Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today was day 1 of CHA-Summer (the Craft and Hobby Association Summer Show) in Orlando, Florida, and the only thing better than spending a day in a convention hall filled with scrapbooking manufacturers and their products, is spending a day in a convention hall filled with scrapbooking manufacturers and their products with two teenage boys!

My son, Spencer, and Carolyn's son, Jason, have accompanied us to the show this year and they have brought a completely different perspective to what would be our usual trip to the summer show! Their fun personalities and ideas have been interesting to say the least and they joined in with great enthusiasm (at least to start out with!).

They both willingly sported their free teddy bears from the Sizzix booth --

schmoozed with the manufacturers --

and tolerated a trade show lunch!

After a couple of hours, when boredom totally settled in, Spencer managed to keep a smile on his face -

but poor Jason fell asleep while waiting for us to finish our order at My Minds Eye!

Eventually our hearts went out to them and we sent the two of them off in a cab to Sea World for the rest of the afternoon!

Based on the stories they had to tell when we picked them up later in the day, I would venture to say they had a little more fun at Sea World than at the trade show! The question now is - will we be able to convince them to join us tomorrow? Only time will tell!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Use It! Challenge #20

This week's challenge at Use It! was really good in that it had one requirement that took some thought.

We were supposed to use a stamp (no problem), a die-cut or embellishment (easy) and use an unusual item (wall paper, gift wrap, image from an old card, mesh bag from kitchen, bubble wrap used as a stamp, magazine image, etc.) (hmmm...)

I walked around my house looking for inspiration and I found some clothing tags that I had been saving (possibly for a scrapbook page for my son?). Then the idea hit me!

Here is my card -

I created a little shopping bag using a brown bag from our store and some jute from my stash for the handle.. I also used some paper from MME, Cooredinations and WorldWin, a CTMH Coffee Stain stamp, a button, and clothing tags from American Eagle, McCarthy uniforms, and Life is Good!

This was really fun! Why not give it a try?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Let's Play Cards

I was at work tonight as we had a Pizza Crop at the store, and my dear friend, Karan, decided to join in the crop and keep me company. She also thought it would be fun if I had a chance to sit down and make up a few cards with her! She just received a package from Papertrey Ink that included 4 new stamp sets and she wanted to share them with me as a little birthday gift! So the two of us sat down (when I could) and we created a couple of really fun cards.

Aren't these the cutest? I think I will be giving the second card to Wayne for his birthday, which is on Sunday. But, shhhh, don't tell him!

For these cards we used Papertrey's new On My Couch stamp set. This is just a sample of the stamps and sentiments in this set. I will definitely have to order some for myself!

Thank you Karan for your thoughtfulness. It was such a fun evening for me. You are a wonderful friend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Birthday Surprise!

Yesterday was my birthday. I am not one of those people that like to draw attention to the fact that I am celebrating a birthday, but I have to admit that I am very touched when someone remembers that it is my special day.

So my day started with my dh waking me out of a sound sleep to say, "So how does it feel to be -- years old?" I just groaned and said, "Huh? Umm... not so good!"

Then my sister Mary called to sing - yes, SING! - Happy Birthday to me! She has a bit of a cold and had to stop and start over a couple of times because she was laughing and messing up, but she sang the whole song to me! That was really sweet of her and we both laughed because it was reminicent of our paternal grandmother who would actually call each and every family member on their birthday each year to sing "Happy Birthday" to them (and we have a huge extended family!).

Then my Mom called (and she rarely ever makes long distance calls!), my brother David called from the Jersey shore where he is staying with his family for the week, my sister Dianne sent an e-card and called, a couple of friends remembered and of course, my two sons wished me a happy birthday. I had a quiet contentment as I experienced these little birthday blessings and thanked God for a wonderful day.

As Carolyn is out of town, I was scheduled to be at the store last night for a sold-out class that Karan was teaching. I know my family felt bad that I had to work on my birthday, but we planned on celebrating at a later date and all was well.

Then, about an hour into our class, I was very surprised to look up to see my husband and two sons, who had quietly come in the back door. They were standing there with a birthday cake with lit candles on it and got the entire room to sing Happy Birthday to me! I was soooo surprised and touched that I actually started to cry! It was so sweet of them to do that and it was wonderful to share a little birthday celebration with my scrapbook friends - Karan, Kelly, Samantha, Veronica, Lynn, Tami, Pam, Cheryl, Heather, Gretchen, Lori, Jenn, Barb, Pam and Janice!

Thank you to Wayne, Tyler and Spencer! It is the three of you that make every day a celebration for me! All my love to each of you...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sketch Girl

I found a brand new blog that posts sketch challenges for cards! Sketch Girl posts challenges bi-weekly (because a week goes by too fast!) and anyone can play along.

For their first ever sketch challenge, I created this card:

I used papers and chipboard from Basic Grey's new Lemonade line, BoBunny dot cardstock, Liquid Pearls on the ladybugs, Stickles on the tree (a little hard to tell in the photo) and I did some machine stitching. I had alot of fun making this card!

Why don't you check out the Sketch Girl blog and play along? I would love to see what you create!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Cool Dude

I have been able to finish up a couple of layouts that I have been wanting to do. The first one I started about a month ago (yikes!) when Karan posted a sketch on the TSF Forum for an impromptu on-line crop. I thought the sketch was awesome and I knew which photo I wanted to use, it just took me a bit longer than I thought to finish it!

This is the sketch (published with permission)

and this is my layout:

This has always been one of my favorite photos of my dh and I am glad that I was finally able to use it on a page! I used papers from the Andrea Victoria line by My Minds Eye, chipboard title and stars from Scrap FX, Maya Road Mist, a Prima gemstone swirl, rub-ons from Kaiser Craft and mini alpha's from Rose Moka.

I also did another layout based on a challenge posted for this month's on-line crop at TSF. This photo was posted as inspiration for a layout.

I loved the colors as soon as I saw it and I thought they would be perfect for a layout using a photo from our recent trip to Myrtle Beach.

I used some new papers from Basic Grey's Lemonade line, BoBunny Dot paper, a Jenni Bowlin journal card, chipboard hearts from Riff Raff, mini alpha's from Rose Moka and flowers from Prima. I love the layout and the photo makes me smile because I remember what I was whispering to him (and I will never tell!).

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yummy Summer Trifle

I made a delicious trifle for our Summer Beach Bash Crop at TSF recently and everyone loved it! It is a cool, delicious dessert that makes the perfect ending to a meal.

I promised to share the recipe and I am finally getting around to posting it. It is actually a variation of a recipe I got from Carolyn many years ago. I hope you give it a try - it is truly yummy!

Summer Trifle

2 pkgs. each (85 g or 3 oz.) orange, strawberry and lime Jell-O Powder
2 cups cold milk
2 pkgs. (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 large tub Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 frozen pound cake, thawed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cans (10 oz/284 ml) Mandarin Orange Segments, drained

Dissolve orange jelly powder in 2 cups boiling water. Stir in 1 cup cold water. Pour into 9 x 13 inch pan. Chill for 3 hours. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Repeat using the strawberry and Lime Jell-O.

Pour milk into large bowl; add pudding mixes. Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes; let stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping.

In a large trifle or glass bowl, layer the lime Jell-O cubes, 1/3 cake cubes, 1/3 orange segments, and 1/2 the pudding. Repeat with orange Jell-O cubes and then with strawberry. Your last layer will end with the orange segments. Top with remaining Cool Whip.

Chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve. Garnish as desired.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Use It Challenge #19 and Pile It On!

I had a bit of time yesterday, so I decided to work on this week's Use It Challenge.

The challenge for us was to use scrap papers in monochromatic colors, add a tag or label, use one of our favorite stamps and add a layered flower.

This is what I created...

I decided to make the tag my actual card and then I created a little pocket card to hold it! For products I used some Basic Grey papers, a Basic Grey stamp, Ranger Distress Ink, a Bazzill flower, Kaiser Craft pearls and ribbon, button and floss from my stash.

The color I chose to work with, orange, also worked for the Pile It On Challenge for this week, so I am posting my card to that site as well!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You Reckon?

I don’t know if we were just so glad to be out of the car after traveling for two days or if we were totally excited to be heading to our room overlooking the ocean, but when we got to Virginia Beach on our recent trip, we had a very funny incident.

We were staying at the Virginia Beach Resort which was right on the Chesapeake Bay. We pulled up, checked in at the reception desk, got our room keys and were told we could park in the parking garage and take the elevators from there up to our floor. So we parked our car and opened the trunk and stared at the multitude of items that we had packed. We weren't sure where to begin, but Wayne, eager, as we all were, to get settled into our room, suggested that we try to take everything up in one trip. I just sort of looked at him and thought… ok – we can try…

Now you have to realize that I alone had not only my suitcase and toiletry bag, but also my purse, book bag, camera bag and lap top. We also had two more suitcases, a shoe bag, a beach bag, Spencer’s electronics bag (with, IPod, game boy and games, various head phones and a couple of movies), two pillows, a couple of blankets, beach towels, a beach umbrella, a soft-sided cooler and a couple of bags of food. No problem (lol)!

We actually did very well, clearing out all but a couple of small things from our car, and headed towards the elevator. We barely made it there but managed to get to the door only to realize that we needed our electronic key card to get into the small lobby off the parking lot, which involved putting down half of what I was carrying to get it out of my purse. This was done with a bit of difficulty, but before long we were jamming ourselves and all our belongings into the elevator. We hit the 4th floor button and before we knew it the door opened to our floor. After a bit of a struggle to once again pick up all our bags, one by one we squeezed/fell out of the elevator which then allowed the family that was patiently waiting, to get on the elevator.

Whew! We were almost there! We didn’t see any signs that pointed us in the direction of our room, so we turned left and started walking. All that was there was the restaurant and some meeting rooms. Obviously we went the wrong way. So we turned around and went down the hall in the other direction. We found the pool and the fitness center but still could not find our rooms. At this time I didn’t think my arms could take the weight of my bags much longer, so when I saw a hotel employee I walked over and asked where room 424 was. She looked at me with a very odd look, raised one eyebrow and said, “Uh – on the 4th floor!”

OH MY GOSH – we had exited the elevator on the 1st floor – not the fourth!! We were so embarrassed and so tired and realized how we must have looked, so we quickly went back to the elevator and pushed the up button! Once again we had to jam ourselves back into the elevator and just as the door closed we all broke out in a fit of laughter that was totally uncontrollable! Between the first and fourth floor, we laughed so hard that we could barely breathe! I had tears running down my cheeks (as did Spencer) and when the elevator finally opened on the fourth floor I had no energy left to pick up the 20 bags I was carrying! But, wouldn’t you know it, a family was waiting to get on, so we had to somehow pick up all our stuff and once again exit the elevator. Spencer and I were hysterically laughing the entire time (Wayne was able to regain some composure at this point) and I am sure that poor family was wondering what the heck was wrong with us! We laughed all the way to our room and when we finally go into our room we just dropped all our stuff and continued laughing!

We have laughed about that day every day since. Seriously, we looked like we were in a Chevy Chase movie! Maybe you would have had to have been there to totally appreciate the humor in this story, but all I can think of is that famous saying: You can dress them up, but you can’t take them out!

Have a blessed day!

Use It! Challenge #18

I have to say that I did miss scrapbooking when we were gone on our vacation, so it was nice to come back and play along with this week's Use It! challenge.

This time we were supposed to:
  • Add some texture
  • Use at least two punches
  • Use paper from your favorite manufacturer
  • *Bonus* - add some pearls for your finishing touch

I used paper from MME (one of my many favorite manufacturers), a circle punch and border punch, felt flowers that I cut from a Queen & Co. felt strip and pearls from Kaiser Craft. I also added a couple of stamps from CTMH and some black twine from my stash.

It felt so good to pull out my supplies and get creative! Why don't you give it a try?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Photo Shoot

We returned home late last night from an absolutely wonderful 12-day trip to Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach. It is going to be very hard to get back into the routine of a work-day instead of sleeping in, playing in the sand and surf and not having any particular commitments!

While we were in Myrtle Beach, I decided to do a little photo shoot with Spencer one evening just as the sun was starting to go down. He was a bit hesitant because there were people around, but I convinced him that it didn't matter - we would never see these people again (the same thing I told myself as I was chasing my umbrella down the beach!). We ended up having a ton of fun, laughing between the shots and finding some interesting places to take the pictures.

Here is just a sample of some of the pictures we ended up with.

Such great memories...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beach Nerd

Yep - that's me! I am a self-proclaimed beach nerd!

You might not realize it at first when you see me - I have pretty pink polish on my toes, a cute new bathing suit, a sweet little beach tote and my towel even matches my umbrella. But if you happen to be sitting near me on the beach, you would soon realize it is all a facade for a true beach nerd!

We are down in Myrtle Beach for a much needed family vacation and a couple of days ago, my dh volunteered to take our son shopping for a couple of hours while I spent some time alone on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean - soaking up the sun, enjoying a new book, listening to the waves, looking for the perfect sea shell, etc. I was really excited for this rare opportunity so I took great care to find the perfect spot on the beach. Once I was sure I found it, I set up my chair and umbrella and started to get settled when the very young and very tanned lifeguard walked over to me and informed me that I couldn't put up my umbrella in front of the city umbrellas. I had to stay behind them. I smiled at him (and thanked him for educating me on the rules of the beach) and nonchalantly packed up my large supply of beach items and moved behind the row of blue umbrellas.

Once again I found a good spot and settled in for a great time on the beach. I set up my chair, put my towel in place and did my best to put my umbrella as deep into the sand as I could. Everything was looking good, so I sat down and started to take my book out of my bag. Just then a small gust of wind came by and off went my umbrella - flying down the beach! I jumped up and ran after it, but each time I got close enough to almost grab it, off it would go again! Finally, I got within reach and I stepped on it so it wouldn't go any further. I picked it up and carried it back to my spot, noticing how many people were watching me! I just smiled and pretended I wasn't embarrassed and when I got back to my spot, I pushed it even farther into the sand and said a prayer that I wouldn't have to chase it again!

I sat down on my chair, caught my breath and decided I should put on the sun block I brought. The back of my legs burned a bit the day before when we were walking down the beach, so I wanted to protect them from any further burning. At the same time, I wanted to let the front of my legs tan a bit to catch up. So I just put lotion on the back of my legs and pulled out the new novel I brought with me. It seemed like I was finally able to sit and relax for a while, which I did and it was truly wonderful.

It wasn't until about an hour or so later that I noticed that my legs were tanning, but my knees weren't! I then realized that I must have put the sunblock on my knees by accident and I now had white knees and red legs! (Can you say nerd?) That's right, I have been walking around with white knees ever since!

So, as much as I enjoyed my alone time on the beach, I am not in a hurry to do it again. I think I need to have someone with me who can protect me from embarrassing myself - or at least share my embarrassment with me! Anyone up for a day at the beach?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chocolate Avenue!

I can't think of a better place to visit if you are a chocoholic like me than Hershey, Pennsylvania! I finally had the opportunity to stop by this wonderful little town on the way to our vacation destination this past week and all I can say is that I wanted to move there!

I actually stood on the corner of Chocolate Avenue and Cocoa Avenue and I could feel my heart pumping faster than normal.

Check out the lamp posts! They are shaped like Hershey's Kisses!

When we made it to Hershey's Chocolate World my friends were there waiting to greet me! I felt like it was a homecoming!

We did the tour that showed how all our favorite confections are made and did just a bit of shopping in the gift shop!

It was certainly a great start to our vacation. I have been trying to eat my purchases slowly - just a little each day - but it is taking a lot of self control! Hmmm, we may have to stop back there on our way home...

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