Thursday, May 31, 2012

Origami Flower Card

Ah, finally, some relief! I was able to sleep in my bed upstairs last night and I think I'll be able to tonight since the heat isn't so bad. I'm very much looking forward to hearing what the AC guy says about my unit when he comes tomorrow. This whole situation needs to be remedied pronto!

At least I was able to make a card tonight. With the exception of the alphabet stickers and the punch, everything was already within reach on my craft desk. The flower was leftover from the origami class I taught at the beginning of the month. The brown polka dot patterned paper and stamped envelope panel were leftover from last week's order from the office. Ta da!

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Stamp: Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern
Pearl: Recollections
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Foliage
Stickers: October Afternoon Mini Market Stickers in Teal and Black
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AC Woes

I think there's something wrong with my air conditioner. I set the temperature on the thermostat, but then the temperature reading doesn't change when I turn the AC on. I don't think the air that's coming out of it is really all that cold, and it continuously runs. Ergh. With all that said, I'm glad that this happened now at the beginning of the summer so that I could get it looked out now. It's been too hot to do anything in the house on the upper level, where my bedroom and craft room are. Last night, I broke down and got the air mattress out to sleep in the living room. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The AC guy is coming on FRI so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fall-To Layout #192

Spin class womp: BLAH! I went to the gym tonight, excited that I'd be able to get in another spin class this weekend. I went into the classroom and there was only 1 person there, and it stayed that way for a while. Then I remembered seeing on the door that the gym was closing at 7 PM. I went back downstairs and confirmed with the desk staff that class was canceled. Aw, bummer. Well, I already got to the gym. I might as well work out. I was able to get in 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill while watching Bethenny Ever After until the gym closed.

Lilly the dog: I went to lunch with Beth today and afterwards she invited me to go visit her new-ish dog, Lilly. Beth adopted her at the beginning of the month and I had gone to see them the weekend she got her. Lilly was so tired from being driven from SC and then adjusting to a new home that she wasn't very lively the first time I saw her. This time, however, I got my fair share of doggy kisses.

WTH Neighbor Moment: I was sitting on the couch watching TV when I noticed that RJ sat up in attention with his eyes on window. OMG, the old lady neighbor is doing something to my garden, tending to my wilted daffodils! I know that she's done this before when I wasn't home, but never when I was actually at home. I didn't want to stare in case she caught me staring. I'm thinking she was just trying to be helpful...but how weird, right?!

Card: Here's my card for today (Fall-To Layout #192), which was pretty easy to make because I had the heart patterned paper and card front on my desk already. The hardest part was figuring out which flowers to use.

Card Specs:
Ink: Stampin' Up- Early Espresso. Colorbox Chalk Ink in Yellow Citrus and Chestnut Roan
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Stamp: Hero Arts- Thinking of You Messages (sentiment), Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern, Martha Stewart- Patterns
Brad: American Crafts, Large Brads- Cherry
Flowers: Prima

Sunday, May 27, 2012

National Harbor and the Peep Store

It is so nice to have a few days off directly following the Annual Meeting. I don't think I could have gone back to work without somewhat of a break. I went to hang out with Meg, Robyn, and Maria for dinner tonight at the National Harbor. We don't normally hang out here, but Robyn wanted to go to the Peep Store to get something for her sister (a Peep golf club cover, which we found out they don't carry in the store anymore). Afterwards we went to a Thai restaurant where I got pad thai and a lycee martini (I wonder if they missed out on the alcohol because I didn't taste any...).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Seattle, Day 6

Yay, I'm home! Whew, what a trip. I was stuck next to a chatty squirmy kid flying from Seattle to Denver. His mom gave him a few sleeves of Pez. OMG, are you kidding me?! Biggest mistake ever. No wonder he was so hyped up!

I am so thankful for a fur baby at home that only speaks to inform me that it's meal time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Seattle, Day 5

Today is the last full day of the meeting. I'm heading out early tomorrow for my odyssey home back to the east coast.

I'm going to have to go on a serious diet when I get home. One co-worker brought over some leftover cupcakes from the Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company, and I split a gluten-free chocolate one with a co-worker. I can't say that it was better than the ones from Georgetown Cupcake, but it was pretty good. Then for lunch, I went to Pike Place Chowder for lunch. There were so many things on the menu that I wanted to eat, but my final decision was some scallop chowder and clam strips. The chowder filled me up for lunch, and I was able to save the clam strips for dinner.

This was the first year that we've done evening (7:00-8:30 PM) sessions, and I was debating on if I was going to go to one, but I'm so glad that I did. There was a session on how to react to a Zombie Apocalypse, and 3/4 speakers put face paint on. My executive director even got in on the fun and appeared in between speakers with face paint. Alcohol being served prior to this session probably helped loosen people up too. All silliness aside, I think that preparedness is important. Public health organizations have to be ready for anything, and it's essential to conduct practice drills and also share stories and lessons learned from past experiences (i.e. anthrax in Minnesota).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seattle, Day 4

You know you've had too much to eat when you're okay with eating an apple and pear for dinner.

Food on this trip can be summarized by a few words: sugar and cream.

Like yesterday, a member recognized me what I was wearing because of what I was wearing. I sent out an email earlier that day to some committee members and said "I have not met many of you in person, so if you’re at the ___ Annual Meeting, come say hi! ___ staff can help with pointing me out (I’m wearing a pink jacket and black dress today- Monday- if that helps any)." One guy came up to me to introduce himself and said that he guessed it was me because of the black and pink.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seattle, Day 3

Today was the first official day of the meeting. The theme of this year's meeting is One World, One Health and many of the presentations that I attended today focused on how we need to know more about how animal health affects human health (think the H1N1 flu a few years ago) and how we need to think of health on a global level considering how much domestic and international travel people do these days. We don't want something like the movie Contagion to become a reality.

I got several compliments on my dress today (green dress, black belt), which was nice. It was also a way that someone identified me as I was sitting at the staff desk. This member that I didn't recognize came up to me to shake my hand. "Hi! You must be Tina." Um, yep. "I'm ___, from New Jersey. The staff at the registration desk told me that you were wearing a green dress with a black belt." Ha ha. Once she told me her name, I knew exactly who she was. Wearing color always helps! :)

I actually experienced the Seattle rain today during lunch time. I walked out to search for food, only to come back 10 steps later because it was cold and rainy and I didn't have an umbrella. I got some fish and chips with a co-worker in the hotel restaurant.

One of the highlights of my day was when the hotel had different kinds of ice cream bars available at break time.

For dinner, I went with 3 of my co-workers to a place called Sitka & Spruce. My foodie co-worker insisted on going there because the chef recently won a 2012 James Beard Award: "the Awards honor the finest chefs, restaurants, wine professionals, journalists, cookbook authors, restaurant designers, and other food professionals in the United States" (Wikipedia). The place had a rustic feel. There was pride in using local ingredients. It looked like they changed up the menu each day, depending on what was available and fresh. Because of this, the menu was on the short side, understandably. We ate some watercress salad, a selection of fish, and bread for the appetizer. For dinner, one of us had the grilled octopus and the rest of us had the chicken dish. Of course we had to have dessert, which was this custard-y pie thing with crunchies and caramel. Heavenly! I think it was a good decision to walk home.

Seattle, Part 2

On the schedule today was an all-day work meeting. I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but we got our committee charge and priorities updated for the next fiscal year and listened to some interesting presentations on social media and environmental health (2 separate presentations that were not related). For dinner, I went out with a bunch of co-workers to a place called Skillet Street Food. My co-worker had sent me the link last week, so I already did my research on what I wanted. I had my sights set on the biscuits and gravy, and it was heavenly. I also enjoyed the food that we had earlier today, especially the desserts!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seattle, Day 1

I have never cut it that close when going to the airport. They say you need to check in at least 45 minutes ahead of boarding time, and I made it just in time. I was definitely nervous about it while riding the Metro to the airport this morning. My Plan B was to a) try not to panic (read: cry) and b) find another flight to Seattle. Once I got through security, I bolted to my gate, only to find that they hadn't started the boarding process yet. My co-worker and I even had time to go to the restroom prior to getting on the plane.

We had a layover in Denver, but then after hours of flying and being in the airport, we arrived in Seattle. We met up with a member and then took the scenic route to the hotel via the light rail. After taking a little break, the member and I wandered down to Pike Place Market. It was nice to stretch our legs out for a little bit. There was so much good food everywhere- pastries, fresh fruit, fresh fish, etc. Even the flowers being sold there were beautiful. Of course, I had to take a picture of everything. This evening, I went to dinner with some co-workers. I got the scallops at Matt's in the Market. The food was a little overpriced (4 scallops for $36.00. I ate 3 and gave the last one to a co-worker). Oh well, it was good. That's all that really matters. Thank goodness for per diem!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Congrats Baby Card

I decided to take the day off from work today. The conference call that was going to be the only thing that I'd have to do was canceled. I considered today my deep breath before my upcoming work trip.

My cousin from Japan gave birth to a baby girl this past weekend, and my mom asked me to make a card to send to them overseas to say congratulations. I wasn't really feeling inspired to create a card on my own, so I referred to a sketch that I used earlier this week.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Warm Green
Stamps: Studio G, Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern
Paper: American Crafts- City Park, Chatterbox
Punches: EK Success (rubber ducky), EK Success Circle punch (1 3/8 inch), EK Success Scalloped Circle punch (2 inch)
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Other: Liquid Pearl in White Opal

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hello, Ginger

I found this picture of Ginger that I took over the weekend with my phone. She was napping upstairs and when I said hello on the other side of the railing, she decided to return the favor. And then go back to sleep.

The other picture is a card that I made tonight. I thought the Rich Razzleberry color was a good contrast to the light green found in City Park collection. When I finished the card, I had to laugh to myself because I was having trouble thinking of what I'd use this card for. Duh, shouldn't I have thought of that before I made it? I guess I could use it as a thank you card, right?

Card Specs:
Ink: Stampin' Up in Rich Razzleberry
Stamps: Stampin' Up- So Many Scallops, Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Die: Sizzix- Squares, Scalloped #2
Paper: American Crafts- City Park
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CPS #265

Interview time: No, no. I wasn't the person interviewing for the job. I was one of the people that sat on the 5-person interview panel for one of the open positions at work. Whew, I'm so glad that I wasn't in the hot seat. This individual was a strong candidate, and HR will be making her an offer. Hooray for her. :)

TV: The NCIS season finale....ahhhh! When they said that the last two minutes were going to be important, they were not kidding! I can't believe I have to wait until fall for the new season to start. Thank goodness for rerun marathons on USA.

Card: Here's my take on CPS #265. I wanted to continue using some new items. Today, it was the Pumpkin Spice chalk ink.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Pumpkin Spice
Stamps: Hero Arts- Sending Smiles Messages, Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern
Paper: American Crafts- Abode, Chatterbox
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Clay: Sculpy Clay in Just Orange and Blue Pearl
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fall-To Layout #190

Confession: I had frozen yogurt for lunch today. Don't tell my mom.

Card: Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #190. I took this opportunity to use some of the new crafty goodies that I got from last week. Let me count the ways. For this card, I used my Chestnut Roan ink pad (while it's not a new ink pad, the reinker that I used on it was new), 2 new Hero Arts wood block stamps, and 1 new Hero Arts clear stamp. The envelope pattern was used on the yellow piece for a tone-on-tone effect, but you can't really see it too well in the picture.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan. Stampin' Up in So Saffron.
Stamps: Hero Arts- Designer Wood Grain, Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern, Hero Arts- Thank You For Being My Friend
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Punch: EK Success Scalloped Circle punch (2 inch)
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker, American Crafts Delights (Party Favor), Liquid Pearl in Rouge

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Hope all the moms out there had a great Mother's Day!

Our family celebrated by me going to Crisp and Juicy to get some Peruvian chicken and having my aunt and uncle come to my parents' house to eat lunch together. Julie surprised everyone by coming home for the day (I knew on Friday that she'd be doing that, so it was funny to be inside on the joke). There was some debate on where to get dessert, but she ended up making a German chocolate cake and it was so good!

I also took some pictures of the flowers in Mom's garden.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Busy Bee Saturday

March of Dimes walk: To support one of my co-workers and her family, a group of us at work decided to fundraise for the March of Dimes and do the 3-mile walk today at Nationals Park/ Navy Yard. I had never been there before (I'm not a baseball person), so this was a good experience to share with my co-workers. The weather was super nice for walking. It started out a little cool, but then got warmer just in time for us to finish the walk. Some of my co-workers brought their babies and of course, they were super cute. This is us towards the end of the walk where we can pass home plate and see ourselves on the jumbotron.

Housewarming party: I did some errands after the walk and then came home to take a nap. After my 2 hour nap, I was off to my next event which was another co-worker's housewarming party. We bought our places last year around the same time, but while my place was in move-in condition and I didn't want to change anything, he spent the past year renovating things around the house with his girlfriend. I could only stay for a little bit because Meg and Robyn were coming over.

The Avengers with Meg and Robyn: OMG. I've seen many superhero movies, and this one was by far my FAVORITE! I had seen the movies with the individual heroes (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America...), and it was cool to see how they worked together as a team (or didn't). The special effects were already awesome in the 2D version. I can't imagine watching it in IMAX with all the flying that happens. With the Batman and Spider-Man movies coming up in July, this will be a superhero-filled summer. After the movie, we went to the nearby Mexican place, Meg got FrozenYo for dessert and we went all went back to my place to hang out. We ended up chatting and watching The Notebook which was playing on TV.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hi, Bye, Denver

I've been in Denver the last couple of days to staff a workshop, but flew back home today. Unlike my previous trip to Denver, I didn't really do any fun things this time. Notable events:
  • The guy sitting in front of me on the plane ride there put his seat WAY back. Dude, not cool. However, I will pick my battles and try my best to ignore you by sleeping the whole way.
  • Some of the workshop materials were not in the box that was mailed to the hotel. Ok, do not panic. Well, no. Set aside 10 minutes in the beginning for panicking and then figure out a way to make this work. Fortunately, I didn't have to deal with that on my own. Another coworker and I figured it out.
  • After the participants left the workshop, the staff sat down in the hotel bar to get some drinks. The waitress comes by with our drinks. I took a sip of my margarita, and then I hear "Can I see your ID?" Of course, everyone laughs. Um, sure, but aren't you kinda late? I already took a sip of it.
  • I saw prairie dogs out in the wild. Like not in a zoo.
  • Have you been to a Bass Pro Shop before? I hadn't until last night. There really isn't a need for that kind of stuff in the Maryland suburbs. Anyway, they had some cool stuff there. My favorite was the waterfall and the fish tank.
  • I went to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill last night with a friend that was in the workshop (she was staying an extra night because we couldn't find flights out that same day). The food wasn't that impressive and the lighting was really dark. My friend tried their fried Twinkies. I passed on those.

My orchid is doing really well. Mom's really jealous because hers aren't, and she's got the family green thumb.

I had a crafty order from waiting for me when I got home. I got some Colorbox chalk ink reinkers (Blackbird, Chestnut Roan), chalk ink pads (Pumpkin Spice, Dark Peony, Yellow Citrus), Some October Afternoon letter stickers, and some Hero Arts clear sentiment stamps and word block stamps.

Monday, May 7, 2012

CPS #264

I decided to work from home today since I won't be able to on Friday due to travel. Thank goodness my boss is flexible, but then again, she took a vacation today so it probably didn't matter either way where I was working today. I'm starting off the week with using a stamp that I bought yesterday, the daffodil one. Suzie's birthday is coming up, so I wanted to be prepared with a birthday card to send to her. Here's my take on CPS #264.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange- Black
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Charcoal. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Peeled Paint, Broken China. Stampin' Up in So Saffron.
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), Embossing Arts Co. (flowers)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Sizzix- Squares, Scalloped #2
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox
Other: Liquid Pearl in Buttercup, Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rubber Stamp Yard Sale Finds

Yard sale finds: I went to a yard sale after spin class this morning. The Craigslist listing said that this person would have rubber stamps and craft supplies so of course, I had to pay them a visit. She had many large rubber stamps, but most of them weren't my style. I quickly snatched up the ones that I liked the most. I can't wait to use black embossing powder and color them in with my Aqua Painter.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

CPS #263

Yard sale finds: I went to only 1 yard sale today and came out with 2 DVDs- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (each for $1). If they were any more than that, I would have moved on, but the price was right! I only need the first and last movies of the series to have a complete set! The search continues.

Card: I realized this afternoon that I hadn't tackled this week's CPS, so here's my take on it! I had some origami flowers leftover from the classes that I taught on Tuesday, so I didn't want them to go to waste.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Foliage
Other: Liquid Pearl in Rouge

Song of the day: "Rhythm Nation"- Janet Jackson.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fall-To Layout #189

Whew, it's hot: This morning started out with me finding the cable remote on the ground this morning with the back and batteries missing, followed by a few moments of panic. Fortunately, I found everything hidden under the couches. Whew.

After scarfing down breakfast, I headed to the gym for the usual Friday morning spin class. As I was walking to the post office box near the gym to drop off an Etsy order, I saw a guy walk by with a leather jacket. Like, seriously? You're kidding me, right? It's wayyy too warm for that kind of gear, but hey, whatever floats your boat, man. I might have to bust out the A/C tonight. The whole concept of "heat rises" is making my second floor like a sauna, making it difficult to sleep at night sometimes, but I've been trying to hold it off as long as I could to save money on my electrical bill.

Fun pictures from today: RJ taking up the love seat and my roses blooming in my garden outside.

Card: This is my take on Fall-To Layout #189. This card was totally easy peasy because I knew exactly what elements I wanted to use...mostly ones that I hadn't used in a while, e.g. the embossing folder and a felt embellishment and another "new" Sizzix die that I bought at a craft yard sale a few weeks ago.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Charcoal
Stamps: Studio G
Felt Embellishments: Pebbles Purple Flowers
Marker: Stampin' Up in Rich Razzleberry
Die: Sizzix- Squares, Scalloped #2
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Victoria)
Other: Liquid Pearl in White Opal

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Using My "New" Sizzix Die

May has been very good to me on at my Etsy shop.  I decided to treat myself to some new crafty supplies from (Colorbox chalk ink pads and reinkers, Hero Arts sentiment stamps, and alphabet stickers).  The money didn't even have a chance to get warm in my PayPal account, ha ha.  

I have finally got around to using my new Sizzix die- Envelope, Manila.  I cut out the envelope for this card and realized that the sides are open instead of perforated or scored.  Is that weird for an envelope?  Stuff would fall out if you wanted to keep something inside!  I don't get it.  I'll have to do a little research to see how to remedy this problem.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in French Blue, Charcoal
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox, Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Stamps: Hero Arts- Cling Classic Fabric Design (background), Stampin' Up- Elementary Elegance (sentiment)
Flower: Basic Grey Bloomers- Sweet Threads collection
Marker: Stampin' Up in Pacific Point
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly,
Die: Sizzix- Envelope, Manila

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Using the Negative

I had a piece of kraft cardstock leftover from when I die cut a flower for this card and I decided to use it for tonight's card.  I cut thin strips of patterned paper and cardstock to cover the negative space and added a fabric flower from Basic Grey.  I used the stamp off technique with the Hero Arts polka dots stamp, which means I inked up the stamp and then stamped it on a scrap piece of paper and then stamped it on the cardstock so the ink left on the stamp left a faded impression.  Then came the sentiment and buttons and the patterned paper at the bottom of the card.  The other stamped elements came at the end when I decided that the middle of the card looked very empty.

Card Specs:
Ink: Stampin' Up in Early Espresso.  Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Stamp: Hero Arts Cling Dots (polka dots), Hero Arts- Everyday Sayings, Inkadinkado- Nature
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox
Flower: Basic Grey Bloomers- Pyrus collection
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Floral Doily Motifs
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Other: We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy Fancy Floss in Root Beer

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tina the Teacher

One of the items on my 2011 New Year's Resolutions list that I wasn't able to accomplish was to teach a class in origami.  Today, I'm able to cross that off my list...even if it falls under the "better late than never" category.  My friend from graduate school Jessie invited me to teach some of the female students that she works with how to make an origami flower Mother's Day card.  The majority of the students will be presenting these cards to their mothers next Saturday.  While many of them hadn't done origami before, they picked it up quickly and I was happy to see that they channelled their own creativity and figured out on their own what the card layout should be.  I am not one to enjoy public speaking, but the nerves didn't get me this time.  I think the audience and subject matter had something to do with it.  Here are some pictures from the event (more to follow when Jessie sends me the ones that she took).

Jessie, being artsy
I hadn't been in a high school in a long time and I was a little alarmed at how many students had smart phones and how some of the students roaming the hallways were dressed.  Also, how in the world was I able to wake up so early during those years?  I guess the risk of missing the bus was enough to get my butt out of bed.  I'm thankful I'm not in that stage of life anymore, that's for sure.

When I got home, I cranked out two loaves of chocolate zucchini bread and some Etsy orders before zonking out on the couch in the middle of a Law and Order: SVU marathon.  It's going to be tough to go back to the office tomorrow, but at least it's a short work week :)