Friday, August 31, 2007

Joy, and pain. Sunshine, and rain...

Today was a little bittersweet. I finally get to announce that I was selected as an honorable mention in the Lucky 7 Contest! I'm so excited! And, I can't wait to get my hands on that $70 gift certificate. I already know EXACTLY what I am going to spend it on. Anyway, I was never good at keeping secrets, so not being able to say anything about this for a few weeks was killing me!

But, that's about the extent of my smiles for the day. Today is the last day I will spend with my husband before he has to go back to Afghanistan. Tomorrow, I will drop him off at the airport at 4:30 am. This will be our 3rd goodbye in 7 months, and I must admit, it's getting old. I am just anxious for the day that I will get to say hello again, and know that it will be for longer than 14 days.

And, a big thank you goes out to the group of guys that work with my husband who have abused the emergency leave and R&R policies so obscenely. Thank you for your irresponsibility. I sure appreciate the fact that you all have had your 14 days of R&R ON TOP of 60+ days of emergency leave. Thank you for taking advantage of the system for something that you didn't even need, and then ruining it for people like my husband who only try to apply for a 3 day extension and then get denied. I don't know how I can ever thank you for that.

A little bitter? Perhaps. But, just because I "knew what I was getting into when I married into the military" doesn't mean that I should be required to paste a smile on my face and happily send my husband back off to war. I'm tired of being told that I knew what I was getting into. Yes, I did. But, trust me, it doesn't make it hurt any less every time we have to say goodbye. Actually, we don't say "goodbye". "Goodbye" is too permanent. I prefer, "See you soon..."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lookie! Lookie!

Ooooohh...I just ordered these, and I can't wait for them to come in the mail:

Fisheye camera from Urban Outfitters.

Pop camera also from Urban Outfitters.

I really shouldn't have spent the money, but I couldn't resist. I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on these cameras and PLAY, PLAY, PLAY! Now, I just need to order my Holga, and all will be right with the world. So, anyone looking to send me some random love via the US Postal Service, you know what to get me! LOL. Just kidding. Well, sort of. ;0)

So excited for today...going to the State Fair! I love the fair, and I haven't been in years. My husband has never been to the Alaska State Fair. NEVER. EVER. He doesn't know the thrill of seeing unnaturally large vegetables, or going through all of the crafty booths. Well, I'm sure he actually couldn't care less. But, the fair food alone is worth the trip. So, my dear out! Here we go...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So very proud of myself!

Woo hoo! I finally completed my first LO for the Scrapjacked challenge. I'm fairly pleased with how it came out. Of course, whatever I envision in my head is NEVER what actually ends up on the paper. But, hey...if nothing else, this LO proves that pink isn't just for "girly" pages. And, yes, I was at it again with the Thickers! LOL. I want a package of every color, in every font, in every material! They are the greatest alphabets EVER!

I'm amazed that I got this page done so quickly...only an hour or so. I'm finally getting faster at scrapping! I used to spend a day or more on one page. And, honestly, the ones that I've done more quickly, are the ones that I like the best. Anyway, that's one more thing to check off my list of "29 Things To Do Before I Turn 30."

Me getting that LO done so quickly was even more amazing considering everything that I did today. My husband and I climbed Flattop Mountain to scatter my father-in-law's ashes. Let me just say...hiking up a mountain when one is as out of shape as I am...NOT a smart idea. I felt like my lungs were going to explode! But, we accomplished what we set out to do, and my father-in-law is now where he belongs. And, we did get to stop and take some cute pictures on the way back down the mountain. I can't wait to scrap these...

It's some good dirt...

It is so good to have my feet back on Alaskan earth. I miss it here. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I DO NOT miss the snow. But, we still have several weeks of decent weather before the miserable winter sets in. Although, I must admit...I have never gotten used to not having a white Christmas. So, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, the snow is a beautiful thing. And, I'll be out of here come January...I won't have time to really get sick of the white stuff.

But, I am so excited for the next few days before my husband has to head back to Afghanistan. We are going to the state fair, the zoo, out to dinner with some really good friends, and we're going to have an early birthday party for my hubby. I guess I need to go shopping for that in the next couple of days.

I will definitely be taking LOTS of pictures in the coming days. And, once my husband heads back overseas, I will have PLENTY of time to get creative. So, get ready for some LO's and scrappy projects! I need to get crackin' on my home-made Christmas gifts.

I had some of the YUMMIEST pizza tonight. Live in the Anchorage area? You have got to try the Frito Pie Pizza from Champion Pizza. Sounds gross? I thought so is so NOT gross! Just the thought of it makes my mouth water. I think I might just have to go dig another piece out of the fridge right now!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Poor little miss...

Please send some lovey feel-better vibes to my dear Angie. Instead of going to watch her band last night, we found out that she had been admitted to the hospital with meningitis. She hadn't been feeling well, and went to the doctor just to get some medicine to help her get through the next 2 nights of performances. Instead, she was told she had miningitis. The doctors don't know if it is viral or bacterial. We're still waiting to find out. But, just keep her in your thoughts and prayers, please. She's one of the sweetest girls you could ever meet. Here's a pic of her from our last trip to see her play:

We did have a good time last night. Good sushi. Good friends. Now, we're just getting ready to return our rental car and head out to the funeral. I think that we're all ready to go to Alaska tomorrow. I can't wait to see my friends and family back home. I'll just leave you with a group pic of my little family. It really is so nice to all be back together again. Too bad it will only last another week...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Why can't the sewing machine and I be friends??

First off, I wanted to say thank you to all of the well-wishes and condolences in regards to the recent death of my father-in. We finally made it to Spokane a couple of days ago (what a harrowing car trip with a 3 year old and a 6 month old). Anyway, the memorial service will be tomorrow evening, and we are just trying to enjoy ourselves in the meantime. Well, as much as we can enjoy ourselves under the circumstances. It has been wonderful having Bryan home from Afghanistan. I just wish with all my heart that he didn't have to go back again. I miss our family being all together, and I forgot how much fun it was to have him around. I vowed that as soon as he came home (for leave or for good) that we would be taking LOTS of pictures. I hardly have any of us together. Plus, it has given me a good excuse to start over on my 365 Days project. I had fallen off the wagon on that one ever since my father-in-law passed away. But, here's my first attempt to jump back on board...

And, yes, that's a new hair-do. I had always, always, always wanted black hair with big red chunks in it. But, I had always worked at an office job where that would have been considered "unprofessional". Sometimes I forget that now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I have the freedom to pretty much do as I please with my appearance. And, I had to remind myself again yesterday when I went to get my hair cut. I LOOOOOOOOVE it! It came out exactly the way I wanted it to! So, this style will be here to stay for a while now.

Having Bryan around, I have had some extra time to spend catching up on my magazine reading, and web surfing. While I was reading through Adorn magazine, I came across an ad for Repro Depot. This place ROCKS! They have the most beautiful fabrics and cool project books. But, alas, the sewing machine and I don't have such a wonderful relationship. But, come hell or high water, I am buying some of those project books, some fabric and gettin' my sew on! I don't care if I have to hand-sew!

Well, I am off to mail out my box of favorite things for the Red Velvet Art swap. Plus, I have a little RAK for one of my dearest friends. So, I will be popping that in the mail too. And, Bryan and I are actually going to have a date night kids allowed! We're going to have some yummy sushi and watch our loverly Angie sing her ass off! I'll take plenty of pics for you all to enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In memory...

Unlike most people's strained relationship with their in-laws, I truly loved my father-in-law. He was a very special man, and will be sorely missed. I don't think anyone can be prepared for what it feels like to lose a parent, and I can only imagine how my husband must feel. It certainly made me call all of my parents yesterday, and just let them know how much I love them. After all, nobody is guaranteed another tomorrow.

Bryan is on his way home from Afghanistan as we speak. We will be leaving for Spokane together as soon as he gets to Fayetteville. And, we should be in Alaska for the last part of his emergency leave by a week from Sunday. Take care of yourselves, and I'll be in touch soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rest in peace Richard D. Hanks

I just found out that my father-in-law passed away this morning. For those of you that don't know...he was left completely paralyzed after a motorcycle accident last summer. Apparently, he went peacefully in his sleep. As of yet, I have still been unable to notify my husband. He is deployed to Afghanistan, and hasn't called me yet today. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Obviously, I will be away from blogger land for a while. But, I will try to keep you posted with what our plans are.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Whatcha' think?

So, Leslie came over for dinner and a "painting party" last night. We got the first coat done on my dining room:

Granted, I tried a cross-procssing tutorial for Photoshop, so the colors in the photo are a little wonky. But, you get the idea. Anyway, I had intended to finish the second coat of paint today...that didn't happen. But, I did get a lot of work done around the house to prepare for our trip to Alaska. We only have a little less than 4 weeks to go! I'm getting so excited. :0)

Today was another success. I got a lot of cleaning done...a few loads of laundry too! I'm just trying to get a lot of the little loose ends tied up before we leave for the rest of the year. I made my dreaded run to the commissary (that's army-speak for grocery store for those of you who are fortunate enough not to be married to the military). That will be the last major trip before we leave. Thank God...that will help me save a lot of money.

Hopefully, I can crack open my July Poppy Ink kit tomorrow, and work on a couple of pages that I have in mind. In the meantime, I will leave you with a little goodness from my home decorating projects...

For all of you that have been asking about my bottle cap table, here's a picture:

My dad and I made this together. The whole table top is made of antique soda bottle caps set in concrete. And, the table base is made out of wood, painted black. It is probably my most favorite piece in the whole house. I'm so proud of it!

And, here's a picture of my newest little owl friend. He's perched on top of one of the shelves that I just hung in my room. The chocolate brown paint is another project that I just completed. I don't think that Bryan will even recognize this place by the time he gets back from Afghanistan!

Well, I'm going to head off to sleep for the night. I hope to have some time tomorrow to get some more crafty projects done to share with you guys. But, Hazel has a Dr.'s appointment, and we are going to Lety's for dinner. So, we'll see what kind of time we end up having! Oh, and I have a wonderful announcement. But, I can't share until the end of the month. Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I ♥ Thickers!

A layout! A layout! A layout!

I feel so productive today! I finally found some time to scrapbook this page that I've had in my mind forever. Although, for the most part, I still haven't touched my Poppy Ink kit from July, I DID use the American Crafts "Thickers" on this layout. I'm in love! I will definitely be buying more, more, more of them!

Anyway, I even started working on getting my craft room cleaned up. Not to mention, I got the dining room all taped off so that I can start painting tomorrow, and I joined the 365 days challenge! I even got my first self-portrait done. So, that's one thing to mark off my list of "29 Things to Do Before I Turn 30."

Nothing too exciting went on around here this weekend. I took the kids over to Leslie's yesterday so that I could have some "me time" to run errands. That's only the 3rd time since Luka has been born that I have managed to get out of the house without BOTH kids! It was so nice...even if all I did was go to Home Depot, Target and Michael's. While I was at Michael's, I picked up the next craft project that I am going to do with Hazel. I bought some of the Perler beads, and we are going to make coasters this week. I saw some really cute ones that a gal had made in Adorn magazine. So, I'll be sure to post some pics as soon as we get them made.

Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Heat wave!

Ugh! Enough of this heat already! It has been in the 100's this entire week. My garden needs weeded in the worst way, but there is no way I'm going out there until it cools off. Just getting the kids in and out of the car today, I broke into a major sweat. Yeah, I'm done with the heat. I did actually find some time to work in my craft room today, but still no scrapbooking. I just cleaned up, and painted some new shelves. I'll take pictures of them tomorrow after they're finished, and post them.

So, Hazel decided that she was going to color on one of my walls. Washable markers? Yeah, not so much. A few swipes with the good old Magic Eraser, and all I managed to do was completely remove the paint from my wall. Great! The spot that left is worse than what the marker looked like. So, as Leslie pointed out...that's a good excuse to give my dining room the paint job that I had been dying to do. And, I ever-so-conveniently am in possession of a 20% off coupon at Home Depot. So, I guess we know where I will be shopping this weekend. I'm thinking of a nice, bright turquoise color to match my dishes and kitchen ware. And, I just bought this lovely little painting that I think will go splendidly:

Debra Greenleaf Campbell is an amazing artist. I adore all of the bright colors that she uses. You can check out her other work at her Etsy store.

And, this sweet little pillow will soon be coming to live in my home as well. Everyone knows how much I love polka dots, and this will go perfectly in my living room!

I swear, I could waste an entire day on Etsy, and never get bored. They have some of the most AMAZING indie crafters/artists on there!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A challenge from Miss Elsie:

So, as part of Elsie Flannigan's blog party today, she asked that we either make a list or create a layout about things that we want to do before our next birthday. And they have to be realistic, attainable goals. My kids still aren't cooperating with giving mommy "scrapbook time," but I do have a few minutes to get on here and make a list. So, here goes...

29 things I want to do before I turn 30:
* Take some fun, scrappy pictures with Tina .
* Get my hollyhocks to grow in the backyard.
* Make some crafty, hand-made gifts for Christmas.
* Join the flickr 365 days challenge (you take a self-portrait every day for a year).
* Get a new hairstlye (new color, new cut).
* Go to Alaska to visit my mom.
* Do some modeling for Anya E.'s portfolio
* To actually go through Elsie's "52 Scrapbooking Challenges," and get one challenge a week completed.
* Remodel and reorganize my studio.
* Get my daughter completely potty-trained (going through the night without an accident).
* Stop eating so much fast food...maybe only once or twice a month.
* Start doing yoga again.
* Actually keep this blog updated regularly (I was always so bad about writing in my journals when I was younger. I'd start off with a bang, but then just quit doing it all together, only to start the cycle again the next year).
* Get my work out there more...maybe enter some of the dares or some of the scrapjacked challenges.
* Make more crafty things with my daughter.
* Finish decorating my paper mache letters for "HAZEL" so that I can put them up in her room.
* Work on my "me" book that my mom made for me.
* Save up for a new lens for my camera.
* Get one of the new d reeves clear acrylic albums, and actually make something out of it!
* Get my house all neat and tidy before I go to Alaska for 4 months, so that I come home to a perfectly clean home, and not have to worry about anything.
* Get my septic tank pumped (Yuck! But, for some reason, I keep forgetting to do it, and it's about that time!)
* Pay off my credit card.
* Have a garage sale, and get rid of all this baby stuff that we don't need anymore.
* Spend some quality time with all of my old friends back in Alaska.
* Get my filthy Jeep cleaned out!
* Do a few more RAK's (random acts of kindness) here and there. I'm well on my way to completing my first one.
* Get started on some entrieS for next year's Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame and SOY contests.
* Buy a new Holga camera (what the heck happened to my old one?), and take some pics with Tina.
* Pull out my Sublime Stitching patterns, and get to cracking on some embroidery projects.

Whew! That's a lot to get done in the next 5 months. It will be interesting to look back, come December 26th, and see how many of them I got done. I'll keep you posted. And, since I can't leave you without some kind of eye candy, I am totally diggin' on Kelly Taylor. Her art is fantabulous! And, this one's my favorite:

I'm totally into owls right now, and I so, so want this painting. Now, anyone know where I can get $475? Ha!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bird house BLING!

So, still no time for scrapping. Now I'm just waiting for some products that I ordered to complete a layout that I have in mind. But, the kids haven't given me much of an opportunity to get in any craft time lately. Luka started crawling and teething all at the same time. Read: lots of screaming, and me constantly having to chase him around the house.

I DID manage to order my "favorite things" for the Red Velvet Art swap that is going on. I'm so excited! This sounds like the best swap yet. The gals over at RVA randomly select a swap partner for us, and we are supposed to send them at least 3 of our favorite things. It can be scrapbook goodies, something you handmade, lip gloss...whatever you want. I had so much fun picking out my stuff today, and I hope my swap partner enjoys! I'll take some pictures of the goodies before I mail them off. If you're interested, head on over to Red Velvet Art and sign up! It should be fun.

Hazel and I had some fun craft time together today painting bird houses. Here are the results:

Can you tell which one is Hazel's? She had such a good time painting them, and insists that Daddy paint one as soon as he gets home. All I need to do is put a clear coat on them, and they're ready to take outside for the birds!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hit me with your best shot!

So, I sent my husband off to Afghanistan with a digital camera. His last deployment wasn't really documented on film because, well, he didn't have a camera until the last month he was there. I was definitely thinking this time would be different. But, then he hasn't been off post in the whole 6 months he's been there. That's a good thing...much safer. But, consequently, he wasn't able to get any pictures of the country or its people. And, the place where he works all day is top secret. So, that means he can't take any pictures of him doing his job. Apparently, all I am left with is pictures from his "room". My husband isn't the best at self-portraiture...lots of up-the-nose shots. So, I ask am I supposed to scrap this:

Or this:

And, I don't even know who this guy in the bed is:

Inevitably, there are a dozen or so shots of one of his men flipping the camera off. Apparently, they think it's funny. Little do they know, it doesn't make for good scrapbooking! So, that's it. Those are the best shots that I've got. Actually, those are the ONLY shots that I'm going to get. My husband broke his digital camera, and we're not going to buy him another one right now. So, if any of you guys have any creative ideas on how to scapbook these, hit me up! I never did get scrap-time yesterday. Luka is teething, and screaming incessantly. And Hazel is, well, Hazel. I'll try again tonight. If I don't get any layouts posted tomorrow, I will get you some yummy eye candy of my new house decorations instead!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Opening Day

Finally I have gotten my act together, and my blog up and running. Okay, I still need to make my banner. But, hey...I have two kids under the age of four. There aren't always enough hours in the day for me to get everything done that I want to. But, I plan on working on that banner thing if I can ever get my kids to take a nap this afternoon. Otherwise, I suppose it will be one LATE night for me! I haven't had a chance to scrap much lately, but I hope to change that today as well. I've been feeling so inspired lately, just haven't had the time to put adhesive to paper. I took some photos of my baby boy, Luka. This kid LOVES his feet. No, more like he's obsessed with his feet. I snapped some photos of him playing with them a couple of weeks ago, and I want to get them scrapped today. Wish me luck! Here's a peek: