Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seriously? It is 'that time' already!?

I don't know what it is - but I think I am broken?

I used to be that annoying organized happy holiday shopper who was mostly done with her gift buying by August... I would ooze Holiday Spirit by mid-November and have plenty of Cheer to spread around all through out December! But the past two or three years, it seems to be harder to come by! The gift buying doesn't START until mid-November now, and the thought of decorating, buying gifts, making cards, and holiday baking just stirs up visions of exhaustion and dread, instead of sugar plums and whatever?

Part of it is that my girlie is not so little anymore and that makes buying too far ahead of time difficult! She has her own income and if she really wants it - she can save for it and buy it herself - plus her 'wants' are more expensive now too! On my side of the family, she is the youngest - other than a precious new edition (my Great Niece - literally, my nephews' daughter!) On my hubbys side, we have lots of little ones - mostly boys, which I am not so great at buying for... part of it also is that my lifestyle has changed... I am more active and focused on health and fitness which is a good thing - but it does tend to lessen the drunken love of holiday traditions that are often built around food!

It didn't help that in the past month or so we have had to pay apx $1000 in car repairs on both cars... plus this year we have had a lot of family dysfunction/drama on display for our Thanksgiving plans! Yeah - my favorite holiday has finally been tainted! I knew this kind of thing happened all the time - but we'd never really had to deal with it... not fun! I finally got a glimpse of why people actually dislike the holidays. Sad... I am hoping that attending a few Holidays Bazaars, going Black Friday shopping, and decorating the house for the holidays will stir up some sort of Christmas Cheer!

Soooo... other than THAT stuff - I really am doing great! Our little family took a weekend to go spend with my sister in Walla Walla and had a nice visit... and then my Honey and I got to go on a quick little get away with friends last weekend and we had an AMAZING time! I will not post those pix as I hope to Digi Scrap them soon and will just write about that trip then! (Assuming I will remember that I even HAVE a blog and will update soon! LOL!) I have a meeting today with a client from last year! Just when I think I am going to officially close the business. Of course - she said she only has 2-4 layouts for me to do, but it is still work. I am hoping she will have more than she thinks - or I can show her my digital designed books and she may be interested in doing some of those for the holidays! If I am going to keep the business going, I will need to update my site and add new prices and options such as digital work.

I have made a few cards, and done a few more digital layouts for our family album...

Another major change since my last update is that my kiddo is driving?! What?! That's right... I now have a daughter who wants to drive ME around everywhere we go! Who would have thought that she would prefer driving with me than with my Honey? Turns out I am more laid back and give her more positive feedback... he tends to have a constant monologue going full of teaching moments and instruction. She needs both - so I have decided that the weekends, nights, and snowy days are HIS turn! That seems fair, right?! Here she is:

...a happy, happy girl!

Lastly - I am still running... but not training or staying as consistent as I was. I tend to need a race to be training for to keep my running 3-4 days a week... and I know if I want to run a race longer than 5-8-10K I will need to run longer, AND more often. But I have taken the past two weeks to really switch up my workout routine. I gained about 6 pounds over a period of three weeks (out of town trips, family gatherings, etc!) and have lost that gain but am STILL stuck on this plateau... I cannot seem to get out of the 170s! It's getting crazy!? So - I decided to add new activities and switch things up with my workouts - some of them are lighter in cardio and some are heavier - but it's been fun! I left the house yesterday to go for a walk... I was dragging in energy and just thought I would walk for a couple of miles and that may wake me up a bit. So - about five minutes into my walk, I decided I wanted to run a bit... and about 4 miles later I was done, dripping in sweat, made GREAT time, and felt incredible!

...after a great impromtu run! I am still amazed that I not only CAN do this - but that I actually enjoy it! I have to remind myself - especially as the holidays approach, that even if I never lose another pound - I am so much stronger, healthier, confident, able, and energized now than at any other time in my life... all the workouts and tracking foods is worth it! I never thought my daughter would be in MY closet, looking to borrow clothes... now, once I get off this plateau (and I WILL get off it eventually!) - I will be able to raid her closet too!

So - my question to you... what holidays gifts are you MAKING this year? (I'm looking for great ideas!) and how are you feeling as the holidays approach?

Spark On & Scrap Happy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

5K, Fun cards, & Flipbook Project (with Step by Step instructions!)

OK - Here is an update of sorts...

I led the Sisterhood of the traveling Crops Chatroom Project today and you can guess what it was! Yep - another Flipbook! I had, after all, those Homecoming photo's to use!!! Here are step by step instructions:
Here is a list of Supplies needed:

1 (12x6) SOLID Cardstock for your COVER (Scored at 2.75” & at 3” on ea edge)

3 (12x5.75) Cardstock for the INSIDE FLIP PAGES (Scored at 3” on ea edge)

2 (5.75x5.75) Cardstock for COVER PANELS

1 (12x5) Cardstock for CENTER FOLD OUT PAGE (Scored at 4” & 8”)

2 (5.5x5.5) Patterned Papers to decorate FRONT & BACK COVERS

4 (6x6) Coordinating Patterned Papers used to decorate/embellish pages

Misc Die Cuts, Tags, Flowers, Stickers, etc to embellish

Step 1:

Score COVER 12x6 at 2.75” AND at 3”... and fold both score lines on each side to form a Square shape. (Your edges will NOT meet in the center!)

Step 2:

Score each 12x5.75 FLIP PAGES at 3” on each edge and fold in to form a square and the edges WILL meet on these paegs.

Step 3:

Score the CENTER FOLD OUT PAGE (12x5) at 4” and 8” and fold accordian style.

Step 4:

Adhere FLIP PAGES together by adhering the MIDDLE Flip Page flaps to one of each of the other Inside Flip Page flaps.

Step 5:

Adhere CENTER FOLD OUT PAGE to center Flip Page.

Step 6:

Fold Pages all in to each other so you have a Square. Adhere the flip Pages – gluing the BACK of the CENTER Page to the INSIDE of the opened COVER – center to allow the scored flaps to fold over and cover the Flip Pages.

Step 7:

Adhere (5.75x5.75”) Cardsock squares to outside flaps to form COVER pages.

Step 8:

Adhere 2 (5.5x5.5) Patterned Papers to COVERS.

Step 9:

Use remaining papers and misc embellishements (and Photos of course) to decorate as desired!

Step 10:

SHOW IT OFF! No one will believe how easy it really is!

Here are a few Birthday cards made with my newest Cricut Cartridge... so fun!
I got to have my Link fix... he is just getting so big - and I can't TELL you how much he LOVES playing with rocks!!!

and lastly... an update on the SUN CITY 5K...

Let me give you a brief story... I waited to officially sign up to run this race until last Wednesday! I wanted to get a bit further into the C25K program, to be able to go and run the route at least once, and to see what the forecast for the race day was going to be! I ran the course with a fellow Sparker on Wednesday, and we timed ourselves at about 37 minutes. A little up from last year - but still under 40 and I decided if the weather report looked good - I was up for it! I came home, checked the forecast, and sent in my registration. Then, last night - just on a whim, I checked the Runners/race website to see about time for pre-registered runners and while I found no info on THAT - I did notice that the TIME of the race changed from noon to 9:20am and, for more fun, the weather forecast changed from blue skies and sunshine to rain and rain!? Oh man... so not what I signed up for! But - I decided I normally run in the morning anyway - and I CAN run in the rain, I just prefer not to! So - my Honey came with me, I got my bib and warmed up, hit play on my new Fast Playlist, and started my run! The skies threatened rain but only let out a few drops and then the clouds began to give way to patches of blue skies and it was PERFECT running weather!

In the end, I crossed the Finish Line with a new Personal Record of 33:12... that is just under 11 min miles... 3 of them in fact! It's also 4 minutes off my time from last week, and over 2 minutes off my time from last year - when I had been training longer and more consistently! I really WANTED to make it in 11 minute miles but didn't tell anyone because it just seemed really ridiculous! I mean - after having to quit running due to an injury in March, and just picking it back up a few weeks ago - I was feeling realistic at hoping to come in under 40 minutes. Once I cooled off and refueled, we walked around through our local Farmers Market and my Honey bought me these GORGEOUS flowers... my little 'bonus' reward...

My main reward: Once again - meeting a Goal - and how!

Spark On & Scrap Happy!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Flippin' again...

OK - I am flipping out again for these super fun, super cute, quick project Flipbooks!

Have one more to do - with all the Homecoming pictures - but I need to (yes, NEED to!) go get some paper first! I HAVE paper, sure - but I have downsized so much that I don't have a lot of stock on hand and I want it to match perfectly - so off to the craft store tomorrow for me!

Here is what I made today though - using supplies I had on hand...

This first one is for my niece - this is her first baby!

This one is using many of the same pictures - but it's for my sister - a first time Grandma!!!

So - what have YOU been working on?