Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Woweeee, I feel like I'm buzzing through the last of December. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/First day of Chaunukah. Now for the New Year! I'm currently working on New Years cards that you may get the chance to see, one day. I totally got a huge haul this Christmas. The best part was having my dad visit from NH. Last night I redeamed one of my gifts, a gift certificate to Barnes & Nobles. What's really funny is that everyone in the family got one, just not from the same person. It just goes to show that we really love books in this family. I picked up two craft books,Bead Fantasies II and sew easy.
Tonight I'm going to experiment with Bead Fantasies. I want to make the Clover necklace for a friend and the crown for myself.

Today has been SUPER INSANE! I got to work to find that my computer had contracted 8 viruses while I was away. Apparently one wasn't enough. So then I tried to contact the admin people....who had ALL decided to go on vacation. After snagging the hubby to fix the problem remotely I found one admin tech working from home and reported the viruses, then proceeded to fix my machine with a little help from him and the hub. I feel...EMPOWERED! Yes, I rid my machine of an evil virus. I am...a geek. Embrace the dorkdome, work it, use it to your advantage. My blood hums with the knowledge that short of someone taking a sledgehammer to my machine....I can fix it. I am computer literate! And I'm Proud Of It! So yeah...next week, when I can't figure out why I can't get on the network and print (something I've never been able to do) and why I can't actually get Outlook to work on my machine (again, something I've never been able to do) I'll probably forget all about my innate talent with computers and let the admin guys handle it. Why? Well...because I'm lazy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

quick creative break

50s Christmas pattern
50s Christmas pattern,
originally uploaded by The Paper Doll.
I've been absolutely NOT productive, not crafty, and not sane for the past week and a half. But I did manage to create a couple background tiles in Paint to liven up my computer desktop. I wish I could string together a coherent paragraph or two but instead, I'll just convey my holiday sentiments.

Merry Christmas!
Happy Chanukah!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The dangers of IM at work

I've been super busy with work and family and holiday related things. Em has now made the transition from babysitter to pre-school and daycare combination. Today was her tour, tomorrow is her first full day. To celebrate I went shopping at Target (pronounced Tarjay for the frou frou in us) and got her a pre-school wardrobe, bookbag, lunch bag, snow boots and gloves. She was as psyched to recieve them as I was to buy them. She gasped in elated surprise when I dumped the contents of the shopping bags out onto her bed. It was the best response EVER! If only everyone were so psyched to recieve mundane, every day necesities.
So yeah, while I'm at work I'm connected to my peers and co-workers by IM. Far better to shoot off a quick message than get up from my desk and walk 10 feet to ask in person (yes...I really do do that, what's worse is that I message my supervisor, who sits directly across from me, because I don't want to have to catch his attention through his headphones). Unfortunately, it also allows me to socialize without the glowering, annoyed looks from irritated co-workers who've been interrupted by my incessant chattering. I try not to get distracted, really I do, but sometimes the conversations are seriously good, take this quote for one:

"mtsheetsie: years of therapy have not helped me yet
fLtYmKnZm: It tends to take a combination of therapy, meds and faith...take it from a pro, I know
mtsheetsie: ha
mtsheetsie: What if I have faith that my meds are my therapy?
mtsheetsie: but really i'm on the wrong scrip
fLtYmKnZm: LOL
fLtYmKnZm: Well done
fLtYmKnZm: thanks
mtsheetsie: knowledge is freedom, but it still doesn't help me understand why they have books in prison
fLtYmKnZm: LOL
mtsheetsie: bye for real!
fLtYmKnZm: l8r "

Thursday, December 08, 2005

frantic and frazzled and yet....not

So...I'm running around like a lunatic half the day, and the other half I'm procrastinating like a pro. I'm not really sure how I manage this odd dichotomy of time consumption, but I do. It's like I go through the day at hyperspeed with jutter, shuddering stops, starts and pauses. During the pauses I might as well be insensate for the amount of nothingness I accomplish. My throttle is either jammed wide open or off, engine dead and cold, the gears between having been stripped smooth. I'd like to be able to just chill and do things slowly and get them done on time...or even ahead of schedule. But...yeah I doubt that's going to happen any time soon. Especially not with the Holiday season upon us. The cool thing is that I managed to finish another project that was floating around. I made a swag for one of the living room windows as a test. It looks pretty good so I'm going to go ahead and make the other one tonight. Maybe. If the couch doesn't lure me with it's siren song. Maybe I should move the sewing machine to the living room coffee table, that way I can sit on the couch, watch tv AND get some stuff done. Wow, wouldn't that be something?

Monday, December 05, 2005

See, I HAVE been productive

Ok so I promised that I'd post some of the pictures of some of the stuff I've been working on...so here it is. This is the Halloween wall hanging I made right before Haloween. Ok so made is an overstatement, I think I should perhaps say finish. I started on this about 2 years ago. I would always start working on it about 2 days before Halloween and of course not be able to finish it in time. This time I started it well into September and had it up in October. YAY. You can't see the little bats in the upper right hand block, but there are about three of them and they're adorable.

I also have some pictures of two of the little quilts I made, one is a lap/car quilt for Em and the other is a matching mini quilt for her dolls.
Holiday crafting is in full swing in my house and I have to say, I'm totally having a great time. I'm half way finished with the advent calendar I wanted to make Em (did I mention that I start projects a bit behind?) and a wall hanging for her room. I also have a wall hanging that I'm working on for the hallway. That one's nearly done as well. I keep those projects close to the couch so I can fiddle around while watching tv. I've been hooked on medical shows on TLC and DHC lately. I watch them voraciously, mostly because I'm so amazed by the human body's capacity to function despite major defects, be they genetic or caused by external influences. I can't wait to start nursing school next fall. It's gonna be great! I hope to focus on one of the three following fields: abnormal psychology, burn victims, or oncology.
I don't pick easy fields to focus on, because if it's not a challenge, I can't stay interested. When every day is a struggle to keep people breathing and hopeful, determined to live, that's when I'm happiest. Yeah the burnout rate is high in all of those fields, but I'm sure that if it's God's will, I'll excell.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Insert Title Here

I couldn't think of a clever or even appropriate title today, so you're getting an all purpose one. Checking in quickly with all my favorite blogs (see links to right) I saw that everyone had been so super productive this past weekend/holiday. I too was productive...I just didn't take any pictures 'cuz I'm a frantic bastard. Oh brother, now I have to reboot my machine. It's one of THOSE days.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Things long past

frosty mornings at 7am
all groggy and crusty eyed with sleep
wearing too large clothing of the boyish persuasion
the cloying taste/smell of expended gunpowder, cigar smoke and endless ancient pots of coffee.
Damp cement walls of the pit
grease on ball bearings and chains
the smooth heavy roll of targets and the rhythm of pulling
it all blurs into one smooth motion until all rounds are expended and the competition is over.
The sound of Megadeth pounding through our earplugs and the wry grins shared with the pit master.
The rain on our faces as we looked up to watch new holes being pierced into and through paper and wood.
It's always the simplest routines that we miss later, the ones that we took for granted or even complained about. I'd pay good money now to pull targets the way I did then.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Birthday USMC!

"The Marine Corps was originally created as the 'Continental Marines' during the American Revolutionary War, were formed by a resolution of the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775, and first recruited at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Samuel Nicholas."--Wikipedia

Happy Birthday Marines stationed all over the world! Today makes the 230th year of proud and distinguished service to the United States. I want to send a special happy b-day to my husband Marshall and to 1st Lt. Brad Higgins stationed in Iraq. Stay safe, stay away from those 4g turns and keep your rotors on. OOOOORAH!

And just to top things off, check outthis fantastic salute found on GoDaddy.com. It made me all sniffly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ho Hum

So here's a little vignette into my world. It's about 9:45am EST and I'm still in my jammies, as is Emily and Mya, Mya's down for a nap and Em's doing something in the kitchen that involved paper and I don't know what and really, for the moment I'm sure I'd be better off not knowing. I'm sitting here catching up on work, my favorite blogs and my own blog to the sound of decorative scissors snipping loudly (Em), The Nightmare Before Christmas singing away in the background (we were watching it) and the laptop's thought process chugging away. I've not had breakfast and I've been up for at least an hour, I'm definitely not showered and I don't think I got a chance for one yesterday because everyone else beat me to it. Tam's off to the vet with Blue (they don't allow children under 12 at the vets office) so I'm sitting the kids while Marshall's off getting an oil change and running errands.
If this is every day life, bring it on. I haven't felt this content in months. With Tammy Mya and Blue, we make a complete family. I'm usually so off kilter and confused that I make my family dynamics wobbly and unbalanced. Sure it works, but it's not stable, like a three legged stool with one leg shorter than the others.
Last night we had a friend and her daughter over for dinner. It was Emma's 1st birthday and her daddy is in Irac so he can't be home to see it and her mum, B, who is about 7 months pregnant, was really feeling the empty space. So we all had dinner together and turned the peach cobbler into a birthday cake. I made her a little card and we all signed it. No birthday should go uncelebrated, especially not the 1st one. Emma's official birthday party is this Saturday, but we're going home that day so we'll miss it.
Through all of this is a feeling of fulfillment and domestic bliss. So now I know that once I've been stablized on my meds and we're in a house of our own that I can personalize and maintain in a manner I deam suitable (not in the slapdash, ducttape and spit way our rental is) I too can have a house filled with peace, love, and some semblance of order. I'm really going to have a tough time adjusting when I go home, but hopefully I can carry some of this over into my own home. Sure it's a crooked, lopsided mess, but it's mine for now and I can do my best to make it comfortable. I think I'll start with hanging curtains up in Em's playroom and bathroom.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Live from North Carolina

I missed the submission deadline for the Basic Grey contest. I'm not really sure wether or not I'm put out yet. I'll let you know when I see the results of the winning entry. I think maybe I'm just dissapointed in myself for allowing myself to mope around and not do anything about it. Wah wah wah, whine moan complain.
I did pack quite a bit of my scrapbooking paper collection to bring with me to NC while visiting a fellow scrapper and close friend of the family. Maybe I'll actually get some stuff done. We got quite a few pictures of the kiddos trick or treating last night. Tammy (my scrapping NC buddy) and I made her daughter Mya's first costume. Mya was an acorn. Oh heavens she was cute. Emily (my kiddo) did the default princess fairy thing because mommy was uninspired this year. Well not so much uninspired as confused. Emily wanted to be Jessie from Toy Story 2, a shiny purple dinasour, a fairy princess, and an alien all in the space of a month. Every time I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween she'd change her mind so I decided not to make a costume on principle. I don't think I could have born the heartbreak if she had decided she didn't like it. Emily looked fantastic. We did a brief looting of a neighborhood close to Tammy's with a friend of hers and her son who were decked out in midieval garb. Calvin was a knight and he looked ADORABLE. I don't think I've ever seen such a cute group of kids in my life.
I dressed as a pirate because it was the only thing that allowed for my limp and cane. I tried to make a faux peg leg but I couldn't find a large enough piece of brown cardboard. I did make an eyepatch that was pretty funny. Tammy wore a hat that I made to look like a flower with floppy petals. It was pretty darn cute. Tammy got tons of pictures and I can't wait to see them all and make a few layouts with them. So yeah, everything else has been so boring and mundane without my job at the art store that I barely ever have anything to write about. Man do I miss that job, but I can't go back until I can stand around and walk for 8 hours. I can't wait.

Friday, October 14, 2005

what? Only 30%?!?!

You Are 30% Weird

Not enough to scare other people...
But sometimes you scare yourself.

Surely that can't be right. I'm the wierdest person I know, well, next to Andy and that's saying quite alot. I'm really not trying to be an elitist or concieted...but I'm an odd bird, no bones about it. I don't even have to try for those odd looks and akward silences that can only come from a true miscommunication. I say something I think is smart, appropriate, or even witty...and then it gets all quiet and I realize I've done it again.
Of course that could be because of some recent news I found out. I've almost always suffered from clinical depression but on Wed. I found out that not only do I suffer from depression, I'm actually severely depressed. News to me and some of my closest friends! Everyone but my husband was surprised. On top of being severely depressed I have . OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), >ADHD(adult attention deficit disorder), and a few other pretty little mental issues with long names. I mean seriously. I think people should offer you dinner before they heap crap like that on you. I don't even believe in ADD (please...no hate mail, I'm just dubious not ignorant) how can I have it? Then again, tons of people don't believe in God but that doesn't change the fact that He's large and in charge. So yeah...whatever. I did a bit of research with the help of a friend who works in the neuroscience department at Cambridge in NY. He let me know that as of now they believe that OCD is triggered by an overactivity in the ACC (Anterior Cingulate Cortex in the brain), which is partially responsible for evaluating and monitoring the exterior world. So from there I did a bit of dabbled research and found out the ACC is also believed to be responsible for something akin to precognition...it's the place that has you putting on the breaks long before you ever see that Semi running that red light. It's been called the "Accidental Black Spot" of the brain. If it goes wonky it can cause depression, bi-polar/manic depression, schizophrenia, autism, OCD, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and possibly a host of other boogiemen. Guess how many of those I have? Ok now can you guess which ones? Maybe one day I'll let you know. So you know what? I'm going to do what I always do in situations like this, I'm going to wear it on the cuff of my sleave and reach out to anyone in my situation who needs help because I know I can't do this one on my own. Of course I know I'm not alone, more than family and friends, I have faith. So there it is folks, I spilled my mess all over you. If it sounds familiar, check out the links and get yourself or a loved one some help. Be glad we live in the 21st century and not the 13th...back then you could wind up with a nice exorcism or burning at the stake for thinking a little crooked. YAY for modern science, as shifty as it is.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Mile Marker 5

This is NOT me
Today I finally returned the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine that was sent home with me after surgery. I'm going to miss it, but with that action I can officially kiss my bedridden days goodbye. That's the 5th indicator I've had that I'm really going to come out of this ok and be able to walk again. Physical therapy sessions are broken down into two days a week now but they've started lasting longer. I'm really enjoying the time I spend at PT because my knee always feels better after AND most of those guys are a hoot. I spend most of my time there smiling and laughing in between winces. Today they showed me this horrible yet hilarious email called Who Brought the Nearsighted Kid to the Pool?. It's funny because it's so bad. Sadly the reason they showed it to me is because they were comparing me to him. Did I mention that I'm a total spaz and a klutz? Because I am.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Adventure Book of Needlework page 29

The Adventure Book of Needlework page 29 Posted by Picasa

This is one of my favorite illustrations from a book called The Adventure Book of Needlework by Betsey Bates, the book was written by Dorothy Dunbar Graef and was published in 1958. Apparently ISBNs were implemented after that date because this book has a Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 58-8460. There are some really cute projects in here, but mostly, I just LOVE the illustrations. I love them so much in fact that I scanned them and added them to the Flickr group
Inspiring Images from Craft Books so that it could be shared and loved by many more. Apparently this little gem is selling for $40 online but I was lucky enough to find it for $2 in a used bookstore. It was one of those unexpected finds and I truly am loving it. I hunted around trying to find more illustrated works by Betsey Bates but all I found were some really pretty collector plates. Maybe one day I'll start a collection, but until then, I'll just enjoy the heck out of this book.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Most Prodoctive 24 hours this week.

Yay! Last night and this morning have been the most productive 12-24 hours since Oct. 20th. I finally finished the applique and quilting on a halloween wallhanging I had started last year....or maybe it was the year before...I can't even remember. Now all I have to do is add the binding and it will be done. Hoooray! This is my first machine quilted quilt effort ever. Usually I'm just plain old lazy and make do with ties. Now when I say usually, maybe I should state that for me, usually means the whole two quilts I've made.
Emily and I have also started on our Halloween decorations for the windows of the front door. Since I can't do the whole climbing on ladders and railings this year we don't get to have the traditional creapy front porch littered with gigantic spider webs and bats. I guess I'll just have to make do with the home grown spider webs. Maybe I can coax the black widows out from under the porch for a day. Yes that's right, I have an infestation of black widows at my house. They've resisted Orkin and cleaning so I figure I'll just default to my usual attitude toward spiders. You don't come in my house and I won't actively look for you and squish you. It's worked rather well. The brave spiders that do violate this intrisic rule die a sad and squishy death. But they sure come in handy around October. Maybe I'll just stop cleaning up after the one's living on the front porch and let them do all the decorating.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Walking Wounded

Ok I think I've got this thing down. Had some minor misshaps with the meds, went from Darvocet to Ultracet to emergency room to Atavan to Alieve and a nap. All the the space of 48 hours. But, now I know that all narcotic pain relievers are RIGHT OUT for me. So hey, that's one less habit to kick right? They only removed 4 staples the last visit, but I will be getting the remaining 9 out tomorrow, finally.
Physical therapy is going extremely well and much less painful than I thought. I'll be walking without krutch assistance next week if all goes well. YAY!
During all of this convalescing I managed to finish three detail oriented, time consuming projects AND get a few sketches for future projects done. I hope to get those scanned and uploaded this weekend. I'm still pretty limited in my every day activities. Just the act of finding the camera, taking pictures, uploading them and scanning paper stuff takes a whole day now instead of the half hour to hour it used to take before the surgery. I try not to think about it to avoid depression. This limited capacity thing is only temporary. I DID remember to take pictures of my knee post op and time lapsed this week to show improvement and recovery, so I can actually make a small scrap book about it to remind myself of how far I've come.
Really other than that there's not much going on. I don't like to write about the boring, depressing negative stuff because it doesn't really help me or anyone else. Bad enough that my last two posts were so...dirge like. I'm doing so much better than the last surgery, it's almost unbelievable.
My dad's coming back from Europe next week and I can't wait! He's supposed to be bringing me all kinds of textiles from Montenegra and Italy. Mostly I just can't wait to see him. It's been a few months and being the daddy's girl that I am I miss him something fierce. Here's to praying that his return trip is safe and uneventful.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Slightly more alive

Well,today I woke up and decided it's time to toss the meds and do my best to get the heck out of bed. Tomorrow I see the Dr. to get the 13 staples that are holding my knee together removed. They're driving me nuts. My knee looks like some kind of combination roasting chicken/Frankenstien. The bruises go from my ankle to the inside of my upper thigh. You'd think I got hit by a truck.
I'm totally frustrated and fed up and having some kind of reaction to the Darvoset they prescribed for the pain. I'm having auditory hallucinations and twitches, and crap mood swings because it's interacting with my sanity meds. Not Good. So tomorrow I ask to talk to pain management and do something about not taking any pain meds. Let it never be said that I'm addicted to pain meds. Paper, yes. Relationships, yes. Shopping, yes. But pain meds, absolutely not. I hate the stuff, hate the way it makes me feel, hate the way I zone out, hate what it does to my stomach, hate what it does to my poor liver...hate it all. So here's to tomorrow, may it be a staple and pain med free day.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Post Surgery day 5

Not much energy to type. This is the first time I've logged on to a computer since Monday the 19th. Just checking my mail has wiped me out. Been pretty much binging on DIY and HGTV, sleeping, eating an sleeping for the past 5 days. Will write more when I'm not drugged into a stupor. All I can say is that I'm in so much pain it's not worth being awake. bones on fire...agony, itching, drowsiness,and more bone deep agony. At what point is this supposed to help? discomfort no matter how i sit or lay. Nothing brings lasting relief...not even sleep. I refuse to speak to my knee ever again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Another post without pictures

Well, I've gotten started on the Basic Grey challenge. I'm not sure if I'll get it done on time but I think it really needs to get done either way. This is going to be one of those cathartic projects, I can already tell.
I spent an hour slicing and dicing with my nested file folder Coluzzle template. Man, that thing is so cool. Since I'm not allowed to have a die cut machine until after Christmas (this particular restraint having been mandated by the hubby) I rely on my various Coluzzle templates to mass produce pretty paper items like tags, library pockets and cards, and nesting file folders. I also have some hearts, stars, and puzzle pieces that I love. So I've knocked out about 7 file folders of various sizes. I think I'm going to go with a 8"x8" album format. I want this album to be simple, stark and striking. Ooooo Alliteration. I want the focus to be on the subject, not the art. Usually I'm pretty artsy fartsy and fuss with composition, framing, color schemes and all kinds of other persnickity details. Since I'm limited in my paper and embelishment choices I'm going to rely on the journaling and photos to carry this project.
So I'm playing with paper actively again. YAY. Did I get any of the stuff I was supposed to get done at work done? Um...no. I did spend a few hours at the sizzix machine pounding out felt shapes...and then I promptly FORGOT THEM at work! I won't be going back for them until either this weekend or Monday. That burns my nerves because I really wanted to get some packages ready before my surgery so that I'd have to do a minimal of moving during my recovery. I'm sure I'll get impatient and head into town tomorrow or Thurs to get the stuff because it'll drive me nuts!

So that's all the news for today...I'm off to go pass out for the night.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Being Remiss

Not only did I not post this weekend, I also have not been posting any paper work on here. What a sad state of affairs. I have a good reason though (notice the lack of the word Excuse here). So here's the deal. I was sick all weekend (some kind of medicine mixup) so I pretty much slept Saturday and Sunday...so no posting there.

I have also been completely uninspired where the papercrafting goes. So I'm taking a hiatus for a bit. Now when I say hiatus I mean that I'm not going to be embarking on any really big paper projects, but that I'm still sketching, still handling paper, and still in love with it. I just don't get any itchy fingers when I look at it at the moment. Right now I'm engrossed in making dolls for Emily and other crafty items involving fabric, scissors and needles.

At the moment I'm preffering Bienfang's Notes Sketch Book because of the divided sketch/writing space and the fact that it's made of recycled papers. The paper has very little tooth so I get alot of gliding action with a pencil. Erasing's easy on it too. I've been in love with these for quite a few years and found it super helpful when planning my wedding. I'd cut magazine clippings and stick them in the sketch section and make notes in the notes section. The recycled aspect is an added bonus. It's hard to find a really good recycled sketch book other than the ones made of kraft paper . Both are wonderful and serve different purposes.

And speaking of Kraft paper, my desk here at work is covered in the stuff in order to allow me to sketch with abandon whenever the whimsy strikes. At first I got funny looks from my co-workers (I'm currently working at a tech. company) but I've also recieved compliments on my creativity. When it gets jammed with sketches and notes I'll take a pic and post.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What are YOU doing to help?

I've been holding back on this post because of how emotionally charged the whole subject is...but I just can't do it anymore. Forget all the political and personal opinions, we're all human here. It shouldn't be a matter of wether or not you're going to help, but what you're going to do to help. That's all I have to say. Here are some links. Do something.

A blog with live feed of downtown NOLA and pretty good daily updates.

Swap Blog is up!

click here to check it out. Over the next week or so there are going to be a whole lot of items on there, but I can only do 1 swap a week due to my absolute lack of time. I'll process the swaps in the order I recieve them.

In all the rush to get stuff done I forgot to mention that I figured out how to cut felt on a Sizzix die cut machine. How nifty is that? I think it's my new applique trick. Never heard of a Sizzix? Click here to check it out. Scrapbookers LOVE the thing. I don't have one personally, but I do have access to the one at the art store and let me tell you, that thing is AWESOME! I wind up using it for all kinds of projects, not just scrapbooking. And speaking of which...when was the last time I posted anything about paper on here? Isn't this supposed to be a papercentric blog? How embarassing.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

To Hoard or not to Hoard

Ok so here's a jumble of stuff that I need to add to the list O things to do

Basic Grey submission
Take Ten submission
Clean out ribbon/scrap/fabric stash
Write documentation for work (Found documentation stored on server 9.09.05)
Take pictures of felty shapes (done! 9.08.05)
Take pictures of bear kits (done! 9.08.05)

Ok so I'm trying to clean out my stash so I can make some space for...well for all the stuff that's piling up. I'm running out of room for my paper projects, or my sewing project...it's one or the other at this point and that's no good. I want to be able to access all of it. My greatest fear is that I'll rid myself of a scrap or piece of fabric and then...months down the road go looking for it because it's the perfect print or texture for a project. I'll be in my drawers or bins digging around and then suddenly, like an epiphany gone wrong, I'll remember that I gave it away. I know your stomach is dropping in sympathetic horror at the thought. Some of you may even be groaning. Be brave. These are things we all have to face at some point or another. To keep or not to keep, therein lies the crux of the problem. Do I hoard on the off chance that one day I'll need that 3" length of puce ribbon, or do I make it go away and revel in the space I've freed up?
Here's what I'll do, I'll go through all of my stuff and start a swap pile. I'll take pictures of all my swap items and I'll start a swap blog here. Maybe then I'll be able to swap for all the cute little creatures I see online. No more bags though, I have a trunk of those that's taking up space in a rarely opened closet.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fall's almost here

So I decided to make a little color scheme change. How do you like it? I think it's rather appropriate.

To Do

I have a thousand unfinished projects and I keep forgetting about them as I get inspired and start another...so I'm putting a To Do list up here to keep me on track and for accountability's sake. They're not in any priority order.

Church Dolls
Bunny Doll
Doc Litchfield's book
The Paris book
Mail off Paula's tags (still!)
Cut up lace and fabric for swaps
Felt Card holders
Trim/Accent tags
World's Wierdest News Day book
Studio Art Sign
Paper List
Paper samples
Paper storage

I should probably put the sewing projects off until after my surgery so that I have stuff to do while I'm laid up. So...yeah. UGH! I may wind up adding to this list and removing things from the list as I update and go along. Stay tuned for further procrastination from yours truly.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Forced Vacation

So this labor day my husband told me that I had no choice, I was GOING to his parent's place. And you know what? I'm glad he did. Visiting the inlaws is never a burden for me. They have a guest house that we crash in and they keep Emily in the main house with them, so it's like a mini vacation every time we go. Labor day is always an anticipated event as well, because of the Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show in Hillsville VA. You can literally find ANYTHING there. I managed to net the haul above with only $11.50 USD. There are more pictures of the flea market and detailed pics of my find on Flickr. Click here to check 'em out. Em and I had a great time. I'm also offering up 3 yards of the lace and a fat quarter from each yardage of fabric/ lace shown for swap. First come first serve. Just leave a comment and let me know if you're interested. Ok, now I need to go eat.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fantastic Mail Day!

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Yippeeeeee! I recieved my swap from Fiona, the crafty creator ofhop skip jump. Look at all the fab stuff! I'm especially fond of the cherry ribbon and polka dot ribbon. Cherries! On a Ribbon! LOVE IT! Of course the prize of the whole package was the lion pincushy, which immidiately got snatched away by greedy little Emily hands. She then proceeded to squish and squeeze it while jumping around eccstatically singing "Squish squish squish squish!" over and over again until we finally had to get her to simmer down. It was really cute though. When I finally managed to reclaim the pincushy it was after bedtime and I didn't get a chance to post the picture of the swap package. Oh I can't wait for Fiona to get my package!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The beginnings of yet another project

ColorTest Posted by Picasa

These are Dr. Ph. Martin's concetrated watercolor samples. They're not all that true to life, but they're close. I'm using the peacock blue, coffee brown, wild rose, moss green and irridescent brass for a sign I'm making at work. It's going to be...very pretty. I've already got the basic design stenciled onto the paper (Stonehenge for those who care) and the bottom portion masked off with Dr. Ph. Martin's white masking fluid, which is a dream to work with. All I have to do is mask off the top border design, paint in the lower right hand edge of the border and the top. That's that hard part because there are lots of tiny little elements to the design. After that it's a matter of removing the first mask and remasking the design so I can do an overall background wash, add the lettering and then do the overall outlining with the brass ink. I'll take more pictures next week.

For the Love of Puppies.

Today was really really really hectic at work but I had a couple huge perks. One was Puppy No. 5. He doesn't have a real name yet, but I nicknamed him Little Man. We have a customer who comes in just to buy huge sheets of brown paper to line the bathroom floor with for her puppies while they're being house broken. There are 6 of them and they're ADORABLE. I got to meet their dad (his name is Tank and he's built like one too) last week. He's a pitt bull and extremely well behaved as well as friendly and helpful. His owner trained him to carry things and now he helps her lugg stuff around. When they left he was happily carrying a big roll of packing tape in his huge jaws. He sure does make cute babies. Little Man is only 5 weeks old and already super smart and really obedient. I really like his breeder because she makes all her customers sign a contract saying that no matter what the dog's age, if the customer is no longer able to care for the pet they are to be returned to her and not to be dropped off at the aspca. If she finds one of her puppies at the pound she reclaims them and takes the ex-owner to court. To me that says "I love my doggies and care about their welfare". I could be wrong, but happy puppy faces never lie and her doggies are super happy.
Little Man Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 29, 2005

It's Gretchen! I made her myself. Posted by Picasa

Apple Tartlets and the last goat cheesy croissant. Posted by Picasa

Amy Blogeth!

Yay! My bestestest pal ever has a blog here. I just spent a bit reading it and drooling over her fantastic pictures. I guess I didn't get enough time with her when she came over for dinner. We had exciting culinary adventures with goat cheese and salmon. I overclarified butter and it became...not butter. If she hadn't been there to comment I would have still tried to cook with it. This is why she's the culinary genius and I'm the paper wiz. I think she started making soufles when she was 12. I don't know about you, but I am super impressed.
So we made these spiffy apple tart things with left over crescent dough, diced apples, brown sugar and goat cheese. I liked them and so did Marshall, Amy didn't but she doesn't like goat cheese. Chalk one up for experience. Pictures to follow

Running around like the proverbial chicken

Wow, ok so I have five minutes to get out of the house and I'm using them to post. So I made my second little doll ever out of felt and Emily refuses to let it go long enough for me to take a picture so it's a success! She's demanding that a make a whole family so now you know where I'm going to be in my free moments. On the couch, needle in hand. I still have one more package to send out to Paula and then I can really settle down to get some crafting done. I really have to finish up a layout for a contest on CP that really inspired me. How I'm going to do that with my office looking like a tornado passed through it is really quite beyond me. EEEEEEEKKKK!!! I knew taking on that extra job was going to be the death of my creative time. I know that if I just get into some kind of routine everything will be fine....but who has the time to make a routine?!?! Will post pics of the craftiness in progress this week...I hope.
Paula's bag for our swap is so CUTE! I can't wait to get it. I just hope she likes my surprise package as much as I love her bag...maybe I should take a picture of the tags before I send them out to get a final approval. Here's a link to the photo of the bag. I'm such a lucky duck. Ok, the kiddlywink is calling and I need to get my show on the road. Toodles!

Friday, August 26, 2005

A Flikr account and everything!

I've officially made the leap to craft geek! I now have a Flikr account onto which I have uploaded a bunch of photos of my crafty exploits. That was the one thing on my to do list today and I did it. So proud. So here'sthe link to my Flikr account. Man alive I'm actually documenting the stuff I make. I feel so...creative. I had no idea I made so much stuff. The items that I've posted are just a few of the projects I just happened to have around the house that were accessable. I tend to give away the majority of the stuff I make (for some reason though I just can't get rid of the jewelry the way I'd like to.) and the stuff I don't give away is either now taken over by Emily or stuffed away somewhere in the attic. So here's to me keeping better track of the things I make. Maybe I'll have more respect for myself as an artist...or whatever it is I am.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New job, new routine

So yeah...'ve been pulled into yet another computer contracting job. I'm insane. I have no idea why I always allow this to happen, but I do it at least once a year. The first week is always the pitts. I spend most of my time getting set up...and waiting. Waiting for the configuration guru to get my accounts set up, waiting for the head honchos to get their acts together and give me the stuff I need to get work done. I hate that first week. I'm ready to get moving and it all turns into the "Hurry up and Wait" game. BLECH!
So what does this mean to this blog? It means more money to buy supplies and less time to make stuff. WAUGH! What a quandry. The good news is that I found the eyelets I needed to finish up Fiona's tags, and now all I have to do is find some purple eyelets for Paula's tags and I'll be done with those swaps. I had no idea it would take so long to make them, but they came out so well that it was well worth it. More pictures to come soon. Hey, does anyone here have a Flikr account? If so how do you like it? I'm thinking about getting one to upload all my crafty pictures onto. We'll see. And now...it's back to waiting.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

*sigh* if at first you don't succeed, take a nap.

Ok so the Flossy stamps have officially driven me insane.that was the first and probably last time I use that kit. I'm thinking that there's got to be some way of sticking those stamps the the mounting block but I'm stumped. I'll have to figure it out on Monday. Since I promised that I'd send this swap out this week though I definitely wanted to get the project done. So here is an inferior picture of the replacement tags. All I need to do is hammer in the eyelets to reinforce the tag holes and it will be all done. I rather like the way these came out. It's a shame Flossy couldn't be there, smack dab in the middle of all that paisly loveliness. Maybe I'll stamp the images onto carving medium and carve them out instead. I'm so determined to make those stamps work!

too dark! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Ok, everything was going so well! I had designed these increadibly adorable little kitty stamps based on this adorable little stuffie by Fiona. I managed to do everything right...and then it came time to stick the stamps to the bases. They keep curling! They refuse to mount to the wooden blocks. A POX on this glue! I hate being thwarted. I'm throwing in the towel for tonight. You just wait till tomorrow. I will SO glue your little rubber rumps to those wooden bases!

Frustrating Flossies Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 13, 2005

More Scrapfest fun

I managed to knock out 6 requirements with this little layout. I'm rather proud of myself. See if you can spot all 6. Layout about a DH or SO, Layout with pink, brown and white, use colored brads, use black and white photos, use epoxy stickers, use rub-on letters/images. My next project is the best friend layout. I'm going to try to beat my all time record of six requirements without it looking too terribly tacky.

Pink, Brown and White layout Posted by Picasa

Alter Something

I chose to alter a journal almost by accident for this challenge. I was inpsired by the mini albums in the latest K$Co. catalogue that came to work. I nabbed one of the Moleskin knockoff journals and did a whole lot of adhering. It's a bit bulky at the moment but I hope it will become more flexible and worn with time.
The altered journal. Posted by Picasa

Cupcakes + Melt & Pour Frosting = Mess

Marshall has been craving desserts so I told him I'd bake a cake, which then got edited to cupcakes for ease of eating. The only frosting I had on hand was the Melt and Pour stuff and cake without frosting to Marshall is no cake at all. The batch on the left was frosted via the pour method. Not so good. The batch on the right was frosted via the dip method. Take cupcake, invert and dunk in frosting. Those look much nicer, but the stuff is still messy. I also had enough batter left over to make a very thin sheet cakelett which I then took cookie cutters to. All around a fun project, but I doubt I'll do it again for a while.

How not to frost cupcakes. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hooray for new supplies!

So I put in an order of Basic Grey paper items at work and have been waiting for it for almost 3 weeks now (a very long time for me) and it finally came in!I'm so psyched. Now I can really get started on my Basic Grey book for the contest they're featuring on their site. Want to know more? Go to BasicGrey

Yay! My BasicGrey order came in today! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 08, 2005

me Posted by Picasa

The Origami Doll

I had been eyeing this really adorable origami doll kit at work and finally caved in. It took me about a week or so to really give it my full attention (the first couple tries were so attrocious that they didn't even get heads). I managed to finish this one up today and it only took about an hour. I altered the hair because...mine is long and brown, not short and black. I also added a flower instead of a bow because it's cuter :D . Maybe I'll make her a little warrior hat to match her Kimono.

My first completed attempt at an origami paper doll. Kawaii! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Scrapfest 2005

Wow, I stayed up pretty late last night to finish this up. The Creating Pages site has a contest running right now that gives 150 different challenges and the person who uses the most of them is eligible for a gift certificate. I managed to use 6 in this layout...you know I was impressed with how many challenges I used until I typed that post. Ok so the supplies I used are predominantly Urban Lilly papers (Check them out at http://www.urbanlily.com.au/) and there is hidden journaling behind the picture on the bottom right that tells all about Emily's likes and dislikes at 2 years old.
To check out all the requirements for the Scrapfest contest click on the link below.
CreatingPages Forum
I gotta run, it's time to go to Church!

One Down....100+ to go

First contest entry for the Summer Scrapfest contest on Creating Pages Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Birds of a feather and all that

I was just trying to figure out this site and check out the features when I stumbled on the profile search thingy. I have to say that I'm extremely amused to find that when I search on Bella Morte (the band) the majority of the results are similar to my blog in more than one way. Either we share the same template, a few of the same interests, both, or very rarely, nothing at all. And here I thought I was unique ::chuckle::

In the Beginning...

This will be my second attempt at a blog. My first one was so depressing and random that I eventually gave up. I'm hoping to chronicle my adventures with paper. You see, I love the stuff. I work at an art store, where I'm in charge of the specialty papers. Hand made papers, marbled papers, Japanese lace papers, Indian rag papers, papers of all sizes and types. We have a whole small warehouse of papers and they bring me great joy. Really, this is my dream job. I lurked around this art store for 4 years and begged for this job until they finally gave in. I'm really not sure if that's something to be proud of, but everything seems to have worked out. I work hard but it feels like playing, and I get along with almost everyone there.
I also Scrapbook, so that I have another reason to buy lots of papers and cut them up. I used to be squeemish about slicing all of those pretty papers up, but now I consider it a compliment to the people who make them. After all, they didn't make those papers so that they could crumble away into nothingness due to neglect. I'm not really sure why I love paper so much but I can list the ways that I love it. I love the smell, the textures, the maliability and potential. I love the little thrill I get when I slide out a 27"x35" sheet of Rakusui Lace paper, pristine and untouched. The few moments of quiet before I start to manipulate it into the shapes and folds it takes to become a finished project. I love the sound paper makes as you run a bone folder over a crease, or the susserating sound of paper sliding over paper. I love showing off my finished project to people I like, not because I want them to compliment me or the objet d' art but because I'm sharing a piece of me with them, another means of communication.
So yeah, I'm a paper freak. I'm ok with that. It hasn't completely taken over my life, but it's definitely a big part of it. I hope you'll stick around to see the messes I make and share my anticipation as I try to get my works published and maybe start a business. Enjoy.

The Paper Doll