Tuesday, August 12, 2008

arriving at destination

Don't tell my husband but I love our GPS system. I balked last fall when he wanted to buy yet another Garmin. It had only been a year since he purchased the first one and I was not convinced that he needed a new one. Actually, I still wasn't convinced until the other day when I actually made use of it myself. We had taken the kids out of town to a water park. As we were changing in to our suits I discovered that the bottoms to my swim suit were no where to be found. Here we were over an hour from home and I was bottomless. The kids were already in suits, we had already paid entrance and I wasn't about to hold up the party. I knew I had to go track down something to swim in. The thing is, I am NOT good with directions. I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag. I get lost easily in this small town I live in, let alone some place larger. Needless to say, that GPS came in handy! I located the nearest Wally World on the map, set it as a destination and off I went. It was so comforting to have that computerized voice telling me which way to turn and when she finally said "arriving at destination" I was thrilled! So thrilled in fact that I celebrated by buying a waterproof camera for the occassion. LOL!

Since that day, that simple phrase 'arriving at destination' has gone through my head a lot. In life, when will I know when I'm arriving at my destination? Have I already gotten there? Its definitely something to think about. Life is a journey but what is the desitnation? I suppose that is as personal as the journey. In a way I feel as though I've reached my destination. I no longer feel that I am waiting for something to happen, waiting to finish school, waiting to get married, waiting to have a baby, waiting, waiting, waiting... Sure there are things still in our life plan but for the first time since I can remember, I feel as though I am actually LIVING and not just waiting!

There... that was my 'deep thought' of the day. Aren't you glad I shared? LOL!

Anyway, things have been hectic for me lately. School starts on Thursday and my lovely (but somewhat bratty this week!) daughter will be headed off to first grade. I'm a little sad. Kindergarten threw me for a loop last year and this isn't much better. Kindergarteners are still babies. Sure, they are in school but being the youngest of the bunch they are still babies. I can't pretend that she's a baby anymore. She's 6 and a 'grader' (she loves to call herself a grader!). I guess those baby days are over. My oldest is officially a kid. Not a baby, toddler, preschooler or even kindergartener. She's a kid. How did that happen?

So, in the midst of all the getting ready for school (and all the pondering where my baby went when I wasn't looking!) we've been throwing ourselves in to as many fun family activities as we can to send summer out with a bang. The last three weeks have been a flurry of activities. I hate to see it coming to and end but I am, at the same time, ready to find some 'normalcy' in my days so that I can spend more time designing.

I am happy to say that I've been able to etch out enough time to continue to participate in the Teacher's Pet program at Funky Playground Designs! I was thrilled to learn that I made it to round 3. This is the first such competition I've participated in and I have to say, I was a little nervous starting out. Traci, Corina and Chere (and the rest of the FPD designers of course!) are just awesome though and have definitely made me feel right at home. I find myself really hoping to make it to the end because I'd love to stay at FPD and hang around with those awesome girls! :)

The assignment for round 2 was to create an element pack. The catch? Every item had to have some sort of extraction incorporated in to it. I had so many ideas going through my head that it was hard to narrow it down to one thing to focus on. In the end, I created a cute little pack of beaded goodies... buggy for beads. Here's a peek at it. For those who weren't able to grab it at FPD before the link was removed, keep an eye out... in September the mini kit from last week and the element pack from this week will be available again!

Now its time to get started on the assignment for round 3. I'm excited about this round and can't wait to show you the mini kit that is floating around in my brain! Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

sunbaked, waterlogged and grinning ear to ear

Aaah, I feel so refreshed! We had an amazing weekend. It was a shame we had to come home! It wasn't amazing so much in what we did, it was just so relaxing and fun. I'm worn out though and ready for a weekend away to recover from our weekend away! LOL

Yesterday I came home to an exciting announcement. I made it on to round 2 of the FPD Teacher's Pet apprentice program! In case you missed the first round, I'll give you a peek of my mini kit. It will not be available again until the end of the program but then I will offer it again as either a blog freebie or a mini kit in one of my stores.

Round 2 will consist of element packs so you will definitely want to keep an eye out on the gallery at FPD so that you can pick up the awesome packs available from the participants!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Announcement time! :)

That's right! Its time for an announcement. I've been teasing my CT for the last few days, making them wait along with the rest of you. This one was worth the wait though because it involves a FREEBIE! Are you ready?

Okay, here goes.....

I'm proud to announce that I'm a new Sunshine Girl! :) Sunshine Studio Scraps has grown with the addition of new designers and we are celebrating!! What better way to celebrate than to give away a mega kit? What's better, we're having a blog hop! Collect your freebies from each blog and get to know a little about the designers in the process! How cool is that?!?!?! Remember to check the store Friday for the unveiling of the new designers' stores!

And now... without further ado... here's the freebie!!

Click HERE to download! ** link fixed and updated January 13th **

To check out the rest of the Sunshine Girls and pick up other fun goodies, visit the Sun Blog where you will find a list of links of all the participating designers!

Remember this is an international party, so if you don't see someone's freebies up yet, be sure to stop by again later today!

Enjoy your freebies! We hope you will stop by our gallery and post your layouts!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bad, bad blogger

I'm going to have to just face it. I'm rather sporadic when it comes to blogging. I always think of things to blog about but opening up blogger, typing everything out, adding links and pictures... well, its work. LOL I debate with myself.. blog or do dishes. Blog or feed the kids. You can guess what stuff comes first, eh?

Anyway, I wanted to update you on my CT call. I had a FABULOUS response and I am proud to say I have an awesome new team to join the already wonderful girls that have been with me forever! I will make a solid effort to get them announced by the end of the week. Feel free to kick me if I don't get it done. ;)

Let's see... in design news... I've got a LOT going on. I'm making some changes in where I sell my products, adding stores, subtracting stores, etc. I won't say anything quite yet because I want to wait until its time for official announcements but I will say that there are some pretty fun changes in store for me and I'm very excited!

In personal news... I go in on Thursday to have laparascopic surgery on my knee. In April I fell down the stairs (holding my 2 year old, who, thankfully was perfectly fine!) and twisted my knee something awful. In the process it seems I tore part of the meniscus. The tear is like a little flap that is moving around and often gets caught between the bones in my knee. This causes swelling, joint pain, etc. and makes it difficult for me to walk on inclines, go up and down stairs, etc. The ortho I met with was pretty confident that going in and cleaning up the torn area to smooth it out and keep it from getting pinched will alleviate the problems and I'll be good as new in no time. I'm excited because I haven't been able to do a lot of things I'm used to like hiking in our favorite state park. On the other hand, I'm nervous because I'll be under general anesthesia and there are always risks. I've only been under once and I was 15 and having my tonsils removed. I did fine then so I can't imagine I would have any adverse reactions now but... well, you know... it IS surgery. LOL My last 4 surgeries have all been done with me awake and either a spinal block or an epidural in place so I haven't had to worry about the anesthesia part in a while.

Anyway... I'll be back tomorrow with the exciting announcement of my CT girls and my new QP team!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

CT and more call!

Its been AGES since I've had a CT call. I mean like almost 2 years. My little CT has dwindled down to 3 people and while they totally ROCK, I do admit that we're feeling pretty lonely in my CT forum and could use some new faces to help liven the place up! :) I'm excited about this call and I hope that those applying are just as excited!

Here are the details... I'm looking for a few different kinds of people for this call. I need regular CT members, hybrid members, quickpage creators and some lively and motivated girls for my promotional team. When you apply, please make a notation as to what position you are interested in. If you wish to be considered for more than one position, please let me know what your first choice is.

CT Members

My CT terms are flexible. You will have access to my products via coupon code through Elemental Scraps. I ask that you use what you take and post your layouts to at least 3 galleries. There aren't any minimum monthly layout requirements but I am looking for active members so you can't just join and then never participate. I don't have minimum requirements because a) I feel that creativity can't be forced and b) life happens and sometimes its not possible to get everything done. However, if you go more than 6 weeks without posting layouts you will be removed from the team (unless other arrangements have been made) to make room for someone who wants to scrap with my products.

Hybrid scrappers will be required to do one hybrid project using my designs approx. every other month. Basically, as with the regular CT, I ask that you use what you take and post your projects to at least 3 galleries. I realize that hybrid projects often take a little more time and effor that digital layouts and therefore I ask that you have a project every 8 weeks or so. These projects can be cards, crafts, hybrid layouts, chipboard albums, etc. Be creative! One scrapper used one of my kits to make t-shirt transfers for her kids for Valentine's Day!

If you are interested in a CT position please email creativespiritscall @ gmail dot com with CT call in the subject line. If you are applying for a hybrid position please specify. Tell me a little about yourself, what other teams you are on and give me a link to your most complete gallery.

Promo team

No scrapping required! Do you like my designs but don't have time to scrap? Join my promotional team and you will have access to my designs in exchange for a little of your time. I am looking for team members to answer ISO ads (where my products may apply), post to the CT enabling thread at DST, help me run contests and give aways and to generally be a cheerleader for me. For this position I want you to be honest with yourself and with me and only apply if you really love my products. I want my promo team to be honest when they 'pimp' my products. :)

If you are interested in this position please email creativespiritscall @ gmail dot com with Promo team in the subject line. Please let me know a little about yourself, what teams you are on and what boards you are most actively a part of.

Quickpage Creators

I am looking for 2-5 scrappers to create quickpages using my products (and only my products). I would like at least 3-4 pages from each kit that you download. The finished product will be placed for sale by me. You will receive 50% of the net sales (paypal fees and store commission will be taken out) and will be paid out via PayPal. All products in my stores will be previewed according to the store guidelines. You may create a logo to be placed on the preview that credits you as the page designer.

To apply for this position please email me at creativespiritscall @ gmail dot com with QP creator in the subject line. Tell me a little about yourself, what teams you are currently on and link me to a gallery showing me your work. I want to see how well you would work with my products so I am going to be asking each applicant to do a set of quickpages using one of my kits. Please request which kit when you are applying.

And now pat yourself on the back for reading all of that!! If you think you have what it takes then email me at creativespiritscall @ gmail dot com! Call ends June 11th. You can check out my products at Elemental Scraps or Purple Paper Flowers

Thursday, June 05, 2008

storms, memories and clutter

I hate this feeling... We are expecting some pretty rough storms tonight and all we can do is wait. I don't like waiting. I don't like the unexpected. I feel very restless today. DH came home this morning with an article clipped from the Wichita Eagle. It said that the weather pattern we are looking at for tonight is similar to one in '74 when there were 39 tornadoes in a night. Dang if that doesn't make me feel good. :( It seems the worst of it will be around central Kansas but its still too close for comfort for me. We've had too many warnings lately and there have been too many tornadoes touch down with 50 miles of us. Its scary!

To help me pass the time today, I'm cleaning and scanning wedding pictures. I have to say, my new scanner ROCKS! We had a crappy 3 in 1 Lexmark before. I used it to scan pictures for our anniversary album (we hit 10 years in May!!) but the scans were bad and wouldn't have been good for anything other than what I used them for (small pictures in an 8x8 album). I have been itching to do a wedding album. My brother in law got married in October of '06 and my brother got married in October of '07 and I made each of them an 8x11 album through Shutterfly. I told DH that it sucked that they had wedding albums before we did and we've been married so much longer. I was getting ready to scan my wedding pictures when I realized two things... a- the scanner sucked and b- I lost my prints! Fortunately we have the negatives but the Lexmark wasn't going to cut it. DH surprised me by ordering me an Epson Perfection V500 Photo. I can scan ANYTHING now and the scans are awesome!

Besides scanning and fretting about the possible storms, I am trying to keep the kids occupied and clear out some of the clutter. My 5 year old is turning 6 at the end of this month. Part of her birthday present is a plasma car. Because I knew there would be fights, I ordered 2. I know have boxes strewn about from them being put together. I also haven't done any deep cleaning in a few days and things are starting to pile up on me again. I hate housework!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

pink eye?

I think my little guy has pink eye. He has horrible allergies (both our children do, of course both of their parents do too) and yesterday was a bad allergy day. His nose was leaky and he kept coughing. His eyes were fine at first but soon started to have a little green discharge in the corners. It concerned me but my husband told me not to worry, said he probably wiped his nose funny and got it in his eyes or something, he is 2 after all. Of course, it didn't happen until right as the doctor's office was closing so I couldn't call to get him in. I started watching and finally got on to WebMD to see if I could find anything about pink eye since I just had a feeling. Since his eyes were only leaky at the time and not pink I just took note of the symptoms and started to watch him. He fell asleep on my lap and when he woke up his eyes were red. It definitely looks like pink eye. Dh had to run out last night to take a video back (August Rush... awesome movie!!) and he stopped by Walmart and picked up some drops for the little guy's eyes. We put them in last night and within 20 minutes the discharge was gone as was the watering. His eyes are still a little pink this morning but not at all like yesterday. I'm just watching him closely to see what happens. I hate to be that parent who runs to the doctor for every little ailment but I also don't want to be that parent that misses something important because they are afraid of looking bad if it isn't important. Catch 22, isn't it. This parenting stuff isn't always easy!

So... Easter is on its way. What will the bunny bring to you? I am hoping for some new digiscrap goodies since I haven't done a layout since early February. I was over at DST yesterday just browsing layouts and I really want to scrap!! Anyway, the kids aren't getting a ton this year. We are to the point of being over ran with toys and I can't see bringing many more in the house. They are getting a big water park toy. It doesn't have the best reviews on Amazon, but it holds water and my boy will LOVE it. I only paid $6, including shipping, so no complaining here! The bunny is going to hide it in the yard and have the kids do a treasure hunt to find it. Fun stuff!

In design news... Elemental Scraps is getting ready for a new look. It is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait! I wish I could give a peek but Joedee would probably hang me by my toe nails if I did! Anyway, because of that I'm up to my eyeballs in redoing previews with the new template. I love the new preview look but I hate doing previews in general so I find myself doing everything but. I have 30 some done and another 60 some to do. A lot of products are retiring, some simply because I dread previewing them again! LOL Here's the little ad I posted at DST. More products will be added.

It makes me a little sad to retire things but its time. My design style has changed so much that I really need to move on. If anything catches your eye though, get it before its gone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Belated 'Irish Day'

Top o' the mornin' to ya! I hope that you all had a great St. Patty's day yesterday.

St. Patrick's Day is one of those holidays I thought was stupid when I was a kid (I had an aunt that used to pinch me even if I wore green). As an adult, however, I see the beauty in it.

I married in to an Irish family and since having children I have grasped on to that culture. My own family history is sketchy at best. I know all about my mother's mother's side but nothing about her father's side or my own father's side. I have never met my father and little is known about him. I'm told he's Irish but who knows. I'm sometimes told what they think I want to hear. Its nice to finally have something concrete to share with my children since I only know a quarter of my own lineage.

Over the years, St. Patrick's Day has become something we celebrate bigger and bigger. We started out just going to the parade in town and maybe wearing green but now we have a leprechaun who plays pranks on us and this year I even added some Irish food to the mix. I made reubens for the first time. I know, not your traditional St. Patty's day menu but Irish none the less and something that looked easy enough for me to make quickly. I had never had a reuben before but my husband had them quite often growing up. I was nervous because he's picky, especially when it comes to things he has had in the past and feels should taste a certain way. Personally, I've never liked sauerkraut so I figured I'd end up scraping it all off of mine in order to eat it. I was pleasantly surprised though. Not only did DH like it (and ask for seconds) but I really enjoyed it too. They are likely going to be something we eat at least once a month. Yum!

Anyway, our leprechaun did come yesterday. He made the kids' milk green, poured green salad dressing on my salad and turned our potty water green. He also played around moving the kids little stuffed leprechaun around the house and finally hung him up on the chandalier. The kids had great fun discovering where he would next end up and they laughed as I made faces and ate green salad dressing (quite tasty I might add). We didn't go all out like I wanted to. We usually go on a late night leprechaun hunt but it was raining so that didn't happen. We also usually get the kids some sort of little toy but right now we're overloaded on toys and I just couldn't see bringing another in. I'm already planning for next year though!

Caity was in the parade this year. It was on Saturday so we did most of our celebrating early. It was windy and cold and hardly no one showed up. It was fun none the less and we were excited for her to get to ride in the parade.

On Sunday I sat down and put this kit together so that I could scrap some of my pictures from Saturday...

Friday, March 14, 2008

2 for 2...

Can you believe I'm posting again? I can't. LOL! That's okay, I seriously doubt anyone even read my post from yesterday given how often I usually blog! I wanted to jump up and down and scream to the world that I actually DID post on my blog but I refrained. Maybe after I have made more than two posts in 9 months!

So, yesterday I mentioned my boy and how he was sorta playing around with the notion of going to the potty... well, yesterday he went on the potty, by himself, TWICE! Woohoo!!! I'm so excited. He went upstairs and was sitting on the potty when my hubby went up to grab some clothes. He asked the little man what he was doing. "Going potty" he said. DH went in to grab the clothes and when he came back out the little one had gone. The evidence was all over the front of the toilet seat and down the back of his sweats. We were so excited despite the mess! He's only 28 months and he's taking it upon himself to potty train. I wouldn't have started until he was 3.

Anyway, I mentioned yesterday that I am working to make positive changes in my life. One of them has to do with taking better care of myself. I've made no secret of the fact that I have an addiction to diet pepsi. Drinking a 2 liter bottle a day just isn't (wasn't) unusual for me. If I was stressed out, I'd drink even more. I'm happy to say I've all but given up the habit. :) I haven't sworn it off completely but it is amazing how much I have cut back!

For my birthday my husband bought me this fancy electronic water bottle called a HydraCoach. It keeps track of your water intake, suggests how much water you should be drinking a day and gives you the results of your efforts in either ounces or % of your goal met. After 24 hours it starts blinking and you have to reset it so there is no cheating and drinking for 3 days just to meet your goal. LOL Apparently some girls he works with use them at work and try to get in their 64oz while they are at work each day. He thought they were nifty and took note of what they were called. That very day I started talking about how I wish there was something to motivate me to drink more since I had realized I went 3 full days without a single drop of water... only diet pepsi. He sat down and ordered one of them for me right then (without me knowing it). When I first opened it up, I felt a little cheated. I'll be honest. It didn't seem like much of a birthday present. I have every type of sports bottle under the sun. I always buy them and think they will help motivate me to drink but it never happens. What did I need yet another bottle for?

The first day I used it and drank a little from it but I just wasn't feeling it. The next day I tried again. The third day I let it sit all day and drank more diet pepsi than normal. My 5 year old asked me why I wasn't using my new birthday present. I guess you could say she guilted me in to trying it again. This time I actually managed to drink a full 64 oz. The next day I did it again. I've been using the cup now for about 3.5 weeks and I've bumped my goal intake up from 64 oz to 80 oz. Most days I drink around 100 oz. Today I got a late start and just reset my bottle from last night. Its been 33 minutes and I've drank 33 oz, or 41% of my goal for the day. I really love my sports bottle now and I have felt SO much better since starting to drink more water. I haven't missed the diet pepsi at all. Every now and then I think that one would taste good, and sometimes I even indulge in a drink but for the most part I've given it up. Now, instead of buying 10 2 liters every week (and sometimes going back for more), I'm buying 1 for the week and last week I didn't buy any! The most exciting thing to me is that I can have a bottle of it sitting here in the house for days on end without me touching it. Its not a willpower struggle at all, I just don't feel I have to have it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I am a sucky blogger

Yes, it is a harsh statement, but it is true. I suck at blogging. I go full force for a few days and then slack off. Its been like 9 months since my last entry and I have no excuse as to why I haven't been posting. Heck, I don't even have a reason why I am posting today. LOL

I guess my thinking is that I have been making some other very solid and positive changes in my life lately that I should be able to start blogging again and incorporate it as one of my new lifestyle changes and maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to keep up with it.... you think?

So, let's see... what is going on? Well, nothing much has changed other than the fact that I have a kindergartner now instead of a preschooler. My kids are growing, changing, developing and flourishing. It is amazing to watch them. I am fiercely proud and in total awe of them. Recently we had parent teacher conferences at the elementary school. Since the girl had dance class the same night, daddy took the kids to dance while I walked down to the school for the conference. I was met with a teacher who was smiling ear to ear and immediately burst out "If only I had a whole class of her" :)

Her report card (no grades, just plus marks) was fabulous and every word was a glowingly positive review of my little girl. I was beyond thrilled. Obviously I think she's the cat's meow but she's mine... I'm a little obligated to that that way. I look at her and see a bright little girl who makes friends easily but I'm not 20 5 year olds all day so I have nothing to compare her to. I know she's on track with the benchmarks she needs to meet but without knowing the curriculum or where others her age stand its hard for me to judge how she is doing. I was blown away to hear the teacher say that they can't challenge her enough and that she is far beyond what they have tested for. They were using a reading program and having the children read one book after another, each slightly more difficult, to see how far they would get. The teacher said they got so far with my little girl that they just had to stop her.

She is, at very least, reading at a 2nd grade level. She seriously only started reading around October so this is amazing to me. The problem we have now is finding books that are difficult enough to keep her challenged without being too involved to make her lose attention. She is, after all, just 5. She's not quite ready to sit and read chapter books on her own yet she needs the level of difficultly that those chapter books provide.

And then there is my 2 year old. He's 2 going on 12. He is such a mature little boy for two. Well, most of the time that is. The other night we baby-sat for a friend's 2 year old foster son. The two had several little tiffs and I discovered that my boy didn't like to share so much. It really surprised me because he's never had a problem sharing before. Of course he doesn't play with that many children his exact age and I think that there a little feeling of competition between them. When the little boy dirtied his diaper and ended up wearing a pair of my son's spider man pull ups... well, I could definitely see that he was feeling as though this boy was coming in to take his place. After the boy left though, D stood there waving, half teary eyed and said "when he come back?" I'll have to arrange for some play dates.

D is trying to potty train himself. The problem is, mommy isn't ready. I hate the whole potty training ordeal and I wanted to wait until spring/summer so that I don't have to worry about pulling off 40 layers of clothes to get him to the potty. So far his training attempts amount to him pulling off his clothes from the waist down and climbing up to sit on the potty. I find myself wondering if a potty chair is even necessary since he sits so well on the big potty. Anyway, next month we'll probably start working with him pretty enthusiastically. I would LOVE to be rid of the diapers for a while, that's for sure. We only had a break of about 3 months between the time his sister potty trained and he was born so I've basically been changing diapers for 5.5 years.

So.... are you still reading? Maybe this is why I don't blog... I'm so long winded! LOL

Anyway, as for me... I'm still around. I don't post often anywhere outside of ES these days. I'm still designing and still exclusive to ES at this point. I went through a period of time where designing just wasn't doing it for me. I had no creative energy and no desire to design. I did the bare minimum to get by with my commitments and bascially took a much needed break away from designing. In January my creativity returned and I've been slowly making my way back since then. :) Its nice to WANT to design again!