Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Men at Work

My brother and dad have been working on the enlargement of my dad's bathroom. Here they are, prepping some of the roof rafters.

And the kids are having great fun driving around in dad's golf cart!
I made necklaces for Jean's granddaughters and Kayla. And it was amazing that they matched EXACTLY the clothes the girls were wearing. It was as if they had selected the outfits on purpose - of course without knowing even that they were getting anything. How unbelievable is that???
Jean has a cute little vignette in the entry hall. She found a "workman" Santa with a toolbelt and all the tools. Too cute!!

And lastly, Tammy's Cinnabon roll recipe makes divine rolls!! I ended up making them for all the golfers in dad's group. Ready by 9 am so I was up at 4 am making the dough! I'm such a good daughter.....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My New Ride

My grandmother was kind to me in her will so I bought myself a present from her. Very indulgent, but I sure do love it!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm a little behind on my photo a day, and I'll fall far behind on uploading (although I hope to be taking a ton) once I get to Florida. But here are a couple, one for yesterday - my tree at night with the twinkle effect on the lights.

And our sunset tonight. Pretty nice, huh?? Shhhhh, Don't tell Pioneer Woman, but I can take a mean sunset photo, too!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I've been having fun making some new ornaments. This is a pretty cool technique where you decorate a piece of transparency, then roll it up and pop it into the clear ornament. It unrolls itself and looks awesome! Everything except the rub-on is on the inside!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Hats

Matt and Lily enjoying a little holiday spirit while we were decorating the tree. Lily looks less than happy. Well, I guess Matt does too. Couple of bah-humbugs I think!!

Well, "Ho ho ho to them," I say!!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Every year, the Torrance Police Departmenet sends Santa and his sleigh through all the neighborhoods. They stop in the middle of each block so the children can go out, sit on Santa's lap, tell him their Christmas wishes and get a candy cane. Matt enjoyed this for many years. Although it's not "cool" anymore and this year I could not even get him to come outside, I still love to go out, listen to the loudspeaker music and remember years gone by. And of course, take a picture!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Six pack abs

The young squirrels were running around the tree this morning, playing, chasing each other, and eating. This one is hanging from one branch to reach the fruit on a branch below. I just missed his face, but this is a cute belly shot!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Who says a tree has to be green??

People must have thought I was crazy when I stopped my car and jumped out to get a shot of these trees at the local tree stand. The minute I saw the pink one, I thought of my friend Pam and had to get a photo. This one's for you, Pam!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Power of the Ocean

We're having an amazing confluence of weather systems here which is producing record high surf. Although not as tall as in Northern California where they're reaching 50 feet, our waves are still pretty impressive. I had to drive to the beach this morning and, along with all the other camera nuts, snap some photos.

For the doubters among you, this is all you can see of the lifeguard boat when it's between swells. No, it's not a submarine <^_^>

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Today's picture

A few friends have inspired me to participate in their Picture A Day challenge for December. I hope it will help me remember to take my camera along with me when I leave the house. Today's photo was taken right on my patio. We have some nesting squirrels with young-uns in our tall palm tree. Right next to it is a mock apple tree full of fruit - a perfect spot for hungry little squirrels. Here, Mama Squirrel was telling me in no uncertain terms that I was venturing much too close to their lunch room.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Distress Inspiration

I have really been enjoying the inspiration that Tim Holtz has put on his blog. I created this altered CD using some of the techniques he demonstrated. I can't wait for the next 10 days of inspiration!

Friday, November 30, 2007

More acrylic fun

I finished up another acrylic album today, this one's for a class I'll be teaching in January. This is a ready-made album - much less work :) The theme for this one is Things I Love. Paper is the new Loveland collection from Scenic Route along with their Black Labels rub-on transfers, hearts are Heidi Swapp. Rubber stamps are from the new Inque Boutique collection. Printed transparencies are the Vintage Patchwork sheet from Hambly. Very fun products to work with!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ear plugs and goggles

My ears are ringing! The sandblasters are outside and is it LOUD! All the windows are covered in black tar paper and it's like living in a cave!

I just have to remind myself that we'll have a nice pretty house in the end.

Warm Thanksgiving wishes to everyone from all of us here in our "naked" house!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A really fun new project

I've been working on a very fun new project - an acrylic album made by myself from "scratch." I purchased acrylic sheets from the local hardware store and cut them to size. I also incorporated clear transparency sheets and some very beautiful Hambly transparencies. If you'd like instructions for this project, you can check out the Scrap Rally section of 123-scrap.

Here's the finished album. I love how you can see little peeks of all the pages behind.

And the cover by itself. Mostly clear so the first page shows through.

This is the first page.

Here you can see that I used a half-sheet transparency on the right.

The acrylic pages with transparencies really show the multi-layers.

The page on the right is a Hambly transparency.

I used a lot of stamps and rub-ons on each page.

The last two pages.

I can't wait to make more of these albums!! TFL!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Carving the modern way

Gone are the days of hand carving - enter the saber saw. Oh my gosh - what a difference a little electricity makes!!! Cutting out the large areas and taking off the top were a breeze! Matt is bah humbug about pumpkin carving these days, not cool, not cool. So, I had fun all by myself and created this monster masterpiece. Not my most detailed work of art, but it was fun.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lost in a Dream

I often have some very vivid dreams, but I cannot usually remember them minutes after awakening. Last night, however, I had one of the weirdest, and, at the risk of putting myself "out there," I thought I'd share it with my 3 blog readers. Now, laughing and do NOT send the men from the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time - I promise I won't be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats!!

So, the scene takes place in a large house with lots of sliding glass doors to the outside. The outside varies - wooded setting, neighborhood with other houses, water surrounding it. The house doesn't change, just the outsides. I'm inside, in the kitchen I think, and there are lots of animals outside - huge alligators, a kangaroo, and others which I can't identify (maybe dinosaurs). I have my camera (of course) and am trying to take photos out the sliding glass door without letting any animals in. The surrounding water changes into neighborhood houses, and there is a man on a neighboring roof. Suddenly, a very large (bigger than the man) alligator shows up on the roof, darts toward the man and then past him, jumps to another roof where there is another alligator. They fight and wrestle, alligator style.

Back to me in the house. I'm trying to take a photo of a kangaroo, which I cannot for the life of me focus on. Suddenly a huge alligator makes his way through the door. I am not afraid (I actually was not afraid through-out the entire dream). I realize that what the alligator really wants is the little wrapper from a piece of orange-flavored trident gum (which DS chews, IRL). I wave the paper at him, toss it out the door and he charges outside after it.

Flash to the living room, where I am now complaining to DS that the roll-up privacy screens are all tattered and do not keep the animals from looking in. He begins to tell me how he'll fix them and the shredded screen door when ANOTHER alligator shows up in the living room (I have no idea where he came from). As I am opening the screen door so I can toss out the tasty gum wrapper, he grabs my hand with his mouth (no pain, no blood). I manage to distract him, toss out the paper, and out he goes.

Then Lily wakes me up, asking to go out.

Now, how weird is that for a dream?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I GOT IT!!!!

OMG!!! I got a photo for Halloween!!! For years, Matt has refused to dress up for Halloween, but his best friend convinced him to go to a costume party. It was so fun watching them pose for my camera, willingly for a change!! Now I have to go looking for a digi kit so I can scrap it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Well, it's here.....the last "first day" of school, at least until college. I can't believe how fast these 12 years have gone by!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I had a chance to work with the new Citrus Kick Collection from SEI this week, for a guest DT assignment. I really love these papers - the designs AND the colors! I can't post in online galleries yet, so here are a couple layouts, in case you'd like a sneak peek!

I used PhotoBlast's Focus Select on the small pic. above, and their Black and White conversion on the photo below. I have to say, PB makes fine-tuning your photos or achieving a special effect or color super easy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sunrise, sunset

I'm always inspired by a great sunset or sunrise. I snapped this one on my last night at my dad's place. The pinks in contrast with the blue are just amazing to me. How can the sun make the sky look like this. (Well, if DS were reading he'd say "Mom, it's just pollution.) Well, bah humbug to him! I think it's amazing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Well it's been a while since I've updated here, and my few readers may wonder where I've been. Busy with life. Some good, some bad.

Yesterday was about the scariest day I've spent in a while. It started at 5 AM when Matt woke me up by hollering "Something's burning in my room!" It was his surge protector. Ken ran out and flipped the main breaker so we could unplug it. Here is what it looks like now:

Fortunately everything plugged in to it still works OK. When Ken turned the power back on, the lights were still flickering and things were popping so Ken turned off the power again and we unplugged all the surge protectors.

Well, except this one

Which I forgot was attached to the TV. Matt had walked into the Family Room and he started hollering "Something's on fire!" Flames were shooting out from all the outlet openings. Ken turned off the power again, and the fire went out. But Matt had already dialed 911 and the fire dept. sent a crew out to check things out and make sure we were safe. They told us to definately call the electric company and that they also would call them, so that they would come out on Sunday. They actually do respond pretty fast when you tell them that you had flames coming out of your surge protector!!

This is what the table looks like that the surge protector was resting on.

The most scary part for me is that if this had happened two days sooner or two days later, no one would have been home when this happened. That table would have caught on fire and our house would have burned. Who knows how badly. We do have an alarm system and the fire department would have automatically been called when the hard-wired smoke detector went off, but who knows what damage and if the animals would have survived. I still shake when I think about it.

So....we had been having low voltage and power surges for about 10 days. My first call in to the Electric company resulted in this.....a new power service (for about $2500)

Because the power company could not find anything wrong with their lines and said that if it was their lines other people would have called in. They did find evidence of arcing in OUR electric panel - and they said that was the problem.

Yesterday's incident happened AFTER the new service was installed, so obviously the problem was not OURS. But after 4 hours on Sunday, the technician still could not find a problem. Just as he was leaving, he got another call - from one of my neighbors who reported a power surge.

An AHA moment - it was the transformer. Nevermind that Ken had already told them that when he was out turning off OUR power, he heard popping coming from THAT transformer (this was before the guy spent 3 hours trying to figure out the problem).

So now this is what we have down the line

a brand new transformer and peace of mind for me (nevermind that I spent $2500 on a new electric service for NOTHING). But that is for another story ... to follow after I submit a claim to the Electric company to get reimbursed for it!

Monday, June 25, 2007


I am so inspired by sunsets and sunrises. What is it with that? I cannot get enough of them and have been known to go out of my way to watch a good one in progress. Here is a photo I took at Big Bear - the orange in contrast with the dark of the mountain in the distance and the blue sky just amazes me. Isn't mother nature amazing?

Frame by Nancy Comelab.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby, it's STILL cold outside

We are really in the grip of Old Man Winter, who apparently got bored bothering people in the northern tier states, and has moved in to Southern California. Snow in Malibu yesterday, and FROST on the rooftops this morning, right here in Torrance!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

It is cold, cold, cold

I know a lot of people are having colder weather, but her in SoCal it's not supposed to be 44 degrees when you get up in the morning! I mean, BRRRRRRRR!!!!!! We need to send this cold air back where it came from and bring on the sunshine!

I think we're all official now for CHA. Andrea and Pam both have their plane tickets. They're flying separately, though. Money and schedules just didn't work out for them to travel together. And I got the CHA tickets so we're all good to go. Three weeks from today, woohoo!

I finally finished up my second layout for the ADSR. This was a tough one, using only one element per designer. But it's done, and I like it!!!

You can see the credits

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Be it Resolved

Every New Year I struggle with the idea of making "resolutions." It seems like everyone starts fresh and it lasts about a month. Then, good-bye resolutions. I'm guilty. Putting something on my "resolutions list" is like giving it the kiss of death. But each year we are encouraged by family, friends and the media to Resolve.

I've been thinking about this a lot the last couple days. Mostly because I *have* to make a resolutions page for the ADSR. I thought I might make a page about not making resolutions, sort of Andy Rooney style. But as I continued to think, I asked myself just why I can't keep those resolutions and I realized that it has a lot to do with how I live my life. Mostly, I react to things that happen, rather than causing them. So often what happens in my life is not of my choosing. And I don't have a plan for my day. I used to be very organized when I worked full time outside the home. But now, since the only person to whom I am accountable is me, I have abandoned the daily plan.

This year, I resolve to live a more deliberate life. So many things happen, many of which are out of my control. Many days, at the end of the day, I ask myself just what I accomplished, and many times the answer is a big, fat nothing. So, my plan is to have a plan, to have deliberate actions in my day and not be blown about by whatever wind happens to swish past me. I want to have more purpose and direction in my daily activities so that my days are not wasted just meandering.

How will I implement this? Good question. I'll have an answer soon, I promise!

And in honor of my new resolve, here is my first entry for the ADSR.

Kit - Cindy Simon's Each New Day; template, alpha slides and inked edges - Christine Smith; Brushes - Rhonna Farrer (Round n' Round), M. Fenwick (Stamped Antique hand), S Clingerman (So Swirly dream); Font - Century Gothic.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Banner Credits

My lovely new banner is made using Cindy Simon's Each New Day kit, available at NDISB. Font Artistamp Medium.