Sunday, December 28, 2008

thank you

wow, i've been super blessed this Christmas--so many amazing friends and family members. i LOVE all of my gifts, everyone was super thoughtful. i made quite a handful of 'thank you' cards to express a tiny portion of the gratitude i'm feeling... they're not my favorite colors, but they work together, and the papers and resulting card are masculine enough to send to male relatives.

also, thanks for reading along--i appreciate all the encouragement and knowing that people actually *do* read what i'm posting :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

it's Christmastime!

wow, been a while since i've posted. i made a couple of cards a few days ago, and they were based on a 2S4U sketch--i think i'm giving them to relatives for Christmas, but i truthfully haven't decided.

we've had QUITE an interesting week here in Washington--it's been snowing almost every day for the last week and a half, which has now accumulated to about 8 inches where i live. really amazing. i got to enjoy the snow a couple of different times--walking with the family, NIGHT sledding down a hill in our neighborhood nick-named "Killer Hill," and then sledding two more times (once on a saucer--oh boy). as a result of the snow, i've been semi-stuck at home because the only way out of our neighborhood is UP one of three hills. so my family hasn't made it to church, shopping, a performance of "Scrooge, The Musical" or just about anything else. BUT! the good news is we had a party here at the house on Monday, and we thought that the weather would prevent most people from attending. fortunately, though, we had about 45-50 out of the 80+ invitees show up! it was a lot of fun, and everyone enjoyed themselves. some dear friends couldn't come, but i've decided to host something that they can DEFINITELY come to (*hint, hint* Paulina).

i seriously CANNOT wait until tomorrow... i LOVE Christmas, and having all my siblings home, and the family together is amazing. plus, i'm super excited about the presents i got/ made for family this year! i took some pictures of the wrapping that i did too. (but they may not load until later) i found some AMAZING ribbon from Costco, of all places, to make beautiful bows with--one is double-sided black and pink, and the other is red and black with velvet fleur-de-lis (i tried to get more all-occasion ribbon i could use for more than Christmas). having 6 other family members gives me ample opportunity to showcase my wrapping expertise... Peter said "Gin, you look like you got a professional to wrap your presents..." and i told him, "I did!" :) i love giving gifts, like i said.

well, i truly hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

family picture!

well, all my siblings came home this week--cecelia on time on wednesday from GA, and peter and link a day late from PA.

it's great to have them all back, we're a VERY crazy family when we get together. we woke up this morning to bacon, eggs, and KRINGLE from our uncle in Wisconsin, so that was really sweet. then, seeing as we didn't have family photo basically ALL year, my mom suggested that we take one in the snow. so i used my 10 sec timer on the camera and our trash can (it was the right height) to take this picture :-) think it turned out okay!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2 sketches 4 you, laura's #15

yesterday i went to school (2 hours late because of black ice), and then i only stayed for 1 period. i got a sub because i couldn't (and still can't) hear anything out of my left ear. after i left school, i made an appointment with my doctor, was prescribed some antibiotic drops, and spent the rest of the day shopping, correcting research papers, trying to empty fluid out of my ear, decorating the entryway, and playing hand and foot (card game) with the fam .
...but LAST NIGHT, after i corrected papers (5 was enough) i started work on Laura's Sketch #15. i have my friend Paulina to thank for getting me hooked on their blog... it took me some time to actually figure out where i wanted everything, but i think it came together. my card looks pretty sweet (if i do say so myself). i got the lace in a 9 ft spool from Jo-Ann's for 25 cents (i <3 deals!)

p.s. siblings come home tomorrow! SO EXCITED!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Favorites!

Joey and I got to go exploring in the snow last night... we took Cookie on a walk too. Brothers are hilarious.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper… one year I wrapped everything in butcher paper, covered it with a wide strip of colored paper, glued a snowflake on the colored paper, then covered the strip with some tissue paper and topped with a bow… simple, but elegant. Plus, I have lots of fun with matching up stacks of presents for my siblings in coordinating colors.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial… Mom is allergic to real trees (gets bronchitis). But hey, our artificial is always ready to go when we are, and it’s held up through a lot of wear and tear.

3. When do you put up the tree? Generally after Thanksgiving… this year I decorated for about 3 other places before I even got the decorations out for our house… they’re still sitting around our living room!

4. When do you take the tree down? Middle of January? One time I think we left ours up until after Valentine’s Day, but that’s only happened once.

5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE it! I’m so used to Mom saying, “Mix half eggnog and half milk… it’s too rich” that I almost DO think it’s too rich without the adjustment. But I LOVE the eggnog Italian sodas.

6.Favorite gift received as a child? I really loved the DVD set of movies of “Pride and Prejudice,” but there have been a TON of great gifts.

7. Hardest person to buy for? It used to be Peter, but he’s loosened up a lot lately. He even put “sexy jeans” on his Christmas list.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Cecelia! I find something that I would like and I get it for her (and sometimes for myself). Last year we actually got each other the SAME EXACT gift, just different colors! Oh sisters.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Does a crèche count? We don’t have a light-up one in our front yard… but we do have several around the house.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail (if we actually get on the ball). This year we may not be sending a Christmas letter. *tear*

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I honestly can’t remember. (Probably a good thing)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Muppet Christmas Carol, or I really like the claymation movie with Rudolph, I think it’s called “Blue Christmas”? It’s the one where there’s the two brothers who sing songs like “I’m Mr. Icicle, I’m Mr. Snow…” anyone remember?

13. When do you start shopping? Whenever I see a good gift (didn’t used to be that way). I have been getting gifts since July or August?

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? White Elephant Christmas gifts, yes.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Oh gosh. How about we narrow this down to Christmas breakfast? (It’s the major meal for our family.) Us kids take charge and we make hashed browns, eggs, biscuits, we have DANISH KRINGLE (present from our Uncle in Wisconsin—he gets it mailed every year… I LOVE the pecan kringle :-) so yummy!), OJ, fruit, BACON

16. Lights on the tree? Multi—we have a lovely hodge-podge of ornaments, so the multi colored fits right in.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Too many to count! I love every song on Josh Groban’s “Noel” CD, I love up-tempo Christmas songs, also an instrumental CD called “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and so many more!

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? I’ve done both, and I have to say that although Barcelona is beautiful, there IS no place like home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Dasher, Dancer, Donder, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid… Rudolph? Apparently not.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Here’s how it goes—Christmas morning—kids wake up early, make breakfast. Wake up parents, open stockings. Eat breakfast, open presents. Call extended family. Eat more. Watch just opened movies :-)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Not having enough time to go to all the parties I want to go to, or see all the people I want to see… basically not having Christmas last long enough. I LOVE Christmas!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
All kinds… but I have to say that I love red… and I did my school Christmas trees in red, and it looks fabulous. We have a hodge-podge tree at home.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Anything, but I like ham or clam chowder.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Books (a whole bunch), colorful necklaces, audio Bible, anything crafty, swimsuit/ goggles/ cap/ scale, gift cards, music, movies, food… whatever—I love it all! J

i hate my left ear.

i have an ear infection in my left ear.

it's been off-and-on for the last week and a half, but i've only completely lost hearing last Friday, and yesterday morning. it's pretty awful--i can't hear, it's painful, and it's swollen.

but! it snowed last night... some really beautiful landscapes here at home. just seeing evergreens with snow on the branches makes me want to run around and dance for joy. snow makes me almost want to cry because it's so pretty :-)

our backyard pond is freezing, so there's a GREAT likelihood that we won't have school tomorrow. i'm so excited. actually, when my family tried to go to church this morning, we got out of our neighborhood okay, but then on the main roads it was SUPER icy. :-) i will be utterly content if we don't have school until Thursday.

i'll get to catch up on cards, Christmas gift wrapping, making cookies, decorating the house, planning my party, and basically having an extended Christmas break. oh, the joy at just the THOUGHT!

in other interesting news, i'm helping out with a function at church called "Parent's Day Out" where members leave their younger kids to the care of youth/ adults for a day of fun, games, stories, skits, and gingerbread houses while they get holiday business done. i get to be on the skit team, and i am PROUD to say that my role is called "Bossy" Angel :-)

haha, anyway, i'm excited for so many reasons today. the only damper on everything is the fact that i need to keep on correcting research papers to return to my kids. i did about 13 this morning, but have 30 more? ugh.

well, i'll be sure to post something else later...


Friday, December 12, 2008

it's snowing!

i'm so excited about the snow here in Western Washington... you can tell that we don't get much for three reasons:

a) people don't know how to drive in the snow
b) school gets cancelled for ANY accumulation
c) everyone buys a sled/ tries to go sledding in about 1 inch of snow :-)

but yeah, tonight i got back from Bible study a little earlier than normal because we were shooed away in the name of safety... but it snows more in maple valley than at home, so leaving the beautiful snow-covered trees was actually a little sad, despite the cautious driving i had to do.

anyway, i made several cards tonight (3 1/2... the last one isn't quite done). i used the sketch from 2 sketches 4 you as the foundation. i didn't feel like making a Christmas card, not that i've made any, just that i wanted to do something bright and different. so i made a couple of different sizes and tried out different embellishments... found out which cards i liked better, and which ones i'll make again (if i DO make the same kind of card again).

anyway, the evening has been very enjoyable so far... i may get working on other cards--who knows. peace to all, and...

Merry Christmas!

first try at 2 sketches 4 you...

so i tried out the kazan's sketch #15 from 2 sketches 4 you for a whirl... there's a first time for everything, right? i loved the results--very simple, yet funky.

let me know what you think of the results... i made some similar cards that i'll post later after i get some rest (it started snowing tonight while i was at Bible study! w00t w00t for snow!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

cards, invites, and parties, OH MY!

the above are the invitations for the staff Christmas party that i'm coordinating at school. simple, clean, but kinda elegant. no fancy paper--just printer paper, red construction paper, some skinny gold ribbon and staples.

the above card was made for a co-worker, Helene... she team teaches with me and i left her all alone on friday because i took the day off.

love the button on this card... the pearl is a real find (i think it was from a wal-mart assorted collection of buttons--not bad, eh?) just a mini card for any occasion.

this card is very similar to the previous one (actually the first out of the two that i made). i was experimenting with what looked good, and i think this turned out okay... what do you think?
anyway, i've been busy. hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

10 days of Christmas...

i'm not actually talking about the 12 days of Christmas, or even the first 10... i'm actually referring to the last 10 days of school for the year.

oh joy.

students are going crazy. LITERALLY. they are driving me insane. at least 5th period is... but eh, that's life. i decided last night on the way home from Youth Night that i was going to plan a mini-unit that would take up the whole 10 days before break so that i wouldn't go completely insane with trying to get kids to do something they hated (which i'm already sorta doing with the research paper. which, btw, i only have 10% of the rough drafts for--terrible.)

i'm having my students write and illustrate a children's story. i had them journal about their favorite children's story or fairy tale today, and i talked about how i went to see Beauty and the Beast at the Issaquah Village Theater last Tuesday (amazing!) and how Cece's favorite kids book is called "A Christmas Card for Mr. McFizz." i actually read the book to all my classes today after they shared their journal responses, and they were genuinely listening and wanted to see all the illustrations.

anyway, i'm having them use their favorite story's plot line... BUT they're adding some new things:
1. a color
2. an object
3. a main character

i have almost all of the project planned out (minus the rubric--which takes the longest, and which i probably should have created first--oh well) and the most amazing thing about tweaking a children's story is that:
1. they will love it
2. it's creative
3. i will love it
4. it's not stressful (*crosses fingers*)
5. they can read it to younger kids

and yeah, i'm pretty excited. if i get any really good ones published (just in a little packet type of thing) then i might take pictures of the really good parts and post them. we'll see. p.s. 9 days until siblings come home! excited for that.

anyway, that's what i'm doing at school (besides going slightly crazy). peace out!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

taking a break...

i'm in the middle of decorating our Christmas tree... and i've been doing chores/ cleaning all day--so i'm taking a break by blogging. and blog hopping. and maybe doing what Paulina did and posting a Christmas list?

yeah, so i still have more layouts from brazil that i haven't shared... but i'm working on it. like, right now. i used some patterned cardstock (painted/ distressed wood paneling) and some borders from a travel page... i like the colors. the photos are from rio de janeiro, in the cathedral in the centro. very cool place.
here are some little pictures of SWEET layout (not just cause of the hot chocolate and desserts we had, but because it's fun)

this is a detail of the pocket on the left hand page--it's a napkin i saved from the confeteria in the centro... i used brads to secure the sides, and i made a pull-out detailing my desserts (and Cecelia's too...)

i know that in general, these pictures suck. but i think almost every card and layout would look better in person. or maybe that's just me. maybe i need to put a scanner on my wishlist? (hah, not like i'd get one.)
Merry Christmas and happy decorating!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

more layouts!

i've realized that i start every blog so far with the word "SO."
so, i'm going to stop. :-)

here's another scrapbook layout i made for my Brazil book... it's going to be a long work in progress (can we say gargantuan?--over 450 pictures! of course i won't use them all) but it's going to be fun, and already has been fun. i've had a chance to use travel cardstock and themes, which is a blast... and i saved lots of souveneirs to include in my layouts.

here's another photo...

and this is another layout:

so that's it now...

Friday, December 5, 2008

school + scrapbooking = pink layout?

so here's one of my scrapbook layouts--it's still without a title, but i made it because i haven't made any school related layouts. not that this one looks like it has anything to do with school, but still...
the story behind it is that i won some baskin robbins gift certificates at some staff meetings at spanaway jr. high... so to commemorate that, i saved my ticket, the baskin robbins envelope, the staff meeting agenda and worked it into a school layout (sans title).
so, not a bad start, but i'll have to post more layouts (of brazil, of other stuff, etc). speaking of school... i'm taking the day off! (yay mental health days!) the kids have been crazy, and i've been going crazy, so it's a good thing. i'll probably clean my room before i do anything important. anyway, check back for more layouts! (soon, i hope?)