Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rain, rain go away!

So, this is what I woke up to this morning:



Maybe rain isn't so bad. Considering that in a couple of weeks, it will all turn to snow. It's already getting uncomfortably chilly up here in the big AK. I finally broke down and bought some warm boots yesterday. Think black Uggs with a slightly lower price tag. But, they were half off, and only $40.00. I needed some warm shoes in the worst way. All I have is slip on tennis shoes and sandals. Not too smart on the packing for Alaska, huh? I don't know how I forgot all my Chucks and Fluevogs. I think they got lost in the madness of trying to frantically pack to get to my father-in-law's funeral.

I had so much fun shopping yesterday. I am almost completely finished with Christmas shopping. I had to get out while I had the money, and before all of the crazy PFD shoppers are out next week. In case you don't know...PFD=Permanent Fund Dividend. In short, residents of Alaska get paid every year for just living here. And, this year, the checks are almost $1700 per person. Inevitably, once the checks go out, every store in town is packed with people just looking to blow all their windfall. And, the stores are inevitably completely picked over. So, Bryan's bonus came at the perfect time. Now, I don't have to go out and combat shop with all of the craziness.

I got some really cool stuffs for my nieces and nephew. Yes, I am THAT aunt. These kids are at the age that they can get the really COOL toys. Picture chemistry sets and messy art projects. But, my sister-in-law needn't worry...I tried to stay away from the messy stuff. I'd tell you what I got, but V reads this ocassionally, and I don't want to spoil Christmas for her.

I'm so proud. All I bought for myself was that pair of boots, and I set aside money for First Friday, sushi with Tina and a haircut. The rest of it was spent on Christmas, and stuffed in an account for my new car. Well, I did buy one thing for myself, but it was only $5:



Ever since I heard of it, I wanted to learn the Japanese craft of amigurumi. And, I thought I'd try my hand at these patterns. If I can actually do them, they will make some cute swap gifts! I'll keep you posted with my progress!

Well, Bryan takes his entrance exam for flight school tomorrow morning. Please send good vibes his way to pass. I'm insanely nervous for him. I'll be glad when the test is over, and we know if he got accepted to helicopter pilot school or not.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bits 'n Pieces

Well, I haven't managed to finish one whole project this week except this LO:



But, I did manage to get started on lots of other projects. I started a little house chipboard album. Since we bought our home, it has definitely been a work in progress. It felt so sterile at first. But, gradually, I have been making our house more of a home. So, this album is going to be a before and after display for each room in our house. I'm just waiting on my October kit from Poppy Ink to finish the front of the album. It is supposed to have lots of the new Jack & Abby line from Love, Elsie in it. So, I am going to add a little door and some windows to the front of it. And, of course, start working on the insides. But, here's what I have so far:



I recently purchased one of the calendar kits from Elle's Studio. I had been looking for a bright patterned paper line that would go well with it, and I finally decided on the new Ally's Wonderland collection from SEI. I'm making this calendar for my mom for Christmas:



I still have quite a ways to go on that project. And, I even started a very adventurous sewing project as another Christmas gift. I've gotten parts of it done so far, but now I am just waiting on more fabric. But, just check out the yummy stuff that I have already been working with:



Other than that, it has been a pretty blah week. Cold and rainy. But, perfect weather to stay inside and get crafty. And, Bryan's reelistment bonus just got deposited in our bank account today. It's an amazing feeling to look in our bank account, and see such an obscene amount of money. Too bad it has already been spent on a new car. But, at least I can look at all those wonderful numbers until it is actually time to buy the car! :0)

Monday, September 24, 2007

A splash of color...

What a rainy, gloomy day. So, here's a little bit of color to liven things up!

Sept 24

1. r u bored of eyeshots?, 2. flow! flower! #06, 3. pumpkin love, 4. Shake!, 5. valentines cupcake, 6. And everything nice, 7. birthdaycupcakes, 8. Valentines, 9. apples, 10. Easter, 11. Love my Coke in a glass bottle, 12. Whirly Pop Love, 13. the road home, 14. Abracadabra., 15. Blue Glitter, 16. Disco Duck, 17. Sugar Rush, 18. photographer, 19. redviolet, 20. HOPE - Kolkata

I don't feel like I got a single thing accomplished today. It's just been one of those lazy days. I played around with some Christmas gifts that I am making, and watched Black Snake Moan. Good movie...not what I expected at all. And, I found out that I won a copy of Find Your Groove from Memory Makers magazine. I'm so stoked! I NEVER win anything. And, I'm all about some free idea books! Yay! I can't wait to check it out.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Shopping Spree!

Wheeeeee! I finally got my $70 gift certificate from my Honorable Mention in scrapbook.com's Lucky 7 contest. But, wouldn't you know it...they were sold out of nearly EVERYTHING that I wanted! They were out of all the Love, Elsie stuff that I wanted (the airplane album and some alpha stickers). And, the one thing that I wanted most: the Sassafra Lass Oliver and Friends clear stamps were gone, gone, gone. :0( Even the Hambly stuff that I wanted was sold out, and I actually resisted going to the Hambly shop and placing my own order over there. It's too close to Christmas, and I shouldn't be spending anymore money on myself. Especially since, this morning, I bought these:



Rachel from over at Red Velvet Art made them for me. I can't wait to get them home, and situate them in their new home on my couch! Thanks, Rachel...you're such a sweetie!

I've got some fun plans for the weekend. Maybe a trip to a paint-your-pot place with Tina. And, possibly a trip to the zoo with the kiddos (if the weather holds out). Anyone else have any great weekend plans?

New Stuffs

Well, I've really been in a creative mood lately. I've gotten several pages done, but I really need to start working on Christmas cards and gifts. Nonetheless, here's my latest jack:



I pulled out my paints and inks, and got messy on this one. I even played around with liquid acrylics. I bought these a couple of years ago, and then never touched them until now. Boy, was I missing out!!! These things ROCK! They are blingy, pearlescent acrylic paints that are liquified to about the consistency of water. They add a little bit of sheer shine. But, I used my paint brush to splatter them all over the background paper. It matched perfectly with the Hambly graph paper. I will definitely be playing with these a lot more. And, I think that I might need some more colors! LOL. Hmmmm...

Then, I had challenged myself to make a LO using a magazine page design as my jumping-off point. I adore Blueprint magazine. It is so inspiring! And, I love the way that their pages are designed:



And, here's my take on it:



Well, I have big creative plans for the rest of the week. But, I don't know that I will be able to post a lot of the work here. Most of the projects will be Christmas presents. And, it wouldn't be any fun if you all knew what you were getting beforehand, now would it?

Tina came over tonight for some scrap time. I love having her around, and being so close again. She's like the sister I never had, and she is such a creative, inspirational soul. I am already getting sad about going back to North Carolina and leaving her behind. But, I do have 3 1/2 more months...we'll make the best of it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The best *MAIL* day ever!

I got such great luvs in the mailbox today. And, since the army has now blocked blogger off their computers (weird, huh?), and Bryan can't read this blog anymore, I will go ahead and share this:



This is a fabulous find for one of Bryan's Christmas presents. Of course, we'll have to print a photo of it, and wrap up the photo. There's no way this would ever make it to/from Afghanistan in one piece. Anyway, the story goes...

Bryan is constantly asking me if he can learn to hunt. Now, I don't really like the whole idea of hunting...especially not when all people want out of it is some head to hang on their walls. And, unfortunately, this seems to be EXACTLY what Bryan wants. First of all, those things are creepy. I don't need some once adorable living creature staring back at me from my living room walls with its dead eyes. I find it pointless to kill an animal simply for the purpose of decoration. And, anyway, that isn't my idea of decor. So, no, Bryan, there will be no dead animal heads hanging in my house. Sorry.

But, then, a couple of weeks ago, I was shopping for Lumplings. While I was there, I decided to read through Amy Rue's blog. Someone had gotten her husband one of these stuffed heads for his birthday. They are from Cherry Box Studios. When I saw them, I knew they would be the perfect compromise on the "head argument". And, it should give him a good chuckle at Christmas...otherwise, not the happiest time of the year to be deployed. And, the head is even cuter in person, and I think that I might just need to pick up the Bling Pony for myself. So my style!

And, here's the best part (I love it when people send freebies when you order something from them). She sent me a set of REALLY COOL postcards with some of her Waifer Dollie designs on them. Check these two out:



"AmpuTina" and "AlcoHolly"! For anyone that doesn't know...Tina is my best friend. Ha ha ha...I couldn't believe it when I saw these. She makes dollies and purses with the same characters too! I'm going to have to figure out something really special to do with these postcards!

I also got my Poppy Ink kit in the mail.



I can't wait to crack that sucker open after the kids go to bed tonight. I should have lots of new scraps to share soon!

Sunny Sunday

It was so beautiful outside today (chilly, but beautiful). At first, it was a little too chilly for me. I had planned on going outside to take some photos for my 365 Days project. But, I decided to stay inside and take some natural light shots near the windows. I got 4 that I really liked:


Day 25

Later in the afternoon, after it had warmed up, I took the kids outside to play. Hazel had a great time letting Nana blow bubbles so that she could run around and pop them.



And, Luka had a great time just crawling around in the grass. Actually, he spent most of the time trying to eat it! But, he tries to eat EVERYTHING. I really tried to get a great shot of him because the light was so beautiful. But, he was just so all over the place. This is the best one that I got:



Well, I am off to watch The Two Coreys...such a guilty pleasure...and print out a stack of photos to scrap on this week. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Savvy n Sassy



So, there's my LO for the September Savvy n Sassy guest DT spot contest. There's some hidden journaling on that library card to the left, but I'll spare you the posts of all the other shots that show the journaling. If you're interested, you can check it out here.

Not much planned for the weekend. It's a rainy looking Saturday outside...a great day to stay inside and craft. I just got some beautiful fabric that I ordered from Purl Soho. So, I might try to start making the Christmas gift that it was intended for. Wish me luck (because I suck with the sewing machine, and I'm going to hand-stitch). Anybody else have any exciting weekends plans?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Validation

Well, I finally put my insomnia to good use, and got 2 LO's done last night...





Lately, I have really been needing some validation in my life. I miss having a job sometimes. When I was working for Child Support Services, I actually felt like I had accomplished something at the end of every day. I worked hard, and I was good at what I did. Don't get me wrong...I'm very thankful that I have the opportunity to stay at home with my kids. But, being the Orajel-dispenser and poopy-diaper-changer to a cranky, teething 7 month old; and the potty-time Nazi to a 3 year old...that gets a little bit old sometimes. And, I know...it is an accomplishment to raise 2 healthy, happy kids. I just don't feel like I have any success to call my own...something that is just mine.

I think I grasp for something like that because, by and large, my personal life spins spectacularly out of my control. I am married to the army, and the army controls everything. The army says where I will be living next year. The army says when, where and how long my husband will be gone away from home for. The army dictates even the most minute details of my life...a lot of things indirectly. The army makes it so that I constantly have to explain to a 3 year old that just doesn't understand why Daddy isn't home. And, the army makes it so that every time I get asked (and it is OFTEN), "When is Daddy coming home?" I honestly have no answer.

I can't really complain...there are 10's of thousands of other army wives that do the same thing I do every day...some with A LOT more kids than I...and many with A LOT more issues. Sometimes I just feel like my whole life revolves around the needs of 2 kids. I don't get much time for myself, and I don't have anything that really excites me anymore. Anyway, I'll draw this pity party to a close, and just look forward to my night. Sushi with Louie and Jessica. I can't wait! I've spent all day dreaming about yummy sushi!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Big Congratulations!!!

I wasn't going to blog today, but now I absolutely HAVE to. My bestest girl, Tina, is the Grandjacker for the Darejack 2007 contest! Yay Tina! I'm so proud of her. Visit her blog and leave her some love! Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Window Shopping...

Okay, so, Christmas is right around the corner. Hard to believe, isn't it? Anyway, that means it's time to stop spending money on myself (not that THAT happens often, anyway), and on my house. All the extra money will be going to Christmas gifts. And, of course, the bills that I am still trying to get paid off before Bryan comes home so that we can buy a new car. Any way you look at it...no fun money for me. But, here's what I would be buying if I were to, say, win the lottery. Tee hee! Some eye candy for you all to enjoy...



I love this quilt. I always wanted to learn how to quilt, but I suck with the sewing machine. So, I have to covet the stitches of others. And, it's really hard to find people that quilt a style that I like. This gal fits the bill, though. I have one of her pillows, but $750 for that quilt up there...ain't happenin' with my pocket book.



Love aprons. Love owls. My Friend Emily made this one.



Again with the owls. This would go perfect on my bedroom door. You can check out more hand-painted wall hangings from this artist here



I so want to learn the Japanese craft of amigurumi. Yeah. Just what I need...another crafty hobby. And, this one would require lots and lots of space-hogging yarn. But, how can anyone resist these sushi patterns? I LOVE it! There are tons of other adorable patterns available too!



And, last, but not least...gotta' have some hedgie love! I love hedgehogs almost as much as owls these days. This wristlet can be found here.

Wait, wait! OMG! I HAVE to have these rain boots. I ♥ them so!



There are TONS of other cute styles that can be found here.

So, tell me...what is everyone else drooling over lately???

Friday, September 7, 2007

Out Sick (part deux)

Still. not. feeling. good. But, I do feel a little better than yesterday. The funny thing about having 2 kids under 3, and a husband that is deployed...there isn't time to be sick. I would like nothing more than to lie in bed, read books, and sleep all day. But, that wasn't in the cards. Not even close. I have a 3 year old that needs constant entertainment, and a 7 month old that needs, well, EVERYTHING. At least the kids are feeling better today. And, although there was no scrapping to be done, I did partake in some craftyness...

A couple of days ago, on Latharia's blog, she posted a photo scavenger hunt contest. I'm too late for the contest...I had forgotten about it. But, I thought it was such a fun idea, and a great creative exercise, that I decided to participate anyway. We had to take a picture of the area underneath a sink; a mythical creature; a shovel; a business card; an elbow; a flower; something sharp; a candle; something funny; and something that is half-eaten. Here are my takes:



The only one that needs some explaining is the "something funny" picture. Luka has this thing about smashing his face into the side of his play pen, opening his mouth, and licking the mesh sides. He thinks it is hilarious. And, it IS funny to watch. It just doesn't translate that well into still photography.

I also spent a lot of time today playing with Perler beads. Originally, I had bought them as a craft project for Hazel. Turns out, she wasn't that interested. I think the beads are just a little too small with her to work with, and get them to stay on the plastic forms. But, that's okay 'cuz Mommy thinks they're great. I don't know why I had once dismissed them as cheesy. I recently saw an article in Adorn about using Perler beads to make coasters. What a great idea! I've been having a blast making them for stocking stuffers for Christmas. And, the rainbow colored hearts...those are going onto some flat, blank belt buckles that I have. Don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em...kids crafts can sometimes be more fun for the adults!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

'Nuf said...



I seriously thought I was going to have to go to the hospital this morning. I was feeding Luka and, all of a sudden, I got this horrible pain. It felt like a labor contraction that just wouldn't stop. I tried everything...Tylenol, a hot bath...I spent the better part of a half-hour doubled over on the bathroom floor. The pain gradually stopped. And, then...THE STOMACH FLU SET IN. Luka gave it to me, and now, Hazel has also contracted it. Fun, fun, fun. Where is Bryan when I need his help the most...?

I did manage to finish that crappy LO. And, I had so much fun making crafty "sick girls" projects with Hazel. I'll have to take pictures of them tomorrow and post them. Until then...the postman delivered some love in the form of my Amazon.com order. So, I have some great crafty books to flip through before bed. Hopefully at least some of us will feel better tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

*FUNKDAFIED*

Wow. I have been in such the bad mood since Bryan left to go back to Afghanistan. Well, not really a bad mood, but just not wanting to be around people. Anyone. And, yes, I know that I owe several of you e-mails. I promise I am on that like white on rice. At least I have been keeping up with my 365 days project. That's about the only productive thing that I have done in the past few days. Here's my self-portrait from today:




Yup, yup...I got my fisheye and pop cameras that I ordered from Urban Outfitters. They came in the mail this afternoon, along with a little gifty for Kasie (sorry girl, you'll have to wait 'til Christmas). But, I can't wait to load up some film in those cameras and snap, snap, snap away tomorrow. Maybe that will break me out of my creative funk. I tried my little heart out to get the Darejacks done today. But, alas, the creativity gods were not on my side. I was totally stuck on my first LO. I just couldn't come up with a solution that worked well for me. I will still complete the LO, but probably won't post it. Unless, of course, something miraculous happens when I am finishing up tomorrow, and I actually like it. I seriously doubt it, though. The image that I had in my head was just ABSOLUTELY not what was ending up on the page. At this point, I am ready to tear the LO up into itty bitty pieces (just to relieve my own tensions)!

Sometimes I think that I am way too hard on myself creatively. Why do I do that? Hmmm...well, I suppose I am my own worst critic. But, aren't we all? Well, I'm so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open. So, it's off to bed for me. I have such a major gripe, but I suppose I can address that later on. Buenos noches, my friends. Until next time...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Oooohhh..."prizeys"! (And a swap)

To spite dropping Bryan off at the airport bright and early this am, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I got my package from my lovely swap partner, Jill, in the mail today! It couldn't have picked a better day to arrive on my door step. I LOVE everything I got, and I so adore Jill for sending it to me! As my friend, Maree, always said when she received a gift, "Oooooh...prizeys!" Here's a lookie:



In fact, I had SO MUCH FUN with the Red Velvet Art "favorite things" swap, that I decided to do a little swapjack of my own. I thought the "favorite things" theme would translate so nicely into a rendition of the Secret Santa swaps. It will be very similar to the Red Velvet swap with a little Chritmasy twist! So, if you enjoyed the Red Velvet swap and want to do it again, or if you missed out on it, go register for my swap over at Scrapbook.com. And, if you're new to their website, you'll have to create your own "My Place" (don't worry...it doesn't take long). If you are new to the website, please register using this link, so that I can receive my "referral points". Pretty please? It should be tons of fun. So, what are you waiting for...SIGN UP ALREADY!

And, I have a movie recommendation for all of you. Have you seen Pan's Labyrinth? I loved it so. The cinematography is AMAZING, and it had a great story line. I watched it for the second time last night with my husband. He had never seen it before, and really enjoyed it too! However, if you don't like watching movies with subtitles, steer clear. It IS a foreign film. And, it's a bit gory, so wait until the kiddos go to bed. If you're thinking of the 80's movie Labyrinth a la' David Bowie (which I also love)...think again.

I'll leave you with a cute little picture that I took of Luka this morning. He is growing up way too fast...already pullng himself up to stand at the table, and he's only 7 months old. But, he's so stinkin' cute!

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 Scrapbook.com 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..."