White Stuff?

Will it snow?

One can hope.


Things are making me nervous today...the house that backs up to my backyard is on the market and it appears that someone is having it inspected. (Yes, I have binoculars and yes, I watch. After my neighbor was murdered, I think I'm entitled to be a little "Mrs. Kravitz".) It's a nice 4-bedroom brick multi-level home. Finished basement. Excellent backyard and really nice backyard neighbors (LOL!). I'm hoping for good, neat, responsible new neighbors. And selfishly, if this house sells for what they are asking for, my home value will increase as well. It will be a new record high selling price for our neighborhood.

We (me and tha man) leave for Miami 14 days from today. I'm a little nervous. I love to travel but I'm always a little concerned when we fly together, which we will be doing twice, of course.

I haven't heard from my Army brother in almost three weeks. This is the most important and least resolvable issue on my nervous list. When I heard the newscast about that plane that went down earlier this week, I lost my lunch. I vascilate between wanting to smack him and being immeasurably proud of him.

I going to take on a few more commissioned scrapbook projects and I'm a little nervous about clients and where to start. I'm kinda picky about clients.

So tell me, what do you do when you are nervous?


Inspiration and Creativity

The 2Peas blogging prompt for Tuesday is "write about what inspires you". For me, it's not about finding inspiration, the challenge is slowing it down to capture it. There are so many many "great ideas" just waiting to be used, sometimes my biggest challenge is just picking one and seeing it thru to completion. I've often thought perhaps there's a condition called "creative ADD" and maybe I have it. I have the attention span of a knat--as evidenced by the stacks of started but unfinished layouts in my space. I get a little thrill (or maybe a big thrill) out of something crafty, creative or new going on with one of my pages but when the thrill is gone, I'm over it.

I find inspiration everywhere. (Don't groan.) Graphic stuff speaks to me. Lyrics--I see pages about song lyrics all the time. Catchy phrases, phrases with more than one meaning, phrases with spin, a great photo idea, advertisements, slogans, objects, conversations, the lines in furniture or clothing, postage stamps...if it ever again snows in Middle Tenessee, I have a great layout already planned for the snow photos and those great snowflake postage stamps that the USPS put out this Christmas...just waiting on snow. It's all out there...waiting to be scrapbooked or journaled...if I could just calm down the inspiration a bit. Slow it down and capture it.

Oh yeah. One more thing...yummy ribbon. That gets me going too. :)

I think too many people chase an allegedly-illusive muse called *inspiration* without stopping to look around and be inspired by what is already there. Must we always be on a constant search for the next great idea or as Vince Gill puts it--"Everybody's Waiting on the Next Big Thing"! Stop looking and let it find you. Play until it strikes you *upsidethahead* as my best friend in high school used to say.

And my other complaint on this topic is that too many times I hear scrappers say "I'm not creative. I'm no ____." (insert name of *it girl* scrapper of the moment.) This really bugs me. I just wanna say "Of course you aren't creative...not with that negative attitude." and "Nobody is asking you to be ___, the it girl scrapper of the moment. Be yourself."

Creativity is not something you set out to do. It just is. Creativity does not always involve genius. It doesn't have to live on the cutting edge. I see creativity as being all about building a bridge between souls. When I look at someone elses work and see a creative piece, it's because there's some part of it that speaks to me--something in it that I can relate to or enjoy. Sometimes that bridge is built of something new and exciting. Sometimes it's just familiar and vital.

"Creative" is an attitude.

And in some cases it's just about perception. When I read Creating Keepsakes, I expect to be wowed by the creativity, probably because I have been wowed by what I have read and seen in all the other issues. I have been trained to look for the WOW eye candy so I generally know I can depend on CK to put out more eye candy. Being published by CK is a big deal because it's commonly known that they are the pacesetters in the industry. So perhaps my perception of CK ups the wow-value of a layout that--if it simply appeared on 2Peas or a blog somewhere--wouldn't really wow me at all.

Creativity is perception. Hmm. Maybe there's more to this than I first thought. So, tell me, what sets your creativity ablaze?


My Horizon

I've been mulling on this page in my brain forever. These are the lyrics to a Christine Dente song that I love (but really, I love any of Christine Dente's lyrics.) :)
This small stretch of sky is my horizon, the extent of all my hopeful dreams
Yet I yearn to go beyond perceptions and see inside some other lives unfolding
So I stretch my eyes above the rooftops, in circling the world of circumstanceI see a sea of faces, each is so significant, a multitude of hopes and dreams unfolding
So I stretch my mind and try to understand, how you could hold each soul inside Your plan
Oh Father, grant me faith to see my part in history,
Touching others with Your love unfolding

Open my eyes, open my heart,
Open these hands that hold us apart
Open up a way for me to see
The grandeur of the grander scheme unfolding
Happy Sunday.


Apple Glory

Yes, this is a 2-page layout. (Don't anyone fall in the floor...)

Debbie offered up an idea last crop night that made me like this layout. It was her idea to slice the photos vertically so I could get them all on there...Thanks Debbie. It worked great!

Happy Thursday!


A Simple Red Felt Heart

A simple hand-cut red felt heart seen on this card started me down a road yesterday...who knew something so simple and normal could be so *it*? :)
I've just been playing all day (on and off)...the boys have helped me cut hearts and we've had so much fun. G learned his ABC's this week so he's been regailing us with his constant renditions of the ABC song. What a hoot.
Happy Wednesday!


Shopping and Prom Fashion

I don't particularly enjoy shopping for clothing but my grief can usually be disuaded by a good sale. Tonight, for instance, I found 2 pairs of capri pants at Dillards for $21.
Black and brown.
Sturdy pants. Not jeans.
It's one of my flimsy pants.
This made my day.

I didn't wait until the last minute for shopping this year for the cruise. Pat me on the back, please. I usually put it off until the last possible second...making everyone around me crazy.

I probably wouldn't have had to shop for anything but the recent downshift in sizes necessitated a few new things. Not that anyone here is complaining. :)

I'm even making a necklace.

Speaking of fashion, when you have a few minutes to browse, go to ebay and do a search for "vintage prom". What an amazing feast of fashion you will find. My personal favorites are the ones from the 80s. Since when is something from the 80s called "vintage" anyway?

I should dig out the picture of my 1989 "vintage" prom dress. The term hideous comes to mind. Two phrases: puffy sleeves and electric blue lame'. You know that's gonna be a doozey, right?! I didn't actually go to prom. A group of my friends did an un-prom thing...dressed up, went out for dinner as a group, etc. Couldn't do the prom...long story. You are better off not knowing.

The dress was bold. For me it was very bold. Bad fashion...why is high school always made up of bad fashion memories?

Three weeks from Wednesday...

Oh and did I mention the commissioned scrapbook project? (I think I did.) The powers that be asked me to create a scrapbook for the cruise to be displayed at regional meetings (to inspire "the troops") and in the home office.

Want to know the best part?

The first regional meeting is March 9&10 in Arizona. We get home on Feb 19. So I'll have roughly 16 days to upload photos, edit and order, journal and execute about 30 pages and *ship it to Dallas*.

Oh my.
Hope no one needs me for anything between Feb 20 and oh say March 5...because I'm going to be a scrapbooking crazy woman.

I've ordered the album--a CTMH 12x12 leather that is beautiful. It's due to arrive on Thursday. I'm deciding on paper this weekend. I have the skeleton of the album done--thirty pages sketched and planned in a rough way. It's exciting...tho a little unnerving. I haven't had a commissioned project since October 2003.

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining. It'll be a challenge but I'll handle it. It means a great deal to me that my sweetie likes to show off what I do and that other people (non-scrapbooker types) appreciate the value of it as well. It'll be fun.



Andromeda and Jesus

I'm a geek.
I know it.
I like Andromeda.
Yes, the tv show that went off the air years ago.
It's in syndication now and I record it and watch it late at night when Joal's traveling.
I've seen every episode at least once.

So I'm wondering.
Has anyone else noticed the correlations between the continuing Andromeda storyline and the story of Christianity?
Surely I can't be the only one to notice this.
Unless I'm the only person left who actually watches Andromeda.

I've googled everything I can think of and can't find any other reference to the correlations--official or otherwise.

Here's my list of similarities:

The Commonwealth has fallen from greatness.
Humanity has fallen from relationship with God.

Dillon Hunt, Captain of the Starship Andromeda Ascendant vows to restore the Commonwealth and all that is good and honorable in the worlds.
Jesus Christ, Son of God, is sent to restore the relationship of humanity to God.

Dillon (although flawed) is the savior of many (cast-offs, slaves, people in danger, opressed, etc).
Jesus Christ, Savior or the world for everyone, but especially cast-offs, slaves, people in danger, the opressed, the down-trodden, etc).

Dillon's crew is a rag-tag bunch who need something to believe in. All have sordid pasts and don't always know how to take Dillon's good heart.
The Disciples were a rag-tag group who needed something to believe in. All had sordid pasts and don't always know how to bear the name of Christ well.

Dillon regularly challenges what is accepted as normal by the various societies that Andromeda encounters.
Christ did the same.

Dillon's home world was destroyed.
Jesus has no home, except in the hearts of men.

(There's more but I have dishes to do.)

There's a cool challenge going on at 2Peas. It's here. Check it out.


Parenting Woes and Art

Feeling a touch woeful tonight. Sometimes I feel like I haven't a clue how to be a parent to this boy I birthed. He's almost eleven. We've been together almost eleven years and still I look at him and wonder how we will ever survive. It's lonely being the mommy of a little person who looks perfectly normal from the outside but clearly isn't progressing developmentally as he should. There's guilt and fear and want and unmet expectations all balled up inside me. My faults seem magnified because --well because he needs more of me than I can give sometimes. He needs me to understand him and the plain and simple truth is, most of the time, I just don't. I want to. I long to. I try and try and try...but I don't always undersand. And I know that must hurt him.

Today was so hard. By mid-afternoon I was ready to turn in my "I'm the Mommy" card and be something else for a change. The day started wrong and never improved (and it pains me to say that). For no apparent reason, at breakfast he decided to fling a full bowl of cereal and milk across the table at his brother. Then he was surprised when his father told him to leave the table and get dressed for church. He (I suppose) expected another bowl of cereal and time to eat it--time we didn't have, since both he and G now had to be washed down from the cereal explosion. He ended up angry and back in bed, missing church and causing me to miss it as well. When he got up the second time he was royally mad that he'd been left at home and wouldn't be going to church. (Go figure.)

If I could just know what he understands and what goes over his head. If I could understand the total obsession with certain things and how things get so stuck in his brain that he can't let go of a thought. If the path from his brain to his mouth could just be a little more clear. If only I knew that tomorrow some tiny step of progress would be acheived. If only the list of labels and conditions was getting shorter instead of longer. If only I could spend more time seeing past the labels and conditions and less time trying to overcome them. If only my heart didn't hurt so much for him.

There is a bright spot tho. Painting. No matter how bad things are, he loves to paint. He must have a big brush and of course, it gets e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, but he is definately touching heaven when he's slathering paint on something. Anything. Everything. I am grateful for this one thing. He painted today and it brought the usual peace to his soul. And mine.

Maybe because when he's painting, there are no rules. No specifics. No try-agains. He just paints his own freedom. It's totally random and completely his. I can see how that would feel like an incredible release to him. Nobody bothers him. Nobody (meaning me) tells him to do it this way or "sound it out". He can just {be} in his art. Now there's something I *can* understand.

Be well, this Sunday evening.


Love is Here

Scraplift times 2 here...the layout design comes from a pea--"Momteacherwriter" here and the title from the Picture People advertisement seen below. I'm not sure how commited I am to the sentence at the bottom. I'm not enthused about using the vastly different font. I may go back and make the font the same as the QK letters in the title. Competing fonts bother my calmness. :) Also I need a place for the date, I think. Anyone have suggestions?

Melissa/Momteacherwriter's pea gallery is filled with great stuff...easy-to-scraplift stuff...layouts and cards. Check it out here. My "to-do" file is full of her. :)

Happy Friday!


A little bit of art.

With all the sleeping going on today...I had a little time. This is a scraplift of Tracie Claiborne's "One Fun Day".

This is one of my all-time favorite papers. It's by BoBunny. The black letters are velvet and are fromMaking Memories. I've had both the paper and the letters f-o-r-e-v-e-r and finally today decided to stop hoarding and u-s-e them.

We Slept

It's seems like such a simple thing to say "We slept all night" but to us, that's no small miracle. It's something we haven't done in a few months--Julian because of the seizures, Joal and me because no one should have to be alone when their body plays such nasty tricks on them.

But last night at almost 5 pm, Julian went to sleep and slept until 8:40 am, completely undisturbed by seizure activity. Joal jostled him at 10 pm to give him meds, but I'm not positive he was even awake. No wailing, no banging his head against the wall. No locked-up muscles. No blank stares. No drooling. Just sleep. Deep healing sleep. God is good.

I went to bed at 6 pm after being up for 36 hours. I slept peacefully until about midnight, got up for a little while, went back to bed and slept until about 6 am. I woke up slowly. What a change. Usually I wake up after having taken three steps toward Julian's room to calm him. What a gift. God is good.

To re-cap yesterday, we did get the EEG (that we've been trying to get for more than three months) while in the hospital and were lucky enough to have a seizure while the EEG was going on (as odd as it sounds to say he was lucky to have one). We had a neurology consult a few hours later.

In the wee hours of the morning on Monday, while he was restlessly enduring being attached to about 6 monitor wires and with an IV port in his hand that was driving him batty, Julian told me he was hungry and asked if we could go out to eat. He had no idea that it was almost 3 am. I told him that when we got finished at the hospital, we would go out to eat at any resturant he wanted to go to. He thought for a bit and then said he wanted to go to Applebee's for a chicken quesadilla and a brownie ice cream dessert. (This meal has history. It's his standard birthday faire. We never get desert unless it's someone's birthday.)

When we got out of the hospital, Joal and I knew that he was in no shape to go out for dinner, and frankly, neither were the rest of us. :) I don't like being the one to not follow thru on promises, so we negotiated down to having Daddy go get the requested meal and bring it home. Julian agreed and Joal dropped us at home and went to get the promised meal. Julian was so tired he didn't want to eat, so he went on to bed before Joal got home with his food. First thing this morning he woke up asking for you guessed it...he had chicken quesadillas and brownie with ice cream for breakfast!

Thanks for your comments and notes and prayers. We are blessed to have such caring friends. God is good.

Happy Tuesday.



Hey guys. Forgive me but this is the easiest way I know to solicit prayers for Julian...he's in the hospital. Yesterday afternoon he fell and hit his head on the pavement, while having a rare daytime seizure. Shortly after, we started seeing a marked increase in the quantity of the seizures, so we took him to the hospital. He had them all night and he's still there. They went on and started him on anti-seizure meds and hopefully as an in-patient, he'll be able to get that EEG today instead of waiting for his appointment on 1/23. I've been up for 28 hours--14 at the hospital. (It's not pretty, let me tell you.) I'm home for a bit now and am going back in a little while.

I appreciate your prayers. We are hoping to be home by this evening.


Productive Crop Night

Crop night at Scrapn' Memories was so nice and relaxing.

And unusually productive.


Both of these are scrap-lifts. That's my intent for the new year. Scrap-lift. Whyreinvent the wheel?

The "Gram" LO is a lift of Tina Cockburn's "Lucky" (there's a link to her blog in the column on the right) and "Pool Boy" is a lift of Doris Sander's "Remember", although it's a little vague. Shrinking from 12x12 to 8.5x11 made it harder to get it all in there...I'll probably try the scheme again on something else.

In other news, when your LSS doesn't carry a line/manufacturer you really love, do you ask them to consider getting it? I've read so much about how tough it is for LSS to pick and choose what they carry that I almost feel guilty for asking. How do you approach it?

Just wondering.


Metropolis Mania







Lobbyists? Are they kidding me?

Are you familiar with S1? Seems there's a provision in the first bill to be considered by the newly-sworn 110th session of the United States Senate that would force all grassroots citizen's groups who encourage their membership to contact their congressional representatives regarding a topic that concerns them to *register* as a congressional lobbyists.


Has anyone in the Senate bothered to pick up a dictionary and look up the meaning of the words "professional lobbyist"?

Apparently not.

There's just so much wrong with this provision. Not only is it a swipe at freedom of speech, it's a blatant disregard for the right of the people of this country to be informed on topics that they deem important and to easily stay informed and in contact with those who are supposed to be representing them in Congress.

Here's my comment to my Senators:

Dear Senator Alexander,

I am very concerned about the lobbying provisions in section 220 of Senate Bill 1, the 'Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007.' Please support the Bennett amendment to remove section 220 from S. 1.

Private organizations do a much better job than the major media outlets of keeping concerned citizens involved and informed. There is a vast difference between a lobbyist and a group that helps private citizens keep in contact with their elected officials. Organizations should not have to register with Congress in order to ask citizens to contact their elected officials.

Thank you.
Sarah Devendorf
Nashville TN

Feel free to copy it if you agree. Whether you voted for them or not, your Senators are there to represent you. They can only do this if they hear from their citizens aout topics and areas of concern.


Hope for the New Year

This moma doesn't do resolutions...too much past disappointment. However, there are a few things that I have decided to hope for and work for in the new year.

I hope to spend less on food by shopping more wisely. (I really enjoy clipping coupons and shopping smart. I have been lazy in the recent past and not done a good job of it. Believe me when I say I was raised by a woman who was an expert shopping economist and she'd probably smack me if she knew how impulsively I shop sometimes. Deb--don't tell, OK.)

Yesterday Grey (bless his little heart) walked up to me while I was sitting at the computer. I was wearing a shirt with cap sleeves that exposed my upper arms. He patted me on the arm. My arm jiggled. He got the biggest laugh. "You awm is wriggle-ry." he said, continuing to giggle. Mommy was not laughing. I started using the handweights while I walked again today. I hope to continue.

I hope to be on time or even early with every greeting card I send this year. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. I'm notoriously late. I've done good since September of last year tho...I hope this new trend continues.

The "Project Taylor Guitar" operation has been flowing smoothly. I did buy a few dollars of paper on sale half price at Hobby Lobby last week but with $$$ from some old magazines I sold on ebay...I'm quite proud of this non-spending-use-what-I-have trend and hope to continue it.

In the scrapping area, I am hoping to do a page a week and complete a page a week that I've already started. Total 2 per week. And get the photos I'm not scrapping organized into picture albums. I'm also working on a recipe binder.

(Part two tomorrow...)


When did this happen?

So I'm surfing the net today trying without much luck to see if Karen Glenn (from Simple Scrapbooks) has a blog, when I run across this page: the Simple Studio Blog.

My heart gives a little extra beat when I see the stack of orange ribbons in the banner and the orange mini album.

I had this incredible urge to get up and find some orange stuff to work with.

And then I wondered.
When did *I* become an orange lover?

I used to hate orange.
I'm from Tennessee--the land of "too-dang-much Orange".

Now I look around and suddenly, the last 4 layouts I've done have included orange. I am currently working on a mini-book for Ju and the cover guessed!

Color me baffled!

Do you like good deals?

One of my favorite places for scrapbooking goodies at garage sale prices is the Marketplace at Scrapbook Addict. Lots of people are purging right now, so if oneis in a buying state, there are deals to be had.




Mourning the loss of a great store today. Scrap It in Hermitage is closing it's doors. I was there earlier and it's almost empty. So sad.

Some lady asked Bill what they were going to do with the art on the walls. For anyone who hasn't visited Scrap It, their walls are covered with trully amazing layouts bysome of the best scrapbookers on the planet. Doris, Tracie, Jenni Bowlin, Renee, Ann, Tammy Graves...and others...all amazingly inspired craftswomen. Artists. And their work is very personalized...not the usual generic made-to-sell-product stuff seen on the walls of many scrapbook stores.

So with this in mind you can (maybe) see why I thought this question odd. "They will go back to their owners" he said. I was tempted to say "duh" (I was in a bad mood). It just struck me as a really weird thing to ask. What else would they do with them? Was she thinking they would sell them to her? Why would she want them anyway? Odd. Just odd.

I hate store closings.
Especially this one.


Did you see the new ribbons at The Ribbon Jar? Oh my. Aren't those gorgous?

Happy Birthday Andy!
(Yes, those are cammo cupcakes from this site...)
I love you little brother!


Is that a Potty Flapper?

A little LO below was a total scrap-lift of the wonderful Tina Cockburn. Her yummy LO can be seen here.

Happy Wednesday!


Vandy Schmandy

I'm thinking of moving.
Just to get away from Vanderbilt Medical.
Those people are making me want a stiff drink.
(And I don't drink.)
They are apparently incapable of communicating amongst themselves.
Right left.

I am (if you didn't notice) so desperatly frustrated.
Julian's pediatrician suggested it was time for an EEG.
Seems like an everyday kindof procedure...not that big of a deal.
And's taken 2 months and about thirteen phone calls to 4 different offices and I still have no answers as to cost, no appointment, and evenyone seems supremely confused.

Vandy claims to have some of the best and brightest doctors in the world.
And I certainly don't dispute that.
When you are the author of the neurology textbooks used by medical schools all over the world...well, that's just impressive and a pretty good indicator of the calibur of studied professional that you are.
I get that.
I'm duly impressed.

But their maze of office and support staff (now there's a misnomer) is continually causing me great amounts of grief. No one can actually answer a question. It's like they are each a piece of the puzzle but no one has a clue what the whole image of the puzzle even the result is just massive chaos.

At this rate, Julian's going to be 20 before we get this done.
And I'm going to need drugs...
But I would have to go to the doctor to get the drugs...

Instead of drugs, this is where I go to be calmed--the Punta Langosta Pier in Cozumel...and this is another beach cam on Playa del Carmen in Cozumel.


Preds and Pine Nuts

The Nashville Predators got knocked off 5-3 today by the Colorado was disappointing but we had a great time watching. This was G's first real-live hockey adventure! He was a trooper, although I think perhaps he liked the giant hotdog more than the game. :)

We had "nose-bleed" seats this time (the upper-most deck) but no complaints. I do love hockey!

In other news, I recently discovered that I really like pine nuts in ceasar salad and I need to know where in the grocery store to find them? Are they with the salad trimmings (dressings, bacon bits, croutons) or are they with the nuts? I looked in both spots today with no luck. Ideas? Also, what else can one use pine nuts in?

Happy Monday and happy 2007!!