Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Little or A Lot.......

Seems to be the theme running through my life recently. A little cleaning being done sort of in a hit and miss fashion, and a lot of creating!

The Spring cleaning I began got pushed to the sidelines as Don & I spent some time together on Saturday & Sunday. On Monday, Amber & I got together to looked over all the information I'd been gathering to make her Baby Shower a successful and fun event for all who will be attending.

As we discussed each of the things on our to do list, we decided we needed to get the invitations finished and mailed and the games we'll play created since we're doing most of this ourselves and these will be the most time-consuming to actually do. So, we gathered everything we needed to get copied, looked at each to determine how best to get that done with the least amount of cost to us, and gathered up what we needed for each to be created. Within an hour we were out the door heading to Office Depot to actually get everything we needed copied.

While in the area, we made a quick stop into GFS to check prices and pick up plates, cups, and plastic silverware in quantity. We went ahead and picked up 16 oz. styrofoam white cups, one baby blue tablecloth for the gift area, and a package of clear silverware complete with 50 knives, forks, and spoons. We found their white styrofoam plates and dinner napkins in a little more quantity that we needed, so they'd cost us more than our budget would allow. Deciding we'd be able to save some $$$ we'd pick those up elsewhere. One unplanned item we picked up was a baby shower decoration kit for $9.99; it was perfect! A congratulations sign for guests to sign, a teddy bear banner to hang, a Baby shower sign, and some various other baby related items in our pastel colors to compliment our Spring theme, yet signify, "Baby Shower".

Afterwards, we went to Amber's and began hand cutting, assembling, and decorating all 30 invitations, outside and inside; added the small gift registry info cards, addressed the envelopes, and created all 30 of 2 of the games pieces we'll need. Their simple but cute! and created with in a variety of our pastel color scheme.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another milestone met.......

I woke up a little after 5 a.m. this morning, spent little time at all waking up with several cups of coffee and at the computer checking email, an online group, and an online message board before moving on.... {it's amazing how fast a few hours whiz by --- even with a cable modem! Lately, I'm becoming more of a lurker than a participant, something I'm hoping to rectify soon as we get things back into a more normal routine and perspective.}

Anyways, it wasn't long before I was back to finishing up the Spring cleaning on the back section of my kitchen. I'm pretty proud of myself as I managed to pull out the refrigerator all by myself, clean it from top to bottom after vacauming off the exposed coils on the backside bottom and moving it back into the alcove without any damage to any walls. Now it shines once again!

It didn't take Don too long to join me once he woke up and was dressed, assisting me to get some of my Pfaltzgraf Tea Rose dinner accessories down off the shelf above the opening between the two rooms. Together we washed all the accessories, well, I washed while Don dried {big grin!} although, he does do dishes! As I worked washing down the one remaining wall, he happily washed down the shelving using Pledge's Oil Soap for wood. After a quick break, we worked together replacing items back on the shelving and cleaned off the blades to the ceiling fan. We decided we'd remove the glass votive shades and clean the rest of it more thoroughly tomorrow as I'm planning to truly tackle the front section of the kitchen. This section isn't in need of a spring cleaning as much since it is in daily use however I'm still I'm desiring to stay one step ahead of the game and will do it anyways. Either on Sunday or Monday, we'll tackle the bathroom before moving on to the remaining sections of our home.

I love walking into the kitchen now and seeing and smelling......... CLEAN! It's a great feeling and quite a sense of an accomplishment!

Awhh, clean, fresh air.... and a cleaner home!

It was 50 degrees here yesterday so having the windows open and airing out the back section of my kitchen, really helped me with getting the motivation and in a mood to clean! Desiring to get back to some of the "cleanliness" of our home had and that has been put on the back burner while I was working full-time since last September, I started my "spring cleaning!" Trying not to bite off more than I am able to effectively do, I'm starting in stages....... tackling one area of our home at a time and allowing myself enough time to complete each room entirely before moving on to the next. {My philosophy is that by cleaning something a few hours a day, by the end of the month I should the majority of it tackled.}

First, I "unearthed" the breakfast bar of all my scattered bookbinding and craft supplies from my latest creative frenzy. Not really having the time to actually do anything with them, I placed them in a shallow box and moved them into the living room where I set up my bookbinding area to be dealt with later. For now, at least those supplies are out of my way.

Next, I scrubbed down the breakfast bar, the half wall that supports it on one side, and washed all the walls, cabinets, and windows in the back half of my kitchen. I cleaned out the refrigerator and gave it a good washing out, before moving on to sweeping and mopping that area of my kitchen. I also took down the curtains and a floral hanging swag I'd made a few years ago. The curtains will be washed and the swap, hmmm, I believe I'm tossing. It is collecting more dust than what is suitable to me be dealing with at this time in my life. I really am desiring to simplify! Unfortunately, that is all I got accomplished there with various other household chores needing done, but I am intending to work some more on it today.

Today's agenda is to make it through the two bottom double cabinets on both sides of the drawers in the middle of the cabinet. Purging whatever doesn't need to be there and organizing what does........ this shouldn't take me too long as I did this back in August and in all honestly, neither Don or I really had time to make a major mess of it, LOL!

I, also, want to move out the refridgerator, vacuam off the coils, clean thoroughly under it before moving it back. Also, with Don's assistance, I want to get my Pfaltzgraf collection down off the shelf above the opening of the two rooms, get them washed up, dried, and placed back upon a clean shelf. This will finish this room of our home for now, as I'm thinking the drawers in the cabinets that need the most attention I'd simply leave for now and just do my normal everyday cleaning of the rest of the kitchen. My thoughts are to do all the "deep" cleaning in each room, before going back through room by room, and tackling these one at a time as I find the time in my day. Kinda like the 15 minute fly-lady technique.....

I am also looking for areas and things in our home that need to be addressed for child-safety. I realize it won't be too far into the future before the grandbaby's arrival, and then onto crawling around in Grandma's kitchen. So, I preparing for that by making a list of what needs to be done, room by room, for our home to be a safe haven for the little one. Electrical outlet covers, mini-blind cords, and various other dangers to a child. Chaos is a bit helpful as he is curious by nature and sort of points these things out as I work with him underfoot, LOL! Anyways, I'm happy with the progress I made yesterday along with my normal household duties.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An Accomplishment.......... :)

I actually made out to the studio today and made a major dent in my re-organizational efforts! The top of my journaling table is clear of everything, my bookbinding station isn't looking too shabby --- just a few knick-knacky items on top and I hung a black plastic table skirt to the front of it. It will work for now until I make a final decision regarding what fabric to purchase for creating some actual curtains.

My 3 tables are almost clear. I've one box to go through, sort, and then organize those contents.
I moved a lot of my storage containers, art books, and "out-in-sight" at all time supplies to the shelves of my bookcases. I hesitated to this because I thought it would look too, hmmm, crowded... scattered..... chaotic! However, the way the items were sorted, and placed on the individual shelves there is a visual balance to the bookcases that I can live with.

I also managed to get all my artwork down off the shelves on the slatwall, so that I can do a thorough cleaning and dusting very soon and, Yes! even, the trash cans are emptied! I'm proud of myself! {Trust me, if you'd have seen the mess I started with, you'd be proud of me, too!} ;)

Dream with Faith - Pop Up inside

This is the inside Pop Up of the Dream with Faith Card. To create the cardstock pop up base, I use Black Bazill cardstock, triming it 1/4" smaller on all 4 sides prior to scoring it in half. Using the previously stamped and trimmed images, I carefully placed them onto the scored edge to determine my placement prior to actually adhering them. Once my desired placement was achieved, I lightly create a small pencil mark so I'd know where to create the two slits on the scored edge. Using a paper trimmer, I cut in from the scored edge appoximately 1/2" in both of my desired placement marks. Changing from a cutting blade to a scoring blade, my card was turned so that a scored line could be created allowing for easier folding of the pop up. This is created by scoring between the two previously cut slits only. After removing the cardstock interior from the paper trimmer, I folded the card in the normal cardstyle fashion, then carefully pushed the paper between my cut slits towards me gently creasing along the scored lines. The stamped and previously cut out images of the two butterflies and dragonfly were then adhere to the left side or top of the pop up section right next to the left scored line. but not overlapping to allow free movement when opened. A torn edge of the Lavender Bazill cardstock was added for contrast prior to adhering the polished stone "Dream with Faith" sentiment. The pop up was then adhered to the right side of the previous card interior by adhering only the right side of the cardstock pop up base to the interior of the card.

All images were stamped using Black Staz On onto Tim Holtz's Adirondack Alcohol ink backgrounds created on glossy cardstock. The butterfly and dragonfly stamps are Anita's and the "Dream with Faith" is a Dawn Houser image from Inkadinkadoo.

Dream with Faith

Dream with Faith is a Pop Up Style card I created using Bazill cardstockfor the base and the layer. Tim Holtz's Adirondack Alcolhol Inks and tools were used in a polished stone fashion on glossy cardstock prior to stamping with Black Staz On ink. The images on this artwork are Stamper's Anonymous and Stampabilities Vintage Typewriter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Before returning home from our outing adventure, Don and I stopped at Scrapbook Art and Barnes and Nobles on Polaris Parkway. I'm shocked I ventured into a scrapbook store, browsed a little, and actually left without purchasing a thing! In a recent newsletter from Scrapbook Art there was a blurb about new arrivals from the recent CHA show, thinking I'd venture in to see what "must have" products are available, I didn't discover a whole lot. Maybe it was simply me, my heart really not being in the right place at the right time or the fact that I have so much already in the way of supplies and tools that it really takes something with a great "WoW! factor" for me to reach into my purse, LOL! There was also an employee, I'd never met before, so the familiarity of friendly faces was lacking a bit as well.

A store employee had called recently regarding a book I was interested in, so I inquired regarding it, only to discover there seemed to be a mix up in our communication as the book wasn't what I was looking for. Anyways, I browsed through it quickly, decided it wasn't for me, and explained to the "new-to-me" clerk that it wasn't what I expected it to be so they could offer to the next person on their list or return it to their store stock.

Another factor, I'm certain, is my focus on the art I create is changing. I've been more into the mindset of using what I already have to experiment and explore more. I truly believe that I want to venture into exploring into some of the books within my art library, exploring new ideas and following my heart and the art that I know is buried somewhere within me. I'd love to start tapping in to it!

Upon leaving SB Art, I asked Don if we could stop at Barnes and Nobles just down the road a little ways. Obligingly, he consented. I love Barnes & Nobles! There just something about the relaxed atmosphere that I enjoy..... maybe it is the fact that I can pull any number of books that catch my eye out of the shelves and sit cross legged on the floor and browse through them. Anyways, that is exactly what I did, LOL! I pulled out some books and browsed through them, some that are on my wish list to purchase. What I discovered is that so much information and techniques are beginning to overlap what I already have in my art library, so I didn't purchase any.......... probably contributed to the above mindset I previously mentioned. I did pick up a Dover Publication with a CD, "660 Typographic Ornaments" which I loved the images and ornamentation and felt would enhance my artistic explorations.

So, I ventured over to the magazines, picked up Somerset Studio Gallery IV. I love any Somerset Book, so purchasing it without browsing through it, was one way I trusted my instincts. I'm certain I'll love it and find something within its pages to inspire me.

I was a little disappointed in not finding an books on bookbinding that I don't already have in my collection. I was looking for something new, something to inspire me more in that area of my art. Maybe, this too just re-inforced my use what you have philosophy........ as I know I've barely scratched the surface here.... anyways, there is something in creating handmade books that truly calls to my spirit. I don't know if it is in the creative process of creating them or the possibilities of adding in whatever content I desire that excites me more, but whatever it is, I'm thankful I have a passion for it!
Don & I took a road trip yesterday. It began as an inate desire to simply get out and "do something" more on his part than mine, but I lovingly went along. With no real destination in mind we hit 23 South and rode quietly for quite some time. During this time, I wondered about my decision to quit my job, whether it was the right one to make, the financial impact it will have upon us, and many other thoughts. Noticing I was in deep thought, Don struck up a conversation with me about where I'd like to go or what I'd like to do. Trying to think rationally, I decided it would be best to go to Burlington's Baby Depot and make the second installment payment on the baby crib I'd recently put into layaway, so we headed there to do just that.

I was struck by a horoscope email that I had opened just that morning, which read, "Feel like you're stubbing your toes on all those rungs of your career ladder? It might be time to take a break. They call it a rat race for a reason, you know. Appreciate the smaller, realer glories in life." Which truly seemed to be hitting the nail on the head. I do believe in Astrology, although can be a skeptic from time to time when a reading is vague and generalized in such a way it could almost pertain to anyone at any given time. However, this one seemed to be one of those "whisper's from God" telling me I did the right thing. For now, I simply must trust he has something better in store for me and find the faith to wait for whatever it is to appear before I take another leap.

Sometimes it seems the entire universe is speaking to you, just not in words that you want, desire, or need to hear. Sometimes, I think I've learned to read the signals and signs that come my way, hopefully not missing any, and often they come in these unexpected moments and ways that are not always the obvious or the expected. I'm definately learning to listen to your my heart, trusting my intuition, and hopefully one day can actually begin following this through to the discovery of my dreams.

For now, I just need to trust that as my life begins to change in yet another magical way after being open to the experience of life AS IT IS {or in my case, was...} vs. the denial and illusions of what I want or desire it to be. I've came to know that with acceptance of some circumstances, I stop fighting and struggling against what is happening and those inner desires, creating some sense of calm and peacefulness., even if there is doubts and uncertainity. I can only believe that this will create a little more space in my life, an opening, for somethig new to unfold. It's been said many times, "When God closes a door, he opens a window" Hopefully, it is a window of new opportunity, one in which I won't feel like such an outsider looking in longingly wishing to belong.

I think I wear my heart on my sleeve, having preconceived hopes and desires, that lead me to be let down when in reality things are not what I expected or hoped they'd be. But I do know that from what I've seen and overheard, that wasn't what I was expecting and hoping for myself or for my life for that matter. I'm thankful and blessed that at least I can realize that; for I truly do not wish to become part of what I saw, thought, and felt in what short time I was there.

I believe each and every one of us have an innate sense to simply belong, to find our own place in this world, and once it is discovered we'll find that sense of bliss and contentment. Unfortunately, it often involves waiting and finding that inner patience to perserve in spite of it all. I, also, think there are lessons that we learn along the way that assist us once we finally arrive.

I discovered this quote that seems to sum this journal post up:

""Sometimes what seems like surrender isn't surrender at all. It's about what's going on in our hearts. About seeing clearly the way life is and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater."

~ Nicholas Evans
and I believe there is a lot of truth in that statement. {*smile*}

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In light of some of the recents.......

I made a decision today to quit my job. I realized that life is too short to be miserable and unhappy. Through out my life I've learned to pick my battles wisely, and unfortunately, the desire to fight for my job quickly vanished when I realized even if I put the fight, the problems that are there were not too likely to go away as easily as I'd have hoped.

I went into work and spoke with Barb, my initial interviewer, and explained my reasons for quitting and that unfortunately, I didn't see how things would change and improve for the better had I fought for my job. She truly seemed interested and concerned, not only for my feelings but for bringing to light some of the conditions in which I experienced.

I'm uncertain what the future holds, but for now, I plan to "restoreth my soul", ease back into some of the areas of my home life that I've been neglectful of due to working full-time, the shift change, the tiredness, and the stress from it all.

I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family, looking forward to the soon-to-be birth of my first grandchild, and am hopeful to get back to doing what I love to do........ creating art! There are a variety of ways and options for me to pursue where my art is concerned. I plan to do some soul-searching to figure out in which direction is my best option for me to begin pursuing. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders already and I look forward to whatever tomorrow may bring. For now, I content in the moment..........

Sad News......

I discovered this post just a few minutes ago within a group I'm a member of. Konni was a dear friend and an inspiring artist, full of life and love. Her health quickly declined, leaving me both shocked and surprised, amid a mix of other emotions.

Prescott, AZ February 18, 2006

"Konni Marie Brumbaugh died today surrounded by her family. Konni’s wish was to be returned to York, NE, where she was born, for services and burial. Her family thanks everyone for the many flowers, cards, phone calls and emails supporting her during this time. Please forward this email to friends you shared with Konni." Mike, Gage, Chuck & Karen, Erika and Monika

Konni's 2P's screen name was Artkon and her gallery can be found here

Although no words can really help
To ease the loss her family and friends bear
Just know that each of you are very close
In every thought and prayer

Recent events.........

A few days ago, I was majorly distraught over some not so recent events that took place at my new job. I felt angry, frustrated, disappointed and a multitude of emotions when the incident first occured and I believe I may have blogged about some of this in the past.

Being the "new employee" in an already well established "team", adjusting to my new schedule, learning the ropes and what is expected from me with the little training I've received, lack of trust with some co-workers, problems within the company, being on call vs. having an actual schedule to follow, a major lack of communication, and various other "drama" that seem to rolling downhill and landing upon me that I truly do not need in my life.

Now, I'm not totally ignorant of being "the new kid on the block" when it comes to entering into a new work place. Heck, I even expected some of this when I took this position, but I don't feel I was truly prepared for quite a bit of it when it actually occurred. Anyways, recently the situation came to light again and I ended up in tears over it all after a conversation with my department made me realize just how close I came close to losing my job over a major lack of communication and instruction on filing out a time study sheet which reflected my performance. Without proper instruction of how to fill out the time study sheet, my "job performance" looked like sh*t! which I know wasn't the case ---- as I had received praise ---- one coming from my union steward himself telling me I deserved a raise!

How ironic that after the time sheet study was explained to me by another co-worker, my "performance" on paper improved by so much as 50% that my department head informed me that he went to bat for me to stay....... and, oh, my "probationary period" of 60 days is up.

I'm wondering about the honest and integrity policy of the company somewhat, thinking I'd be really niave if I didn't. I began this job at one of the busiest times of the year, two weeks prior to Christmas. I was shown how to do "store conditioning" in all of 5 minutes by my supervisor, and worked along side a co-worker all of one night before being literally thrown out on my own.

I had a 4 hour orientation, that was more directed to company development history, and geared more towards employees who are hired in as front end employess, baggers and cashiers. During this orientation, I was told I would receive an employee handbook, as they are supposedly at the printer's and my actual union manual would been received in the mail . At the 30 day mark an evaluation, along with a pay raise would take place. HMMMM...... I've yet to receive an employee manual, yet to have had an evaluation, unless you consider a conversation on the sales floor while the store was open and customers were in the store, and I was originally told "I needed to pick up my pace."

Now, I am truly believing the only thing that saved my job is that we do have a union and that the night the incident took place and there wasn't a supervisor or department head on duty, I'd spoken with a co-worker who referred me to our union stewart who spoke with me.

Anyways, my department head will be coming to 3rd shift for a week, supposedly to work more closely with me; although I've heard various other conversations from my co-workers. Some say it is another problem employee, others say it is the general manager of store being unhappy with some of the aspect of the grocery section of our store. But whatever the truth is, I intend on keeping my eyes and ears open and covering my own ass so to speak. All this from a company that supposedly has a "No Harassment" policy, LOL!

I've even began to wonder if this job is worth all of this, but financially we really need what $$$ it is generating right now, especially with the recent Jeep repairs and Don's surgery bills beginning to roll in, not to mention the new grandbaby on the way. Anyways, this additional stress is zapping what strength and resolve I have left and is causing some strain in our home front as well. Funny how $$$ effects so much of one's life.

What I came to realize during all of this, is that somewhere along the line, I've seemed to lost sight of myself, my own needs and desires. So, lately I've been trying to take the time to really do some deep soul-searching. I know that I want to talk with my supervisor asking for some more open lines of communication between the two of us, I want to talk with my union stewart to keep him up to date with these recent events, and the lack of what I feel as an employee needs to be addressed --- like an employee handbook and a union book. I want to be able to go in to work, do my job to the best of my ability, and to go home leaving it all behind me so I can focus on my family, and I want to know just how much of this they think I can accomplish without open lines of communication between myself, my supervisor and department head, and interaction with my co-workers? Really, is this too much to ask?.......

Now, I'm not expecting any miracles......... but please give me a fair chance before you decide to sh*t can me!

Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books

Re: my birthday.....

My 45th birthday was sweet and simple........ I received some birthday cards from family, friends, and internet art buddies. Thank you to everyone for celebrating with me.

Don & I decided to head over to Ontario where we visited a Target store. While there I found some of the cutest sheer fabric boxes in pastel colors, some baby themed banners, cards, and stickers, a couple vials of bathsalts ---- perfect for party favors for Amber's baby shower. We picked up a few neccessities for our home before venturing over to Cheddar's for a nice lunch. Proir to heading back home we made a pit-stop into Barnes & Nobles where I purchased Somerset Studio's Weddding Volume 2 and a new book!

I've been desiring to create more art and begin an art journal so I purchased, Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino.

Here is the Editorial Review: Editorial Review and Book Description

The real news of our lives is not in newspapers. We must chronicle our own adventures and achievements, our brilliant observations and our comic relief, our best friends and our greatest embarrassments. Visual Chronicles is all about YOU: your dreams, your memories, your daily routines, your greatest loves and your secret pet peeves. It’s all about getting to know yourself better, savoring the wonderful ebb and flow of your everydays, and celebrating it all in visual mementos of your life journey.
Sound fun? Heck, yes! Sound hard? Not a bit.

Each chapter of Visual Chronicles quiets common fears such as "Nothing happens in my life." or "I’m just not artistic." with projects such as the "My Day Unfolds Journal", and "Experiments with Composition." Inside, you’ll learn that journaling doesn’t take big chunks of time—just bits and pieces here and there, whenever the spirit strikes. "Get Going" exercises offer instant ideas such as listening to the conversations you have with yourself or recognizing that meaningful ephemera is a part of each and every day. Soon, you’ll see that inspiration awaits all around you: a midnight trip to the store, a favorite scarf, an unexpected phone call, junk email, your breakfast plate . . .

Don’t wait another second. Make creative journaling a part of your everyday life, busting through self-doubt, time clocks, piles of laundry, and every other roadblock along the way. With Visual Chronicles, you’ll be inspired to tell your story the way only you can! From the PublisherMany people know they could benefit from the therapeutic act of journaling, but the dread of not knowing what to put on the page stops them. Finally, Visual Chronicles provides a no-fear guide to expressing one's deepest self with art and words. Sisters Linda Woods and Karen Dinino start each chapter by debunking a journaling myth, such as "I am not artistic."

They then offer:
• Exercises that encourage readers to chronicle their thoughts and lives with painting, sketching, stamping, collaging, and writing;
• Friendly projects, including the Personal Palette and Mini Prompt Journal, to make each entry easier to start;
• Inspiration for experimenting with colors, shapes, ephemera, communication styles and more.

The unique combination of diverse artistic elements makes this book a must have for artists, crafters, scrapbookers, and writers.

I'm hopeful to use this book in conjunction with Gwen Diehn's The Decorated Page already in my artistic library as a jump start to adding content to my creations. I thought I'd simply create loose leaf pages, hey! half my life is in note written pages anyways....... so this is something I'm familiar with, LOL!

My thoughts to doing this this way would allow me the freedom of not having to choose an actual journal right away and allow me to begin working at my own pace since it is only a single sheet of paper and not a book of pages to intimidate or make me feel guilty if I don't work on them consistently with my already busy schedule.

I also like the idea that as the collection of completed artwork grows, I can sort and categorize them however I feel is best and bind my own book for the pages. Anyways, it's a start and I can add just a few supplies to my bookbinding area without going too overboard and keeping the majority of supplies still in my studio.

Smearing paint on paper should be therapuetic! Allowing me to express some pent up emotions and the book suggests writing prompts on tags to allow you to write the actual journaling on the page later. I'm thinking both my blog and journal will come in handy here to inspire my actual pages as I work to complete them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thank You to everyone......

who contributed to making my birthday a very sweet, simple day! My sister, Mary, for her telephone call, my friends {you know who you are, LOL!} for the handmade and created cards wishing me a Happy Birthday. To Don, for the wonderful day out, and my dear daughter, Amber, who is giving me the greatest gift of all, a grandchild.

Yesterday was a beautiful day! The weather improved as the day went on, the sun was shining, and Don & I took a ride over to Ontario, where we visited a Target store. I purchased some additional party favors in their $1 spot for Amber's upcoming baby shower {a baby banner, a gift bag, 8 beautiful sheer pastel boxes to be filled with candy; 4 tubes of bath salts to be given as party favors, and enough envelopes & cards for her to use for her shower "Thank You's" and stickers to decorate them.}

We had an excellent lunch at Cheddar's before preceding on to Barnes & Nobles where I found the latest issue of Somerset Studio's Wedding Book and purchased a new book, "Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino.

We returned home around 4 p.m. and Amber visited with me and got me a beautiful vintage style chamoisle top with a sheer black decorative cover up. The telephone rang off the hook with "Happy Birthday" singing and well wishes from friends. All and all it was a great day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope your day is filled with roses, romance, and relationships; sweet as chocolate and filled with love!

For many, Valentine's day is just that, a day of warm fuzzies, sweet nothings whispers softly into only a lover's ear, full of poetry and praise, and many not-so-mundane-moments. For me, it is a special day..... one I share with my family and friends...... the excitement usually begins a few days before and lingers longer. Why? It is my birthday! Each year, it seems to come earlier and earlier.... LOL!

This year it actually began several days ago when received my first birthday card: well, a more personable one than the one I received from the company I work for, LOL! Year after year, I can count on Don's mom's card to be the first of many to arrive. From there it begins to spiral, in both my mailbox and email. Acquantances, family, and friends seem to remember this day even if they don't always remember to write, email, or call once in a while. It's funny how this works. Yet, there are several things that I count on, my sister will call, my mom will telephone me, and my dear daughter will be over, bearing a gift she really couldn't afford to give.

Every year, I get the same ole' question, "What do you want for your birthday?" and for some strange reason, I struggle for an answer. Don suggests many possible gifts to give, things to do, places to go --- but I don't feel interested. Dinner is usually one of our "things to do" as well as a "place to go" For years, we celebrated with Jim & Rosella and a wonderful Italian restaurant, MJ Mugsy's by reservation only. That was fun and fine for a while... You see, I hate going out to eat on my birthday! Restaurants are so overcrowded, usually the weekend before, the day of, and the weekend after, as many celebrate this day together which usually means service sucks, the food is either undercooked, overcooked, too cold........ and then there is the dreaded, "Happy Birthday song" and everyone stares and thinks, "How sweet!" Anyways, dinner on this day or the weekend before or after doesn't excite me! So, please, don't offer me dinner....

Gifts...... another thing I struggle with. What do I want, is there something I need? Funny, I don't have this problem any other time of the year. Simply ask me any time other than 2 weeks prior to this day and I could give you a list! I usually tend to purchase what I want, without asking or making a request of someone else, I suppose that has a lot to do with why I struggle with it.

This year, I don't want anything, "special"......... "simple" is more my style --- a single rose, a smaller box of chocolate, a sweet card, a glass of wine. Just being here, seeing the world with a new eyes, love in my heart, and having my family and friends near is enough for me!

So, here's to a simple Valentine's day, a single rose, romance, relationships with family and friends, and the hope of many more..........

Friday, February 10, 2006

New work schedule for this upcoming week....

I worked last night to return home tired and sore today. Got one hell of a low back ache, even after sleeping for 6 1/2 hours on the heating pad. I may just have to make a trip out to the hot tub this evening prior to getting ready to do it all over again.

My new schedule was posted last night. I work Sat/Sun 12 a.m. - 8 a.m.; Sun/Mon 12 a.m. - 4 a.m.; Off Monday night/Tues a.m.; Tues/Wed 12 a.m. - 4 a.m.; Wed/Thurs 12 a.m. - 8 a.m.; Thurs/Fri 12 a.m. - 4 a.m. and will be Off Friday night accumulating a total of 28 hours. Now if that isn't enough to mess up your life, LOL! A co-worker told me that often, if additional hours are available, there is a possibility I could stay until 8 a.m. on the nights I'm only scheduled until 4 a.m. Guess we'll have to wait and see how this goes.

I did some grocery shopping this morning after getting off work. Picked up a few things I desired to get for Amber's shower to have on hand and not get hit with the expense all at once. I still want to pick up some cupcake pans, I desided to wait a bit to get those. After grocery shopping, I forgot to stop and pick up my paycheck so I'll have to grab it after I get off in the morning.

Not much going on today....... I put a beef roast in the crockpot before going to sleep this a.m. I woke up smelling it......... yummmmm. Turning over in the bed to stretch before getting up, I was surprised to see a big red heart balloon that says, "I love you" from Don! What a sweetie! I woke up to go make dinner with a smile on my face.... he is so thoughful! He told me today he appreciates all my hard work to help out financially, then turned around to tease me about the muscles I'm building up, LOL! What a nut!

Found! Party Favor Template

Desiring a printable or other template for creating a cone-shaped party favor, I did a google search for one with no success. Deciding to check some of the template sites I've previously used, I found one on http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/mirkwooddesigns/templates.htm on Mirwoods site it is called an icicle box!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Once in a while, I receive something I desire to share....

This email from my sis is one those things I feel is worth sharing. It is oh, so true. It reminds us to celebrate our feminity, to be proud of our sex for all its strengths.

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get older No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.

"Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women ... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. "You'll need other women. Women always do."
'What a funn! y piece of advice!' the young woman thought. 'Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup, Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make
my life worthwhile!

But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.
After years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:
Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.
Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you.
A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach.
When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you
have to walk it by yourself, the women in your
life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on,
praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your
behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.
Sometimes, they will even break! the rules and walk
beside you.
Or come in and carry you out.
Girlfriends, daughters,
granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters,
sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties,
nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our
The world wouldn't be the same without women, and
neither would I.
When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had
no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay
Nor did we know how much we would need each other.
Every day, we need each other still.
Pass this on to all the women who help make your life
I just did.
This is so true and so very powerful. I have had many women in the course of my life who I have looked up to, turned to when times were rough, and women who celebrated the little things as I discovered them along the way. My sisters and friends have supported me, encouraging me onward, and, even been the cheerleaders in my lifewhen I didn't believe in myself, they still did!
If you are a woman and are reading this, feel free to copy and paste it into the body of an email to send and share it with a sister or a friend. One of my favorite websites to visit for gifts and for inspiration for women is: http://www.femailcreations.com Visit with them, you'll be glad you did. {smiles}

Outside of Amber's Baby shower invites

Here is the prototype of Amber's Baby Shower invitations. I chose to go with a non-traditional baby shower invitation reflecting more on the theme of the party! I choose the flowers because I feel it is important that the recipeint's feel that we are gathering to "Celebrate Life" and "embrace it" regardless of the age of that life.

Remember to Always Bloom!

Remember To Always Bloom is a handmade Coptic Stitch book I created last month when I was bitten once again by the bookbinding bug. I absolutely love it and cannot begin to start journaling and adding some text to the interior pages. For variety, the cardstock pages forming the signatures are a textured manilla, tan, kraft, and black.

Kudo's to my sis, Mary!

Thanks to my sister's ingenuity my scanner is now up and working properly once again. I couldn't have done it without her!
I had good intentions to continue working on Amber's Baby Shower Invitations last night, however, upon cleaning up all the punched pieces of paper from Don & I's previous punching fiasco, I got sidetracked into cleaning, LOL! I managed to clear off the majority of my small table, got my 12x12 papers into the paper holder of my new MM Runway Tote, put my ATC binder in it as well. I went through a couple boxes of supplies and found a home for a few of the items I desire to keep inside while working on all of this. The remaining supplies are still in the boxes to be taken out to the studio. So, I am making a little bit of progress. I got all the trash cleaned up, sweep the floor, and yes! finally took down my Christmas tree, ROFLOL!

Now, mind you the tree in question was only a small table top 4' tree, and for your information, "No! I didn't even bother to undecorate it!" Is that lazy or what? Ahhh, such is my life!

This morning I spent some time browsing online, reading a few of my favorite blogs, wishing I had the time to create the inspirating artwork I was viewing. I want to play, to create, well, to simply make ART! Unfortunately, life had other plans, so I diligently clean my bathroom, kitchen, and mopped the floors! See I can be quite productive once I put my mind to it and my nose to the grindstone.

I've tried unsuccessfully to re-install my scanner today. Talk about bummed, I'm bummed! I was desiring to upload my BLOOM handmade book and A's invitations so my sis could see them. Well, it isn't happening. I tried two different software programs thinking I must be confused with which software goes with what scanner but neither worked. I'm thinking neither must be compatabe with Windows XP Home version Gary put in my computer. The only option I can think of is trying to hook one of them up to the computer out in my studio..... when I find some time.

I'm hoping to begin working on the invitations again and now to hunt down the software to my printer. Wish me luck; something needs to go right for me today, other than household chores! {*wink*}

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Preparations and being busy......

Monday found Don & I both suffering fron a case of wanderlust as we been becoming regular little homebodies as he's healed from his surgery and I am adjusting to my new job! As we were picking up, straightening, and cleaning around the house sort of in a hit and miss fashion, I telephone my dd, Amber, when taking a coffee break. Desiring to "do something!" yet not actually having any particular ideas in mind, while talking with Amber on the phone, I asked her how she'd like to go to Burlington's Baby Depot and she said she was feeling up to it. So, after we finished getting cleaned up, Don & I picked Amber up, did a couple errands around town before we headed out.

On the ride down to Columbus we chatted about a little of this and little of that. The baby shower, the baby, things she had, items she needed to purchase yet, and things she desired. After some idle chit-chat and small talk, we decided we'd like to stop and do lunch too, so as we approached Sawmill Road, we made a pit stop into Olive Garden for a delicious lunch.

While eating lunch, Don was teasing both of us about sitting in Burlington's while Amber & I shopped for 3 hours, LOL! and I'll be damned if he wasn't right! I guess I sort of broke him in while I was there prior to his surgery doing some Christmas shopping. Anyways, Amber & I did spend close to 3 hours shopping and browsing.

I decided to go ahead and purchase the baby crib for my home, the one I had previously looked at. It is a Simplicity 4-in-1; so the baby can grow with the bed before I'll need to switch it out in a couple more years back to the twin bed.

I am really like the idea of the baby being able to sleep in a separate room, where it will be a bit more peaceful allowing the little one a bit more rest. The weather will be breaking soon and by then, Chaos will be spending more and more outdoors. Maybe this will encourage me to finally finish that room with some of the things we've been desiring to do but haven't actually gotten around to them yet! {like get some of the boxes of my art supplies out into the studio where they belong, LOL!}

I'd also like to get the bi-fold doors hung up in front of the washer and dryer. We've had them, just never got them hung up and we need to purchase a small door for the closet. We took the closet door out several years ago when I first moved in, deciding it needed replaced. Shortly thereafter, we had the washer and dryer brought up from the basement, built a small wall to hang bi-fold doors. That wall assisted with the decorative look of making the closet appear to be more than than the box in the corner. {*wink* another one of my brillant ideas!}

I originally painted that room Martha Stewart's lilac with white ceiling and trim, 4-5 years ago, so I don't plan to repaint the room. I love the lilac and white in there, with touches of dusty blue and a lighter lime green. The ceiling is in great shape, having been popcorned as after thought when we had the entire house re-wired and our contractor came through that room's ceiling while wiring, LOL! It also features a newer overhead light fixture on a decorative medallion.The garden fairy/dragonfly theme already establish in the room will work well for a nursery, as I can decorate accordingly for either a boy or a girl. Guess I'll be waiting to either buy or sew my own bedding!

A good Spring cleaning of the carpet and draperies, some minor repairs, removing some of my dragonfly knic-knacks, and finally moving some boxes of art supplies that need to go out to the studio anyways, and we'll be all set! A small bookshelf and dresser will provide me with enough storage for the baby's clothes and things, although, I will need to re-arrange the placement of some furniture within the space. Moving a small bookcase will allow for the closet door to open, so I'll probably do a bit of re-arranging of the bookcase before we get the crib out of layaway. In all reality, the room really won't be needing too much done. I have a small chair that is comfortable enough to sit in for a short amount of time, that can be placed in front of the closet door, allowing me to look out into our backyard, and it can easily be moved, if needed. So, other than purchasing the crib matress, matress pad, a waterproof pad, bedding and a small lamp, we're pretty much set. Maybe a few small container or baskets to hide some of the clutter of all the baby items will assist in providing a uniformed appearance.

The crib, I purchased, has a trundle drawer that slides underneath for additional bedding storage as well as a few toys. I will need to make some repairs to a couple white trophy style shelves on the walls as they simply sit on the brackets. A couple of nails and a touch up on paint will do the trick! and I do think I'll move them to another wall, way from having over the crib.

Amber has been suffering a bit of depression and anxiety which is pretty common as she is concerned about having what she needs to care for her child. To brighten up her day, I bought her a new pair of maternity jeans and a top along with spending a hundred dollars for baby items she needed. I didn't mind helping out and cheering her up!

She's desiring to keep her cost down in decorating so has decided to go with the Baby Looney Tunes theme. Since it is an older theme, a lot of the items and accessories can be found in discount and outlet stores. She has some wall apparel sticky things and we found a matching diaper bag, moist baby wipes container, a rattle, and a crib mobile. So, all in all, it made for a wonderful day!

Yesterday, I worked on preparations for her Baby Shower. I typed up all the Game sheets we'll need, got them saved and ready to be printed. Then, I moved on to creating a Baby Shower program for Nancy & I to follow, the water bottle labels, and decorated up the Party Favors I'd previously purchased.

I think I mentioned discovering some vintage looking pastel colored candle votives at Michaels' for $1, purchasing a dozen vanilla scented candles, white toile circles, cookie cutters, charms, and various odds and ends. Anyways, I decided to decorate those up.

My toile circles weren't big enough to allow them to be gathered on top, so I drapped them over the candle filled votives, and the glass votive itself has a footed pedastal base which worked great! A thin rubber band held the toile in place and I added pastel colored curling ribbon to accent them. Upon discovering there were 100 clear party favor bags in the package I'd purchased for the cookies, I decided to use some to keep the party favor dust-free. A few adjustment to them, trimming and cutting along the seams allowed them to be slipped over top of the votives and more curling ribbon added. I punch a decorative paper butterfly punches out of various pastel colored cardstock and added them as an additional accent. All in all, I'm pleased with them! ........ {smiles}

I looked through my Pfalgraff stoneware and found a small bowl designed for dip that can be used to hold the plastic diaper pins for the "Don't Say, Baby!" game. The toile was a bit too small to add, so I'll probably find something to fill it a bit --- maybe a piece of pastel tissue paper will work. Anyways, I discovered we'll have plenty of serving dishes that will assist with establishing the shower theme.

After working on the computer creating all the game pieces to be printed out and copied, I decided maybe I'd try my hand at creating her baby shower invitations.! Unplanned but after a bit of experimenting, and I discovered a design I liked so I set out to creating all the pieces for it.

I used a 6 petal daisy punch to punch through a sheet of stonewashed blue and sweetheart pink cardstock, I punched out all 30 of them in each color. Then, I overlapped the punched pieces, the pink over the blue, so the petal of the blue underneath shown through the petal pieces of the pink. A yellow Forsythia's bloom and a purple spiked aster were glued on top making them very pretty to look at! I cut a section of lavender cardstock and tore the top and bottom edge and stamped using an Anna Griffin stamp that says, "An Invitation" in black ink, then punched 30 rose single rose leaves out of some minty-looking green cardstock. I add the floral punches to the left side of the stamped text and the leaf below the bottom of the stamped text to provide some visual balance, prior to matting the torn lavender cardstock onto a pale yellow mat. A section of the torn lavendar carstock hangs slightly below the yellow, quietly peeking out.

Deciding I didn't want to add to much color to the invitations, I chose white cardstock to add the above matted decorations, then using a border punch, Don & I punched a lacy style border to the bottom front of the invitations. He was a godsend in creating that border as my punch is hard to work through cardstock! To make the inside as decorative as the card's exterior, I'm laying in sheet of blue and green vellum which peeks through the lacy border on the front of the cards. {15 will be blue; 15 will use green vellum}. Once my design idea was established, I set out cutting out all 30 invitations and Don assisted with punching the lacy border along the bottom edges.

So, now I simply need to measure the yellow and lavender mats used on my prototype, tear the top and bottom edges of the lavender cardstock, stamp the text, add my embellishements. The green and blue vellum will need to be cut. I haven't decide if once the text with the invitation information is actually typed, printed, and copies are made, if I'll layer it above or below the vellum, but to save some of my xyron adhesive, the vellum will be folded before being ran through, so that the interior of the card is only adhered at the base. I'm thinking layering the text under the vellum will soften the invitations providing more of the baby shower appearance by softening the actual text. Anyways, it is a start! Invitations and party favors, LOL!

I'm looking for a cone shaped party favor template to fill with Hershey kisses and pastel M&M's. I'm not certain what size I'll need but am thinking a 3, 4, or 5"; probably a 4" with a folded gathered top that can be hole punched so sheer pastel ribbon can be tied on for a closure and a tag can be added. If the event that I'm unable to find a template in any of the various magazines and books I have, I may just need to get creative and create my own! If anyone has one they'd like to share, I'd love saving the time looking for one......... please leave me a comment on how I may contact you and I'll send my email addy to you.

I do have a pillow box template and a small chinese take out box that I could use, but I really like the cone shape and think they'll work better. A bit more decorative and party themed!

Ok, enough baby-related things........... {smile, can you tell I'm gonna be a first-time grandmother and am getting a bit excited?! LOL!}

I worked last night! Bob called while we were out shopping on Monday; I could have worked Monday night to Tuesday morning had I been home, so I called and declined for Monday night but picked up the remaining hours for the week. My work schedule is as follows: Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Thursday/Friday, and Friday/Saturday. I'll end up with 24 hrs. this week, and a 24 hr. paycheck for last week.

I noticed a lot of the items I'll desire for the baby shower were on sale this week, Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, {although I haven't tried them and have a recipe from the Wilton website for a sugar cookie and royal icing.} Funfetti icing that is white with sprinkles separated on top, and some cupcake pans {can you believe I don't own any!} so I may do some shopping after I get off work on Friday to pick some items up at sale price and kill the one hour wait before I can pick up my paycheck.

I also need to look at GFS and price the tablecloths and one table skirt I'll need......... I may just pick them up all at once or a piece here and there since I'm in the area already for work; haven't quite decided that yet. I need to check the bottle water to see if it is on sale or wait until it is. I'm hopeful that Nancy will help out with the food and refreshments, although I'm fairly certain that she will.

Well, shoot! Time's slippin' away........... I should be getting off this computer, getting some dinner rustled up in bit, do a bit of housecleaning. I want to relax a bit this evening, maybe find a movie on TV to watch, or work on either the invitations or the Art Idea Journals. I definately need to be focusing on both of those within the next week so I can turn my attention to re-organizing the studio and getting it cleaned. About a day and a half and it should be ready to go, ROFLOL! I think I'll save the dusting to doing a few days before........... {Man, I'm on a roll today!}

Monday, February 06, 2006

Nursery Bedding.......

I've been looking at Nursery Bedding........ been shelled shocked at the prices {although it's been 25 years since I needed to purchase any, LOL!} and yes, have even comtemplated on sewing my own!

I found a Simplicity Pattern for Nursery Bedding that is available for purchase online. It includes the Quilt (which should be decorative only); the dust ruffle (which could be designed a bit longer by adding a few strips of decorative stripes and solid fabrics), window shades and tiebacks, a lampshade cover, a basket liner, diaper dispenser, and a wet wipes holder. Here is the link: http://www.simplicity.com/index.cfm?cat=2&type=0&sec=0&id=40&startrow=1
I'm looking at Pattern # 4504; although the others are nice as well.

Things I discovered online..........

I mentioned checking out some websites in one of my previous posts, and one of the sites I check often is http://melissafrances.com I absolutely adore her product line! I love her new releases for January and am considering using some of her paper line for the Baby Shower items and an scrapbook album. I, also, am thinking I'd like to co-ordinate some of her Home Decor items into my grandchild's room for storing items. The fact that they can be later used within my studio is an additional bonus! *gosh, I love that!*

I've began saving some vegetable and soup cans to decorate with in my creative space. Need to get the good ole' Dremel tool out that an online friend recently asked me about and use the drum sander to remove any burrs from opening the can and drill two holes in both sides of them for wire to be added. Decorated with a white wash finish, wire handles, a piece of satin ribbon, and a few cabbage roses, I'll have some wonderful tins for my paint and stipple brushes, storing some of my calligraphy pens, and colored pencils.

I, also, found some Vintage Chic fabrics from Calico Corners that would make a beautiful bedding set in the event that my grandchild is a girl, LOL! This not knowing the baby's sex is making my life a little hell........ but then, there are no guarantees. So, I'm browsing my options for both sexes. Here's a preview of some of the beautiful fabrics I like: http://www.calicocorners.com/fabrics_vintagechic.asp These would look lovely within my studio space as well.

I know I picked out some French Quarter fabrics {see here: http://www.calicocorners.com/fabrics_frenchquarter.asp} before, however, I'm still leaning towards painting my kitchen red! and hunter green in the back section. I think those fabrics may just be better suit in there with the rest of my home's decor. I like the idea of my kitchen being painted, fabrics being added to what is already owned. I have a black checked pattern in my curtains there, but need some added interest. Maybe in the form of some swag style toppers. I love the thought of adding in a hint of Tuscany, even if is only in the form of some of the color schemes.

Oh, the snowstorm........

We didn't get quite the accumulational they originally thought was possible for us to get. It began with rain, turning over to sleet, and by mid-afternoon on Saturday it was snowing. Big, wet flakes! Very pretty to sit and watch as long as you had nowhere to go or be.... LOL!

I think we ended up with approx. 2 1/2" - 3" out of it. The roads are good; and part of Fairpark lost power for a little over an hour but I don't believe it was due to the storm. We, fortunately, didn't lose electric........ which allowed me to be creative. Just wanted to update this for my sis.... *waves*

Awhhhh, time to create... and yesterday's update

Saturday afternoon and into the early evening, I decided I better get my butt in gear and begin working more on the studio re-organization. However, once out there, I found myself lost...... not even knowing where to begin. I'm thinking one has to be in a cleaning, organizing state of mind to actually do either. I have good intentions, just no motivation to see the process through, LOL!

So, it wasn't long before I decided maybe I should be working on something else, so I focused my attention to what I needed to get to creating: the Music of the heART swap or the Art Idea Journals. Deciding the Art Idea Journals would require the most time, I decided to focus on the Music of the heART swap.

I began by cutting my chipboard and my transparencies to the required 4"x4" size. I picked out some fabric to use, looked through my beads - although I had previously purchased an embellishment item that contained beads before deciding to go with my original thought. I looked at the stamps I desired to use, grabbed some inks, EP, and came back into the house. {Oh no! I'm doing it again, LOL! Dragging supplies back inside.}

Anyways, I looked at the printed paper I'd recently picked up for the swap at Scrapbook Art and decided how I desired to use it, then cut it down to size. Next, I focused my attention to stamping; and before I knew it, I was actually assembling the swap submissions together! I got them all completed! {Although, I may change one small section, so I left it semi-attached in the event that I do decide to do something different there. It can be easily changed.}

It felt so good to be creative! To actually have the time to sit and enjoy the process of it all. I don't think I actually realized just how much I'd missed the doing vs. thinking about it, LOL! I'm happy with the way my contributions turned out, even though I am considering a small change and the possibility of adding one particular item. Both can be done fairly quickly, without much difficulty, and neither would be too time-consuming ---- Perfect! So, I packaged them up and set them aside to allow the ideas to brew a bit before I make that final decision.

Saturday evening, Don & I spent time lounging around, watching TV --- nothing in particular, just channel-surfing; chatting about nothing really important before retiring to bed. I woke up early on Sunday, 4 a.m., drifted back off to sleep for a few prior to deciding just to get up. My nights off work are probably the hardest on me. I can't stay awake in the evenings as I am used to lying down in preparation to go to work and work all night. Even my best thought out plans for actually doing something seem to go out the window after I reach a certain point and from there, there's no turning back.

Yesterday morning and into the early afternoon, I browsed online for a bit...... checking out some blogs I hadn't been on in a while, visiting some websites, clicking links here and there before I finally decided it was best to get off the computer and actually get some things accomplished around here.

Don helped me make dinner, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and garlic bread. While the meatloaf was baking, I tackled Chaos into to tub for a bath. He {Chaos}, was so good! Didn't give me any problems bathing him, stood perfectly still while I washed and rinse him. It's after the bath ordeal that we have a problem with, LOL! He playfully attacks my hands and the bath towel as I try to dry him off. Growling in a playful way, barking at me, running away and coming back. After managing to get as much water off of him as I possibly could within the confined space of the bathroom we ventured into the living room. He had to rub himself on everything, the carpeted floor and me. We played with his toys for a bit, before he laid down beside me, being content. Somehow in all the playing around, I ended up with a fat lip! Chaos had his toy in his mouth and my head was over his when he raised up and caught me, right in the kisser. Thankfully, the swelling is down this morning although it is slightly bruised.

After I cleaned the bathroom back up from Chaos' bath, washed out the tub, and got in myself a bath to remove any remaining dog hair off of me, and clothed again, Don & I had a good dinner. We washed up our dishes together putting things back away before retiring to the living room once again before I ventured back out to the kitchen to bake a Carrot Cake... yyyyuuuummmm.

Then, more playing with Chaos ensued. He really is a good dog, just needed some attention and loving from the two of us. I guess we both get too tied up in the coming and going, doing this and that, to really realize that he needs us as well. As the evening wore on, all of us were tired and retired early for the night. Well, at least I did....... it seems Don and Chaos got up to watch the SuperBowl game and TV for a bit while I snoozed. Anyways, here I am waking up at 4 a.m. in the morning, trying to be quiet while the two of them sleep!

I believe I'm going to get into MS Word and type up the game sheets for Amber's baby shower. I finally found my printer software so I can hook that up or save them to a disk. Sheila, one of Amber's previous co-workers and a mutual friend, offered her assistance to me with the baby shower so I may just take her up on some of it. She mentioned being able to make copies of whatever I needed at work for me ---- without getting into trouble actually doing it.

I'm still looking for my scanner software....... which totally sucks! I've artwork I'm dying to share --- a recent book I created a few weeks ago.... BLOOM; and now this Music from the heART swap. Anyways, until next time, happy arting, artlings!!!!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Art Journal Inspiration........

I recently discovered 52 Figments - Swirly Girl's website with a lot links to participants art journal entries. Unfortunately, I personally have too much going on in my own life at this time to participate, however, I desired to add the link here within my blog to inspire me as well as remind me to check back often.

Awwwhhhhhh, So many art projects, and too little time......... {big sighs}

Yesterday's adventures and today's agenda.....

I worked Thursday night into the wee hours of the morning on Friday. We had several trucks making deliveries earlier in the evening so there was a lot of work to do. Upon arriving, there were skids that Clay had already pushed out onto the store floor and waiting in the back section of shipping and receiving sat 4 skids requiring pre-sorting onto 4 wheeled carts for each aisle of the store. Brian, Kelly, and I sorted them and finished up by 1:15 a.m. prior to hitting the aisles.

I worked houseware aisle, quickly attacking two and half skids of merchandise, before I hit a snag. New products! and a skid of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent that was previously on an endcap I'd set earlier in the week, that had been changed over by who knows who. Anyways, I called Clay over to scan the new items and we chatted about an incident I had in Aisle 5 earlier in the week which involved another co-worker not placing items in the right spots on the plan-o-grammed shelves and not backstocking overstock, cramming it in when that doesn't work. Anyways, Clay assured me he'd talked to the co-worker and was hoping things had been rectified there.

Upon finishing housewares, I begin in the Cereal, Coffee, Breakfast snacks, and PopTarts aisles finishing up yet another 2 skids and a few stray boxes; restocked another two endcaps: one of Coffee and another of PopTarts I'd set earlier in the week as well. Afterwards, I tackled my backstock and trash from the two previously done. By this time, we're close to opening at 6 a.m. and I really do not like to have skids still on the sales floor although some nights it can't be avoided. So, I took all the empty skids, stacked them, and pulled them back to the stockroom. With Kelly's assistance, we managed to set a display skid of water in another aisle before I went to help assist her finishing up in aisle 2. We managed to finish her other 4 wheeled cart just prior to leaving at 8 a.m. All in all, it was a good night, lots of work done and completed, all without incident or injury!

Don arrived shortly at 8 a.m. and being payday we went to Perkin's for breakfast prior to returning to the store to pick up my paycheck at 9 a.m. There was a lot of buzz about being under a winter weather watch, which was originally expected to dump 4-8" of the fluffy, white stuff on us beginning today around noon. The recent update is a Winter Weather Warning, total accumulation of up to 10"!!!!! Guess, I may get my studio re-organized yet, LOL!

After arriving home, I watched some TV for a bit before heading to bed around noon. Don spent his first day back at the store after Shawn called asking him to come in while he created some transfers onto some shirts in the back.

Thursday evening prior to going into work, Don & I got to discussing some mutual friends of ours.... wondering how they were, plans to contact them for a get together. It is so uncanny how that seems to work for us, whenever we think about Dennis & Sheila, it usually isn't long before they're contacting us. Yesterday was no exception. Upon getting up from sleeping around 3:30 p.m. Don said Sheila had telephoned, desiring us to come over for Lasagna, Salad, and Garlic bread for dinner and that she'd call back about 4 p.m. Sure enough and right on time, Sheila telephoned and we made our plans to go over. Around 6:30 p.m., we left to ride over, stopping along the way to pick up some wine coolers. We arrived at Sheila's around 7; had a great dinner, sat and chatted, catching up with one another busy lives until a little after midnight before coming home. The evening seemed to whiz by........ Our drive home was a bit of an adventure as it was foggier than all get out in spots and various other traveler's had their high beams on. Why do people do that? It makes the fog so much worse to drive in, but then, I suppose some people have problems with night vision and driving. Anyways, we arrived home safely around 12:3o a.m. and shortly thereafter retired ourselves.

I couldn't get over seeing Shadow again. Shadow is Dennis and Sheila's black lab, who is Chaos' father. I still cannot get over the similarities of the two dogs.... like Father like Son, LOL! I noticed alot about their markings, their mannerisms, etc. If Chaos turns out to be half as well-behaved as Shadow is we got it made! Chaos is approaching the 6 month mark, is due for a heartworm treatment, and an appointment for his rabies vaccine. Lately, he has been a "little" burger butt. Into everything... just like a little kid...... curious by nature, very playful yet loving when need be. He is such a hoot! One of his newest games is to bat around his food on the wood flooring in the kitchen, chasing after it, growling, barking and attacking it before he finally eats it and begins pawing at another piece in a cat-like fashion. It is so comical to watch as he tries to stop suddenly, often sliding into the cabinets and any other fixture in the kitchen. I guess it's hard to stop 55 lbs. going 50 miles an hours. He reminds me of the Cottonelle commercial where the yellow lab puppy goes slidding in, LOL! God love him.

Today's plan is to do some household chores, give Chaos a much needed bath, and maybe make it out to the studio for some re-organizing efforts. I'd love to start on getting something accomplished for the Music of the heArt swap and the two Art Idea journals, instead of simply talking about doing them. Hopefully, the incoming storm will provide me with some time to accomplish something!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Baby Shower inspiration discovered on the web...

Here are some of the inspirational items I found on various websites for my own DIY shower ideas. They provide some images to go along with a few of the things I'm envisioning for Amber's yet a bit different.

Don's Six Week Follow up Appt. and Baby Shower Preparations

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Ohio; albeit a bit chilly later in the afternoon, but out day started out just like any other day around here ---- hitting the floor running. Don had his six week follow-up visit with Dr. Lambardi for his total left knee replacement. We had a pleasant enough drive, listened to some awesome CD's Shane recently burned for us, and chatted along the way.

Arriving at Dr. Lambardi's office, we had a bit of a wait which wasn't too uncomfortable as we chatted with another woman and her mother from Marietta, Ohio until Don was taken back in for x-rays and his follow up appointment. After the x-rays were developed, they appear on a computer screen in the actual examination room for the Dr. and Nurses to view. Dr. Lambardi's nurse was one of the first to come in, and as she flipped throught the views on the computer screen she came to one which actually showed Don's prior to surgery x-ray and his after the surgery x-ray taken previously yesterday. WoW! What an improvement! As she turned to show the x-ray screen to Don of this view explaining what we were viewing, Don got chocked up a bit, saying, "I can never truly express how much this means to me and Thank you for everything!" I believe the emotion he expressed caught us both a little off guard, as we both had tears swell up in our eyes. Dr. Lambardi appeared shortly thereafter and Don once again couldn't thank him enough! Anyways, the good news is his knee is healing nicely, he has 100 degree range of motion in bending the knee ---- excellent for 7 weeks after the surgery! and he doesn't need any additional physical therapy. We see him again in one year!

After Don's Dr.'s visit and a restroom break, we walked through to the hospital side of the New Albany Medical Center, we made a quick stop into the cafeteria for a snack to settle my upset stomach from taking a couple Excederine earlier. Then, ventured onto the elevator to visit the 2nd floor of the hospital. Don wanted to see Carlos, his physical therapist who assisted him during his hospital stay. Carlos' face lite up when he looked up and saw Don, they laughed and chatted for a few minutes after Don said, "Thank you for all you did for me during my stay here!" I can say it was quite an experience during the time, but afterwards you truly begin to appreciate each and every member of the team that makes all this so worthwhile in the end!

Afterwards, we drove I-161 West into Columbus to go to Burlington Coat Factory's Baby Depot. I'd been on their website several times during the last few days while searching for ideas and planning Amber's baby shower so while in the area, we decided to go and look. I'm not certain what I want to do within my own home for my grandchild yet. Not sure about purchasing a 3 in one playpen that has a diaper changer, a bassinet, and playpen or if I want to purchase an actual 3-in-1 or a 4-in-1 baby crib. So, we went, we saw, we priced....... LOL! and I am still no further along in what decision to make that is right for me. I can say I am leaning more towards purchasing a 4-in-1 crib as to get more bang for my bucks!

Afterwards, we browsed some more and I couldn't get over all the supplies I'd forgotten a baby needs! Of course, I think we all remember all the big ticketed items, but what I am talking about is all the little things........ grooming supplies, safety preparations, medical.......... Wow! It was "eye opening" to say the least. I did purchase a white wicker basket filled with Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, Baby Magic, diaper cream, baby bath soap and shampoo. I came with a lullabye CD, too cute!

As Don's stomach begin to growl, we headed down to Sawmill Rd. to go to Boston Market for lunch, before driving to I-270 to 23 N. A quick stop into Michael's got into my pocket a bit, LOL! There I purchased $48 worth of Baby Shower items. I found a few of the items on my Wilton wish list, so I won't need to order them now since Michael's had them in stock. I got the pastel cupcake cups, the blue and pink diaper plastic diaper pins for the "Don't Say, "Baby!" game, and both Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Cutters in a butterfly and a flower shape for pastel frosted sugar cookies! These will be on a platter at the shower and I picked up 100 clear shaped treat bags to give each guest a package.

In the wedding section, I found some heart shaped charms that are engraved, "Thanks" that I want to use with some pastel sheer ribbon to create bookmarks for each guest to accompany the sugar cookies for each guest to take home. These will allow us to make our own to match our, "Daisy, Tulip, and Butterfly" theme. I, also, purchased some white tulle circles from the wedding section and some pastel colored metallic curling ribbon in all the colors I needed in one container to wrap up 5 or 6 cool pastel colored votices I found that will be perfect for the party favors, a package of 12 vanilla candles to fill them. {I figured I can alway pick up more at a later date.} Not bad, at all for the $$$ I spent......... guess, I'm starting to like this idea of creating for Amber's baby shower..... as long as I can recruite some assistance, LOL!

Upon returning back to town, we stopped by Amber & Chris's to look at the rooms they remodeled recently. Amber & I chatted about the baby shower while we made some Taco Salad for dinner and she loved my ideas!!!!! She's coming over today to begin discussing what we need yet and to plan times to assist me..... I'm flabbergasted!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What exactly is my "Baby Shower" idea?

Hmmm, I'd love to answer, a catered in event, possibly done in a classy, upscale restaurant with someone else footing the bill........ but I know in reality that isn't too likely to happen.

So, here is my ideas:

  1. Let me finish organizing my studio supplies --- after all it is more important that I know where my art supplies are!
  2. You {Amber and Nancy, Chris' mother} come over and assist cleaning, dusting, and vacauming it. Heck, I'll even leave it unlocked, ya'll can come over while I'm sleeping! {smiles}
  3. Make up your guest list. Hand deliver those locally that you'll see and mail only those that need to go out of town.
  4. Create a gift registry on www.BabyDepot.com, www.Target.com, and www.WalMart.com and/or include {what I feel is tacky} a list of things you are still needing. Leave off big ticketed items ---- I'm certain no-one desires to spend several hundred dollars on the crib of of your dreams. Maybe we can tuck "the list" into an smaller envelope guaranteed to fall out upon opening the invitation. {wink}
  5. I often think "gift cards" are so impersonal, but I do believe for a Baby Shower they are a wonderful choice as they provide the proud parents to be with some funds for those larger purchases need and maybe not received! I'm wondering if a note "Gift Cards Graciously Accepted" can be added to the gift registry? I think this is an excellent idea as they can be used in the months after the baby's arrival when finances of the parent tighten up.
  6. Let's use what we already have decorating the theme for the baby shower! {Hey, that's a great idea! Why didn't I think of it?}

So, since Amber is hell-bound the Baby Shower be held in my studio in March, I got to thinking about what is available on the retail end of things and dates on the calendar. Spring officially begins on March 20th and Easter is over the horizon. Meaning, I came up with a "Daisy, Tulip, and Butterfly" theme, perfect for the pastel color palette of not knowing the sex of the unborn babe.

I choose the "butterfly" theme for symbolic reasons as well. In many cultures, the butterfly is reminiscent of spiritual transformation, representing the butterfly's three steps of metamorphosis --- as a caterpillar, pupa, and the beautiful, yet fragil, winged insect. In images of the Garden of Eden, Adam's soul is symbolized by a butterfly, or drawn with butterfly wings. In paintings of Mary and her Child, the presence of butterflies stands for their care for human souls. The Gnostics depicted the Angel of Death by showing a winged foot stepping on a butterfly, symbolizing "rebirth after death." The butterfly is also a symbol of woman's delicacy. It can serve as a reminder to treat her with gentleness. In mythology and art, the caterpillar -- the larva (immature form) of a butterfly --- spins itself into a cocoon, where the mysterious transformation takes place during the time of "retreat" known as the pupation period, similarly to a fetus growing in the confined space of a mother's womb. And I even found an Irish blessing related to butterflies, that reflects back upon the Irish bloodlines of my own mother's heritage.

An Irish Blessing

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, and find your shoulder to light on

To bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow and beyond.

Possibly an quote suitable for the front of our invitations, in the event that we hand create them. In the event that we purchase them, I did discovery a website that featured babies with angel wings surrounded by flowers and butterflies, created in soft pastels resembling a watercolor effect that are inexpensive to purchase! There are also inexpensive matching stickers to decorate the envelopes and to use on some of the other ideas I have.

So, we set the stage within the studio, using different pastel-colored plastic tablecloths in a color-blocked pattern since the table are already set up so that when I have company over to create art we can look across and see what one another are doing. This will enable us to accomodate a lot of guests and promote interaction with one another. I'm thinking the pink, blue, and yellow on these tables, will work well as it won't promote the typical "blue and pink" theme of a baby shower which is important since the expecting couple choose to be surprised.

For a centerpiece, a medium sized potted floral or a medium sized floral bouguet would work best placed in the center of the three tables. I'm thinking it would promote the theme without adding too much of a distraction or inhibit interaction between me hostessing and Amber's guests. Maybe add a pillar or a taper candle in for elegance. I have matching candlestick and a hurricane glass pillar that matches my Pfalgraph tableware already and somewhere around here is a daisy candle ring that may also work!

Additional decorations to match our theme: Daisies, Tulips, and Butterflies

Decorated Pencils for the games we'll play requiring them. Glue some silk daisies into the erasers and wrap and glue decorative papers around them, mixing and matching printed papers to our color scheme. Displayed in glass jars with clear marbles I have on hand approximately halfway from the centerpiece to the ends of the tables.

Decorate and chill about 12 bottles of water and using a 2"x 10" mixed colored pastel cardstocks and printed papers adding text, "Thank You for Coming!" Curling ribbon and a small tag, could be a circle or daisy, tulip, butterfly shape possibly with an "S" monogram for "Saunders" {Chris's last name}.

I already have in my back laundry room/guest bedroom, a large watering can filled with pastel wildflowers with daisies and various pastel colors that will promote the "Spring" time theme and the symbolism of rebirth. The food buffet: aka, my bookbinding area can be transformed using a light pastel green tablecloth and tableskirt to hide all the supplies hidden within the shelves beneath. Adorned with my watering can filled with silk wildflowers, my Pfaltzgraff Tea Rose stoneware for the buffet serving area we can quickly and inexpensively set the stage for refreshing refreshments.

Food ideas:

Removing the crust from breads, using white and wheat bread, and lightly toasting some of the white bread. Fill them with tuna and chicken salad to create "finger sized" sandwiches by cutting them in half diagonally.

Potatoe Salad & Chips

A vegetable tray: carrots, celery, brocolli, califlower, grape or cherry tomatoes with a Hidden Valley Ranch Dip


Decorated bottled water, a Fruit Punch with some lemon, lime, orange slices, and Iced Tea

Desert: Cupcakes vs. a Cake iced in pastel colors with sugared images of daisies, tulips, and butterflies adorning the frosting.

Set Up a Baby Gift Center on my journaling table by covering it with a purple tablecloth and creating a Diaper Cake as a centerpiece. I'm thinking 2 tiered, not too big, possibly 8" base to allow plenty of room for gifts, gift bags, ect.

Purchases we'll have to make will be: 1 each pastel tablecloths in pink, blue, green, purple, and yellow color; and one green table skirt. To keep from having too much pastel colors, use the white stryofoam plates and cups, napkins, and clear fork, spoons, and knives, then on to..........

Party Favors!

I'm thinking tulle wrapped candles decorated with ribbon and/or raffia; a nice glass votive with candle, tulle wrapped candies: Jordan almonds, Hershey kissses, Pastel M&M's. Small yet effective without breaking the bank!

As a keepsake to Amber, I'm planning to create a Baby Shower Guest Book for guests to sign along with their well-wishes for the parents-to-be and baby Saunders. I'm thinking a stamped themed background with a sheet of vellum for the first pages, followed by a poem or quote as an introduction to signing in. A decorative matching acid-free pen with the daisies for an additional keepsake. This will be placed on one corner of the table just as we enter the stuio and will provide a space for guests to sign-in as we enter. I'm thinking the last couple of pages will be pre-printed with spaces to add each guests name, the gift they brought, and checklist for "Thank You's" to be sent after the baby shower is over. Also, I want to create a small label for guests to fill out with their name, street address, city, state, and zips for Amber to use for her to label her Thank You cards. This will save her from having to hand address each envelope later when she sends them. I'm certain she'll find this useful and time-saving as her final preparations for the baby comes, she's later in the pregnancy with more Dr's visits, and is focusing on her hospital and the baby's homecoming.

{Since we're having this in the studio, I'm thinking it will be best to greet the arriving guests in my home prior to moving into the studio once we're assure no-one else will be joining us. Maybe, I should mention to Amber, that as we're hand-delivering invitatioins, I can mention where the studio is located in the event of late arrivals or have Don and Chris hang out in the house. Just something else to consider..........}

As we enter the studio and guests are signing in the guest book, I'm desiring to add a small basket, flower pot, or other container filled with pink and blue plastic diaper pins for each guest to pick up. These will be used for our "Don't say, Baby!" game. When one guest catches another guest saying the word, "Baby", she collects the pin from the guest she caught. At the end of the game or the shower, the guest with the most diaper pins wins a door prize! I do want to have this prize be a little more elaborate than the party favors --- maybe a larger candle, bath & body lotions or bath salts --- something they can use to pamper themselves.

Game Ideas:

I'm thinking instead of purchasing games, I can use my computer to create them. Print up one page and have copies made at Office Depot. Amber, Nancy, Mom, and I can mat them onto printed paper and a cardstock base to match the various printed and pastel papers used in decorationing the studio. Anyways, here's my ideas:

As an icebreaker, "Guess Mommy's Waistline!" Have Amber "pose" front shot, sideways, and yes, the dreaded rearview. Pass around a roll of pastel streamer and have guests tear off a section that they think will fit around Amber's waistline. As the guest are passing around and tearing of the streamer, have guests introduce themselves and a bit about how they first met Amber. After all guests have torn their guess off, have each measure Amber's waistline with their streamer. The guest with the most correct guess WINS a cone-shaped party favor filled with candy or other party favor!

Next, is an Anagrams game were Amber and I will come up with 10 baby related words scrambled up and a blank line for guests to unscramble. We'll probably set a 5 minute time limit. The guest with the most correct answers wins a party favor. *1 or 2 party favors - in the event of a tie!

After the Anagrams games, guests will be teamed up 2 per team, to play "Baby A-Z" This a printed sheet of paper using 2 columns A-M, then N-Z, for guests to write down as many baby related items or words associated with baby. A time limit will be set, 5 to 10 minutes. Both guests on the team with the most words on their list, WINS a party favor!

As to not drag the Baby Shower out too long, allow guests to mingle, etc. I decided it is time to play, "Baby Bingo! with a Twist" Again, we'll create the game using printed paper and cardstock bases, with a 4" x 4" grid of 1" squares to have guests write in a "gift" they believe Amber might be unwrapping. Each square is a gift, after all Bingo cards are filled out, Amber will begin opening her gifts. As a gift that a guest has chosen on her Bingo card is opened, an "X" is placed in that square. The guest who gets a "Bingo" must hollar out "Baby Bingo!" or their party favor prize is forfeited to the next bingo winner who correctly hollars out, "Baby Bingo!" {that's the twist!}

Then, we can move on to mingling and eating!, saying, "Thank you's, and "Goodbyes".

Craziness in a nutshell........

Monday and Tuesday seemed to simply disappear magically into the ethers, never to be fully recovered again. After working 8 hours the previous 6 nights prior to my scheduled nights off, I was totally exhausted. Arriving home on Monday, it didn't take me long to fall out, I slept until 4:30 p.m. ,something rare for me to do, and since I'd slept so soundly laying back down in the evening was out of the question knowing that Don would desire my company in bed laying beside him while we slept. Lacking an energy and motivation, I spent the entire evening lounging in my pj's, alternating between the couch watching TV and the computer, catching up with some emails, groups, message boards and general internet surfing. Sometime around 1 a.m. the sandman came to visit and I couldn't seem to hold my head up any longer so I went to bed. I slept until 4:30 a.m. waking myself up dreaming about an art technique. Of course, my curiousity was peaked, so in my half comatosed-state of mind, I got up void of any real motivation to implement the idea. I often wonder what it would be like to be in my studio in that condition, LOL! Would I play with more abandonment, suppressing my inner critic? Anyways, my heart wasn't into venturing out into the cold bone-chilling air to seek the sanctuary of my studio so I plopped my butt into the computer chair once again.

This time I had a mission in mind...... to search for ideas for my dd, Amber's baby shower as she believes my studio is the perfect location to host it and in March at that! Grrrr........ KIDS!!! {I'm glad I was never one, LOL!}

I cannot say that I am too happy with this idea of using my studio, however, Amber always has a contrasting opinion that always seems to involved me arranging my life, schedule, time, and money to suit her own needs and desires........ although I frankly do not see what is the problem having this in the house. But as usual, I know she'll not let up on her "ideas" until I give into the demands of having it her way.

Anyways, I'm waiting on an actual guest list so we can choose invitations related to our Baby Shower theme when my mind begins to wander off thinking about the RSVP's. Amber believes most don't actually mail them if they're not planning to attend as often it is a last minute decision or circumstances that will prevent a guest from attending, so she'd like to have MY Phone number on the invitaions --- since I'm the "hostess". {I'm cringing already from the havoc this is gonna wreck into my daytime sleeping habits ; and let's not to mention the already made strides I've made within organizing my studio already!!!! }

So, after browsing, ideas for the baby shower theme itself, the invititions, RSVP's, refreshemnts consisting of food, drinks, and snacks, party favors, prizes, games to play, setting up areas for a buffet-style refreshment area and a gift giving area, I thought to myself, "Why the hell am I the only person responsible for pulling this off? And just who does she think is footing the bill?" Now, don't me entirely the wrong way, I don't mind doing my fair share of hosting this event, but I definately am believing that I won't be financing the entire event and that she's going to have to get some other people involved in setting the stage so to speak. I don't have the time, money, and resource to pull this off especially while working my crazy shift and trying to accomodate her timeline. My solution is to delegate some of this responsibility to others.... Amber, myself, Chris's mom, and my mom.

I looked at ideas, and believe I've found a lot of $$$ saving-ways to host a beautiful event, however, the drawback is it is a DIY style of project which means time! Another rare commodity in my life, after all, "who the hell needs sleep? it's only semi-tractor trailors filled with skids weighing twice my body weight I'm lugging around through the aisles of Kroger's at 5 a.m., " ROFLOL!

So, I pick up the phone and telephone Amber, requesting the company of her presense to discuss all the details of pulling this off. I cringe when I get the "but I want to have it in March vs. my Saturday, April the 8th suggestion" so that I'm not out the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy shopping and purchasing all the things I'll yet need before the baby comes. {Needless to say, all the while, I am wanting to kick my own ass for allowing her to once more dictate what and how I live my life and what I can and cannot do with my own paychecks.}
I realize that she means well, but she simply doesn't put a whole lot of thought into her best laid plans...... it's jump in head first and come hell or high water we all deal with the consequense after her decision has been made. Awwwhhhhh, another day in paradise!

Anyways, I think I've come up with a solution, so we're getting together on Thursday afternoon so she can one by one elimate all the ideas I have......... can you tell I'm looking forward to that? LOL! I love my dd, Amber, but she can become the biggest pain in my pita. Hmmm, maybe I need to email her, www.more.com's article, "Don't call me Grandma!" LOL, I'm certain that would go over big with her pregnancy-induced hormonal state of mind.