Friday, April 30, 2010

NSD Challenge - Negative-town

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Vintagefest, an event hosted by Jenni Bowlin Studios. Not only was it a blast hanging out with Jenni and learning from her classes, but I had the chance to crop with some good friends.

I'm not a cropper by nature. Actually this was only my 3rd crop ever to attend, but I had seen the ladies bring their huge cricuts so I thought my Slice would be a nice addition to our groups' supplies.

For this layout, I positioned my Slice in the upper right corner of the charcoal cardstock, which is the base of my layout. On the Slice, there is an "x" located at the spot the blade will begin cutting, so it's easy to see where the cut will take place for the entire die cut. I also used my hands-free device, which was heavenly. If you don't have this, trust me, it will make your life complete.

After cutting, I ended up with a hole the shape of a "3" in the upper left corner. From there, I trimmed photos and other cardstock in rectangles to fill the remaining spaces. I even used my new favorite punch for the green border, some JBS crate paper that Lorie won at the crop, and mostly the Anthology collection.

Last, I used the donut chain border punch to punch strips of the woodgrain paper. I laid the strips in rows on top of the same paper and adhered it to the back of the "3" so the texture would show through.

Speaking of adhering.....the American Crafts This to That Adhesive Runner special is still going on and it's the perfect time to try it out. Buy the cartridge, get the matching refill free. (please only add the cartridge to your cart, we'll add the refill for you....promise!)

So, my challenge to you is this.....come to negative-town with me.

Use the negative space created from your die-cut machine, from packaging, from whatever your brain thinks up. Just use the negative image instead of the positive. Look at your supplies differently and you might be surprised with the results.

Feel free to combine my challenge with any other challenge listed on the SC blog. To be eligible to win a $10 gift card from me, your link MUST be posted as a link to my post here. You will need to upload your layout to the Studio Calico member gallery, copy the link, come back here and leave it in a comment to THIS POST. Contest closes at midnight EST tonight and the winner will be posted when I wake up tomorrow morning.

Have fun! Can't wait to see what you make!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

NSD Challenge - Negative-town

Yep, I'm going to negative-town and want you to come with me.

I want you to use the negative image of anything you have in your stash or anything you punch, die-cut or whatever your mind thinks up. Put that negative image on a layout or other project and link it here for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Studio Calico.

Just to get your wheels turning, here's an example of what I did (I'll show you the whole layout on Saturday, May 1st). With my Slice die-cut machine, I cut a "3" to the size of 3.5". Instead of using the "3" that popped out, I used the 12x12 piece of my charcoal cardstock and put some punches and other patterned paper behind it. Then, I safely tucked away the charcoal "3" for use later.

Don't forget, this isn't the only challenge going on. Lots of the other DT girls are posting challenges on their blogs and we'll have lots of fun at Studio Calico for National Scrapbooking Day on Saturday, so please plan to join us!

A couple items to note:
  • You can get a head start on my challenge now, but DON'T link to this post. I'll start a new post on Saturday morning with my complete layout for you to link on. Also, you'll want to post your layout in the SC gallery in order to be eligible to win.
  • Feel free to combine my challenge with any of the other gals to increase your chances of winning. I'll post my winner on Sunday, so you'll only have Saturday to link up.

even more layouts for Granny's Cupboard

In all, I finished 6 layouts for this kit, the most ever in the past few months. The nausea of early pregnancy plus lack of time to scrap contributed to motivation in past months, but most of all, this kit just fell together for me. It's just in bits and pieces now.

On this layout plus my layout for my NSD challenge, I used the bubbles border punch. That's my new favorite border for several reasons, but most of all because I can use the little punched circles as bonus accents on my layouts. I also used the Slice to cut my title. Anyway, it's a special layout because it's not about what you would think...I'll leave it at that :)

This layout was made using the main kit plus brads from the Linens & Lace add-on. I also used two punches: Classic Butterfly and Modern Garland Border (new this month and will post after 12:00pm EST on the 27th). I was thrilled when Lorie asked me to take some photos of Natalee for her third birthday. I found myself in awe of how much she had changed physically, but mostly mentally. She's so much more adventurous now and I love it!

Now, I saved the best till last because this is my favorite layout I made this month. On my recent trip to St. Louis to visit friend plus teach at CKC, I was given the recommendation from one of the students to go to the City Museum. I'll tell more about this later, but let's suffice it to say, I was not dressed for the occasion or prepared with a charged camera battery, so the photos on this page are the only ones I really got from the day, and they were taken in a photobooth. Loved them! I also had saved the bubbles chipboard to use in a grid and it worked perfectly with Nicole's yellow paint that she let me borrow at the crop last weekend. What a fun time we had.

Don't forget, the Granny's Cupboard kits and add-ons go on sale 12:00am EST on the 28th, which is really the night of the 27th for most of us. And, if you're a subscriber, purchase your add-ons 12 hours early....don't forget. Look for the "presale" link under the kits tab.

belly shots

Mom and Dad will be proud. This is my first ever belly shot...of any variety.

Luckily for me, I got to share this moment with my good friend, Stephanie Howell who is also preggers....about 4 weeks behind me.

Until these photos, I didn't realize the roundness my belly is taking on already. Yikes! It's really happening.

Hope you enjoy these immensely serious photos.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

how to tag a bull

I wouldn't recommend walking up to a bull and piercing his ear. It might end badly for you. So, I'll outline an easier way below.

First, lead him into the chute with some sweet-feed.
Ever heard the saying, "You catch more flies with honey?" The same is true with cows, too. They'll follow you right into the pen if you're holding some sweet feed.

But, after he's in the chute, there's only one way out and you have to "coax" him along. This usually means twisting his tail and hitting his hiney. I even got in on this action because he's a little more skittish of me than of the boys, so he moved a little better.

Now he's moving toward the headgate (that yellow thing).
See my dad standing there (look past the belly, sorry dad, but you knew I would post this for mom to see). His hand is on a lever. Right now the bull can walk right on through, but just when his head is clear, dad will pull the lever and the gate will squeeze around his neck so he's immobile.

Oh, well, Greg did it instead.
Maybe dad was getting conscientious about the belly shots.

Now, I've moved around to the opposite side. Greg is using his knife to cut off the old tag.

And is now replacing it with a new one.

Why tag cows? 2 reasons:
  • So you can identify which is which. When we vaccinate or treat them, or if they have babies, we need to know which cow has had what done to them and which calf belongs to which momma.
  • We also put fly tags on them in the spring to keep flies out of their eyes. Flies get on poop and when the flies land on the cows' eyes, they get pink eye. So, we try to prevent it by putting these really smelly tags (and they're even more potent if you're pregnant), on their ears to keep the flies away from the cows faces.
We also tag the little ones too, but they're much easier.

A new calf weighs about 100 lbs, so all it takes is one person holding and the other piercing to get the job done. Hey, we even castrated this little one after he got his ear pierced, so I'm sure he didn't mind the earring.

Fun farm stuff, I tell you!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

tour of an empty farmhouse

So, here's the state of the farmhouse minutes before we started moving in. You'll see we still have lots to do, and I won't be posting many updates until I start getting these rooms filled with furniture and decorations. Right now they look pretty pitiful.

Here's a look at my favorite purchase of the entire house. I love my stove because it's 48", has 6 burners AND a grill/griddle thingie, heats water in seconds, and is generally awesome. I also love my stove because I was cooking on a 4-burner electric stove, of which only 3 worked and one was cock-eyed, so I really only had 2 burners at the apartment. The difference is dramatic.

We went with the Thermador after much debate. Our top pics were the GE Elite and the Jenn Aire, but in the end, Thermador came back to us with a whopper of a deal (less than 1/2 of retail plus a free dishwasher), so we couldn't turn it down.

Again, our countertops are concrete and now they have the final coat of wax on them and are beautiful. My IVF nurse's husband did them for us and he was so meticulous. Everything was perfect: all the holes were in the right places, everything was exactly perfect, even against a wall that was off-kilter a bit.

What you don't see in this photo is a harvest table that we use as our island. I was worried about that decision, but when I show you a finished photo, you'll love it, I just know it.

And, before I go further, unless I state otherwise, all lighting is from Schoolhouse Electric in Portland, OR and they were a dream to work with.

This is the mud-room off the kitchen. Love my decision on the floors. Our shoes get kicked off here and that keeps the rest of our floors somewhat clean :)

Past the mud-room is a bathroom. This is a 1928 American Standard sink with a new faucet. Loving it, but will love it more when I get a mirror and the sconces hung in here.

The shower in this bath was hard to show because it is covered over in paint supplies. We still have the painters coming back tomorrow for the rest of the touch-ups.

The walls are concrete, slathered on, so it's a different process than the countertops. I'll explain more about this when the bathroom is finished (paint cans removed) and can show you all the details.

From the living room looking toward the front door.

In the living room looking into the kitchen. The ceiling turned out more beautiful than I expected.

Off the kitchen and main hallway is the laundry room. Those brackets will have open shelving. The wall is solid tile.

At the other end of the hallway is our bedroom. We took that light fixture from our old house because the new owners were going to replace it with a fan.

And, the master bath. Love the color of my walls in here. When I do a room by room report post-decorating, I'll be sure the list the brand and color of each room.

The consoles are from Pottery Barn. You can see we're lacking mirrors, but those + the sconces were hung this week.

Off the foyer is the office/scrapbook room.

Around the corner from that in the middle of the main hallway is the half/bath.
I really wouldn't have had this bathroom except it was already here, otherwise it's just another toilet to clean.

At the top of the stairs is a landing. The first thing on the landing is a bookshelf/magazine rack.

Then on the other side of the chimney is a desk area.

Here's the whole landing.

This is our smallest bedroom where we'll put a twin bed.

Next to it is the guest room, where mom and dad are staying.

And their bathroom.

This is the hall bath upstairs.

My favorite bathroom in the whole house. I love this sink!!! (Kohler available at Lowes.) To the sides of it, we now have two old dressers and they look like they were made for the space.

A very unattractive TV room.

Very in we're sitting in lawn chairs to watch TV....waiting on my sectional to arrive.

And, lastly, this is the baby's room. I'm really looking forward to decorating this one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

May kit sneaks

I'm really enjoying working with May's kit and I'm far from done, but have 3 layouts complete already. They just assembled themselves, I tell you!

This month I haven't used any mist on my layouts or the typewriter, so I've taken a bit of a departure from the norm. It feels strange actually.

This layout is one of my favorites. I made it using the Linens & Lace add-on. The stamp in the kit is a mini dress-form and the flower is made by K&Co...I loved those things and could've used 5 packages of them. The kit includes a whole pack of the Maya Road wavy envelopes which is great for me because I could use them on every layout from here on out :)

This layout was made using 2 sheets of paper in the main kit plus the flowers in the main. It's my favorite so far, perhaps because I included a funny quote, then I couldn't remember where I had heard it. My memory is lacking these days.

And, last, this layout was made using the Knick Knacks add-on. This is a fun kit to play with. I love the star elements and clouds in this kit. Mixed with the main it definitely brings more "boy" into the kit if that's what you need.

You can see more sneaks here, and I'm sure I'll have more as the week goes on.

8 weeks 5 days

Sorry I've been MIA lately. Everything is okay, I've just been very nauseous in the afternoons and it gets worse the later it gets, so I've had to work as much as I can during my feel-good hours instead of blogging. I'm making a concerted effort this week to do better. I have ultrasound pics to show you, plus cow stories, and house photos, so a lot has been happening.

I went for my second ultrasound and my how our baby has grown since just 2 weeks ago. Here s/he is measuring 5.3mm and about 6w2d (I was actually 6w4d at this point.).

It's a tiny little thing in the right of the big black spot in between those little x's.

Then, at the most recent ultrasound, s/he has already tripled in size, measuring 19.3mm and 8w3d, so it's played a little catch-up, which I don't mind at all.

Here, it's turned sideways and the right x marks the hiney the left x marks the head. It never would show us anything but the hind end, so we couldn't get a good picture. I hope that stubbornness doesn't continue long, since if you recall I had placed an order for a baby that doesn't spit-up and a teenager that doesn't talk back.

So, I go back to the doctor in 2 weeks for another ultrasound and then I'll feel like I can breathe a bit easier. I miscarried at about 9 weeks last time and if I can make it past that point, I'll be relieved to say the least.

More blogging this week, I promise!