Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stranded in an internet-deprived world!

This is going to have to be super speedy - our despised Earthlink DSL is down again - ARGH!!!!!!! On top of that our phone - also from Earthlink - is filled with deafening static. I can't wait for the technician to get here...I'm currently blogging from the local FedEx/Kinko's. We've been cut off from the outside world since Sunday, grrrr...

Okay, enough ranting. Basically I just wanted to let you guys know why I've been gone, post pictures of my ZNE Design Team May Challenge pieces and the spoils of my Stamp Convention vist. Oh, and maybe say a few short words about my time there.

First, my Desing Team pieces: The theme this time was the alphabet and the assignment was to pick two letters and print them and a word off of the acme label site and then use the backgrounds provide by ZNE along with the labels and illustrate your words/letters on ATCs. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, I picked C and P and here are my ATCs!

Next, the Stamp Convention; Well, it wasn't all card kits! It was fun. I met up with fellow ZNE-er Jeri Aaron and her friends and they were all nice and smart and funny. They had to leave fairly quickly, so we just palled around for a little while. I found a few booths that I really liked. One in particular had a lot of fun embellishments and zettiology-like stamps and I spent a lot of time in there. They had a lot of Day of the Dead stuff, too, and I bought the cutest little skeleton! Who'd have thought I'd call a skeleton cute??? I could easily have spent three times as much money there. I didn't bring the info about them with me to Kinko's- like their website address - so I'll have to post that later. Anyway, there were quite a few card kits and the like there, but also plenty of things for me to spend my money on. My favorite is the rolling pin-like stamp. It has the coolest patterns - Art Nouveau, Art Deco, 50's modern and 60's modern - very cool! Anyway, here's the picture of my spoils. I clicked on the wrong cookie cutter in Photoshop, sorry for the ragged edges on the picture. I was trying to block out the bad background. I'll try and list everything at a later date...
A quickie Gratitude Journal:
1. FedEx/Kinko's
2. Lattes
3. Children's Benadryl (we've resorted to this to get Rexy sleeping through the night without coughing - it works! Until about an hour and a half before wake-up time...)
4. Flowers

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm A Winner!

I’m a winner! My Oh-So-Sinful Mac-n-Cheese recipe won the ZNE Partito Bello Recipez contest last week! Yay! If for some reason the recipe is not still on the site, just ask and I will email you the recipe. It's super good and not a drop of it is low calorie, low carb, or low anything.
I posted new collage sheets on eBay and on Etsy yesterday. If only I could get some art to sell done. Alas, I'm still behind on all my other projects. I'm mailing that BoxaNotions out Monday if I have to stay up all night on Sunday to do it!

Oh, I also found these great little shrines to sell - so I posted them on eBay and Etsy, too. I think they're supposed to be dollhouse bookcases or something, I'm not sure. I think they're just perfect for shrines, though. I can't wait to work on one myself!

This Sunday I’m going to the Stamp Convention in Puyallup, WA. I’ve never been to a stamp event. I’m hoping there will be some altered and assemblage art type stuff. I’m afraid it’s going to be all about card-making kits or something. Anyway, I’m going because a fellow ZNE-er, Jeri Aaron, is going to be visiting from Austin, TX and I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet someone that I see on the ZNE Yahoo board all the time. Aren’t we all curious to meet each other face to face? She sounds like a really nice woman so I’m looking forward to it.

The convention is being held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds and that really brings back some childhood memories for me. The state fair is always held there and when we were in elementary school we would always get a free ticket for one day and early dismissal in order to go. We always went to the fair 2 or 3 times. A good friend of the family was the official fair photographer and he had a permanent office on the grounds. Family and friends always used the office as a hang-out and a rest stop – the adults used it as a cocktail lounge! Other, good, family friends also had a permanent place at the fair. They owned the main Western-wear store and were centrally located on the grounds. We would go and hang out in the store; sitting behind the counter shooting the breeze and trying on cowboy hats. All my memories of the fair are closely linked to my mother. She loved going as much as we did.

I hit the jackpot yesterday at the dollar store. I spent a fortune but I got a huge amount of altered art supplies. I don’t know about you but I like buying supplies almost as much as making art. Something about all that raw possibility I guess.

Another excellent piece from Glenda Bailey – I wish I could have watched her make it. The layering and texture is just amazing! Another blog to visit is Wyanne Thompson's. She's another ZNE-er and she just got the Greatest Studio of All Time!!! Take a look at the pictures. I know I couldn't ask for any more than that. Well, I could ask to live only a block or two away from it - but that's it.

At long last our lawn mower works!!! Yippee! Just in time for the home visit from Rexy's new teacher. It turns out the old teacher was just filling in while this teacher was on maternity leave. I'm very nervous about this visit because I'm terribly messy (hi Lennea!) and while I will clean up somewhat, I'm just so behind on everything that it's not going to look that fab. And the teacher has already told me that she's a neat freak - yikes! I foresee very little sleep for me tomorrow night...

What was the Number 1 song the day you were born? Click here to find out:
Mine was "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons. This is kind of fun - I looked up everyone I could think of.

Okay, I’m going to “claim my blog” on Technorati – whatever that means. It’s some kind of search engine, I think, that increases traffic to your blog – somehow. Other, more technical people than I, use it and have talked about it, etc. So I thought I would give it a try. In order to do that I have to post this: Technorati Profile

It looks like we'll be going back to the doctor this week. My poor girl is still waking up coughing. At least now it's sometimes more like early morning rather that the middle of the night. I'm really, really, really hoping that it's not asthma. It's been going on for 3 weeks. It's got to stop, she's been missing too much school. I just don't have the heart to wake her up when she was up for 2 1/2 hours in the middle of the night. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal - a 3 yo missing preschool - but because of the Autism she really needs as much peer interaction and therapy as she can get, as early as she can get it. The earlier you catch and correct problems the more likely it is that she will be able to have a relatively normal life. The therapy she gets from the UofW - she's in the Early STAART Intervention Study - is fabulous and produces astounding results. It's been the key factor in her progress. But the peer interaction at school has proven to be critical, too. There's been a huge jump in her progress since she left the Birth to 3 program and went to preschool.

Her progress, in any case, is still miraculous. A year ago she couldn't even say "Mommy" and yesterday while I was making her PBJ she walked up to me and said, "Happy Mother's Day!"

Gratitude Journal:

1. Lawn mowers
2. micro tip scissors
3. socks
4. John Coltrane
5. Matisse

Monday, May 14, 2007

Any Day that Starts with Doughnuts...

Happy Mother's Day everybody! Phil had to go into work today, but he went in really early so that he could be home by the time we got up. And my nice husband stopped at the most wondrous doughnut shop in all the land on the way home! Any day that starts with doughnuts is a good day.

Well, I've been down for the count for the last 3 or 4 days. I tell you, if it's not one thing it's another around here. I threw out my back on Thursday. I have no idea how. The only thing I can think is that it happened when I put Rexy in her carseat to go to school. I was tired, you can see that my last blog entry was at 1:30 in the morning - and that timestamp starts when you start your entry, not when you hit publish. I think I finished it at 2:15. Rexy woke up coughing (yes, it's still happening) at ten to seven, and I often wake up with a sore back when I haven't slept well - but it really wasn't that bad. By the time I picked her up from school 2 1/2 hours later I could hardly stand up straight. I swear - I used to be a healthy person! I spent 3 days laying on the couch. The house is a disaster area - literally, it looks like a storm ran through the house. I didn't do a thing, I'm way behind on all my swaps and projects. I had to send my Cercles d'Ame journal out without my pages - I'll have to send them to the next person later.

I did manage to spend some time on the computer, though (the desk chair holds the ice pack nicely). And - Oh my gosh! I listed a collage sheet on Posh Points (see button on the sidebar) at 3:50 yesterday afternoon and it sold at 3:59! Maybe I priced it too low? It was a collage sheet and I listed it for 2 points. I don't know. Then I listed another one and it sold within 2 1/2 hours! Maybe it is too low at 2 points but I have to say I like receiving the points so quickly. I also finally listed something in my Etsy store and it sold later in the evening! Okay, it sold to Chel who has seen it before - it was my "Hands" collage sheet banner - but I think that counts! (BTW many thanks to Chel!) I also sold the last of the doll making supplies to a guy in Australia. He must have really wanted them because it cost more than twice what the purchase price was to mail it. All in all, it makes me feel a lot more optimistic when things sell even though I have so few things listed.

Today my back was somewhat better and I was determined to have a nice Mother's Day. We had originally planned to go to the Fremont Sunday Market - a local open air market that's a combination Farmer's/Craft/Flea Market - but I wasn't sure I'd be able to take the amount of walking that would require. So we decided to go to an antique mall in Edmonds that's a bit closer and has more opportunities for sitting down if I needed them. Well, it turned out that walking was the best thing! I felt a hundred times better by the time we got done. Bending over to pick things up off the ground is still not the best thing, but I feel at least halfway to normal now. Yay!

The only bad thing is that we spent a fortune at the antique mall! We got some great stuff, though, and I built up my stash of Christmas presents. The best things we got were a couple of Heywood Wakefield twin headboards - for $65! $65 for both of them - not each. We also found a piece of modern art pottery by an artist that was a favorite of each of us before we met each other - one of the reasons I liked Phil more after I saw his apartment was that we shared a liking for this artist. And it was 40% off of $10! (extremely cheap for this stuff) I found an antique toy fire truck (that's it, up there) imprinted with "Auburn FD." My entire family was born in Auburn General Hospital so I had to get it. I also got a whole bunch of vintage photographs, a super cute dress pattern from the 60s, a hovercraft blueprint (?!), three cool, vintage escutcheons and this awesome hat.

I bought it to add to Rexy's dress-up box, but I really love the Liz-Taylor-in-the-60s look of it. I've been admiring Gail's use of photoshop brushes so I decided to experiment on my photo since I didn't like the background. I think I may have gotten carried away, but I did get a little bit of a feel for it. Then I tried it on the other photo I took. is definitely not my forte. I foresee doing a lot more practicing in my future.

Oh, and the dress pattern? It's from 1963 and is size large and you know what's great? Size large is 18-20! That's twice as big as a size large is today! Shows how unrealistic we are these days, doesn't it?

Here is the promised picture of my BoxaNotions swap. Well, the box I received. I haven't finished the one I'm mailing out yet since I was flat on my back for 3 days. I should have it done by Tuesday, I hope. How this swap works is you get a list of words separated into 2 columns. You take a word from column A and put it with a word from column B and either find, make, or buy something that represents that combination to put in the box. April's words were:

Column A
bookmark, photo, tin, postcard, fairy, cat, journal, hardware, beads, tag, music, shells, mirror.

Column B
feathers, round, blue, glitter, wings, square, vintage, metal, retro 60s, miniature, orange, smooth, textured

What you see in this picture is
feather bookmark
smooth shells
orange tin
vintage photos
blue journal
miniature mirrors
fairy wings
retro 60s postcard (very cool-she made them from 60s fabric)
round beads
square music
...and a bunch of other stuff!

You make 12 word pairs and then a 13th object that is "swapper's choice."

It was so fun to get this - what a treasure trove! A big thanks to Debbie Fosket!!!

And lastly, on this day of days, I can say with all my heart that I love my little girl more every single day that I know her. On Friday when I picked her up from school she came running up to me with her great big smile - then stopped and looked at her teacher questioningly. "Say, Happy Mother's day!" she prompted. My girl looked at me so shyly! And then her little tiny voice said, "Happy Mother's Day Mommy." Then she grinned and leaned in for a hug. So, so sweet she is!

I've been wondering about my own mother (this is her picture) and whether she felt the same way about me. I look at my girl and think she's the cutest, sweetest girl that ever lived and think my mother could not possibly have felt the same because I couldn't have been as beautiful as she is. Did she get thrilled by the sound of my voice as I am thrilled by Rexy's?

I know that Mother's Day is supposed to be in honor of mothers - but for me it's just a reminder of what a magical, thrilling, beautiful gift I've received.

This picture is of my beautiful gift after she put her thrift store hat on for the 40th time one day. She was so thrilled with it.

Gratitude Journal:

1. Motherhood
2. Antique stores
3. Top Pot Doughnuts
4. Frozen corn (aka "the icepack")
5. Remote controls

My poor baby just woke up coughing again. 45 minutes to get her breathing well and back in bed. I'm afraid the doctor's suspicion of an asthma-like condition might be right. Otherwise, wouldn't it be getting better by now?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Speed Post - Must Go To Bed!

Isn't that fun? It's a site that you can plug any word into and it will spell it out in pictures taken from Flickr photos. Chel had the site posted on her blog and I just had to share it myself. I spent waaaaaaaaay too much time on it today. I spelled Rexy 50 different ways and sent them to Phil at work so he can print it (the whole list) on the big printer. 2 feet wide and 5 feet long is my plan. The list looks cool on the email. If it works I'll post a picture. (To see this picture bigger, scroll down to the bottom of this page)

Gratitude Journal:

1. Cookies
2. Alliums
3. Singulair
4. Magazines
5. The way my husband hugs me

I had the best mail day on Monday. 3 magazines, 2 Posh Points deliveries, my BoxaNotions swap delivery (will post a picture soon - very cool swap), and not a single bill or piece of junk mail! How about that?

Rexy's been waking up coughing every night around 12:30 or 1am for the last 10 days. She's fine during the day and then wakes up coughing at night. Then last Friday she started doing this weird thing with her ears where she acts like she's trying to pull her hair out of her ears - except that her hair isn't in her ears. Very strange. So we went to the doctor today and there was no discernible problem except a little redness in the throat. So they took a throat culture and gave us some children's Singulair to try. (Asthma med that works on allergy symptoms, too-I take it every day myself) We have to stir it into something cold or at room temp. Well the only thing we know for sure she'll always eat is chocolate yoghurt...By the end of the week Rexy's going to be thinking that she's the luckiest girl alive! Chocolate yoghurt every night - whoo hoo!!! We may have a problem when we stop giving it to her...

In any case - she's still sleeping!!!! Yay!!! Now it's my turn...g'night everyone.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Now you're It! (some of you)

I've been tagged! Gail at Shabby Cottage Studio tagged me today. What that means is that I am to post 7 random facts about myself and then name 7 other bloggers in this blog and notify them on their blogs that they are tagged and tell them to read about it here. Whew! I hope I have it right.

Here are my 7 facts:

1. I eat peanut butter toast every day
2. I cry like a baby over the slightest sentimental thing on TV (don't even get me started on Oprah and Extreme Makeover Home Edition!)
3. Some members of my family call me Daisy
4. I've lived my entire life in Washington State and I have never been to Mount Rainier
5. I'm terrified of having nothing to do
6. My biggest disappointment in life is that I can't sing to save my life - tone deaf and unable to carry a tune. :-( Which doesn't stop me from singing, it just means no one wants to be around when I do...
7. I can't stand absolute silence. I have to have music or TV on and it scares me when people don't talk.
8. My 2nd favorite sound (right behind my daughter's voice) is the sound of cars driving on wet pavement in the rain

I'm tagging the following people:

Astrid Zucker
Lennea Truesdell
Pam Carriker
Stacie Williams
Linda/Prim Dollie
Fiffany aka Tiffany Jane Marshall

The photo above is a detail of a wall hanging I did for JoAnna Pierotti as a ZNE We Care project. Luckily she is about at the end of her chemo treatments and is back and, if her blog is any indication, creating up a storm! Congratulations JoAnna!

I was thinking of creating cards using this image, but I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate since I gave it as a gift. What do you think? Please post a comment with your opinion. Thanks!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A famous ZNE-er and free stuff!

I found this great website with free fonts and images – I found it on someone else’s site. Unfortunately it was late and I now have no idea who to thank! Anyway, Tack-O-Rama has great fonts from the 20s through the 70s, plus pics and ornaments and all sorts of stuff!

Hey! On June 1st fellow ZNE member Alisha Fredrickson will be on HGTV’s “That’s Clever!” Check your local listings and check out Alisha!

Speaking of Alisha, her mom Glenda has some great felted pieces on her blog that I believe she put in their joint Etsy store. Check them out!

Yesterday Rexy and I had lunch with Pam Carriker and her handsome family. Pam is my long, lost best friend from high school that I reconnected with on the ZNE Design Team discussion board. (See my blog entry “You’re not kidding, it’s a small world!” below.) She gave me this lovely piece of art. It was so nice to see her again. It really was as if no time had passed. I immediately felt comfortable and conversation was easy. And although we touched on our pasts, we also talked as if we had just seen each other yesterday; which meant we could talk about anything. It was great, a really nice time. I feel so lucky to have hooked up with her again after all these years.

Gratitude Journal:

1. Pam
2. frozen waffles
3. the look and smell of lilacs
4. dishwashers
5. naps

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

On Roosters, Sickness, Dandelions, and Journals...

Here’s some pictures of our friendly, neighborhood, wild rooster. He roams about the neighborhood and visits everyone’s yard. Sunday we heard crowing and my husband said, “That sounds close.” I looked out the back door and there he was on our porch railing! He hung around for just a few minutes before taking off down the driveway to visit some other neighbor…

Well, the end is in sight for this silly sickness, thankfully. I finally broke down and went to the doctor on Friday and they gave me antibiotics. I guess it really was more than a cold. It's the first time I've gone to the doctor for antibiotic-worthy sickness in more than 10 years! My girl has continued to be fine during the day and coughing at night. Last night was the 4th night in a row that she woke up coughing - she ended up staying up for more than 3 hours! Of course this means Mommy doesn't sleep either, so I think it's been prolonging my crud...sigh. (if this looks familiar it’s because I wrote something very similar on the Design Team board)

What's really bugging me about all this is that I have been sick during the few nice April days we've had and I haven't been able to work in the yard. I know it shouldn't bug me, but on top of not being able to plant my new plants or weed - the lawn mower won't start! So the dandelions in the lawn that would normally get mowed down before going to seed have been spreading their evil everywhere - on top of the ones in the flower bed that I haven't been able to get to. I fear a full scale invasion is in the offing...and we currently look like the "bad" neighbors in the neighborhood because our yard is looking so pathetic.
On a happier note, I got my 4 issues of PLAY today and I'm having loads of fun looking at all the eye candy! It definitely made me want to rededicate to my art journal. I was doing well for a while but sort of tapered off about 6 weeks ago. I think one reason for that is that I only have about 3 or 4 more pages left and all of a sudden they seem "precious" and I began to be afraid of putting the "wrong" thing on them. Now I'm ready to break out some serious paints or pens or...? They also sent some bonus unmounted stamps with the zines - 3 free Zettiology stamps, how cool is that? Now that I'm finally feeling better it's time to get back to some creating! Hooray!

My Gratitude Journal:

1. Drinking water
2. Brooms
3. The T.A.s from UofW that give Rexy her therapy every day
4. The fact that my DH is ticklish
5. Glue sticks