Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sappy goes "Spring."

It's silly, and it's probably because I'm still in "sappy mom mode" as Hummie puts it, after my daughter's birthday, but I'm feeling rather attached to my latest creation. The color palette was chosen on an early morning drive home from the airport a couple of weeks ago. I had just dropped David off for another (!) business trip, and so the trip home was a little reminiscent of the days when he lived 220 miles away from me and we dated long distance. I can remember climbing in the car back then to drive home and crying for about the first 15 miles...

but I digress (and maudlin-ly at that, yikes!). Anyway, I was feeling contemplative, and the road from the airport to my house skirts the eastern edge of the city so you drive through the prairie, and it was quite lovely, with the blues and the golds and the touches of green...

So here is the first installment of "Colorado Spring." Hope you can use it to scrap memories as fond as those that inspired it:

(I must also say, it suddenly occurred to me today when I uploaded this segment that maybe somebody left me comments on the last things - Awww, I felt loved! Thanks! You made my day!)

Download HERE

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!

Today is the day my elder daughter Kathleen Elizabeth celebrates a quarter-century of living. I hesitate to write that out, because on the eve of her tenth birthday I inadvertently sent her into paroxysms of distress by exclaiming how she'd never have just one digit in her age ever again... It really was not my intent to depress her so because I thought it was a pretty cool milestone, but there ya have it, thought is subjective and unpredictable, which is why I'm a little worried about "quarter-century." I think I'm covered, though, because I have heard her say it once or twice herself, and while there was a touch of mystification and a teensy bit of alarm in her voice, there was no unconstrained angst nor floods of tears.

As a mother, it's always a nostalgic time when your baby, 'specially your firstborn, marks another milestone in their lives. You can't help but think about the process of their development, and fondly caress some pet favorite moments in your thoughts, while pushing the "dust-bunny" thoughts about difficult times back under the bed. In this respect, scrapbooking gives us an opportunity to put a shape to the favorite moments that allow us to share them with others, and the catharsis of creating that presentation. In that spirit, here's Kate at Eight!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Feeble victories.

Pretty darned excited, and it's for SUCH a silly reason. Really reduces you to the lowest common denominator sometimes to see what trips your trigger...

But I digress (Yeah, uh huh, because I've never done THAT before!).

I took my own advice and went shopping for a notebook and a matching pen and a folder. Well, ok, so I didn't go shopping for this stuff, but I happened to be at the grocery because Kate and I needed salmon because it is going to make us healthy and thin, and on my way to the checkout counter I happened to pass the school/office supplies and thought, "oh yeah, I could totally buy a notebook! and a pen! and a folder!)

Turns out shopping at Safeway for office supplies isn't maybe the best choice, but it was where I was and it was so much trouble getting me there that I didn't want to take the risk of trying to get me anywhere else, so I worked with what was available. Which was a set of AWESOME pens - mmmm, these are just wonderful in spite of the fact that all they came in was medium point, when you KNOW I really wanted the fine point but Safeway just did not care...) I'll deal, though, because they have the clicky thing on the end to make the point come out to write, and that clicky thing is so much more fun than the twisty thing. The twisty thing takes TWO HANDS to do, and you know that a woman who has trouble making herself go to the grocery is not going to expend the effort to twist a pen WITH BOTH HANDS to make it work. Unless I really really have to write that check or forfeit the credit rating, KWIM?

So. Pens are a success. Not my preferred shopping order, I would have rather had the notebook first, but hey, we go with what we've got. There are no notebooks that appeal to me. First of all, none are decorative other than the fancy expensive one that's put out by daytimer or one of those other expensive organizational type companies that prey on unorganized blondes who live in hope and squander large amounts of cash trying to achieve organization but still fall sadly short in spite of the monetary committment... so not going there, even though I give faint consideration to what a cute scrap kit it would make.... no. NO. BE FIRM.

Finally I ended up with a pack of three mini notepads (I actually typed "notebads" and that isn't a bad description, 'cause they're ugly) that were on sale for 99 cents. They'll do until I can find THE PERFECT NOTEBOOK to match the perfect pens that I now possess.

How sad IS this? I mean, just buying pens and paper and jotting a few notes is going to take me 3 full blog entries. No wonder I never get anything done...

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I was at the grocery tonight (turns out you actually have to take a shower, get dressed, and DRIVE to the store to get food - who knew?) and I overheard the following between a mom and her nine-ish year old daughter:

Daughter: Can I have strawberry milk? (or something like that, I just heard the plaintive begging tone to a childish voice).

Mom: (absentmindedly) Mmmm Hmmmm.

Daughter activates wheelies in tennis shoes ( how DO they do that? I would so be flat on my rear at the most inconvenient moments) and glides down 4 doors at the dairy cooler. As I pass them on my way to the bread aisle I hear:

Mom: (suddenly focused and authoritative, with just a hint of suspicion) Hunter, did you say Please???

Hunter (with single serve strawberry milk clutched tightly): ::slight pause:: Uh Huh!

Yeah, that's right. Hunter is no dummy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lots of convoluted yammering about thinking

Inspiration is, truly, a wonderful thing. It can also give you a headache ;) I've had pretty close to four billion two hundred and twenty-three ideas in the last two or three days, and I'm here to tell you that that's about four billion too many to try to pack into a forty-nine-year-old brain in that short of a time frame (just bet you were thinking it was a tetch too many ideas, period, particularly those of you who are well-acquainted with me). As I remarked to my friends (hi friends! ::waving::), if I don't start writing things down, I'm going to spend all of my time trying to remember what I was thinking about and spend no time whatsoever actually getting any of them accomplished.

And don't even get me started about downloading helpful bits and pieces that I find out on the web and want to save to "help" me accomplish some of the aforementioned fourbillion- twohundred-twentythree ideas. It was bad enough back when I only had two thousand forty ideas and one computer - at least I had a fairly good idea that the whatchamacallit was somewhere on the C drive and if I looked I could probably find it...eventually. Now, though, with a considerably higher idea inventory (yeah, I got tired of typing out the number) and TWO computers, I really don't have a clue where anything is, and if I ever find it I'm not sure I'll be able to use it because I'm so exhausted from trying to remember what it was that I was saving it for in the first place.

But (you knew there would be one, eventually, and I am not a woman to let you down!) I think I know how to fix all this Thinking Mess, and maybe those of you who also have Thinking Messes will benefit from this, too. The first impulsive coping mechanism is probably "STOP Thinking!" -but that really doesn't help me much because I HAVE been thinking already, and have the ideas, and besides - stop thinking? SO not a good habit to get into, LOL, so I will quickly move on to...

  1. Write stuff down. An outline, as it were, bone structure to be fleshed out later into glorious accomplishment. If you write it down, you'll stop subconsciously worrying that you're going to forget it, and your brain will be a lot less tired and a lot less distracted. Extra credit for bullet points and numbers, mostly because it gives you a teensy rest between thinking and remembering, LOL.
  2. Separate the chaff from the wheat - note that some ideas are just ideas, and other ideas are things that actually should be done. Having all those jostling up against each other can be dreadfully uncomfortable - no wonder my head aches!
  3. Come up with a ToDo list. Or, if you like, a TaDa list, because doggone it, this IS exciting! This is where all the ideas that actually should be done are given permission to enter the accomplishment queue. With the remaining Just Ideas you will also create an inventory where passing thoughts are given a chair to sit in until you decide if they should wait, or get in the TaDa queue, or maybe, just maybe, run on down the road and hang out at the weird neighbor's house because yes, they ARE that crazy and shouldn't be seen any more!
  4. Write down what you download, and where you put it. Now when I write that out it sounds half obvious, and half pathetic. Truth is, though, jotting a note isn't exactly hard labor, and it will help create a system so you aren't running around like Scrat the Squirrel from the movie Ice Age, trying to keep your nuts from rolling away from you! Kindly refrain from thinking, "poor dear really IS nuts!" at this point in your reading. Well, okay, you can think it, but .... no, don't write THAT down! ::sigh::
By now it's probably clear that a lot of lists are in the works. And I have gotten to this point before. I have the two inch pile of scribbled notes somewhere to prove it. Which means that I'm not really that much better off, because now my brain is cluttered AND my desk is cluttered too. So now what? Ah, this is where it all gets good, because now-

YOU GET TO GO SHOPPING! LOL. To buy a new notebook. And a new pen. Maybe a file folder. And how cool would it be if they all matched and coordinated? And maybe you could print out that great paper you got in the latest scrapbooking kit and do some hybrid scrapping with your new notebook! And maybe the folders could match, or maybe it would be better if they coordinated... And then....

oh wait. Those are all ideas.

New Ideas.

Isn't this where we came in? ::sigh::

So now, here's one thing I managed to get on a list and now can cross off the list (if I can find the list): Lower case alpha, numbers, and punctuation for Doodle-y Doo:

Remember, only the alpha is contained in the files, the other stickers are in the other parts of the kit. If you missed those, please check older posts. Enjoy!
Download HERE

Friday, April 18, 2008

Where I explain how I broke three fingernails using a Swiffer WetJet...

Ok, well, I'll be honest, I can't really explain it. Never very gifted in a physical coordination sort of way, I guess the stress of shoving a stick with a squirter and an inverted diaper on the end proved to require too much finesse for me to handle. ::sigh:: I mean REALLY. 3 fingernails. I myself am almost rendered speechless by the sheer clutziness that defines.

The good news, however, is that David will be home tomorrow. True, the good in this news is tempered by the need to make it appear as though civilized beings inhabited his dwelling during his absence. And the rather substantial tidying occasioned by this requires a full day's head start so I have plenty of time to... trim my fingernails and other necessary repairs. So far, in addition to the magnificent fingernail reshaping, I have managed to make myself wheeze with the scent of aforementioned wetjet fluid, I have stubbed my toe on a chair while vacuuming, and sent the dog scurrying for cover when I accidentally knocked over a box with the vacuum cord.

I think I'm making a lot of progress.

Anyway, here's the Alpha I made to go with Doodle-y Doo. It's only the uppercase, right now. Not sure if I need any more practice making stickers with the graphic tablet, LOL. However, if you find you need lower case or numbers, let me know. The preview shows the stickers from the first parts of the kit, so if you missed those downloads, check earlier posts :)

Download Alpha Freebie HERE

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A study in contrast.

This was the photo my husband sent me last night from Riohacha, Columbia:

Mmmm, can't you just feel that tropical breeze, smell the salt air... ahhhhh.

Now. Cleanse your mental palate.

This is a photo I took from my back door this morning:

To paraphrase Sesame Street, "one of these things is not like the other..."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

General awkwardness and discontent

It was nearly 80 degrees in Denver today. I guess God wanted the weather to be nice for everyone to drive to the post office to send in their tax returns. The only trouble is that the wind is blowing about six hundred miles an hour. (heh heh, hyperbole RULES!) And because it was hot (comparatively) and windy (exaggeratedly) I had the worst hair day so far this year (yes, worse than the 2 humid days in New Orleans, although I would point out to you that there was a common factor, that being WIND). So I finally forced myself to go get a haircut.

Now, I don't really know WHY it is so hard to force myself to get a haircut. Part of the reason is, admittedly, making a decision. Should I do something different? Should I do something the same? How short? How Long? Should I get it highlighted? Should I get a perm? Should I put it off? Somehow the only question that gets answered is the last one, and it's answered by default, because I just DON'T DO ANYTHING.

So today I was driving past Cost Cutters and fresh from a glimpse of myself as I had gotten in the car, I just turned in. After all, the very least I can do is a hair cut, I can decide the rest of that stuff later. I march in, and give my orders (truthfully, trying to DESCRIBE what I want is almost worse than DECIDING what I want) and sit with the clear conscience of a woman who has finally Done Something.

There is the de rigeur joshing about the bangs... I may procrastinate about having a trained person cut my hair, but there is no limit to the ravages I am willing to wreak on my own bangs. And as I pointed out to the gal, I really had been quite noble, because I had used my husband's mustache scissors to cut them instead of the cuticle scissors, which was my weapon of choice before David accidentally grew a goatee this last Christmas. So, yeah, the bangs need to be "adjusted" and the cut should be chin length bob, and we're off.

So how unreasonable is it of me to be disappointed? This was the most concise set of directions I've ever given, and yet I am not happy. What should have come off was 2+ inches, instead it was about an inch (although I will be the first to admit that the bangs are much tidier). Am I disappointed because it doesn't look the way I hoped? or because it isn't "dramatic" enough? or because it won't last as long in the procrastination arena, lol?

I have to admit: I am THIS CLOSE to calling and making an appointment for a highlight on Saturday. And because I'm a total wuss and won't go back for a fix to the gal that under "cut" it, you KNOW I'll probably end up... getting a haircut... ::sigh::

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Airport meanderings...

Took DH to the airport this morning. By "take," I mean he drove to the airport, and I rode along to bring the truck back. Unwashed, LOL, but at least dressed ;) Our airport is just right at 30 minutes away, but fortunately for me the route is on the toll road, so it's nearly as blessedly quiet as a Montana freeway. And as it skirts the "city" pretty widely, I can fool myself into thinking I AM in Montana and that traffic is not the bugaboo that I think it really is down here where they have actual people livin' and such. I remember the first couple of years we lived in Denver, I was petrified of the airport. I was pretty much petrified of everything, now that I think about it. You just can't pry the small town girl out of me without a lot of whining and clinging to the doorframe with all appendages to keep from hurtling into the great unknown (and likely the Wrong Lane).

Airports are pretty intriguing to me, still. David is traveling at a furious rate this year, what with promoting his new cathodic protection product. So the opportunity to "take" him to the airport has been frequent and almost always interesting. I can remember reading novels written in the 40's & 50's (dear me, I actually almost called it "mid-century" out loud, how revolting) and the heroine was always dressing up to travel by air. Why on earth would you DRESS UP to fly on a plane? I want to know. As far as I am concerned, pajamas should be mandatory on a flight because doggone it, then at least ONE aspect of your life would actually be comfortable that way. It sure as heck (tsk tsk, my language) isn't going to be your seat that's comfy, and you KNOW you're going to get stuck in the middle seat with an armrest hogger on one side and an air vent that mysteriously doesn't work. The sun will probably be rising/setting and will be shining directly through the nasty little window whose shade refuses to come more than 1/3 of the way down, and the waitress... er, stewardess will mysteriously run out of your favorite beverage just one row away from your turn to order... and that doesn't even address the curiously concave shape of your seat or the issue of overhead baggage compartments.

So I'm more than content to remain on the ground and watch the personalities at the airport. The Denver Airport ( good ole DIA - I remember when it opened more than a decade ago with the newspaper heading "DOA" - LOL, we've come a long way, baby, and the luggage system actually works, now) is really quite beautiful, with lots of inlaid granite and our crazy mountain/tent roof to the main terminal. So just trudging along behind my world traveler with the flotsam and jetsam of his luggage is a feast for the senses... well, it's usually early so maybe using the plural there isn't such a good idea, but I can usually scrape up at least one sense (which is good, for as you remember, I'm the one driving the truck home). Add to that the various passengers in parade - there's always one or two fashion-forward gals who wouldn't look out of place in my midcentury modern (ew, I did say it out loud) novels - nary a hair out of place, and click-clacking importantly along the aforementioned inlaid granite hallways in their ridiculously high heeled shoes that make my pinky toe gasp for air just looking at them.

Then you have the family unit. Ma & Pa and one or two kids, aging anywhere from the bright eyed and incredulous primary age up through the blase' jeans-clad teens complete with ipod and disinterested expression. Not sure whether primary Ma & Pa or Teen Ma & Pa looks more rattled and hassled, or maybe just tired. All are wheeling massive suitcases and looking as if they'd rather be alone with their spouse with the deliciously small luggage that betokens scanty outfits and silvery beaches, all-inclusive meals and drinks on the cabana...

Finally DH is through the ticketing and checking in of baggage (demo equipment is a difficult piece, as it is packed in what most closely resembles a gun case, and if you think that doesn't get raised eyebrows at an airport in this day and age, then you haven't been breathing the same air that the rest of us have...) and tucked safely into the security check line with a kiss and a hug and a promise to remember to pick him up. I wend my way back to the parking area and spend a few minutes completely destroying his arrangement of seat position, steering wheel tilt, and mirror placement, and then I'm off through the beautifully silent prairie vista, and homeward bound .

Doodle-y Philosophy with a strong hint of self-justification...

Why is it I can never think of the right thing to say at the time I need to say it in a heated conversation, but after the moment has passed, I'm an absolute hindsight genius???

Fortunately with scrapping, you can just Add On. I'm not sure, but in the general scheme of things you might even get extra credit. Especially if stuff gets a teensy bit better. So this is pretty much Mandatory, now:

And thank you all for your kind comments on the part that I already remembered ;)

Doodle-y Doo Add on

Friday, April 11, 2008

Colors and elements and papers.. oh my!

Blog entry so named because this whole designing thing feels a bit like a trip down the yellow brick road -fraught with peril. LOL, the biggest threat is forgetting everything else I'm supposed to be doing in favor of playing in front of the computer ;) However, there comes a point where it's not a bad thing to have done with it and move on, and I'm there. Here 'tis, with all its freckles and warts:

Thanks to everyone at Hummie's World for their help and encouragement!

Download elements
Download papers

My friends Dani and Chris have their new kits up on their blogs, too, make sure to visit and download them!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Observations on culture and civilization...or, "Out to Lunch."

Our lovely daughter, beloved firstborn child, invited us to lunch yesterday. She works in Denver's Tech Center, a veritable beehive of brainwaves gathered in one district for the good of commerce and mankind in general, not to mention confusion of the highways and byways as suburbanites the city over bustle in and out to transact their business. We met at one of the trendy fresh-mex type restaurants our fair city offers. The interior is sort of grungy-loft meets sophisticated bistro and the general experience is a good one, overall.

As I sat staking our claim at the tall table waiting to have my food brought to me by my faithful husband/slave (can you tell who's pretty confident that her spouse doesn't read her blog?) I watched with amusement as an onslaught of high schoolers filed in for their lunch break. High school students anywhere make for interesting observation, but this particular school is the cherry on top of the metro area's educational offerings, drawing as it does from some pretty exclusive housing areas. And I made some interesting discoveries:

  1. UGG slippers aren't just for the house anymore. I'm a bit chagrined that I had confined wearing mine to my home-on-the-couch days when I could have been wearing them out to lunch. Of the dozen or so teenage girls present, four were wearing slippers, and three of them were UGG's. (and for the curious among us, the remainder was divided between athletic sneakers, fashion sneakers, and one pair of flip flops (kindly appreciate the effort it took not to call them thongs, because that is what they were when I wore them, somewhere between the dark ages and Y2K). ::sigh::
  2. T shirts, in order to be modish, must reach from shoulders to the region somewhere between thigh to above the knees, with no extraneous material from shoulders to hem. Clingier? Better. Extra points if cleavage shows (several girls demonstrated distinct desire to overachieve in this area). Truthfully I'm fairly comfortable with the length, as I can remember (not so very long ago) when "baby" T's were all the rage and while the cleavage and clinging points were somewhat the same, the hemline rule was pretty much the opposite, requiring the greatest distance possible between the top of the pants and the bottom of the top. Notice my omission of the term "waistband" in regards to the pants, as the waist no long has anything to do with any sort of trouser manufactured in recent memory. It's like the dread fear of momjeanitis has infected the very denim of the junior set and threads instinctively lurch away from the body center until brought short by sudden realization that plunging a centimeter further will condemn them for a whole other reason. Maybe I exaggerate. It's more like a half a centimeter. Which leads me to number...3.
  3. When was velour accepted back into the fashion fold? Last I heard it was hanging next to MomJeans, and now it is suddenly au courant, admittedly with a tweak or two. Most noticeably a derivative of #2's pants analysis, although the top of the pants seems to have owner assistance in the southern migration, as folding it over seems to be the preferred arangement. This facilitates display of the tags at the rear, which not really THAT long ago was a social solecism reserved for those on the farthest edges of high school popularity rankings. The subset of the overfolded top band contains garden variety sweat pants, although admittedly unlike any sweat pants I own. I'm guessing that is probably a good thing, however. Me not owning the skimpy version, I mean.

About the time the High School crowd is scooping up their belongings to exit, another wave of diners begins to appear. This can best be described as Young Professional, and it's an interesting comparison to the previous group. Gone are the slippers and the tags, to be replaced with ultra slim dress boots (extra credit the higher and skinnier the heel and the pointier the toe, it would seem. Again, a few overachievers) and slender skirts. One must hope that the boots are hollow, because the slenderness of the skirts doesn't bode well for the consumption of the large burritos our fresh-mex vendors have to offer.

The most disturbing trend amongst the Young Professional women, however, isn't clothing at all, but rather an alarming issue with their hair. The first time I noticed I figured it was an anomaly, perhaps the young lady had a pet rat that slept with her, and while she was sleeping chewed off the back of her hair up past the nape of her neck, but leaving the front (wanting to avoid discovery, I guessed). Before we left, though, I counted three other Young Professional women with similar issues, so I can only surmise that a rogue hairstylist has such a pet rat, and determined to pass off her shorn locks as the "latest thing."

She has some incredible influence, too, as I noticed (while enduring bits of Idol-meets- Jerry-Lewis-only-they're-even-MORE-annoying-and-less- beloved-of-the-French) that Mrs. David Beckham fell for the hairdresser's ruse, too. Tsk tsk. What's next, Posh? Velour Mom Jeans?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oh, the Irony.

**It just occured to me (Ocurred? Occurred?) ...**

It just struck me that I posted about my new computer...on my old computer.