Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

In honor of the Royal Wedding, I decided to scrapbook a couple of the pictures I have of Westminster Abbey.  Then I got carried away with watching the wedding.  It was soooo beautiful.  No, I am not one of those people who arose at 4 a.m. to watch it.  I recorded it on my DVR.  Luckily, I couldn't decide which station to record so I recorded two different ones because one of them didn't record.  I ended up watching the Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer version of the wedding.  I'm one of those people who just couldn't get enough of the royal couple.  They are just so cute.  And the hat that everyone wore!  Wow - I loved most of them .... not so much Princess Beatrice's pretzel shaped hat though!

It is going to be hard to break the habit of referring to William and Kate as Prince and Princess.  William received a dukedom from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. The prince will now be known as the Duke of Cambridge, and has also received the titles Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.  A duke is the highest rank below that of monarch in the British nobility.   Kate will be known as the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate will officially become Princess William of Wales, although this title will not be used.

So back to my pictures.  I left the pages pretty plain - Westminster Abbey speaks for itself.  After I did my pictures, I found a few images from the wedding and put them together with the help of My Digital Studio.  Enjoy! 

Idol Top 6 2011

Just realized I forgot to post this yesterday!!  I haven't watched the Results show yet so I am going to post this and then go watch it.

The Idol contestants celebrated the songs of Carol King .... songs I know this week!!

First up - Jacob - what an outfit!  He sang "Oh No, Not My Baby" and it was all right for me.  He started out rough but brought it home in the end.  Stephen told him "We all knew you could sing, it's just about time you shook your tailfeathers!"  I don't know about that!!

Lauren sang "Where You Lead"  They told her she needed to stop being safe and GO FOR IT!!  I give her credit - she did give it an E for effort.  She's just so young - it's hard to imagine doing this at 16.  Just don't know if she's ready to be America's next Idol.

To fill up the time, the contestants sang duets in addition to their solos.  I enjoyed them.  Haley and Casey sang "I Feel the Earth Move."  I love their pairing.  Their voices compliment each other.  Nice job!

Next up is Scotty singing "You've Got a Friend."  He did ok ... it just wasn't my favorite of his performances.  I wish he'd done just a little bit of his signature bass in the song somewhere.  But he should be safe this week.

James was next singing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow."  He is starting to become my favorite.  He just does his own thing.  The mentors tell the other contestants what to do, but James tells them what he's going to do!  He is a true artist.  I think the judges are seeing that too since they predicted him to win the whole thing after his performance!   Loved it!!

Scotty and Lauren sang "Up On the Roof."  I just love this song by the Drifters!! 

Next was Casey doing his typical Casey style with "Hi De Ho."  Lots of growling.  He is beginning to grate on me.  The performance was entertaining but he's not showing anything new.

Haley was the last single and sang "Beautiful."  She nailed it!  She has really come a long way.   She will probably end up in the top 3.

Jacob and James finished off the night with a rendition of "I'm Into Something Good."  Steven summed it up when he said  “I’m not sure if that was the award-winning performance it should have been, but you guys were having fun and you can both sing great. But, man, where were you going with all that?!”

So, best of the night in my opinion was James.

Bottom 3 ....probably Jacob, Casey and maybe Scotty or Lauren.  I wouldn't be sad to see Casey go home but who knows???

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How do you like the new blog banner?

How do you like my new blog banner?  Another great one using My Digital Studio.  The flower that I used is the new stamp that is in the Summer Mini Catalog - Fabulous Florets (pg 22-23).  I can't wait till next week to order it!!  I didn't preorder anything this time and I am dying to put my order in next Monday.  If you want to add to my order, give me a shout-out.  I love so many of the things in the Summer Mini.  I think my order will include Open Sea stamp and DSP, Baker's Twine, Sunny Fun, Fish Frenzy Wheel, Land of the Free, Fab Florets stamp and DSP, Flower Garden embossing folder, Strength & Hope ..... what else?  Maybe I shouldn't have gone shopping today!  I took my mom to JC Penney's but I only bought a pair of capris and a set of towels.  

I've been working on some cards for a lady in my Newcomers group.  She wants to buy an assortment from me and I will be taking them to her next week.  I'm also trying to use some stamps that have been neglected and not used recently.   Here is what I have so far:

 This is a retired set, Bodacious Bouquet.  The ovals are from my Nestabilities.  The DSP is also retired SU but it matches the Baja Blue and Soft Suede.
 Another retired set - Asian Artistry.  I sponged the white panel with Cajun Craze, Crumb Cake and did the sun in Daffodil Delight.  I cut the bird out and popped him up.  The card is Peach Parfait with Cajun Craze panels matted in Espresso and run through the Big Shot with the Square Lattice folder.  I love this card and it uses colors I don't usually use.

 This is the Asian Artistry stamp also - what a contrast to the other card I made with this set.  The card base is Cameo Coral - funny, I hardly used that color before it retired!  I colored the flowers with my Copics and then put a little Crystal Effects on the flowers.  The embossing folder is a paisley one.  The rhinestone brads are SU.

This is a simple card using the SU Butterfly die.  The stamp set is from Word Play - a very versatile set.  The DSP is from a retired Valentine package.

Well, my guys are headed home - should be here in an hour or so.  I think they had a good time.  They spent Sunday and Monday at Cooper Santee in South Carolina fishing.  Then they headed out Tuesday for the Outer Banks.  They stayed at Hatteras Island Tuesday night and did a little exploring in that area before they headed over to Kill Devil Hills where they spent Wednesday night.  I think they were going to visit the Wright Brothers Museum and Memorial today as well as some places on Roanoke Island.  Sonny wanted to get back home so they would have time to go out on our lake tomorrow and do more fishing!  Jack leaves on Saturday.  This is always such a treat for both of them .... and for me!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life's Lyrics

Last year when I went to CK in Charlotte,  I took a class to make a scrapbook entitled "Life's Lyrics."  The premise is that you scrapbook using song lyrics for your journaling.  That is so much easier for me to do!  I was not sure what lyrics I wanted to use for my scrapbook so the project has been on hold for a while.  Well, I decided I wanted to do the book for Ashley and take it to her when we met her in Ireland.  It would be something she could look at during the rest of her deployment to remind her of home.  Now the hard part .... narrowing down my song choices!  Ashley is a music person - I think she knows the words to every song!  She used to drive her brother crazy when we would go on trips always singing the lyrics of the songs on the radio.  I decided not to use just one song, but to use different songs on each page.  Here's my finished product:  (REMEMBER - you can click on the pictures to make them larger - you just have to click on the back arrow to come back to the blog)

 This is the inside page of the book.  This song is by Zac Brown Band and I loved the second verse "I thank God for my life and for the Stars and Stripes"

Page One - a quote from Victor Hugo

 This picture was taken last summer when we took the tour of Charlotte on those motorized scooters.  The song is by Miley Cyrus - Time of Our Life.
 This is a picture of Ashley when she went to Kenya and was taken at the equator.  The song by Green Day says "Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go - Take the photographs and still frames in your mind"  So true!!
 Another picture taken in Kenya.  The song is Unwritten by Natasha Bedinfield, "Live your life with arms wide open - Today is where your book begins - The rest is still unwritten"
 A picture of Ashley and I at a winery!  I couldn't decide so I picked two songs for this page - You're My Best Friend by Queen and Popular from Wicked.   The Queen song is self explanatory - she is my best friend and I liked the Wicked song too ' "It's not about aptitude, it's the way you're viewed ...."

 This song was taken on a beautiful fall day in Gettysburg.  The son is "From a Distance" by Bette Midler.  My favorite line - "from a distance we all have enought and no one is in need.  And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed."
 This is a great picture of Marianne and Ashley taken last summer.  Another song by Miley Cyrus - Life's What You Make It.  And that sums up Ashley's philosophy on life I think - she is able to make life rock with a good attitude.
 This picture was taken last summer at my nephew's wedding with my niece's two boys.  I love this song by Rascal Flats, My Wish.  My wish for my daughter is "that this life becomes all that you want it to - Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small - Yo never need to carry more than you can hold"

I still had more songs I wanted to use so I put these lyrics on the back cover.  The song by Garth Brooks, The River" is a great one.  Don't you agree that "never knowing what's in store makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores?"  I sure do!!

So, I hope this has inspired you to think of your Life's Lyrics and make a scrapbook of them.  My Digital Studio would be a great help in doing it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've been busy!

I've been staying pretty busy while Sonny and Jack are gone fishing!  They called last night and told me they caught 6 pretty good sized catfish.  Guess what we'll be doing when they come home???  Yep, a good ole' fish fry with hush puppies and catfish!!   Yum!!  (Marianne - you better get home soon!)

In the meantime, I've been doing a little organizing.  Ashley told me she thinks I move my stamps around more than I stamp!  They were outgrowing their home .... again!  So, I just spread them out a little better.  Today I took out all my desk drawers and cleaned them out and tried to get them a little bit more organized.  All the excess junk that was in the drawers that I don't use much I am going to put into my storage area that is just off my stamp room.  (Right now, it is all sitting around me on the desk and floor - I got tired and had to take a rest!)  I was so industrious today that I even went for a 30 minute walk this morning after I ate my breakfast!!

Plus, I have been stamping.  One of the gals that signed up for Monday Mailers this month has not received any of her cards.  I have e-mailed the gal who is supposed to be sending them with no response.  So, since I am not participating in the Monday Mailers this month (since I was gone during sign-ups), I decided to make Beth some cards.  The theme this month was masculine and I wanted the challenge anyway.  So here are the cards I sent her yesterday:

 I hope this Loads of Love stamp set never retires.  It is such a good masculine one.  I used Crumb Cake, Red, and Night of Navy cardstock.  I watercolored the truck.  The "ribbon" is the twill tape and Hodgepodge Hardware.

 This Medallion stamp was sooo popular when it was first released and now everyone has forgotten about it.  But, I thought it met the masculine challenge stamped in Cajun Craze with the Jumbo Brad in the center.
 This is a another stamp set that I had to rescue from the back of the shelf.  I only seem to use it in the fall (maybe because it is called Autumn Days), but it makes a lovely card.  The DSP is Elegant Soiree with Espresso grosgrain ribbon and a little piece of Marina Mist satin ribbon tucked into the knot.
My Digital Studio came into play with this card with the "wish big hand".  I printed it onto white card stock in Night of Navy and used brads in the corner.  The DSP is from Celebrations.

I forgot to share the little Easter baskets I made to put at everyone's place for Easter dinner.  I put chocolates in them.  Jack and Sonny forgot to take them with them  .... good luck on having any left when they return!

Mom and Angela brought me this lily.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stamp Club for April

I had my Stamp Club at my house last Thursday.  One of the gals had requested a baby card so we made the Baby Dresser card that I learned to do at Quarterly a few weeks ago.  A couple made the baby dresser card while a few more made an Easter dresser card and another couple did Mother's Day dresser cards.  It was one of the first times my club has used their own creativity on the cards so it was a good thing (as Martha would say!).

I just love these cards!  They are such fun to make.  If you are interested in making one, you can find the tutorial HERE.

The other two cards that we made are these:

 This card uses one of my favorite stamp sets, Awash With Flowers.  It also uses one of my favorite techniques - Two Step Stamping.  It also uses the Sneak Peak set, Four Frames.  You can purchase it now (until the end of April) with any $20 order.

  Another fun card!  The "pink button card" is from My Digital Studio.  The two buttons on the card are stamped with the Button, Button set (pg 34 of Occasions Mini) and popped up with dimensionals.  We also used the Button, Button set to stamp all over the white cardstock which we then matted onto the colored card stock pieces and ran through the Big Shot (using a lot of muscle power!).  Inside the card is the saying, "Sew Glad We Are Friends".  Cute, huh?  That saying is from the set, Puns From the Past (pg 130 in the big catty) but I bought it through My Digital Studio and just printed the saying out.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

All I need to know
I learned from the Easter Bunny!
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There's no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans.
Good things come in small, sugar coated packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.
To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
May the joy of the season fill your heart.
Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise.  ~Carl Knudsen

I hope you have a joyous Easter and enjoy the day with loved ones.  My mom and sister will be coming to my house to enjoy an Easter lunch.  My brother in law arrived yesterday from Texas so we will be celebrating the day with family.   I'm hoping we will be able to get  in touch with Ashley via Skype to complete our day!  Sonny and Jack will leave after lunch for their fishing trip to South Carolina.  Let's hope they come back with a bunch of fish!! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quarterly Punch Swaps

A new swap that we did this time at Quarterly was a Punch Swap.  I hope we do it again so I can add to my collection.   They turned out so cute.  I don't do many punch critters because when I finish making one of them, my desk is littered with almost every punch I own!  But ... it's great to know all the different uses of a punch.

Heart Punch

PUNCHES:  Owl; 1" Circle; Bird; Blossom Petals

PUNCHES:  Oval; 1 3/8" Circle; Itty Bitty Punch; Cupcake

PUNCHES:  Small & Large Oval; Word Window; 1 1/4" Square

This one is mine!  PUNCHES:  Ornament; Circles Punches (see sizes above); BoHo Blossoms; Heart to Heart; Bird

Bird Punch

PUNCHES:  Scallop Circle; Circles (see sizes above); Small Oval; BoHo Blossoms; Bird

PUNCHES:  Heart; Small Oval; Wide Oval;  Blossom; 3/4" Circle; 1/2" Circle; Heart to Heart

 Aren't they so cute???

Thursday, April 21, 2011

American Idol Top 7 2011

Down to 7 tonight.  The contestants were singing songs from the 21st Century .... interesting theme!

SCOTTY - Scotty really sang a 1983 song by John Anderson but was able to pass it off as a 21st Century song because Leann Rimes sang  it. Was that a clever move or a deceptive way to dodge the theme?  I hope he is not in trouble this week.  I love Scotty and I guess since my favorite, Paul got voted off last week, I'm pulling for Scotty.  But I hate the song he sang - "Swinging" and maybe that's why I didn't like his performance tonight.  I think he is being too safe especially this late in the game.  Not that it wasn’t fun, and I like how he showcased the range of his voice, but it’s time to take it up a notch. The competition is getting heavy, and I think Scotty is getting too comfy in his spot on the couch. I hope he’s not in the bottom 3 tonight.   He needs to take more risks and go out on a limb with his vocals.

JAMES - He sang "Uprising" by Muse.  Not only have I never heard of the song but I also have never heard of the group!  Am I showing my age?  Probably so!  I hated it but according to the judges, I am in the minority!  They LOVED it!!  Underneath all the screaming and crazy heavy metal stuff he does, he has a beautiful voice. We really got a glimpse of that during the first half of the song.  I just wish he'd do another type of song.  I enjoy rock and roll but the heavy metal stuff grates on my ears.  Whereas Scotty only seems to do country, can James only do screaming metal?

HALEY - "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele ....
I have to confess my ignorance again, so I went to Google to find out who ADELE is and why I should know this song. Evidently (for the rest of you who live under my rock) she’s an English singer/songwriter who won two Grammys in 2009. It’s a great fit for her voice, and I have to admit that I actually really enjoyed it.  Haley's growing on me.  She's getting better every week.

JACOB - "Dance with my Father" by Luther Vandross    Jacob has the chops for this song.  He actually brought tears to my eyes with his rendition.  I lost my step-father and my father and I still miss them both so I know how he feels.  There was a glitch at the beginning but he did a good job of recovering.  Luther Vandross passed away in 2005, and this song was on his last album which was released in 2003.  It’s hard to separate the emotion of the song from the performance, but I thought he did a good job although he struggled for composure in parts.

CASEY - "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5  OK - I like Maroon 5 but this was WEIRD .... again!  How many times is he going to get away with singing these weird-o songs??  The faces he makes along with his movements ... I just don't get it!  Well, the audience loved it and of course, the judges or maybe it was just the kiss he gave Jo-Lo at the end.  He definitely gets more than his share of time with the judges each week.  No matter what Casey sings, he ALWAYS makes it his own. 

STEFANO - "Closer" by Ne-Yo   Another song I didn't know.  I’m just going to put on my grannie panties and call it a day. Well, there weren't too many words to that song so it gave him plenty of time to dance around the stage.  Even though I don’t know the song, I actually kind of enjoyed this performance. If nothing else, he showed his vocal range and sang a song with a modern vibe to it.  Not bad.

LAUREN - "Born to Fly" by Sara Evans  I like this song and she did a pretty good job with it - not great but good.  Jimmie told her she needed to quit holding back and give it her all. She is intimidated by the competition and admits as much.  She has SO much potential, but I can’t help but think that she’d have been better off waiting a year or two for her American Idol debut. She’s just so young. 

As usual, the judges didn't give much constructive criticism.  In their opinion, everyone was great!  They beat up on Lauren a bit but it was good constructive criticism and they were trying to pump her up.

It's hard to predict who will be in the bottom 3 this week.  My guess is:  Stefano, Casey and Lauren but it could be Haley just because she always is!   Probably going home:  Stefano just because it's his turn

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quarterly Swaps

The Quarterly swaps were, as usual, inspirational!  I always come away from Quarterly with so many good ideas.  This time was no exception.

Here are the cards I received in the Spring Swap:  A lot of them use items from the upcoming Summer Mini Catalog so you are getting a Sneak Peek!!  (I've identified the creator if I know them - a lot don't sign their work!!)

Travel Log stamp (Summer)  By Jeria


The Open Sea stamp plus Nautical DSP - summer mini (by Janie)

Bold Blossom stamp (summer mini) 

Flower Garden Embossing Folder (summer) plus Beyond the Garden DSP (no name but I think it was Danielle's)

Strength & Hope (summer mini) by Tina

Bold Blossom (summer) 

New Triple Layer Blossom Punch (Nicole)

Easter Blossoms (Martinette, I think)

Sew Suite (Alana)

by Becky
I'm off tomorrow to meet an old high school friend for lunch.  We are going to meet at 131 Main Restaurant in Cornelius.  I'm looking forward to seeing Judy.  In the 5 years I've lived here, we've only gotten together twice.  That's pretty bad!  She just lives in Charlotte but she has 5 kids and several grandchildren and still works.  So, her time is pretty tied up.  We have known each other since 4th grade!!