Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad!!!
I hope you have an awesome day!!
Celebrate a second time when your card arrives!
Love and miss you lots!

Birthday Card Struggles

Since most of you that follow my blog regularly are paper crafters you'll feel my pain with this story.
All last week I was trying to come up with a unique idea for Dad's Birthday card. I guess my mojo was so buried in Christmas it just couldn't think outside snowflakes and Santa. Then Friday night as I'm lying in bed the greatest idea for his card hits me. Awesome you say.....well except for the fact that his birthday is tomorrow (Monday) and he's on the other side of the country. The card is sitting here all done - I love it and I'm sure it's going to make dad laugh. Pictures have been taken, but I won't post those till next week after Dad has received his card. I'm going to send Dad the link to my blog for his Birthday, and what fun would it be to receive a card you've already seen on the internet! LOL
Dad's isn't the only birthday card that is late. DOH! I've been such a slacker in the Birthday card department lately. :( And let's not talk about the fact that I'm still working on Christmas Cards. Being sick at the end of October and through November has put me so far behind on so many things.

Check back next week for pictures of Dad's card (and hopefully a few others).

Holy Cow....

Man has it been three months since I've had time to post something. I knew life had gotten a bit chaotic but didn't realize it had been so long. Sorry my dear blog followers!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Card Creations

So I've obviously been slacking on the blog updates. Here it is almost the end of the month and the last post was at the beginning of the month. DOH!!

Here are some cards I've created the last couple of weeks.

These first two pictures are using the Stampin Up Wedding Sweet stamp set. Colors in the first picture are Sage Shadow, Handsome Hunter and Ivory. Such a beautiful and versatile set...not just for weddings. I think these will make great note cards!

This one I heat embossed with silver embossing powder. Love how it turned out. I used Watercolor Paper for the base, Stampin Up Brocade Blue and Night of Navy for the cardstock.

I made a few of these during Monday Night Scrap this week. The stamp is from Stampin Up stamp set Baroque Motifs. Another of my favorites. The colors are Stampin Up Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke, stamped in Always Artichoke.

I always struggle with cards for the guys. Thanks to my BFF Beth for the inspiration on this one. Patterened Paper is Stampin Up Designer Series Paper Manchester (retired), Chocolate Chip SU cardstock embossed with the distressed embossing folder, Vanilla Cardstock to stamp on and for the base. The tree stamp is from the Stampin Up set Thoughts & Prayers. The Birthday Sentiment comes from the On Your Birthday set.

Of course when I find a design I like I mass produce at least a few to I have them handy!! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Digging up Dead People

No need to worry....I'm not off robbing graves or anything like that! :-) I've started getting back into my genealogy a bit. Mom use to say I was digging up dead people...and since I've been at it for a good 20+ years I have dug up a lot of dead people.

My hope is to get my data for my mom's lines (at least 5 or 6 generations back) cleaned up and ready to convert into a book, add some pictures and get printed for that side of the family for Christmas. I've said for YEARS I would get books printed for each side of the family, but there just never seems enough time in the day. So maybe starting in August I'll get it done this time. The problem is as I'm cleaning up the data I always seem to get side tracked and go off researching missing info. Doesn't matter how many times I tell myself that my research will never be "done". I just have to bite the bullet and get what I have ready for publication and call it least for now.

I found the cartoon below while digging through some boxes of research. I remember sitting in the middle of many a cemetery over the years. Research notebook in hand, camera, notebook paper....trying to piece together those buried there with what I had on my family. Are the people next to them part of my family by chance? Why isn't Great Grandpa buried with the rest of the family? And my favorite - that my great Aunt will appreciate - Cow Pasture Charlie! {ask me to tell you this story some day - it's quite funny}

If people would only make it THIS easy to determine who is who's kid/parents!!

Fun Facts about my research:

  • I started researching at the age of 13th (1985-ish)
  • My first Family Tree was drawn out by hand (by me) on notebook paper....and I still have it.
  • When I began I didn't know my grandparents actual names - they were always grandma and grandpa. Didn't help that my mom's parents go by nicknames that are NOTHING like their given names.
  • I have close to 2400 people input into my Family Tree Maker program. With probabaly another 2400 or more that NEED to be input.
  • I have one line that goes back to my 10th Great Grandfather who was born in the late 1580's.
  • I have another line that I swore for the longest time aliens dropped them in the small town in Kansas they lived in for generations. I just couldn't find his parents for the life of me for a good 5 years or more. It's my dad's side of the family and they do tend to be a bit difficult! :-)
  • This hobby has been one of the most rewarding I've had over the years!!

Thanks for stopping by today! See ya next time!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our babies have left the nest

The two baby birds and momma have left the nest. We were very sad to see them go. Here are the last few shots Troy took of the babies. Amazing how quickly they grew and their feathers seemed to come in almost overnight.

One of them expressing his desire to eat. We'd see momma bird out in the back yard hunting for worms and what not a couple times a day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

SU Medallion Background Stamp

I'm LOVING the Medallion Background stamp. I used it in the Thank You card set I made in the post below, but then saw another card I liked so I had to play some more. These are made using the French Script Background (in Soft Suede), which is layered on Always Artichoke and then the base of the card and the ink used for the medallion stamp are Rich Razzleberry.

I played around with some variations of the placement of the stamp and adding a sentiment as well.

I was having so much fun I made a dozen this way! :-)

Thank You Gifts

We went to Pensacola last weekend with Beth and Mark to watch the Blue Angels from the water (Mark's and Beth's Parents both have boats). Oh what fun we had. We stayed with Mark's parents, Tom and Kathy, and they were such awesome hosts that I had to make a Thank You gift to send to them.

Someone posted on the FCTSC Messageboard that I hang out on about this cute little card box/purse. And I just had to make one. I found the video on one of my favorite SU Reps websites - Chic N Scratch. It was quite easy once you do one...and only requires a single 12X12 piece of paper (no cutting), 2 - 12 inch pieces of ribbon and some double sided tacky tape.

I had also started making some Joy Fold cards thanks to someone posting them on FCTSC. I had 4 of those done in the Designer Series paper I wanted to use (Bell Rose, now retired) so I decided to include them as part of the Thank You gift.

Then I had ordered the new Medallion Background stamp with my first Stampin Up order from the new catalog and wanted to play with it. So after surfing the gallery on Splitcoaststampers I went to work. So simply yet so beautiful.

And her is a birds eye view with all the cards inserted. I'm so happy with how it turned out. Now to find a box, pack it up and ship it off.

The babies have hatched

The babies hatched while we were in Pensacola last weekend. They are very "naked" in this picture. I know Troy's taken some more as their feathers have grown in over the last week, so I'll get those from him and post them soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

We are going to have a baby....

....or two. Baby BIRDS that is!! :-)

Last week Troy came in and grabbed his camera, then back out the door he goes. This is normal behavior for him. LOL Finally he returned and informed me there was a birds nest in the holly bush by our front porch. The nest is beautiful and at that point there was one egg.

Then a few days later......we have two.

Today he was able to get a picture of Mama Bird in the nest. She's protective of her eggs so I'm surprised he was able to get a shot.

Check back as I'm sure we will have pictures of the little ones once they hatch.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Dog and her Bed

Monday night it was time for bed...Happy was in the craft room with me, Cue-ee was curled up on the end of our bed. But Annie was no where to be found. I called for her, nothing. Figured she was down on the couch. I washed my face and prepared for bed. When I was done still no Annie. Called for her again, nothing. I put Cue-ee in his crate and headed to my side of the bed to turn on the light so I could turn off the overhead light before crawling into bed...figuring Annie would eventually appear or Troy could crate her when he got home from playing pool. This is what I happened upon as I walked to my side of the bed.........

That blue/green cushion and the blankets are her "bed" - which is normally located in her crate. But Troy had washed them the other night and we forgot to toss them in the dryer. So we put the dog bed from downstairs that her and Cue-ee share, and some towels in her crate that night. When I brought her bedding back upstairs over the weekend I just dropped it in the stack of baskets. The girl apparently likes her matter where it's located!!

I busted out laughing at the sight of her....then made a run for the camera. She gave me a dirty look like "how dare you take my bedding away". I had to literally DRAG her off the stack to put it back in her crate. As soon as the cushion was in the crate so was she. Then I covered her with her blankies....she's like her momma and loves to be covered up. She's now a happy puppy again!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lemonade Anyone??

Wow what a weekend. I've been in this purge, organize, and cleaning mood since about Thursday. I have no idea where it came from, but I've been a busy girl this weekend. Saturday I attacked...yes I truly did attack...the Master Bathroom. Top to bottom is was cleaned. I went through everything in the linen closet, under the sinks and in the vanity drawer and purged like crazy. If it was expired it was gone, if no expiration date and I didn't know how old it was - GONE! Gone Gone Gone!! I filled a kitchen trash bag. Then in the afternoon I attack my Scraproom. Troy helped put up the additional Bygel Rails I bought as I was running out of room for punches. And I had gotten a magnet board and little unit with 6 drawers. So we got all that done and I got into organization mode again. It was truly NUTS! But it looks AWESOME in here! :)

Then today....we slept late, but that didn't stop me. I went upstairs after breakfast (pancakes Troy's favorite) to take a shower and before I even make it into the shower I find myself sorting through the large Armoire in our bedroom and purge, purge, purging. Then on to the Master Closet. Purging and reorganizing. A good size box of clothes and an entire bedding set (that I haven't used in at least 2 years or more) all off to Goodwill. It feels good and rewarding. A very productive weekend indeed!

And I even managed to CREATE this weekend! WoooHooo

One of the new Designer Series Papers (DSP) from Stampin Up's new Catalog (due out July 1st) is called Razzleberry Lemonade. And it's AWESOME! Love love love it!!

I totally CASE'd this card off SCS. But as soon as I saw it I loved it and couldn't wait to make it. The Razzleberry Lemonade DSP contains the new In Colors. They are so bright and cheerful. I used Dusty Durango, Melon Mambo, and Crushed Curry. The stamp is from Kind & Caring Thoughts which is a new Hostess Set (Starting July 1st). It has three different "flowers" and then a ton of sentiments. I can tell it's going to be one of my favorite sets.

Thanks for stoppin' by!

Father's Day Cards

I always struggle with male cards. And Father's Day was no exception. I believe it was Wednesday night that I was sitting in my craft room trying to come up with SOMETHING. Now keep in mind they have to be MAILED.....ACROSS THE COUNTRY! DOH! Thankfully I have T-Shirts (snoopy ones of course) for my Dad and Grandpa Stephenson that fit perfectly in the Priority Flat Rate Envelope. It was a late night that Wednesday, but I did finish them.

First Dad's Card. Originally I aws going to make all three the same - you'll read below why dad's is different. I have tons of Snoopy Stamps - DUH! and find I hardly use them. So while surfing on SCS I found a card similar to this one that inspired me. Dad loves cars so thought he'd get a chuckle out of this card.
I colored the stamp using my Stampin Up Blender Pen and the Watercolor Wonder Crayons. This was the first time I'd done this technique and I LOVED IT!

Technically I started on these cards first. AMKScrap from the message board had the cut files for these on her blog. I thought they'd make cool Father's Day cards being that both my dad and grandfathers are car fanatics. Look closely....see all those little areas in the wheels where the green shows through? And all the other tiny areas of green within the car? Yeah well - those had to be punched out by hand, some cut with the exacto knife because my cricut didn't quite get them cut all the way through. The first one wasn't too bad. The next one a bit worse, and the third one....that's why dad got a Snoopy card! LOL
Labor of Love! :)

I believe the striped paper is just something I pulled out of my stash. The Green is Kiwi Kiss and then SU Black for the car and a couple of brads.
Thanks for stoppin' by!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vision Award

I have many updates to post - not sure I'll get them all done tonight, but here's one I'm especially proud of.

Our company presents annual awards they call "Vision Awards". There are several different categories, mostly around customer service, operational efficiencies, etc. They are normally given to project teams. Well MY TEAM won the 2008 Vision Award for a project that we worked our butts off on for the last year and a half or more (lots of travel, many sleepless nights on support calls, and some very long hours).

The awards banquet was back in April, and is attended by upper management so I wasn't there. :( That's okay it was black tie and all that fancy stuff. But they did put together a very nice dinner for the teams that were involved in the project. And we received our very own Vision Awards during the dinner on Monday night.

Troy tried to photograph it...but it was tough. It's glass with the gold accents and then the award name, etc and MY NAME are etched into the glass. It's very cool.

I'm debating if I take it to work and put on my desk (our cleaning people are not the carefullest of folks) or put it here at home in the China cabinet - which holds no china! :) It would have a nice home among the Snoopy and Captain Morgan items. LOL

So that's been my excitement for the week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

St Thomas - here, there and everywhere

Here are some pictures from when we were out and about on the island.

Troy at dinner at Fat Turtle. It's a cool "bar" on the water down near where the cruise ships dock. There is shopping and a few other restrauants around.
A bit hard to read in this size - but it's one of the gazzillion "Keep Left" signs on the island. They drive on the left in American Cars. It's quite the experience. Thankfully Troy does the driving.

It just isn't right. There are times when we turn and I start to freak that he's on the wrong side before I realize where we are. Left on takes some getting use to.

Sandy and Sunny - or that's what I named them anyhow. These two cuties were just off the road as we turned on to the road to the condo. Down the entire road to the condo there is farm land owned by the government. They lease it to residents for $1 a year per parcel (1/2 acre) to anyone that will farm on it. So there are varying "farms" as you drive. I learned which spots in the road to hold my breath. :)
The Steep road down to the condo....and a view of the water.
It's a bit blurry. The waitress at A Room with A View took our picture during our last night on the island. It took some arm twisting, nagging and pouting but Troy finally took me out to a nice dinner. We had a great time. And I got to wear the fabulous sun dress that Beth and I found at JCP while we were out shopping before the trip.
The View of the city lights from A Room with A View.

St Thomas - The Family

For those that know us - Troy was raised in St Thomas till he was about 14. So St Thomas is not only a vacation for us, but a chance for him to see the family that is still on the island. His mom's parents, her two brothers and many other relatives are still on the island. It's funny how many family members come out of the woodwork when you ask your future MIL for addresses for the wedding. :)

"Amigo" - Troy's Grandfather

Granny - I swear that if I went digging through the old pictures Troy gets the same pose from Granny every year. For being in her mid-late 80's she's a fiesty one.Granny and her Sister Noel

One of Troy's Cousins little girls - I'm still learning names. She's Uncle Moe's grand-daughter and he has her spoiled rotten (though he won't admit it LOL). She's shy at first but then a total ham after you are around her for a little bit.

Her little brother. He was such a happy boy. And so many faces

The newest addition to the family. She was born in February.

St Thomas - Atlantis....80+ Feet under the sea

There is a tourist attraction in St Thomas (and some other places around the world) called Atlantis. It's a submarine designed to take tourist down to see the reefs and what now on the bottom of the ocean. The one in St Thomas was closing at the end of May so Troy wanted to go see what it was all about.

Here is a picture of me on the boat that took us out to where the sub was "docked". It was very hot and humid on the boat as they had all the windows zip tied shut. We found out why as we made our way out and hit some big wavs! :)
The top of Atlantis. It was a tight fit inside. It held 48 passengers and the pilot and our tour guide. There was a bench down the middle that people sat on back to back, looking out the portals. The hardest part for me was going down the ladder into the sub BACKWARDS. I'm not a huge fan of stairs to begin with, and then you want me to go down backwards. Lovely!
They said to add about 10 feet to the reading in the sub to figure out how far down we were. (the sensor was on TOP of the sub). This was the farthest down we went.

We were lucky enough to board in the first group so we had not only the view out the side windows but also out the front.

A school of blue fish. The water was a bit cloudy - they said due to some algea that had moved into the area.

Troy and I during the ride.
A nice lady was willing to take a picture of us on the bow of the boat after our trip.

I have to say, it's cool to say we did it, but honestly I wasn't THAT impressed. Even though the water was suppose to be cloudy because of the algae, the guide did say that the colors are not anything like what you see in the magazines even under normal conditions. It's was $90 a piece for us to take the trip - not sure I'd say it was worth it.

St Thomas - Cute Babies

So while at Magens Bay our first morning there were two mothers with these two cute baby girls playing in the sand and water. Troy wasn't using the camera at the time (shocking) so I asked him to set it up on auto for me (I haven't mastered all the settings on them yet - they are way too advanced for me).

So I went over to chat and see if they would mind if I took some pictures. We got their email address and sent them the pictures when we got home. They really enjoyed them. Here are a few of my favorites.

This is the cutie pie that first caught my attention. She was having a great time in her makeshift pool mom had dug for her.

Isn't she just a doll? I feel bad that I forgot her name.
The girls (yes the one in the blue suit is a girl), crawled up the beach and had fun looking to see how far mom was going to let them go.
Eventually Maddie made her way back. (notice the sandy tush at the top of the cute), and she finally came crawling back too.

Then some cuddle time with mommy after rinsing off.

St Thomas - Magens Bay

Mr. Elliott dropped our rental jeep off at the condo the evening we arrived so we could head out first thing in the morning to Magens Bay. For those that don't know Magens Bay is one of the top ten beaches in the world. Last year I learned why! The sand on the beach is so soft, the water is very clear and so blue, and because of it's location and the small islands at the mouth of the bay the water is usually pretty calm.
Troy tends to get occuppied with pictures of the pelicans and other birds diving for fish when we are there. :) I'll spare you the hundreds of pictures he took of those. :) But here are a few of my favorites.

Me wandering down the beach. This is right around the spot we plan on getting married at next year. While there that day we saw FOUR weddings take place. It was exciting to think that Friday before Memorial Day next year one of those couples would be US!!

Troy caught me sitting in the sun reading.

One of the birds diving for fish. We found out from the bartender that these are called The Brown Booby. At first when he told Troy this I thought he was kidding, so I had to look it up when we got home, and sure enough. I like how they look like fighter planes when they are in their dive.

And Mr. Troy - WITH his camera of course.

We spent the morning on the beach and then headed up to the bar for lunch and some drinks. St Thomas is pricey as it is, but apparently being one of the top beaches allows total robbery...a burger, just the burger mind you, was $9.75. Two burgers and a side of fries cost 23 bucks! DOH! Thankfully the drinks were more resonable - 6 bucks a piece, and since liquor is cheap down there they are VERY generous with it. WoooHooo Three drinks and I was so done!