Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin - Breaking my Own Rules

As a rule, I don't publically discuss candidates or my personal views - it seems that my traditional ideas are no longer popular with a large portion of the US population and I found it easier to let my ballot speak for me. Give a girl too much free time to think, though, and watch out.

I've taken this whole next week off, so I've been catching up on my computer buddies and reading blogs and the like. Yesterday, I finally got caught up enough to check out Blogher. After reading so many women's opinions about Sarah Palin, I finally put aside my hide in the dark cloak and jumped into the fray, and I've got to tell you, I'm a little concerned that I'll be receiving death threats now - who woulda thunk it?!

What they're saying about Sarah Palin? These are generalizations - not one woman's particular quote, but just what I've seen at Blogher - many are offended that the Reps even dare consider a lightweight like Sarah in the same breath as Hillary. Other than that they are both women, many feel the comparison stops there. They're probably right. (and that's a good thing - but more on that later) They talk about her lack of foreign policy knowledge and short time as an executive in her state that has such a small population that it doesn't really count. Some have even criticized her for ignoring her kids to campaign and say you can't raise children and be VP (WOW - is that a step back for women or what?!) Many are concerned that somehow, if the Reps get in office, we'll suddenly overthrow Roe V. Wade and all their pro-choice freedoms they currently enjoy will be eradicated. Many cite her lack of experience in big city politics.

Needless to say, as a woman, many of the things they're upset about really concern me. I am a working woman. My daughters are healthy and well adjusted and doing well in school. Men have been in the office for over 200 years, but I guess their spouses just dealt with the kids while they were off doing important things - it's not like a VP salary can't afford a nanny and make certain accomodations to have as much family time as they can fit in.

Does Sarah have Hillary's experience in politics - definitely not. But she brings a whole other set of women strengths to the table. She has beliefs and stands by them. She's dealing with the energy issue in her state more than so many others. Sounds like she and her husband are quite connected - hopefully if we did see her in Washington, with five kids, neither she nor her manly man husband would have time for oral sex with interns or other disgraceful behaviors.

Foreign policy - what would Sarah know of that as a governor - even though her state borders Canada (which, in case you were under a rock) is a foreign country and then there's this little bit of foreign real estate just north and west... but I'm sure that has no impact on us.

It's interesting to see how our political leaders have evolved through the years. Once upon a time, when the country first began, we were lead my men who were passionate for their country and willing to work hard to make it a success. Over time, our leaders have evolved to where you work your way up to the job, learning how to be a nice little bureacrat so you have "experience" in politics. Maybe it's about time we return to a bit of sincerity and passion for right and let the clones take a term out?

How long has Roe V. Wade been in place? Do we really think that adding a VP who is pro-life will suddenly overturn that judgement and set the world as we know it in turmoil? Does a VP have that kind of power? If not, why haven't we seen something happen before now? Maybe we're getting a little excited over something that isn't really going to change?

Bottom line is, I'm excited to see a woman on the ticket - yes, I know she's not the first. Once upon a time, I was in the Navy as an electronics tech back in the day when there were not that many of us. As a matter of fact, when I was done with my first tour in Italy, I asked to go to a ship for a tour and was told there were no female billets available for me. Since then, women have gained more and more in the battle for fair treatment. I would be thrilled to see her as VP. If Obama had chosen Hillary instead of SWM (standard white male) as his running mate and McCain had gone with SWM, I seriously would have considered voting Dem even though I don't care for either of them, just to see a woman in that position. I suspect I'm not the only one who feels this way. Thankfully, a lot of the family values and Constitutional freedoms she believes in I believe in as well, so for me, the choice for November now comes easy. Thanks McCain - you've simplified matters for me!

There we go - I've broken my own rules and donned my flack jacket. Standing by for incoming.

PS - they were talking about this at work on Friday and someone said you could vote for whichever candidates you wanted - say Obama and Palin if that was your choice. I wasn't really aware of this - I'm not much of a civics student, but it's an interesting thought if this is true...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bragging on my Design Team

One of the most fun things about having an online group of friends is the sharing that happens. We have a monthly kit club at my store, and I have a team of incredibly talented ladies who keep getting tapped by other clubs and manufactures to design for them as well. Just wanted to share some of the awesome creations they've come up with using the August Lords & Ladies kit - WOW!

Which project if your favorite?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photo Restoration

My mom sent my husband a birthday package - and inside was the greatest gift to me - a copy of my favorite portrait of her as a young woman in her army uniform! It's a great head and shoulders shot and it looks sepia now - although her blue eyes are the only colored part of the photo. Thankfully, my 17yo daughter, Amanda, has been studying graphic design as part of her high school curriculum, so today she's going to try her hand at some restoration and do some colorizing. I can hardly wait!

As a long time scrapper, the challenge of making meaningful layouts with my vintage photos has got me SO excited! I can hardly wait to get going with this. Once she's done, I'll use some more of my free prints credits at artscow and get them all developed. The hardest part for me is remembering which phots I've gotten developed and which are still waiting. I need to go back to my Stacy Julian class and get that part organized.

What do you do with your vintage photos?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Diet and Exercise

About 2 weeks ago, Melody and I decided to start the "You on a Diet" plan to drop some poundage. The first week went great - the inches around the waist dropped, some pounds went down. I was revved. Last Saturday, we decided to plan a daily 30+ minute walk to our routine with our dog, Buddy. Each morning this week I've set my alarm for 5:30 am so I'd have enough time to exercise, cool down, shower and still make it to work on time. What has happened? The weight loss has slowed down to the point of even going back UP half a pound even though I'm being incredibly virtuous in my eating habits and no change to my waist measurement. Yes, I'm feeling firmer, but in my mind, I can't get past the numbers game. I'm not a strongly motivated person - it's a good thing Melody is doing this alongside me or I'd probably be ready to give up already. Yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat, but do you think that's a big incentive to work out? Ah, the trials of a fat girl....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Living at the Speed of Sound

I can't believe how quickly the days are passing! Is it really back to school time again? My girls go back the day after Labor Day here in Virginia. They're looking forward to getting back into the routine of learning and classes. The house will be quiet during the day again with them away - but I work full time, so I'm not here to appreciate it either.

Last month I went to CHA and got to attend a class taught by the lovely Claudine Hellmuth, artist extraordinaire! Claudine's seminar was not about hot new art techniques, how to expand your artistic talent, or anything like that, but rather on the value and how to of social networking.

Up until this point, I had always thought the email lists I participated in and the message board forums I posted on were all there was. Discovered there was more and it was great! Since then, I've joined Twitter (which I prefer to facebook and myspace) and I've just been having a fun time meeting new folks and getting exposed to a host of new ideas, all in 140 characters or less at a time. Talk about instant info!

I've also committed to weekday blog updates. Wish my life was more interesting so you'd want to read about it, but since it's not, I'll just share the cool stuff I'm finding in my new wider web life.

What's your fav social outlet? Do you actually spend time with "real people" in person?! What a concept! LOL

BTW, sale in the store for Labor Day - 35% off your entire purchase. Time to move some product so I can shop for some new ones! Click the pretty blue ticket and be sure to enter coupon code LABORDAY at check out so the discount calculates for you.

TTY tomorrow!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pink - SO WHAT?!

One of my twitter friends shared the real video link before they pulled it, but the song got in my head and is now a fun favorite for me!

So, I went to YouTube and searched up Pink and discovered she sings a LOT of songs I actually know and enjoy! I rather like her kind of rough, woman voice. She's got a lot of energy and really belts them out. Let me know what you think - I think Pink! LOL

Friday, August 22, 2008

Coping with Stress

No matter how wonderful your life, there are always things that come along and cause us anxiety - your job, your family, your friends, the traffic and other circumstances. It is so easy to let your emotions take charge and blurt whatever you're feeling, and while this may be cathartic, it's not always appropriate or helpful.

I think the Serenity Prayer rather sums it up well - God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

While it might be momentarily satisfying to give your boss of that customer a piece of your mind, do you think having to go job hunting will make you feel better about the situation? Yes, it might feel great to tell your spouse to keep it all - the house, the kids, the mess, the bills and walk out the door, but do you think in the long run that will really make you happy? Sometimes, ending terminal relationships (particularly with friends who suck the life out of you) is a positive thing, but overall, we all have issues, and accepting the faults of others and maybe encouraging them to bettering themselves is a lot more fulfilling in the long run than becoming a hermit.

I think one of the hardest parts of handling stress is to accept that some things are out of our control - the bottom line is that in many situations, the only thing that you have control over and the ability to change is yourself and your response to the circumstances of your life. Learn to assign responsibility to the appropriate parties (responsibility, not blame) and move on. Life is too short to waste frustrated by things outside your influence.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Perfect Place to Live

There comes a time in your life when you start thinking about what would be your perfect situation... for me, I'm thinking I'd like to get to the place where I could have a physical scrapbook store and live either above it or very near by. This idyllic place would need to have a large enough population to make running a store a living proposition. I'd like moderate seasons, low crime, a sense of community. I need something affordable. I'm kind of drawn to the west coast. I have five more years to get my daughters through school, then I'm ready for a new life. It would be nice if the place wasn't subject to hurricanes, tornados, uncontrolled wild fires or crazy blizzards and other weather hazards.

So, tell me, does my dream location exist? I'm looking for feed back from you, my elusive readers. If you live in my dream area, please clue me in - the world is so big I don't even know where to start looking! Hope to get some good ideas from you all!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mollie & Mac

Had a nice visit last night with Charlotte, Darlene, and Mac of Mollie & Mac. Learned all kinds of company secrets, played a few games - congrats to the winners! and were able to chat and share and just have a fun time. Sorry you missed it. My gals loved the chatting, so we'll work on having regularly scheduled chats in the future. My Design Team has been making some awesome layouts and projects with the M&M papers - our gallery is open for viewing without registration, so do pop in for a quick look and be amazed! I think I'm going to have to do a scraplift of Zoa's SEA layout - it's incredibly fabulous!

Melody is mailing out the KI Memories Love Elsie Boxes today - yes, at long last, they have arrived. Thanks to all who waited so patiently. We still have a few available to ship but will not be doing another re-order, so don't wait too long to place your order now.

Off to knock out my state taxes. The joys of being a sole-proprietorship. TTYL!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Presenting - Mollie & Mac

I'm so excited! Tonight we have the designer from Mollie & Mac coming to our chat room for a live visit with us all - 8 pm EDT. We'll have open format, so come and join us and meet this great lady! The chat room log in is on the main page of my site (click the link below) and scroll to the bottom. Chat is open to anyone who'd like to join us.

Mollie & Mac is the paper line we're using in this month's special kit, Lords & Ladies. This elegant, rich line is very beautiful. Check it out as well as the other great items we have in our store.

Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Friday, August 15, 2008

August 08 Kit - Lords & Ladies

Now in stock and shipping!

August 08 kit - Lords & Ladies$24.99

Introducing our latest offering - LORDS & LADIES

This wonderful assortment showcases a great new line of paper out there by a delightful new company Mollie and Mac!

Kit includes a dozen new papers from their two collections -

Jester's Court
Mark of Honor
Royal Crown
Hide N Seek
Go Fish
Stick Ball
Four Square
Two sheets of Teresa Collins Journal-It collection
Also several sheets of solid cardstock to coordinate
Cosmo Cricket's Blackboard album
Bo Bunny bare nake bleached chipboard shapes
Doodlebug Cardstock ABC Stickers
Glitz Frosting Strips
Some marevelous solid satin ribbons
A bit of red hemp
And a sprinkling of flowers, keys and a clock for accents

This is a limited edition kit, so get yours now!

Also, be sure to join us in our chat room 8/18/08 at 8 pm EDT when we'll be visiting with the talented folk from Mollie & Mac! Look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How to Look Good Naked

Thanks to the joys of DVR (digital video recorder) Melody and I watched this show last night for the first time. It was very interesting and encouraging. The part the most inspired me was when they stood in front of the live models in the store window and showed us what a diverse lot of shapes and sizes fit in size 10 clothes - wow - what a revelation! When we choose to focus on our bad parts we forget all the parts of us that are great. The host of the show was so fun and enthusiastic and we loved how he encouraged these sisters to embrace themselves and feel confident.

Been busy working on the store - new kit launch tomorrow. If you are not on my mailing list and would like to be, please drop me a line for store updates, sales and coupons. Check back tomorrow for the kit unveil!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Love Elsie, August Kit, Twitter

Good news - for those who have pre-ordered the Love Elsie Recipe boxes - KI has shipped my order and I'll be turning them around to you as soon as they arrive. I have a small number left for sale on the site - but they go really quickly.

August kits have been mailed out to my design team. We'll be unveiling on Friday - new paper from Molly & Mac and other complementary goodies.

Twitter - I started out with Twitter mostly following some artsy types - that's my passion and I thought my main interest. Lately, though, I've taken to widening my horizons with some other folks and am having a ball with it. If you have not played with Twitter, it's a really fun microblog community. People share tidbits and links, you go or do not go. All very low stress and a nice change for me. Now I'm wanting to add a few financial gurus to my follows - can anyone recommend some who are not get rich quick stuff or the like - and preferably user friendly to us non-finance types? I'm looking to grow my brain, but need to keep it kind of basic. Have any favorite folks you follow on twitter? Please share!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August Kit

Almost all of the parts arrived for the August kit - the distributor cancelled the one decorative paper I ordered from my choices, but I think it's still a pretty fun kit. Be sure to check it out on our grand unveiling on August 15. Also, visit us for a chat on Monday night, Aug 18 with the designer from Mollie & Mac - this month's main feature in the kit. We'll have fun and prizes for some lucky participants.

Have you been watching the new series "In Plain Sight"? It's quite good - Mary and Marshall are US Marshalls who work in with the Witness Protection Program. The last episode was particularly good - can hardly wait for next week to see what happens next! Seems the story is painted into a bad corner and I can't see an easy way out - sure hope that doesn't mean this is a one season wonder as I've really come to enjoy the show.

Watched Crossing Jordan - great episode with Nigel as a main character - we really love Nigel - we like his wit and intelligence. Gilmore Girls - episode where Rory ends up deciding on Yale, there is a major fire at the inn and the Faux Poe Foes come to town. Another good adventure.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Totally TV - Olympics, Survival, Starlets and more

I had a most decadent weekend - yes, I did so my homework for my finance class, but spent most of the rest of it vegging out in front of the TV. Watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics - incredible choreography with 2008 (or more) Chinese at a time playing tradition/modern light drums, doing tai chi and other cultural performance - watching them use these thousands of bodies in harmony was amazing - incredible discipline and coordination there. If the Chinese were to funnel that energy into taking over the world, they'd definitely succeed.

Talking about choreography, Melody insisted I watch the finale of her "So You Think You Can Dance". Saw some amazing performances. Apparently that guy, Twitch, who was one of the last men standing has had no formal dance training. As we watched him in the dances he performed, I was amazed - I guess he must have some awesome kinesthetic memory - that last piece he danced to "A New Day" by Celine Dion was totally beautiful.

On the other hand, they also had this Cirque du Soliel piece - Homage to Rabbits, that was quite freakish - rather like the stuff that nightmares are made up of... kind of like Monty Python's Holy Grail where the guys encounter the rabbit - "'e won't 'urt you - 'e's just a little bunn,,, AAAIIIIII my neck! my neck!"

And if that's not enough TV, we also watched the movie "The Wedding Date" which starts the same guy from "My Best Friend's Wedding". Cute movie but I don't feel compelled to buy the DVD. Also watched "Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet" which I found to be rather sad as in my mind it's pretty much the story of a lot of those young girls we're seeing in the news who are given too much adulation, freedom and money and not enough parental guidance and love during their critical formulative years. Valerie Bertinelli plays the sensitive family friend who helps the girl turn her life around and grab her dreams.

Also spent several hours watching my fav true to life shows - Dr. G Medical Examiner, Mystery Diagnosis, I Should Have Died (lost at sea and survival in the winter mountains). And to round out the weekend, Sunday night we got lost in Dr. Oz and "You on a Diet." Both Melody and I are now committed to healthier eating and more exercise as we reach for the magic 32" waist that indicates the minimum for a healthy woman. Whoo hoo... Mel is a lot closer to the goal than I am, but since she's the main food shopper and meal preparer, getting her on board with the whole healthy foods thing is really the most important part. Here's to your good health!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Life's a Beach

I can't get my brain to wake up this morning - I wanted to share about our dog, Buddy. He's a large, 8 year old black lab. He's getting old and we think he has hip problems that pain him. If anyone has advise on this subject, drop me a comment. I wanted to share a picture of him, but my photo collection is in no particular order.

Instead, I'm sending a pretty sunrise from the beach at Nag's Head last November. It's sights like this that make it worth getting up in the morning here on the Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gilmore Girls

I know when it comes to TV viewing, I'm incredibly behind the times... I've only recently come across Gilmore Girls and can't seem to get enough. Apparently, there are a zillion seasons available on DVD and I have no idea which season we've been watching lately on ABC Family, but I do know I've really been enjoying it. As a girl mom (I have 3 daughters) I love the give and take with the mother and daughter on this series. My oldest daughter and I have good communications - understanding of each other. The only thing we're missing is a script writer so we can pick up the pace with our witty repartee.

I went to the WB site for more info, but their set up is not very good. You can watch episodes there. Then I found a Gilmore girl fan club site .org - but it looks like it hasn't had updates since 2006 - I wonder how many sites are like that - orphans hanging out in cyberspace waiting to be stumbled upon? I didn't check out their forums, but the last recent news was from 2006, so you get what I'm saying.

While I'm talking about one of my new fav shows, wanted to also mention that I watched Rory in the Traveling Pants on TV the other night. It was a cute high school drama kind of show - probably younger people would enjoy it more. Think I'll wait for volume 2 to hit TV before I check it out.

Any other Gilmore girl fans out there? Give me a shout.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hot Days of Summer - Sale

I don't know about you, but here in Virginia, it's been so hot, I don't want to leave my cool cave. Decided to do a sale at the store for everyone who just wants to hide out from the heat and work on their scrapping. Now through 8/11 - use coupon code HOTDAYS in the store and get 25% off your entire order. What a great time to get your favorite supplies, fun new papers and embellishments, and save money and gas too! Check it out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Items arriving

Just got some new items in stock - Heidi Swapp Clear extras and glossy extras in several beautiful styles (that coordinate with her paper line we have in stock). These 12x12 peel and stick sheets of glossy goodness add just the right touch to any layout. More bits for August's mid month kit have also arrived. Did I mention that not only ddo we have a new paper line as part of the August kit, but we'll also have one of the designers for that company doing a guest chat on our site the evening of the 18th. Hope you'll find time to join us. There will be open forum time as well as prizes and more. Put it on your calendar and plan to attend.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Layouts - July 08 2SCD kit

At long last, I finally made a couple of layouts. As a rule, I only scrapbook away from home, although I've got to say it's nice to have the whole store at my disposal here for creation as well as the printer and Cricut. The two layouts below use ingredients from the July kit we offered. I'm not thrilled with the first page - feel like something is missing, but I can't decide what so I'm sending it bare. After I photographed it, I beStickled the first flower and like it a little better now. I appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism you might offer.