It's a Beautiful Thing...

Our friends at pre-k are marketing geniuses. As a rule, I don't purchase school pictures. Given that I produce thousands of pictures a year of the boys in my crew...I usually have no problem declining the cheesy-grin snaps that are over-priced from the school photographer. Well, that is until today.

When the little dude came home bearing this monstrosity of an 11x14 black and white picture. It's even printed on matte paper, just like I like.

He looks so sweet...and the black and white is so perfect. How can I not, right?

I don't usually purchase music new...but I made an exception for this, and it has not disappointed. :)

Weird, I didn't mean for this post to be about what I don't usually spend money on...but now you know.


Crane & Co.

No more suspense. This was the birthday present - Crane & Co. Raspberry and Espresso 100% cotton note calories, pure luxury.

So now you know.
I love that man.
Happy Tuesday.


Hello Governor.

The following came in the email today from a friend...made me laugh out loud.

Three Things to Ponder:
1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.


They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.


The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment.


And now for the political musing that strikes me every once in a while--Joal saw our governor in Starbucks the other day. I told him he should have asked him to stop spending money he doesn't have on behalf of the citizens of the great state of Tennessee.

See, I happen to think that our government should act like it's citizens. When things get tight or an unexpected expense happens, you find some place else to tighten up or you do something useful to generate more income. Something useful being get a job or sell something, not raise taxes. Apparently, our governor doesn't understand this basic principle of economics. Fiscal responsibility...what's that? It surely doesn't mean adding an addition to the house (the one you don't even live in) for parties, with money you don't have. Hello.

There was an article in The Tennessean last week talking about how the state budget may have to "take a hit" (which appears to mean "not grow so much" rather than actually make cuts) given the precarious state of our state economy. Well, I'm not in a panic over the economy...I really don't think it's as bad as some say...but I do know that it's incredulous for the state budget not to feel some shrinkage when it's citizens are also feeling some shrinkage. It's irresponsible of our government to act like a spoiled child in matters of fiscal responsibility. Somebody needs to do some hand-smacking and take a time-out.

So, I'm guessing it was likely a good thing it wasn't me who ran into the governor at Starbucks.

And finally, did you see the 4 (count them...4) new alphabets Quickutz is releasing on Saturday (in honor of "National Scrapbook Day")? I think I may need to take on a new client or three. :)

The Birthday Gift

Today is my birthday. There was a small celebration last night that included a stop-my-heart sweet gift from my husband. It's the kind of gift that say "I know you."

So what did he give me?
Here are some clues.

They are "raspberry and expresso".
And came in a fancy box.
With an embossed band.
I will use them exactly 20 times.
They are 100% cotton.
They are exquisite and indulgent, and a tad ironic.
They are traditional and classic and completely inedible.

Would you like to venture a guess?


Meet Chippie.

I've been trying for a while to catch a picture of our friend "Chippie" the baby chipmunk who lives in the bushes around our house...finally got it today. Drove into the driveway and noticed he was perched on the rock. Just happened to have the camera in the seat beside me.

Chippie (and his or her ancestors) have lived here as long as we have. We don't dare touch him but he plays in the yard and is a collector like myself...I enjoy watching him play in the mornings.

Hi Chippie.


Big Shanty Festival, Kennesaw GA

Joal had a one-day meeting in Atlanta on Saturday, so the boys and I went along and attended the 32nd Annual Kennesaw/Big Shanty Festival on the square in Kennesaw, GA. (Kennesaw is a small town just north of Atlanta.)

It was one of those happy accidents - we didn't even know about the festival until Friday. How lucky is that? I love small town festivals, especially one held "on the square". You may recognize something familiar in this picture...if you are a fan of the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes". :)
I so wanted to grab some lunch there but it was completely packed and there were people already waiting in a nice long line. I didn't want to stand around and be boring to the boys for an hour...just to say I had lunched at the world-famous Whistle Stop we didn't hang around. But oh how I wanted to.
You may also notice that in the pictures of Grey, it appears that he took the scissors to his own hair in the front of his head and mangled up his otherwise cute bowl-cut hair. Yep. That would be because that's exactly what he did. And then he had the gall to deny it.
I'm over it. Every child does this at some point, right? It's a right of passage. (That's what I'm telling myself anyway.) Did I mention that he did this 2 days before Easter sunday?
I digress.
Highlights of the day include:

-hearing and seeing a Confederate canon blast by soldiers dressed in period costumes

-foot long at the fair, only better

-riding the mini-train

-arts and crafts

-climbing on board a train car and exploring it's machinery

-seeing belly dancers perform (yes, that was delightful..."Mommy, why are those wadies naked?") For the record, they weren't naked. Mostly.

-music...the music was varied and fabulous

And of course, the Southern Museum. I would really like to go again...I never feel like I get the full impact of a museum by just going thru it once.

In other news, we also visited 2 scrapbook stores: Archivers and Your Scrapbook Clearance Center in Marietta. Enjoyed both...there's nothing like half-price sb shopping! :)

I also picked up awesome paper from Fancy Pants "About a Boy" line...oh man. I love this one called PEACE and the ROCK one! Very cool.

And finally, this is the layout from Jessica Turner's painting techniques class that I took a few weeks ago. I did a little re-arranging. I printed the photo on Bazzill textured cardstock because I accidentally re-sized the photo down too small and it is no longer large enough to be printed without some pixelation. The texture hides the pixelation, for the most part.

So now you know...

The perfect activity for a beautiful spring day.

Today is stunningly gorgous outside and the boys are livin' it up!


Ship to Shore (Scrapbook Your Cruise! Class)

Just a glimpse of what we'll be doing in the *Ship to Shore* class, a week from Saturday at Scrap'n Memories. This class features product from Scenic Route and Quickutz, my two favorite companies and lots of ideas for scrapbooking your tropical cruise memories.
Kits are available if you can't make it to the class.
Happy Thursday!


Buttons, beautiful buttons

This row of pretty-ness is lining the shelf above my desk. I found a site - and oh my...this page is particularly enticing. And having them all sorted and visible...happiness in jars, I tell you.

So now you know.


A look back at Paper Tearing

I've been the owner and playground manager of a website, for a million years. OK really only since 2001 but it feels like forever. It's most important function was to be the home of the Scrapbook Stores in TN list, and to serve as a photo-hosting spot for my private work for clients.

Well, as one can imagine, web hosting deals are much better now than they were in 2001 so I've decided to let The Scrapbook Channel go and start something completely new (read: free).

After making this decision, I started going thru all the old files that are stored at the site...and boy did some things really take me back to "the early days" and give me a chuckle.
Pictured above is the 2-page-spread that I created for the class I taught at the very first Simply Southern Scrapbooking Convention in 2002. It was my first time teaching that many people at a time (4 rounds of 24 in a class) and boy was it exhillerating and exhausting. The name of the class was "Just Rip It: the art of paper tearing". I had a blast teaching with Anita who was the best assistant a girl could hope for. :) (I accidentally deleted the original image so I took a new picture...can't bear to throw this LO away, even tho the "t" is missing and I don't own that Sizzix font.
Oh my...Sizzix. Remember the drama when that big red personal die cut machine first came out. It was huge and heavy and we thought it was *the coolest*. It was most definately a whole new level. Look at that marvelous tearing work. And those pen curls that I learned to do from watching Rebecca Sower at a crop.
Before it all goes away forever, here's everything you ever wanted to know about paper tearing (or not) and a bunch of examples:
Check out some other vintage items I found...
A Day-Cation. Oh wow. This faux mosaic tiling technique was a total phase I went thru. I love those fishes...they were cut from cardstock and the covered in an irredescent tissue. The "reporter-style" journaling was obviously from before I learned that it was ok to write in the first person. I was there, afterall. :) Oh and no, I wasn't pregnant, although I do look it. Ugh. Bad sweater. (Yeah, that's right, blame the sweater.)
Gotta Do My Chores Is that the same boy who now stares me dead in the eyes?
Baby Sarah Can you tell I took up stamping with that famous "Fruit of the Vine" set by Close to my Heart? And loved jump rings? Isn't that a cute baby?
So now you know...I've been embraced by this hobby for many years and have done a little of everything. :)