Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'm in PA

I know I haven't posted for a while. I'm in PA on vacation and I will post some pictures and a trip blog. I can't wait to show you the first place we went. If you know what I LOVE, then you know a little secret about what's coming up. Ssshhh! Don't tell anyone. You'll all have to wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mercury in Retrograde

Oh my. I have been organizing my little heart out. I've moved from an 8x10 craft room to a 10x24 room across the hall. I have so much stuff I don't know what to do with it. I am trying so hard to put things in organizers and not have everything sitting out. Oh Oh OH! I almost forgot to tell you.....! I have been looking for flat files to store my rubber stamps, ink pads, etc., and I found some. I posted my desire to own these files on FreeRecycle for my town. A nice lady, Kathy, emailed me and told me she has FOUR of them she would sell me for the amazing price of $20 each!! These are black metal 28" x 34" x 2.5" file cabinets with five drawers each! They are PERFECT for my stamps and stuff. I am still excited to be the new owner of these file cabinets. I am cleaning them up right now because they had been sitting outside under a tree at Kathy's house, and I will probably paint them with a new coat of black paint. I'm thinking of stacking them 2 and 2 and then buying a nice tabletop at Lowe's and make it a crafting table. Won't that be great with all the cabinets within reach? Fantastic. Only thing is that the table will be 36" high. A normal table is 28" high. I guess I will just crank up the swivel chair and see how that works. If it is too high, then I'll just stack the cabinets on the wall in the stamping/crafting area. I'll post pictures as soon as more of the mess is put away.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It was a WICKED day yesterday!

Last night, my son, Tony and I went to the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, CA to see the musical, Wicked. It was Wicked, too! Wicked GOOD!

For Tony's birthday last year, I promised him we'd go see the show and I had to wait for it to come to the west coast. Finally, in February, it came. I waited for the ticket frenzy to slow down and then got us tickets for last night. We left here around 2:30 and got to Hollywood around 4:00. We drove around a bit and then decided we'd have a bite to eat. We ate at Mel's Drive-in. No, not the one down on Sunset - the one they filmed "American Graffiti", but the one down near the Hollywood Walk of Fame with all the stars on the sidewalk.

We parked the car across the street from the Pantages on Argyle Street and walked over to the theater. We heard lots of cheering going on, so we went to investigate. Apparently, there is a lottery system for theater tickets that haven't sold on the day of performance. You get a chance to win 2 tickets per person if your name is drawn. The tickets cost $25 each. I paid $100 per ticket, but there's no chance of actually getting a ticket with the lottery unless you pay full price. Some of the orchestra tickets cost over $300. We left that craziness and walked down the street in search of martini bar.

We thought we'd walk down Hollywood Blvd to the Pig'n Whistle, a restaurant & bar we had gone to on another visit to the area, but we walked 6 blocks and still weren't there, so we opted for a mexican cantina. I really wanted a martini, so I ordered an apple 'tini and Tony got a double screaming orgasm. It was delicious! Long story about the drinks, but I won't bore you with that since his post is about Wicked, but I thought you'd like to hear about our whole day... So, about 7:15pm we headed back down the Blvd to the theater. Perfect timing: they were just letting people inside. If you've never been inside the Pantages Theater, you need to go. It is spectacular. Click the link to get info and pics of the theater.

Let me just say, that this production was spellbinding from the opening note from the orchestra. I was entranced by the costumes as well as the music. To get the story, click here or on the Wicked link in the first paragraph. After the last song of the first act was over, there was a standing ovation. People yelling, clapping and hollering. It was so freakin' fantastic!! After the second and final act, and another standing ovation, Tony and I were filing out of the theater and we stopped at one of the souvenir booths to have a peek. The nice gal there told us that we could get our program autographed outside at the cast door on Argyle, so we hot-footed out of the theater and went around the corner to wait in line. We were maybe the 5th or 6th people in line and that line ended up going around the building, so we go there just in time. We got to chat with the actors and got their autographs in Tony's program. The actors even stopped to have their pictures taken with the fans who requested it. They were just so awesome.

Our ride home was uneventful and took us about 1.5 hours. I got lots of chat time with my favorite boy and we had a great time together. Oh, it looks like "Wicked" is going to be playing there until at least March of 2008, so you have time to order your tickets.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lots of New Stuff Going On

I know, I know, I haven't posted since Tuesday and here's why: John and I have been installing Pergo flooring for what seems like forever. No, really, it's only been about 6 weekends, but it SEEMS like forever. We have all but the utility room finished. Now we install the double baseboards and we're done with that. We also had both bathrooms tiled (see previous post) and then this past Friday, we had carpet installed. It looks so awesome! So on the hubbub of carpet and Pergo, the computer was unplugged and unavailable. Also no time for crafting since all supplies were packed up. All items have been placed in their proper rooms of the house but not quite together yet. Computer is up and running but no scanner or anything. I will be posting something creative in a day or two so don't get your knickers in a twist! Mom came for dinner today. We had chicken and steak kabobs, rice and asparagus. Isn't that interesting? Yeah, I bet it was. She brought an awesome German wine which I cannot pronouce nor spell, but it came in a really bitchen blue bottle. We got our new living room furniture and dining room furniture delivered today. It looks way good in there. Soon as all the junk is put away, I'll take pictures and share. Today is Father's Day. In remembrance of my Dad who died 1 year and 5 months to the day today. I know he was with us today. I felt him here. I'm sure he spent the day with my sister, too. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Say it with Flowers

Despite the fact that I had a migraine today, I got a little coloring done. I've colored, and posted, this image before but I tried something different. Instead of laboring over the coloring (like the hydrangea card here), I colored it fast. It usually takes me at least an hour to color these images, but I colored the sunflower in about 20 minutes. I wanted to see what would happen and if I liked the result. I do like the result. The colors are not as well-blended as I usually do them, but it's ok. It kind of looks like acrylic painting to me. I like the colors, too. More red-orange than the usual sunflower. Ok, so that's card #1. Oh and I didn't color it today, I colored it the other night. I just finished it today. On to #2... I got this PSX hydrangea image from Tami. She actually gave me this one, lilies and irises. I haven't colored the latter ones yet. Ok, so anyways... Whenever I think of hydrangeas, I think of purple, so I didn't want to do them purple. But wait, you say, you DID do them purple. Yeah, I know, but they weren't supposed to be THAT purple. Have you seen the hydrangeas that are white with a tinge of purple along the edges? That's what this was supposed to be, but I just can't help myself when it comes to those purple pencils! In both cards, I used a tiny bit of process red pencil on the leaves. I think it makes it a bit more interesting that just greens. Oh, and I know my bow is crappy. I am bow-challenged. I can't tie bows or straight knots. So now this card. Jennifer posted some really cool torn paper cards in the Stamp Shack gallery, so I thought I'd give it a try. Easy peasy! I used the tulip stamp from Outlines Rubber Stamps. I stamped it on green paper with StazOn ink. I used StazOn because it was a bit bolder than my usual Versafine ink. Then I stamped it again on yellow and then again on the orange. Green is the background and doesn't get torn. I took the yellow cardstock and tore a strip of paper from it. You have to remember to tear it so that the rough edge is on the back, not on the front image. Do that for both sides of the tearing. No rough unstamped edges. Then I tore the orange paper twice for two separate sections. Then I just used a glue stick to align the torn papers to the green background image and that's it. If Jennifer had a blog, I could direct you there to show you her fantastic cards, but....

Saturday, June 09, 2007

You've seen it before...

There is a thread on The Stamp Shack about how we store our wood mounted stamps, so I decided to take yet another picture of my stamp wall. I can't get the whole thing in one picture - I can't get far enough away from it and I don't have a wide-angle lens. This wall is behind the door of my craft room. My dad built this stamp wall for me in November of 2005. He used a full 4'x8' sheet of plywood for the back of the shelf. The sheet of 3/4" plywood fits perfectly behind the door. He used metal roof flashing stuff for the shelving. It's about 1-1/2" wide. We got together and I decided I wanted the shelves to be 3" and 6" tall. If you are a rubber stamper, you know that most stamps are around 3" tall or wide and the larger stamps are arount 6" tall or wide, so that's how I decided on the shelf widths. If I had to do it all over again, I would have more 6" shelves. I have more smaller stamps than larger stamps and I can stack them on the 6" shelves. As you can see, my stamps are jam packed in there. After he finished attaching the shelves to the plywood, he painted the whole thing white to match my walls. Then he cut it in half so it was in two 4'x4' pieces - easier to transport and easier to mount on the wall. He screwed the plywood backing to the wall with big screws and then added 1" pieces of wood to frame it out. I took a closeup of the shelves so you can kinda see how he did it. He turned the flashing stuff on its side to make the shelf with the upturned edge to hold the stamps on there. Pretty clever, huh? I can't wait for the big earthquake then all my stamps will be on the floor. hahaha! That's ok, they probably need re-organizing anyways. I will be moving into a bigger room soon, and I just may take this shelf in that room. All I have to do is unscrew it and move it. I do like my stamps out in the open, that way I can see what I have when I'm working on a project or I need inspiration. Oh, the three bins at the bottom of the shelving hold all my justjohanna stamps.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Reading Day

I got a lot of reading done today. I tend to have 2 or 3 books on the reading list at one time. One book is always the book I read when I go to bed each night. If I don't read even one paragraph before I drift off, I feel weird. The second and third books are just "around". Sometimes I take a book to work to read on break, sometimes it just sits downstairs. Today I read two of the books.
I started out reading "The Reagan Diaries". I think Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest Presidents we ever had. Too bad he wasn't President today because we wouldn't still be in this damn Iraq debacle. The book is fantastic and very easy reading. Ronald Reagan kept a dairy for every day he was in the White House. Some days he wrote a few sentences, some days he wrote a lot. One thing that I think is the sweetest thing is, whenever Nancy was away, he truly missed her. He wrote about that every time. To paraphrase: "Nancy is of to London for the Royal wedding. She's only been gone 6 minutes and I miss her already. How will I make it 6 days? Lights just aren't as bright and warm when she isn't here. " Is that just the sweetest thing? I read this book for a couple of hours then onto the next book.
I came up to the craft room for a little creative fun. I read, and worked, "The Creative License" . I am reading the book to learn how to let go of my left brain and let my right brain relax and draw. I know it's in me to draw, but I just can't let go of preconceived images. I want/need to learn to draw simply and creatively. This book is fun. I like the way the author speaks to me. I'm actually doing the drawing exercises in the book. I need to tell myself to slow down. Drawing is not a race and just because I make a mistake doesn't mean I am a failure or have to stop drawing altogether. Nope, not gonna share my drawings just yet. I will, though.
So why was I home on a Tuesday? Migraine? Nope. We are having tile installed in both bathrooms and today was the second and final day of installation. Here are a few pics. The first picture is the downstairs bathroom and the second picture is the upstairs bathroom. Hey, no comments on the color of the cabinets - I know they are tacky. That will be remedied very soon.
I think the floors look fantastic. We bought the tile from Lowe's and their installers put the tile in. In all the contractors and handymen I've ever had do work for us in this house, none were as professional, clean, prompt or fastidious as these installers. I will definitely tell the contractor and Lowe's about them. Super job!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Color Challenge Monday #8

So I'm home today. We're having tile installed in both bathrooms. Since someone had to be home, I thought I would take advantage of the down-time and make some cards.

This one is for Tami's Monday color challenge. The colors are: moss, cocoa and apricot. I think these colors come pretty close to the challenge colors. I dug into my Basic Grey stash and delved into the Hang 10 collection and there I found my colors.

All stamps are by justjohanna. Card size is 5x7. Yeah, 5x7 - gotta have that big of a card due to the background stamp. I love that background stamp. It's all about tea. The size of the stamping image is 4x6. justjohanna also has a cake background if you like cake, and who doesn't??

I stamped each image on the selected paper color and cut out all the images, then ran them through my Xyron and put them on the card. Couldn't be simpler! I drew the tea bag strings and tags by hand. Do you see what's on the tags? Click the pic to see.

Until next time.....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wedding Day

Yesterday, David & Lori were married. Here's the story.... David & Lori met on eHarmony. Isn't that sweet? We got our invite to the wedding last month and yesterday was the day. It was "backyard casual" for the ceremony & reception. As the minister, Ken Harrison, talked how they met, said some nice things, etc., he asked them "are you ready to take the plunge?" They both said "Yes!" and he pushed them in the pool!!! Ok, so as they were swimming (and kissing) in the pool, Ken tells us we've been punked! David & Lori were actually married two weeks ago! David, Lori and Ken met for lunch near the Oceanside Pier and were planning the wedding. Somehow (I don't remember how), it came to be that, why shouldn't we just get married RIGHT NOW? So they did. The went out to the end of the pier - the place of their first date and their first kiss - and were married right then and there. They got two witnesses from people walking on the pier. So now, how to keep the secret from everyone? Hmm, they planned the "real" wedding with all the invited guests to their house for the "wedding" and you know the rest. It was a really fun day. Oh, did I mention that David is my brother-in-law? That makes Lori my newest sister-in-law. Welcome to the family, but don't say we didn't warn you! lol We're all a bit weird, and that is the truth if you know the big conversation about nuts. Sorry, family joke. On to the crafty bits: This is the card I made them for their wedding. I used and Outlines stamp. I stamped it three times and embossed it with gold embossing powder. I cut out sections of the stamp and pop-dotted them onto the front of the cardstock. I added gems for "bling" and then used my gold Krylon pen to color over some pink scalloped photo corners and then adhered them. I think that's about it.