Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Ending

I can't believe 2007 is actually over, and 2008 will be arriving on our doorsteps in just a few more hours. I can't honestly say that there will be many fond memories from 2007. This past year was a difficult one, and I'm looking forward to 2008 with much anticpation! There will certainly be lots of changes and excitement around our house. God willing, Bryan will be home in a few more months; we will be adding an adorable little fur baby to our family; we will be moving to a whole new city. Lots of changes indeed!

I've enjoyed taking the last several days off on a much-needed blogging and creative break. I'm hoping that once I get home in a couple of days, and get settled back in, that my creative juices will start flowing again. I've been in a little bit of a creative slump lately. In fact, I really didn't think that I was going to get my project finished for December's challenge over at ScrapMojo. But, I squeaked it out at the last minute:

I must say, the pictures don't quite do it justice. But, in Alaska, during the 6 months of nearly complete darkness, it's hard to get great-quality photos with some good lighting. So, I've been left to use the indoor lighting available to me. You can view the album in its entirety here. It was my first time playing with the Clearly Heavy Overlays by Hambly, and I must say...I am ADDICTED! At first, I thought being able to see through the whole book would bother me. But, that turned out to be not the case at all! I really love this little book!

I just realized that I never showed pictures of Tina's Christmas present:

A couple of months back, I ordered one of Rachel's scrapbook portfolios. I loved it, and had planned on buying one for Tina's Christmas present. Then I thought, "Hey...I can make on myself!" So, I did. I'm very happy with how it came out and, surprisingly, it didn't take all that long. Well, at least not considering I hand-stitched the whole thing. Yeas, I still plan on getting over my fear of the sewing machine sometime soon. Just, not quite yet! ;0) I did add a couple of things that weren't part of my portfolio. Such as, a pocket inside to hold supplies or whatever:

I also added some velcro closures. I'm always worried that the waxed linen thread is going to break on mine. So, I figured velcro would give this one a little extra holding-power. Here's a picture of the album all closed-up and ready to wrap:

Christmas was wonderful. I can't really say as much for my birthday. But, thank you all SO MUCH for the kind birthday wishes. My faux birthday with Tina on Saturday night was 100 x's better than the actual day. Yummy sushi. Delicious Benihana food. Good drinks. A wonderfully relaxing massage. Good times with a dear friend. It made for a perfect day. All in all, it has been a happy ending to a rather unhappy year. Bring it on 2008! I'll be back tomorrow with resolutions and such. But, in the meantime, I will leave you with pictures from Christmas. Hazel got her hippopotamus that she asked Santa for. Even if it wasn't real, she still loved her Build-A-Bear version:

Coincidentally, Luka's favorite gift was also a Build-A-Bear creation from Santa:

He LOVES that thing...drags it everwhere, and just lies on the floor snuggling it. So cute! I hope that you all enjoy a safe and happy New Year's Eve. Best wishes for an awesome 2008!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today is her birthday...

1. Sugar Shock, 2. birffdays are fun!, 3. Um ano de Pano p'ra Mangas, 4. Happy Birthday addicted2love!

It's official. I'm 30. And, I have to admit, it doesn't feel so good. LOL! I really didn't think it would bother me this much...for some reason it just does. No plans for the big day, but so it goes when your birthday is the day after Christmas, and your husband is deployed. I know that if Bryan were home, he would try to make it really special. And, honestly, just having him home would have made for the best birthday. But, I'm determined to enjoy this day somehow! :0) I'll let you all know if anything unexpectedly exciting happens. Although, I tend to doubt it. Saturday will be my "real" birthday celebration...a lovely day spa massage that was my birthday gift from Tina, and dinner with Tina at Bennihana. No kids. Just one last "adult" hurrah before I head back home for 4 more months of solitary confinement in my house with my two little terrorists! Ha! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas...I know we certainly did! :0)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

About that lottery ticket...

Yeah, I'm thinking that's what I will be buying the second I get anywhere near a convenience store upon my arrival back home. Seriously. I won a freakin' Coach purse...a cute little wristlet! Merry Christmas to me! And, thanks so much Melinda! You totally made a stressed-out girl's day!

Other happiness to share in the form of a prettiful little Flickr mosaic:

1. Baby Moondancer's Winter Gear, 2. Saturday Morning Sakura, 3. Preview of My Christmas Tree, 4. Little Cake Ornaments, 5. Wintery Wonderland Belle, 6. Tiny Hot Cocoa for Tiny Squirrel, 7. Gingerbread Village, 8. Our Christmas Tree, 9. Patiently Waiting for Santa

I'm not a toy collector by any means. But, I seriously love this girl's photos of her collections. They just make me happy! So, I thought I'd share some of her Christmas snaps. Hopefully, they will bring a smile to your faces too, dear blogger friends.

And, speaking of bloggy friends, I have THE BEST! Melanie's lovely Christmas present arrived on my doorstep the other night. A handy little "Scrap Sack" in the yummiest of fabrics! I LOVE it, Mel! Thank you, thank you! I can't wait to get it home, safe and sound in my craft room. :0)

So, the pup pictures that I promised. Well, let me first say that we are on the list for a female dog. So, depending on how many girls are born in these 2 litters, will determine which momma dog our little girl comes from. Here are the 2 moms-to-be. Tiffany...

And, Abbie...

Not the best pictures of the girls, but here is daddy Diesel...

I'll post more pictures as I receive them. Boy! Scary times here the other night! So, I'm lying in bed watching the Golden Girls (don't laugh) and blog-surfing, and all of a sudden I hear that God-awful noise from the Emergency Broadcast System start blaring on the TV. "Tsunami Warning" starts being repeatedly cranked out of the speakers. Wha? I didn't feel an earthquake. And, of all the years I've lived in Alaska, I have NEVER seen anything like that come across the TV. And, believe me, I've been through my share of earthquakes. Well, I DID see it happen one time before, but some idiot at the TV station accidentally hit the "tsunami alert" button. That was a mistake. That time, there wasn't even an earthquake. But, this time, sure enough, there was a 7.5 magnitude off the coast of Alaska. All of Alaska was under a tsunami warning for about an hour. Of course, most people never even knew it because it was 12:30 am, and normal people are usually asleep at that time. But, I heard it loud and clear. My parents live high up in the mountains, but it's only a 15 minute drive to the coast. Scary stuff! Fortunately, no tsunamis were reported. Whew!

For today, I'll leave you with new favorite Etsy storefront. Block Party Press. Love them. Seriously, L.O.V.E. I could drop about $200 in their store (if I had it...hey, here's where that lotto ticket would come in handy!) Anyway, this stuff is all made out of polymer clay. I MUST have one of these woodgrain necklaces:

And, let's just pretend for a minute that ANY of my husband's semi-formal wear wardrobe consisted of something other than a military uniform. HEY...I said let's "pretend"! I would so be buying him these cuff links:

While we're pretending, let's just make-believe that I had a refrigerator that magnets actually STUCK TO! (Note to more stainless steel appliances...not my style.) If only...I would be buying these magnets. Heck, they're so cute, I think I need to find SOME sort of metal surface in my house that is magnet-worthy just for an excuse to buy these...

There's so much more...I could go on an on. But, instead, why don't you just check out their shop! :0) Happy Thursday all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's been a long time...

Geez! I feel like it has been forever since I've blogged. But, things have just been crazy-busy around here with the holidays, and getting ready to head back to North Carolina. But, I'm back with so much to share! I don't even know where to begin, so we'll just start off here:

Yep...I finished up with my Banner Project kit from Poppy Ink. The December kit (and ALL of the add-ons) were the BEST yet! I seriously depleted nearly everything from December's stuff, and I haven't even had the kits for a week yet! Of course, I added a lot of my own little extras to the banners too. Here's a close-up of the snowflakes that I used from Pageframe Designs to back the paper stars to give them more strength:

They are very thick, acrylic shapes (they also make tons of other shapes and albums). I LOVE them! They are on the pricey side, though. And, I wasn't sure what I wanted to use them for exactly when I first bought them. But, I knew those paper stars needed something behind them, or they would just get ripped up over the years. I thought these would be the perfect solution! I painted one side of the acrylic snowflake with the Clear Effects Glitter from Making Memories. And, on the other side, I went around the edges of the snowflake with silver Stickles. They're even more beautiful in person! Here's some close-ups of the rest of the banner:

This little banner was made for my friend, DeAnn. You know, the one that made me the adorable little ribbon loop tree?!? I made my own banner too, but I can't post pictures of it just yet. I had to order another package of the Bon Bon Basic Grey chipboard letters because there is only one "Y" in each package. For the life of me, I couldn't think of another Christmasy word that didn't have a "Y" in it for either of the banners, so I had to order another package. I'll post pictures of mine when I get the last letter added.

Moving on...

I started making the monthly dividers for my 7 Gypsies ATC Holder. I'm actually going to use it to start the card-a-day project. So, I got my January divider done. Again, it's even prettier, and more glittery in person! I finally got some spray freakin' ADDICTIVE!!! I want them all! But, I had originally taken a piece of the KI Pop Culture lace, and laid it over a piece of old book text. Then, I sprayed it with the turquoise ink. I was going to use the book text as the background for my card. But, when I pulled the lace cardstock away, I like the lace itself even more. It has the most beautiful sparkly sheen to it! I'm hooked!

And, since I have been promising peeks of my project for the ScrapMojo Christmas challenge, I finally broke out the camera and took some pics.

I've been so busy, I haven't had a chance to print out all of the pictures for the inside yet. And, obviously, I haven't added any embellies inside, either. But, part of the challenge was to find things around the house to paint with. I repeated the same techniques a couple of times throughout the book, but here are the 4 techniques that I used. Paper Dixie cups dipped in paint for the circles on the cover:

Bubble wrap:

KI Memories POP Culture Lace Paper:

And, some mini-foam roller thingy:

And, with that, I will go ahead and stop for today. I have more to share, but don't want to overload anyone. ;0) I'll be back tomorrow with some more eye candy. Oh, and we put a deposit down on our puppy! Yay! I'm so excited! I'll post some pictures of her parents tomorrow. She hasn't actually been born yet...due in Jan or Feb (depending on which momma dog we get her from). But, I'll be receiving newborn pics as soon as they are born, so I'll be sure to update!

Also, you'll have to wait a few more days for pics of Tina's Christmas present. We are actually going to be doing the exchange sometime this weekend...hopefully. :0) Hope everyone is ready for Christmas. It really snuck up on us this year, didn't it?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The search is on (and over)!

First of all, thanks to my lovely blogger friend Gina, my search for these...

is over! Thanks, Gina! You're the bestest! And, thanks everyone else for offering! :0)

And, the search is on for our dog. My dog. My husband refuses to own up to having such a girlie dog that, I think, really isn't so girly. LOL! We are in search of a French Bulldog, and I think I've found my breeder. So, hopefully, around the time that Bryan gets home, we will be adding a new fur baby to the family. I had a little Maltese for years before Hazel was born. He was about 11 years old when I finally had Hazel, and he never got over not being the "baby". He was getting aggressive (without being provoked) towards Hazel, and tried to bite her a couple of times. We had to give him to friends of pets, and they found him the perfect home with a little old lady. I've missed him so much. We're finally in the right place to have another dog. Trust me, it was a long consideration. Bryan has wanted a dog for MONTHS, and I kept telling him no. And, this is going to be done right. We're going to obedience school, the whole shabang! So, as soon as I find something out, I'll fill you in. :0)

And, I never remembered to post pictures of the purse that I actually got from Becky OH!. It was even better than the one I posted before. Not only is it black and white (which is what I liked so much about the other one), it's POLKA DOTS! I love polka dots, and I love this purse!!!

I still haven't taken pictures of the mini-book. I really just wanted to post about those wine bags before anyone else went looking. I'll post more pics later. And, ending on a sad note...

Blueprint magazine is folding. Boo! Another wonderful magazine bites the dust. It will be sorely missed along with Martha Stewart Kids (at least it will for me).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


1. snow kitty, 2. A Snow Heart For You :) xoxox, 3. christmas time is here, 4. Mmmmmmmm, Snowflakes!!, 5. the beginning, 6. flakes, 7. Dendrites on Ice, 8. Winter's Coming, 9. Cold, 10. Particle, 11. Happy Holi-berries!, 12. Hearts, 13. A Winter's Landmark, 14. Minimal winter, 15. A snowflake, 16. Snow Flakes 4

Both in the literal sense, and flurries of activity! We finally got some snow up here. We had all this beautiful snow so early on in the season. Then it got really warm and windy for a few weeks, and the snow all melted. So, it's actually beginning to look a lot like Christmas now. We were worried that we wouldn't have a white Christmas for the first time in the 14 years that my mom has lived up here. Here's hoping to the temperatures staying cold enough until Dec 25th! Oh, and I don't know why that one square in the mosaic is blank. I tried fixing it several times to no avail. So we'll just pretend that it's a photo of a complete white-out of snow. ;0)

I've been busy wrapping lots of packages.

And, since Tina and I have decided to do our gift exchange on Saturday, I have been busting my butt to finish making her present. At first, I wasn't going to finish making it, and just save it for her birthday. I was getting burnt out on the gift-making. Plus, I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. But, I'm so glad that I decided to finish it because I LOVE IT! It's going to be hard to give it away, but I know that it will be going to a good home. I'll be sure to take pictures to post after we exchange on Saturday.

Oh, and my LO from the previous post made the Catwalk over on SIStv! I'm so excited, and honored! Yay me! Plus, my girl Melonie got in the Catwalk this week too! Yay Melonie! That's about all for today. To all my friends in the midwest...stay safe and warm indoors, away from those ice storms! I'll be back tomorrow with some sneak peeks on the mini-book I'm working on for the ScrapMojo. I've still got a ways to go on it, but it's lookin' fun so far! I'm still stalking the mailman for my Poppy Ink kit so I can really get it goin'!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hello mojo!

Ahhhhhh...finally! I got my scrap mojo back! I got one page done last night, and started on a new mini-book for the latest ScrapMojo challenge. First, here's the LO:

It's so much prettier, and sparklier in person, but this is as good as it gets for internet photos. The best part is all of the glitter! Man, I am IN LOVE with the Martha Stewart glitters! Especially the White Gold color:

It is mostly silver, with a very fine mix of gold. So perfectly vintage. So prettiful!

Now about that mini-book... I don't have any photos to share...YET. But, I am so happy with the way it is turning out. I finally got ahold of some of the Clearly Heavy Overlays from Hambly, and I'm using them for the mini-book. I have to wait for my kit from Poppy Ink before I can put the finishing touches on the book. It has been a while since I have participated in any challenges, but this one was so much fun, I couldn't resist!

In other news, I have received all of my ornaments from the Red Velvet Art ornament swap. These are my absolute favorite, FAVORITE!

Sushi ornaments?!? Get out! Too freakin' cool! Here are some of the other lovelies that I got:

Our friend, DeAnn, came over for a visit this weekend. And, with her, she brought this lovely gift for me...

*sigh* So cute! Definitely my fave scrappy gift in a long time! You can't really tell, but it even has little strips of ribbon that have skulls with holly on them. Too cool! I added the lime green raffia flower to the top. DeAnn couldn't find something that she liked as a "topper," but I knew that flower would be perfect! I had been saving it for a while from a Poppy Ink kit...never quite sure what I was going to do with it. But, it appears to have found a happy little home. :0)

Oh, and Luka can walk! He's not completely off and running yet, but he'll take a couple of steps without holding on to anything. It's all fine with me if he doesn't walk until after we get home in a couple of weeks. I certainly don't need 2 of them that feel like they need to get up and move around on the airplane. *wink*

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

P.S. I know I've been bad about keeping up with everyone's blogs lately. But, I'll be playing catch-up tonight after the little ones are fast asleep. I haven't forgotten about all of my dear bloggy friends...the holidays are just busy, busy, busy!

***And, a plea...any of my bloggy friends (maybe you, K?) that happen to be in a Target and spot the knit wine bags featured in this photo:

Please, please, please pick me up a couple?!? I will be more than happy to pay you for the cost of the bags plus shipping, and a little extra compensation for the trouble. I found a DIY project that I really want to make with them. I've tried to find them online to no avail. And, by the time I get back to the civilized world where they actually have Targets, I'm sure these will be long gone. TIA!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

20 of 20

Sad. Only 20 days left of my twentys. Blah. I'm so not looking forward to turning 30. And, at least if I HAVE to turn 30, I wish that Bryan was here to celebrate with me. Unfortunately, I probably won't be doing much of anything on my birthday. Maybe that's good though...I can roll quietly into my 30's, and just try to pretend it isn't happening. LOL!

I am finally finished with all of my gifts that need to be mailed out. Yay! My last trip to the post office will be tomorrow. I finished up these sparkly pretties...

I filled the acorns up with yummy chocolates, and the pinecones with some pretty old-fashioned hard Christmas candies. They wil be on their way tomorrow to a couple of lucky ladies.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on filling up my Christmas idea book. It felt so good to finally purge all those stacks of magazines that I have been saving. I clipped what I wanted, pasted it into my book, and deposited the remnants of the mags in the trash. Ahhhhh...! Such a good feeling to actually get something accomplished! I even bit the bullet and finally submitted to a couple of design teams. We'll see how that works out. It's been a while since I've done one.

Well, I'm off to stalk Poppy Ink for the limited number of Silverbella kits that are supposed to be going up for sale in a few minutes. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas...

Have you ever heard that song? It's old. But, it's definitely worth a download from iTunes. Gayla Peevey sings it. Anyway, Hazel heard it for the first time a couple of weeks ago on the all-Christmas radio station. It was love at first listen. Unfortunately, for her audience, she only bothered to learn one line. Now, she walks around all day singing, "I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS!" at the top of her lungs. Imagine my surprise when I took her to see Santa today, and she jumps right up on his lap and says, "Santa, I want a hippopotamus for Christmas." To which Santa bewilderingly replied, "Well, we'll have to see what we can do about THAT." I don't think he'd ever heard the song. But, I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. And, this year, finally, we got pictures of her on Santa's lap without tears streaming down her beet-red face.

Luka was more interested in petting Santa's beard. It was so cute! The pictures that I actually ordered enlargements of, have him looking at Santa with fascination, and running his hands through his beard. But, the quick print that they gave me to take home today was cute as well:

My mom took the kids shopping while I ran into Build-A-Bear Workshop, and had the kids' annual teddy bears made. It's a tradition in our house. Every year, Santa brings them a special bear dressed up in something appropriate for whatever they are into, or something important for that year. I was going to dress them up in army gear, but the B-A-Bear in Alaska only has army uniforms with black berets. Bryan would die if I gave them something with a black beret. He's Airborne, and they wear maroon berets. Apparently, Airborne guys make fun of the guys that wear the black berets (mostly people with office jobs). Whatever. So, I decided to dress them in the limited edition Christmas outfits for this year. And, Bryan recorded messages for both of the kids on voice recorders that were placed inside of the bears. Very special. I'll have to post pictures of them when I get the bears all dressed up.

Speaking of pictures...I am now the proud owner of this amazing vintage photo (or I will be after the guy I won it from on eBay pops it in the mail):

Not the greatest picture of the photo, but you get the idea. It's so neat with the Santa and reindeer. I'm going to use it to make a collage hanging. I subscribed to Teresa McFayden's 12 Days of Comfort and Joy blog. Normally, I would never pay to read a blog when there are so many FREE ideas available on the internet. But, this was SO worth it. It's like a little gift just for me on my computer everday! You can still pay to subscribe. Just go here to sign up. I promise, it's worth it. Anyway, one of her projects was a beautiful Christmas collage that is the inspiration behind the project I plan on completing with the gorgeous photo above.

Well, I am going to try to squeeze in a nap while my kids are taking one. Happy Hump Day everyone!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Colder than a...

Well, I'll spare you the inappropriate analogies. But, it's freakin' cold! I don't do 14 degrees. And, after being away from Alaska for the last couple of winters, I still don't miss the frigid temperatures. Don't mind the snow...HATE the below freezing temperatures. All the more reason to anticipate going home in a few more weeks. I finally bought my tickets...YAY! I'll be heading back home Jan 4th...on a plane...with 2 little ones. Ugh. Wish me luck. I suppose if it gets unbearable, I can rent a car on my lay-over in Salt Lake City and drive the rest of the way home. Hazel was less than an angel on a couple of the plane rides that I've taken her on. But, this one leaves at 1 am, so I'm praying that both of them will sleep the whole way.

Don't expect much crafty eye candy from me in the next couple of weeks. I've been boxing up all of my craft supplies the last couple of days, and mailing them home. I did have an extra suitcase to pack them all in. But, after careful consideration, I decided that paying to ship them was the safer option. At least if they get lost in the mail, or damaged, I insured them. There's nothing to do if someone steals from my suitcase, or my luggage gets lost. Trust me...I've learned the hard way. After having my jewelry bag stolen not once, but twice, out of my luggage, I'm very careful about what goes onboard a plane with me.

But, I did keep some supplies out that I am positive to use. So, I may have a couple of pages to share in the coming days. But, when I get's going to be a craft explosion! I have so many great ideas that I want to get working on! I would start now, but some of them involve wood and some shadow boxes, and I'm not paying to ship something that heavy back home. So, just be patient. I'll have something to share sooner or later.

In the meantime, I am anxiously anticipating these:

These were the two TOTALLY popular add-ons for the December Poppy Ink kit...Sugar Plum and the Banner Project Kit. I feel so priveledged to have gotten my hands on these yummies. They sold out in a hot-... ahem minute! I can't wait to play, play, play. I think I'll be making the banner this month. It'll be a crafty project that will keep me busy for the rest of my stay here. And, then, I will have it all ready to hang for next year!

And, since I will be lacking in projects in the upcoming days, I don't want you to have to read through all my blather without something pretty to look at. So, we'll do a little window-shopping again. I thought of Michelle when I got an e-mail the other day from Z Gallerie featuring all of their skully gifts items for Christmas. This was one of my absolute favorite stores when we lived in Dallas. A little on the expensive side, but there was always something interesting to be found. And, these skull-themed items were not to disappoint!

A skull and bones version of Jenga?!? Seriously...<3!

A skull husband would appreciate this!

And, this fancy little skully serving platter:

There are several oter skull-themed items that are way cool. So, if you have someone on your list that loves skulls (or you just want to treat yourself), head on over to Z Gallerie. They're all reasonably priced...especially for Z Gallerie! Happy shopping!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The first day of the last month...

of the whole year! Happy December everyone!

My creation

1. Red Cardinal in the Snow, 2. *Untitled* [Santa Claus Time], 3. Untitled, 4. Very happy Christmas Eve!, 5. Untitled, 6. Sujet Non Epineux, 7. so this is christmas..., 8. The Holly w/o the Ivy, 9. wish, 10. tinsel tree, 11. Belly & Tree, 12. Red, 13. Untitled, 14. my favorite time of the year, 15. The Trio - Pug Christmas Portrait, 16. Merry Christmas!, 17. candy tree, 18. Tomtar, 19. Merry Christmas..., 20. A Nightmare Before Christmas, 21. You Can't Catch Me......, 22. Christmas Colors, 23. Untitled, 24. trimming the tree.

December? All ready? I can't freakin' believe it. Where in the world has this whole year gone? This time last year, I was 7 months pregnant and ready to just have that darn baby! Now, I have a little boy that is nearly a year old. Amazing. Thankfully, this year has gone by quickly, and this delpoyment is almost over. I really appreciate all of your messages on my last post. Thank you all very much, and please don't pity me. That wasn't my intention. I just find the whole process of blogging to be incredibly cathartic at times. And, after I wrote that last blog, I felt better. Much better.

We have been busily getting last minute things put together to get the last of our packages in the mail on Monday. Then, I can finally concentrate on finishing Tina's Christmas present, and the calendar that I am making for my mother. I hate feeling so rushed around the holidays. For once, I would like to just sit back, and enjoy. Every year, I vow to finish things up earlier. And, every year, I wind up with a million little last minute things that keep me busy until Christmas Eve. Oh, well...there's always next year.