Friday, December 31, 2010

Tempus Fugit (Time Flies!)

So - it's been a heck of a busy 2010. Finished off all the course work for my Bachelors in Business Admin. Worked very hard and long hours on my day job. My middle daughter got married in October. And the year passed in a blur. Oh, and I closed my store at the end of May. I'm okay with all that has gone on. I'm hoping for 2011 to be less stressful and more creative for me. I want to find time to work an art journal, attend creative retreats, and connect more with my artist friends online.

Doing an online store is hugely rewarding in that you get sneak peeks into the insider side of the creative life, but also somewhat challenging when you're on a small budget, because you want more than you can ever have... It was a good 2 year run and I learned a ton and met some incredible people. Ignore any links that take you to my store - it is no more. I will try to update and make the blog fresh for 2011. Anyone know a blog designer who wants a canvas to display their work? Have them send me an email - this site needs professional help. LOL.

So, ending my year with some catch up on my various sites and creative locations. I've already been miles on the internet today. Been signing up to follow lots of cool blogs and will start adding in the links in case you're interested too.

My last stop was Studio Calico - that site has me aching for their everything but the kitchen sink kit subscription. They've got a contest on for sharing your SC wish list, so here are my thoughts from viewing their store:

- Harper's Ruler stamp

- Sorry I missed the documentary kit - that is SO my style

- I have a passion for label stickers and journal card and all the ones in the store get me excited :)
-I’m still missing Tim Holtz Distress inks in Frayed Burlap, scattered straw, chipped sapphire, forest moss and tumbled glass

- I have yet to try the Studio Calico misters but love playing with new toys, they're definitely on my wish list.

- Love Claudine H and have been wanting her sticky back canvas for some project ideas percolating in my brain. Got to play with some of her products with Tim Holtz at a trade show - I'm going to miss my entree to those!

- We won't even mention paper - my shelves are full but I still crave more and more…

- I've never seen punch revitalizer before but it sure sounds like something I "need".

- Love the cherry blossom trim and cherish punch set.

- Rub-ons: they're all awesome, but I think I'd say blue cameras, red typeset, and brown wood grain

- Once I get a bit more progress on my outstanding credit cards I'm paying off, I'd love to join your kit club - the products appear exceptional and I'm a gotta have it all girl.

How about you - have you checked them out yet? Lots of yummy things for creative expressions.

Gotta go do more exploring - you may actually see a few posts from me in the next few days as I share some of my favorite places on the net.

Best wishes for a wonderful new year!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So much for good intentions...

What's up? I apologize for going MIA - just had a lot going on recently. I think I'm moving back on track. Just finished adding the photos to the instructions for the Mom's Diner cookbook kit I have for the shop - Jennifer Priest designed the original for Cookbookin' and I've kitted it for my customers with a few modifications since I was just designing off her photo from the display at a trade show. Now, I just need that recent shipment of printer ink to arrive and I can print it out and finish up these kits.

Two of my local customers have been waiting more than patiently for me to pull it together - ladies, the wait is almost over.

Got signed up for my 2nd to the last class for my Bachelor's - there was too much family stuff going on earlier in the year for me to focus.

More updates - Buddy, our poor old black Lab had to be put down - his pain level was just too high. Melody is moving out next week to her own place not too far away. It will really change our household dynamic once she leaves. I'm getting close to empty nest with just Maggie home. She's about done with her freshman year of high school. Doing well and looking forward to summer break. I haven't seen Amanda in a few weeks - between both our jobs, she rarely makes it over at the times I'm home. Miss her, but I know she's not too far away and doing well for herself. What more could a mom wish for her kids anyway. The letting go sure is hard though.

Last night - got to participate in my first Lime & Violet knitting chat on the computer - chat rooms are a lot more interesting with web cams - these ladies shared some great projects and books. Can hardly wait for the next chat... maybe I'll actually do something with my socks I've begun before then... we shall see.

Tons more to update, but I have to leave for the day job soon. I'll save the rest for another time. Later!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Touching Base

They say, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen..."

Last night, I was so over my poofy, shoulder length dandelion hair that I went and got it wacked - really short... my vision wasn't quite as short as I got, but at least it's cool and easy to care for now. My daughter, Amanda, inspired me. She got hers cut the other day in a totally flattering swing look that nicely frames her face. Then again, she's lovely to begin with.

Change is good. At least now I'm cooler and can drive with the windows open again...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Busy season of life

Let's see - where have I been lately? Been working a lot of hours at the day job - worked a day crop 3 Saturdays ago, took a weekend trip to FL the next weekend to seem Mom and enjoyed a wonderful baby shower for my niece, Jenniworked another day crop yesterday. Thank God for my daughter, Melody - she did most of the driving on the FL trip and also helped me with the crops. I think I'm pretty free next weekend... the weekend after that involves some classes in NC at Donna Downey's event and a crop to finish my class projects on Saturday. What more can a girl ask for (except maybe a day to just goof off and relax...

One of these days I'll catch up and post pictures. We plan to do inventory and have a big summer sale at the store to make space for new items for the next season. I'll post an announcement once we get the site updated.

Sorry to be so gone...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hampster in the play ball

Does your mind ever feel this way? The thoughts jumble and spin and spin every which way? I find myself there more than a little. Change of season, new inspirations. I went to a knitters meet up group here last Tuesday night and met this really fun bunch of creative women. Sat there with my pen and clipboard, asked questions, took notes. I ended up starting a dish cloth in a simple basket weave pattern in cheap cotton thread from Michaels to remind myself how knitting works. Found the pattern on ravelry. Yes, another community I just had to join. What I like most about knitting is the portability. Unfortunately, I'm at that stage of life when I'm more likely hot than cold and summer is right around the corner, so I don't know that I will be doing much knitting for myself (maybe a sweater to wear around the office when the AC is on hyperdrive). I really want to try socks, but I gather they are considered advanced and I should master flat knitting first. A few dish cloths, though, and I'm going to have a go at socks, learn Kitchner stitch, and whatever else is involved.

At this meet up, I met a talented woman, Juanita, who spins and dyes her own fibers. While the knitting does seem like a great portable craft, I'm feeling drawn to the actual fiber manipulation. After the meet up, I ended up on ebay and won some yarn deals and even two drop spindles. Next time I see Juanita, I'm going to ask her about how I can learn the fiber world. Maybe she needs a student (yeah, right...)

Other than that, life is moving along. I've been gaming on facebook, working, working, working, doing a bit of knitting, and staying out of trouble. Since the crops in February, I haven't done much in the way of scrapping, although I'm starting to get the yearnings again and have gotten in some nice merchandising pieces for the shop as well as some assorted vintage laces etc. Oh, and at the office, they added a new shelf to our cubicles... since I really purged my ingredients when we moved to the new building in December, I had nothing to place there. Ended up at Michael's on my lunch break and got some shabby chic florals, a cream wire bench, a ball jar, a tiny wreath, a dream sign, and some birdies and made a little mental escape scene for me... very soothing and pretty... the urge to add beauty to everyday life sometimes overwhelms me...

Mom update - getting stronger, keeping stable. That's about what we would hope for her at this point in the process. Thanks to all who've been praying for her recovery.

Check in with you another time. Take care!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Abundant Inspiration

I know I've been offline a lot - been to Florida to see mom quite a bit this year - she's working at getting stronger and staying at one of my sister's homes for now. Thankfully, my sister is a nurse, so she understands what things to look for to keep her well.

Anyway, one good thing that I've found in all my travels - there are some amazing art type podcasts. I've even stumbled across some great stuff on the itunes podcasts. I've tuned in to some neat women podcasters - and now I'm interested in adding knitting to my portfolio of interests and maybe learning some new fibercrafts. There are more interesting knitting podcasts out there than scrap ones at this time - I think I'm addicted to Lime and Violet - when those gals get to chatting, I feel like I'm hanging out with girlfriends having fun. Another interesting one was CraftLit - I heard the podcasters talk to two older men who are combining humor with philosophy. They tell how they got their book "Aristotle and the Aardvark" published. Anyway, I ended up finding both their books at Barnes and Noble and picked them up - they're on my to read list.

No, I'm not giving up scrapping - it's still my most fav activity, but I love variety and new challenges. Along those lines, while I can't swing Donna Downey's event, I did go ahead and sign up for a full complement of a la carte classes to meet some of my need for personal growth.

Talking about growth, I was thinking that I'd love to host or attend some online chats for other small shop owners - particularly ones who take their store to events like crops. Now, to just find some people who fit in these categories. If you know anyone who might want to be part of that, please send them my way.

Other than that, I have had a few fun crops I attended this year already and am so happy with how they went. Janie and Andrea did a great job at their beach event - they do the Virginia Beach Sunshine Scrappers group and have affordable regular events. I did manage to sneak away for a couple of hours the one afternoon and took a class with Jenni Bowlin. We did 4 pages and had a fun time. I always enjoy meeting new people, especially talented artists like Jenni. She's very sweet and I love the vintage feel to their line.

Once again, I will try to do better at more regular blogging... 2010 just isn't moving along quite as I had hoped. Ah well, just keep moving forward and stay positive.

Have you been working on any new projects lately? If you've put them on the web, I'd love to see them. Please leave a comment with your link.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hard at Work

I've been back to work a while - this weekend, the store and I are at the Sandcastle hotel down at Virginia Beach oceanfront with the Sunshine Scrappers crop. Lots of fun ladies and some amazing work being done by them. Last night was fun - my CM friend, Lynn, hosted both a snack swap and a secret sister swap and the items looked great. I didn't get myself together in time to participate, but maybe some other time. As a matter of fact, I'm still trying to get the swaps given out from a swap I missed with my friends group in Eastover in January (I was with mom in ICU in Gainesville FL.)

About mom, she's got a trach now and is on the medical ward in a hope to get strong enough for her triple bypass and valve replacement surgery she'll need. So far, so good, but it's taken us 6 weeks from her leg surgery to get to where we are now and the end is still nowhere in sight. One of my sisters has pretty much put her life on hold and is staying with mom every day, sleeping at a hotel in the evenings. Tough times.

If my flakey brain remembers, I'll walk through the crop hall and take some photos to share with you all. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

They say....

...that the road to hell is paved with good intentions... as you can see from my previous post, I had good intentions, but while I'm throwing out cliches - when man proposes, God disposes...

In case you were curious why I've virtually fallen off the face of the earth, I wanted to let you know that my mom is in ICU in Gainsville, FL VA hospital and has pretty much been there this whole month. She went in for something on her leg and ended up with pneumonia, a ventilator and needing triple bypass surgery. The doctors keep saying "a delicate balancing act" and for each step forward, we seem to take 2 steps back. I spent several weeks living in a hotel near her offering support. She had been somewhat improved last Saturday, so I headed back home, only to get a call from one of my sisters that she's aspirated and we're back to square one. Sigh. Still not sure how this will go - if you're a praying person, please keep mom and the rest of us in your prayers during this difficult time. Perhaps I'll be a better blogger in February - we shall see...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year - here we go again

So, who had big resolutions last year and did you actually DO any of them?

The weight and exercise thing for me was pretty much a bust - I didn't lose the weight I wanted, but at least I haven't gained more either...

This year, I'm going to be bold and actually write my goals down - finally going to use the book I made in 2007 with Rhonna Farrer at Creative Escape. I WILL make my first entry today before I head to bed.

Sharing pics - here we go - let's see what I have for you...

Attended a trade show in Houston - took classes with Mona Gettmann and Cheryl Mezzetti from Creative Imaginations as well as many other companies like Prima, BoBunny, Prism, Just Rite Stampers and tons more - the manufacturer classes were the best I've ever taken and I had a ball.

Bow, Tim and ME

Attended Teresa Collins Inspiration Unlimited Event - awesome teachers, fabulous projects and great friends and fun in Las Vegas (I have no idea where the teachers pics went on this computer.)

Took a Donna Downey class weekend and had a blast learning new techniques and concepts.