Wednesday, May 28, 2008

inspiration from all sources

So, you've probably noticed by now that the June kits have posted at Studio Calico. If you haven't gotten one yet, what are you waiting for? They're filled with goodness from October Afternoon, KI, and American Crafts, so I know you will love it....I did!

Along with the June kit release, the gallery also posts and I've been waiting patiently to share this LO:

The journaling reads:
I feel so blessed to be where I am right now. I am happy, healthy and glad to be living this life of mine. Sometimes Greg and I will look at each other and say, "Can you believe we are so blessed?" We have our health, we have each other, but most importantly, we have our faith in God. We are so fortunate to be His children.

The design inspiration came directly from something I've been looking at a lot lately: my quilt pattern by Denyse Schmidt! Even the colors are similar....well, kind of.

But, my point is, don't be limited to where you look for inspiration. It's all around and sometimes it's staring you straight in the face!

And, on a side note, it's our 7th wedding anniversary today. My how the years have passed! I'm in Lexington for business, but I think Greg might come up to visit. It would be our first time being apart on our special day, and I think he's at least a tiny bit sentimental....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

and then there were 2

I'm definitely making progress on my quilt. 2 rings complete, 10 to go.

People say they don't have time to do a project like this and I was one of those "people" at one point in time, but I'm getting rather efficient at it. I cut all my pieces for my rings and then put them in a ziploc bag and carry them with me. I really only work on it when I'm riding in the car (not driving, of course) and when I'm watching TV. All in all, each ring takes about 5 hours to piece, but I think I'm getting better at it and may be able to improve my time.

For Memorial Day, we went to Natalee's house for a cookout. It was rainy, so we didn't get to spend much time outside, but we did have fun! Before dinner, we played with the kids...

And, here's Carter (his mom, Cara, helps us pack kits as well). This is his worried look after Greg started singing him a Beatles song....
And, here's the full-out agony after Greg got to the chorus.Natalee's dog Cooper who made us throw his Kong all night. That's his favorite toy and he seriously could chase after it till he falls over.
And, me with the 2 munchkins....not bad considering they only sat still for 9 seconds.

Lorie cooked BBQ chicken and then after we ate, we played Settlers. If you haven't played and like games, I highly recommend it. It requires strategy, but not a huge amount, so it's fine to play if you have kids distracting you. But, I will say, don't play with Cara's husband, Jonathan, because he wins every time and it takes the fun out of the game :) Just kidding!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

one last sneak

It's a holiday weekend, but I can already tell it's going to pass quickly. Yesterday was spent at the office and today, Greg and I have already been car-shopping and to the mall. Right now, he's mowing and I just finished going through my scraproom, trying to sort and price items for a yard sale next weekend.

Meanwhile, this is all the dog did today:
Right now, the dogs love to just sit on the patio and monitor the chipmunk activity. They literally do this for hours upon end.

Tomorrow, we're heading to Lafayette, TN, where our friend Cody is going to preach in place of my dad. (My grandmother is in the hospital in Texas and he's gone to be with her.) After going and coming from there, the day will be shot, I'm sure. Then, on Monday, we'll head up to Louisville for some more car-shopping and then we'll go to Lorie's for a cookout in the evening.

I'm getting tired just thinking of it all.

Anyway, I want to leave you with one more tiny sneak of the Berry Picking add-on that will debut on Tuesday night at midnight at Studio Calico.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

enjoying the process

Today, I did 2 things that you can see in this photo:

Yes, I voted. I was mainly voting for the local elections, particularly for mayor. One of the candidates had been on the city commission last year and worked to lower the occupational tax. That's probably the #1 thing a local government can do to help small businesses, so I wanted to support him in his run for mayor of Bowling Green.

The second thing in the picture, is a glimpse at my new haircut. It's nothing drastic, but I was so close to having bangs cut today...but then chickened out. My 10 year high school reunion is next month and so now's not the time to be trying out a new 'do.

I bet you're wondering what's inside this box:
This is the box I take on the road with me when I'm traveling throughout the week so I can work on my quilt. Let me tell you, I'm making progress.

I'm a very results-oriented person in my day-to-day life. I am impatient and tend to only focus on the activities that lend results. For instance, in my sales job, if paperwork gets in the way of sales for my reps, I'm likely to remove that obstacle for them by doing it myself, so that they can focus on working in the field to the maximum.

So, by hand-sewing this quilt, I'm having to re-train my mind to enjoy the process, rather than the result. (which, I'm sure I will like the result, but there's no reason I can't enjoy the process of sewing the thing!) Anyway, this is a real struggle for me, but I'm working on it.

One ring complete, 11 to go.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I promised them yesterday, but we had to go to a wedding in Nashville for Greg's cousin. It was actually the perfect weather for an outside wedding and the whole thing was gorgeous. My mom even snagged a few of the flower arrangements for a baby shower she is hosting on Monday. How's that for a score?

Anyway, here's some more sneaks. All items here are in the main kit and I must tell you I've made more LOs from only the main kit so far this month than with any other kit. Enjoy!

Friday, May 16, 2008

to New Orleans and back

My goal in New Orleans was to get some good fish and biegnets and I'm happy to report I accomplished both.

The first day I was there, I took Vanessa, a work friend of mine from Ohio, to Cafe du Monde. She had never been to New Orleans and it's a must for a first-timer. It's situated so perfectly on Jackson Square in the French Quarter and I just don't think you could feel the same about the trip if you hadn't visited Cafe du Monde. It's one of those places that Rachael Ray would definitely put on her $40/day show. 3 biegnets cost $1.82, so it's really only a drink that would set you back.

I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality. Someone had messed with my settings and I didn't realize it until too late.

I really think eating beignets is one of the least graceful things you can do. I wore navy blue pants and regretted it even before I took the first bite. There was powdered sugar everywhere!

The first night we were there, we had a very late dinner at Bayona's. It was such a nice little setting with fantastic cuisine. I ate the scallops with risotto and it was seriously the best I've ever had. Then, for dessert, I had a strawberry/chocolate torte.

The second night, we ate at Olivier's. It was so incredibly suffocatingly hot in the restaurant, but the food was great, so I was okay with it. I ordered the crab/salmon cakes and they were served with carrots and potatoes. The carrots were so sweet and the crab cakes were the best I've every had. Then, for dessert, one of my friends and I split two. I ordered the bread pudding and she, the cheesecake with praline topping (pronounced PRAH-leen, if you live in Lousiana). Again, the dessert was fantastic!

I can't say enough about dining experiences in New Orleans. They really know how to do restaurants. The meals are so well-prepared, the service is impeccable, and you don't feel rushed. It's nothing for a meal to last 2-3 hours and hey, you're in the BIG EASY, so you don't care.

My plane was delayed getting home tonight and I really wanted to post some more sneak photos, but the sun was gone by the time I pulled into my driveway. So, at least that gives me something else to show you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Last night was sneak night at Studio Calico, and boy do we have a jam-packed awesome kit for June. It's entitled APPLE ORCHARD but you don't have to be an apple-lover to take a bite out of this kit! Trust me, I'm not a fruit-eater....don't shoot me, but I'd rather have veggies.

This contains items that are all found in the main kit:

This contains items from the BERRY PICKING add-on, plus a stamp from the main:

I really think this kit will sell fast, so if you want to ensure you get one, you can get a sub today beginning with May's kit. I promise you won't be disappointed. I'm still working with NEWSSTAND even though I have APPLE ORCHARD on my desk. It's one amazing kit that is so versatile, it coordinates with this month's kit too. Plus, if you purchase it today, you don't have to wait for it to arrive. It will ship within 24 hours of the receipt of your order! Enough selling....

Several of you asked who I gave my gears card to. I decided to give that one to my mom (she loved it BTW) and the one in the sneak above to Greg's mom. As soon as my mom saw the one with the apples, she really liked it (probably more than her own). But, hey, we always want what we can't have, so I told her, "Deal with it!" Jokingly, of course.

I'm heading to New Orleans tomorrow for a short work trip, but I'm so excited because the food there is beyond fabulous. I'll be dreaming of fresh fish and beignets tonight!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

getting started

If you've been to Studio Calico lately, you might have noticed I changed my avatar to this photo. I'm so super-proud of Greg for taking it. We were getting ready to leave to go to a reception the first night we were in Cabo and I had donned my favorite Banana Republic earrings (I wear them all the time) and noticed a nice yellow wall on our balcony. Photo Op!!!! He put up with about 15 minutes of taking my picture and I was happy with the way this one turned out, so it'll be my avatar for a while.

You'll be happy to know, I finally braved the quilt that I've vowed to work on. I did step 1:

1. Launder and Press the fabric

That was the one step I'm very familiar with and confident I could complete. I am planning a trip to the fabric store today to buy the supplies I need for the rest of the steps. Who knew you actually needed a thimble for something? Well, I think I need it, and since I have NONE lying around the house, I think it's a necessary purchase for this project. Also, another necessary purchase (probably more so than the thimble) is a seam ripper. I have a feeling I might need 2!

For Davinie's challenge on the Studio Calico Blog, I made a Mother's Day card. I'm not sure if this one will go to my mom or Greg's. I made 2 cards, but one is with the June kit, so I can't even show you a sneak of it (ooooooooooooh, I really want to, though). I like both of them equally in different ways, so I have to think of which one each mom would like best. But, please tell me which mom you think this one should go to:

To begin, I used Cosmo Cricket's blackboard gears. I've loved these ever since I saw them at CHA, so they immediately went into one of the add-on kits, but I didn't have a chance to use them until now. Using Mod Podge, I glued them to the pages of a vintage children's storybook. The images here show some pink on the pages, but on the reverse side, the pages are black and white onlly.

Next, I used Basic Grey's filers to make pretty edges. (I filed the whole set with Jett sitting in my lap....such a crazy lap dog he is.)

Then, I used some chalk inks to give the gears some color. They can go on thick at first, so use less pressing and more rubbing to give a nice thin coat.

No chipboard is complete without some glossy accents, so I added that, then went downstairs to iron my fabric while it dried.

After the glossy accents dried, I adhered it to my cardstock base (cut to fit a regular invitation size envelope, approximately 5.5x8.5" then folded in half) using tacky glue. That's probably not the best adhesive for this portion of the project, but who cares? It was handy and it worked! Be sure to adhere the gears with parts of them hanging over the edge of the card.
After that glue dried, I trimmed the edges off the gears, added the "mom" with Making Memories new alphabet stickers, plus a rhinestone from KaiserCraft. (The MM alphabet is included in May's kit at Studio Calico and is still available, if you wish to purchase it)
Then, I added this you think it's too corny?

Anyway, don't forget to tell me which mom I should give this one to!

Friday, May 9, 2008

the last of Cabo + some inspo

The last full day we were in Cabo, I was so happy our excursion didn't leave at 8:30am like the others had. We enjoyed breakfast on the beach and had a chance to walk and take pictures before riding out into the desert in one of these at 10:00. If you recognize the truck, I sat in the exact spot Ben Stiller sat in some recent movie (can't remember the name of it). I guess that's as close as I'll get to a brush with fame!

Polo, our tour guide, took us out into the desert and told us about all the plants and whatnot in the area. According to him, those flowers at the top of this cactus are edible and they're very sweet.

Also, he showed us the most popular Mexican plant, it's even represented on their national flag. Would you believe this cactus is edible? It is! And, I had some for lunch. If you didn't know it was cactus, you would have just thought it was some type of slaw, and surprisingly, it was delicious!
This is our guide, Polo. He's a grandfather at 37, and is CRAZY!!!! He used to work in a tequila factory, which explains a lot.
We got back to the hotel around 4:00 and then had to get ready for the awards presentation. All in all, it was a nice trip, but Greg and I have never been to the same place twice, so we probably won't be going back there (at least for a long time). But, if you like dry climates and ocean views, I highly recommend it.

Now that I've been home for a bit, I've had a chance to get back into the scrapping mode. Here's one LO I made after being inspired by Celeste. Just a fun way to play with type and all the extra letters I had lying around.

Then, I still had plenty of left-overs from Studio Calico's May kit, and I had an idea on how I wanted to use the Hambly. Let me know what you think:

I cut all the photos and patterned paper to the same size of the ATC cards on the Hambly. I then pieced them together using only staples. The trick is to start from the inside and work your way out so that the edges end up being even.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cabo continued

We did so many things in such a short time, I tell ya! This is Day 2 of our trip. We began the day on a boat ride out to the famous arch. I could tell it would be a good trip when I saw this in the marina!!! Can you believe how close the sea lion came to shore...unbelieveable!

Anyway, we went out a little farther and saw some Mexican chickens.....also known as pelicans :)

Then, even farther, we saw a ton more sea lions. They were everywhere! Some were more playful, but the older ones just laid there and could care less that a boat-load of tourists were taking their picture.

This is a view off the end of the boat of Lover's beach. It's a small patch of sand that is only accessible by boat. I guess you could rappel down to it off the cliffs, but that's much less romantic than a boat ride!
And, finally, we made it to the incredible!!!! I didn't realize that this is the southernmost tip of the Baja peninsula and divides the sea of Cortez from the Pacific Ocean. You wouldn't believe how much colder, windier, and choppy the water is on the Pacific side. Just a few feet make a huge difference!
Later that day, we went to a glass blowing factory, which was one of the highlights of the trip! I was the type of kid that loved the segment on Reading Rainbow where they showed how straws were manufactured, so this was top notch!

The glass here was not made from sand, it was made purely from recycled bottles (probably tequila bottles, if you ask me!). They would peel the labels off, break the bottles, then put the glass in an oven that heated up to 1200 that's hot! Then, the guy would stick this metal pole in and start blowing, and rolling, and pressing, and over and over again. Do you notice anything peculiar in this photo? He's not wearing gloves! ouch!
For our demonstration, he made a glass sea turtle and it was so cute! They had to set the block of wood on fire underneath it, because if the glass cooled too fast it would crack.
Can you tell I enjoyed that part of my trip? So neat!

This was a really hectic day, because this excursion was supposed to end at 2:00, then we had spa appointments at 3:00. So, much to my dismay, this happened on the way back to our hotel:

Time to panic! A belt had snapped and we were stranded, waiting on another bus to arrive.

This is the occasion where the 2nd best 100 pesos were spent. Greg quickly got us a taxi and we hightailed it back to the hotel.

I'm happy to report that we (barely) made it on time to our spa appointments, but they were well worth the extra pesos to help us arrive on time. I had some type of body massage and exfoliant, plus a facial....which by the way, my hair was entirely covered in grease after that experience. And, Greg had the Shiatzu massage. I don't know what it is, but something about pressure points and wrapping him up in a cocoon. That's about all I understood from his description of the event.

All in all, we had a jam-packed, but awesome day 2!