday. I stamped the images on a piece of kraft cardstock and heat embossed the sentiment stamp with some white embossing powder so that it stood out a little more against the kraft. Then it was time to pick out the paper, and I chose red to match with the flowers and the gray to contrast against the red and black. I adhered the pearls and made sure to save a little room for a butterfly in the upper right.
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red, Charcoal
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Nature (butterfly, leaf, flower), K.I. Memories- Pet (sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Merrymint, American Crafts-The Goods Ceremony
Punch: Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Yard Sale Success

Yard sale finds: Before I went to bed last night, I planned out a route for my morning yard sale adventure. I ended up going to 4 yard sales, but only had luck at 1. Meh, no biggie. At this yard sale, I found 2 Rubbermaid containers ($1 each), a cute yellow pot ($0.25), and 2 large Stampin' Up stamps ($2 each). Total: $6.25. I was thrilled. I was doing my mwah ha ha laugh in my head as I drove off. When I got home, I immediately wiped down the containers with a Lysol wipe and put my wood block sentiment stamps in one while putting some image wood block stamps in the other. I took the pencils, pens, scissors, etc. out of my two pencil holders and consolidated them into the one yellow pot. True be told, one of my pencil holders was the tall mug that I got for high school prom. The pot definitely feels more grown up.I did some more organizing in my room by deciding what crafty items could go to Goodwill and recycling a bunch of magazines. Settlement is less than a week away. The less that has to go to the new place, the better!

Animals: When I was on my way to my first yard sale this morning, I saw this woman chasing her terrier. He even ran into traffic! I was so afraid that one or both of them was going to get hit by a car. Good thing people were watching. And then soon after that, I saw a fawn running around the neighborhood. Its mommy was not in sight, and it was probably really scared. Again, I was scared that someone was going to hit it.

Card: Here's my card for today. I heat embossed the hydrangea stamp with black embossing powder and used my Tim Holtz inks as watercolors to color in the flower. I went over the flower centers again with my paintbrush to add a little bit of shading/dimension.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange- Black
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo, Tattered Rose
Stamps: Stampin' Up- Stipple Hydrangea, Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiment)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Off to dinner with Dad's family to celebrate his retirement!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fall-To Layout #147

Confession: I haven't been running since the 10K about 1.5 months ago. I am also a) didn't go to spin class yesterday and b) hadn't tried out the running skirts that I bought a while back. ::hangs head in shame:: BUT the good news is that I did go running today WITH a running skirt! I bought them because I wasn't liking how my workout shorts were causing some chaffing. I have no problem wearing capris during the colder months, but now it's too hot to be wearing them. The running skirt was a nice alternative on today's 2-mile-ish run.

Other running related news: Did I mention that the HR director (who's an avid runner outside of work) developed a 8K training plan for me? Yep, she wanted to help me improve my March 8K time when I run another 8K in September. It's an 11-week plan, starting the week of July 10. I appreciated that she sprinkled it with some spin classes.

Card share: Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #147. I had to dust off my circle punch and dig out my circle dies for this card. It was also the perfect opportunity to use the new stamps that I got today.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Dark Peony, French Blue, Aquamarine
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Nature (butterfly, leaf, flower), Studio G (alphabet)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Scallop Sentiment border punch, EK Success Circle punch (1 3/8 inch)
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large

Onward to yard sale adventures tomorrow! :)