Sunday, January 31, 2010

Opus Gluei - #40 - Soup to Nuts

Nope, we aren't talking food here. We are talking an Opus Gluei challenge which is pretty much wide open.

You can either Start (soup) a project or Finish (nuts) a project.

In accordance with my VISION for this year, I have chosen Nuts.

I am finishing my Disney 2009 Album.

(I am not quite finished. The cover needs a little something... So far I have covered bookboard with a map of the Magic Kingdom and added alpha sitckers. I also added some keychain bling. I will add the ribbons when I am finished. It still looks naked to me, so I will add something else. Once I figure out what that something is.)

I started this album before we went to Disney World in August.
I got the pictures ordered a few weeks ago. Another VISION 2010 item.

I took the album, the pictures and a few essential supplies with me to Florida last week.

(Since we were there for our Anniversary, I added a couple of pics of us. The girls are kind of grossed out with us kissing in the one. One of the benefits of being the parents. teeheehee The Happy Anniversary buttons were given to us by Disney. How frickin cool is that?)

(I glued some of the pictures on the backs of the park brochures. I love how they "blend" into the feel of the brochure. Yup those are my lovely daughters on the DUMBO ride.)

(I journalled each night while at Disney, so it made it easy to glue the pictures either on the pages or back to back in the appropriate spots.)

I managed to get over 100 pictures in this album. YEAH!

I would have finished embellishing the album except for a little bit of drama that came up with one of my fellow travelers.
But as it turns out, I have a day off tomorrow due to the snow we got Friday night and Saturday, SO, I will finish it up today and tomorrow.
Feels good to get another one FINISHED.

Snow way am I going out there. Again.

Okay, I did it. I bundled up and went outside.
I donned my Norway coat and my Alaska boots and went
into the freezer that we have been calling the front yard.

Danny thinks that Virginia BEACH means
"Jacket not required."
I think the man is part polar bear.

Morgan insisted on shoveling the sidewalk.

Melissa dragged out the beach toys.
And promptly abandoned them.

I am so Proud of my Citizen of the Month.

Isn't he much cuter from the front?

I wanted pictures of the house, so I went outside.
Oh the things we do for a layout...
But, there is SNOW way I am going back out there. It's cold.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

All Beaches are NOT the same.

Day before yesterday I was walking down the beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
It was 73 degrees, sunny and gorgeous.

My legs and sides are still sore from the walk.
(Yup, I am that out of shape. Plus, walking on sand is WAY different from walking on pavement.)

Today, I am staying inside because I am in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
It is 28 degrees, cloudy and snowing.

We haven't gotten real snow in years.
It is beautiful.
It is also really cold, so I am bundled up.
I am not a cold weather kind of girl. I love it hot.

Here is the view from our front door:

The sign is for Melissa being citizen of the month. Yay Melissa.

And from the kitchen windows:

Melissa made me post this one. She is thrilled with the snow on the table.

Poor little squirrel dropped his acorn and had to sift through the snow for it.

And from the windows in the back of the house:

Not sitting in those chairs any time soon.

You can see the deck peeking out at the bottom. It's raised about 8 inches.

The back of the snowman that the girls made earlier today:

You can barely see the carrot nose.

If I can get them to take pictures, I will post more.
Because I am so NOT going out there.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

I have had my eye on these for some time. I actually saw a pair in a craft store once.
AND didn't pick them up.


I will get them online, soon. Because I haven't seen them in the store since. Dumb me for letting them get away. I will order them soon. I can't explain why I want them.
Perhaps a scissor obsession.
I already have more pair than a person needs. I can only use one pair at a time. I am not left handed, so I really can only use one pair at a time. I mean sure, you need a pair for cutting details, and a pair for cutting larger distances, and a pair for cutting heavier items (chipboard, leather) and a pair for cutting wire, and a pair for cutting fabric, and a pair for paper, and a pair for ribbon......
Oh, dear, I guess I DO NEED these.
I don't have any for cutting grunge board.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wild Wednesday

Every so often, I'll share food with you.
Favorites that I cook for my family. Often.

This recipe is an altered one from one of my favorite restaurants ever, Jennie Low's in Mill Valley, California. I used to live in Mill Valley and loved to eat there. Not only was everything delicious but her decor was purple. Everything, even the phone, was purple. She even had a purple briefcase. How cool is that? She no longer has a restaurant in Mill Valley, but you can find her in Novato and Petaluma. If you get the chance, eat there. You won't be disappointed.
This recipe is adapted from her cookbook, "Chopsticks, Cleaver, and Wok". For the original recipe checkout her book. I have made substitutions based on what my family perfers and what I had/have on hand.

Main Ingredients:
1 pound chicken breast, cut into small chunks 1" x 1" - ish
1 pound green beans, cut into 1 1/2 to 2" pieces (I prefer asparagus, but DH won't eat them)
3 T Black bean Chili sauce with garlic
2 t oil
1/4 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1 cup chicken broth

1 t salt
1 t sugar
1 t soy sauce
2 t oyster sauce
1 T cornstarch

2 t cornstarch mixed well with 1 1/2 T cold water

Place chicken and seasoning in mixing bowl. Mix well. And set aside.

Heat 1 t oil in non-stick skillet on med-high heat. Once heated, add chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

Add the other t oil and green beans. Cook until crisp tender. Add Black Bean sauce and stir together.

Return chicken to pan. Add chicken broth, salt and sugar. Cover and cook for 3 minutes..

Stir in thickener. Cook for 1 minute. Serve over steamed rice.


This is one of the ONLY Chinese dishes my husband will eat. I am not sure if it is because it tastes so darned good, or because that's all I serve that day. But it IS ONE OF THE BEST dishes. It's also easy and quick.

ENJOY, and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just a little something I'm playing with...

I can make a mess anywhere. Here's my hotel room desk.
(I am going to put the do not disturb sign on the door tomorrow.)
I am working on a little something.
It isn't anything new.
I have made good progress.
Remember this post specifically #9 - Finish????
Well this mess is an effort to attain my goal.
I have a long way to go to get to the FINISH line.
But, it's a start.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Monday

Monday - Danny is feeding the girls. I am out of town

Tuesday - Still out of town

Wednesday - Not home yet

Thursday - Ditto

Friday - Pizza - What you don't think I'm going to cook right after getting home, do you?

Saturday - Dunno

Sunday - Haven't a clue

Sorry I don't have a menu for you. But I am taking the week off. So to speak. He'll probably feed them Hamburger Helper, Happy Meals, Mexican Food and who knows what else. But, I am not worrying about it. I will be out of town. Dining in restaurants and room service. Sometimes, I just love business trips.

But keep checking back. I have posts scheduled for this week.

Have a good one.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Opus Gluei - Bubbly Thanks

The challenge this week on Opus Gluei is to use Bubble Wrap, somehow, in your project. Well, I didn't have bubble wrap, but I do have this awesome Distressed Dots stamp from Unity. So, I used it to make some bubble-wrap-ish Thank You cards.

The Thank You stamp is also Unity. As is the You Make Me Happy stamp.
Round punches are EK and oblong is SU. Scallop Circle is Fiskars.

The hedge hog stamp is one I got in a Cocoa Daisy Kit of the month. Don't remember the month.
The flower is Prima and the Dew Drops are from Robin's Nest.

Border punch is Fiskars. Papers are K & Company.

Thanks for looking. Now go to Opus Gluei and take the challenge. It's fun. They accept just about anything...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heart the Art - Prompt #3 - Clearly

Clearly I am getting a bit more timely.
Clearly I still need to work on it.
Clearly this page is about my dear hubby.

Last weeks prompt for HEART THE ART was CLEARLY. I almost got it done in time. But CLEARLY I didn't. It's okay. I did it. And that is what matters.

It's the most CLEAR thing in my life. His love has changed my life. I wouldn't be living on the East Coast. I wouldn't have the 3 adorable daughters that I have. I wouldn't be as grounded. And lots of other things too. He took a stormy life and now it's raining love. Mostly. LOL

I cut an acetate sheet into the shape of my album. Finger painted the clouds, stamped the green hearts and used a piece of heart shaped mesh to paint the heart - all on the back of the page. Waited for it to dry. And waited. And waited. Then I mixed a sky blue paint color (cuz I didn't have this color) and painted over the clouds and hearts. I left the edges. Clearly. Waited for the blue to dry. Flipped the page over and added the Dymo tape and chipboard cherries. Top two are me and hubby. Bottom 3 are our daughters.

I took the wire binding off the binder for now and am using rings. It's much easier this way. I'll replace the wire when this project is full. (end of the year)

This weeks prompt is UNDER CONTROL. Good gracious. That's a wide open one, isn't it?????

Good Bye Old Friend...

We met almost 20 years ago in Guam. I was there for work. I needed toothpaste and found her on a shelf in the aisle near the jewelry. I always stopped to look at the jewelry first. You know, bling!!! It was a relationship that was meant to be. One look, and it was instant love. Something about her, well, she "spoke" to me. I brought her home with me to California. We lived together in harmony until a couple of weeks ago. And then, the unspeakable happened. She slipped from my fingers and went crashing to a slivery death. I miss her. She and I were so good together. She was a big part of who I was. She was there for me.

Rest in Peace darling.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins # 160

1. You have a chance to make my life easier. I'm on board with it.

2. Someday is right now!

3. There is a monster in the closet. Stay away. Resist the urge to open the door. Don't go in there...

4. I'll eat the cheeseburger now and pay later.

5. It's time to get this party started.

6. Yes, my future is up in the air but my feet are on the ground.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pizza (DUH! It's Friday!), tomorrow my plans include dinner with a high school friend whom I have not seen in over 20 years and Sunday, I want to play in my craproom!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

I always want to travel.
I love the sites and tastes of new places.

I get to travel about 3-4 times a year for business.
When I do, I work during the day and explore at night.
I am usually gone Monday thru Friday.
It really isn't a long time.

Long enough to get a little break from home.

Long enough for the girls and Danny to miss me.

Next week I'll head to Cocoa Beach, Florida.
I hope it's warm.

I get in on Monday.
I plan on heading to Downtown Disney before I head to Cocoa Beach.
I love Disney and will LOVE just walking around there.
Plus, I'll get a Mickey Ice Cream Bar. YUMMY.

Meetings are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

I'll probably take some art supplies and hermit in my hotel room in the evenings.

This time I am going to explore my artsy side. I've been to Cocoa Beach before. It's touristy. I don't want to hang out in bars. I don't want to party with the rest of the crowd. It just doesn't sound like fun. I'll get out of meetings too late to go to the beach.

I fly back home on Friday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wild Wednesday

I just had eye surgery. I know it sounds yucky. And it would be if the Dr had to actually touch my eyeball, but she didn't. She just put that little scope-type-thingy into my eye (after LOTS of numbing drops) and shot a laser into the top of my iris. I have to tell you it smarted. Like an electric shock kind of jolt. You can read more about the procedure HERE. I didn't have mine done in Texas, but the procedure is the same.

Must be the reason for the foot brace and handles I was required to hold. Oh and the nurse had his hand holding my head into the chin/forehead brace holder thingy. (Please let me know if I have lost you with my technical terminology. I often forget that I am talking to the lay-person.)

Anyway, I now have another hole in my head. It's really kind of neat. I can see it. If I use a magnifying mirror. The girls can use their naked eyes to see it, but my 45 year old eyes need help. It really isn't fair is it!

AND, I get to get jolted again in the other eye on Feb first.

Nope. You can't be me.

(Disclaimer: This is not my eye. Nor is it my eye color. I just thought it illustrated the hole in my eye pretty well.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heart the Art - Someday

Last week's prompt on Heart the Art was Someday.
Kind of ironic that my theme doesn't support procrastination.

But, that's how I roll....

I got it done.
I know it is plain and simple.
But it really says a lot.
I think.
This weeks prompt is CLEARLY.
I have a page in the works.
But I am still working on it, so you will have to wait.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Monday

Monday - Albondigas, Tortillas (didn't happen last week)

Tuesday - Chicken with Asparagus, Rice and Salad

Wednesday - Shepards Pie and salad

Thursday - Leftovers, salad and complaints

Friday - Pizza and salad

Saturday - Dinner out. Hopefully a Steak Restaurant.

Sunday - BBQ Ribs, Baked Potatoes, Steamed Green Beans and Salad

What's on your menu for the week?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hearting the ART - ATC Style per Opus Gluei

I made 6 ATC's. I was only instructed to make 5, but you know me. I am not much for following rules. Opus Gluei's challenge this week is the make ATC's that show how you HEART your ART. My take is a bit sarcastic. I had a more elaborate plan in mind, and then.... I got sick. Well that plan had to go to the way-side in favor of a simpler PLAN "B". A plan I totally lifted from Just Jingle. Thank you for the inspiration Jingle.

I punched out 100 hearts from scraps of pinks and reds, outlined them all with a gold marker, glued them down randomly onto black cardstock and decorated with ribbon and a stamped sentiment. (Love those Studio G stamps)

I also used my new Tiny Attacher to put a couple of Tiny Staples to further anchor the ribbons.

Not too complicated. But, my tummy feels better...

(above pic was scanned on our new way cool, super terrific Epson all-in-one wireless printer.

Below pic was taken on a rainy day in the kitchen with my old digi camera.

I am smitten with our new toy. :-)

If you want one of these little beauties, go over to OPUS GLUEI and sign on for the ATC challenge/swap. Yup, the challenge also includes a swap of your art work. How cool is Rosemary for thinking this one up? WAY COOL.

(I am only trading 5 of them because I have separation issues. I don't like to send all of my ATC's away, so I make an extra so I can keep one. It's one of my quirks.)

Thanks for looking, have a great SUNDAY.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins # 159

1. The lesson I learned yesterday was no matter how much I plan, I won't be able to accumulate vacation time. Not until the little germ carriers I live with move out of the house.

2. The porcelain god, where friends and family meet.

3. All these years of being a mom, and it wasn't until now that the illnesses were so succesive. One after the other after the other after the other...

4. And they all chanted out my name when I arrived.

5. The truth is that it's all a big lie.

6. The relief I felt when the valium took effect is what I remember most from that day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Danny coming home, tomorrow my plans include feeling better and Sunday I want to create lots of art and cook a real meal AND eat it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thirsty Thursday - Attainable Version

Okay, two in one day. BUT, I want to put something up here that is attainable. I know it's good to have dreams, but come on, you know you want to GET some of your dreams every once in a while.

While I know that this isn't romantic, or exotic, I like them. I am looking forward to getting some. I know I said I wasn't going to buy any more, but this is different. This is a consumable. Something that HAS to be replenished. That's my story. I am sticking to it.

These little beauties are new to the scene. They are from an Australian company who has put down some roots here in the USA. They are going to have a booth at CHA and I am in love with these black ones. I have been known to Sharpie the sides of projects in the past. It takes wayyyy to long. These are going to be perfect.

Go HERE and you can get entered into a drawing for a chance to win some.

Good Luck to you.

Thirsty Thursday....

I would love for my living room to look like this.

I would change the wall color to a taupe or sandy brown.
I would have parties, sit and read, enjoy the fireplace and I am sure that there would be toys all over...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wild Wednesday - Blurf Fav's

A few places I LOVE to spend time I don't have.
Here are a few of the places I am looking forward to visiting regularly...

1. Follow Thomas everyday this year. See where he goes and what the little guy gets into.

2. Gina at
Tyggereye Arts - Wonderful handcarved stamps and loads of other wonderful treats. She is hosting Heart the Art this year. A weekly Art Journal Prompt challenge. I am joining her in this venture and so should you. Go check it out. Go on. I'll be here when you get back...

3. Food Porn Daily - no explanation required. (get a napkin before you go over) Make sure you visit the gallery and sign up for the daily email. Yumm.

4. A Collection A Day - beautiful pictures of different collections the artist has in her home. Both real and drawn collections. She is posting a gorgeous picture of a different collection everyday this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Show and Tell

I was a busy gal this past weekend. I managed to finish one project (part of my 2010 Vision - I suppose I will have to suck it up and post a list of all the unfinished projects so you can keep tabs on me. Anyway, back to our currently posted subject...) and get started on another one that I signed up to do. (Finished project is at the bottom of this post.)

I am following Gina's Heart the Art challenge for 2010. I sort of did Emily Falconbridge's 52 Questions last year. I wrote down the questions in my art journal and answered them, but I didn't get artsy. This year I am going to get artsy. Gina has started, and will continue, to offer weekly prompts. Since December/January are REALLY busy for me, I only got to start today.

First off was deciding on a home for my works of art. At first I thought I would use an existing composition book that I have a few gluebook pages in. But when I went to look for it in my crap-room, I saw these Melissa Frances chipboard albums that I got at a scrapbook convention a few years ago and thought it was time I used one. So that was settled.

I made the first page while the paint on the cover was in process of drying/being applied. The first prompt is:


AIM TO: what do you aim to do in 2010?


And here is the cover. I will add pages to the book through the year, so I haven't added the required ribbon to the spine. I am viewing it as the icing on the cake when the book/year is finished.


And here's a little detail of the cover. I used the negative of a Heidi Swapp chipboard letter and filled it with clear seed beads. You can't really tell, but I used a raw Scenic Route chipboard crown that I sprayed with a sort of glimmer misty thingy that I made with SU paint and alcohol.


Remember these little books. I finally got the pictures ordered, cut them (I used 12 pictures in each album. I ordered them as 4x6's, so I had to cut them into squares.) and adhered the pictures in each one. Most of the albums have already made it to their new homes. One UFP (un-finished project) down, a gazillion to go...

Finishing the little Halloween album has me really motivated.
Look for more finished projects: COMING SOON!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Monday

Danny is out of town Monday and will be back Friday.

Monday - Chinese Food at Happy Buffet

Tuesday - Melissa Chicken, steamed rice and asparagus

Wednesday - Fish Sticks and Mac-n-Cheese

Thursday - Spaghetti with meatballs and salad

Friday - Albondigas (Mexican meatball soup)

Saturday - Chicken Enchiladas and Salad

Sunday - Roasted Pork Loin, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Opus Gluei Stars and BPS Challenge of ME

I cheated. I did one project for both assignments. Opus Gluei's challenge is to use a STAR shape. Challenge of ME has a different assignement everyday. (It's a four week class.) I made one of the pages with a BIG STAR.

(Journaling reads: What would I do without friends. I need them for my sanity. I have them all over the country. Maybe it's part of the reason I love technology. I talk to Kathy (IL) every afternoon on the way home from work. She it there for me. Never judges. Understands the trials and tribulations with having a teenage daughter. Pluse she has the most adorable laugh. Rosemary (MD) and I are crafty. Somehow we got the bright idea to start a challenge blog. It's fun and creative. We motivate and encourage each other to pursue our creative sides. Lori (No. VA) and her family have been friends with our family forever it seems. Our kids are the same ages and generally get along. And certainly not least, are my web friends. They are there supporting and sharing their lives, crafts and dreams. All of my friends keep me grounded, let me know that I am not crazy and they are just ALL AROUND FUN.)
This is a two page layout for a 6x12 album I am making for a Big Picture Scrapbooking class I am taking. I have several layouts to catch up with, but it should go pretty quickly. These are a fun size to work with. I haven't done this size before, but will again. I sort of treated it like a 12x12, just had in my mind that I didn't want to put anything other than the title on the left page. It's a hybrid. It's backward. I made the layout using paper and glue. Then took a picture and added the title and journaling with PSE7. I was rushing to get it posted because I ran out of time. I want to practice writing it out because I want to use my handwriting for this album. It IS about ME after all. I'll try to remember to post again with the final title and handwritten journaling.
Thanks for looking. And thanks for being my friend.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins on Saturday - So sue me

And here we go...

1. There are places that I really want to visit, but have to go to work instead.

2. Since there is no snow, blow those clouds away.

3. Standing in the middle of my life wondering where it will lead.

4. I get to go in to work 2 hours late this morning, oh boy.

5. He went out tiger hunting and never came back. We think he got eaten.

6. There is NOTHING you can do to keep my mind from wandering.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to 7 screaming, jumping, sugar-amped 9/10 years olds running rampant in the house, tomorrow my plans include getting my hair done, taking a nap and cleaning out more of the crap-room and Sunday I want to PLAY in my newly cleaned craft-room!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 VISION - Details


I vowed to myself to use my VISION to create detailed lists to accomplish any and all goals I have set for myself this year. Isn’t it about time I share some of said details?!?!?!?! Having said that, let me clarify that I do NOT have said details worked out completely just yet. This is a working plan. An evolution, if you will, of my methods. So without further delay, I present to you a preliminary listing of details (in no particular order, other than what came to mind first):

10 goals in 2010


1. Photos – I have already addressed this, but here it is again. I will try to spend 20 minutes a week sorting through photos and saving the best ones to "Print Files". Hopefully preventing me from A) staying up until 2 am and B) spending a small fortune when I eventually order photos.


2. Healthier eating – I am going to try 2 new recipes a week. I will browse Cooking Light and Weight Watchers (magazines and cookbooks) while watching TV at least one night a week and find tasty little gems. Which I will cook, taste and share the results with you.


3. Moving – I am going to try to walk farther in the parking lot. Park farther from the door. Unless it is cold outside. I don’t like the cold. I am a cold weather wimp. Eventually, later in the year, I would like to get on my treadmill/clothes tree and actually use it for 20-30 minutes a day. But, I will start with the baby steps of walking a bit farther in the parking lot. (on warmer days)


4. Organize – I really need to clean out my crap-space. It is supposed to be a craft-space. And in order to get there (again) I am going to start with a 15-30 minute session every weekend. I am going to get rid of (trash, give-away, donate) anything I don’t LOVE. I wish myself lots of luck with this one. I tend to LOVE a lot of junk. I am a pack rat. While I love this picture, it isn't my stuff. But isn't is to swoon over?


5. Stop – Aside from the things I have already ordered this year, (disgusting, isn’t it. Only a few days into the new year and I have already placed online orders to add to the stash that I want to reduce.) I am NOT going to buy anything I don’t intend to use for a SPECIFIC project. I will evaluate the NEED and if I won’t start the project within a weeks time, I won’t buy it.


6. Cook – I am going to cook more meals during the week than I don’t. This goes along with #2. I am going to cook lower fat, healthier meals. I will make my existing recipes healthier. It isn’t hard. Most of them are healthy. If you eat human sized portions.


7. Less – I am going to eat less. I am going to spend less time on the computer. (don’t panic. I will still blog. I just won’t surf as much) I am going to yell less. I will hoard less. I will do less procrastinating. I will tolerate less disrespect from my family. I have many more “less”es. You’ll see. In time.


8. Desk top – I would like to see more of my desk top. Both at work and at home. So, I am going to spend at least 30 minutes a week sorting through the stacks and piles. (what I am afraid of is finding that I really don’t need any of the “stuff” in these stacks and piles. (see #7 – I am a hoarder)


9. Finish – I am going to finish those online classes. I am a great starter. Not such a competent finisher. I will pick one class a month. AND FINISH IT. (I am NOT going to sign up for any new ones. Just finishing the ones I have already started. Yup, there are enough to get me through the year.) There is one exception: I will take the Point and Shoot Camera class that BPS has promised to have in 2010. BUT, I will finish it during the allotted time slot.


10. Relax – I am not going to stress or fret if any of the above don’t get done. Part of my VISION is to relax and enjoy the journey. I don’t want my life to be about destinations. Yes, there are places we have to go, things we have to do, but Life should be about enjoying getting there. So, I am going to relax and enjoy the ride.


I’ll try to remember to give you an update to this every so often. Oh, yeah, right, I need to define the goals I make. So how about every two months, I update the status.

I am curious to see how I do.
(Pictures are all from Google Image search and Flickr)