Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sometimes I...

I've mentioned that I listen to Paperclipping Roundtable.  Pretty religiously, in fact.  I think I've missed about 2 episodes of the 180 they've done, and I'm pretty sure they were just topics that didn't apply. One of the things that always cracks me up is when people say "I do [whatever] all the time..." (or "a lot")  I guess maybe I don't scrapbook all that much, so there are only a few things "I do a lot."  I start with a sheet of white cardstock a lot.  I use my Cameo a lot. And then we get into the list of "Sometimes I..."  Sometimes I use 2 or 3 photos.  Sometimes I use letter stickers.  Sometimes I use flair.

And here lately, sometimes I color photo corners. 

Oy.  Some of those examples are mighty soft when cropped down so small.  My apologies.  When I took the original photos I wasn't thinking that I'd be coming back and cropping out such a tiny section of the layout.

It occurred to me recently that I've really embraced using photo corners, especially after coloring them with Sharpie markers.  It's probably not a good idea to admit that I'm using non-acid-free pens in my albums, but as long as we keep this a secret between you and I, I think I'll be fine. One day I'll be rich and I'll "invest" in the entire rainbow of colors of Stampin' Ups brush pens, but until then, I'm gonna live dangerously.  

I've had this package of photo corners since about 2003.  I don't even think I bought them - they came in some box of things that Simple Scrapbook sent me back in the day to use.  I don't even think I opened them until this year.  I just didn't even get why I would bother with them.  Ha. Well, I guess I've ironed that out now, haven't I?

Here's links to the layouts that were shown in the snippets above:

The black photo corners are for a layout that'll be on the Silhouette blog November 6th (next Wednesday)

Did you catch what I did there? ;)

Have a great day!  Thanks again for stopping by!

Friday, October 18, 2013

QB and a number of random thoughts

1) I have NO patterned paper that even remotely matches the royal blue that Ted's team wears. I started poking around looking for papers, and I'm very underwhelmed by the choices.

2) I used the Silhouette print and cut feature for the cluster on the left side.  I need to experiment with different papers to see which types work the best.  I always forget how much I like this feature, and it bailed be out on this layout, because apparently I have no sports themed embellishments.

Which leads me to:

3) Why are sports themed embellishments all so juvenile/schmaltzy?!  This football thing isn't going to go away anytime soon.  I'll have a kid that plays college ball and I'll still have embellishments that are geared for the peewee league. NOT COOL.

Which leads me to:

4) Maybe I'll just do his sports pages digitally and keep with the style I was using with his baseball pages a couple of years ago.

5) Can you tell I'm just not happy with this page?  I've sort of prided myself with how I've managed Ted's sports pages, and I'm just not feeling this one.  Totally lack of appropriate colors and embellishments'll do that to a girl.

6) And this really bugs me, because I'm:
         a) really loving some of the shots I'm getting;
         b) really wanting to document Ted's accomplishments.

7) I'm really feeling hog tied with 8.5x11 lately.  For a very long time I was a one-photo-a-layout gal, so 8.5x11 was perfect for me.  But here lately I've wanted to use more photos. And I'm finding that my journaling has been really truncated because I have to get my point across in such a small area.

8) But I really don't want to go back o 12x12.  Mainly because the albums are HUGE. Ugh

9) Changing gears here: I don't want to jinx anything, but I've been feeling great lately.  After almost a solid month of feeling sluggish, run down, feverish with body aches and weird temperature swings I finally feel like my old self.  I'm so happy to be complaining only about my arthritis instead of all of that other stuff AND the arthritis. It's funny how a bout of ickiness  really makes you grateful once it lifts.  A nice reminder to cherish health.

10) I should have mentioned that those pictures ^^^ where taken on Ted's birthday weekend, so they feel extra special.  SO glad I got the day off to see this game and their amazing win.

Okay, 10 seems like a great place to stop.  Plus, my boss is working on actual work stuff, so maybe I should go help.  Doh.

Thanks for stopping by!  I

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I can finally let the cat out of the bag (officially, that is.)

(because I sort of got so excited reading the first line of my email from Silhouette and announced it to, oh, say, 90 of my closest friends before reading the part that we should keep it a secret until the blog announcement.. Ooops.)

There I go again, putting the cart in front of the horse.  I'm honored to announce that I've been chosen to be on the Silhouette Design Team.  Could not possibly be any happier about this.  As my regular visitors know, I absolutely ADORE my Silhouette and can't imagine crafting without it.

So there she is!  I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


That, my friends, is a pathetic attempt at a Vincent Price-esque scary laugh.  It loses a little in print, no?

At the end of last month we went on the Willhoughby Ghost Walk. I really had fun*.  Which is different than "I had fun!" and even "I had fun."  I would have had more fun if it weren't $15 a person.  I would have had more fun if we got to go into one or two of the creepy places we were hearing about.  I would have had tons of fun if something had tapped me on the shoulder or appeared in misty form.  But alas, the spirits were all well behaved that night.

We did get to go into the local cemetery, which is always spooky fun at night.  We walked down to the Willhoghby Coal Supply store and heard about how one of the owners allegedly killed the other and how the place has had lots of unexplained activity over the years.  It was interesting to listen to the stories and the story teller was great - she acted all scared to stand in front of the windows, as if something might come out and get her.

One of the last stops on the walk was at a bed and breakfast.  She never told the story of how the place got haunted (the initial death story) but had tales of workers renovating it reporting all kinds of weird things happening.  After this tour I'm firmly convinced that ghosts think it's a real hoot to make off with construction worker's tools.  Oh, Casper, you crazy ghost!  I was kind of blowing the place off as being not truly haunted, because none of the activity was that ghostly.  But then she told us that the place is so creepy that the owners moved out after living there only a short time and they don't even spend the night when they have overnight visitors.  The place is beautiful, but even when there are guests the owners make the food and feed them, make sure they're set for the night and then leave them, locking the door behind them.  Guests have reported all manor of unexplained sounds, from foot steps in the hall to doors being scratched on.

After the tour we headed back to the car and I dared Ted and Molly to sit on the stairs of the B&B and have their picture taken.  They didn't seem like it was any big deal, but there was no way I would have sat with my back to the front door.  I'm a bona fide chicken.  And even though I think most of what we heard is just crazy stories with logical explanations, I do sort of believe in ghosts.  And one is better safe than sorry in that regard.

I'm not going to lie: my most favorite thing about this layout is the little spooky fun box!  It was part of the package that Kathleen sent.  It's a wood veneer piece and it was a little too start as naked wood, but I just used a black Sharpie to color it in and then used a sanding block to rough it up a little.  Also, I've never successfully managed to cut vellum on my Silhouette before (and then I quit trying) so I was super excited that this worked out.  The word 'ghost" is cut from the Silhouette (shocker!) using the font LD Petticoat Black, which I got in the Silhouette store. Some months I feel like my subscription money is best spent of fonts that I know will cut well.  The fact that it sort of works with my layout is just a bonus.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just like me.

Not much to say today.  I started this layout a week ago.  I've been super run down lately, so I might walk past my drafting table and fuss for a minute or two, but I'd quickly lose interest. Vegging on the sofa has been so much more appealing lately.  On Sunday we put the movie Jack Reacher in, and I (erroneously) figured that I wouldn't have any interest in it.   This finally gave me the get-up-and-go to finally finish this.  

A post or two ago I mentioned that I was really inspired by the ombre painting effect I saw on twopeasinabucket.com recently.  I actually did the background of this about 15 minutes after posting that.  It was super easy and even though I'll probably never use this technique again, but it's always cool to put another trick in the bag. 

I sort of stink at you using clear acrylic stamps.  I really have a hard time getting a crisp, clean image.  I love the idea of some of the stamps that are coming out, but boy, I just have a hard time diving in when my success rate is so low.  

That said, I really love the frosty blue enamel dot.  It came in a package from my friend Kathleen, by way of Freckled Fawn.  I dig the idea of enamel dots in general, but the frost nature makes these dots especially beautiful.  

Alrighty then! I have a test in the morning, so I suppose I should mosey on to bed soon.  I should have another post up in a day or two.  If the light cooperates, that is.  

Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It's my blog, and I'll whine if I want to.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know that getting old beats the alternative. But damn it, my head is still young.  For pete's sake, on Monday Sr. Jeanne introduced us to "Big O notation" and I had an extremely hard time not giggling.

So, this may get a little TMI-ish, so feel free to turn back now.  But, I use this blog for cathartic reasons, and as a diary.  I scroll bag through old posts and realize how much I'd forget had I not written it down somewhere.  So I'm writing it down here.

About 8 years ago my periods went from on the heavy-normal side to holy-hell-what-the-heck-is-happening-to-me??  I had tests and procedures, including a surgical D and C to spring clean the ol' gal.  I was anemic, perpetually run down and basically hated my reproductive system.  Eventually it was determined that my hormones were wonky.  I would have thought that it would have been more economically efficient to start there, but I guess they were ruling out cancer and aliens.  Turns out that good old fashion birth control pills regulated my hormones and gave me, for the first time in my life, a light/normal cycle.  The dosages have tweaked over the years, accounting for age and more hormone fluctuations, and everything is grand.

Sort of.

My doctor is vigilant about his "older" patients, and makes us come in every six months for a blood pressure check, since high blood pressure and the pill leads to higher incidents of stroke in women over 35.  Last week I went in for my BP check and he wouldn't write me a new prescription.  I don't recall what my first or second reading was, but the final one was 130/100.  Too high for him.  "It has to be 130/90 or lower".  He laid out my options:
Leave the BP unchecked and go off the pill;
Leave the BP unchecked and have an ablation; 
Leave the BP unchecked and get an IUD  inserted;
OR simply see my family doctor and address the BP with medication and call his office when I had a 130/90 or less reading.

I don't know what anyone else would chose, but after a long angry pity party it finally occurred to me that this does come with my genes.  I could ignore the issue, but I'd feel awfully dumb dying of a stroke or heart attack when I had this opportunity to address the situation.  So I went home and called my family doctor and set up an appointment with doctor for two days later.

Maybe letting me sit in an empty waiting room for a half hour after my appointment time was part of their blood pressure check strategy?  It worked. :P  My weight went up 5 pounds in two days and my BP went up to 130/110.

What I thought would be a "yup, your BP is high, here's your Rx. Watch your sodium, and for heaven's sake, lose some weight already" turned to a long talk, an EKG and blood work.  The good news is, my heart is in good shape (according to the EKG) and my sugar level is "beautiful" (according to the blood work).  We discussed my arthritis, my family history and how well I'm sleeping.  Which is curious, because when we moved in June I hurt my right shoulder.  It's gotten better over time, but progress has been sloooow.  And every once in a while I'd do something stupid, like sand a board, that would set me back in the healing process.  We've been settled in for 3 months now, but the pain is still present enough that I have trouble sleeping on my side - and surprisingly,  it hurts almost as to sleep on my left side as it does to sleep on the injured side (because of the way the shoulder curls in this position).  So I've been sleeping on my back, but I'd much prefer to sleep on my side.  I've had several occasions where I've woken myself up because my tongue has lolled back and covered my airway.  I don't know why I don't just breath through my nose at that point, but apparently I'm not.  The doctor sort of grabbed onto this revelation and quickly noted that I had gained 10 pounds since my last visit. What she didn't know what that I had recently lost 20 pounds, and as it goes with many of us who struggle with weight: lose 20, gain 30.  (If you ever wonder what makes a person give up their weight, there's answer.  The fear that you're just going to make it worse.)  I knew that she was headed to sleep apnea as the root cause: elevated blood pressure and weight gain are two prime symptoms.  MYSTERY SOLVED.

Before she could shove me off to a spendy sleep clinic I pointed out that the waking myself up thing only happened on my back, and I was only sleeping on my back because of my shoulder pain.  Have I mentioned that my regular doctor was out of town and I ended up seeing the other doctor in the practice?  Or that I've never really like this particular doctor, who on her best day is "kinda weird" and most days comes across has judge-y and condescending?  Yeah. That. So I mention the shoulder pain is the reason why I'm sleeping on my back and waking myself up never happened on my side, to which she says in a judge-y condescending way "Do you want a pain killer for that??"  The answer, in my head is a cross between "YESSSSS!  I WOULD LOVE ONE!" and "Look, you condescending little twit, I didn't come in here to whine about my arm, so don't treat me like some street urchin in here trying to scam you for Oxycontin. Bitch."  Instead of letting either of those out I calmly said "Well, that's not why I'm here today, but I wouldn't say no."   Not surprisingly, she scowled and said "I'll put you on (whatever), it's non-narcotic."  (apparently my entire "my gyno sent me because I have high blood pressure" was just an elaborate ruse. Right.)(Grrr.)

This is already too long, so I'm not going to outline the rest of the visit - I was in the office from 10:30 to 12:30, so...yeah: you're welcome.  :)

However, I will say this. When you watch medical dramas - ER, Grey's Anatomy, etc. and you see a patient getting an EKG I can guarantee it will ALWAYS be a man.  Why? Because it's a naked from the waist-up procedure that, despite giving you that piece of modesty tissue, leaves your left naked boob hanging out.  Which is my favorite part of everything.  Oh well, at this age, and with my family history, I guess I'm lucky to still have a left boob.

So anyway, I'm on a very low dose of diuretic for the blood pressure, and she did give me the prescription for my shoulder.  She also told me to find omega-3 in a 1000mg dose. Heh. Good luck with that. :P  Easy to find fish oil in 1000mg, but the actual omega 3 is only 300 or 500. Fortunately Amazon saved the day on that one.  The picture at the top of the post if my morning routine, a half a BP pill and two of those horse pills (the omega 3 jobbies). This morning I was convinced I was going to throw up after I took them, they sort of sat in my throat at that spot that says "I could go either way from here.  Better be careful."

I go back for a follow up in two weeks to see if we've brought it down.  In the meantime, I'm "watching my sodium" - which mostly means I'm feeling stunned and overwhelmed at how much is in everything we eat. :(  I'm also resting more comfortably, and back to sleeping on my side.  So one way or another, I'm going to be okay.