Tuesday, September 29, 2009

desperate times = desperate measures

Sunday started out so innocently. Just a day away (by myself) to do crafty fun stuff with my sister. Play with stamps and dominoes. Some time to see Mom.  Maybe some dinner together. You know, share ideas, laugh together, catch up.

As soon as I pulled off the freeway to head to Mom's house I heard the noise. The noise was coming from underneath the bowels of our trusted and true Volvo. I pulled up in front of Mom's house and looked underneath the car. Sure enough, there was something dragging under the car, scraping the pavement. Only it wasn't a piece of trash or a tree branch. It was a rather large piece of metal. Some sort of bracket, loose from it's bearings. Nice. No mechanics are open on a Sunday, so I take Mom  and her car to my sister's and we (innocently) enjoy our day and dinner together. My awesome husband says, "Don't worry, I'll get Brenna to school on Monday and you stay and get the car fixed." I spend the night at Mom's, call the mechanic in the morning and they suggest to have the car towed in. After a quick call to the oh so helpful AAA agent, my tow truck arrives within 30 minutes. The driver takes one look at the large hanging said metal bracket and says to me, "Wow. Are you ever lucky. How far did you drive?" "About 45 miles" is my answer. "That bracket is the support for the gas tank. If it had caught on something it could have flipped back up and punctured the gas tank." "WHAAAAAA???" is my incoherent reply.

The tow truck takes off with my trusty volvo and we putter the day away, waiting for the mechanic. You know. No calls, don't hear anything on the progress of the car. So, since we were in the area, we paid a  visit to the very nice mechanic who has just returned from the dentist. Hasn't looked at the car. (It's now 12 p.m.)  "Would you like to wait or shall I call you to tell you what's up with the car?" Oh, we'll wait. We will sit right in line of your vision and wait until you tell us what is up with the car. "We need to fashion a fitting and bolt the cross bar back on-about 2 or 3 hours to fix," comes the answer an hour later. By now, my sweet friend has offered to pick up Brenna from school, I spend the afternoon with Mom and my sister. Mom tells me it's serendipitous that the car broke down, as she gets to spend time with both of us.

The car gets fixed, the mechanic only charges me $100.00 to fix the car and I make the long drive home in traffic, feeling safe and secure.
 I have one nagging concern in the back of my mind.  My dogs. Both neighbors who have my house key are unavailable to come let them out for a bathroom break. They have been stuck in the house for a looooong time. My older dog would be fine for 6 days and never go to the bathroom. The puppy (1yr.) however-he needs to be let outside, so I figured I would have some clean up to do. Not much I could do, given the situation. This is where I now know you and I are good friends. The pictures you are about to see of my home is something that not everyone would put on the internet.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be greeted by last night's trash. Yep. That's right. Trash. Seems the doggies had entertained themselves in a big way by having a party. With the trash can.

They partied from the kitchen to the living room.

 From the living room to the family room.

At one point, I caught the puppy happily prancing through the house with a corn cob.
 Not pretty. I must say. I was calmer than I thought I should be. Even when I stepped into yogurt. Even when I cleaned up dog pee. The dogs went OUTSIDE, I brought out the camera and thought, "What the heck. It will make a good story for the blog." Next came the vacuum, broom and mop. An hour later I had nice, clean floors. Well, the carpet will have to be done this weekend. I ordered pizza to be delivered and thought, "If ANYone complains, they know what they can do with this left over corn cob!" (O.K. maybe by the middle of cleaning up my frustration level had risen a bit.)

The party planner.

The guest.

The moral of my story: Try and find humor in all that happens. Get a dog door installed. A lock on the cabinet is helpful. Always have your camera ready. Pizza delivery is God's gift to mothers.  And a good mechanic is a must!!!


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Boo! Some funny animals have crept into my house...and all the ideas for this silly bird came from Cindy at Yappingcatstudiohttp://yappingcatstudio.typepad.com. A very creative lady!

I couldn't resist him. Dare I tell you where I found him? (The Dollar Store.) He just made me laugh! All I could think of was the song, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother" and changing the words to "He ain't mangy, he's my crow."

Come on, now, laugh a little with me! It's been a looong week.
My husband thinks he is a little creepy and my dog goes berserk when he sees him. But I like him!

On other fronts, I am working on an altered book swap with my friend Wendy and our new friend, Debbie from Scrapping Lounge. http://scrappinglounge.blogspot.com  She showed us how to riiiip up a book, glue pages together and have fun! Never, ever in a million years would I have thought I would by ripping up books. But it is kinda fun and it's old, and.....

Well, o.k., I'm in!!  The three of us will each complete our own book's  cover and the first two pages and then swap the book and let the other one of us do two pages and so forth, until the book is completed. I am excited to see how it all turns out.

Yup, more family members. Makes me kinda glad I take after my grandmother's side of the family....

Did I really just say that??

No. This gentleman is not from either side of my family. But the saying might have come from someone in my family, somewhere...Don't we all need the bats cleaned out once in a while?

I will keep you posted on the book's progress. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trick or Treat Banner

Hey, all! 

Today I thought I would show you a banner that I have made. I got a little carried away and made it into a double-sided banner, using different vintage Halloween pictures and some old family photos that I have.

I do believe these are friends of my grandmother's. All dressed up for some occasion, so it fit the Halloween theme!

 This is my grandmother (right) and one of her sisters having some fun:

A crow I drew and cut out and then gussied up a bit...

I love the vintage image on this one. I found some images online and printed them onto card stock. The tinsel I found at the Dollar Store in the gift wrap section. (As well as Mr. Crow.)

I took the scraps from the group photo and used it on this one. The scrap of the house looked kinds spooky. Then I had a creative blitz and made the little "badge" out of a circular punch and my calendar stamps. I used Dreamstreet and Graphic 45 papers for this project.

Here I used yet another Dollar Store find: the flower! I just painted it black with my acrylic paint, some gold glimmer mist and a little bling. I wonder what my art teacher would say if she knew I was using my acrylics on Dollar Store flowers? Knowing her, she would say, "Go for it! But what have you painted lately?

 A Jenny Bowlin tag I embellished.

While photographing, I realized that I had glued the letters on the "back" side of the banner backwards. Yep. TRICK now looked like KCIRT. Beautiful. Just fab. I thought I could either try and salvage it or try to convince people that KCIRT was an old Halloween expression from the Netherlands. I decided on the salvaging idea. 


Not too bad...I am grateful for the uh, "distressed" look!

Ahhh, she really CAN spell!!

Being the anal person I can be at times, I wonder...should the TRICK side be facing the front door  or the TREAT side??? Does it really matter?

B didn't care which way went which. She just wanted her picture taken!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday AGAIN??\

Monday, again??? Don't the days go by so fast in the fall? Speaking of fall, I am just happy we are only getting up to 95 degrees today instead of the promised 103. Tuesday is supposed to be 108! Where IS the fall weather? 

Today I have some pictures to share with you. My sweet Brenna is the water girl for the jr. high football team at her school. She has had this privilege for the past 2 years, and LOVES it. I am so proud of her!

She works alongside the team mom and one other water boy. This year she is able to carry the waters (full) all by herself! She loves her team and they are such awesome boys to her. They always say thank you, give her high fives, and just say hey in general.

Of course, she digs her team shirt and loves to wear it to school on game days with the rest of the team.

When the coach signals time out, in this big, booming voice, he shouts, "TIME OUT! WHERE IS THE WATER? LET'S GET THE WATER OUT THERE!!" 
Then the team mom and Brenna go flying out to the field to pass water around. Sometimes she makes it out there on time, sometimes not!! It goes so fast!

Sometimes, she is busy getting water herself!! The day I took these photos, it was 103. At one point, I found Brenna in the shade in a chair. "What are you doing??!" I asked. "Nothing" came the favorite reply. Then the team mom told me she had Brenna sit down because she was looking pretty hot. Oh. Oh yeah, her face was pretty red. Nice job, mom!!

She is ALWAYS ready at the end of the game to pray with the team, and help with snacks! One week, the coach told me Brenna actually LED the prayer at the end. What a gal!!!

Thanks for the time to reflect on such a sweet life. Hope it makes your day as much as it made mine!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Altered Photo Technique

Well. It has been a busy, busy week and I am sorry I haven't posted before now. But I have been thinking of the blog in between feeding 300 people for the back-to-school bbq, ortho appts., an oral surgery consult, working on the sweet and sinister swap, watching Brenna do water for the jr. high football team in 103 degrees, and making snow cones for 2 hours for 200 jr. high kids at our church's outreach Friday night. I can't say I have given much thought to laundry. But I HAVE put something fun together for today!!

I learned a great technique to alter your photos. It's a lot of fun and really easy. Ready? Gather your supplies. You will need two plastic containers deep enough to submerge your photos. You will also need rubber cement ($9.99 at Michael's), alcohol inks of various colors, bleach, paper towels, some sort of tongs or tweezers, rubbing alcohol or blending solution and photos

In one container, put enough tap water in to cover the photos. In the second container, put 1/2 tap water and 1/2 bleach. 

Next, take your photo and the rubber cement and brush the rubber cement over the part of your photo that you DO NOT want to disappear. The part of your photo that you cover with the rubber cement will be your main focal point.

Here, I am covering the image of the statue in my photo. I cover her head and torso, leaving the background alone. Now, let the rubber cement dry until slightly tacky. It should take around five minutes. 
Now for the fun part! Put your photo into the container with the bleach and water solution.

As the photo sits in the bleach, the colors will fade or completely disappear, depending on the photo paper. On this photo, my sister had printed it for me on her computer. The background faded to this:

Next, put your photo into the clear water container to stop the process. I did not do this one time and the colors in the background just about disappeared on me, which was disappointing as I wanted some of the background. Lay your photo out on a paper towel to dry.
This is the same process, only done on a photo that was printed in a lab. Walgreens, I think.

Can you see the difference in the backgrounds? With a photo printed at the lab you will definitely loose your background. Here it is finished:

Now what? Well, break out your alcohol inks and blending solution! (I don't have any, I just used rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle.) When the photos are dry, begin putting drops of alcohol ink on the background. Immediately after, spray with rubbing alcohol (or use your blending solution) and begin to turn your photo in different directions so the ink can drip and cover the photo.

If you don't want it to dry on the image with the rubber cement, just dab the ink off with a paper towel.

Continue adding different colors and spraying the rubbing alcohol as you go, until you have the background covered in a way that is pleasing to you.
A couple of different ideas during this process is to dab the ink with a sponge or paper towel, leaving an imprint in the ink. Or, wait for the ink to dry. Then add a drop or two of a different color and let it set without using the alcohol. It will spread a bit on it's own and will add a whole different layer of color!

Here are a couple of photos that I finished:

The blue marks on the statue are from brush marks when I used the rubber cement.


I added a saying that I distressed to the photo below. I will finish it with card stock behind it to give it some "oomph" and maybe some trim. It will go to Jan Thomason of thepolkadotbarn.blogspot.com for a friend of hers who has been diagnosed with cancer.                                                       

That's it for today. Let me know what you think and be sure to check back for more fun!
Have a great day~


Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Monday

Hey, All!!
Do you remember that song, "Just Another Manic Monday"? Please. Someone has to recall that one!! That is what this Monday is like. I had an awesome Saturday. We did NOTHING until 2:00. That is very unusual for us. My sweet husband just about wore himself out training on Friday for an Olympic Sprint Triathalon he will be doing in October. Then he played 18 holes of golf. Crazy, I know, but one of his favorite types of days. Sunday began with a great sermon on Ruth and then the craziness began!

 I have coordinated the back-to-school BBQ for Brenna's school the last three years, and it is always on a Monday. So, Sunday is spent at Costco buying 400 hamburgers and buns, all the fixings and then some.....Lots of people comment on our carts!! Then we take it to the school and unload. We were fortunate that our sweet friends had us over for dinner after all of that. OH. MY. It was to die for!!!! Grilled veggies and fillet mingon. YUMMMMMMM.

Now begins the Manic Monday part: B to school. Start prep for the BBQ with some fabulous ladies who help out each year. B to Orthodontist. Back to the high school to pick up extra burgers. Back home to do homework. And laundry. Did I mention no one has any clean anything?! Back to B's school at 5:00 to begin set up, and dinner is at 6:00. Then clean up. Then open house. And by THEN I should just go home as I get myself into trouble for talking while the teacher is talking and I don't hear a word they say, as I am SOOOOO tired!!!

Here is a sweet quote from Brenna to her dad this last week:
"No Dad, we are not a team, we are a FAMILY."
End of statement!
Hope your Monday isn't so manic!!!