Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good news abounds...

Finally! I can share the news that I have been holding in for what seems like FOREVER now. Not only did I get asked to come back to Label Tulip for another term, but Cindee and Cathy asked me to be the DT Coordinator! Eek! I'm so excited, and incredibly honored to have been asked. Be sure to tune in to Label Tulip because I have a lot of exciting plans for the next 6 months. I can't wait to get started working with this fabulous new team...

To add to that good news, my mom called me the other day to say that she thought I had made the cover of the new Handmade (formerly Paper Trends) magazine. She wasn't sure, but the mock-up cover that she saw on her renewal notice was one of my pieces. Sure enough, I got an e-mail later the next day from Tammy Morrill at Handmade saying that I had, indeed, made the cover...

Yeehaw! I haven't submitted anything to a magazine in ages, and I certainly had never had anything featured on the cover. Ever. So, I was overwhelmingly excited to have this happen. I can't wait to get my copy of the magazine, and thumb through all of the handmade goodness!

And, last, but not least, my little Halloween banner from a few posts ago was featured on the most recent newsletter from 2Peas! Take a look back at Friday's newsletter if you're interested. To be honest, I had deleted it without even reading the newsletter. I'm desperately trying to save money, and any sort of a scrap budget was the first thing to go. So, I figured if I don't look at all the new product coming out, I won't be tempted. I had to go back, and pull the newsletter from my trash just so I could take a peek. LOL!

I've been a busy little bee this weekend. So far...

*We got some of the inside and outside Halloween decorations up. I need about 5 packages of spider webs and some more orange lights for outside , and some miniature black and orange glass ball ornaments (any ideas where to find some?) for my tiny black Christmas tree inside, and I'll be about done.

*Been researching apple orchards in the area to possibly take the kids to next weekend. We've never done the whole pick-your own apple thing, and I'm just a wee bit excited. Now, if only the closest one wasn't 250 miles away.

*Listed about 13 auctions of old rubber stamps on eBay. I'm hoping to make enough $ off of them to plan a proper weekend away in the mountains hunting down that apple orchard. We shall see come Thursday.

*Working on finishing up some spooky ATC's for a swap at SIS. Must. get. them. done. I have to mail them by the 4th, but I'm aiming for the 1st.

*I'm almost done with the new blog header, and a few more gadgets for the sidebars. I'm really hoping to have it up by tomorrow night, so be sure to check back. Until then, happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nevermind the dust...


over here. We'll be back to your regularly scheduled programming (with a brand-spankin'-new look) in a couple of days. Carry on, and have a great week!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Hunting Mr. Bumbles and other fall adventures...

It certainly is starting to feel more like fall around here! It cooled off a lot this weekend and, in fact, we were finally able to play outside with the kids without breaking into a sweat. It was lovely. I'm not sure anyone enjoyed it as much as Sake, though. She's forever chasing bugs around the yard. It's usually grasshoppers or moths...the occasional trail of ants. So, we really didn't think much of it when we looked over and saw something like this...

Upon closer inspection, we realized what she was chasing was actually one of these...

Wait. Let's look a little closer...

Yup. That's a bee alright. We dubbed him "Mr. Bumbles." I'm guessing he lost his stinger, and was crawling around the ground near death. If Mr Bumbles wasn't already knocking on heaven's door, I'm sure he was probably praying for death after Sake got done swatting him, stomping on him, and even attempting to eat him. No matter how many times we tried to get her away from Mr. Bumbles or vice versa, there she was...right back at it. Finally, Bryan squished Mr. Bumbles out of his misery. I'm sure somewhere up in bumble bee heaven, Mr. Bumbles is looking down thanking Bryan for putting an end to the torture. Poor Sake, though. You should have seen her once she realized her friend was nothing more than a pile of bug guts amongst the grass. Pitiful.

Other signs of fall around the Hanks household...

* Warm mugs of apple cider in the morning. Wish there was an apple orchard nearby to make a weekend trip to.
* Bought some really cool Halloween decorations from Target.
* Lots of planning for our big Halloween party.
* A Halloween banner has reached its completion:

I even managed to sneak in some spooky fabric flowers:

You can view the whole banner all up-close and personal-like here.
* I'm elbow-deep in more Halloween crafts to share later.
* The bluebirds are back in my yard. I spied one this morning. Need to get a telephoto lens stat.

So, how is fall shaping up in your neck of the woods?

**I am WAY behind on blog reading and e-mails...again. It was crazy-busy while Bryan was at school, and after he got home we just enjoyed some quality family time. But, I'll be catching up soon. I think I'll make that my project to tackle tonight after the kids go to bed. See you then!**

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Here ya' go...

Sorry I didn't get around to posting these yesterday, but the last few weeks of running around like crazy finally caught up with me. I was totally exhausted, and went to bed really early. Now I've awakened totally refreshed, and inspired by the gloomy day outside to finish up some spooky Halloween goodies. I finally received the black silk ribbon I had been waiting for to finish up my "Spooky" banner, so I should be able to at least get that done today. Sometimes, it is so nice just to create for myself without any impending deadline or contest in mind. I certainly never mind working with my Label Tulip kits, though. So, without further ado, here are my September goodies...

Lovin' all that new Sass and Cosmo Cricket goodness! Plus, some sweet rainbowliscious goodies from Miss Lisa Garay thrown in for good measure. (Thanks Lisa!)

More Sass & CC goodies!

Our Guest Designer this month is the fabulous Emilie Ahern. This is my lift of her original design that can be viewed here under the "Designer's Lift section. These were some photos from the day after Hurricane Hanna (dubbed "The most boring day EVER," by Hazel). It certainly doesn't look like she's having any fun, does it?

Our challenge this month was to scrap something that we celebrate. This is my bestest girl, Kasie. I can't believe that we've known each other for something like 22 years. Crazy! But, I love her to bits, and I just wish that she lived closer. Although, we might get into some serious trouble if that were the case. Tee hee!

And, just a little card. I think I need to make one of those card-holder boxes to keep all of my cards in. You know...just in case of emergency. I make all of these cards with no specific intent on using them at the time. But, they certainly come in handy when you need a card on the double.
Speaking of cards, here is one that I made for the Tarisota card competition. You had to make a thank you card. That's all. This was my take. I made a flower using this tutorial. I tried using paper (some flocked paper that also came from my rainbow goodies from Lisa) instead of fabric. It is quite possible that I like the paper flowers even more! You have to be sure to crumple the paper up after you cut out the flower shape. This just makes the paper a little more pliable so that it won't rip when you are trying to wrap it around the brad. Anyway, here's the card...

Last thing to share...a LO I made for the latest challenge at Say It In Scrap. We had to scrap around the phrase "I Can't Stand" or "I Hate." This was my take. Yes, I know that the last word "you" in the journaling was left off. I didn't notice it until after it was all put together. I've since gone back and written it in by hand.

Well, that's all I have to share for right now. I'm off to get my hands dirty with some black and orange Halloween goodness. Stay tuned for an updated blog look in the next couple of days too. Now that I have all of my deadlines completed for the time being (except something top secret for the Chatterblog), I have some time to work on personal projects. By the way, does anyone knowif it is even possible to add a patterned background to these Blogspot blogs? I really want to add a wallpaper, but don't want to have to reformat the entire thing. Is that even possible? Anyone? Anyone? Me thinks it might be time to bite the bullet, and move over to Typepad for some more options...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Long time...

no blog. It has been a busy week. It's always a busy week when Bryan isn't home. I'll be glad when this class is over in a couple of days. In the meantime, I have been shuttling Hazel back and forth to numerous cheerleading practices, glued to the news on the hurricane, working on TONS of scrapbooking projects, and trying to keep my house in a relatively sane state.

I don't have much to share. Most of my work has been pretty hush-hush. But, here are some Label Tulip peeks:

There are a couple more projects that I didn't get detail shots of. But, you can check back tomorrow for the full reveal. Speaking of Label Tulip, they are having a new DT call. Interested? Check out the details here. You have until September 20th, so get those entries in!

I'm not in a blog-talkative mood this evening. So, I will just leave you with that. I'll be back tomorrow with some sneaks of other projects, and some Label Tulip in ALL of its goodness. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to survive a hurricane (or, at least, the day after...with your sanity intact)

1. Don't laugh at your friends who run to the grocery store in a panic, buying up every single supply on their hurricane preparedness checklist. Turns out, category 1 hurricanes aren't so high on the "not a big deal" list after all, and you might find yourself in need of some of the things on that list yourself.

2. Do not attempt to entertain a 4 year old with Play-Doh, puddle jumping, story reading, and fort building in an attempt to divert said child's attention from the fact that you have had no electricity for almost a whole day. (Gasp! A Saturday morning without Spongebob?!?) Your only response will be, "MOM...this is the most boring day EVER." As if all of those activities previously listed would somehow have been made all that much better with the addition of an electrical current running through your house.

3. Buy an outdoor grill with burners attached. They come in really handy when your 4 year old INSISTS on soup for lunch, but doesn't understand how exactly electricity plays into the preparation of said soup. Wish I could take credit for that one. But, I'll admit I had a real, "Well, DUH!" moment when my neighbor mentioned to me today, "Hey, don't you have a side burner on your grill? You could have cooked it on that." Well, DUH! Now, why didn't I think of that?

4. Don't leave your garbage can on the side of your house during a hurricane. Unless, of course, you want it to blow into the middle of the street, spill every where, and be pilfered through by the local strays and God only knows what other kinds of furry vermin.

5. Don't knock the vintage love. My love for all things vintage actually came in handy for something other than decorating our pad. That lovely baby-blue princess phone that the hubs so despises comes in pretty handy when all of the new-fangled cordless phones that MUST have electricity to work, well, don't work when the power is out. It's pretty nice when you're one of the only ones around with a phone that works (well, once the phone lines are fixed, that is). Ha isn't all about the looks after all!

6. Keep plenty of Nature's Miracle (or whatever you carpet cleaner brand of choice might be) on hand. As it turns out, dogs don't really like to pee outside when it is dumping sideways rain. Imagine that. My carpet doesn't really feel the love for hurricanes either.

7. Don't expect to get much sleep. If you're fortunate enough to be able to sleep through howling winds, pounding rain, thunder and lightning (truth be told, Bryan probably could)'re sure to be awakened by a crying 4 year old asking, " the hurk-aim gonna' blow our roof off?" And, how does it happen that, once I let her in bed with me, she falls fast asleep almost instantly and I spend the rest of the night dodging right hooks, and knees to the stomach from the little octopus. That's what we've dubbed her. It's like sleeping with an 8-limbed beast thrashing about under the covers.

7. If anything bigger than a category 1 rolls into I know if Ike comes this way, I'm outta' here. I hope the relatives in Tennessee have an open room for me and my kids. Oh, and plenty of electricity. ;0)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Saying goodbye...

to summer. How fast it went! We've had a busy last few days soaking up the last juicy bits of summer.

* Cleaned my house virtually spotless. Managed to keep it that way. So far.
* Survived a 4-day visit with my mother-in-law.
* Paid bills. Sadly realized current status of complete broke-ness.
* Hosted a big neighborhood BBQ on Sunday. Probably one of the last times we'll get to enjoy all of the work we've put in on our backyard this year.
* Took a trip to Raleigh. Went to Urban Outfitters. Was really good...only spent $12 on placemats. Dog ate one placemat. Went back to UO when we took B's mom to the airport. Spent $6, and picked up a couple of extra placemats this time. You know, just in case.
* Ate at The Cheesecake Factory. Love that Thai chicken pasta. Yum.
* Relented. Agreed to be "Platoon Mamma" for B's FRG. Hate that term. "Platoon Mamma." Hoping to prove the nagging voice in the back of my head wrong, and not regret taking on this responsibility AGAIN.
* Nervously watched news reports on Gustav. B was on recall for disaster relief, and would have had to deploy to Louisiana for 3 months. THANK GOD that storm out to be nowhere near as bad as expected. Hubs gets to remain here.
* Took a much-needed creative break. Hope to get back to some half-finished projects tonight with a fresh perspective. The busy holiday crafting season is about to go into full swing.
* Listed a lot of stuff on eBay in hopes of easing broke-ness status a wee bit. Need some A Muse rubber stamps? Check here.
* Attended a swimming party/BBQ at neighbor's house yesterday. Luka wasn't feelin' the pool this time, but seemed to enjoy whacking things with the pool noodles...

Hazel wanted no part of any picture taking. Nope. No way. Wasn't having it. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

I'll leave you with some LO's from early last week. My final page for my stint as Guest DT for Lotus Paperie.

BTW, check out who their amazing guest designer is for September...none other than the fabulous Martha Bonneau.

A page for the most recent challenge at Say It In Scrap: The Ugly Truth...

A LO about my grandmother, and how the ugly truth is that, all too often, we lose people that we love before we are ready to let them go.

Well, that's all for now! Happy September to everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend!