Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Drive By Post...

Happy Wednesday to you! It's Wednesday already? Yikes! LOL I've got no artwork to share, but thought I'd pop in anyway to say hi!

I can safely say this summer has been quite enjoyable and we still have about 3 1/2 weeks or so until the girls head back to school. I think this has been one of the best times I've spent with my girls. I love it!

On Sunday I was in a "mood" and didn't head out to my craft room. Could have been PMS or just that I needed some downtime after working so hard on getting the room set up. I headed to the bookstore instead and enjoyed looking at various titles. When I'm feeling "moody" this seems to help me work through it. I have been reading a bit more (various subjects) and enjoying it. One of the books I read (I've had the book for a long time, just haven't taken the time to read it) was about organizing (something I aspire to be and haven't quite gotten there). I like to read different titles on the subject and usually find a nugget or two that inspires me. I also like reading in front of the girls so they can see Mommy practices what she preaches! (well, I don't preach, but you know what I mean). Anyway, as the start of the school year approaches, I keep going through in my mind some of the things I'd like to accomplish during the day while the girls are in school. I am looking forward to working on establishing more habits that will help me feel better organized. So, reading this book motivated me a bit.

So much so, in fact, that yesterday, I made a deal with the girls. Their room is a mess. No way around that fact. The girls share a room and that means double the amount of "schtuff" crammed in there. Add to that, they are reluctant to part with things. Well, I go in and clean it up, but then they don't have anything vested in the upkeep. So I decided to entice them to help me out (okay...maybe it was a bribe...whatever). I told them if they gave me a couple of hours in the room, with no griping or complaining and if they gave a good faith effort to give up some things, then I'd take them to do something they wanted to do. They wanted to go minature golfing again. So that was our deal. And before we started I asked them how the room made them feel, what they'd like to DO in there and what they would need to do to get to that point. All this really seemed to motivate them!

It took the better part of the day and two quick trips to Goodwill, but you can SEE the floor right now and everything is picked up off of it! Yay! I was impressed at how well they were able to part with some items that were just taking up space. While we didn't get through every single little thing, we managed to plow through a good chunk of the room and did I say...I made two trips to Goodwill to donate? (it helps that the Goodwill opened up a huge store and donation center about 5 minutes from our house? LOVE that-makes it quick and easy to drop off items before you have a chance to second guess your decisions-LOL).

I think it also helped that a cold front moved through the state and it was cloudy and only in the low 70s (if that). So it wasn't an unbearable task either. And the girls and I DID get to the miniature golf course and had a blast playing for an hour or so.

They were quite excited to show their dad when he got home from work. Now to work on keeping it this way...hopefully! That's gonna require effort on my part to establish a better pick up routine. Baby steps, right?

So that's what we've been up to, in addition to our usual activities.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your week is productive and happy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Photo Editing Link...

Dang, I knew there was something else I wanted to share. That's what being distracted gets me.

You may have noticed my photos look a bit different. I came across a photo editing tutorial on Splitcoast the other day, and decided to try her tips for myself. You need Photoshop Elements or something similar to do this, but it may be worth a look see. Let me know what you think.

Here's the tutorial on Splitcoast. It's spread over a few posts in the thread.

Okay...I'm really done now. Ha, ha!

Three Cards to Share Today...

Hi again!

Dinner's done so I can work on posting today's creations. Boy! It sure felt good to do some creating. This may get long and full of links, so make sure you are comfy if you want to read it all. Or just skip to the photos, if you'd rather. LOL

Amy went horseback riding, up in Estes Park today, with her Brownie Troop. She had a great time! She said her horse, Mason, pooped, peed and tooted a lot. The troop paid for the girls (including lunch), but if we wanted to go it was $35 a piece. Because of that and I want her to learn to be independent and learn to behave well away from us, I opted not to go. Steve took Jessica out for a couple of hours, too, so I had some quality time to play. Yay!

This is the third card I made today, but I decided to share it first. I pretty much cased this lovely card by Joanne of Mainly Flowers. I loved those little flowers with the pearls on them.
I didn't have the tiny flowers, but I have a small flower punch so I used that and I used a large balled stylus to rub the center and make the petals pop up a bit. They are adhered with glue dots. I didn't have a true vine type of stamp, so I improvised with this border stamp from the All About Borders stamp set by Inkadinkado. It's stamped with Sweet Leaf ink. The striped paper is from DCWV's Spring Matstack and the scalloped edge is from EK Success. Happy Birthday is stamped in Sweet Leaf and is from CTMH's Happy Birthday stamp set. I really like how it came out even though I decided not to add the ribbon like Joanne used.

This next card is cased from this one by Bonnie of The Lucky Clucker.
Hopefully, it's not too hard to see that I used my Cuttlebug to emboss an acetate card. I got the clear cards from Archiver's a long time ago and came across the package during the move. I don't know if they even carry them anymore. I used Basic Grey's new Lemonade 6x6 pad, Kiwi and Vineyard Berry cardstock (both CTMH). My Fiskar's scallop punch provided the edge. The flowers were a find at Michaels in the Designer's Corner. They are Prima flowers from the Nursery Collection. I think the store is clearancing them out now, though. The ribbon is American Crafts and the stamp set is Birthday Basics by Papertrey Ink.
One has to be a smidge creative to create a space for the sentiment inside. I used a scrap piece of the same paper and cut it just a tad smaller than the front piece, so it wouldn't show when the card is closed.

It wasn't hard to emboss the acetate, but I found the card wants to curl after you do it. There may be a better way to avoid that, but I just rolled it in the opposite direction to try to straighten it a bit.

My final card is from a find I discovered on the internet a week or so ago from Stamping Mutt. Because I am so loving the digital stamps, I was tickled to see this resource list for digital sites. Anyway...if you scroll down toward the bottom of the list, you will see this Sarah Kay link for free printable coloring pages! Granted there aren't a ton of them, but enough to satisfy my urge to color Sarah Kay images. Here's my first attempt.
I am absolutely thrilled at how this card turned out! I used that same Basic Grey Lemonade pad (as in the previous card above) for the paper and that helped me decide which colors to use. I colored it with Kohinoor and Prismacolor pencils and oms (odorless mineral spirits). The background is also colored and blended with pencils and oms. My recently purchased and clearance priced EK Success border punch called GH Petals (found at Michaels) added a nice touch. The flowers are Prima, the glittered brads are Paper Studio (from Hobby Lobby) with jewelry spacers (Hobby Lobby again), and the dangly flower is from Michaels. I feel a smidge like Sparkle in my creation of this card! *Ü*

I did a little bit on the inside, too, as you can see.

Whew...while typing this post I got interrupted by two phone calls from Steve. He and the girls took the bike trailer (with Buster in it) and rode their bikes over to the dog park (remember where I dumped those mice near the girls' school??). On the way home, they were caught in a downpour, so the second call was for me to come and get them. It took two trips! Where it was pouring rain over there, just a few blocks away at our house it wasn't raining hard at all. LOL Then I had to help make Amy's bed so she could go to sleep in comfort tonight.

I think I'm done...if you got this far, thanks for sticking with me! Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

Finished For Now...

Hi There!

It sure feels like it's been a long time since I posted, but I guess it was earlier in the week. My dad left on Tuesday and the girls and I have been keeping ourselves pretty busy since then. Add to that our internet has been going down intermittently. I think it's good we've been busy (and out of the house) so I haven't gotten too grumpy about the internet part.

I thought you might like to see the results of the moving and cleaning up of my "new again" craftroom. Remember I used to be in here, moved into the house (not all this stuff got moved into the house though) and just moved back out to the garage room because I was feeling too cramped in the corner I was allotted in the house. With my dad's visit, I wasn't able to finish up until yesterday. Well, I don't think I'm completely done yet, but it's done for now. Good enough to start creating again, anyway...
This is what you see as you walk into the craftroom.
Here's what you see as you step in and look to the left. You may notice I've done some shifting of things. I put two bookshelves back into this room, so I could have a place for books and things. You can see one of the shelves at the end of the table. To make room for the other shelf, I moved those tall modular shelves onto the table. I also moved the bulletin boards up to accomodate the shelf shifting. I'm hoping to get some shelves on the wall eventually. For now the bulletin boards fill up the space.
Here's the view walking to my work area.
What it looks like at my work area.

This shelf unit is what you see to my right as I'm sitting at my work table. The garage has a large window which lets in good light during the day.
And here's what I see from my seat. I've deliberately cut off the doorway into the little office (to the right of the metal shelf unit) because it's crammed with Steve's stuff. I need to move things around to be able to close that door. The shelf unit needs reorganizing(maybe even some fabric to make it prettier), but it'll do for the moment.
The other door on the left opens to the rest of the garage.

I'm relieved to have this heavy moving phase done and can modify and adjust as needed from here on out.

I even did some creating today...come back a bit later to see what I made.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Still Crocheting...

Wanna see the latest projects? LOL

I just finished this bathrobe this morning. It took a few days to make the body part. It's 7 1/2 inches long/tall. It took a bit of time (and I had to rest my wrist a couple of times) to get enough rows crocheted to reach that amount. The rest of it went fairly quickly.
And, yep, there was a pattern for slippers! Jessica picked the colors and specifically asked for the slippers to be made first. LOL
This is not a great shot of Jessica's swim suit cover-up. I haven't pressed it at all yet and you can tell. The girls also asked for a tote bag and a beach ball.
The tote bag was fun, but I couldn't find the beach ball anywhere when I was taking pictures. I used a variagated thread (that you can see on the handle & top row of the tote bag) to crochet the beach ball. If I find it, I'll share if you want.

We took Grandpa with us for swim lessons and lunch this morning.
He was quite impressed with both girls' abilities.
After lunch we headed back over to Adventure Golf because the girls wanted to play another round. We didn't bring the camera this time. It turned out to be good that we didn't, because 1/2 way through the course we were caught in a thunderstorm and got a good soaking for about 10 minutes!(there really wasn't any place to get shelter and the camera would have gotten pretty wet) We continued to play since we weren't going to melt...LOL The sun came back out before we finished the last hole. We tried a different course this time and weren't overly thrilled with it. It was a tougher one, full of obstacles. The girls were a smidge frustrated, but soldiered on very well. It was still a lot of fun and we've got the story of getting caught in a rainstorm! Oh and Amy got a hole in one for the first time! Yay, Amy!

That's it from me today. We'll be taking Grandpa to the airport in the morning so he can continue on to Minnesota. He's going to visit his mom, who is turning 98 later this week! She lives in International Falls, and that's where my dad grew up.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Til next time...


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lakeside Amusement Park...

Today's adventure was a trip to Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver. They are celebrating 100 years in business this year! I'd never been, although Steve took Amy a long time ago. So long ago she didn't remember it. What a great day it was. Our friend Dave went along with us and so I can officially call this An Adventure With Dave. (Anytime we go somewhere with Dave, it's always an adventure. He knows lots of great trivia and just what to do to have a great time)

First up we took a train ride around the lake. I can just imagine how pretty this would be at night.
Jessica really wanted to try this ride out.
The girls wanted to go on the Spider and Mommy was happy to ride along. This was right after Steve and I rode the Wild Chipmunk, a roller coaster ride where you felt like you were going to fly out of the car or the car was going to fly off the track. I loved it. Steve...not so much.
Grandpa's day was complete when he rode the Tilt A Whirl with his girls.
One mustn't leave the park until one rides the 100 year old Merry Go Round.

We waited quite a while for this next ride, but Amy and Jessica insisted we had to ride it, Bumper Boats! It was pretty close to being worth the long wait. There were only 5 boats being used and a ton of people in front of us. Of course, most every one wanted to ride alone, so you can imagine this ride didn't move along too quickly. But we (Amy and I) got a few good bumps in once we finally got into the boat. (hee, hee)

Before we left Grandpa wanted a picture with his girls.
While the park is showing its age and not all the rides were open, one can definitely see where this was a happening place in its heyday.
We are all glad we went and we had another fantastic day.


Fun Times With Dad!

Hello there! I hope you are doing well this fine Sunday morning. I thought I'd pop in and give you a quick (or not) update on our time with my dad.
Hi Dad!
We had lunch at Gunther Toody's one afternoon. He turned 79 on July 13th.
Looks great, doesn't he?!
One of the things Amy most wanted to do with Grandpa was go miniature golfing like we did last summer. As part of the Summer Reading program we are doing, we had free passes for the kids and two adults. So, after paying for Dad, we had a fun couple of hours.

For those that don't know, my dad has macular degeneration and can't see very well. But he sure can see well enough to play the pants off of us at miniature golf! LOL
I'm trying to hit the ball down the center lane so that we can see the flames shoot up out of the head. Unfortunately, this time, none of us was able to do it, so we got shot with water instead. LOL We all had a great time and then went to lunch at Gunther Toody's.

We took Dad to the Museum of Nature and Science so he could see the Expedition Health Exhibit and the Space Odyssey as well as Prehistoric Journey. He loves this musuem almost as much as Amy does. No pictures, though. The lighting sure is tough to get good shots there.

Yesterday, we went to a place that I keep hearing being advertised on the radio called The Wildlife Experience. It's an interactive museum dedicated to the conservation of animals and their habitats. It's located just south of Denver and it was pretty darn cool.

This is what you see as you walk up to the entrance. So pretty! The building inside is equally beautiful. There is a lot of rock and artwork as you walk through, plus great inspirational nature quotes on the walls. You go through an area designed for kids to be hands-on and you travel through several biomes.

Amy and Jess thought walking around in the flippers was pretty cool. There was lots to see and do here, but I didn't want to post TOO many pictures.
This painting was huge and it was gorgeous, so I had to take a photo of it. So did Amy. LOL

Next we walked through the exhibit called Globeology. This was REALLY cool. I took a bunch of pictures of the different areas (or biomes) but this area was of particular interest to the girls because it "snowed" as we walked through it.
This is what the "snow" actually looked like.
Again, I took a bunch of photos, but don't want to bore you with too many "what I did on my vacation" shots. LOL It was a very neat experience and one I'm glad I thought of doing.

I'm not sure what's on tap for today. I'd kind of like to head over to that City Pool so Steve and my dad can see it first hand. The girls have been asking to go swimming every day and we haven't gone yet. We'll see how the day plays out.

We are having a great time, that's for sure!

Thanks for stopping by. Dad leaves on Tuesday morning and hopefully not too long after that I can finish setting up my craft area and do some creating! Until then, have a great day!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What a Blast We Had!

We just got home a few minutes ago and I HAD to share. What a wonderful time we had at this city pool. We had never been there before...never seen it (and it's only about 10 minutes max from our house), but I had heard good things about it. We were supposed to meet up with some friends there, but they backed out when they got there and saw how long the line was. They felt they'd have to wait an hour just to get in and decided to go elsewhere to swim. There was NO way I was going to convince the girls to go somewhere else because they saw the fun stuff at the pool. It only took 15 minutes to get through the line and we were in like Flynn.

I even went into the pool and couldn't believe how comfortable the water was. Not cold, not hot, but nice and lukewarm. Awesome.
Not the best picture of Jessica, but she was HAPPY.
Amy was equally thrilled.

Just take a look to see why!
The pool is a zero depth and gradually gets deeper so the little ones have a great place to splash around. Jess liked that little blue slide and all the water splashing everywhere.
How totally cool is this?! Since the pool isn't deep, there's no diving allowed, but who would want to with all this fun stuff? See the slides? The blue was for going down in a tube, and the yellow for going down yourself. Jessica thought the yellow slide was awesome and rode it at least 5 times. And guess who else rode it a lot? Um, yes, that would be ME! Way too fun. Amy loved it to, but really wanted to try the tube slide and she was patient enough to wait her turn for a tube twice.

This bucket fills up and tips over. It makes a noise when it is close to tipping over so a bunch of people (Amy included) race over when they hear it to get dumped on. LOL
This is a way bad picture, but it's Jessica coming out of the yellow slide. They come out way too fast to get a good shot.
There was also a short "lazy river" you could go through riding on a tube. We all enjoyed that, too.
All in all, I am super happy that the girls got to enjoy this little adventure. I'm glad we stuck it out and waited in the line. It was busy, but not too bad. Most every one was in great spirits, which made for a very pleasant afternoon. Yay!

Thanks for checking out our afternoon fun!