Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting ready for the flea market!

I finally went through my stuff and loaded up two boxes of stuff for the Oasis Flea Market on Saturday. It's going to feel so good if I can move this stuff out, because it means I have license to replace it with new stuff. Kidding! Sort of. Some of the stuff I've bundled up and priced to move. My Achilles heel will be buying other people's flea market stuff because I too can't resist a good deal. Plus isn't there something fun about seeing something that's not really around anymore? It's like it's new again...but at flea market prices! So I've got two boxes of this:

Plus I finally decided to see if anyone is into vintage Dymo like me and I'm putting out my spare Signmaker with a few of my fave tapes cartridges:

Wish me luck! Or better yet, come visit me on Saturday at the Oasis!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On time

Dare I say it, I'm ahead of schedule? For week 5 of Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure the prompt was a little picture (vs. the "Big Picture"). I got a little carried away while painting the back of this transparency (I was using the paint as glue and worried that it'd dry too fast so I was rushing). Unfortunately, it sort of obscures the photo itself: when Velina was 6 or 7, she must've thought I was taking too long to come up and tuck her in after I sent her to bed. She left me a note with these big alphabet cards on the floor of the room, right at the door. I laughed out loud and I had to take a picture of how clever she was.

Though it’s not the most thought-out layout, I like that I experimented with fonts, transparencies, and paint finally and played with this page from an old children’s book. I’m totally digging that this project is an opportunity to try new things, as well as reflect on life moments and thoughts, so I’ll love flipping through later. Plus at this weekly pace, it’s give me consistent creativity exercise without being overwhelming. I recommend anyone to give it a try--

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Caught Up

I'm officially caught up on Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure - just in time for the next prompt for week 5 tomorrow. The Operation for week 4 was to Freeze Time and record everything you do in a day. I picked yesterday, Sunday. The part I'll enjoy re-reading is when I took the Velina and her friend for some fro-yo at Stricklands. They rode scooters as I walked--and to make it interesting, it poured on us. But since dessert was involved they still had a great time--until I decided to try a different way back and it was mostly uphill.

I also tried Elise Blaha's tip and did my journaling on labels (on the back):

It didn't look nearly as cool as hers but I liked trying something new.

P.S. And may I just add, for those watching the SAG awards last night, my predictions were on!

Monday, January 28, 2008


A lot of my crafty friends know of my affinity for old-school Dymo labeling. Knowing that I have multiple labelers and a ridiculous amount of tape may lead others to think it is addiction. But I must declare, they all serve specific purposes. One of my favorites is this Dymo 2300 Signmaker, which is no longer made and is hard to find. It's prints out big 3/4" labels which I love using on cards and layouts.

So as I was pulling stuff for the flea market at the Scrapbook Oasis this Saturday (yikes, if anyone likes a ton of CM stuff, come to my table), I was thinking of putting this out on my table with some of my favorite colors of tapes. Hey craftsters, what do you think? Or am I the only one crazy for Dymo?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week 3

Here's my page for Week 3 in Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure. The prompt was What's next? And for me, it's to Go Outside: in both the literal sense (spending more time outdoors, especially with Velina) and in the figurative sense (going outside my comfort zone, my circumference). I played with a bottle of Frosty Night Glimmer Mist on a doily--made myself make a dent in my stash. What am I saving it for? The bracket (with crown) and "indeed" heart taglets are from Linda's etsy shoppe.

I'm going to work on Week 4 tomorrow...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Kite Bummer

I read "The Kite Runner" a couple of years ago--I could hardly put the book down and I practically wept through most of it. I love the book--the storytelling, especially when the protagonist was a young child in Afghanistan, is utterly absorbing and rich. I highly recommend the book to anyone. So, as one can imagine, I was totally excited to see the movie. When I sat down in my seat at the theater, the pump was primed--I dialed up my tear ducts to Streaming.

Imagine my bewilderment when the credits started rolling and the only tears that had come out of my eyes were extruded due to yawning. The theater being an effin' meat locker for the last 40 minutes of the movie only added to my misery. I'll be the first to say that making a great book into a movie isn't easy. But boy, the rich treasure must be buried deep in the book because I felt I was watching the Cliff Notes version of it. I will say the kids in it are great, as is the father.

I'm embarassed to admit it, but I was also distracted by some of the wardrobe selection. The early part takes place in the 1970's, so of course there had to be the telltale fashion choices. But it wasn't simply, hey let's dress the father in a turtleneck and blazer. Instead, it was, hey let's dress the father in a forest green turtleneck and an orange plaid blazer, and ooh, let's feather that hair a bit more 'cause it's not quite looking like John Travolta in "Welcome Back Kotter" yet. And oy...the wig on teen bully character! Somewhere Nikki Sixx is panicking looking for that wig for the upcoming Motley Crue reunion tour.

Bottom line--read the book.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My predictions

The only awards show (so far) with a WGA waiver is airing on Sunday: the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards--which means we'll finally get some red carpet dazzle. Anyhoo, I watched as many movies as I could cram in the last week and here are my predictions for the predictions in the motion picture category:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood) DDL is such an actor's actor and he does not disappoint in this movie. Though as I mentioned previously, there is a chance that Viggo Mortensen will win this award as he is another one of those actors that notoriously walks around in character whether the camera is rolling or not, and you were totally drawn into his Nikolai. My money is on Julie Christie for the Female Lead award. She was outstanding as the wife slowly succumbing to Alzheimers. Javier Bardem will probably walk away with the Male Supporting award. His Anton Chigurh was absolutely chilling with his utter indifference for life and a flattering hairdo. Amazing that this is the same guy who played Reinaldo Acenas in "Before Night Falls". I'm banking on Ruby Dee to win the Female Supporting Award, though there's a chance Catherine Keener might win it for "Into the Wild". And finally, I pick "No Country for Old Men" to win Outstanding Performance by the Cast award.

I've been watching a ton of movies lately so I'll probably share some more opinions soon...

There Will Be Daniel Day-Lewis

I saw There Will Be Blood. My prediction is that this movie doesn't win the Oscar because among other things, it is the full-on DDL is the Mack Daddy show. I know everyone goes on about how DDL disappears into his character, blah, blah, blah--but it is so true. From his wiry hard-scrabble frame to his speech (which is a deep, rich cross between Obi Wan Kenobi and the Pepperidge Farm guy), you are transported to an era you read about in history class. Unfortunately, most of the other characters seem anachronistic in comparison when they open their mouths in the same scene with DDL. Though the sweet-faced young boy, Dillion Freasier, who plays his son is a standout as the perfect complement to DDL's confident and ker-razy oil man.

So my money is on DDL to win best Actor at the Oscars and at the SAG awards (though I think there's a chance it'll be Viggo Mortensen at the SAG awards). You know what else There Will Be Blood is NOT going to win awards for? That score. Yes, I know, the guy from Radiohead did it. But with few exception, that music was like taking some wild feral animals, getting them insane and angry by withholding food and water and poking them constantly with a stick and then forcing them to play broken instruments. While wearing mittens. The music definitely enriched the ambient tension but often I felt it was cranked to 11 unnecessarily and proved more grating than dramatic.

The movie is still marinating in my head though I can definitely say I enjoyed it and the running time of over 2 and half hours did not leave me checking my watch. And you can put me in the group that loved DDL's final line.

Did anybody else see it? Would love to hear what you think--

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My chunky valentine

So I took a break and made a valentine with some vintage stuff I had: playing card with romantic flowers, sheet music, ribbons, cupid and mini cake toppers, buttons, coaster, and a fat dymo label printed on a vintage dymo machine. It's pretty chunky and I'm not sure if it'll even fit in an envelope, but I love the feel of it.

I'm getting ready to watch "No Country for Old Men" and wanted to fill up with a little love first. I actually made two more valentines, though not nearly as chunky:

I love retro valentines and didn't want to overwhelm this one with too many embellishments but I fear the sheet music lyrics are a bit busy for it. I also have these vintage cherub cigar box labels which are perfect to use for a valentine. I cut the flowers apart on the playing card as little embellies and loved utilizing the blank tickets to spell out LOVE.
I have a lot of these vintage supplies and I'm tossing around in my head of putting together something for an Etsy shop...I'll give it more thought after the movie.
I've been powering through movies--saw three last night: Hairspray, 3:10 to Yuma, and Away from Her. Tonight I'm tackling "No Country for Old Men" and tomorrow's forecast says There Will Be Blood...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

gone like that

What? No way. This has to be a mistake--if I check another website, it'll be a mistake. WTF. His poor daughter and all who love him, he had so much going on, he was so young...

I've gone through shock, denial, bargaining, anger, depression...I may be ready for the final step of grief: acceptance that Heath Ledger is gone.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Merry Superbowl

First, yes, these are Christmas presents for my sister and her boyfriend that I just made last week FINALLY. Second, yes, they are huge Pats fans.

And yes, I know it nearly a month after Christmas. Again, I was stymied/delayed by my big plans. Since they both still live in NYC, the take-off of the classic I heart NY came first. But I tossed around getting a graphic of Belichick in place of the heart (or better still, in the shape of the heart) or putting a football in place of the heart. And since I took her class, I briefly entertained the idea of doing a reverse applique, a la the fabulous Amy Tangerine but obviously, that didn't happen. In the meantime Paul sent them about 11 pounds of candy from the Candy Warehouse for Christmas. So in my fit of getting things done in the new year (instead of infinite planning), I just did the simple takeoff so they would at least get the shirts before last Sunday's playoffs. And fortunately, they also have the SuperBowl to look forward to--Merry SuperBowl to everyone!

Monday, January 21, 2008

catching up Week 2

My page from Week 2 of Elise Blaha’s 08 Paper Adventure: the prompt was souvenir. As in what type of souvenir of myself would I leave behind? At first I envisioned some grand legacy—a piece of art, a significant action, a written work, etc. But I realized that on my deathbed my regrets would be more along the lines that the people in my life didn’t know how much they mattered to me. So my souvenir aim is for everyone to know this: how significant they were to me, how they touched and moved me, and how much I loved them. Sigh. Easier said than done, but I’m adding it to the list.

Again, didn't want to overthink it, though I probably need to sharpen my embelllishment skills. I just like to play with my stuff sometimes and it definitely renders mixed results. What I especially liked about making this page was I made a slight dent in my alpha stash. How ridiculous is my collection of alphas you ask?

And this does not include my alpha stamps or any other kind of sticker or rubon. Just alphas. I know what you're thinking, because I say it myself. My response to myself is, at least it's healthier than crack. I was going to say cheaper, but that really may not be the case with my addiction.

Regarding my movie watching, I confess I got a little sidetracked. Though, it was partially motivated by my resolution to be a woman of action this year. A friend had lent me a couple of DVDs and I no longer want to be that friend who borrows from you and then you have to remind them that they still have it. Though, I admit, this is a bit tougher and slower with books, especially that copy of “A Confederacy of Dunces” I borrowed…eek…years ago.

One of the movies I watched was “Eastern Promises” (though, due to all the press and commotion of Viggo Mortensen’s full-monty nude fight scene, Paul has dubbed it “Eastern Penises”). I'm still rattling the movie around in my head (along with the others I watched) but I'll filter out an opinion soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Time to get crankin'

Screener copies of these movies with SAG nominations finally arrived. I missed the old days when we were allowed to see the nominated movies in the theater with a SAG card. We were allowed to see them as often as we liked, which came in really handy for movies like "Gosford Park".

Though I haven't even pursued an acting job in years (most of my work was back in New York doing industrials, which are productions for corporate internal audiences, e.g. legal issues, conduct, etc.), I haven't given up my SAG card. Besides the fact that earning this union card can be pretty tough (so sentimentally, I can't just quit it), it was a nice perk to see plenty of SAG nominated films in January. A few years ago, this perk stopped and there was a dry spell where I didn't really see so many movies--they were offering free screenings but they were up in LA on weeknights and I couldn't gamble getting through rush hour traffic in time. Eventually one or two productions companies started sending DVDs or ticket vouchers--pretty awesome considering there are tens of thousands of members. This year we received these 5 DVDs and a ticket voucher for There Will Be Blood. We have to send in our votes by Friday for the SAG Awards show on next Sunday night, so I best get on my couch and get to watchin'. I'll be back with my predictions...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Paper Adventure begins

I decided to follow along with Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure - yes, I know it started over two weeks ago. Anyhoo, in case you don't know, Elise Blaha, is inspiring a mini book project where she gives a thoughtful prompt every week and you make a page out of it. She also shares her version. Between that and her blog, she's got a lot of great, inspiring stuff. Anyhoo, here's my page for Week 1, the prompt was Balance.
Not my best work, but I didn't want to overplan it. I played with a lot of elements I don't normally use on scrapbook pages--like the 3D stuff: that Lil' Davis bottle cap, the little clock face from Paper Source, cake shaped cake topper (got a bunch at a flea market with Linda), and blue pom pom. I liked how they represented various aspects of my life that I'm trying to balance. Oh well, this is going to be a very chunky journal.

Here is the back, plus a whole cup of those cake toppers and one of my favorite Fontwerks font, Fortuna Dot. I didn't do too much and tried to focus on the journaling, which took a bit longer.
I'm aiming to catch up the last two weeks this weekend. It seems kind of funny that I'm cracking the whip on myself with creative stuff I enjoy. But the lesson I learned from the shirt project from a couple of nights ago is just get it out of my head and do it. (Once I get in that habit, I'll add the planning.) Otherwise I feel I'm just hoarding the supplies to create something and not actually creating.
I also went to the gym after work with a friend. It's one of those times where I talk all gung ho but I wouldn't really mind/secretly hoping she'll bail and I can go home and stuff my face:
Me: Hey you ready to go to the gym? 'Cause my stuff's in the car.
Her: Do you still want to go? I have to get my stuff too.
Me: Sure, of course...If you want to still go...
Her: Yeah, let's do it....
Her: Okay then, I'm going to get my stuff and get ready
Glad we went--having each other there kept us honest. It's true what Elise said-- afterwards you never say,"Damn. I shouldn't have wasted my time doing that." I'm aiming to go a third time this week.

Even the Grim Reaper wants to go Green

You know, sometimes life just has to shake things up a bit. Sometimes you're receptive to it, sometimes it just nearly makes you want to crap yourself.
For example, lately when I leave work, it's dark. And I'm usually tired, my ninja skills are at low volume, and I'm thinking about how hungry I am and that I just want to eat Doritos out of the bag for dinner but I've got to make something healthy for the girl. I get in the car and turn on the ignition. I switch on the headlights and make sure the getaway music is appropriate. If I'm lucky, Jack FM is playing the opening bars of AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock", if I'm not, it's playing the opening bars of Kylie Minogue's version of the "Locomotion". Or any version of the "Locomotion".
Anyhoo, I look over my right shoulder to see if any cars are coming before I back out of the parking space. Ahh, all clear. Don't worry, I'm going to quickly turn to my left and:


Seriously, this picture does not do it justice. Remember it is dark. Ninja skills set to low heat. Skeletor in the back seat is totally turned towards the driver and is leaning forward. Part of me thought the Grim Reaper was coming to get me. Another part thought, the Grim Reaper drives a black Prius? Who knew? Here's a clearer picture in daylight:

So next time you're on the freeway, take a gander, the Grim Reaper may just be riding past you in the car pool lane.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Just Do It

A lesson learned from a midnight spurt of creativity...

When Velina saw the shirt the next morning, she thought the dingbat iron-ons looked swell. When she put the shirt on, however, it didn't cover her belly. Gah!!!! I waited so long to do the shirt just right that she outgrew it in the meantime. And I didn't even follow through with my big plans after all this time. Next time: less talk, just do it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

my can-do creative buddy

I had been meaning to do something with this shirt of Velina's. Obviously, there was some magic marker explosion nearby when she was wearing this last (though this picture doesn't do all the damage justice). And unfortunately I didn't notice the stains until I pulled it out of the dryer, with the evidence nicely baked in.

I initially had big plans in early 2007, I was going to do some fabulous embroidery flowers. Then I thought of sewing on felt flowers and embroidering some awesome leaves with some french knot berries to boot. Then I saw a CK magazine layout where a scrapper had put together a cool owl by paper piecing. So I upped it to piecing together a cool owl with felt and embroidering some wonderful owl accoutrements--branch, little buds, a witty and wise owl bon mot in script, etc.

In 2008, however, the shirt still sat there, unworn with the magic marker stains glaring at me. To combat my habit of planning rather than doing, I decided to find a quicker, yet still creative way to fix this shirt. I worked with my new buddy (inkjet iron-on sheets), printed out some dingbats enlarged to 164 point size, and sort of collaged them over the most glaring stains and wha-lah! My first midnight post of creativity for 2008:

Well, there isn't a cohesive theme (except that they're all dingbats) nor pattern (the stains were all willy-nilly to begin with) but it'll do. I guess the real test will be what the girl thinks in the morning. Wish me luck...

hit the ground walking

Well, well, well. Nice kick off.

Alright, time to get organized. I’m going to start listing my vague goals and focus each week on turning them into specific ones:

Family – spending more outdoor time with my daughter, Velina, more face time with my husband, Paul, and connecting more with my family who don’t live in driving distance.
Work – get more organized and efficient
Self – get my creative mojo back on the front burner, getting healthier, get to know Photoshop and Illustrator better, read, exercise my brain more.
Spiritual - reflection and serving

That said, I’ve already worked on some specifics:

For work, at the advice of my friends, I got a Franklin Covey organizer. They told me to leave it open on my desk and start listing all my tasks and add to it as things come up. This is supposed to be in lieu of my current scribble-on-a-Post-It system. Being somewhat of a list person, the satisfaction of crossing stuff off as it’s done is proving very satisfying.

For my health, I’ve hit the gym at least three times a week since January 1. Plus I’m back watching my Weight Watchers points. Though I must confess, I’ve seen myself go overboard on points more than I should. But at least I’m watching them…

For my family—I’ve spent a lot of time with Paul watching all the college bowls and NFL playoffs. Does that count as face time? I’m reminded of some comedian’s astute observation, that often it’s so comforting when you’re just in the same room with your loved ones. He said that even when your dad was napping on the couch on Saturday afternoons, it felt good just to have him there. So true. Some of my favorite time with Velina is snuggled on the couch watching Naruto (I am so hooked), eating popcorn. Heaven.

In an effort to serve the universe, I tried donating blood. I barely flunked the anemia test (I want to say you have to score 12.6 to donate and I tested as 12.5). Maybe I ate too little points that morning. I'll try again in 10 weeks.

Unfortunately, it looks like I put creative mojo on the back burner. I’m going to do something about that right now. I’ll be back. Soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year

I made a bunch of resolutions for 2008, as I have for decades of new years before that. None of the goals are that out of the box or for that matter, out of reach. But disappointingly, I often don’t stick to them. Sometimes, they’re too vague, like, eat healthier. Though I didn’t eat a stick of butter every day in 2007, those many weekends where I finished an entire sack of Cadbury milk chocolate mini eggs or an entire platter of nachos watching “Orangutan Island” didn’t meet the resolution either. Other resolutions I analyze to death. Like I’ve been meaning to get crafty and start sharing and selling on Etsy, but I get caught up in what should it be, what if it’s totally crappy, what are the tax ramifications, etc. So this year I am moving resolutions out of my head and into action. I’m hoping this blog will help keep me accountable to myself or at the very least, get stuff out of my head.

Perfect example. Even this blog I planned to launch on New Year’s Day to get a fresh start on the new year and it’s a week late…I was going to say, how typical…but the typical would have been no blog at all. So hooray for me—better late than never. The glass is half full after all.