Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to all ....

We have family coming up early tomorrow to start our Christmas Eve traditions ... so with being sick this past week, I know this will be the last "liesurely" time I have to check in and wish all of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

I'm already starting to think ahead at the possiblities that 2010 will hold for my family and I ... and am feeling extremely greatful and hopeful ... for all the things that we've been blessed with this difficult 2009 and all the things that God and life have in store for us in 2010.

Embrace the craziness ... you can't escape it.  Let it happen, and enjoy the moment!  See you after the chaos is over!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Anyone else feeling the Christmas Crunch?

Man ... does it suck.  I feel like I've got 100 things to do and definitely not enough time to do them in.  Besides all that, an unexpected Saturday entertaining family (which I love and am thankful to see them ... but ack!).  It seems that I keep pushing everything to the back burner thinking that I'll somehow find the time ... but secretly - secretly I know that this is what always happens to me when I get overwhelmed.  Suddenly the most silliest of things get done before what needs to get done. 

Do you do that too?  (Please tell me that you do!)

Today I honestly couldn't tell you what I did other than load & empty the dishwasher, clean pots, scrub the sink, make macaroons (then eat one too many cause they were so darn tasty ... and btw ... really easy to make - followed the recipe from, did laundry (still have the whites to do), made a fabric flower pin from this tutorial at WiseCraft's blog and made dinner.  After that I sat down to eat dinner with the hubby and vegged out as we watched Sing-Off (I think that's it?) on NBC and wrote down the sizes of particular fabrics I need to get started cutting for a quilt and did a Suduko puzzle.

Totally motivating, isn't it?  I'm hoping tomorrow is better ... and that I have more energy than I did today.  Going to bed now (12:15am isn't late, is it?) and waking up early tomorrow to make these guys ... Stroofilies (for lack of proper spelling - it's how I spell them!)  They're an Italian thing ... basically small dough balls, fried then coated with honey and rainbow sprinkles.  SO yummy. 

After that, clean up - go with the hubby for his haircut and then hit the mall to finish up some last minute shopping!  Planning on finishing wrapping everything that night.  Well - that's the plan.  We'll see if it works!

I'm so wishing that I could be pulling out my sewing machine and get started on the quilt & some other quick projects - but it's too cumbersome to take everything out for 1 or 2 days before company visits. 

Oh ... and since we're confessing here ... I've totally dropped the ball on my Journal Your Christmas/December Daily/Holidays in Hand album.  This year though, I've made it farther than ever ... I actually put together an album!  I've also tried to keep track of what happened on what day - but we'll see if it ever winds up coming to fruition.

I hear my bed calling ... Hopefully all of you are finding your way out of the chaos that the season creates and into some peace & quiet.  Good luck!  I'll be here sporadically as I can ... and maybe even to post some pictures of what I make!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Busy week

I can't really come up with a good list of why it's been so busy ... but it feels like it has!  Just the usual cleaning, cooking and crafting going on!  We had about 5 inches of snow yesterday in the wee early morning and I was up with the hubby as he left for work ... and watched him take a big whooping fall onto his tuckus ... twice.  The poor thing ... he has a wife that only stifles her laugh long enough to ask if he's okay then lets loose!

I'm a lucky girl though ... today (the 11th) is my birthday and he always comes through for me.  He's taking me into Manhattan to see "my" tree (also known as the Rockefeller Center Tree) and a quick visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral (love that church) to light some candles and say some prayers ... lunch is still up in the air - Carmine's or Brother Jimmy's ... (I'm a tough date, aren't I? ... old school Italian or really good pulled pork & hush puppies).

Tonight he called on his way home from work telling me that he was running late because something happened as he was leaving ... no biggie, just held dinner up a bit ... and in he walks with a dozen red roses and a Milky Way (my favorite).  (I'll get my card later today since it's only 1am.)  Seriously ... men could take lessons from him.  He's attentive to the small things (not all the time, but definitely when it counts!)

He gave me my present over a week ago though ... now, never in my life did I think that I'd ever ever want this item ... nor be thrilled - yes - thrilled to get it ... no, it wasn't the gold initial pendant that I saw at Tiffany's that I mentioned in a previous post ... nope ... it was a Jason Witten jersey.  SO awesome.  The man has converted me into a football lover.  

Enough lovin' on my husband I guess .... off to bed so we can catch an early-ish train into the city and be back in time for dinner with my parents and then lunch with his and mine Saturday.

Oh ... did I neglect to mention the 2 paper/book wreaths that I'm making for my sister in law and her friend that I need done by Sunday?  Yeah ... that's just one of the major reasons I've been busy.

Enjoy your Friday! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finally decorated

I feel like I'm behind the proverbial 8-ball this year ... and not sure why.  Today I finally got everything decorated.  If there's anything left, it's just minor odds & ends that I forgot about and will put out when I find out about them!

I have realized something though ... I hate putting ornaments on the tree.  Just find it to be such a hassle ... but love the final look of the tree.  Go figure, right?  I had to guilt the hubby into helping me finish it up today ... whatever works, right?

Here's the finished product:

I have to remember to put the tree "skirt" on tomorrow.  I just remembered that I used some brown ultra suede fabric that I had ... Let me tell you - it's difficult to work around a train track!  Everything is just too bulky and goes too near the tracks.

We're fortunate that my father-in-law is an  avid Lionel train collector/lover - and has been for years and years.  The train peeking out from behind the tree there ... he made that for my husband when he was little.  After we got married, he got my initial added onto the "train line" on the side.  So loving and adorable.  Here's a better picture of the train from a few years ago at our old apartment. 

My husband still doesn't understand why I switched out the accent colors of our tree ... in our apartment I kept the purple that I had when I was single - it went with the brown couch and accents we had in the living room.  In the house ... the purple kinda clashes with the blue walls, know what I mean?  Poor guy ... he just shakes his head while I carry on.

I was going to be all tech-savvy and attempt making a little collage with our other bits & pieces of stuff here ... but the computer I'm on doesn't have Picasa loaded and quite frankly, I should've been in bed an hour ago!  Maybe tomorrow?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today ...

Doing a lot of Christmas decorating and cleaning ... so I'm posting from  The Simple Woman’s Daybook which you can find here. 

Outside my Window: Is beautifully covered in snow.
I am Thinking: That I love how the decorations look once they're done ... but gripe about doinCg them.
I am Thankful For: A husband that worries when I drive in bad weather.

From the Kitchen:  Spaghetti  & Meatballs ... starting the gravy in a few minutes
I am Learning: that I have too many projects going on
I am Wearing: sweats  & a long sleeve tee
I am Creating: Christmas :)
I am Going: To stay home all day :)
I am Reading: CK Magazine
I am Hoping: That I'll finish all the decorating by tonight
I am Hearing: The sound of my DVR shows being watched after a few weeks of neglect, which will result in a happy husband when he checks out the DVR tonight
Around the House: Are boxes & bins of Christmas
One of my Favorite Things: The Lenox ornament my husband bought me on our first married christmas
A Few Plans for Next Week: christmas cookies, making some other holiday favorites
A Picture to Share: 


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time off as family photographer ...

I love getting pictures of my family - the candid ones, the posed ones ... you name it, I love to have it ... but sometimes it's just too difficult.  The men & children argue about not wanting to do the pictures, they won't cooperate and frankly it just irritates me.

I'm finding more and more though that I'm the only one left that is willing to pull out the camera at family functions.  It's a little disheartening.  Especially when I realize (like I did today) that I frankly didn't have time to take random photos (like of the turkey, us all hanging out, the Wii tournaments that went on, etc.) and no one else even thought of it in my place.

The only pictures I did get were a couple of my nieces & nephews and my brother's family photo (because my sister in law asked me to take it for them) and one that I ran in to take with my husband because we haven't had a good, recent picture together in a while.  All my other table & decoration pictures were taken either the night before or during the 10 minute lull after I came downstairs from getting ready and waiting for guests to arrive.

I guess I'll have to add one more task to my list that day and be sure to remind my husband that he's my backup photographer, and not just the Wii Tournament coordinator.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap and December plan ...

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday is done and here I am.  Right now I'm on the couch waiting to start dinner for the hubby and figured it's a good time to catch up here while I watch some DVR that's backed up because of the holidays.

So ... here's what's been going on: 

The paper wreath project.  I told you it was huge ... it's measuring 12" deep and just about 24" across.  Truly, after I made it, I loved it ... but the one phrase that kept coming out of my mouth was "it's so huge!"  So, my advice to you ... go with the 1o" base ... or smaller - though I haven't tried anything smaller yet ... but I plan to.  

There were only 2 options for where to hang it ... over our couch in the den (high enough so my clumsy but loveable husband doesn't whack it with his arms when he stretches) or on the wall of our stairwell where no one will see it except myself and my husband ... and those select few who wind up in our upstairs. 

My sister and I settled on hanging in the den above the couch.  Thankfully the wall is big enough that it doesn't look out of place.  I do have to find some other things (frames?) to hang beside it so it's not just floating there on its own.  Here are some quick pictures I took of it (excuse the mess & poor lighting :)  ).

Onto Thanksgiving ... we co-hosted, as I mentioned.  My mother-in-law wasn't feeling well, so we were down 1 ... but still had a great day.  Dinner was fantastic if I do say so myself!  I must say, between my father and I, we're pretty damn good at timing everything.  We had some family favorite appetizers early (quick quiche, mini hot dogs, pseudo-antipasto and stuffed mushrooms) and they were devoured relatively quickly.  Dinner was pretty traditional as well - but we added a chateaubriand into the mix as well being that we had so many and everyone usually takes leftovers home.  It was mouthwatering.   It was one of the best pieces of meat I've had.  Homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, carmelized onions, string beans, broccoli and sweet potaotes.  Probably other stuff that I'm missing, but all of it was delicious.

The fun part ... the table setting:  (the sizing options aren't cooperating with me)

And all of this ... brings us to the one day I don't mind shopping all year ... Black Friday!  Anyone else with me on this?  There's something to be said for not sleeping, leaving the house at 3:15am to get coffee before hitting the first store at 4am.  Yes ... yes, I did.  (We actually - it's a sisterly adventure every year.)  We're smart enough to know not to go for the crazy $200 computers or things like that, but we get some pretty good deals on things (like $49 for a slide scanner ... $59 for a $125 floor steamer). 

How did you guys make out?  Did you even go out on Black Friday?

Yesterday I sorted through the bags and made final decisions about what to keep and what to return (yes, there are some things to return!).  This week I'll do my returns and pick up the missing Christmas gifts I need. 

My husband and father in law will be putting up our Lionel train (my father in law is an avid train collector and it's a nice tradition to have - especially after we have kids) around the tree in the next day or two, so that's when the majority of our decorating will get done.  I still have to write out Christmas cards ... and I must admit that I'm behind this year - they're usually in the mail ON December 1st ... I'm such a slacker ;)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Tiffany's Christmas?

Now that Thanksgiving is over and I'm recovering from my Black Friday extravaganza ... more on that to come later ... I got the Tiffany & Co. Christmas booklet in the mail today and fell in love.   
I'm a big fan of classic, simple jewelery and this hits it on all marks.  Yes ... I prefer gold vs. silver and always have.  I honestly only buy silver "junk" jewelery because I know I'll never get much use out of it.

But this?  I can see wearing this every day on a longer chain.  It helps that the "B" is in my favorite font and that it's a B ... I'm obsessed with them.  It doesn't help that it's $350 and right now, that's just not a logical thing to do for Christmas from the hubby.  I will keep my eye on it though and periodically check back before any anniversary or birthday :)  I'll also keep a look out for another jeweler who can duplicate it at maybe 1/3 of the cost.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

I have decided today is going to be wacky.  It all started when I had a dream where Martha Stewart was asking me for advice and telling me how awesome I was ... then had another dream where my father, sister and I were stealing pumpkins from a warehouse.  An activity that we do not and would not participate in.  I'd like to believe that Martha would still tell me that I was awesome though.

It's prep-day at my house.  All the veggies get chopped, stuffing made, bird washed, food thawed and sanity somewhat restored.  It seems (to me at least) that as long as we get the majority of the food prep done today, we're usually on track for tomorrow.  Now ... the biggest struggle is to figure out the timing of everything!

Good luck everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holy Paper/Book Wreath Batman

Can I just say WOW?

So ... I mentioned this wreath a few posts back.  Here's a picture for you of the wreath I decided I couldn't live without.

For whatever reason, I decided that I must do this wreath today.  It MUST be done for Thanksgiving when everyone comes over.  What the hell was I thinking? 

Here are the major differences in the cute small wreath shown here and mine: 

This wreath ... 10 inch base.  Mine?  14 inch base (yeah - didn't realize that till 1/2 the thing was done)

This wreath ... cute & full.  Mine?  HUGE and HUGE.

This wreath ... lovely.  Mine?  MASSIVE.

I'm seriously going to have to post a picture ... but not today.  I did learn a few tricks along the way which I'll post when I put my photo up ... but other than a time-consuming project, it was relatively easy.

Now ... where am I going to hang this thing? 

What's your "For Good"?

So I'm sitting here going through my Google Reader, realizing that I really should get a move on ... but I don't.  I come across Stacy Julian's post at Write.Click.Scrapbook's blog.  WELL.  Call me emotional ... but this was just a beautiful post that touched me.  Please visit her post and really think about what she says.  

So often today we're all muddling through our days hoping to get to the next day off and the next thing that we forget to stop and appreciate those that are in our lives and make a difference.  Think about who has made a change in your life and those that continue to do so.

I did.   I wrote a letter just now.  I'm mailing it today.  Yes, that's right - mailing a letter.  You remember those?  Don't just shoot off an email.  Make it something that brightens someone's day when they sort through the junk-mail and bills.  Allow your appreciation to be something that they can treasure and keep when they may need that little lift in their day.

Go.  Do.  Now.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving table decorations ... check!

After waking up and feeling the too familiar twinge in my back, I decided (wisely) that I should lay off the heavy-duty stuff today and not do anything major.  Yes, that's right dear readers ... a total guilt-free no cleaning day!  Ah, the bliss.

What did I do to whittle the hours away you ask?  Well ... crafts of course!  As mentioned, I finished the Indian Corn husks for the kids' table ... wanna see?  No, they are not like the ones that I found originally - but still pretty darn cute I think!

So that takes care of the kids.  Now, the adults.  All of which will make fun of me for the extent that I've gone to for my table, but I don't care.  Honestly.  I've loved having a decorated table since I was a wee lass.  I just think it looks pretty and just adds to everything.  With that ... I give you the napkins and the place cards:

The napkins are plain, solid dark brown napkins that I folded and rolled, then took 3 stalks of wheat, tied the ribbon around them alone, then wrapped the ribbon around the napkin and made the bow.  (I feel the need to say Voila'!)   The place cards were pretty quick to whip up too.  Some orange cardstock as the base, a 3" scalloped circle with a bit of the top cut off, ivory copy/printer paper (I admit, I was lazy and didn't want to change to cardstock) and a button with some brown bakery twine.  All the edges finished with some brown ink.  I did the adults in that font you see there and if you peek in the background, you'll see the kids' done in a slightly simpler font (so the youngest won't have any problem reading his - and yes, all theirs are the same so no one bickers that they didn't get ____ on theirs).

The hubby was a good hubby and moved the extra table into the kitchen for me so I could make sure I could situate it the way I was thinking without any issues.  His reward (not really) was our usual Sunday dinner ... gravy & meatballs (to clarify ... to many Italians, sauce is called gravy ... you know ... marinara ... it's just gravy in this family ... sacrilege to call it anything else really.)  We've now moved upstairs so that we can watch our Fringe episodes on DVR while he relaxes in the bedroom and I make my paperback wreath in the craft room.  (I'm not allowed to watch it with him ... it's too comfy and warm, then I whine for snuggling and before you know it I'm asleep and it's 15 minutes into the show.)

Oh ... one more thing - my public service announcement of the week ... don't forget to charge your camera batteries!  Just saw mine was at 1/2 charge when I took these pictures so I'm all set to go for Thursday!


I've been a busy little bee ...

As I realized that I only have until this Thursday ... well, lets face it - Wednesday to get everything ready for Thanksgiving ... I gave myself a quick slight kick in the rear and got moving.

Today I: 
  • Cleaned the den/family/living room (choose your name for it) from top to bottom (and boy was it dusty!)
  • Made the Indian-corn/M&M husks that I saw here here (totally cheated - used 2 paper circles for the inside and one for the outside - and just tied bows with the raffia ... would probably be easier with the wooden disks though ... and just couldn't deal with trying to fuss with the corn husk)
  • Dusted the kitchen shelves, etc. (leaving the kitchen clean-up for Wednesday night after all the prep work is done)
  • Got dressed :)
  • Made dinner :)
  • Did laundry
  • Painted and cut the pages for this project that I think is totally awesome looking (paperback book wreath ... seriously - go check it out - the project (and blog by Lindsay) are pretty awesome
So for some reason I feel like I accomplished a lot more than it looks like here.  Maybe that's because of all the time I spent in the den?

Tomorrow I'm in for more of the same.  The hubby is off, so I have to convince him to do a test-fit for the extra table that we'll be putting in the kitchen.  I need to know if my big square table idea will work or not.  While he watches football (without me :( )  I'll be:
  • Making sure the beds & rooms for my brother & niece are in order
  • Tidying up the office (I tend to pile & stack things on my desk near the computer ... lots of little notes around ... )
  • Wondering if I can finish the paper wreath between something or other
  • Sewing some burp cloths and finishing up a frame for a friend to gift
  • Tracking down the table cloths and napkins I'm using for Thanksgiving
  • Cleaning our bedroom and putting laundry away (hate putting laundry away)
  • finding 5,000 other things that need to be done for Thursday ;)
Oh ... did I mention I also have the proverbial "nothing  to wear" problem as well?  Hopefully I can work on that.

Good luck to you all ... I'm sure your lists are just as harried as mine! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the go

 Crazy day of grocery shopping and running some errands ... home for a quick break & bite to eat ... so I figured today would be a good day for these questions which I've seen all over blogs (and quite a few this week) from The Simple Woman’s Daybook which you can find here. 

Outside my Window: Its sunny and the perfect temperature

I am Thinking: I have a LOT to do this week ... hate procrastinating, but it's what I do so well.
I am Thankful For: A pretty darn good life ... ups & downs, family and especially my hubby.  Always thankful for him.

From the Kitchen: Enchiladas tonight (if I get my butt to the store)
I am Learning: that I will always want more and different.  It's not in me to be complacent.
I am Wearing: Jeans, pink v-neck and grey tank under it.

I am Creating: Chaos :)  Groceries are mostly put away in the kitchen ...

I am Going: To BJ's, AC Moore and the thrift store
I am Reading:Nothing at the moment ... need to start "Godmother" ... forget the author though.

I am Hoping: That I can focus this week.

I am Hearing: Nothing :)
Around the House: Chaos :)  It's beginning to be a theme.
One of my Favorite Things: My craft room ... it seems to have what I need whenever I need it 
A Few Plans for Next Week: Cleaning!!! Then relaxing enough to enjoy the family on Thanksgiving instead of letting them drive me nuts.

A Picture to Share:  Photo taken by Myles Pinkey Photography
Sigh ... one of my favorites from our wedding.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Overwhelmed ... time to make a list!

I have weird dreams.  My husband constantly tells me so.  Often, I have no idea what was going through my subconscious to generate said dreams.  Not so this time.

We're co-hosting Thanksgiving again this year (we live in a mother/daughter house with my parents) ... I've done this before.  Heck, I've cooked the majority of Thanksgiving dinner for quite a few years now - it's not that bad.

So why then ... did I just have a nightmare about it?  Yes ... I had a Thanksgiving Nightmare.  Dinner wasn't ready.  Place cards were lost.  Kids treats weren't made properly and ... gasp ... the table wasn't set.  I can only attribute this to the fact that I realized at 11:30 last night the following:


Holy cow ... when did it get so close?  On top of Thanksgiving, there's Black Friday.  (We just can't miss that).  Then we're also having more family over on Saturday, going to a 40th birthday party and then it's poker night for my husband after that.  Now I know that we'll I'll pull it all off without any major issues ... but it's crunch time. (Yes, I said that.)

Time to break out ... the list.  While I don't have anything quite so snazzy and organized as this little pad, I do have some blank paper.  (Actually, I have a whole notebook ... but we may just use paper for this one.)

Off the top of my head, here's what i need to do:
  • Clean the house from top to bottom so that next week is just "surface" cleaning
  • Prep the spare bedroom and make sure sheets/blankets are ready for my brother and niece
  • Grocery shopping (this will be 2 trips - one for regular stuff I need before thanksgiving and one for perishables for thanksgiving)
  • Mail out Thanksgiving cards 
  • make an album for the 40th birthday party as a gift
  • Discuss and finalize an order for a queen size and baby quilt
  • Find more time in every day
Now ... I'm sure once I go through everything I'll be sorting out what can stay and go (like do I need to make an album or will a gift-card do?) and what can be pushed off till the week after thanksgiving.  But ... I'm at that point where I know I'm overwhelmed and I start to lose focus (and tend to avoid doing anything that needs to be done).

So ... with that - I'm off to make my list.  My poor husband won't know what hits him when he finally wakes up!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paying respects to the deceased ...

Perhaps an odd topic for a crafty blog ... but it'll happen now and again.

It's coming up to the anniversary of losing my grandmother, Honey, next week.  The 22nd will be 8 years.  Having been raised with her living with us, it was more than just losing my grandmother ... she was a 2nd mother to me.  She was amazing.  Widowed by a husband with ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease in her early 30's with 2 kids (12 & 10) she was strong, hard-headed, determined, and such an incredible woman with strength and resolve that I've never seen in another.  Involved in everything and anything that we all did ... and growing up, as the youngest child (with 7 years between myself and my closest sibling) I was always with my mother and grandmother where ever they went - especially before school started.  Now, I don't have the best memory in the world when it comes to my childhood, but there are some things that have definitely stuck with me through the years. 

My grandmother was a great believer in visiting the graves of your loved ones.  It was, to her, how you showed respect to the memory of those you loved.  You visited, prayed over them and made sure that their final resting place was being kept well and not neglected.  I remember this.  I remember the silent tears that used to come from her while visiting her parents, brother and husband.  I remember bringing flowers or blankets during Christmas time, tending to the plants already there.  I remember the phone conversations I'd overhear between her and her sisters deciding on who was going to go just before Easter or Christmas to put Palms or the blanket on the graves.  As they got older, the conversations were then passed onto my mother, uncle and cousins.

Because of all these memories, I too have come to believe that  tending to the final resting place of your loved ones is just one way to show respect for them and their memory.  Last year, there was a lot happening in my life just as her anniversary came around.  I didn't go.  Throughout this year, for one reason or another I still hadn't made it down there.  Granted, the cemetery is roughly an hour and a half ... but its a trip that I can easily do without any problem.  I didn't go.  While I know in my heart she watches over me ... I can't explain why I've stopped myself from going.  This year ... I have to.  I've been away too long and can't possibly excuse myself any longer. 

I have learned so much by having that amazing woman in my life.  Life is hard ... it doesn't get any easier as the days go by.  If you want something, you go after it and get it.  Figure out how to make it work ... and by God ... don't you dare say that you can't do it.  If she could accomplish what she did in her life, with all the struggles, you could overcome yours.

I think the combination of going to the cemetery tomorrow, her anniversary coming up along with watching the episode of Three Rivers with an ALS patient has made me a little more sensitive tonight to just how much I miss her. 

Photo of my dapper grandparents on their honeymoon in Atlantic City
I miss you every day, Honey.  I understand so much more now than I did then.  I still wish that you were here to meet my husband, see our lives and share in them with us ... even though I know in my heart that you're watching over me with Grandpa by your side. I love you always.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Goals ... and why I always seem to change them ...

Last week sometime, there was a prompt to post about Goals that you have (in general) for the Blogging for Scrapbookers class.  

I have goals.  Lots of them.  Honestly?  Too many of them.  I want things that I sometimes even think I'm crazy for wanting ... that they'll never realistically happen ... but it doesn't stop me from wanting them.  I write down my goals all the time ... then slowly, one by one I lose focus on them.  Other things take priority over scheduling time out to focus on specific things for myself.  (I know I can't be the only woman with this problem.)  I feel like my goals are like my to-do lists ... I write them down, really want them accomplished but somehow just misplace the notebook I keep it in so I move on to something else without ever thinking twice.

So here's my question ... how do YOU focus your goals into something that's attainable?  How do you not forget about them when something else comes along needing your focus?  

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The tour starts here ... (picture heavy)

I must have a brain deficiency that is allowing my inner neat-freak to post these pictures.  Either that or I've finally come to the realization that this is probably as good as it's going to get in my Scraproom.  I really should just refer to it as my craft room since it is for so much more than scrappin'.  Here goes!  Hope you like the tour ... 

This is the view from the door.  I love purple ... so I went for it ... a nice beautiful purple on my walls.  I have a thing about having the perfect window coverings and until I figure that out, I'm not spending money on temporary solutions ... so meet the love of my instant decor ... paper mini blinds (they've been up for over a year - don't judge.) L-shaped desks work best for me.  Like many of us, lots of stuff tucked away in baskets & under the desk I'm sure.  So, the details  ...

This sits behind me ... the folders hold any stray 12 x 12 papers or specialty papers (like vellum, etc). Under the folders are paper trays that hold my quilting or general craft  magazines that I keep.  The trays hold my super large punches and small sized page protectors (and cropodile) and under that are either more page protectors or folios to keep scrap-stuff in.  The pile-o-crap with the watercolor paints ... well, that's just a pile of stuff I have to go through or get rid of, but it didn't belong on my desk!


This is under my desk ... from left to right:  (1) Miscellaneous basket - holds the trays, some chipboard items, extra craft supplies, heat gun, etc.  (2) basket with all my embellishments sorted/labeled with theme (like baby, love, wedding, summer, fall, etc.).  (3) The square basket with the white envelopes holds memorabilia for pages yet to be done.  (I use the logging system (kinda) that Becky Higgins has posted on her blog at some point) ... I have the event written, the number of the box my pics are in and if I have memorabilia for it.  So far its working for me.  (4) Scrap basket.  Again, using the 12 x 12 plastic folders, sorted ROYGBIV with one for patterned paper ... so far it is the best way I've found for holding and being able to reuse my scraps.  If I have to search for something, it's not going to happen.  I use this in conjunction with a basket under my desk that I throw scraps in while I work.  Every few months I spread them out on my bed and as I watch TV sort them into the appropriate folder.  I keep one for patterned paper because I always hated putting multi-colored patterns in with just one color.


The hutch ... ah, the hutch.  One of my most unwanted pieces of furniture ... but I'm using it anyway.  Top of it has my cutesy stuff ... and baskets that hold my flowers.  (the mirrored thing is an old antique medicine chest that my grandmother had and I love and just can't part with).  Left side:  top holds a basket with small paper pads, folders and larger paper pads and then a basket with tags on top of a photo box that holds ... something.  I forget offhand (don't use that enough apparently).  Below that are my plastic drawers that are ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, neutrals and metal actually) and the basket holds all my letters - brads, chipboard, any 3-dimensional type of letter, it's in there.  Right side: top shelf has colored pencils and card/envelope combos ... middle has small envelopes & cards, along with markers and below that sits my metal card-catalog (LOM alumni know this piece) that sorts my pictures a-la-Stacy Julian and Library of Memories.  It is of course blocked by more crap and a basket full of pictures that I need to sort and file away.


 And, this my dear followers ... (if you're still awake and with me) is my view.  Right now, it's the couple of new sheets of paper that I liked but have no particular use for and a stack of Christmas items that I'm prepping for my attempt at the Journal Your Christmas album this year.  The wire shelf is an over-the-sink counter that holds my most used supplies (hole punch, eraser, distresser, etc.), pens, pencils and the wooden box holds scraps (that I for some reason cut up into predetermined sizes that I found on a website and thought was a good idea for some reason?) which I tend to use for cards ... and my most used ink pads.  The jumble of papers off to the side are a few folders that hold some of the Simple Scrapbooks album planners and the Becky Higgins log that I mentioned earlier.  

  This is my lovely store ... I mean closet that has more chipboard and wooden items, Christmas balls and Styrofoam objects than I'll ever know what to do with ... along with other various crafty pursuits ... like knitting, embroidery, painting, canvases, floral items and um ... probably 4 more hobbies.  (Those white boxes that are stacked *are* empty ... I feel I need to mention that for some reason.)

These are my beautiful shelves.  A must-have when we moved.  These shelves hold almost everything.  From the top ... magazines and then boxes of photos.  Albums and folders holding stuff for albums to be made (like my remembrance one of my grandmother, our wedding, vacation to Vegas ... where most everything (except large amounts of photos) are all together).  The next shelves hold my card-box some various supplies (like Zig markers that I *had* to have all the colors of), the wooden drawers from Ikea hold mass cards and extra pens/markers ... the wooden long box holds various adhesives that are extra or not used often and the 12 x 12 stacked holders hold all my finished layouts that I've yet to put into albums.  (for shame, I know).  The main shelf (as I see it) holds 4 plastic drawers that hold adhesives and punches. On top of that are fibers and embroidery threads.  Next to those drawers are cardstock sorted by ROYGBIV and then there are kits and patterned papers.  If I love a kit, it's kept together in a cropper hopper folder ... if not, it's broken up into my regular patterned paper which is sorted how I think - whimsical, floral, old world, plaid, dots, geometric ... and it's working for me.  Unless it's a whole line that I love, nothing is sorted by manufacturer.  The lower shelves hold my ink pads, embossing powers, reinkers and those types of things ... and the right side holds baskets of stamps that I use most often.  There is another shelf that isn't in the picture, but those hold general supplies or templates ... 8.5 x 11" paper and more stamps.

WHEW.  Thanks for sticking with me this long.  Hopefully it wasn't too painfully boring!  That's my room.  Now, I just need to spend more time creating in it and not re-organizing supplies!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I hate being down & out ...

2 weeks ago, it was because I pulled my back out like never before ... just as I've recovered (mostly) from that and have been able to get some stuff done around the house (you know - the important things like laundry, cleaning & cooking) I got knocked on my a$$ by a migraine for the past 2 - 3 days.  Yesterday being the "last" day, it was intermittent headaches in about 3 hour clips.  Oh, the joy.

Needless to say, I wasn't on the computer very much - or nearly at all.  I caught up on reading my class emails for Blogging for Scrapbookers and realized that it's perfectly okay if I don't do them.  Yep, that's right ... I'm not doing them.  They provoked some good thoughts & ideas, but I'll save that for another post, another day.

I also realized that there is no human way to keep up with my Google Reader now that I've added all of my classmates' blogs to my list.  There were over 1,000 posts to read in my poor little reader.  I've decided to go through a letter or two of the alphabet per day ... comment on those I can and then add the ones I truly love to my regular reader ... the rest get cleared from my counter & will have to wait for another day. 

By the way ... I've been a bad blogger, I suppose ... thanks to those of you that have commented on the blog - it's a kick getting a comment and even more when you say that you like something that I've posted or written about!  Thanks :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Centerpieces & Table decor

So this is what I made for my wedding centerpieces.  We got married at the end of September and with my heart's desire being wedding pictures with foliage, we kept to a fall-like decor.  I found this beautiful example via Martha Stewart's website (... it's no longer there but of course, picture is courtesy of Martha Stewart via's website).

I'm wondering if I have a wheat-obsession.  After making 25? or so centerpieces of these beauties (some of them twice because my "helpers" didn't do such a good job ... the "helpers" will remain nameless because I do still love them for the effort) a normal person probably wouldn't want to work with wheat again.

I just picked up a bundle of wheat the other day for my Thanksgiving table settings.   I think it was on BHG's website that I saw the idea, but can't remember for sure ... 3 wheat stalks arranged sitting on top of a folded or rolled napkin with ribbon.  It sounds simple, elegant and beautiful, right?  Hopefully it'll turn out that way.  I have to first find the napkins I'm using (and have enough of) and then do a sample of them.  Maybe I'll even remember to post a picture!

Well, that was easy!

As my (cough) loyal blog readers know (all 1 or 2 of you?) I'm taking the Blogging for Scrapbookers class from Shimelle ... and I have to say, I'm learning more than I thought.

First example?  Check out the new blog background.  Nifty huh?  I got it from The Cutest Blog on the Block's site.  Lots of cute things there ... and FREE!  Can't beat that, can you?

So what else have I learned?  Well ... that I cannot possibly read and comment on all of the blogs of classmates.  WAY too time consuming.  I have a slew of them in my Google Reader (which if you don't already have a reader of some sort, is totally awesome) and am able to flip through them relatively easily to see which I connect with and don't.  I've also realized that I have more to say than I originally thought!  If it's interesting and earth shattering on the other hand is totally up to you. :)

I'm irritated already this morning because I still have a headache from yesterday.  I'm prone to migraines, but this isn't one ... just an annoyingly bad headache that I was hoping would go away.  I have plans to clean up the house a bit, but also some fun stuff ... paint a chipboard album for my Journal Your Christmas class along with a paper mache tree that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

Can we talk about Hobby Lobby for a sec here?  OH MY.  It's just ... SIGH ... delightful.  Yesterday my sister and I spent over an hour in there (more because of her indecision than anything ... but still).  I was good.  Really!  I got a couple of patterned scrapbook papers and the paper mache tree and a tube of bronze Christmas balls.  All for $13.  I LOVE this store.  Really cute things for home decor, holiday themed things are grouped together in the holiday section along with being in their original section (ex. Scrapbook paper and embellishments).

Okay ... enough from me.  Enjoy your Sunday and hopefully you'll be doing something fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yesterday & Today

John was off yesterday and today.  Nothing out of the ordinary - it was his regularly scheduled days ... but they were good. 

We went to see this movie:

It was good ... funny, cute ... made me laugh and of course cry.  We got pizza from my favorite place, Gino's and came home to watch the game.

Today, we slept in ... my brother came up with my niece and she, my mother and I spent some time at Barnes & Nobel. 

Nothing overly eventful, but a great couple of days.  Lets hope it lasts through the weekend!

2009 World Series Champs!!!

(Photo from Chris McGrath/Getty Images via

I've always liked the Yankees, even growing up in a Met-loving household ... but after I met John, the Yankees have taken on a whole new meaning!  I'm sure so many wives make the following statement ... My husband has to be their biggest fan.  Seriously.  The man knows more about this team, it's players and it's history ... it amazes me.  While we were dating I lived in NYC and we were fortunate enough to go to games a couple of times a season.  While they're not the most exciting things for me to watch - I loved being there watching with John.  Watching with someone who loves and appreciates the game as much as he does gave me a whole new perspective.  Participating in something that he loved brought a common interest together.  While I could care less who has what ERA or how many RBI's ... I did learn what they were and why they mattered. 

So ... for me, I'm happy that the Yankees brought it home again.  For him ... I'm ecstatic!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sesame Street is 40

Thanks to Google I now know that it's Sesame Street's 40th birthday.   Sesame Street was a staple when I was little.  I just found 2 of my favorite people together on youtube: 

My all-time favorites from Sesame Street were (in no particular order, of course):  Cookie Monster, Grover, Big Bird, Sunffaluffagus and The Count.  What about you?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas is coming ...

Not that I'm trying to rush it or anything ... but it's definitely on its way.  My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving ... so there's no way you can make me rush the coming days by to get to the Christmas season!  I was amazed yesterday when I went to the grocery store that Christmas candy was out already!  (Ugh ... commercialism!)  But ... it's the way of the world I guess.

Anyway ... the ONE thing that I usually take care of before Thanksgiving for Christmas time is scheduling a dinner and date to go see the tree at Rockefeller Center.  Ever since my grandmother died in 2001, it's been a way to keep her love of Christmas and especially the Rockefeller Center Tree with me every year.  It doesn't matter how many times I've seen it, it still amazes me.  The sheer size and grandness of it all.  

We missed it last year.  I missed it.  With everything that had been going on in our lives, I just couldn't make myself go.  Now, it's a year later and I'm wondering if the Christmas Spirit will be in me this year.  I know that the others love this tradition and understood when we dropped out last year.  Hopefully I won't disappoint them - or myself this year.  We'll have to wait and see.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good Intentions

So in order to accomplish this monumental (ha!) feat of blogging ... I signed up for a class offered by Shimelle called Blogging for Scrapbookers. Today is Day One. The prompt for a post today is talking about your intentions for the next 3 weeks of class.

My first thought? 3 weeks? Gee, hope I can stick with it. I'll try to be simple and straight forward. My intentions for this class are to establish my blog (check!) and find my cyber-voice. Figure out a routine that works for me (probably posting 3 - 4 times a week?) and setting up a system that makes it easy to share what I'm working on. Once I do that, then we'll move onto hoping to get readers and ideas/input from that.

Not too bad, right? :0)

Welcome to Blogging?

Here I am ... again. You, of course don't know that ... but I do. I've tried a few times to start and more importantly maintain a blog ... but nothing stuck. I'm hoping that this time around it will. Here's why ... I LOVE (LOVE) Blogs. They're so informative, inspiring, endearing and just fun to read. I've learned so much over the couple of years I've been following some of them. They're also a connection to other crafters much like myself. I will be the very first to admit that I do a lot of crafts (not so uncommon in the crafty world). My friends? Not so much. My husband? Thinks I'm a little crazy. So ... here I am - ready to share!