Friday, June 22, 2007

A Feast for the Senses

This is the sweet lady we had lunch with today. Her name is Olivia and she is a delight! Our visit with her today was truly a feast for the senses. She served us the most scrumptious lunch-yes, it was a delicious as it looks. Chicken salad is one of my favorite things and this was probably some of the best I've ever had. Before lunch she treated us to a tour of her home which included her new quilt room. So light and bright and oh so organized! Didn't think to snap a photo of it, but I did manage to snap one of this quilt. It has lots of oriental fabrics and batiks in it and variegated thread for the quilting. The colors are stunning-you know I was immediately drawn to the orange in the center! And this is Lucy her shelty and border collie mix. She was so sweet and so eager to find out what all these folks were doing walking around her house.

I have been fortunate in my working life to have had so many opportunities to meet genuinely lovely folks. Of course, through my education and working at the college (Saint Louis Christian) I had numerous opportunities to travel and meet so many. But also with my job at the university (UM-St Louis), I made life long friends. Visiting with Olivia today reminded me so much of my boss, Nan from the university. Most recently again I have been blessed to work for folks with whom I enjoy spending time. And I am glad for the opportunity to get to know one of our special clients today.

As we left Olivia's house, I noticed she had lavendar along the walkway. She snipped a piece off for me and everytime I got in and out of the car this afternoon I took in the fragrance. So it was truly a feast for the senses this afternoon. Thanks for a lovely time, John and Olivia!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday fuN

Having such a nice relaxing Saturday. Stayed up late last night working on this for Jeff's Father's Day gift. Brady and I are going to make him chocolate chip cookies to go with it. This was the project from my AY2R class this week. The original was a "welcome" banner made out of the HKS playing cards. This was the alternative project for Father's Day. What a fuN thing this was to work on. It was relatively quick and cheap to make and you could use cardstock for the base instead of the playing cards. In fact, you could make it entirely from scraps and leftovers. I even used a vintage piece of wallpaper and a vintage BINGO card. I'm going to make another one that will say "summer" with colors and patterns inspired by a lake house in the current issue of Better Homes & Gardens-palest of pinks, cool blues, cherry red and bits of turquoise and white of course. The next one will be much shabbier, too. It was hard for me to keep this project masculine looking. Love the pop of orange tho'(ala Fighting Illini) and the King of Hearts I altered using my printer. I took a photo of it, but forgot to add it-sorry. He's cute- I used a bling crown on him-fuN!

On the way out to run errands this morning, I passed a neighbor's garage sale and lucked upon this beauty. Some of the veneer is cracked and it was refinished at one time, but the wood is very dry. Going to have my mom check it out and see if maybe we can darken the finish. That might be a nice contrast w/ all the white I have going on in my scrapbook studio. If not, it'll get a coat of white paint with a French finish. And check out the awesome storage. There are two other pull out shelves like this one in the center section plus the top and bottom drawers. This is going to be great in my scrapbook studio and I only paid $40-a great value! Now I am SUPER inspired to get my studio cleaned out and reorganized. fuN!

Have a couple more errands to run, projects to finish and a dessert to make before tomorrow. So I'd better get going, but just wanted to share. Hope whatever you're doing today you're having fuN!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Calgon, Take Me Away...

Boy am I glad the weekend is here! It's been a long week, IMO. I'm so thankful for a couple of calgon moments today. This is Oscar, the "famous skateboarding bulldog". Perhaps you've read about him HERE. We share an office. Well, sort of. I'll miss him and my other officemate, Zoe when I move to the other office later this summer. It's fun to have them around and I do think they provide stress relief for all of us. Yes, I happened to have my camera at work today and had to get some quick photos of him. He has so much personality! Isn't he CUTE?!?

I had lunch this afternoon with some girlfriends I used to work with. So good to visit with them. As we got caught up I realized I don't have it as bad as I think I do. Actually, I'm well aware of this, but get caught up in my own pity parties. (My party planning skills extend to pity parties!) My friend, Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this Spring. She is doing well and told us the doctor expects her to make a full recovery. She looked great and I've forgotten how much I love to listen to her tell stories. My friend, Myra is living the high life as a retiree as well and is keeping busy travelling and whatnot. I truly believe should could do just about anything. She knits like a fiend and does not know a stranger. In fact, the top she had on today-yep, she knitted it! Very talented gal. And she was so sweet-she brought me a glass Eiffel Tower candlestick to add to my collection. I loved it! My frined, Diane whom I still work with joined us and we celebrated her passing her first liscensing test. Not only did she pass it, but she got a very high score-way to go, girl! We ended up standing in the parking lot of the restaurant for nearly an hour talking after Barb and Myra left. I think I got sunburned!

And the biggest Calgon moment of all today was getting a big hug from Brady when I picked him up from daycamp today. That boy is the sweetest thing and he seems to know just when mom needs a hug! I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening of mindless TV and maybe a little scrapbooking. I've got to get some Father's Day gifts completed!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


It's amazing. As you get older, you begin to have these little realizations about yourself and those around you. Sometimes I am just body slammed by them and they seem more like epiphanies to me. You find yourself saying things like, "WOW! Why didn't I know that?" or "Did I always know that?" or "Boy, I wished I would have known that!"

One of these little gems that has come to me lately is all about CHANGE. Yea, I've realized I don't like it much! And I realize more and more it's because I'm a control freak! And then I find myself saying, "did I never like change? Am I really a control freak?!? Why?!? Have I always been that way?! Does everyone else know this about me and I'm the last to know?!" It's kind of embarrassing making some of these realizations. You know, like when you're at a party and you've been talking and visiting with everyone and your friend pulls you aside and lets you know you have food in your teeth. Yea-that kind of embarrassing! But it's also liberating to make some of these realizations. You realize that although it might not be a positive thing you've discovered about yourself-you're also learning that's what makes you tick, makes you who you are. And you might never totally change, but knowing things about yourself always you to modify the way you behave in the future.

My AYTR class is all about change this month. And I've been putting off thinking about it because it is a very timely challenge for me right now. I'm going through alot of change at my job and I'm not exactly embracing it even though in the long run it will be for the best (mine as well as the entire team). I just don't do well with change-especially alot at once. Yea, you got that picture before I'm sure. But part of the class is to challenge ourselves to embrace change and realize as HKS says, "without change there would be no butterflies". And really, can you do anything about change? Someone once said it's the only constant in life.

My grandmother loved quotes and sayings and as a little girl I would try to memorize the sayings she had around her house on towels, plaques, etc. One saying she had was, "Let Go and Let God". I think that goes hand in hand with the Serenity Prayer she also loved-"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and courage to change the things I can." (You can maybe guess where I get my control freak and hand wringing tendencies!) Anyway, I'm working on embracing change and it is a BIG challenge. Can't wait for the next big epiphany waiting right around the corner for me. Until then I will continue to try and emerge from my cocoon in baby steps in hopes of becoming a beautiful butterfly. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Had a fun day at the ballpark with Jeff and Brady and my sister. Fabulous seats and what a treat to have the concession and restrooms just steps near by. Spacious lounging areas inside, too with big flat screen tv's so you didn't miss a moment of the game. Always so great to visit with my sister-miss her alot. Even tho' she's near by we don't see each other much these days. It was a very relaxing day and we all needed it. More of the same this evening before we head back into another busy week.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Lucky Day

Didn't know what to do with myself today. Brady had a sleepover at cousin Matt's house last night and I had the entire day to do whatever I wanted. I ended up junkin' most of the day and look what I found! I just had to have this old copy of Tom Sawyer for my summer reading with Brady and I was drawn to this package of these small mother of pearl buttons. Just love the name of the company and the Irish lass. At my last stop, I discovered this pair of bluebirds. It truly was my lucky day!

Although I enjoyed a leisurely day to myself, I was very glad to have my boy back home. He was wiped out! And I am too-that's what a little fuN will do to you! So we're off to bed with our vintage copy of Tom Sawyer-sweet dreams!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

just because...

the thermometer topped 96 today.
it's thursday and my heidi swapp class meets today.
they made me smile.
who am i kidding? i don't really need an excuse to buy flowers!
aren't they yummy? as i walked out of the cooler at the market another shopper passed by and the color of her top was the exact match. i call that serendipity!

So I was chatting with a fellow scrapbooker today and she commented that I seemed to scrap nearly everyday. Her comment made my type-A personality grin with pride like a cheshire cat, but in actuality she was wrong. Although it might seem like I make something everyday, I'd say it's more like one to several times a week-if I'm very lucky. But I have found that over the past several months I do seem to be creatively more productive. I believe I can attribute that in part to my Big Picture Scrapbooking class with Heidi Swapp, A Year To Remember. Each month we not only create a 12x12 layout based on the month's life challenge, but she also provides lots of other creative projects for us to implement different techniques such as the SHE bottle I recently made. I also have to give credit to the online scrapbooking and paper arts community. Because I have access to sites such as 2Peas, ScrapInStyleTV and the blogville, I literally have inspiration at my fingertips. And it doesn't hurt to have a husband who understands that I need my paper and glue fix. Or at least the inspiration everyday. That's the secret-to keep the creative juices flowing. To do something to encourage your creativity everyday.

So just because I wanted to celebrate this hobby that I kind of got into haphazardly and it's become my solace. That's why I bought the flowers today-for all those reasons.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Here Comes Summer!

Well, it's official. Today was the first day of summer vacation. Man, has Brady been ready for school to be out. His district was the last one to dismiss due to the number of snow days this passed winter. He started summer camp today and he was happy to have some structure, but not too much. I'm encouraged about the format at his camp this year so we're hoping for a good experience. This photo was taken after he got off the bus yesterday. All the kids were whooping and hollering-they were so happy to be free! We celebrated by heading to the local snow cone shack-SnoBiz. Brady's absolute favorite-he even has his own punchcard this year. LOL

Tonight the boys are headed to the ballpark to watch the Cardinal game. I can't decide what to do first with everyone out of the house-scrapbook, watch a movie, clean, do laundry, go shopping. Probably will do a little of everything. I have to say, I too, love the relaxed pace of the summer months. June will be steady eddie, but look out July and August. Brady will be playing baseball and participating in a six week basketball camp through the Y so it will get busier that's for sure.

Hoping to get a chance to work in some fun things this summer. Would really like Brady to read Tom Sawyer with me and then drive up to Hannibal. We'd also like to get to the zoo, but not sure with all the road construction going on. There is also a Marvel Superheroes exhibit at the Science Center I'd like to take the boys to if we can coordinate schedules. A couple summer's ago we visited the Superman museum in Metropolis, IL-my boys love the superheroes! Brady got to visit the new children's garden at the Botancial Garden, but I'd like to take him again this summer. We'll see-the time seems to get away from us. Who knows, we may hold out and try to take a little family vacation again in October. For the moment, we're kicking back and catching our breath as we get ready to roll into summer!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Electric Youth

Ah, youth how fleeting! Isn't that a Robert Frost quote or something? Regardless, it is so true and the closer I get to 50 (GASP!) the more I realize just how quickly time passes. And I won't bore you with that lament 'cause that's not really what this post is about anyway. It is instead about all of the hip, young scrapbook designers out there who have really been inspiring me lately.

By suprise, I was able to pick up some of Elsie Flannigan's Roxie line today at Archivers. Yes, I said Archivers-can you believe it? They are actually carrying two of her lines. Elsie is so fun, so free-definitely a Bohemian at heart. I've actually taken several classes with her and she is very down to earth and exactly as you would imagine her to be. If you have never had the pleasure check out her blog. I am loving these stamps-great size for mini's and cards (if one actually made cards!) and her paper is my fav-doublesided and a couple in this line will be great to mix with the shabby chic stuff I typically work with.

The other hippie chick I am becoming so jazzed about lately is Kelli Crowe. Man is this gal somethin'! She is without a doubt the coolest homeschoolin', scrapbook designin' mom you would ever want to meet. Very fun, upbeat, and inventive. SO much energy exudes from her. Makes you wanna have whatever she's takin'! Check out one of her webisodes on Scrap In Style TV. I was mesmerized watching her scrap-seriously. Such simple ideas, but the way she puts it all together with such ease is aMAZing! I have some of her "collection" coming in the mail any day now.

Okay, off to play and try to channel some of that youth and energy!

UPDATED: Congratulations, Anonymous! (the Jeapordy reference gave you away-LOL) Watch for a special little somethin' in your mailbox this week! ;)

Pssssss... back in the day, Electric Youth was the title of the chart topping album by what 80's pop princess? First one to leave a comment with the answer will receive a prize!