Monday, June 30, 2008

recap & new list

Custom Order - Initial Card
Custom Order(s) - Clippies
Continue work on: Shop Set Up Package for Dizzybroad - (in progress)
Begin Chocolate & Sushi - Bookmarks

Custom Order - Initial Card

Kitchen Delights (fun with fabric)
Sets - Booties, Clippie, & Card :)
The Fairies
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas


This will be another fast moving week! The 4th of July weekend is going to be a blast! We're planning a big BBQ here... so I have LOTS to do to get ready.... what this means is that I won't have as much time to work in my shop. I tried to be pretty realistic as far as my list goes for this week, so we'll see how it goes! (That's also why I added a "longer term project" section.... I don't want to forget what I want to make BUT I don't want to make it a goal for the current week. Kind of a procrastinator's way out, don't cha think?!) :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

recap & new list

VACATION!!!!!!!!!! :)
No projects or listings this week...

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (in progress)
Replenish "Extras" for orders (in progress)
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
Blooming Clippie
New Amy Butler Blossom Card - Completed
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card - Completed
Kitchen Delights (make sample from sketch)

New Amy Butler Blossom Card - Listed
Blooming Clippie & Baby Bug
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card - Listed

It was a busy week... I knew I was stretching it with my project list! I'll just be ready with things to start on when I return from vacation. I also have some custom orders that I'll be working on once I return. I'm so excited to be going away with my family... ahhhh..... v a c a t i o n! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

guitar hero ON TOUR

I LOVE video games! We had preordered TWO (One for me and one for Cami, because I DON'T want to share!) of the new Guitar Hero games for our Nintendo DS Lites... They arrived today!!! Oh my gosh, it's the coolest thing ever! I have a feeling I know what I'll be doing A LOT of during our vacation next week! I just finished working through the tutorial (that's the kind of person I am, PLUS I thought I might learn some tricks so that just maybe I'll be able to beat Cami once before she figures out all the little tricks! ...Hey... I can dream, can't I?!) The guitar duel features are sooo cool! You can earn "weapons" to use against the other player like fire (start their guitar on fire and they have to blow into the microphone to put it out and continue playing, break a string (they have to reattach), throw something to be autographed (they have to autograph it before continuing to play), and all kinds of other VERY neat things. These are the things I'm hoping that Cami hasn't learned yet. All right... I'm going to test out my luck... CAAAAAMMMMIIIII!! (wish me luck!)

UPDATE: I just beat Cami!!! THREE TIMES!!!! See it was worth learning some of the "weapons"... I'm sure this is the only time I'll be able to beat her so I think I'll have to torture her about my wins the rest of the day! (Of course she did beat me at the regular competition where no weapons were allowed.) The game is a BLAST! Such GREAT songs too! (Heather... Jessie's Girl is on there... I know you're running to the store NOW!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

t h a n k s

I just wanted to shout out a very quick THANKS! Thanks especially to MommaB and dizzybroad for buying more of "my stuff" this week... I really appreciate your encouragement and super kind comments. You're the best... Thanks!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

21 & graduation

Leila turned 21 yesterday! I'm so happy that she came home and shared this special occasion with us! We had such a great time!! Cami, Leila, and I caught up on episodes we were behind on for "So You Think You Can Dance." Leila opened her gifts AND we went out to a very lovely dinner at Mastro's Steakhouse. We had DELICIOUS Maine lobster and YUMMY rib eye steaks. (Oh... I think I'm still full!) It was one of those dinners where everything turned out perfectly: our location in the restaurant (nice corner), food, service, and best of all: company! We miss having Leila around all the time and so it's especially nice when we get the chance to all be together.

Cami had a special day as well on Leila's birthday.... It was the last day of school AND her graduation from elementary school. It's another one of those "where has the time gone" moments for me! How does this happen? Cami was awarded with the "President's Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence." We're so proud of all her hard work. Here she is with her wonderful teacher... Cami has absolutely LOVED being in her class. (One of the things I really liked about Cami being in her class is the emphasis she put on the kids to be good people and to treat each other with respect and kindness. Sometimes simple things like this are just plain overlooked. It's sad.) She is definitely going to miss her, but she's VERY excited about moving on to middle school.

I guess I have to end this post by saying how EXTREMELY proud I am of both my girls and the people that they are. They inspire me everyday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

bride, blossom, & friends

I'm having one of those days where I feel like I'm getting things done, but there are still SOOO many things to do! I am glad that I was able to get a couple of things done for my shop and now I have to concentrate on getting everything set for Leila's birthday and Cami's elementary school graduation. They are both tomorrow! It will definitely be a day to celebrate in our house!

One of the items I finished was the custom order Bride Card. I think that the red and white polka dot background look amazing with the white dress! I edged the card with the same ribbon that I used on the dress. The shine from the ribbon added a very nice touch. It's a terrific combination! I think "MommaB" is really going to like it! (I hope!) :)

Yesterday I posted the new Amy Butler Magnolia Blossom Card. Cami chose this paper because she wanted me to make one for her ballet teacher. Now I'll have two more cards available in this combination. I love that she still asks me to "make" presents for her teachers... She's my biggest fan! :) The chocolate brown, pinks, and cream look wonderful. These patterned papers make beautiful blossoms!

She also chose another Amy Butler paper pattern that she wanted me to make into a blossom card for her school teacher. Here's a preview of what it looks like... I'll list that blossom card tomorrow. I adore how bright and cheerful this card looks with it's stripes and rainbow of colors. The inside blossom paper looks like it's alive with wildflowers. I LOVE it! The red ribbon tied it all together with such pizazz!

Let's see... I also packaged up some Amish Friendship Bread Starters for Cami to give to 3 of her friends tomorrow. She thought it would be fun (as did I) for her friends to be able to bake with their families and pass the wonderful "friendship bread" to other friends all summer long. (Click here for a Starter Recipe... pass on the goodness! Send me a comment if you'd like a copy of my "pass it on" instructions that you give along with the starter.)

I better get back to making Leila's and Cami's cards... tomorrow is sure to be a very special day...

Monday, June 16, 2008

a ballet-rific weekend

WOW! I definitely have a little ballerina!!! :)

This weekend she performed Saturday and Sunday in "Sea to Shining Sea," a dance recital for her dance school. Saturday's performance was in the costume shown above. Her teacher choreographed an adorable number that was so entertaining. It was one of the crowd favorites for the night! Cameron was AMAZING! ...OK .... I knew she was good, (I'm her mom after all!) but seeing her on a big stage, and the confidence, ACTING and dance... WOW! Just thinking about it now makes tears come to my eyes. She had the time of her life AND you could see it! Just look at the photo above... this was taken BEFORE the show... she's not nervous... she's calm and just anticipating the show. Oh... how I wish that my parent's lived closer. I know they would have loved watching her perform.

The photo below was taken after Sunday's performance. Leila was able to come home to celebrate Father's Day and attend this night. (I sure have gorgeous girls! ...proud mama talkin' again...) It was ANOTHER outstanding performance by Cameron... in fact, I heard people behind us in the theater comment on her grace and elegance during her dance. She really stood out! I'm so proud! I guess I'm going to have to buy both DVDs of the performances! (Of course they wouldn't put all the performances together... You must buy separate DVDs for each night! $40 each, adds up! They also prohibited any recording in the theater... so you're pretty much stuck! Oh well... I know she'll love being able to have all her relatives watch it!)
It was definitely a ballet-rific weekend! I don't know if my husband's first choice for Father's Day weekend would be to spend over 5 hours watching ballet for the weekend.... but he was definitely the proud papa! Happy Father's Day honey... our kids are lucky to have such a wonderful, funny, generous, video game playing, silly, scary movie watching (and torturing), BBQ-ing master, hard working, thoughtful, supportive dad.... I love you!

recap & new list

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (in progress)
Replenish "Extras" for orders (in progress)
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
Blooming Clippie
New Amy Butler Blossom Card
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card
Kitchen Delights (make sample from sketch)

New Amy Butler Blossom Card
Blooming Clippie & Baby Bug
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (carryover) - In Progress
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
New Brownie Photo Card - Completed
Replenish "Extras" for orders - In Progress

Brownie Photo Card - Listed
Chocolate Truffle Pincushion - Listed
Relist made-to-order Skull Tops - Undecided

I've listed lots of items to do this week... A couple of the projects I actually began working on last week and should be close to completing. I don't know how realistic it was to list so many items as I didn't list the "teacher gifts" I need to complete! It's also Leila's birthday this week and she'll be home beginning Wednesday... I guess I better stop chit-chatting and get working! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ballet, tomato, chocolate!

Cami's BIG ballet recital is this weekend. Yesterday she had dress rehearsal at the civic arts plaza. She'll be performing on stage in front of 1,800 people! WOW! She is sooo excited! I'm upset because camera's aren't allowed, however, I was able to "sneak" in a couple of shots at the dress rehearsal yesterday! Look at her form! I am definitely the proud mama! :)

This morning I picked the first tomato from my garden. It had to have an official photo shoot... (I'll have one for the first yellow crookneck squash, cantaloupe, etc.) I felt such satisfaction holding that perfectly red, delicious and fresh smelling tomato in my hand. I'm planning on eating it up tomorrow. I haven't decided yet whether I'll eat it in a salad or just slice it and season it with a little salt... mmmm... yummy!

I listed "I ♥ Hugs" chocolate truffle pincushion today. I finally took the time to get the photos ready and list it. I now have a variety of the chocolate pincushions in my shop. I did start the embroidery for a new set of the chocolate candy magnets. Those sets have been sold out for a few weeks so it's time to add another set within the next couple of weeks.

I'm really glad I'm keeping track of things I need to do on my weekly "project list." I feel like I'm accomplishing something even when it is only a small thing. I may actually get through all the things on my MASTER list one day... (OK.. so I'm dreaming... I know I add more ideas for projects faster than I do them... That's what makes art so exciting!) :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

brownie cards

Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm.... here's a photo of the peanut butter with fudge brownies I made Norm for his birthday last month. They were delicious AND pretty! I had printed out a couple of the photos to make a set of cards with and I finally listed them today. As I was putting them together, however, I realized I had made an error on the final size... I still put them together (a big step for me!) and they look really nice, but not perfectly matted. I listed them at a REDUCED price because of this little mistake. (Oh my gosh... as I'm writing this I'm looking at the photo and I'm getting a MAJOR sweet tooth... look away...)

You know... I have my bakery etsy site all set to go. I reserved the name back in August! I just haven't had the courage to list anything there yet. Another problem is that I procrastinate (surprise!). I know I have a tendency to "over think" each step and this can really get in the way of progress! I think my major hang up has been figuring out the best way to package the cookies so that they arrive in great condition. I think I'm going to have to do some trial runs so that I can overcome this worry. Hmmmm, I might have to see if I can find some volunteers who are willing to pay for shipping and a nominal "material" cost. That way I could do some initial orders at my other shop, test out the shipping, AND get feedback! I'm going to have to come back to this idea another day... My brain is too tired to think this out completely right now!

Hey! I felt good again today!!! AND I was able to play volleyball tonight! YEAH! I had a great time although I did feel like I was a half step behind all night. Sorry team! Did I mention how much I love my current team?! So much fun AND great personalities! Even when we lose (which we did twice tonight - at least we won one) we have a good time and no one gets crazy. I'm going to miss playing on Wednesday's for a couple weeks. My team has a bye next week and then the following week we'll be on vacation! It's just around the corner. Summer is REALLY almost here... ahhhh...

ps... got a call from the surgery center... EGD is scheduled for July 10th.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

banner & avatar

Ahhhh... I felt MUCH better today. I still had some mild nausea, but nothing compared to the last couple of days! I started on the medication the doctor gave me to reduce the acid in my stomach so this may be what helped as well.

I've been working on Gigi's banner and avatar today. I've really enjoyed the challenge of coming up with a design that represents her shop. I'm looking forward to finishing it up in the next day or so once I make any adjustments or changes she'd like. It was fun to see the elements come together. I love how you start working on one part and soon you're working on the next section and then before long you realize you have a cohesive design! That's the best! That trial and error thing really works! :) I am definitely NOT an expert with photoshop yet... but I'm really enjoying learning a little more each time I work on a new project. It's a whole new art dimension for me! :)

Cami's last regular ballet class was today. The class was dress rehearsal for their BIG performance on Saturday. (Her other ballet class performance is on Sunday... busy ballet weekend!) I took some photos of her all dressed up in her costume. Doesn't she look so cute!?! I'll have to take pictures of her in her costume for the other performance. It's a totally different style. (She prefers this one because she thinks the other one is too "little girlish.") I also finalized her summer dance classes. She wanted to take 2 ballet classes and 1 jazz class... so she'll have 3 dance classes a week for a six week period during the summer. She sure does love her dance! Of course... we'll also make sure she has some good volleyball during the summer ! ;)

Leila is in the midst of finals this week. Poor thing... I sent her a goody box last week to help her through the all-nighter's. She'll come home Sunday for Father's Day and then head back after Cami's performance that night. She'll be back for her birthday next Wednesday.... SHE'S TURNING 21!!!! WOW! (my goodness... I guess this means I'm getting older.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

frustrated and discouraged

I'm skipping volleyball tonight. That's BAD!!!! Volleyball is one of those things that I hate to miss... Norm even teases me that he'll have to plan his funeral around my volleyball schedule! (I think he's joking!?!) I'm not going because my stomach is acting up again. I've been nauseous all day long (yesterday too). I slept a few hours this afternoon hoping I would feel better and want to go play, however, I kept waking up because of the discomfort. I realized I should cancel tonight so that I can rest up to feel better enough to play on Wednesday. That's what I'm shooting for... Volleyball on Wednesday!

I did have my appointment this morning with the gastroenterologist. I didn't care much for her, no bedside manner at all. Norm reminded me that I'm not there for someone to hold my hand (although I wish she would wave a magic wand or something). She gave me some medicine to begin taking tomorrow to help reduce the acid in my stomach. I'll take that for the next three weeks to see if it begins to help at all. She is also scheduling me for an EGD (Esophagastroduodenoscopy). That will happen within the next few weeks. (I'm waiting to hear what the exact date will be.) I'm frustrated and discouraged. I hope that we'll be able to pinpoint the problem soon...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

recap & new list

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (carryover)
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
New Brownie Photo Card
Replenish "Extras" for orders

Brownie Photo Card
Chocolate Truffle Pincushion
Relist made-to-order Skull Tops

Amy Butler Blossom Card (carry over) - Completed
Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (carryover)
Special Order - 48 (now 57!) cards (carryover) - Completed
Baby Bug Clippie

Amy Butler Blossom Card (carry over) - Listed
Chocolate Truffle Pincushion (carry over) - Listed

This will be a busy week.... I have lots more projects that my fingers are itching to work on, but I'm trying to be realistic with all the other commitments this week. I feel like I'll blink and the week will be over!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

all by ourselves

It was the last day of Cami's Spring Volleyball league today... The season always seems to go by soooo quickly. We had a fun bunch of kids and it was really great to see all the improvement that was made in the 10 week period. She wants to play again in the fall, as long as it doesn't interfere with her new schedule of dance classes! We won't know what that is though until late August or September. Hopefully the scheduling will work out all right. It worked perfectly this year!

Cami's sleeping over at a friend's house tonight. So, Norm and I went out to a FANCY dinner. I felt all grown up! We even got dressed up (!) and went to Mastro's Steakhouse. It was DELICIOUS! I think I brought home more food than they served! The prime rib serving was ENORMOUS! (Norm told me I had to add this photo he took with his phone... and this was AFTER I was done eating!) I can't even tell you how AMAZING the lobster mashed potatoes were... see... I'm drooling, just thinking about it AND I'm full! We really enjoyed ourselves! A nice celebration.

I finished another chocolate pincushion this afternoon! (It's been in progress for a while... going back and forth to volleyball so that I could work on it between games!) I had a little time while Cami was swimming with her friend and Norm played lifeguard, so I was able to complete the photo shoot too. I just listed it on etsy, so now that's done! I have another one to list that I photographed as well. I think I'll list it next week.

Time to go and hang out with my honey... we ARE alone after all! :)

Friday, June 6, 2008


It was Sport's Day for Cami at school today. She wore Leila's old high school jersey. She looked adorable AND sporty! I HAD to take a photo of her in the uniform. Of course we also needed some action shots! Look at that form!! :) Another up and coming volleyball player! She's growing up so quickly... I'm a little sad to think that she is graduating from elementary school in just a couple short weeks. Where did the time go?

I began working on Gigi's banner today. I don't have a lot to show for it so far... Just a couple pages of doodles and sketches while I try and brainstorm. My brain is a little slow today, I think because of all the chemicals from doing the housecleaning earlier. (Good excuse, huh!?!) Gigi gave me a couple of examples of what she likes and I have an idea, I'm just having a hard time making my hand do what my brain is telling it to do! The translation isn't exact. I think I need to step away for a little while and come back to it a little later.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


It's done... 57 photo cards packaged up into sets. I was very happy that I was able to resolve the wage dissatisfaction with the Oompah-Loompahs. They were a really big help in assembly line production! (OK... maybe I need to get outside for a little while...)

It felt so good to put this order together. The photos always seem to "pop" when I mount them onto the beautiful, white card stock. It's amazing what that little border does! No matter how many art photo cards I put together, I still get a little thrill that a beautiful photo has become a functional art piece to be shared OR framed. (I was so happy to read that one of my clients HAS framed one of the art cards she purchased! Yeah!)

I also FINALLY got to my camera and went through my beach shots from last week... Oh... what a gorgeous day it was! So beautiful AND so much fun spent with family! I still have lots of practice to do with my new camera... but I feel like I got some really nice shots. Want to check them out? Click here to see "The Beach" set I created on flickr. Looking at the photos makes me want to go back...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

don't stop til you get it right

I completed, photographed, re-worked, re-photographed, listed, AND SOLD my newest Blossom Card today! I'm preparing the sentiment for the new owner and then it will be off in the mail in the morning. I have one more Blossom Card in this color combination that I'll list tomorrow.

I am so pleased with how the colors and patterns complimented each other. I originally had a different color blossom center but I realized when I looked at the photos I had taken that it was WAY too busy... So I went back to the drawing board and selected the light green. It worked out perfectly! I retook the "open" photos of the card and listed it! I found it very interesting that I didn't see the "busy-ness" of the patterns until I was viewing the photos. I think I was so excited by all the bright colors and patterns of the Amy Butler papers (I really love her bold designs and colors), I was forcing myself to try and use only those papers. I am very happy I took the time to rework the card. It's now a combination that I feel really works! :)

The day flew by... I have 57 cards to put together tomorrow (my oompah loompah's refused to work today, something about unfair wages...).

Monday, June 2, 2008


I have to take a minute to bask in this moment... I blocked one of the best guys on the opposing team tonight. No, not a touch... a BLOCK!!!! The icing on the cake is this guy (kid) went to high school with my daughter and graduated the same year. Wow! The old lady has some hops (sometimes)! Oh... so there isn't any misunderstandings... also on men's net height! :) I don't go up to block very often. (I really injured my hand blocking a guy a few years ago, so I tend to let the guys do the blocking and I stick to defense below the block. I still have to tape 3 fingers every time I play as a result of that injury.) The reason I did go up was because I was setting and my team passed an over pass, right to Ahmad! There was no way I was going to give him a free hit without at least a little pressure... so wah-lah... a block! I think I deserve a little brag time for this! :) (Julie... I can't believe you missed this!!!!)

I didn't have time to go through the photos in my camera today!!! I'm anxious to see them... TOMORROW, tomorrow, tomorrow... I DID get another order out today! The last of the Plum Blossom paper combination card and my heart mosaic tag are on their way to Colorado. I would like to add the new Amy Butler Blossom Card tomorrow if I have a chance! I also printed out all the card stock I need to complete the big 57 card order. I guess I should work on that tomorrow... :) I also have to hem a couple of pairs of pants for Norm.... tomorrow!

One last note... CONGRATULATIONS to my sister, Heather, and her family!!! The offer they put on a new house was accepted! Oh my gosh... I am so excited for them! It is a SUPER beautiful home!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

e n j o y

I had a WONDERFUL weekend with all my visitors! (Mom, Heather, Kavyn and friend-Kirstie, and Kylee - Mom and Kylee were surprises!!!) We were on the go until they left this morning! (I had to take a little nap this afternoon to recover.) We all went to the beach on Friday afternoon and then came home to enjoy the spa and pool... It was extremely relaxing.

Heather, Kavyn, and Kirstie went to see Wicked Saturday afternoon and LOVED it! While they were doing the theater thing, Mom and Kylee hung out with Cami and I, we had a nice relaxing afternoon with a little bit of shopping thrown in...

Heather and I had our "concert" performance last night with Sing Star!!! (This is a tradition for us... We LOVE our Sing Star!!!) We did get "Sing Star" and "Superstar" status on quite a few songs!!! (We may have also shattered a few glasses but we won't dwell on that...) :) We had a blast... It just went by too quickly! It was so nice to enjoy each other's company. I smile just thinking of it!

I can't wait to go through my camera tomorrow to look at the photos from the weekend! I'm also hoping I got some great shots of all the fun and the beautiful day at the beach. I'm also anxious to check out the shots because I'm trying to learn my new camera! (Thanks again, Celina, for all the tools and help!)

recap & new list

Amy Butler Blossom Card (carry over)
Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (carryover)
Special Order - 48 (now 57!) cards (carryover)
Baby Bug Clippy

Amy Butler Blossom Card (carry over)
Chocolate Truffle Pincushion (carry over)

Flower Clippy - Completed
Amy Butler Blossom Card
Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad
Special Order - 48 cards

Relist California Roll Sushi - Listed
2 in 1 Purse (carry over from last week) - Listed
Flower Clippy - Listed
Amy Butler Blossom Card
Chocolate Truffle Pincushion

I am carrying over most of my projects this week. I am almost finished with the newest Blossom Card... Card special order deadline is the end of the week so I will definitely have to complete that project this week! :) I was happy that the client called on Friday to add an additional 9 cards to her order. My paper cutter is going to be smokin'!
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