Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm Fancy!

Wow, did I wake up to some good news yesterday! I had an e-mail in my inbox from Jodi, the founder and co-owner of Fancy Pants Designs, telling me what was just announced on the Fancy Pants blog:

Our NEW Team!
Well, I'm (Jodi) here in Florida following our fun HSN is much harder than I thought! Don't forget to check out all of the great kits we offered on!

Anyway, I have heard from all but one of our chosen NEW team members, so I've decided to go ahead and announce without that person. Hopefully we will hear back from them soon! We'll be posting bios and pics of our new team to our website next week. We will also contact the 'runner up' scrapbookers next week to work out guest spotlights, etc.! It didn't work last year for that plan, but if you don't keep trying, you will never succeed, right?
Thanks again to all who all rock your Fancy Pants!

Today we are listing 2 international members and 4 (of 5) domestic members! So, if I can get a drumroll please....a drumroll for some amazingly talented ladies that Fancy Pants is super duper excited to have join no particular order :)! (Ladies...let me know if I mess up your name in any way :)!)
Liana Suwandi (US)
Staci Taylor (US)
Ania Lexander (NO)
Jolene Pienaar (AU)
Denine Zelinski (US)
Nikki Bellish (US)

They are still trying to reach one more person, so there was a delay in making the announcement, and i've been bursting at the seams to share the news - so now i'm going to get it out of my system.... AAAAAHHHH, I'm so excited! Heheah, that felt good. Anyway, I am extremely honored and flattered (and shocked!!), so I'm going to enjoy floating on this cloud for awhile... Also want to give a super big congrats to the other girls, especially to Ania and Denine! I can't believe I get to work with Ania on two design teams! :-)

Onto more exciting stuff! Luxe has launched their brand new gallery here. It's really really organized and has lots of different ways to search, so go check it out when you get a chance! Speaking of Luxe, Aussie Scrap Source posted their feature on Luxe today, and my layout, Bikini, is included. That site is overflowing with eye candy, so check it out if you need some inspo!

And, since I've been so slack in posting layouts here lately (CMK Sept. kit layouts coming soon!), I do have one that I made with some Jenni Bowlin gorgeousness (is that a word? It is now!). It didn't take me long to scrap those photos of Chloe trying on my shoes!
I had a ton of fun with this layout! I used the shaped paper as my guide to cut the inside papers down. I backed everything on a transparency and left some of that peeking through. I then covered the transparency area with tulle... so much fun to work with! I cut out some flowers from one of her papers and glittered them up, as well as the edges of the shaped paper. Everything is JBS except for the orange flowers which are Petaloo.

Hope everyone is having a great week and looking forward to the long weekend ahead!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I need another weekend!

I had a fantastic weekend, but it went by way too fast... i'm ready for another :-) Friday we went to the recycled tire park with Lisa and the girls next door. The entire park has tires to climb and play on, and the "mulch" is made from recycled tires... it's pretty cool! That night, we had and impromptu happy hour/block party with some of our neighbors. It was such a blast! I know I gush about how much I love my neighbors a lot, but I truly feel blessed. We started at 4 and hung out until around midnight. Since we were camped out on lawn chairs in front of my house (and the kids were playing in the cul-de-sac), I was able to put chloe down to sleep at her normal 7pm bedtime and just bring the monitor out. Noah actually asked me to put him to sleep at 9, believe it or not. He was exhausted from running and riding bikes for 5 hours! Tony got home from work around 10 and was able to join in the fun.

Yesterday, we had a birthday party out in VA. It was a High School Musical dance party. Noah is in this phase now where he clings to us in new social situations - very strange being that he's always been my social child who jumped right into everything. So, Chloe and I were out on the dance floor while Noah hung back with Tony. Chloe had a blast since she is quite the dancer! After about 30 minutes, though, Noah was ready to jump in. It doesn't happen gradually, it's like a switch, all of a sudden he's ready! They ended up having a really good time, so that was fun. Then last night, Lisa and Chip next door watched the kids for us while we went on a date - whoo (thanks again, Lis!). We went to this cute local restaurant - it has a really nice ambiance and great food! They had a musician outside while we were eating, too. Then we saw "Pineapple Express" - my summation is that it was very stupid with a lot of funny :-)

Today, my good friend Renee came to visit with her two kids. She lives in NY, so we usually only see each other about once a year (we go away with them for New Year's most years). Her kids are practically the same ages as my kids, so it works out nicely. We took them to the local splash park which wore my kids out!

In scrappy news, i've been scrapping for CMK's September kit, but I can't share anything just yet. I'm supposed to be getting new Luxe goodies, too, which I can't wait for. The new Luxe website is almost ready to go, I can't wait for you guys to be able to check it out... it looks great! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend filled with lots of relaxing :-)
Since I don't have any layouts to share, of course I have to share some pics :-)
From the tire park:

Gotta love visits from the ice cream truck:

This is what happens when my almost 4 year old refuses a nap - he crashes out on the couch later in the day!

Last but not least, do you think Chloe is enough of a girly girl?? :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dropping off some layouts...

Ok, so am I the only blogger who sometimes has a hard time coming up with a title for my posts? I'm just not that clever, lol. Since there really is no point to this post, however, but to share a couple more layouts, I figured the one I came up with will work ;-)

Another Paper Trunk layout for CMK - I used the 1974 paper line this time. Love the colors and these swirls were begging to be cut-out!

This next layout was part of a scraplift challenge on 2peas. I joined this challenge because I just had a conversation at the crop this weekend about how I don't normally lift because it tends to complicate things in my brain to come up with ways to make it different enough from the original that it is "my own" and doesn't look like the same layout. We also had a discussion going at CMK the other day when, for my question of the day, I asked if people scraplift. Most of the answers were that they feel everyone lifts to a certain degree as we are constantly gaining inspiration from others and storing away little ideas we see to try on our own layouts. I think that is so true! I guess I used to have this idea of scraplifting as copying a layout completely, and although I know sometimes people will mimic a layout in its entirety, I do think it's more common for people to take inspiration away and put their own twist on it. So, the original layout that I lifted had a square frame around the photos with one of the photos peeking out, and that is the idea that inspired me that I built the layout around. Ironically, you'll see some similarities to the other layout posted above that I did this weekend before seeing the layout that I lifted! I guess I was already drawn to the frame idea, so it was meant to be that I saw this layout :-) If you are all still awake after my monologue, you can see the layout here, lol:
Hope everyone's week is going well - we're almost at hump day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Warning: rambling ahead...

Ok, I feel like I have lots to say, so let's see if I can remember it all :-) First off, the crop on Saturday was so much fun! Those Kreative Junkets girls really do it right! I was bummed to have to leave early, but I still got 7 hours in. And, I had an all time cropping record - I made 4 layouts in 7 hours... that's fast for me believe it or not, lol. And that was in between lots of socializing! Unfortunately, I only have 1 to share right now - 2 are for CMK's Sept. kit so I can't reveal those yet and the other 2 are more CMK Paper Trunk layouts. I wanted to do a tiny bit of tweaking on the last one still and then i''ll take photos. Anyway, here is the one that I can share - it's about Chloe's BFF :-)
Sunday was a perfect day - we went out to breakfast in the morning and then played outside and relaxed the rest of the day. Chloe only took an hour nap and Noah boycotted his, so we let them come into our bed and snuggle with some movie and popcorn time. Of course, they got wound up and preferred to chase each other all over our bedroom instead, but that was so cute to watch that it certainly didn't bother me!

I found out yesterday that I won a RAK from Doris - she's sending me Jenni Bowlin's adorable little tickets, I can't wait! Thanks Doris!

I've had good luck with my "Soccer Mom" Luxe layout. Stacey from Scrapstreet News contacted me (thanks Stacey!) and asked if they could publish it in their September issue, so that is exciting. Then today, Melissa at Aussie Scrap Source sent me mail on 2Peas asking if she could post that same layout on her site, as they are an Australian distributor for Luxe. Unfortunately, it won't work out as they were looking to showcase it in September, as well, but i'm very flattered that they noticed it! They are, however, going to post my "Bikini" Luxe layout in the near future instead. They have some awesome eye candy on their site, too, so check it out if you get a chance!

I also have a cool opportunity to mention - Sherry Steveson, who is on the Luxe DT with me, is teaching a "Sassy Scraps Techniques" class through which covers lots of awesome techniques. Sherry has written one idea book and is currently working on a second, and she has a beautiful style! While looking around on the site, I also noticed that the aforementioned ticket-giver super-duper talented Doris Sander is teaching a class there, too (Embellishments 101) so it looks like anyone interested in taking some online classes to improve their scrap skills will have lots of awesome classes they can take!

Ok, I think my ramblings must come to an end now. I signed up for a challenge on 2Peas for the first time in ages, and I need to find my mojo and get working! Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ode to spring

I just completed another DT layout for CMK using more Paper Trunk goodies. This time I used the Jellybean line, and let me tell you, these papers are SO much fun!! I also had fun with their border stamps - I used the scallop stamp on the edge of my cardboard, and I used the stitching stamp on my photo mat. Journaling (on label) says: I love this photo of you at the airplane park (taken May 2008).

Patterned paper and stamps: Paper Trunk, Chip letters are MM, letter stickers and glitter die-cuts are K&Co, and label is Jenni Bowlin.

So, today is Friday which means that tomorrow I am going to a 12 hour crop (starting at 10a.m.)through Kreative Junkets, run by my friends, and former Recollections employees, Kim and Jo. Whoo, I can't wait!! I can only stay for about 7 hours or so, though, as I only have babysitter coverage (thank you mom, I appreciate it!!) until about 6 at the latest. I never seem to get much done at crops, but I have a couple more Paper Trunk projects plus my Sept. kit goodies to work with, so hopefully I can be somewhat productive tomorrow!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! And those of you who make the trifle... let me know what you think! :-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taking care of business...

Ok, because aging seems to have crippled my memory, I am starting off this post with a blog award that the fabulous Staci (she's talented AND has a great name! ;-) gave me over a week ago... sorry i'm such a space cadet, Staci, but i'm so flattered that you picked my little 'ole blog for your award!
Another fabulously talented lady, Anabelle, tagged me the other day. Since i've been tagged before, I won't bore you guys with more information about me, but do go check out these blogs when you get a chance!

Next order of business... let's talk trifle!! Several of you asked me for the recipe, so who am I to disappoint? :-) I do have to give credit where credit is due, though, and tell you all that it's actually my mom's trifle recipe. She taught me everything I know, hehea. Since i'm a visual learner, I will provide you with photos as I tell you how to make this very very yummy dessert:

First, bake two round marble cakes (one box of marble cake mix yields 2 cakes) - I think the pans I use are 9 inches round.

Once the cakes have cooled, you will place the first cake at the bottom of your trifle bowl. Depending on the size of your cake pan and your trifle bowl, you may have to trim some cake off around the edges to get it to fit in the bowl.

Next, you will make a large box of chocolate instant pudding.

Layer approximately half of the pudding on top of the first cake.

Next, you will use a food processor (or blender) to break up candy pieces. I used Nestle's crunch and Heath bar this time (with some chocolate chips thrown on top), but I know my mom experiments and sometimes uses different candy. I used about 12 of the small Heath bars and 8 of the small Nestle crunch bars.

Once the candy is chopped up, you will put about half of it on top of your pudding layer.

Next comes a layer of cool whip - I buy the large cool whip and use a little less then half of the tub for the bottom layer. At this point, your trifle will look like this:

You are now going to repeat the layers - you will put down the second cake and another layer of pudding and candy. For my final layer of cool whip, however, I put a dollop of cool whip in the center and 5 dollops around the edge of the bowl, so you can see the yummy candy on the next layer down. Voila! You are done!

And, in case you were wondering, yes, I made another trifle!! Tony specifically said he did not want a birthday cake for his birthday, but he did request the trifle (everyone LOVES this trifle, it's always a hit!!). Well, I did not realize that he barely even got any trifle! It went so fast that by the time he got to the bowl, there was just a bit of cake left and not much of the other stuff. So, I felt bad for my poor birthday boy and made another one that he can be pleasantly surprised with when he gets home tonight.

Last but not least, I have a layout to share. It's DT work for CMK highlighting our manufacturer sponsor, Paper Trunk, for this month. I used papers from their wrangler line for this layout. The 'chuckwagon' sheet of paper has rows of squares, so I cut out 3 of the rows of squares, folded and pleated the paper in between each square, and sewed it around my photos for a border.

Journaling reads: You never mind a trip to Home Depot or Sears because it means you get to try out all the tractors. You go up and down the rows of tractors, "driving" them all, and picking favorites. Photos from 8/07.

TFL, everyone, and I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The aftermath...

Well, i'm happy to report that Tony's birthday bash was a smashing success! Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves, especially my hubby :-) The kids probably had a little too much fun as evidenced by the state of my house and yard yesterday. Yikes! We found several watermelon rinds in Noah's room, there are board game pieces all throughout the house, and pretty much every room looked like a tornado hit it. Us adults spent the whole evening out on the deck, and the kids spent a large portion of the night outside as well - we set up Noah's spiderman inflatable bouncer outside (it's normally in the playroom) as well as an inflatable chalkboard and his trampoline. But kids will be kids, and they were apparantly itching to explore the inside of the house, too! The party started at 4:30, and the last group of people left around midnight - 4 families of neighbors outlasted everyone else. We even let Noah stay up the entire party since his friends were there, too! He has never stayed up that late before! Needless to say, everyone was tired yesterday.

Here is Noah with one of tony's best friends:

Tony insisted he didn't want a birthday cake, so I put candles in the dessert I made him (my mom's Trifle recipe... his favorite). I still found a way to get the Birthday song in there, lol! Me with some of the neighbors:
Today was a fun day, too. We had a playdate at the "airport park." It's a little playground right across the street from BWI Airport, and you can see the planes right after they've taken off and right before they land. The kids love it there, and it's very cool to see the planes so low over our heads.

In scrappy news, today was a fabulous mail day for me! I got a big 'ole box from Create My Keepsake. This month's sponsor is Paper Trunk, so not only did I get several lines of Paper Trunk, some of their stamps and their chipboard wheel, but I also got CMK's September kit ahead of time for me to have fun with, too. I can't wait to play!

Hope everyone had a wonderful start to their week! I can't believe how quickly summer is coming to an end...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

35 years!

That's how old my hubby is today! We're having a cookout later this afternoon/evening to celebrate, so i'm frantically trying to get ready to have about 45 adults and children at my house! Wish me luck... i'll need it, lol.

I did this layout last night - these photos are from when Chloe was about 11 months old, and although she's a pretty petite little thing, she still has those big old squeezable thighs... I love them!

Paper is K&Co, MM, American Crafts and Jenni Bowlin. Letters are Heidi Swapp and label is Martha Stewart.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and i'll be back at some point to post pictures of our cookout if I survive it ;-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

They are BOTH my sunshine

Dropping off a new layout I finished today called, "You are her sunshine". Love these pics I took of the kids at the outdoor concert last week - they were just screaming to be scrapped
:-) I gave handstitching a try and outlined the sun and then stickled it. I think it's hard to see in the pics, but I cut out some flowers from 7 Gypsies pp to give a little bit of dimension by the felt border. I also added a rub-on to that border - I wasn't sure if it would work on the felt or not, but it did! I was really scared when I was doing it, though, lol. My mom gave me those chip letters - she saw them at Michael's the other day and thought I would like them - isn't she the sweetest??
Having a good week here. Yesterday I met some friends out in VA at a waterpark. It was perfect for my kids as there were plenty of waterslides in the shallow end.

Tomorrow we are meeting some friends in DC to hit up some of the museums - there are some cool exhibits we think the kids will like. I've never taken the kids to DC before so i'm excited... should be a fun day!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm a party animal wannabe

Wow did I have a busy weekend! I went out 3 nights in a row this weekend without the kids - I think that is the most i've gone out consecutively in oh, how old is Noah, lol, almost 4 years!! On Friday night, me, Lisa (next door) and 3 other ladies from our neighborhood went out for a "ladies night out". We went to this awesome restaurant, Oz Chophouse, which was not only soooo delicious but had a great ambiance as well (we sat under a tree inside!). Lisa and I started our own little "happy hour" before we left, so it was a full fun night for us girls.

Saturday morning, Lisa and I packed the kids in our cards and headed out to Krazy KT's big warehouse sale. Unfortunately, the lodge gave her the wrong address, so it took us quite a long time to get there as we had to stop and ask for directions twice, but we made it! We got some great deals, and then I hit up another LSS that is out that way. Saturday evening I headed out to the 30th birthday party for one of my good friends. It was "adults only" party and we didn't have a babysitter, so Tony stayed home with the little ones.

Then last night we went to the Black Crowes concert and wow, it was fun!! Not only do I like the Black Crowes and enjoyed a date night out with my hubby, but some of my closest girlfriends were there, too! It was actually my friend dana's 33rd birthday yesterday, so a bunch of us went to celebrate with her. Unfortunately, since we all lead busy lives and some of us live about an hour from each other, we don't get to all get together that often. And even though the whole gang wasn't there, we had an absolute blast hanging together. We also got lucky to have a gorgeous night, and Wolf Trap lets you bring food and alcohol in - how cool is that?? So we had a nice big picnic on the lawn, under the stars, listening to good music. Grace Potter opened, who I had never heard of, but I really liked her, too, so i'll be checking her out online.

Me and Lauren attempting a self-portrait:

Tony and I have a running joke that we can never get a good picture taken of us. Last night was no exception, lol. Here is our attempt:

Me and Jamie:

Dana, Me, Mia and Jamie attempting "sexy poses". We failed miserably, huh?
Anyway, since I've been slacking in the creating department, I figured i'd overload you with pics. I forgot to mention the Disney Playhouse Rock Concert we went to on Wednesday which, despite it being VERY hot out, was also a blast! It was an all afternoon/evening event with several children's performers including They Might Be Giants (who I had seen back in the day in college). We went with a couple we're close with and their son, so that was another fun-filled day.

Hope everyone also had a great weekend!!