Summer Smiles!

The pool may be on it's last leg (this is it's third summer of service) but I think the boys would find happiness in water even if it were held in a paper bag! :)

I so love water pictures.

The one in the middle makes me laugh. When J was really little, we went to a museum in Mississippi. In the courtyard of the museum was a concrete statue that was spewing water into the fountain below. J got a huge kick out of it at the time and he's always remembered the statue. Since then, everytime we go swimming (and sometimes in the bath tub), he always says "Look, Mom, I'm the statue." Then he takes a big gulp of water in his mouth and spews it.

I've complained a little (that water is terribly unfit for consumption) but it makes no difference. He thinks this trick is hilarious so on this small thing I let him win and try not to think of the germs in pool water.

Such is the life of mommy-hood. Finding a balance between enjoying life and managing risky behavior. :)

In other news, Joal and I watched Glory Road last night. It's an awesome movie. Definately a flick for adults, although I don't recall any cursing. The topic and story are just intense and there is some fighting and vandalism. It's the store of a real basketball team from Texas--the first NCAA team to field black basketball players. Kentucky fans (who are generally in need of a dose of humilty anyway) will hang their heads. This was a sad reflection on Kentucky basketball legends...but the triumph of Texas Western was righteous and the movie was really good. If you like Remember the Titans, (which I did) you'll like Glory Road. (Only no Denzel.)

Two observations:

First, the cheerleader outfits were so funny-looking. Loooong skirts. There was no skimpiness there. LOL! They were practically poodle skirts.

Second, I wish the lead character had been played by Matthew McConnaughey. I think he could have done a better job...and he's a Texas boy.

Happy Monday!

MFR= Most Favorite Restaurant!

It's unfortunate really.
Whenever I choose a Most Favorite Restaurant, it invaribly closes.
Not a gift, I tell ya.
I've "closed" 3 good restaurants in as many years, simply by declaring their wonderfulness.

So with great hesitation, I am fulfilling the 2Peas writing challenge for the day.
My most favorite restaurant is McAlister's Deli. Perhaps since they are a chain from Mississippi, they will be immune from the curse. Here's hoping. They have the best tea!

Tea and Chicken Ceasar Salad

That's my favorite meal!

I have a most favored local restaurant...but I'm not telling anyone about it. I like it too much.

Happy Sunday!


Crop Circles

No, not the mysterious kind...LOL!

The pea challenge for today was to share a funny story from your cropping experiences.

I've been to so many crops it's not even funny. Houses, churches, stores, civic centers, conventions, camp grounds and hotels. I have attended crops as a cropper, a teacher and I have hosted crops at my home and in hotels.

The funniest was the very first Croptoberfest, way back in 1999. It was funny in so many ways. Looking back it was amazing and wonderful and yes, funny. It added so much to my life. It was a weekend retreat held at a Baptist campground in the hills of eastern TN for a group of online friends who met thru a Yahoogroup. It was a weird and brave thing to do--back in 1999--to go to the woods to meet a bunch of people you only knew via the email, but it was so worth it. That's where Anita first started making me laugh and where I sat next to Rebecca Sower for the whole weekend and gleaned from her amazing work and where I became known as the woman who slept thru Croptoberfest (even tho I really didn't) and where Julia spilled salsa on Claudean's album (not a funny moment) and where I learned to stamp in a scrapbook and where I ate way too many of Julie Parker's butterhorns and where I discovered a knack for winning HOTP Paper Pizazz books in the random door prize drawing (I hate those things but couldn't stand to not be gracious--I came home with 4 of them) and where I fell in love with the mountains and where I began to realize how important it is to get away occasionally. There's more...but I don't want to incriminate anyone. :) And believe me, I could.

The worst was a scrapbooking group advertised at my church in late 1998. It was advertised as a crop. It said nothing about being a Creative Memories event. We had just moved from MS to Nashville and I thought it would be a great way to meet people. Boy, was I wrong. There were about 30 people there--All CM devotees. Which would have been fine except that I kinda stuck out like a sore thumb, not being a CM convert. The overriding problem, however, was that there were no introductions, no get-to-know-your-neighbor one seemed to be in charge. I introduced myself to the people at my table but got the distinct impression that I was intruding. It wasn't a pleasant evening and as I recall, I left early. It was cancelled just a few months later.

Over the years I've become a very selective cropper. Selective is the nice way to say "picky", ya know. (I admit it. I'm picky.)

Many of you know that I hate to pay to crop. It's just one of those qwirky things. It just seems like such a waste. I won't attend store crops that charge a fee--I hate the notion of paying to shop. I don't expect much (a chair and a table and good lighting) and prefer no meals or snacks. I love to be able to shop while I am cropping and do, regularly. I don't think I should have to pay for the priviledge of shopping and using a table. Like I said, it's a gwirk.

I don't attend convention crops because I can't focus in a room full of 400 scrapbookers and they are way overpriced. Way! The last convention crop I attended was at Simply Scrapbook and Stamp. There was a keynote speaker that unfortunately no one but me was paying attention to (which I thought was incredibly rude) and later was followed up by Kareoke. Can you say "bad idea"? Just because you have heard a song on the radio...does not mean you have the pipes to belt it out!

Anyway, lest you think I am completely negative...I'm not. I've just come to understand what I like.

I like it when I can crop with a small group of friends.
Have a nice meal.
Take time to talk and catch up with each other.
Tools to share.
Stories to tell.
Burdens to bear together.
Laughter to enjoy.
Dessert to indulge in once in a while.

I've been hosting crops in my Great Room for almost two years now. Nothing to buy (unless you want). Come early. Stay late. Eat or don't. Scrap or cut stamps or whatever appeals. Soak up the friendship like a sponge. Borrow tools. Learn new things. Get ideas and give them. Laugh and cry--either or both. Answer that call from your hubby or ignore it and we won't tell. Vent a little and we'll try not to call you on it too much. Show off your latest work or your latest purchase or confess you haven't done a thing since our last get-together. It's all good.

If my walls were lined with every color of Bazzill ever made and every Quickutz alpha set, I wouldn't love Scrap Night any more than I do now. Well, OK maybe just a little. But it's the girls that make it special.

-Heather, the proficient scrapper who has taught me to get on with it and the woman who finally convinced me to go digital (and my favorite lamination expert)...
-Carla who drives a billion miles to be here and rarely ever scraps (but that's OK)...
-LeighAnn who so generously loans out her tools and books and who is stronger in heart than she knows, I think...
-Sabrina, the walking Club Scrap Encyclopedia/Sales Person and the brave lone mother of a daughter amidst all these mothers of sons...
-Debby who's just starting the scrapping journey but is definately holding her own and is our favorite not-yet-married woman...
-Susannah who used to be the mother of all boys but recently joined the "MoG" club and who still thinks we are a little weirdly obsessed with this paper thing...
-Connie who makes pages we adore and dips she doesn't like and shares her recipes for both graciously...

...and other occasional guests (Michelle, Anita, my sister Deborah, Hannah, Brookelyn...maybe others). These are the women who grace my table with their gifts and their friendship...who I treasure. We've had to take a little break thru the summer months and it's making me nuts. I feel like part of my life is missing and I can't wait to get back to our monthly shin-dig!

Cropping for me is less about the cropping and more about the people that it has brought into my life. That's a good thing because they all know I rarely ever actually get anything done. It's OK. I enjoy what it is to be among a circle of friends...I will forever be grateful for Scrap Night.

May you have a blessed Sunday!


Saturday Night Woes on a Sunday Morning...

I don't get it.

Why is it that I always get on a creative jag on Saturday night?

Basically, Sunday morning is generally the only day of the week when I have something that I have to get up earlier than normal to do--go to church. And it never fails...Saturday night finds me so jazzed about some scrapbooking thing that I don't get to bed until 2 or 3 am. Which means I feel really not-so-delightful on Sunday morning for about the first hour.

I really have to change this.

I have always respected the creative streaks. I try to go with it when it feels right...because it's not always "on". Creatively, I come and go. The cylces are controlled by some spiritual, mystical, hormonal, inspirational, life-force that moves like the wind. Felt but unseen, unless there's something in it's path.

The little guys and girls (all about the same age as Grey) in my Sunday School class deserve better from me. My guys deserve better.

Happy Sunday!


Just a thought to ponder...

Everyone should have at least one friend who is loving enough and courageous enough to speak the truth into your life when it looks like you are screwing up. A real friend, you could say.

I'm blessed to have such a friend.


George Canyon

Nashville has missed the mark on George Canyon, but fortunately, Canadian Country music fans know a great thing when they hear it...and they have had the good sense to reward this man with a remarkable career.

The runner up in the
Nashville Star competition two rounds ago has just released his second project for Universal Records, this time with Universal Canada. I checked 4 major record stores in the alleged Country Music Capital of the World and *none* had George Canyon's newest release on the day of it's release, July 4. Sad. Because you don't get any more country than this disk. Joal actually had to order it off the GC website. It arrived yesterday (autographed and everything) and I am loving it!

It's real and rockin' and country and sentimental and the man can spin a phrase! It's a good country record--a record of substance in a time when thoughtless brainless country seems to be the norm.

It has been said that the sophomore project of any new artist determines the rest of the artists career. If that's the case, I have no doubts that George Canyon will be in this for the long haul. This sophomore project is remarkable. It's personal. It's expressive. It's honest.

Oh yeah. It's also slammed with plenty of scrap-worthy lyrics. :)

Happy Saturday!!


Sketchbook Update

I finally updated my sketchbook. Months ago I found a snappy business card folio at Target. It was plain with a magnetic closure. I really liked it but it needed something. Ribbon.

Finally, tonight I decided to work on it. Added my favorite brown ribbon from Textile Fabrics. The top photo is of the outside.

The lower photo is of the inside front cover and the front sheet of sketches. Luckily, Joal recently got a promotion that necessitated new business cards, so I am the happy owner of 3 boxes of old business cards perfect for my sketching. Recycling...gotta love it.

I'm also working on a way to print layouts from my 2Peas Book of Scraps straight onto business cards. The time and ink that would save would be amazing...not to mention really cool. I might have to use a separate book for those...there's not much room left in my sketch book.

Sketching is like making a plan or reading a map. It gives me a goal and points me in the right direction. Sketches can come from anywhere...signs, wallpaper borders, junk mail, websites, nature, etc. Sometimes a sketch is just an element of something that seems useful, or sometimes a whole page layout.

In other news, the new banner at the top of the blog is in honor of our upcoming trip to Fort Walton Beach. My heart beats faster just thinking about it. The beach is my place of deep living. It speaks to my soul. It makes me feel smaller and more creative than any other place on earth. The ocean is a powerful force that both confronts and soothes. Saltwater and sand...blues and greens...sunrises and sunsets...elation and serinity. Fo me, the beach has it all.

Along about May of every year, I start to get a longing in the pit of my stomach and it doesn't subside until November. There is no other place that does this to me. I can barely explain it but boy do I feel it deeply. A few weeks ago, Joal announced that he has a training to do in Fort Walton...and asked if the boys and I wanted to come along for the weekend before. He had to ask...I started packing that very day. LOL! I'm not sure I'm truly brave enough to take the boys to the beach alone (Joal will be training during the day) but I'm going to anyway. There's a fine line between brave and insane. For a trip to the beach, I'll walk that line.

So, now you know. :)

One last thing...the gallery at 2Peas has been on fire lately with great stuff. This layout by kokopuffs really made my day! Enjoy!

Happy Thursday.


One more thing...

Remember that awesome layout by Tammy Graves that I mentioned sparked me to try stitching? Well, half of it is posted on Scrap It's blog HERE!


Tags Need a New Home

Anybody want some tags? Metal-rimmed, white, vellum and colors, all sizes and many shapes...

Speak if you would like a bag o' tags.

I'll send them your way.

Email me your mailing address scrappinsarah at msn dot com.

In other news, a special thank you to everyone who has wished Julian and Joal well lately.

Joal is healing nicely. Sore but not too bad.

Julian's appointment with the new pediatrician went really well. He is going to have the genetic test we have been considering and in the meantime, we'll be making some other lifestyle changes in an effort to help him. I can't tell you how much relief I find in having the fresh eyes of a new and very caring pediatrician come to similar conclusions as I have. In the past ten years of taking him to various doctors, I have never once felt that *all* my questions and concerns had been completely satisfied before leaving the doctor's office. That is until this visit to this new pediatrician. What a different experience!

Happy Tuesday!


The Trolley!

We rode the Franklin Trolley today! To the boys, trolleys rank up there with school buses and 18-wheelers. A while back a friend was telling me about the trolleys that run around Franklin. She and her small daughter live in Franklin and enjoy riding the trolley from a stop near their house, over to Wal-Mart and home for the grand price of a dollar. With ever increasing gas prices, that's a great deal. That got me to thinking that we could make a fun day excursion out of a trolley adventure.

That was the best entertainment the boys and I have had for $1.50 in a really long time. We got on at The Factory at Franklin (after a nice browse thru one of the most creative places aroundand a tiny bit of shopping at Creation Station for scrapbook stuff) and rode the whole tour. It took about 75 minutes and the boys thought it was incredible. At one point G looked at me and said "Can we do 'gin tomorrow?" This was (I think) his first experience with riding in a moving vehicle without the restraint of his carseat. I think he's a fan.

We all are actually.

Ding Ding!


Cars--the Movie and the Joy of Glue


That's the long and short of it.

It's the feel good movie of the year! Julian and I went tonight to see it and had a blast! It even has a fiesty fire truck named "Red", which of course, made J's night!

Afterwards, we went to Wal-Mart, which is my least favorite place on the planet, save one redeeming sight--the school supply section. I can't resist that aisle...I have loved the school supply section since I was a child. There's something so hopeful and so freshly organized about all new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils and clean backpacks and pens all lined up in a row. And glue. Elmers. That stuff is pure unadulterated sustinance to the creative heart, I tell you.

One of my personal joys of home schooling is the sheer fun of being the one to make that all important document--the LIST of *necessary supplies* for the next year of school.

And then I get to go and buy the fun stuff!

Tonight I took a deep breath and played with all the goodies. Tomorrow I will begin the planning, and when the planning is done, I will make the LIST!

I can't wait!

Happy Sunday!

Dude. Let's Make Mud!


Memory Book Inspirations/Quickutz

If you feel a little intimidated by 2Peas, there's a nice little gallery/board that I frequent that moves slower and is less intimidating at It's a nice casual place with some friendly participants. Check it out!

Happy Birthday Quickutz! You sure are big for a 5 year old! Hehe.

I came late to the QK game after years of resistance. I guess resistance really is futile, huh. :) I have done enough product demonstrations in this business to know that if you get someone to actually *use* a product themselves and achieve something they think of as *remarkable*, you will sell them. Maybe not today...but they will be sold. I know this...and it still worked on me. I first used a QK at Croptoberfest last year and while it was a cool thing, I thought it was too expensive for me. Then Leigh Ann loaned me hers on occasion at scrap night and I started browsing their website for ideas. Then I ran across a pea who wanted to sell her gently used one to upgrade and she offered me a deal. It was too good to pass up. I am completely happy.

I have a nice little collection of dies multiplying in my little stash. I am starting a list of which friends have which dies. :) I have bought dies locally, from ebay and from other scrappers who are upgrading to a Wishblade or other electronic gear.

I have used them on every layout and card for several weeks now. I am feeling snappier about scrapbooking with a new thing than I have in a long time. I call it "new tool euphoria". :) I used Studio Classic and Sunshine at my LSS. I would like to eventually own Studio Classic. I used Sabrina's Frankie SkinniMini and it's definately on the list. I really like that size! Stilletto is funky. I kinda like it but will probably continue to use it at the store for a while before I buy it. The QK team did some fantastic stuff with Metro...I think I'm going to want that one too.

The peas are giving QK a hard time today, but I am a woman in love. Metro is really cool. It's going on my list and I'll be watching for other releases this month...

In other news, if you have a chance and are of a mind to, please pray for Joal and Julian. Yesterday, at our friend Debby's, Joal-in his enthusiasm for being a great Daddy- forgot apparently that he's 6' 4" and weighs significantly more than a three year old! There was a slip n slide, a slight hill, and plenty of water...perfect for a three year old to run and leap and slide and stop at the end...but not-so-perfect for a fully grown man. In an effort to encourage his son to slip n slide, Joal proceeded to demonstrate what not to do as he slid and slid and rolled and came to a stop with a moan. He ended up with a badly sprained shoulder that put a damper on the rest of his day and probably the next few weeks. On top of hurting, he feels pretty dumb. Poor guy. He said he knew by about the fourth step that this was a dumb thing to do but there just was no stopping. Momentum is a powerful force. :)

Julian's going to the new doctor tomorrow for a complete physical and most likely, a genetic work-up. We have concerns that weren't being addressed and hopefully this will be a more determinded step in helping Julian grow and get in step developmentally.

Happy Wednesday!!


Happy Birthday America!!


We are doing completely traditional Indepedence Day things today...grilling out, going swimming, watching fireworks with friends...enjoying the day.

Ever mindful of just how blessed we are to be free
And that our freedom has been purchased at a handsome price
And that being an America carries responsibilities equal to the freedoms
And that freedoms which are not mindfully guarded will be lost for all...

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



And yet another use for ribbon...

It's true. I have the shortest attention span on the planet. I jump from project to project and from idea to idea. I sometimes have a hard time finishing what I start.
OK...check that.
Let's be honest.

*Much of the time* I have a hard time finishing projects. (It's why I was a bad bad bad secretary. I hate repetitive tasks.)

Consequently, hand sewing has never held any alure for me. I love to look at it and touch it...but the thought of spending months on a single cross-stitch project is just not something I can wrap my brain around. know I *love* ribbon, right? Well, a few months ago I found this treasure stash of silk ribbons at Michaels in the discount bin. Ribbon, on still my heart.

So, um, yeah. I bought a few...


Fast Forward, to last Saturday.

Last Saturday I had the good fortune to spend some time cropping at Scrap It! in Hermitage TN where an excellent page artist-Tammy Graves- works. Tammy showed me a layout that she had completed and is offering in one of her upcoming classes and it was breath-taking. Great color, well-balanced, artsy techniques and totally fun. I noticed that on the corners of some of the photos she had hand-stiched a row of small appropriately-colored straight stiches. It was, in fact, this small but powerful detail that sold me on the layout. The stitches added just the right spark to the entire layout and it's something I have never (in a million years) considered doing. I ordered a kit (I can't attend the class--it's during the week) and can't wait to complete it. (Incidentally, you can see Tammy's awesome layout at the store. When I signed up to purchase the kit, there were only a few seats left in the class but you might get lucky if you sign up soon.)

But in the meantime, I got to thinking about the corner stitching. I love the idea and just happened to run across the little bucket of silk ribbons while I was mulling on it.

Can you say "Light-bulb moment"?

Suddenly, I realized that I might enjoy stitching if a) I could do it with some measure of precision and b) I could do it with ribbon!

My real beef with stitching is that it's (until now) been imprecise. I like uniformity but I can never quite achieve it in free stitching. Which begs the question--is there such a thing as a stitching template?

Guess what?
There is!
Several, in fact, according to the all-knowing peas that I asked!

By using a template and a piercer to punch the needle holes into the paper before actually stitching, most of the imprecision is eliminated. For someone with almost ZERO stitching experience (not since my 9th grade home economics class anyway), I would have to say it's sailing pretty smoothly. You can see for yourself.

My first project--the red star was finished last night at about ten pm. From that time, until now, I have been ribbon-stitching e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in sight. This is so much fun!

American Traditional Designs makes stitching stencils. I ordered a few but in the meantime, printed the image an used it as a rough pattern. I also found a template (thanks to the peas) made by Timeless Touches called a *Fiber Friend*. It's specifically made for corners and easy-straight stitching.

On advice from a frugal pea, I used a plastic canvas circle as a template for this piece I am working on now. Because I am using 7mm silk ribbon instead of thread, the stiches have a bolder feel, however thread is next on my list of things to try. Tammy used several slips of floss, but I'm thinking of something a little bit heavier. I'll have to look into that in the next few days.

It's such an easy process:
=Find a template for the design.
=Using the paper piercer (or a really large thumb tack), transfer the design to the cardstock, one hole at a time.
=Thread ribbon into a large needle and stitch from hole to hole, up and down.
=When the design is complete, tie off the end and snip.
Currently, my ribbon stitching gear includes:
--a small cork board for anchoring and poking the piercer into.
--silk ribbons in various colors and sizes.
--large needle
--temporary adhesive.
--paper template or plastic canvas shape.
--cardstock, scissors and extra thumb tacks.

How fun! I'll post the results as sson as I am done. but it might take a few days, as I have to order some photos.

This is one project I will definately be repeating...well, with different colors and shapes, of course.

Ribbon stitching--it's a little different twist on silk ribbon embroidery...and a very neat addition to the scrap craft library that is my brain!

Happy Monday!

Objects in Motion...