Friday, September 30, 2011

Sunshine and kittens- NOT!

Just kidding. I love both. I just wanted to garner some attention for my feature over at Punky Scraps. I'm SO annoyed that I forgot to post about this yesterday when it went up- OOPS!
Swing by and check it out- also- consider joining the challenge- you have a day left but it's so fun I think you can swing it!

The title "Overwhelming Beauty" is referring to the sea in the Amalfi Coast but really- it's Lola I'm talking about.
Yeah I'm one of THOSE- Mommies who gush ENTIRELY too much.
Materials: American Crafts cardstock in "Hazel", Beauty chipboard Colorbok, Jenni Bowlin chipboard buttons,  American Crafts alphas
I wanted to keep adding but I liked the starkness of the page as it stood. Sometimes it's good to go minimal. Perhaps others do a better job of it than I.
The page is from a GREAT sketch by Punky Scraps sketch artist Camilla. Go ahead- try it!
Ok NOW can I tell you a funny Lola story?
Ok here goes.
I'm TRYING to toilet train the kid. TRYING is the key word because I am constantly distracted by Pinterest, Facebook and the usual house hold tasks.

Following family advice, Miss Thang went sans-Pamper the other day.
I'm thinking- She's two. She'll get the hint and NOT pee on the floor.
She did take the hint. She's a good lil mama.
Over the sound of washing dishes I hear a mighty shriek EEEEEWWWWW!!!, a clatter, a series of nasty bumps and the beginnings of a long LOOOONG cry.
A very angry, betrayed cry.

Miss Lola had sat on the stool I keep under my computer desk to prop up my feet.
She peed.

She did not feel the pee go "bye bye".
Rather it pooled around her making scream EEEEWWWWWW (she says that all the time now- EVERYTHING is "EW!" THANKS cousin Emily!)
She jumped up (clatter) slipped in her pee (nasty bumps- many) and the stool fell on top of her (betrayed crying).

No more potty training this week. Sorry lil' boo!
Yeah laugh it up Michelle- Lola is gonna GET YOU!
MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scribble scribble

Lola drew all over the toilet cover.... and all over the sink cabinet... and on several towels.
1 box of crayons and 10 minutes in the bathroom while I was trying to take a shower- that's all it took.
As my Mom would say "PRIMERISA!"
First timer!
Never look away during the crayon phase!! Which means I'll be staring at her till she's about 6, doesn't it?

But I guess I'm weird (or limited edition- heh heh) because the crayoned up toilet cover is staying- I like it- it's unique. The towels were fine after a good wash. No photo of the toilet- the idea of showing it skeeved me out- sorry.

I'm trying to find different ways to organize shapes on my pages- I feel this one hasd too much white space in the middle and looses the viewer- what do you think?
Materials: Jillibean Soup folder, Pink Paislee border strip, Sassafras border strip, Studio Calico exclusive red woodgrain, journaling tag and doily from K and Company
Also, over at Gauche Alchemy, fellow team member Christina is showing a gorgeous mixed media piece she made with with an old t-shirt, seed beads and a few strips of punchinella- it's really great work click the link above to check it out.

Salt Lake City mountain and sky

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Say it ain't so Sassy! Also, GAUCHE TOOTS!

With the economy the way it is these days it should come as no surprise when one of my fave paper manufacturers calls it quits but I never thought it would happen with Sassafras Lass.

I know I'm supposed to feel glad for the creative minds who work the Sassy paper magic since they are now free to work on other projects but it's hard not to see it as a huge loss. I'm hoping all goes well with the textile design venture and partnership with Studio Calico- that's the only upside to the sad news for us paper fetishists.

A few toots today- there is a LOT going on over at GAUCHE ALCHEMY.

Gauche Alchemy's "Going Postal" Mixed Media kit 

See? Hipstamatic turns "mistake" shots into "art"- at least I think so.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sharing space, an over-share

B Love- a page made just so I use some buttons- at last!
MATERIALS: Crate Paper Restoration woodgrain paper, stickers and die cuts, Crate Random collection journaling card, "love" chippy from Maya Road, American Crafts Zing in mustard, Scrabble piece, rusted iron house and punchinella from Gauche Alchemy, Border stickers by Sassafras for Studio Calico, Ek Success slim edger punch, Basic Grey, My Mind's Eye and Crate Paper buttons.
My apologies for being absent as of late. Since it's been so long since I last wrote I'm compressing several days worth of news into this entry so bear with me- I promise to make you laugh at least once!

I am battling a great scrappy dilemma- the forced work space move. See my husband and I share a work space. When I say "share" I mean I own it utterly but he gets to kick me out for the 5 months he works on projects for architecture school- which I guess is only fair since that's what he bought it for.
I wish I had more of that CUTE little house!!!
That gorgeous mini script word is from Stuff 2 Scrap.
Houndstooth paper from DCWV.
I FINALLY found that EK Success slim border punch! YAY!!
I think this should be a stand alone project.
The table we "share" is a classic tilting Architect's table with a nifty swing arm lamp and a galley in the front for pencils storage. I had to load that sucker up with all my stuff because whatever weight you put in the front has to be counterbalanced in the back or else the table tilts and everything ends up on the floor. I was grooving with my new everything is visible system when BAM! school starts.
So back to the tiny Ikea dining table it is and let me tell you it's been murder on the mojo. The move took 2 entire days and much consternation for Lola who just didn't understand WHY she wasn't allowed to
A. rip everything to shreds
B. dance on the paper I gave her (now lying on the floor and causing Jack Tripper in "Three's Company" type accidents.)

I'm crazy frustrated so I am not writing or going online to see what you are doing. I'm watching movies, over eating and trying to ignore my (unfair) feelings. Not to mention that we are eating off tv trays since we no longer HAVE a "diner" table. And before you say "Michelle don't you have other rooms in that house??" The answer is NO- I live in NYC- there are 2 rooms and have been told we should feel lucky/blessed that it's not the Bronx. Whatever I lived in the Bronx- the apartments are way bigger (because you can't safely LEAVE the house! AHA!... Joke!)

On the upside- I was FORCED to clean up my act and found a whole lot of COOL stash I hadn't seen in months- namely my button bag, my WRMK Sew Easy kit and my Dusty Attic chip board box. WOO HOO! So I'm using them- many for the first time.
This is as "organized" as I get.
True Xoxo Girls (you got whiplash from that transition didn't cha?) is hosting a Blog Hop October 10th and I am SO PROUD of the page I made!!!  We each challenged another member of the team to do a page using specific instructions. Lisa Watson's challenge for me was to use Ingvild Bolme as an inspiration. Ingvild Bolme? She's a SUPER STAR. Cue freak out mode.

So I made a list of favorite things I saw in her work, made sure to incorporate LOTS of my new found stash and here is a sneaky peek:
Recently decided gears are where it's at- LOVE them!
Turquoise Tattered Angels paint- so lovely!
The large roses are from the dollar store.
Now I just have to play catch up with all the projects I've been neglecting as of late. And I need to swing by your blogs and leave some love- it's been kinda quiet around here lately- everyone must be furiously creating- that's a GREAT thing!

ALSO- my first write up is available over at Gauche Alchemy- WHAT? You say? I haven't been talking up my writing for GA? Sorry!
iI's true- I've been neglecting to drive traffic over to my second writing gig.
Here is the link- the article is about my favorite thing- using the ipod Hipstamatic app:

Mine remain safe- are yours??? 
MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Welcoming Fall (begrudgingly)

I've said this before and I will say it again. I dislike Fall. Severely.
I used to say I hated Fall but was taken aback by the outrage it sparked.
I didn't say I hated babies or Bill Cosby puddling commercials. YEESH!
So I've decided not to hate fall outright.
Let's celebrate it instead. (begrudgingly)

Apple (Pumpkin) Picking
MATERIALS: Crate Random (blue) and Farmhouse (rulers), Crate buttons, Studio Calico wood hearts, Canvas Corps Burlap ATC, American Crafts Dots Thickers, Glitz red alphas,  Fancy Pants "fun" die cut, Uni-ball gel pen.
Please ignore the letter stickers on the first photo. Can you believe my husband saw them before I shot the page and didn't tell me anything?????

I like the cooler weather, the falling leaves, apple picking, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I hate the feeling that winter is coming. It's like I used to feel about sunday when I worked (at an EVIL corporation that shall remain anonymous). I loved sunday but it also meant MONDAY was right around the corner.
There's a reason I love Garfield.
Used this awesome sketch from Sketch Inspiration
Last year we visited Maskers Apple Orchard in Warwick, New York. It was a three hour drive but pleasant with all the trees (that hadn't turned yet). When we finally got there we were rewarded with a beautiful orchard that also had a Pumpkin Patch, fresh made apple pie, apple DONUTS (WOO HOO!) and pony rides.
Couldn't use this photo- Lola looks.. bored? Robotic?
WHAT is that expression???
PONY RIDE???? Dave and I yelled at the same time.
No she couldn't.
Lola was a year old.
Her parents were obviously total and complete fools.
We bought the ticket. We waited in line and Lola cooed at the tiny horses.
Until it was her turn and they wouldn't let her ride with Daddy by her side.
 Two seconds and 10 dollars later all I got was this photo:
We're going again this year.
We think Lola will have more fun at two.
Who's bad? That's right- we have Nerf guns!

MuChos SmOoChEs!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stretch Your Sketch Featured artist @2Peas!!

So I nearly fell out my chair when I opened a message from someone over at Two Peas. I reacted with typical New Yorker suspicion and wrote back:
"Here is a reply to your email- as requested"...and that's it!
 Da noive!

Can I defend myself? My yahoo inbox is full of Viagra ads from goodness knows where since this is literally the first time I ever write the word!

My thinking? "How do I know this isn't some mysterious phishing email from random pick your country?" "Maybe they will invade my yahoo account and discover JUST HOW MUCH MONEY I SPENT ON SCRAP CRAP THIS YEAR."
"OH NO! They could steal my identity and PREVENT me from buying more!!!"
And so, my cryptic answer.

Thankfully Jen Gallacher must be used to this crazed reaction as she didn't bat an eye.
She sent this along.
The 2 Peas Stretch Your Sketch class for September premieres today.
I am so excited.. and scared...
Please feel free to swing on over and check it out. I believe you have to sign up but it's a free class.
First attempt:
Great American Road Trip
I'm supposed to use stamps as much as possible.. but didn't make them stand out in this page.
Also- doesn't it just look jumbled? Ahh but the Amy Tan paper is soooo beautiful!
And sorry but my photos ROCK!!! I just need to showcase them better.
The sketch kicked my scrap booty!
I love multiple photo lay outs.
I love large shapes on a page.
But never before had a seen a sketch with both- Jen is a scrap wiz!!!
Perhaps you were wondering- "I thought Michelle was back from vacation? Why hasn't she updated her blog?" Or not- I'm not completely delusional- I know you have a life.
Where was I? Trying to get a good hold on this sketch!

Second attempt:
Today you are two
I thought I needed to up the cute quotient so I did another page about Lola's birthday toys.
But I was explicitly asked to keep the size 12 by 12.. and I forgot.
I really like the variety of paper prints and crazy thread remnants here.
Third try (so NOT the charm!):
First Halloween..
...Was a hot mess and so is this page.
I do love this detail so this is a REDO page.

So you don't like messy pages huh? Oh well, TOO BAD.
I like the uneven lines, the jumbled sizes and I tried to use the triangulation rule of design.
The ampersand comes from a Sassafras alpha clear stamp set so old
 it was yellowed when I got it (from A Cherry On Top.)
The circle title alphas are from Lawn Fawn.
HOT MESS TIP! When using AC Z!ng powder keep your machine sewing away or you'll get the flaking you see up there in the title. I almost lost a few letters but I persevered and it came out fine. Also- I did this BEFORE Studio Calico featured using a a title in a circle as a technique last week- just wanted to put that out there. (No, I'm not claiming the technique!)

Thank you Jen and Two Peas for this huge opportunity! If my final page was a little... underwhelming- I hope everyone can see I tried and tried. It's not the sketch's fault. It's me.

This is a 25 foot tall mural of the New York State Pavilion at the World's Fair in Queens.
It's done in CHALK- so AMAZING!!!!

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weener Weener chikn' deener!!!

My apologies for the title I HAD to! The impulse was strong.

Hello friends- new and old.

Entires for the Paper Issues blog hop closed at 11pm yesterday. Thank you to all who took the time to jump through every single blog! At 32 blogs, it's a HUGE undertaking and we REALLY appreciate it. I took 2 days to do it myself.

The winners are slowly emerging across the land. Paper Issues will post all the winners later today as results come in but please revisit the blogs you joined right NOW- you just might be in for a surprise.

The winner for my lotza Prima and Petaloo flowers prize is Doris P! LOVED your blog title:

Who needs a reason to scrap? INDEED!!! You, my friend, are a girl after my own heart!!!

Yay Doris! I know my work is a little wonky but I hope you will swing by often. I had a lot of fun reading your blog- your grandbabies are CUUUTE!
Will email you soon and you can send my your addy.
********                 ***********                   ********

You know I have to add to this right? This girl CANNOT SHUT UP!

My work will be featured over at 2 Peas tomorrow September the 20th, 2011! WOOO HOO! I contributed a page for Jen Gallacher's "Stretch Your Sketch" Challenge which goes live on the 20th of very month. I hope you will swing by tomorrow and see what we did.

Here's a SNEAK PEEK:
Jen's sketch was a DOOZY- multiple photos and 4 large shapes.
I made 4  different pages for it and I STILL feel I could have done a better job.
Don't hold it against me Jen!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the blog hop! Don't be a stranger, ya hear!

MuChOs SmOoChEs!


Friday, September 16, 2011

YIPEE! The Paper Issues Blog Hop!

Hello friends!

It's FRIDAY! (cue annoying Youtube video here) Woo HOO!
It's also the Paper Issues Tree Hugger Blog Hop!!!
Onto the show!!!
First one up:
The Call- of the Geese
Materials: Studio Calico Exclusive paper, Thickers and number border sticker, Bazzill kraft paper, Sassafras Lass Seamstress  Bouquet Whimsies, My Mind's Eye Stella Rose brads, Crate Paper buttons,  Maya Road leaf pin, corrugated paper from K & Company
This page was sparked by an environmental dilemma in my neighborhood- Canadian Geese are taking permanent residence in city parks. The York City Department for Environmental Protection started a culling program in 2009 after multiple bird strikes caused the crash of US Airways Flight 1549. Thankfully everyone on board that flight survived due to the valiant efforts of Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, but this very event spelled trouble for the expanding flocks in NYC parks.
And then there were none.
Miss Lola and I visited the East River flock every day this summer. We witnessed the mating rituals and then the goslings at play yet twice this summer, the geese suddenly disappeared. I'm glad I don't have to explain to Lola where they went which,  according to The New York Times, was food banks across Pennsylvania. That is a very sad thing as Geese are one of the few true wildlife species left in New York City. (I never count the rats... or the nightlife... Are those one and the same?)

So I put this quick page together (20 minutes! That's a record!) telling the story of how Miss Lola learned to say HONK!
Rather, how she learned to SCREAM: HOOOONK!
Ahh the hazards of quickly jotting down what comes to mind first-
this journaling could have been funnier...
Being two, Miss Lola has the stealth of a runaway wilder beast when she chases Geese around the park. These animals are LARGE. 6 foot wingspans and 25 pounds on average. I watch America's Home Videos! I know what happens when Geese get fed up. So it's full alert mode to keep her from getting winged.

We miss the birds. Dearly.
We don't miss their poop.
And we're very VERY glad for Captain Sully Sullenberger.
But we still miss the Geese.

Gratuitous card project! My Mom's birthday is coming up in October. Since she never reads my blog I can show you her card (That's a joke Mom- LOVE YOUUUUUU!)
Front- LOOOVE that AC orange woodgrain!

Inside- Bag from Canvas Corp, Stamp from Micheal's 
Onto the next blog in this hop!
Don't forget to leave lots of love everywhere you stop. The more comments you leave, the more likely you'll win one of the many cool Blog Hop Prizes!

Here's mine (perhaps soon, yours?)
Flower destash! 3 Prima flower packs (1 opened-sorry), 1 Recollections pack and 2 Floral Doodles packs
with jewel centers are coming your way if you win my give away.
All you have to do is hit that follow button on the left and leave a comment to let me know. What? You already "follow" this blog? Ok just leave me a comment- LOVE ya!

PS: The Paper Issues Etsy store has a discount code for ya! Now you can snatch up all the lovely new paper goodies you've been dying to get! Click on this link- HOP25... for a 25% discount

And now the beautiful, highly intelligent AND creative genius of:

Or head on over to the Paper Issues Blog Hop to get the full lowdown on the hop.

She's breaking my crayons!!!!!
MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Welcome New Punky Scrappers!!!

How excited was I when I spotted a familiar name amongst the new Punky Scrapper design team members???? Kim Castillon is in da hoooouse! YAAAY!

Without further ado here they are: (click on their names and leave some LOVE in their blogs mi gente!)

New Team A members: 

New Team B members:

To top it all off, I also spotted MUCH ADMIRED CRAFTERS Misty and Cheryl who I know from my constant lurking at I don't know everyone YET but  I'm swinging by your websites today to leave love and welcome you and can CLEARLY see that you all fully deserve to rock out the Punky DT because you are truly fabulous!!!!

Challenge 27 is up and I am still kicking myself to have missed it because it's all about TARTAN- a style/fabric I LOOOVE. I'm a fool but nothing stops YOU from joining in!!! Come on- show us your  Scottish best!
Punky Scraps Challenge 27- isn't this inspiration photo FABULOUS??? LOVE!!

TOTAL CHEAT!!!! This is a project I made for Christmas but
I LOVE that Basic Grey tartan paper so I thought I would share.
OH by the way- my "Kite" page has been featured over at Aussie Scrap Source!!! I LOVE Aussie scrap style! It's fearless and inventive and FUUUUUN!
When I read the email requesting this page I yelped!
Louise Nelson is included in the group of designers! She's like- my scrap HERO!
Thanks guys!
Why not swing by and see what other designers have created? I checked it out and let me tell you the pages are truly GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Miss Thang! 2 cupcakes para my chula!

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 10 years ago today

I assume everyone remembers where they were this time 10 years ago. My story is simple. I was never in any real danger although I felt a such at the time.

I was home having just lost my job two days before. I was depressed and reading Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears". If you've read the book you know how completely awful a choice it was.  My boyfriend (now promoted to The Hubster) called around 8am and started talking- quickly and quietly. All I heard was "Towers" and "turn on the TV".

Here's the thing- I didn't have a tv. I rented tv shows on DVD from Blockbuster and went to the library to check out movies. I didn't listen to the news or have internet as I didn't have a computer- all that came later- after I realized just how isolated and vulnerable I was.

David slowed down and said- Michelle an airplane just crashed into the World Trade Center. I can see the smoke from here!! We are on red alert. No one is allowed to leave." At the time David worked as a Communications Department assistant in a hospital near the Williamsburg Bridge- one of the closest hospitals to Ground Zero. During times of emergency it's all hands on deck.

I blurted out- "HA hahaha- That's not funny." I thought it was a joke- it HAD to be a joke- it was impossible an airplane could swing into the tallest building in NYC- impossible.

"Michelle"- he said- "all those people..." and his voice broke.

Dave had to go so I turned on the radio- Z-100- the top 40 music and and silly talk station I sometimes listened to was broadcasting CBS news coverage. I listen as newscasters try to speak to the reporters on the street but the wail of sirens is drowning all other sound. The newscaster sounds scared- the reporter on the street is unintelligible and there is screaming in the background.

While searching for clearer signal I hear a second plane has hit the second tower. A second plane? What the hell is going on? I tried to call Dave but he couldn't talk- phone lines to the hospital now had to be free for fire and police to co-ordinate emergency services.
My Mom called- "Michelle get over here now. I'm leaving work and I want you home by the time I get there."
You don't ignore a direct command from the Mom.
My brother Guarionex was stationed in a Army base in Germany with his family. My sister Leticia was in Japan teaching english. Melissa was already at Mom's house and waiting for me. She wanted us all home right NOW.

I put on my jeans and go wait for the bus. I notice that every single person on the street has the same stunned look. Behind the bus stop there is a laundromat.  Two muslim women are sitting near the entrance and waiting for their clothes to dry. They watch the tv along with everyone else. CNN is broadcasting that this may have been an act of terrorism.  Briefly, a photo of Osama Bin Laden flashes on screen as part of a montage of known terrorists. Who where these monsters? It was the first time I had ever heard of any of them. I rarely paid attention to the news as it just stressed me out. I knew about the bombing of some UN buildings in Africa but had never bothered to find out who did it or why it was important. Safety from acts of war was something I took for granted.

I look at the two women slowly folding their laundry and carefully avoiding the glares now trained on them. I see the same fear I feel in their eyes, their eyes being the only thing not covered. I got out of there- I was confused and angry and I wanted to be with family.

In the Parkchester section of the Bronx where I lived at the time,  the Pakistani and Eastern European Muslim population is large and very visible. I shopped in "their" super markets as the produce is fresher, the staff friendlier and the prices fairer. I walked in the park and saw how well the families stuck together and how polite the children were. I washed clothes and picked up my mail right alongside them- they were simply my neighbors. Now I was scared and suspicious.

On the bus half way to my Mom's house a man listening to headphones suddenly curses in spanish and sits down. When asked what was wrong he tells everyone the first tower is falling. How does such a large building fall? Did everyone get out? What are they saying" He was silent- he had no answers. I could see he is trying not to show any emotion but his eyes are red.

A woman to the front of the bus starts to cry- her husband works in a restaurant at the World Trade Center she says.  The subways aren't running and she needs to get to Manhattan to see if he's ok. When no one answers her she starts to weep but slowly works herself into a full screaming fit. Can't the bus go any faster? Why are the subways all closed? Why are the phones not working? No ones answers. The bus driver stops the bus and tries to calm her down. Finally, the bus driver tells her she will have to get off if she keeps yelling- she is scaring everyone. She calms down and we resume our ride in total silence. No one's cell phones are working. Those with radios are listening to their earphones- there isn't a laptop or ipod in sight.

On reaching my Mother's house my sister opens the door. She is on her way out. She wants to see the news and her friend Danny has satellite tv service. She will call us if she hears any news. My Mom calls- Pito is fine but his base is on full alert status. We are not to call him or worry- he will email us when he can.

I watch the news. Only the CBS station is visible- the others ones are off air since most have antenna's on World Trade Center Tower 1. My Mom doesn't have cable or a fancy antenna. A newsman is in front of a hospital interviewing some dude on the street who warns there might be a biological or nuclear aspect to this attack so we all need to stay indoors. The reporter is hanging on to every word but the interview gets cut off to show video of the Pentagon attack and people in Washington DC evacuating into the streets- senators and janitors alike- all are vulnerable- all are scared. The reporter comes on to say there are still several planes up in the air and that they have lost contact with a few. Charts of what's currently still in flight are shown, there is speculation on how many more planes could hit major cities.

I turn the tv off. My Mom is finally home- she was one of the last people to be allowed across a bridge from Manhattan in a car. She works uptown so she never saw a thing but when she got to the Willis Avenue bridge the police were inspecting cars and the bridge was already full of people fleeing Manhattan into the comfort and safety of the South Bronx. Irony.

We hug and spend the rest of the afternoon watching the tv and crying- people choosing to jump 20 floors rather than burn, hospital emergency room entrances completely empty or too full, footage of the actual planes hitting the buildings, the buildings falling, people running from grey clouds of dust, people covered in white dust, police cars crushed by huge iron pillars, people crossing the bridges on foot, people finally reaching home 20 miles away from Manhattan and collapsing in their yards to cry. There is much speculation, chatter, rumor but no real information yet. We now live in fear. We are now a nation at war.

10 years later, the site of the World Trade Center is a tourist attraction. I avoid it but I understand why people feel the need to visit- to touch base- to remember and to witness for themselves. When the new building goes up I plan to visit regularly- the design is beautiful and the memorial pools in the footprints of the towers promise to be one of the most beautiful sights in New York.

I will never forget what I felt that day and I will never take for granted my safety or stop thanking the policemen, the firefighters, the engineers, the construction workers and the EMS specialists who gave months of their time and many, their very lives, to help in the rescue and rebuilding efforts. I bow my head and I give thanks- thank you. Thank you.
Thank you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sad scrappy news and a travel page

To get myself back into the "design" headspace after our looong vacation I used a Studio Calico sketch. The last time I went Full Monty on a page with no guidance post vacation it lead to hideous results as witnessed HERE. BLEH!!! Sorry Paper Issues! I PROMISE not to suck next time!
MATERIALS: Studio Calico exclusive paper from "Mind The Gap" kit, Sassafras Lass  Sweetly Smitten paper and borders, Wonder card from October Afternoon, Crate and Studio Calico stickers, corrigated board from K and Company  Ephemera kit, buttons and ticket from Paper Issues on Etsy.
This page is cuter. Check it- I had no idea it was till I read what others thought. Isn't that pathetic? I thought it looked overly simple (not in a cool modern way) but I loved the papers and the sketch.

I actually cleaned out the "scrap" desk today- hubbs needs it back now that Architecture school is starting. I can't really move everything since the increased space lead to increased hoarding- he was right after all. I HATE it when I am predictable (irresponsible and annoyingly materialistic)! Thankfully NYC has very little pretty paper to tempt me further down this road of financial perdition.

Now the bad news... (it's not happening to me but it makes me sad anyway)
With GREAT regret I note that another online scrap retailer seems to be going under. Scrap Attack are you really going away??? That totally blows (chunks)!!! The shipping was high but the selection was wonderful and so was the customer service. Head on over and stock up on old favorites at 30% off. Its getting scary folks- hold on to your hobby- it looks like it's heading the way of the newspaper industry.

I also got MORE bad news when I opened up my 30,000 emails and saw in the Studio Calico newsletter that Sasha Farina was stepping down from the SC DT. WHAAAT? She's the BEEZ KNEEZ! Da BUTTER! DA JAM! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I can't take it!!! No info on where she will be next but I'm keeping an eye on her bloggity blog and hoping to see more gorgeous pages and fun photos in the coming weeks.
My sister is a freaking riot!
Here she's playing the quintessential Puerto Rican (or Italian) housewife.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Travelin' Fool

One of the drawbacks of spending so much time "on the road" is that I feel like I lost some steam in the scraping department. I shot many photos and read many blogs (which my ipod would NOT let me comment on!) and unfortunately (for my budget)... I bought more product than I will ever use as I skulked the aisles of Salt Lake City scrap stores.

Warning- this is a looong post about shopping in the scrap book capital of the universe- Salt Lake City.

As I look at my desk, I wonder, will I be a headline in the NY Post? "Brooklyn Woman Suffocates Under Fallen Scrap Paper Pile". Hmmm... that's probably too long for a headline.
I spent most of the day trying to make something and unpacking the 3 shopping bags of scrap crap I brought home. Yes 3 bags. I can't believe how heavy a shoulder bag can get when filled with 12 by 12 paper (the paper pile was 4 inches thick)... (!!!).
Thankfully JetBlue let me carry my 2000 pound bag onto the plane as I was too paranoid to pack it in with the checked luggage. It was vitally important I got my new stash home. Included is new Amy Tangerine for American Crafts, new Bo Bunny Ect. line and most importantly- vintage Crate and Sassafrass Lass collections I have lusted over but never bought since they are hard to find.
I hit up some FANTASTIC stores

  • Joann's had 40% off on EK Success tools so I finally got the slim line binding edge punch and the new dimensional flower Dahlia punch plus an insane amount of alpha stickers at 50 cents a sheet. 
  • I hit up 3 Hobby Lobby stores (there are none in NY state). It was wonderful to walk the HUGE store in Sandy Utah with perfectly clean floors and full aisles- the slow check out (no bar code scanners!!!) did not dispel my gleeful kid in the candy store feelings.
  • On our way to the outlet store (I KNOW!!! That's not something you find in NYC) I found a store called Tuesday Morning (chorus- THAT'S NOT FOUND IN NYC)- where I scored HUGE on Girl's Paperie collection packs for 20 bucks. I got the entire Christmas 2010 collection and some random Halloween stamps someone probably switched for the Christmas ones. The check out lady told me Utah is the scrapbook capital of the US- more product is made and sold there than anywhere else. This is highly apparent as I sought American Crafts Thickers from the Sunrise and Campy Trails collections which were- alas- sold out everywhere. As were all October Afternoon Mini Market stickers. 
Bad photo of the AWESOME Amy Tan collections over at Archivers
  • Then I found a store I would literally move into if it came to NYC- Archivers- over in Orem, Utah. Archivers had everything. EVERYTHING. New Crate. New American Crafts. New and Vintage Pink Paislee. New and Vintage Sassy. The entire Smash collection (SQUEAL!!!). Plus all the Mini Market OA stickers I wanted. WOOOOOOO HOOOOO! The young and cheerful sales girl yammered on and on about how much she wanted to move to NYC so I told her I would GLADLY change places with her and take her job. I love Utah. LOVE IT!!!!

I also hit up some fantastic independent stores. I fully support these hardy folks- it's HARD to make it in the mall sprawl of Utah so you have to be great and choose your merchandise carefully.

  • Heartfelt Creations was wonderfully full of all kinds of cool new stuff. I got entirely too much My Mind's Eye candy and finally saw the Authetique lines in person.  I liked how the store was organized by theme so you could walk right on up to the Back To School aisle and scoop up all the Reminescence, Echo Park and Fancy Pants Summer 2011 CHA loveliness. The other half of the store is devoted to Quilting but I had to leave as David was freaking out- the store sits right next to a highway so there was nothing for him to do but chase Lola away from the brad bins.

  • At Paper Creations I met the owner who- GASP!- let me into the back of the store where they had the new Crate lines which had just been unpacked. I swooned- literally. My hands shook. That's when you know you are AN ADDICT. I bough 2 of everything. I even found the die cut cloud paper from the Weather line!! WOO HOO! The staff is highly knowledgeable and did not blink when I made following crazed request: Give me 1 each of all your graph print paper. With over 200 hundred distinct paper brands in the store the sweet sales person cheerfully flitted down the aisles and loaded me up with vintage Dream Street, Scenic Route, Making Memories, Pink Paislee and dozens more- I was IMPRESSED. But no Campy Trails Thickers- sold out- sorry. :)

Stamps over at Heartfelt

Crate Paper at Paper Creations
By the time I hit Mommy and Me Scrapbooking I was feeling distinctly evil for making David drive me around and chase Lola away from the shelves for an entire week. Mommy and Me had lots of kits which didn't interest me as everything is pre-cut and designed. I later realized this is great as a starter pack (gateway drug) for a family member you want to introduce (induct into the cult) to scrapbooking. Can I just say I have a great husband? Yes he complained, scowled and wondered just WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS? (YOU KNOW WHO!!!! Stop playin'!!!) but he was willing to drive me everywhere and I didn't have to worry he would loose Lola- David is by far the more protective parent. I am more let's wait and see what she does NOW which is usually:
1. fall
2. freak out in frustration
3. break anything within a 4 foot radius
4. all of the above.

So that's it- my entire 3 weeks in Salt Lake City. Yes we went to plenty of parks and pools and wonderfully family friendly restaurants- over all- it was the most family and budget friendly (paper frenzy not included) fun I've had in years.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!