Monday, June 25, 2007

I updated my book blog, if anyone's interested.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What I've been up to.

Heh heh. Well, I haven't really been that lazy, but it's most assuredly summer mode around here.

I've been scrapping a ton, too much to post here, but you can check my gallery at Two Peas if you have any interest (scroll down a little to see pictures.) You or someone you know may be featured on a layout, you never can tell...

Look how pretty my bee balm and coneflowers and tiger lilies are getting. My blue birdbath is buried somewhere in that mess, and you can see our next-door dog Socks' hinder at the top, too.

Is this a butterfly or a moth?

And soon, oh so soon, we'll have tomatoes. I've already harvested two peppers. Very exciting stuff going on here!

We are in the middle of a gorgeous weather system right now--cool breezes, warm sun, moderate temps, low other words, heaven.

If you need me, I'll be on the front porch having a glass of sun tea.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wedding pages.

I'm trying to get the last bits of previous years' albums caught up. These are pictures from my cousin Janine's wedding almost two years ago. I had a ton of pictures we took outside the church, and I wanted to use most of them, so there's a lot crammed onto this two-page spread:

And here's my niece Kylie in her flower girl glory. She was obsessed with the little bottle of bubbles we all got to blow at the bride and groom when they came out of the church:

To give her brother Tanner equal time, here's the layout I did of him all spiffed up for the wedding...I did this one last year sometime:

Monday, June 11, 2007


I'll stop itching (and bitching) for a couple minutes, since I was tagged by Lora, who has a lovely little blog called Sketch Shak with some great sketches for scrapbook pages--and incidentally, she's running a RAK challenge over there right now, so go check it out. Thanks, Lora! This one's been making the rounds of the blogs, I think...

Seven Random Facts about Me:

-I love old (pre-1965) movies. Some of my faves: Casablanca, The Manchurian Candidate, Laura, To Be or Not To Be, Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, Shadow of a Doubt, and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

-I can't curl my tongue.

-Spelling and grammar mistakes drive me nuts, especially in published books or magazine articles.

-I have the same middle name as my mother and my grandmother, and I asked my brother to pass it along to his daughter when she was born, to keep it going.

-I love to sing, absolutely love it. I still have those fantasies where I stand and sing into a mixing spoon and pretend it's a microphone and I'm on stage in front of an adoring crowd!

-Part of me secretly wants a really old fifties car to tool around in, a convertible with big fins.

-I am dying for the next Harry Potter book to come out, yet I don't want to read it and have the whole thing be over with.

I won't tag anyone else, but if you haven't done this one yet, do it!


I don't know why, but every couple weeks I just ITCH. All over, but especially on my face. It's not a rash, it's just a general feeling of being itchy and uncomfortable in my skin.

I was sitting here rubbing at my itchy face just now, thinking how it fits perfectly with my mood this afternoon. We have to go to dinner at some friends' house, a farewell dinner for another friend, and I don't feel friendly toward ANY of these people and I don't wanna go!

I don't talk about people I know in real life on this blog very much, and I definitely don't say negative stuff about anyone I know here, but today's the first day I've ever been tempted. I know I'm a bad friend, I don't put forth much effort even with people I like, but why do I have to put forth effort for people I only know through my husband's job, a job he doesn't even have anymore? People I've socialized with sporadically but been irritated by every step of the way. And now they're in my life and I can't eradicate them. And I feel bad about myself for feeling this way about them. I want to be a fun person with dozens and dozens of friends, but instead I'm a crab who's crabbing about spending a couple hours with a few of the small handful of people I even know.

Then my depressive mind turns this mood into a recitation of everything that's wrong with me, and every failed or dissatisfactory relationship I've ever had...oh yeah. It's an itchy day. Hope my new shirt and some hoop earrings will perk me up for the evening ahead.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Okay, so I lied, I've got one more post in me...this is the challenge at Two Peas today:

Are you a leather sandal/flip flop kinda gal?
Are you the type of person that collects flip flops?

Blog about your summer shoe collection!

I was always a leather sandal person, for years and years. I have a wonderfully comfortable pair that I got at Bass Pro the first summer we lived here, but they fell by the wayside once I discovered the comfortableness of flip-flops.

Flip-flops were called "thongs" back in my childhood/teen days, and they were extremely uncomfortable: 1/2 " thick foam soles with rigid plastic straps that rubbed the tops of your feet raw and wore a blister between your big and second toes.

But somewhere along the way someone realized that flip-flops could, and should be comfortable and cute, and once they became that way, I hopped right on the bandwagon. In the summer of 2005, I bought umpteen pairs at various stores, and ended up doing a scrapbook page about them.

Now I have a whole huge Sterilite box full of 'em, but my stand-bys are my J Crew flip-flops: they have wide grosgrain ribbon straps, and super-thick foam soles. I bought two more pair this summer, and if they go on sale later, I'll probably buy more, I love them so. I wore them the whole summer when I worked at the scrapbook store and was on my feet a ton, and they were so comfortable.

So the leather sandals languish in a corner of the closet. Maybe someday I'll pull them out again.

Weekend ketchup.

The air conditioner man made it to our house late Friday afternoon...the good news: a silverfish stuck between two contact points was the only thing wrong with our air conditioner. The bad news: it cost $140 to ascertain that. Talk about mixed emotions--do I feel relieved that it wasn't more serious or mad that I paid a small fortune for a 5 minute quick-fix? Hmmm...

Anyway, we're living in the cool again, hallelujah!

We took a morning trip to the beach today and watched three little boys in the spot next to us, having the time of their lives boogie-boarding, splashing and digging big holes with their dad. They were such nice kids, and so well-behaved...I was sorry to see them go, because it was so entertaining to watch them.

I don't think I ever, even as a kid, had that "bursting with joy and energy" quality. I can't remember ever feeling that joyous. The smallest of the boys, who was about two, was standing watching his brothers dig a hole, and every couple of minutes he'd just jump in the air. He could only make it about four inches off the ground, but you could sure tell he was happy and full of life. It made me think of this Garrison Keillor line about how kids are always bursting--they burst five, six times a day and think nothing of it!

I had a bright idea after we left the beach in search of lunch--I need to make a "beach supplies" checklist and post it inside the downstairs closet, so I can be sure to bring everything we need. The two things I missed on this trip were bug spray and a hairbrush. Oh, and the glasses-cleaning kit...they get so salt-covered!

One final Saturday thought as I drain the dregs of my cool drink...if you like lemon, be sure to seek out this Sierra Mist "extra lemon" that they've brought out just for the summer. I've never really cared for Sierra Mist or Sprite, because they seem too sweet, but this version is really tart and puckery, especially if you fill up the glass with lemon slices (and ice cubes) before you pour. I think it would make a killer mixed drink, too--maybe with some vodka and peach or cranberry juice. Yum!

That's all I got. We're officially doing nothing this weekend. I find I don't mind a bit!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Feelin' hot, hot, hot.

It was 92 degrees here in Newport News on Thursday. Friday, the high is supposed to be 97. Humid, of course. And on Thursday afternoon, our air conditioner went kaput.

Right now it's 2:00 Friday morning, and the temp in the house is 83 degrees, even with fans in the windows and ceiling fans abuzz. The a/c guy is coming sometime in the morning. Think good thoughts for the speedy recovery of my air conditioner! Tonight is unpleasant, and tomorrow will be worse!

(I know the world hummed happily along for thousands of years, pre-air conditioning...but that's not a world I would ever want to live in...not if I had to live in Virginia, anyway!)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Scrappin' stuff.

Here are a few more layouts I did yesterday.

This one contains the Christmas card photo I sent out last year. I think the Basic Grey background paper is just perfect for it!

I started scrapping nine years ago in 8.5x11 (vertical), then moved to 12x12 after a couple of years since I needed more room on the page. I was using lots of photos and journaling a ton then.

After five years of 12x12, I wanted a new page shape to work on, so I moved to back to 8.5x11,
only horizontal, or landscape format, this time. I've done my last two years' albums in that format.

In January, I hit a clearance sale at Michael's and found some very nice linen 8x8 albums that looked like they would hold a lot of pages. This inspired me to make the switch, for my 2007 album, to an 8x8 format, just for a challenge, and also in the hope that someday my wall of albums won't be big and heavy enough to crush me and leave me lifeless, although I think I may already have enough albums to accomplish that!

So I did my first two 8x8 layouts for my 2007 album yesterday:

If ever a piece of paper thoroughly evoked a child, this is it. Love the scribbly flowers, and when I saw them, I immediately thought-- Marissa!

This was fun...I used a gorgeous piece of Basic Grey paper that ended up barely showing at all...ain't that always the way?

8x8 is definitely a challenge. I like to use multiple photos and write a lot of journalling, and it's going to be hard to cram that all in. But the albums themselves will be so much easier to enjoy than the massive 12x12s full of pages, heavy as a Gutenberg Bible.

I found another unexpected benefit to 8x8, too...I can't remember if I mentioned taking down my scrapping area in January or February. I'd had an 8-foot piece of countertop for years, mounted to the wall, with plastic drawer carts underneath and shelving above. It had been moved to three different homes over the years.

When we put it into this room when we moved in last year, I became increasingly unhappy with how it looked, like a set-up that should be in a garage, not a nice bedroom. So a few months ago, I pulled it all down, boxed up all the contents of the drawers, tossed the carts and countertop, and got a nice computer desk and flat monitor, so that I could also get rid of my old mammoth desk and monitor. Just trying to make my study look more like a real room and not the cave of a hobbyist squatter.

At the time, I wasn't sure I'd ever scrapbook again, but since the desire has come back over me in the past couple of weeks, I wasn't sure where--or how--I'd work, since the work surface was gone and the supplies were in the cupboard.

I did my beach album sitting on the floor. It worked okay, but was hard on the back. Since I didn't have every single thing I own at my fingertips, I had to pull out what I wanted and just go with it, which was actually nice.

Working last night, I realized that an 8x8 page fits perfectly on my computer desk, in front of my monitor. I couldn't work on a 12x12 page here, but 8x8 will work great, and I have a little room on the sides to hold a few supplies as I work.

So I may end up going even simpler with my style, since I have fewer opportunities to pull stuff out, but maybe scrapping will become fun again when I'm less overwhelmed.

That's my saga. Funny how a hobby can just take over your life. I needed some breathing room, and I think I've found it.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bouquets and house stuff.

I was gazing at a bouquet of roses I clipped and set on the coffee table yesterday, and it got me to thinking about my wedding bouquet. Or more specifically, about my florist, Rosalie Kurtz, who did such a wonderful job for our wedding, and gently steered me in the direction of affordable flowers, which is a rare trait among florists, I believe!

My bouquet was pretty standard: cream roses, white and pink daisies, pink carnations, baby's breath, ivy. We had pink and burgundy tulips with the daisies and ivy in the altar arrangement, and brass bowls of daisies with candles in the middle in the windows. Our colors were burdundy, mauve and cream, very early-nineties.

Looking at wedding bouquets online, I see so many gorgeous things that would have been wonderful for our wedding, esp. this peony which is exactly the right color. If we'd gotten married in June, instead of May, we could have raided all the family gardens for a plethora of peonies. Wouldn't that have smelled wonderful!

My aunt Molly has fond memories of the lily-of-the-valley she and her sister picked from Grandma's garden for her early May wedding. My mom had daisies, which I think were mandatory for late-sixties' weddings.

It's fun to think about what you would do over if you got married all over again, but my standard bouquet certainly served the purpose. What flowers and colors did you have in your wedding bouquet? Write a post and share!

In other news...Todd took before-and-after pictures of the house last weekend, and it just makes me laugh, because after all his hard work, is a difference even apparent?

The front of the house was quite dirty, and all the white trim had mildew spots on it that developed over the winter, so he scrubbed and washed all the whole front of the house. Then he painted the garage door and shutters. I had thought the paint chip I picked was a very dark blue...turned out it exactly matched the unfaded back side of the shutters, which was only three or four shades lighter than the shutters. So my hoped-for dramatic difference didn't really materialize.

However, when we look at it, we see the difference--it's all sparkly clean, and not so faded and sad-looking. Todd did a great job!