Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rockin' Raven

Some friends of ours from Indy came this weekend. Just a little of our happenings.

We've had a gain of about 70,000 fans, but we lost about 65,000 along the way. But, we do get a sound guy once we finish our tour in Chicago. Come see us if you're in town :)

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Tomorrow, I'll begin counting down the days till Valentine's day and I'll have a new project to post each day. If you haven't signed up for my blog feed and would like to receive updates, enter your email address on the right.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

more from CHA

On a previous blog post, I mentioned how absolutely braindead I become when trying to match avatars to real people, and I was absolutely correct. I wouldn't have recognized Vivian Masket or Joanne (spagirl) and I feel horrible about it, but I predicted it. Good thing for me, they were gracious and understanding.

Another thing I predicted was that Greg would get his photo with Paris, but not with Mike Rowe. Just thought I would point that out.

Another celebrity sighting today was Jane Seymour. Lorie, was particularly impressed by her (notice the hand-wringing in the videos), Stephanie was trying to avoid the camera, and Kirsty was her witty self.

{ For high quality click on the arrow in the lower right hand corner and click HQ }

(Sorry for the technical difficulties earlier. Greg loaded the wrong video and it has to be HD before greg will post it)

We finished off the day with our Design Team dinner at Tortilla Jo's (remember I love Mexican and I was in charge of reservations). Dinner was delicious - half the table ordered the Carne Asada something-or-another and my fish tacos were delicious, all except for the hair that was included.

I'll have more tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll try to respond.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Paris Hilton and Greg?

All Greg had to say was, "Paris, will you give an autograph for a Company Commander in Afghanistan (Stephanie's Jimmy)?"

Check the Studio Calico blog for Lorie's post on some of the CHA festivities from today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our official model of the tees we'll be wearing at CHA.

Let me know if you'll be coming so I can be on the lookout for you. (I'm very bad at matching avatars to real live human beings, so any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

relieved doesn't even describe it

Greg flew out on Sunday for his national sales meeting in Florida (at DisneyWorld). His flight left at 1:05, and he got to the airport at 12:40.

Why would anyone get to the airport with only 25min to go through security and to check bags? Because, if you're Greg, you think the world can be conquered in 15min.

For instance, Greg will be 15 miles away at the local Grainger branch and I'll call him to have him pick up gallon of milk at the store and he'll say, "I'll be there in 15 minutes" knowing that he has to drive clear across town, walk into a store, pick up the milk, check out, get back in the car, and drive home.

So, on Sunday, Greg went to church, got out at 11:15 and thought he had time to run by Green Hills Mall, to go to the Apple store (he needed a charger for his phone that he could get free if he didn't go through at&t). When he got there, he had to wait for the mall to open at noon, then stand in line to get customer support to get the charger for free. (On a side note, he spied Jenni Bowlin shopping....and was so proud he recognized her.) After checking out, he had another 20 min drive to the airport, had to check a bag and go through security.

He did make his plane, but his driver's license did not.

I learned about this on Monday after he realized what a deep hole he was in then, I next-day-aired his passport so that he would have an ID to fly from Orlando to Anaheim.

So, when I got the text above, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has an absent-minded husband.

We had a visitor at the office yesterday. I think she may be counting how many add-ons she needs next month....either that or how many tantrums she threw at the office :)

Hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm genuinely not the sentimental type, so it's difficult for me to document my yearly experiences with a lot of words. At Christmastime, I usually get at least a handful of cards with letters inside that tell of that family's experiences over the past year. I like the concept of putting a story such as that on a scrapbook page, for posterity's sake, but honestly, I just don't consider myself capable of such a sentimental letter. So, last year, I created a recap via photos of my experiences in 2007 using the January Times Square kit.
To make this layout, I used my 1.5" circle punch, a staple of my supplies. The only supplies I added to the Times Square kit, were a Miniature Pinscher stamp from Kodomo and some paint for the chipboard. I think I used a chalk cats-eye by Colorbox....not sure which color.

Notice, that the circles are not lined up perfectly with the edge of the paper. I wanted them to bleed over the edge. I also, used an exacto knife and ruler to cut the circles on the right column in order to get the clean line down my page.

Now, for the layout I created this month for a recap of 2008.
Supplies: Patterned Paper (7gypsies, October Afternoon, Pink Paislee); Rub-ons (Glitz); Glossy Accents; Chipboard (Basic Grey); Pens (American Crafts, Stampin' Up!)

On this year's layout, I wanted to incorporate the challenge on the Studio Blog. I used an old heart punch that I got back in the 2nd or 3rd grade to punch hearts in my photos and in some patterned paper. On each black & white photograph, I popped up a PP heart and added glossy accents. On the color photographs, I left the heart punched out to show the 7gypsies PP underneath, then added glossy accents. Can you tell what the other staple in my supplies is?
The thing I liked most about completing this project was seeing how my relationships developed over the past year, remembering the events that made the past year so wonderful, and seeing how the kids in my photos changed. Take a look at the 2007 layout with Natalee as a bald baby, now a walking/hopping frog in the 2008 layout. So fun!

I plan to keep these layouts in a separate album so each year, I can add a layout and go back and see the previous layouts.

Before I go, here's a few sneaks, most of the items are from the WISDOM add-on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Yesterday, Greg met Mike Rowe.

And, ladies, step back, because both guys are mine. Both Mike and Greg (in that order).

Before Greg left for his national sales meeting and vendor fair down at DisneyWorld in Orlando on Sunday, I knew he would have a chance to meet Mike. I talked with him about which camera to take (the point and shoot would give Greg the best result), and when he was packing, I laid the camera on top of his bag, so he wouldn't forget it.

So, what was on the kitchen table when I came home from church on Sunday morning? You guessed it.

Then, yesterday he called and said, "Mike says to tell you 'Hi.'"

I said, "Where's my picture?"

He replied that he wasn't the type for photos with celebs.

So, next week when I post a photo of him with Paris Hilton (at CHA), ya'll all need to post a comment teasing him. I'm just giving you the heads-up to help me out with this because Mike's at his meeting every year, so I have another shot at this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like

Well, this is what I wished it had looked like on Christmas.

But, in Kentucky, we're lucky to get enough snow to cover the grass, an then it usually only lasts a few hours, so I'll take what I can get.

Greg's in Florida for his national sales meeting, so I had to take these photos myself. The dogs stared out the window at me like I was crazy, so I can only imagine what the neighbors thought.

Greg is rarely gone overnight, and I must admit I'm a bit of a sissy when it comes to staying by myself. It's the only time I set the alarm (this time, I almost had to get the manual out to figure out how to set it, it had been so long). So, I pulled all the shades and locked myself into the master bedroom, which was a bad idea. It got so hot in there, and I slept horribly, and the dogs were up and down all night. And, add that to the crazy dream I had that a meth addict was living underneath our house. Not a good night, but alas I lived through it and have about 6 more nights like this ahead of me.

I did work on some sneaks for Studio Calico this weekend.

This sneak is mainly from the PROSPERITY add-on, the alphabet is the only addition and it's in the WISDOM add-on.

This sneak is mainly from the main kit, FORTUNE COOKIE + the Noah alphabet and some Collage Press paper.

Lastly, I thought it would be fun to see if anyone can guess the exact shoes I had from this footprint that I left this morning. The first person to guess it gets a free FOOTNOTES add-on.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

these two

These 2 precious dogs are sort of mine.
Addy is wholly mine.

Greg and I had been married a year when we decided we might need a dog in our relationship. We researched breeds and liked the miniature pincher variety because they were small and didn't shed (I like to keep a very clean house and Greg has allergies) plus they aren't frou-frou dogs so Greg could walk it down the street and feel like a man.

So, we went to a breeder in Richardsville, KY on Anna Sandhill Road. I don't want to be rude about the place, but the kennels were kept very nice....nicer than the house, or manufactured home if you will.

We weren't really ready to make a commitment, but right when we were looking at the new litter, Greg got a phone call from his dad saying that his childhood dog, Muffin, had died. Now, I wasn't fond of Muffin at all. (Muffin bit my foot the first time I met him), but Greg was slightly more attached, so to ease the pain, we bought Addy that day. And, in true Greg-form, he negotiated the price. I feel a bit bad about it now, because we got more than our money's worth. She's a really really good dog.

A couple years after having her, we decided to breed her. One dog would go to my sister, another to my cousins, and the 3rd and 4th to the highest bidders.

So, Jett (the one on the left in the picture), went to my cousins, who thought there was a return policy, so my parents accepted him about 6 months into his cute little life. They brought him to our house every day for doggy day-care and so he could socialize with Addy. But, after awhile, I suppose that became tiresome, because they just left him there.

Poor dog, abandoned twice. But, he's the sweetest thing for it.

I love those two.

I also love these three.

I found these three layouts particularly inspiring this month. Take a look at the Studio Calico member gallery to see more inspiration.

Created by: Waleska Neris

Created by: Kimberly Garofolo

Created by: Gillian Nelson

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

everyday creative

I'm really doing well on my resolution to do something creative every day. I made this LO a few nights ago using some of my leftovers from January's BIBLIOGRAPHY kit and July's VIA AIRMAIL kit. If you still have Via Airmail, these 2 kits work great together.

I just trimmed all my photos and PP to 2x2" and lined them up on the top 2/3rds of the page, leaving some blank spaces for the Crate Paper background to show through. Then, i traced around each square with a pen and journaled in some of the squares. An idea to note when you use die-cut paper: allow your embellishments and PP overlap the edge then trim it to match the shape of the die cut. Here, I not only trimmed the paper, but I also used a small hole-punch to add the holes to match the rest of the paper.

Supplies: Patterned Paper (Crate Paper, Studio Calico, October Afternoon); Stickers (Making Memories); Chipboard (Sassafras, Basic Grey)
Also, a few of you had asked about the silver Maya Mist on the chat with Maggie Holmes last night. Here's a couple examples of it in use.

And, my best takeaway from the night....I think Maggie and I are the only two people on the planet that like to drive and scrap in silence. Maybe I can add great photographer to that list in the future, too. Here's the wishing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


That's a number near and dear to my hubby's heart.

Wanna know why?

UK + Wicked

It was actually a hectic week last week, which is why I'm just getting around to posting....

On Thursday night, we met some of our Louisville friends at this restaurant before seeing Wicked. I ordered the Kentucky Bison Burger and Greg ordered Shrimp Risotto with some type of espresso sauce. We switched once the plates were brought to the table. It was very delicious and I highly recommend it to you if you happen to be in Louisville and are close to the Slugger Museum. It's a very interesting restaurant that is actually tied to an art gallery and hotel. As soon as we got there, Greg headed to the bathroom, and you should have seen his face when he came back. He looked like a kid, lit up like a Christmas tree. At this point I was actually scared about what he might say happened in the men's room.

He proceeded to tell Tim, my friend's husband, that he needed to go to the bathroom, too and that he would take him. At this point, I was getting a little nervous....he just doesn't have the same filter as the rest of us :)

Tim declined the offer (politely), then Greg proceeded to tell us about the bathroom. On the outside wall, as you walk up, there's a large, floor-to-ceiling mirror, so visitors who are touring the gallery and hotel are passing by in droves. Inside the bathroom, it's actually a one-way mirror. There's a drain on the floor and when you walk up to the glass, a sensor activates water to stream down the glass causing the "flush." So, basically, the men are peeing (pardon my language, mom) on glass and people outside appear to be watching you.

Greg thought this was the greatest invention of all time and even suggested we incorporate the idea at our home.

Not gonna happen.

So, like I said, Proof is definitely worth a visit and if you're not hungry, the gallery is free and open to the public.

After eating, we made it to the KY Center just in time to take our seats for the play. If you haven't seen it (which I know 1/2 the world has seen it by now), you must get tickets if it comes to your area. It's so witty, and done so well, I promise you'll enjoy it.

Then, on Saturday, we were supposed to take one of Greg's customers to a UK game up at Rupp Arena. Unfortunately, he became ill, so at the last minute we had to find replacements. We ended up asking Tim and Rebecca to tag along, the same friends we had gone to see Wicked with.

Again, we had a blast. Greg listened to me and had purchased a radio so I could listen to the announcers while the game was in progress. I know basketball, but I don't know everyone's numbers and I certainly don't know why fouls are called most of the time, so I need the commentators. It was a tight game going into the half which is always fun at Rupp because the crowd is so into the game.

Afterwards, we ate at Regatta, which was also delicious, and then we headed home. All around, it was a 12 hour trip for us, so we were beat. Thankfully, UK won, so the drive home with Greg was good.

Monday, January 12, 2009

maya mist tutorial

If you're visiting my blog from Method Playground, take a look at the video below to see how I created this layout using the Maya Mists. If you haven't been to Method Playground yet, go now! It's a great challenge site that gets you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to use new products (and some old products) in different ways.

Supplies: Patterned Paper (Creative Imaginations, Sassafras, Love Elsie); Lace Paper (KI Memories); Paint (Maya Mists Red & Orange); Stamps (AE for Technique Tuesday); Rip Strips (Studio Calico); Stickers (October Afternoon); Chipboard (Bazzill, Maya Road; Heidi Swapp); Pen (American Crafts); Ink (Tsukineko)

On a sidenote, all Maya Mists are available for purchase in the Studio Calico shop and they ship free with your kit!
Oh, and the winner of the previous Method Playground challenge created an awesome layout with stitching. It's definitely worth a looksie.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

feeling much better + a challenge to share with you

I was in the depths of despair on Sunday....feeling just awful and wondering how in the world I would get packages shipped on Monday. But, never fear, they're on their way and I think that was just the medicine I needed.

I've neglected to mention that I was asked to guest on the Design X blog. The challenge was to scrap about having another hour in your day and what you would do to fill that hour. I really liked this challenge for 2 reasons:
  • Unlike other challenges, their's is not focused on the products/layout/design aspect, but more on the words. So, you could combine this challenge with another challenge, or like me, use it as the freedom to use whatever you'd like.
  • The prompts are really very good. Particularly, the prompt this week, I believe really fit me perfectly and if you're like me and have wished for a 25 hour day, I think this is the challenge for you.
Here's a teaser of my layout. You can see the complete version + the journaling here.
Oh, and did I mention there's a prize associated with this? Check it out.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

getting pepped up to work tomorrow

Today, I've been under the weather, so I've been in bed most of the day. Now, I'm still not feeling better, and I'm trying to get my mind in gear. We have so many packages to ship tomorrow, so I'm trying to give myself a peptalk. It'll be a rough day, but we'll get it done.

(cute fingers courtesy of Natalee)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hello technology

My wonderful husband Greg created this yesterday to showcase his favorites from the DT this month. I think he's going to make it a regular occurance a day or two after reveal each month. What do you think about it?

Friday, January 2, 2009

the rest of our 2 days of fun

The new year sort of interrupted what I had planned to blog about yesterday.

On Tuesday, my mom and I took the boys faux-ice-skating. It's false advertisement if you ask me. On the outside of the building it says "Ice Skating." Wouldn't you think there's an ice skating rink inside? Exactly my point.

So, we walk in and all they have is hockey skates, which bothered me since I prefer white skates to black skates. I mean, would you ever catch Kristi Yamaguchi in black skates? I think not. As you can see, I was focused more on my style than the rink, so it didn't even strike me that it was 72 degrees in the building.

We're the only people in the building besides the guy checking us in, and luckily on Tuesdays they have a special for $6 for kids and adults or I would have had a heart attack from the $8 and $10 normal charge. We get the boys laced up and away they go with coats, hats and gloves. The guy checking us in must have thought we were nuts, because like I said, it wasn't cold at all.

As soon as I stepped onto the rink, I noticed that the "ice" looked like rectangular sheets instead of a solid piece, but it had marks in it like it had been skated on. I knelt down and touched it and it was plastic. Seriously. Don't you think that's false advertising?

So, in case you're caught in a similar circumstance, here are the clues that you are not skating on real ice.
  1. The air in the building is not cold (ie above 65 degrees)
  2. You live in a small town and can't believe that it could possibly financially support an ice rink.
  3. There is no place for a Zamboni
  4. There are support poles in the middle of the rink.
  5. They don't have figure skates (because you don't need a toe-pick on plastic).
Now, onto our adventure, because although we weren't really skating on ice, it felt identical.

This is how Joshua and Joseph spent the first 15 minutes on the rink:

And, this is what I looked like for the first 15 min:

About 30 minutes in they were getting the hang of it, but notice the ankle angle. hee hee
This is about the only decent picture I got of Joseph. The plus side to faux-ice-skating, is that you can sit down without getting cold.
And me, wishing I was skating for the gold.
I think the worker thought I was absolutely nuts. Just so you know, I've never taken lessons a day in my life, but growing up, my sister and I were convinced that we'd be Olympic gymnastic champions or figure skating champions, so to make my mom laugh, I did this. But, in the end, I think they all laughed. What do you think of my form?

As an update to my new year's resolutions, I've kept both of them so far. I'll post the layout I made with tomorrow's blog post.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

goodbye 2008 + welcome 2009

2008 was a very good year for so many reasons. I had the opportunity to travel to 4 countries, and to 9 states (Louisiana, Texas, Indiana, California, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, and maybe more, I just can't remember). Just thinking about the experiences I had last year, kind of makes me sad that I might never get to experience such a wonderfully stressful year like this one again.

Good-bye to the wonderful experience of Natalee's adoption and hello to a beautiful family.
Good-bye to Greg being 30 and hello to me turning 29
Good-bye to the wonderful sites and horrible smells of Egypt.

Good-bye to good times in IsraelGood-bye to a short trip in Italy
Good-bye to fun bus rides
Good-bye Cabo
Good-bye to pharmaceutical conventions that take you lots of great places
Hello to the start of a new hobby

Good-bye to CHA in Chicago
Good-bye to a job with wonderful individuals that I will always treasure and hello to a life of freedom and creativity.

Good-bye to the fartmaster
Hello to years of good espressos.
I also want to use this opportunity to point out what a good and generous wife I am. I don't drink coffee of any type, but my parents got this espresso machine for Greg for Christmas because I decided to forgo my present from them. Now, don't you think better of me already? :)

2009 promises some fun new adventures as well. I plan to say good-bye to city life and we have exciting things in the works for Studio Calico.

In thinking of my goals for this year, I've decided to focus on two daily goals:
  • to do something creative everyday (courtesy of Paper-Source)
  • to read the Bible daily, using this as my guide
I also want to work out more and to finish my quilt, but I thought 4 goals would be pushing it. In my experience as a District Manager, I never focused my reps on more than 2 goals at once because I had read something somewhere that said it's just too much. I suppose we are simple beings. Whatever, the case, I plan to post my creativity here and my progress with my Bible reading and quilt...maybe not my work-out schedule :)

Best wishes to you for a wonderful and prosperous 2009! I'll leave you with a layout made from scraps of old kits throughout the year. I made this Christmas layout and didn't use a single product that is considered seasonal in any way. I decided to do it as a challenge to myself, and if you've ever done anything similar, please link me as I'd love to see it. I love re-working items to get a totally different effect than they were originally intended.

Supplies: Patterned Paper (Sassafras, 7gypsies, Making Memories, Scenic Route); Paint (Claudine Hellmuth Painterly Pink); "Believe" (K&Co.); Shimmer Stickers (Making Memories); Ticket (Creative Imaginations); Pen (American Crafts).

To make the circles in the green Making Memories paper for the Scenic Route paper to show underneath, I used a 3/4" punch. To make the circles with dots of paint, I punched a larger circle out of a sheet of scrap paper with my Mega Circle punch by Marvy Uchida (love that thing!). Then, I used the sheet of scrap paper as a stencil along with the next-to-smallest Claudine Hellmuth brush and paint to make the dots. As always, let me know if you have questions.

Also, if you're in the Bowling Green, KY area and can tell me where to get a typewriter services, I'd be most appreciative.