Thursday, January 31, 2008

*Praying* for a snow day!

OH, how I want a snow day tomorrow...
UPDATED: 6:50 a.m. IT IS a snow day!!!!!!

This is the scene in my backyard right now. The news has called for 4-12 inches. It has been snowing since morning and it's only 5p.m. now. I hope that it falls ALL night and that there is no school.

I understand that snow days are nightmares for working parents and causes daycare problems. But I am a teacher you see, so if school is canceled, I don't have to work. My kids go to a different school district than where I work, and we've always had snow days on the same day since we're only about 10 minutes apart.

I talked to the community relations guy at our district about an hour ago and he says that the email/phone blast is all ready to go, we're just waiting for the official word in the wee hours of the morning.

I'm crossing my fingers and praying to the snow gods for a SNOW DAY!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Guess what I'm getting???

My husband surprised me tonight by ordering a new Mac iBook! My other one will go to our 11-year-old daughter and she is so pumped! She'll be able to manage her own iTunes, etc. instead of sharing a computer with one of us. Plus, I'll have more memory for all the photos I take. Now, I have to wait for it to be delivered. I'm *so* not good at waiting!

*updated* A poster below wanted to know what I love so much about Apple.  Believe me, a few years ago, when my husband got his first desktop Mac, I was *not* going to use it.  Nope, not gonna do it.  Then I realized how EASY everything is.  Just plug in the camera, and boom everything is ready to be edited in iPhoto.  Pop in a CD and it drops right into my iTunes.  Now that I have an iPhone, I plug it in and everything addresses, phone numbers, emails, music, photos, podcasts...It is just super friendly.  I'm sure some people out there have more technical reasons for liking it, but I just love the simplicity of it all.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Revived from the Computer Graveyard!

My computer has risen from the dead. My husband revived it from the computer graveyard. I have an Apple iBook G4 and it's maybe 3 or 4 years old. It stores over 2000 photos and probably just as many songs on my iTunes.

Why should you care? I am telling you right now, to back up your photos and music. it right now!

I uploaded my blog on Sunday then decided to take a little nap, while watching football with one eye open. DH says, "You know, We should back up your computer. How many pictures do you have?"

"2024," I say. Then I sleep.

When I woke up to check screen. I could hear the fan, but nothing else. No problemo, I think....DH can fix it. He fixes ALL computer problems within minutes.

This goes on for two days. I am now ready to throw up. Ironically, a friend told me just two weeks ago that she lost all of her photos when her NEW computer crashed. I am counting that as warning #1. Then DH asks about backing mine up, I'll consider that warning #2.

So, last night he goes on the Apple website. Of course my computer is past the extended warranty period. He goes through some of these very technical pages, that I can hardly understand. Now remember, I have a Master's degree in Literacy. We argue over if the computer won't start or if it is "video". I opt for the first option, he the second. (I am do I know if the video won't work when the screen is black???). Lo and behold, it is considered "video". Pffft.

After pulling some contortionist-like poses of holding down Apple-Control-R and T (or something like that) ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Wait for the start up tone. Don't let go. Wait for the second start up tone. Let go. GRAY SCREEN! This is progress. After a few minutes of this, there is a start up screen and there is life again!

I dive into the stash of blank CD's and back up 2000 photos in case it dies again. Then today, it starts up again and I back up 3 CD's full of documents. Whew.

Moral of the story....consider this your first warning. Go back up your stuff. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Catalog Swap

I joined a swap for new Spring-Summer Collection. We all made 10 card fronts, plus 1 full card. The coordinator will swap our cards out for other ones and then we'll get 10 different ones back. This way, we can show off designs from many different stamp sets in the new catalog. The full card gets sent to the troops. How cool is that?

I *totally* cased (copy and steal/or share everything) from scrapnextras design on SCS. I loved the color combination and the watercolored images. I ended up making the 11 for the swap, plus 10 more. 6 of them will go to my current buyer's club members and I'm saving the others to send out.

The Shimmery White paper was a good choice for this. I watercolored the birds with Real Red and Ballet Blue with Aqua Painters. It took a few tries to get it right, but I like the overall effect. I also used a make-up sponge for the grass along the bottom edge.

All materials are Stampin' Up!

Stamps: A Little Birdie Told Me
Cardstock: Shimmery White, Real Red, Bordering Blue, So Saffron
Ink Pads/Markers: Real Red, Ballet Blue, Black StazOn, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Fresh Favorites eyelets
Tools: Scallop punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1 1/4" circle punch, 1" circle punch, Crop-a-Dile, makeup sponges

Valentine's Day projects

I went to a Stampin' Up! meeting last weekend and here are some things we did. The first is a card that was given to us at the meeting to promote the Happy Heart Day set, which I adore. I love the color combination with this one and the blue makes it not so *girly*.

The one above is a little 3x3 card that is *so* cute. It would be a perfect size for a gift tag, for a teacher, or co-workers. Rose Red on the bottom, layered with Very Vanilla, then a little Designer Paper on top. The ribbon adds a nice finishing touch.

The last project is a criss-cross box. These would also be nice to add little packages of M & M's or other candy. Change the colors and you'd have a nice birthday gift for a neighbor or co-worker. How about at Easter filled with jelly beans for kids in the classroom...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sale-a-Bration is coming!

The *best* Stampin' Up! event is only a couple weeks away! From February 1-March 17th, Stampin' Up! is giving away FREE stamp sets! The yearly event is called Sale-a-Bration (previously called Sell-a-Bration). When you spend $50 in merchandise, you get a FULL stamp set for free! There is no limit, so if you spend $100, you get TWO free sets. In addition to stamp sets, there is also a set of new rub-ons!

If you're on my mailing list, you should be getting your own Sale-a-Bration catalog in the mail soon.

So Many Scallops (set of 4)

Birthday Whimsy (set of 5)

Lots of Thoughts (set of 6)

Friendship Blooms (set of 5)
Rub-ons (4 sheets)

Merci (set of 6)

Junk mail!

I am finding out that some of your emails are ending up in my junk mail folder. For some reason, I've had THREE go in this week and two of them are from people in my address book! If you've sent me an email and I haven't responded, this is why. I check email several times a day. If you think this might be happening to you, feel free to leave me a comment here by clicking the link below or in the sidebar.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I won Cammie's Blog Candy!

First of all, the image above is from Cammie's (Carolyn King's) blog.....

Second of all...I won this stamp set that she calls Dr. Feelgood from Gina K.'s Stamps. Here is a the link to the original post and here is the one where she announced that I won! I should be getting it any day! Thanks Cammie!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How does this demonstrator thing work, anyway?

I've had two people in the last couple weeks ask about being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. Here are a few things I explained to the last person:

The "quota is always the first question!

The "quota" is $300 per quarter. It can be spread throughout the quarter, or all at once. So, for example between now and March, I need to sell (or spend!) $300. I knew I would be able to do this on my own, so I found friends who were willing to be part of a "buyer's club." I'll explain that in a minute... However, you do not have to make a minimum until your first FULL quarter. So, if you were to join between now and March 31, you wouldn't have to make your $300 quota until the end of June. It gives you the first quarter you join time to build your customer base, or whatever.

The demonstrator kit is shown in the back of the catalog. You can substitute most items if you want, like ink pads and stamp pads. The cost is $199 and there is an additional scrapbooking set that you can add on if you'd like.

I would be your "upline" and would be there to support you. I attend a quarterly meeting (optional) at my upline's house and we do projects and get updates from her. They're really fun. :)

You get access to the catalogs early and can pre-order items before customers. The best part is that you only have to send in 80% of what the "merchandise" is. This is your 20% "instant income". So, when you have a workshop or order that is $150 (not including tax and shipping), $30 is yours to keep and the rest goes to Stampin' Up! Orders are submitted online (or you can phone them in).

Back to the buyer's club...I knew I couldn't spend $300 every quarter myself. I had 5 friends get together with me and we all spent $25 on anything in the catalog each month. They email or call me with their order and we never actually got together as a "party". By all 6 of us spending $25 each month, the order was at least $150 each month, therefore, I went over the quota. Also, because the "workshop" was over $150, it qualified for hostess benefits. So, each one of us got a turn being the "hostess" on of the months. Some of the "hostesses" wanted to earn more hostess benefits, so I actually did a workshop at their house and they invited their friends. The orders from the workshop got added on to the buyer's club orders and she earned more. Also, because there were 6 of us, the club went for 6 months. I have been doing this for almost 2 years and it's been very successful. At one point, I had three buyer's clubs going.

Everyone is different as a "demonstrator". Some people want to build a business and make money. I wanted to do enough business to support my hobby, but I wasn't going to go tracking people down or being a pushy sales lady. Other people want to be a "hobby" demo and will support their quota with their own orders any maybe those of a few friends. (There is no difference between a 'business' and 'hobby' demo in SU!'s are either a demo or you are not).

That's a lot of information for now, so take a look and let it sink in. Think of some questions and I'll give you a call or you can email or call me too! :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

God Bless America

Ok, so it's not 4th of July. (That would be awesome, though, wouldn't it?!?) I started this name frame a long time ago and never finished it. Now that I have my new Cricut, I went back to work. One of my cartridges has a God Bless America saying....perfect! I put these name frames out for each season (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer) and also for my daugher's room and son's teacher. I now want to expand for holidays. I want one for Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc. This one was going to say 4th of July, but I thought that was too limiting. This way, I can use it for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day! Pretty swifty, huh?

I used a white Prima flower and colored it with an SU! marker in Not Quite Navy. Right in the middle went a red Stampin' Up! Rhinestone brad. I tried to make a little ribbon in the corner, but once it got smushed flat, it looks yucky. I also added blue and red ribbon at the bottom under "America". I need to put something else up in that corner. Right now that corner is pretty UGLY. Maybe I'll find a flag or some other kind of embelly to go there. :) I have time,'s only January. Suggestions are welcome!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Valentine's Day Bundle

Click on the image for more information! Wouldn't these be cute little bags to give to co-workers or classmates? I already own this set and it is *very* cute. The elephant is my favorite! I'll be posting a little card later that I made today with this set.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Birthday Countdown Calendar

Makenna's birthday was the day after Christmas and she was supposed to have a party on the 29th. But, we had to reschedule in light of all the puking I was doing. :) So, now she keeps asking, "When is the party? When is the party?"

I got the Mark the Date stamp set in the mail yesterday and also in today's mail, got a used Crayon Kids set. I have been wanting that Crayon Kids set F-O-R-E-V-E-R. I *love* this set. Maybe it's the teacher in me, I don't know.

Anyway, I decided to make her a Countdown Calendar. I thought I was just going to stamp the calendar on an index card and call it a day, but I decided to play around a little bit instead. And hey, any chance I get to use my Crop-a-Dile! I'm sure by the time you read this, she will have checked off all of the days, even though it will still be Friday.

Here are the details:
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Mark the Date and Crayon Kids (retired)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Close to Cocoa, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Positively Pink (retired), Blush Blossom
Accessories: SU! Rhinestone Brads, SU! Brads

Thursday, January 3, 2008

365 Day Challenge Notebook

I made this composition notebook for my 365 Day Challenge. I liked the color scheme of the card I made yesterday and wanted to incorporate my Cricut and all of the Stampin' Up! Designer Paper I've been hoarding. The notebook is one (of about 60) I bought at Target for $.12 when they had all the school supplies on clearance. Don't you just love Target?

Here are the details:
Stamps: Simply Said, A Little Birdie Told Me
Paper: SU! Groovy Guava, Wild Wasabi, Barely Banana, Groovy Guava DP
Ink: SU! Groovy Guava, Wild Wasabi, Barely Banana
Accessories: Cricut George cartridge, SU! eyelets, SU! Ice Rhinestone Brads, Scallop Circle Punch, Accents and Elements, non-SU ribbon

The notebook only has 100 pages, but if I use both sides, I'll end up with enough room for photos and journaling for 200 days. And, if you saw my previous post, I *know* I won't be able to do this every day. So, 200 might just be enough. I really hope that I'll say that I did it every day, but geesh, the kids don't even get a bath every day sometimes.

Todays journaling was a quote about imperfection, so I talked about being a perfectionist and took a photo of my smudged nail polish, as an example. This is really fun, you should try it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finally, a card! With the Cricut!!!

But first, a story....(scroll down for the card if you don't want to read my rambling....)

As I said yesterday, I have been sick for the past couple of weeks. A month actually...
I started a new medicine the week of Thanksgiving for my Crohn's Disease in addition to steroids. The symptoms I was taking the meds for disappeared, but I couldn't nail down the cause of the nausea. I ended up having my immune system all out of whack because of the steroids and ended up with Shingles on Dec. 10th. I was fine and the next minute I was throwing up and broke out into a rash. All in a matter of 15 minutes. The worst part was that was my *last* night of my master's class and I had to miss it. :( Not to mention that I was ready to hurl during the entire graduation ceremony. Right, Holly? Poor thing, she got stuck sitting next to me, but she did a bang up job keeping my mind off of throwing up. :) Here we are after the ceremony:

Then the weekend before Christmas, I start getting nauseous and get a fever. Christmas Eve...urinary tract infection. December 26th...puking. So my husband hauls my butt to Urgent Care (in my I cared) on Thursday night and I've got the flu AND my liver enzymes are 10 TIMES too much and I'm dehydrated. So, I get an IV and some nausea medication and get sent home. Did I mention that he took a picture of me sleeping on the mini-bed while getting my IV fluids?

I start putting two and two together and realize it's the medicine I started during Thanksgiving, not the medicine for the Shingles like I thought. I stop taking the meds on Friday (after throwing up some more...are you seeing a pattern here?) I went to my gastro guy on Monday (my first time getting dressed in almost a week) and he confirms that I will live and that I cannot take the Imuran anymore. Additionally, my wacky liver enzymes are probably because of the Imuran as well. So, I'm having more blood work in a week and maybe an ultrasound to rule anything out. In the meantime, I'm now finally back to my normal self and have eaten more cheese balls today (the little orange crunchy ones) than any sane person should. The bucket is about double the size of a gallon of milk, but I haven't eaten them all.....yet. I see more puking in my future. on to the card! I was going to go downstairs and play with that Cricut if it killed me. I had not made a card in three weeks..since finishing the Christmas cards. ***side note- Dear husband wants to know WHAT THE HECK I am typing over here....I'll know if he reads it or not. He subscribes to my blog!*** Back to the story. My friend Holly (remember her from Graduation?) says that she used her Cricut to make Christmas thank you cards. Ding! That's what I'll do! This card took F-O-R-E-V-E-R! I should have just played around and not had my mind set on actually making a card! Geesh. Here's what I ended up with...and only ONE of them, I might add.

I *think* when I make the others, I will make the parenthesis a little bit smaller? And I might cut off the "s" on thanks. And maybe put the word "you" in the middle of the parenthesis instead of the flower. Everything is Stampin' Up! except for the Cricut. Here are the details:
  • Stamps-Simply Said
  • Cardstock-Barely Banana, Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava
  • Ink-Wild Wasabi
  • Accessories-Ice Rhinestones
  • Cricut Mini Monograms cartridge

Yippee Skippee! Spring-Summer Collection is Here

Some of you have this glorious catalog in your hot little hands....if not, contact me and you can get one too. :)

I'm always searching out for new and exciting stamp sets. But I find lately that my stamping, or lack thereof, includes Designer Paper. I took advantage of the Buy 3, Get 1 free last month. Now, I have all 4 packages...unopened except for the three or so sheets I used for my pink and wasabi Christmas card. It's so pretty, I don't want to use it. I'm hoarding the paper.

But, I did find a few stamps I had to have from the Preview Brochure.
  • Happy Heart Day (page 65, item 111089, $20.95) How cute are the kids' valentine's going to be with this little gem? AND, it coordinates with the tag punch. Glorious!
  • A Little Birdie Told Me (page 65, item 10992, $25.95) Love those birds. Don't know why, but they're darn cute and this set will be so versatile.
  • Mark the Date (page 125, item 111097, $$24.95) How cute will this be to personalize cards with the actual birthday or anniversary marked? It will be easy to make little count-down calendars for kids...maybe their birthday, the end of the school year or an upcoming vacation.
  • Time Well Spent (page 24, item 111054, Hostess Level 3 set) We got this HUGE set for free as a Christmas present from Shelli Gardner, the mastermind behind Stampin' Up! I love the *doodely* stamps. Yes, I know that *doodely* is not a word. But hey, Julie Ebersole makes up words all the time.
AND, finally....

I went downstairs to stamp and play with my new Cricut. I got one for Christmas, but I've been puking for the past week and I'm finally feeling better. I'll post the card tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

365 Day Challenge

I found this cool idea for a 365 Day Challenge. Basically, you are documenting your life for a year through a photo a day, plus some journaling. Mine will probably end up being more like a 174 day challenge, but I have good intentions. :) :) :)

Here are the details:

365 Day Challenge

Won't you try it with me?