Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When you're lucky...

***These are not pictures of our home, they are from the Broyhill Website***
I feel like luck is on our side right now.
We've been hoping and wishing for a nice durable dining table for years now. We have boys. And we are not small people. And, we will move wherever the military tells us to every five years for the next 20 plus years. We need something that will last. Really endure. Through magazines, and the internet I located the Broyhill Attic Heirlooms collection. In 2003, when this line of furniture came out, I located the closest retailer to us in California. Theo and I drove over an hour to Pasadena so I could just see the goods in person. A single chair was $350.00. No way. It wasn't ever going to happen. I dropped the idea completely and quietly drooled when I saw pictures in mags. I liked the texture of the furniture. I liked how rustic it was, and yet so durable. All the qualities of a great family antique with the durability I required.
We currently use a table made by a member of my dad's family, I think my great-grandfather. It's been in our kitchen since we met. It collapsed right beside Ben was he was 1; he has climbed on top of it and broken it more than once now. Ben has broken a dresser, and an entertainment center, too. He is a very destructive young man.
Today, I can proudly say the boy's have Attic Heirloom's dressers, and we have an armoire from the Master Bedroom set housing the television in our living room. We are not wealthy, we bought them at 60% off from a great little local furniture shop here in Wisconsin with Theo's re-enlistment bonus.
But just over a week I brought Theo into this shop. Tax time is coming. We need a table. The store had a huge 50% off sale. This stuff ain't cheap. Full price my dream table would have cost about 2,800 or more. Yeah. I can dream can't I. Even on sale, we were not getting this table, and definately not getting the chairs... .
But angels are among us.
Yup. The table (which extends to 9 feet!). 4 chairs, and a seating bench. In the exact finish I would have chosen. the items were listed on Monday, the week we get our tax return. What are the odds? Somebody pinch me. I got the phone call confirming that on Friday morning these beautiful pieces of furniture will be coming to our home. Yikes. I am so excited! Can you believe my luck? Pictures of these pieces in our home to come, once it's all put away.

-16 degree windchill

It is so very cold here, actual temp was -2 this morning with a wretched windchill. It's even cold in the house. I have been scrapping the summertime stuff. So far this week I have made these treasures. Using: SEI's Doodley-boy line, some Bazzill Chipboard flowers, Scenic Route Chipboard painted with MM paint, Heidi Swapp chipboard, MM dog chipboard tags, 7gypsies stickers, American Crafts patterned paper. Fun, fun, fun... .

Don't worry, he's de-clawed.

Hunter loves Tobycat. They play nicely together. Not like Ben, who has terrorized the cat since he was 4 months old. Toby must have had some pent up agression. I was taking pictures of Hunter and To playing nicely, and suddenly he did this. **Hunter was not hurt, and he rather enjoyed Toby's paws-on attention.** I had to share.

Plumber's Crack

Yup. I must have taken some kind of crack to get in the bathtub with a headlamp on?

We HATE our shower. Our home is 114 years old. Gasp. There was no such thing as running water or electricity when our home was built. The bathroom is one of the least appealing things in our home. The bathtub is cheap, and falling apart. It needs to be replaced, and we have all the parts but not the skills or money to hire someone. We had a horrible leak, more of a constant stream of water coming out of the bathtub last week. We had to have the water off all day, turning it on to wash dishes and shower for a few minutes. We finally tried to fix it ourselves. This is me, trying! We only broke it more. Surprise! Plumber's came yesterday and installed a new faucet and showerhead (which we had sitting in the garage with the rest of remodeling supplies). It looks ridiculous to have this nice brushed nickel/porcelain faucet and showerhead in this crappy old shower. LOL. Oh well.

Return of the Dancing Fool

Ben loves to dance again. And as his mother, I am thankful. He used to dance a lot when he was younger. Suddenly he's up to it all the time. We rocked out to Barney the other day, mimicking all of The Backyard Gang's moves (excellent work out). He's fairly coordinated for a 2 year old. As if I can judge coordination, LOL?

More Hunter Joe

Had fun capturing Hunter's new skills. He's all over the house now. He loves pulling up, and has even let go a few times, standing up without holding on for just seconds. Ben gets so frustrated b/c Hunter can reach everything now. LOL.


This has to be one of my favorite Hunter shots yet. Love the light. I might make these close up shots look easy, but I have to take sometimes upwards of 20 shots to get one like this. The subject has to be still, and the light has to be bright (the flash is off to get natural light). I get a lot of blurs b/c of the slow shutter speed used to get this kind of detail. Wooh, I love taking pictures of my boys.

Biter Bisquit Mess

Hunter enjoyed not one, but two biter bisquits yesterday. What a mess! He LOVED it. Messy pictures of the boys are my favorite. He is so good at feeding himself. This weekend we found Hunter's Happy Place. We went to the Old Country Buffet... yup. Hunter had corn bread, mashed potatos, carrot cake, and apple crisp. He ate more than Ben, and gave mom a run for her money, too. He was a bottomless pit. We laughed so hard. I have a feeling he isn't going to be small boy. LOL.

A little Christmas in January

I couldn't resist. I have no other pictures from Christmas printed yet, but this one has been on my desk staring at me all month. I had to dip into the Christmas stash. I had so much fun with this! I used MME Bohemian Christmas papers, a Melissa Francis sticker, MM foam stamps, Pressed Petal's Chip Chatter letters, Flair stickers, and a Cosmo Cricket tag, too. probably more stuff in here. I can't wait to scrap more Christmas stuff.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Go Bear's!

Funny Joke from an e-mail from Theo:

**A true Bears fan.... A man had 50 yard line tickets for the Bear's game. As he sits down, a man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him. "No," he says, "the seat is empty." "This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Bears game, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?" He says, "Well, actually, the seat belongs tome. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Bears game we haven't been to together since we got married in1967." "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else - a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?" The man shakes his head. "No, they're all at the funeral." Go Bears ! ! !**

PS: I worked out.

I got on the elliptical this morning. Did 20 minutes and my feet fell asleep? Proud of me. Will do more, it felt great!

Sleepy Bear

I took these pictures of Hunter less than a month ago. He just woke up from a nap, and his skin was red from blanket smooshies. Black and White evened him out. He looks like a little Frank Sinatra. Can't wait to scrap these.

My baby's daddy...

I love my husband so much. He is such a wonderful father. Ben is such a daddy's boy, and Hunter is gradually moving to the "dark side" as Theo calls it. I try and scrap Theo as often as possible. I have two military albums deticated to his career and recent deployment. Sometime I'll share some of those LO's too. (FYI: The 1st layout here is very much inspried by Ali Edwards; as she does, I used the circle punch to frame my circle accent. The huge white "love" on the blue layout is made with making memories acrylic paint, and my favorite Heidi Swapp foam stamps).

Baby Love

Here are some scrapbook pages about the boys that I have not yet shared with you. I played with puffy paint on one of the layouts about Hunter. I love using puffy paint! If it didn't take so long to dry I would use it more often. I got the idea from looking at Elsie's book (her blog is linked on the right). The "B & H" layout is inspired by a Feb 07' Creating Keepsakes, Ali Edward's layout. Some of my favorite things about these layouts: I love using wallet size prints. I love how I didn't stress about matching my color's perfectly. A lot of the really great scrapbookers emphasize how unimportant it is to be matchy-matchy. I love color so much, and have fun with it every time I sit down to make a page. Enjoy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

My scrap habits:

In the last week I have received a few questions about my scrapping. I had no idea so many of my friends were closet scrappers. See what geographic distance does for you? First, how do I find time to scrap with two crazy kids? Also, where do I get my supplies? Well, here is my inside scoop:

I scrap in tiny bits throughout the day, and then late at night. I'm a night owl, and Theo goes to bed by 8:30 usually. On the weekends, I try and take an hour or more a day to get down into my basement scraproom and "work." I bring sets of small projects upstairs everyday. One day just stamps, one day pages that needs journaling. I keep my basic tools in a wooden tote, and I drag it upstairs and when the boys are distracted by Sesame Street or playing well together. I'll walk over and glue something down, or pick an accent. Two-three minutes at a time.

My process works something like this MOST of the time: I start with pictures, then pick papers, then accents. Then I scheme a title and journaling ideas and I lay it out and decide where it will all fit. Then I cut and glue. I'm fast. I don't overthink things. I trust my instincts and like to let the page come together. I don't strive for perfection. I have tons of pages I'm not a thousand percent happy with, but as long as I get my story across, I am satisfied.

I am a master scraplifter, too. Scraplifting is taking someone's page and using it's layout, color combo, or ideas and making it your own. In most arts "lifting" someone else's work is frowned upon, but in scrapbooking it is encouraged. Of course, scrappers perfer you credit them when you "lift" their ideas. I have several books I can't scrap without. Autumn Leaves Lookbook, Ali Edward's Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking, and Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper, and Elsie Flannigan's Scrapbook Challenges. Check out the blogs and websites I have links to my blog, and I promise you thousands of hours of inspiration. I love to look through magazines, Creating Keepsakes especially, for inspiration and tips.

I have two/three somewhat local scrapbooking stores (LSS), within an hour. Whenever we travel I hop online and look for a new store. I love and Two Peas In a Bucket (online store, link to your right). They have a great selection. Both stores allow you to shop by brand. I love KI memories, SEI, Scenic Route Paper Company, Autumn Leaves, American Crafts, Making Memories, Basic Grey, 7 gypsies, Technique Tuesday, and Mind Mind's Eye. My pages are packed with these brands.

My favorite supplies are foam & acrylic stamps, patterned paper, and my American Crafts Slick Writer's Pens. Plumber is here... more to come later.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sibling Rivalry...

I think this is where it all began. Ben was happily playing with all the people, or as he says, "people all over." Hunter came along, and using his new standing and travelling skills, knocked all of Ben's hard work down. Not an hour later Ben began building a castle from blocks, and along came Hunter crashing it to the ground. Ben picked up Hunter and dropped him on top of the pile of blocks. This wasn't done agressively. Ben had great intentions. He watches mom, and when Hunter gets into something he isn't supposed to, mom picks up Hunter and moves him. Ben was trying to do the same, only he found that Hunter was too heavy, and thuis, Hunter landed on top of the Megablock ruins. Ben was infuriated by Hunter's intrusion. Just beside himself with frustration. I can see, I'm in for a long series of butting heads. God, imagine when the damage isn't blocks, but more serious things like social reputation and potentially girlfriends. Yikes. How does a mother prepare herself?

Aidan John

Here is a sampling of the the scrapbook I am making for my nephew Aidan. These are the first pages I made that are not about my immediate family. It was fun and challenging to step outside the box. I hope you like them, Caitlin!