Thursday, January 29, 2009

imagine this

So picture this...

You live in an apartment. Moved in in August. Just got settled. In November you are informed there is an extermination issue. Preventative treatments will be implemented in all apartments. Prepare in 36 hours. Bag all your belongings. Vacuum. Encase your bed. Etc. All in a 1-BR apartment. You do all this and more. You comply.

Fast forward.

December/January. You start getting welts. Think it's spider bites. Boyfriend has nothing and thinks you are paranoid. You think "I have hives."

Fast Forward to 2 weeks ago.

You find a bug on you. It's your fear. The "issue" your fellow tenant had is now your issue. You freak out. Don't sleep. Get covered with some more bites. Now so does your boyfriend. You are informed they can do a treatment in 48 hours. You can't possibly do all the preparations. They do a mini treatment two days later on Wednesday.

Fast Forward to this weekend.

You prep for the big treatment. You inspect and bag EVERYTHING you own. All your scrapbooking supplies. every sheet of paper. every book. movie case. basket. tub. Everything. Everything you haven't thrown out in fear of it being a hiding place for the "issue."

You load up your boyfriends truck with all your laundry. EVERY piece of clothing, blanket, towel. Everything that you haven't thrown away in fear of it being a hiding place for the "issue."

Your apartment is now filled with trash bags of everything you own. Your balcony is full. You have thrown out at least 5 contractor size trash bags of things you own(ed). You spent 6 hours doing laundry and bagging your clean clothes. You continue to get bites and not be able to sleep. You miss 2 days of work and spend hours doing all the prep work. You want to do it RIGHT. You are a Virgo perfectionist after all.

Fast Forward to Yesterday.

Exterminator says you did much more prep than others in the building. It appears you are the 4th apartment with an "issue." Exterminator confirms that in November you indeed did not have a problem. It has spread. Others are not "complying." He is optimistic for you. Compliments you on your organization. But you may still be in the line of fire in the future if your neighbors don't cooperate. He treats every surface, peice of furniture etc. You can't take your things out of bags for at least a few more weeks it is recommended. Or you may have to bag it again if the "issue" isn't eliminated. He says he'll be back to inspect in a week and to do another "less intense" treatment on 2/18. You pray it works. He is reassuring.

Fast forward to last night.

You run into one of your neighbors and get to talking. Comes out that you both have this "issue." She was the 2nd to have the problem. She lives next door to the original issue who was infested. You find out that the apartment underneath your is the 3rd issue. The exterminator has informed you that the heating pipes run vertically and they are likely attracting the "issue." Anyhow, this woman shares how she has consulted the Dept of Health and a lawyer. You commiserate. You find out she is in fear that she is being blamed for not "complying." She shows you her apartment. You feel for her but see that SHE IS YOUR PROBLEM! She will never beat the problem. She isn't complying. AT ALL. She isn't doing anything you have had to do to prepare for treatments. This is NOT an easy problem to beat but YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING. You work two jobs. Your boyfriend works nights. But she has done nothing. What the heck?

Oh my God. This has been my life. I'm so out of sorts. I feel like screaming or crying constantly. I need normalcy. My life back. My sleep back. My beautiful living space back. My art stuff. Everything.

When will this end? I am cautiously optimistic we will beat this. We have followed the exterminator's directions almost exactly. As much as is humanly possible. But if my neighbors continue to drag their feet the problem will persist in the building. We can't even move anytime soon or I risk bringing this problem with us. Also we can't afford anything else right now. So here we are. I hate people sometimes.

We plan on calling the Dept of Health ourselves and placing a complaint. We are entitled by law to a clean, insect-rodent free place to live. We have complied - which is our responsiblity. Technically our landlord is treating the issue. However who will be responsible for forcing our neighbors to comply? It is affecting my well-being and home. Someone needs to and the state needs to figure out who/how. I'm done.

I hope to get back to taking out some of my art stuff out of ziplocs and trash bags and do something creative this weekend. I need it badly. Also to live vicariously through the pictures in Better Homes & Gardens. I miss my pretty decorations. I take great pride in my home. But for now I'm off to catch up on my blogger friend's lives...I've been so out of the loop this past week or so.

Thank you for listening. I hope I haven't alienated all my readers :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Our problem isn't resolved yet. It may be some time before it is. The last few nights have been rough and I'm going on very little sleep. The exterminator came yesterday after Cary spoke with the leasing office (don't even get me started on that experience he had).

To backtrack, a few months ago we had a preventative treatment done on our apartment because another tenant in the building had a problem. Now we have a problem. I'm angry because many people in this building opted not to do the preventative treatments so basically the "problem" is being chased around the building and we are now the lucky ones. Don't get me wrong. I was not excited about doing the long list of preparations needed for the treatment right before Thanksgiving. But we did it. Now we have to do it again and then some. We have spent so much money this week preparing for what we need to do. The exterminator was kind and answered all my questions that I passed along to Cary. He said when he did the preventative treatment in November he saw no evidence of an issue in our apartment. He had noticed we had done much of the work requested. He was amazed that so many people in this building called his office complaining and saying they did not want their apartments exterminated because they "didn't have a problem."

Anyhow, he did a mini-treatment yesterday. As much as possible with all our stuff still in the way. I hope this gives us some relief until he returns on Wednesday to do a full treatment. We have to do so much work on Tuesday in preparation. I have to take a personal day at work.

Last night it seems the mini-treatment helped (I hope). We were able to sleep a little better. I am cautiously optimistic. I am now banning myself from looking up websites about this issue. They just talk about horror stories and I don't need it. I'm filling my head with junk. Cary is much more logical and optimistic than I am about this. I hate having my life and my home turned upside down by something as annoying and invasive as this. And even more than that I hate that I can do everything right in this situation and if my neighbors opt not to...I may still have an ongoing or reoccurring problem. I understand they have a right to not do something if they choose not to...but when it effects my home and my wellbeing...that is SO not O.K.

I am reminding myself that in the grand scheme this is not a big deal even though it feels like it now. I really want to be optimistic but I feel like I have had this streak of very bad luck for months. It has to turn around. Doesn't it?

This preparation has allowed me to focus on my one little word. SIMPLIFY. I through out so much last night. Old magazines, all my scrap paper, some old shoes, pillows, baskets. Just so there is that much less in the apartment. It felt good. Purging junk. Now if only I could purge the "junk" floating around in my head. Worries and negative thoughts.

I'm sorry my posts have been somewhat vague and down the past week. I really hope that things will be (somewhat) back to "normal" middle-to-late next week. Right now I just want to try and veg out and try to relax before I crash from exhaustion. Also...tomorrow I teach my first class of the semester...I sure hope it goes well. And I scheduled a hair appt for tomorrow night. That should be a nice escape!

I hope to post again in a few days....thanks for listening!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

wish me luck

So today was not a good day and last night not a good night. I may not be posting for a few days. Our apartment is in need of an exterminator. I feared this may happen and have been quite distracted by it for a few months. But my fears were confirmed last night and today. I hardly slept and had a long day. The next few days are going to be very stressful and busy and hopefully successful. I hope to report good things in a few days. I don't want to go into too much detail...there is no need to spread those details. Hopefully this weekend I'll have good a visit to a scrap store or a layout or two.

Wish me luck.

Monday, January 19, 2009


snow on our balcony

Another day of snow. It looks so pretty. Especially since I don't have to drive in it to work today! This is my last long weekend before the new semester starts. In my dream world, I wouldn't have to work these two jobs and I could just focus on teaching. But it isn't. Oh well.

My fortune cookie last night said:

Happy life is just in front of you.

Hmmm. Cary was sitting in front of me as I read it. That's a good sign!

Yesterday was a relaxed day. Thank goodness. I did make it out to the grocery store, stayed within my budget. Then visited my parent's for a bit. The ride home was a little precarious because it had started snowing again. It was a nice visit. My dad has a digital camera that he hasn't really used and he was asking my advice on photographing some stuff. It was cool to have him ask me advice. Usually it is him helping me! He is also working with a guy to get his really old home movies transferred to DVD. These are the kind of movies you had to watch on a projector. So I've only seen one in my life. It was of my grandfather ice skating. I guess he has some of the Navy, my parent's wedding and some of me when I was little. I can't wait to see them! He's been wanting to do this for years!

Yesterday I also printed out some journaling to finish off my 2008 In Review album. Now I need to put together the Nov/Dec layouts. I also finished up my December Daily album. Kind of did a rush job of just putting in photos and no writing for the end. Probably not a good idea but I'm not really in to it anymore! I will need to write a few words though or some memories will get fuzzy. It will be a nice thing to flip through next year though.

Well off to get to my day. I want to see what the 52Q is for this week. And maybe do a layout or two while Cary is still asleep. Then we'll get to hang out before he goes off to work tonight.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I was tagged on Miss. M's blog to share 5 they are.
{P.S. - It was hard to limit myself to 5...that can't be good!}

To be honest, the serious addiction I have that isn't on this list, and should be, is my addiction to this very type of thing. List writing. My mother makes fun of me about it, Cary especially makes fun of this addiction. But...I chose not to include it. This action in and of itself...spells out one of my addictions!

1. Coffee. Love it. Not strong coffee. Just regular coffee with just cream or milk. I am no where near the coffee addict my mom is...but I can hold my own. This picture also kind of represents another addiction. Finding things for my home that are aqua. This started about 6 years ago. It was never a color I noticed before that but it has become a favorite.

2. Magazines. Of all kinds as you can see. I just threw out a bunch yesterday in a purging session. I only have 3 subscriptions but really should have more. I get at least 4 scrapping/art magazines a month and at least 2-3 home magazines. I love looking at them for inspiration for home and art and scrapping. In my new budget I am really trying to limit myself. But one of my favorite things is to sit with a cup of coffee (see addiction #1) and a new magazine. And...I'm embarrased to admit this but I am a little OCD about magazines. O.K. A LOT OCD. I have this thing. Before I read a magazine, I hate getting the covers and pages all bent up. It grinds on nails on a chalkboard. Wierd...I know.

3. Grocery Shopping. Definately something I am working on in my budget. I love having cabinets full of food. My mom is the same way. I also like having them organized. Cary is actually like this too so we are a good match!
4. Patterned paper. I don't have as much as some...but I LOVE it! It is really why I got into scrapping and cardmaking in the first place. The black box shown here holds scraps. I had to limit myself to this one box because I had so many. I love seeing new patterns, designs, colors, mmmm.

5. Checking my email. I check my 2 different accounts constantly. I have had to stop myself from checking school/work email when I have time off. But my own account...I check all the time. And this translates to my also checking my facebook, myspace and blog accounts too! It's bad.

This was a fun post to write!

So I'm tagging a few people to give it a pressure...if you have a chance!
1. Heather
2. Jen
3. Gabrielle
4. Sarah
5. Noelia

Continuing to work on thinking "out of this good will come." Lessening my anxieties. Focusing on what I can control. My own worries. It is snowing out and SO cold today. I was going to visit my parents and my brother who goes back to college tomorrow. But...need to see if the weather will ease up. Cary is set on having cheeseburgers tonight. All because I was watching Ultimate Recipe Showdown on Food Network yesterday and the contest was to make a variation of a cheeseburger. Now we are both craving them! I am having him stop at the store on the way home from work. I need to go grocery shopping but it will have to wait til tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

good will come

a reminder in my kitchen

I have been hibernating for the last 24 hours. Both because of the cold and more worries. I must sound like a basket case. Lately for every good thing that happens {like paying off my car Thursday} one irritating/worrysome thing occurrs. It is a long story that I won't get into. It really isn't the end of the world or earth shattering - just irritating, time consuming and plain aggrivating.

Anyhow...I did stay in from the cold {for the most part} yesterday. Had all intentions of going over to the gym but I slept terribly on Thursday night {see above - worries - my mind has no shut-off button} so felt groggy all day yesterday. Did a little work for my classes, rested on the couch and watched Season I - Heroes but couldn't fall asleep for a nap, played a game on the computer with Cary and later on we went out to pick-up Chinese. So good!

I got some pictures I ordered from in the mail. November and December. So I can finish up my December Daily and my 2008 In Review Album. I also finished up my Week #2 for the 52 Q challenge. Actually finished it just now. I had been working on it a little at time all week but wrapped it up this am.

Feeling like I want to catch up with my world today. Clean up this apartment a little. Print out syllabii for my classes that start over the next week. Take some photos. Bake some cookies. Just have a fun day and enjoy the sun, my health, my relationship and all that is GOOD. My cousin from California who I never get to see but love - sent me a message on facebook in relation to my mind and worries. She said she tells herself "out of this good will come."

I will hold on to that.

Out of this GOOD will come.

Also realized I was tagged on Miss. M'sblog to share 5 addictions. Fun idea! I'm going to try and post that later.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

about a car

It's finally mine!

Well, it will be when Honda mails the title. I officially signed the check for my last 2 payments on my took 5 years. This might not seem like a big deal to most people. But for me this car is the only thing I right out own. I will be paying huge for my education for the next 20+ years and the housing market is too expensive here... so, for at least a good while, this car is the one thing that is mine.

I have always appreciated and loved cars. My dad instilled that in me. I grew up going to auto races every year and my Dad has a '66 Corvette Stingray convertable he bought brand new when he got out of the Navy. It hasn't been registered as long as I've been alive - but he has held on to it. Over the years there were a few times he took out classified ads to sell it. He needed the money. But my mom talked him out of it.

He loves that car.

My goal as a kid was always to help him fix it enough so that it could be registered and he could drive it. That hasn't happened yet. But his attachment to cars has translated to me. In the above picture, taken last January of my Honda, there is an old, white Volvo in the background. The Volvo was my first car. I didn't get my first car until I was 21 years old. During high school half of my paycheck each week was put in the bank for college. So, needless to say there wasn't any leftover to buy a car, insure it, etc. So I waited a long time. The Volvo was beautiful when I bought it. It was a 1984 but had so few miles on it and was in mint condition. The older woman I bought it from was sad to see it go. She had been the only owner and really appreciated it.

I loved that car.

It was built like a tank, had a sunroof and heated seats. Much more luxury than I could ever afford in a new car. But then it started having some fluke things go wrong with it and I had to buy my Honda. I really didn't want to. As a trade in they weren't going to give me much for the Volvo so I hung on to it. The idea was I would give it to my brother and sister. But that didn't work out and it just sat. For 5 years. Not able to run. Year after year my Dad talked to me about selling it. I just couldn't do it. How stupid is that? I was sad at the thought.

So this summer I finally parted with it. It seems stupid but for those 5 years I couldn't do it. The Volvo was then the only thing I owned. I had saved up for it for a long time, used money my late-Grandfather left for me to buy it and had taken out a small loan to cover the cost. The car was mine. Who gets attached to a car?

My dad and me.

Maybe the Honda will become the Volvo for me? But first...I need to take the bullseye off the hood and give it a break from people crashing into it. LOL!

Thanks for listening to me go on and on about my attachment to innanimate objects with four tires and a windshield!

Have a good evening! I plan on staying is TOO cold here in Massachusetts! I'm giving myself a "free pass" from the gym. I just don't want to go back out there...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

good day

tulips from Trader Joes on my kitchen table...make me feel cheerful!

Today was SO busy and kind of stressful at work but I felt I was able to maintain a sense of inner calm. I didn't come home in a bad mood. I took things in stride. I took things one at a time. I got to see Cary who is back from guard. The plow driver wrote out a check to me to pay for my car's mirror. I am getting my bonus from one of my jobs owed to me from the summer...with this I can make the last payment on my car...and have money leftover for a bookshelf I have my eye on at Target. I went to the little gym and did 15 elliptical and 20 min treadmill. And now I sit here at my kitchen table typing and eating the rest of my Tiramisu Cheesecake leftover from yesterday. It cancels out...right? Today was a good day depsite little setbacks and frustrations. It was a good day.

Also...I just started Week # of Emily Falconbridge's 52Q..."Am I afraid of change?" Great question...I will post my ATC when it's finished later this week.
Well off to catch up on some of my favorite blogs!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 12, 2009


untitled: another painting/collage I worked on this a.m. It's a work in progress.

Today is my Dad's birthday! We will be taking him out for dinner at the Cheescake Factory tonight. Yeah!

Today is also my last day of vacation. Sort of. Still have a another week until school starts. But it's back to my regular job tomorrow.

And...I guiltily slept in today. Much later than usual. 9:30am. I was awoken by my cell phone ringing.

Didn't recognize the number.

I am a magnet. Or more car is a magnet.

For anyone who has been reading my blog for the past few months, in November my car was hit and -$4000, two weeks and the most aggrivating experiences with two insurace companies later- it was finally fixed.

Fast forward to today at 9:30 am.
It snowed saturday night. I carefully backed into a parking space that afternoon to wait out the snow. I didn't leave the apartment yesterday but could see my car from the window. This a.m. the Apartment Leasing Office informed me that Sunday afternoon the plow driver clipped my driver side mirror.

So I rushed to shower, dry my hair and check out the damage.

My mirror is pulvarized. Peices of black plastic all over.

I filled out an incident report in the office. The plow co. wants to pay for the damage and the leasing office is coordinating this effort. I called Honda and they ordered the part and can fix it since it doesn't involve body work. $220 plus $37 for a rental on Wednesday so I can get to work while they work on the car. Good Lord!

I am working on simplifying. Not worrying about the unimportant. At this point I just have to laugh! Of ALL the cars in this apartment complex he hits my little unassuming car. This is the 3rd time in almost 5 years it's been hit. Twice while parked and once by the guy who "didn't see" me pulling a u-turn.

And it only has 2 more payments on it. It will be a completely new car at this rate! switch are a few cards I made last night. I stumbled across Kristina Werner's blog and was inspired by some of her cardmaking videos. My cards are loosely based on some of her ideas...
This one is layers of patterned paper (the bird was on a peice of patterned paper) distressed and attached to thecard. Stamped "Hello Friend" and embossed (Hero Arts) then I tied on the ribbon. The card is a deckle-edged card.

This one I used my Memory Box tree stamp and went over it with two different tiny heart stamps in red and pink ink. Inked the edges and layered it on pink paper. Layered ribbon and bright pink striped patterned paper. Stamped "Love always" (Hero Arts) in red ink.

This one I layered some two sided patterned paper I've had in my scrap box literally for years. Also added some embossed paper that's been in my stash for years. Stamped the little coffee cup and embossed. Used my circle punch to cut it out. Stamped "Just saying hello" (Hero Arts) on purple patterned paper. Attached the greeting and coffee cup circle with pop dots. Tied a peice of ribbon on.

Also..I can't wait to see what is coming from Week #2 of Emily Falconbridge's project
52 Q.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

lots of layouts

Here are the layouts I started/completed last night at the crop I had at my apartment. Mostly they just need finishing touches and journaling. We scrapped for about 6 hours! I really had fun and it was nice to have company. So often I do my stuff alone and this was fun. I will definately be having the girls over to scrap again...

Girl's Night Out {and Cary at his station}: This layout was the last one I worked on and I think it shows. It is unfinished but there is something about it I'm not liking and I can't decide what. I will have to give it some time and figure out what I want to change later. I used Basic Grey paper, a little journaling card, black souffle pen and a mix of letter stickers and embellishments.

Boston: I love how this turned out. I used a new paper I bought and played with tilting my pictures. I usually like straight, clean lines...but find it made the layout more interesting to tilt them.

31 and 8 to Grow on: Another fun layout. I have had this paper for awhile with the intention of using it for this layout. A funny story of the cake Cary made for my birthday this year with 39 candles!

The Beginning: This is a paper I have held onto for awhile and it made for a simple layout. I chalked the Robin and flowers (it is very light and hard to see in this photo). Stamped the title. It is a picture of my childhood home. I cut out a circle for a journaling spot and distressed the edges. I want to ask my parent's a few questions for the journaling. So it is a work in progress.

Boat Ride: This was the first spread I worked on. It is of a boat ride Cary and I took one day during my "stay-cation" this summer. I need to do the journaling. I love how it turned out. This was another layout where I tried tilting photos a little and not have everything perfectly lined up. The photos of the layouts aren't the best so it is hard to see some details. I have rub-ons, acetate accents, cardstock letters, patterned paper, etc.

I had so much fun working on these. They aren't all finished but I am almost done with my album I did this year. Still need to finish my Year in Review album...need to order the photos and do the layouts for November and December.

My day today has been both relaxed and productive. I slept in...spent a few hours working on prepping for the new semester and got some chili started in the crockpot. Now I am not sure what I'll do next. Maybe watch some more of Season 1 of Heroes. I'm liking it so far!

Also last night I finished reading Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. I'm going to take a break and read something else before I continue the series. I have a few books around here that I had purchased and never read. Also borrowed Into the Wild from my brother awhile back to read. Cary also has a book he just finished that I'm going to read - Fixing Hell-. It is about Abu Gharib prison after all the controversy. Cary was a prison guard there after all that awful stuff happened. There were some things he liked about the book and some things he found very I'd like to read it.

Now I just need to decide what kind of reading mood I'm in...

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


What a great Saturday!

Here was my day...

  • Got my Dad a book for his birthday. Browsed the little bookstore downtown. Also stopped in a great store downtown Gloucester that has all "green" stuff. Got an idea for my sister's birthday coming up on the 24th.
  • Sat in the local coffee shop for awhile with my new copy of Somerset Studio.
  • Did some errands at CVS.
  • Went to the movies with my mom and sister to see Bride Wars. Very funny chick flick!
  • Helped my mom at the grocery store. Well...didn't really help. But went with her. She likes to "prep" when snow is in the forcast!
  • Had two friends over to scrapbook. Since my old apartment didn't really have a large workspace I never had people over before to scrap. Now that we have a kitchen table it was perfect. Had so much fun! I usually scrap alone but this was great. I got a lot of pages done, ate some pizza, brownies and cookie. How much better can it get?!
  • Feel relaxed and ready to face the coming work week (starting Tues) after a few more days off. This vacation has been great overall.

Ready to face my feelings and worries as CHALLENGES and keep things SIMPLE!

I had a great Saturday...a great week actually! A few minor setbacks but nothing serious I can't handle. I need to remind myself that every so often. Save worries for the really big stuff.

Tomorrow I'll take some picts of my new layouts to post. For now...I'm tired and am going to sleep.


Friday, January 9, 2009

home alone

Trader Joe's tulips and one of my colorful Target dish towels as a mini table runner.

Cary left for guard this a.m so to avoid loneliness and spend some time with my brother we went out for the day. We went to Target, he went to the video game store, had lunch, etc. Had a really nice day. And I didn't spend much. Which was my goal. Aside from the flowers I got some soap, and kitchen stuff I needed in Target and a set of fun, colored dishtowels. Then I went to the grocery store and only went $7 over my grocery budget (between the grocery store and Trader Joe's). It is still a lot for groceries though. I really need to do a little better. I still get things at the store and then realize they are tucked in the back of my pantry. Grr. I hate that. I bought Canola Oil and realized we have two other containers of it I didn't know we had! Grr. These sorts of things are what put me over my budget.

Earlier today I also emailed out my group of friends to see if anyone was up for scrapping tonight. They are all relatively new to scrapping and I usually scrap alone. But I'm lonely and thought, Hey? Why not? But, because it is last minute, no-one can make it. Two may be able to stop by tomorrow afternoon though.

So tonight, I'm by myself. This usually doesn't bother me. I usually look forward to time to myself to do whatever. But not this time for some reason I'm lonely. I feel like I did when Cary and I lived 400 miles apart. When he or I would go home after a visit I felt empty-like. Not because I can't be alone (I was alone for many, many long years) but because I missed him. But since he's lived here I have had an easier time when he leaves for guard. So I don't know what is different this time. I don't even want to analyze myself and try to figure out why. It is what it is. But it has been a fun, long day and I'm tired so I might scrap the scrapping idea for the night and watch some tv or read instead.

Tomorrow a.m. I think I'm going to the movies to see a "chick flick" with my mom and sister. Can't wait! Also need to find my dad a birthday present. Still no luck.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Prima clear stamps. Stamped in black ink and clear heat embossed. Colored with watercolor pencil and cut out. Mounted on Making Memories paper and some scraps. Distressed edges with my new Close to My Heart distressing tool which I love! Finished with some blue Stickles.

I feel like I have been out of touch for most of the day. Our phone/internet/cable stopped working this a.m. We now have phone and internet (thank goodness) but no TV. Which Grey's Anatomy! Boo! It is sad how connected I am to being connected.

I just got back from Barnes & Noble trying to find a birthday gift for my dad. No luck. Brought Wendy's food to Cary at work. We had the dinner of champions...dollar menu!

Today was a nice day overall. I was less worried. Kept myself distracted. I had a mug-up (coffee break) with my dad this morning. I loved it. He is one of my favorite people and not just because he's my dad. He's just a good person. Funny and good. I don't feel like I see him much since moving so it was really nice to spend an hour with him talking.

Later this a.m. I did some art. Heather linked over to Emily Falconbridge's blog the other day. She is doing a project this year called 52 Q. I decided to join in. I'm also working on uploading my pictures to the Flickr group. Each week the task is to respond to the week's question in a piece of art. Today I worked on Week #1. I have opted to do ATC-size (2 1/2x 3 1/2) artworks each week. Using up what supplies I already have and it is small scale so I won't feel overwhelmed. I have the question written on one side and my journaling/answer on the back.

Here's what I have for week #1:

Supplies: Memory Makers paper, Autumn Leaves journaling stamp, Memory Box stamps (bird and tree), Creative Cafe sticker ("Wish"), Studio G alphabet stamp and clear border stamp, inks and watercolor pencils, water brush.

Speaking of Heather I received the calendar I won in her blog give-a-way. It is awesome! Beautiful. It is sitting on my scrap desk. Which by the way, I realized I didn't post an important part of last night. The set of drawers my dad made years ago that I repainted. It holds my stamps, inks and punches. This was a big part of my reorganization to make room for my stamps. On top of these drawers sits my new calendar! And some family photos.

Well. I am off to catch up on the world of blogs I missed today. And continue my quest to not worry. But it seems when the apartment is quiet and I'm alone I worry. I'm also feeling overly emotional today in general. It is ending my week's vacation, I'm feeling post-holiday let down and Cary's leaving for guard tomorrow. real reason to be sad or down or worried. That is what is so annoying. What is my problem?! Most people would kill for an entire weekend with an empty apartment. I usually love it! I need to change my outlook.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

my space

I'm a worrier. For reasons I won't go into here I am overwhelmed with worry sometimes. About things I don't even have answers to. Things that aren't even important.

I hate it.

In an attempt to distract and resume my relaxed vacation week at home...I took some photos of my scrap space...small as it show you guys as promised.

My area is literally one wall in the bedroom of the small 1-BR apartment I share with my boyfriend. I have had my desk for years in my old apartment and LOVE it! It was the best money I've spent. It is made up of three cubes for a base with a long "board" for the top. The cube on the left was originally designed for computer componants and has open shelving. One the right are two stacked cubes with shelves and doors. One of these holds my regular boring work stuff (office supplies, bills etc).The one on top has my colored pencils, printer paper, pastels, crayons (I love a new box of Crayolas!) etc. I got the desk componants at Target about 5 years ago and they have served me well. The surface is not very deep and constricts my workspace a little but I am pretty flexible and work "with what I have" for most things. For me it has been ideal to have this contained space because I have lived in small apartments and the desk doesn't overwhelm my room.'s my space:

This is a view of my space from the bed. It is what I first see when I wake up! I kind of like that.

I recently reorganized it and finally feel settled in since moving this summer. Since moving I have loved having the bulletin board on the wall. I've been clipping inspirations, photos and new stickers/rub-ons I want to remember to use. In my old apartment the desk faced into the room and was next to a window so I didn't have space for a board. I LOVE it. I was going to get a large one but thought it might look too cluttered since it is in the bedroom. If it were in a scrap room I'd like a huge bulletin board.

To the left of the Target desk are two scrap cubes. The one with the 3 drawers holds mini albums and small paper stacks. The one on top (obviously) holds my papers. One top of the cubes is a black 12x12 box that holds my paper scraps. On top I have some new sheets of paper I just got and want to use. That is the only trouble with my paper storage. I don't see everything I have and "out of sight - out of mind."

To the left of the cubes are two Ikea storage boxes (full of computer crap) that hold my printer. I wish I had something with doors so I could hide away the printer. That is the only sight I hate when I wake up. It is right next to the bed.

The following two pictures are of the left side of my desk. These compartments face in (toward my legs and feet when I'm sitting at the desk). I like that because it looks neater.

The bottom shelf holds 6 binders, each labeled, that hold stickers, alphas, journaling spots and collage images. I organize each binder with page protectors and regular sheets of copy paper so you can see the images clearly. This system has worked for me for years. I have a binder for each major catagory of "stuff" I most used is the Quotations/Words binder and it is full of word & quote rub-ons and stickers. I love using these on pages and cards.

The middle shelf holds mini-books that are in progress as well as a few other odds and ends.

The top shelf holds a tray containing all my glues. This shelf also contains xacto knives and blades, adhesives and a few jars in back of silk flowers and buttons. I would like to have those in sight somewhere but there just isn't space.

My pens, pencils, tools and paint brushes sit on top of my desk. Each mug that holds them has a memory. One I made in ceramics, one a grad gift from a friend, one a gift from my freshmen college roommate from Japan. A small ceramic bowl I made holds mini misters. This was new to my organization since I've been using them more often. There is also a shallow ceramic dish of misc rhinestones. These are one of my favorite embellishments on cards and they just make me happy and inspired to see them.

Here is another view of the desk top. The black Nate Berkus candleholder is my FAVORITE thing about my space. I got this at Linens-n-Things years ago with the idea of keeping it on my desk. I recently reorganized it. Each little compartment holds a different sized/colored brad or rhinestone or other small embellishment. It used to hold all of my brads but I moved the ones I don't use as often (to the new little box I posted about a few days ago) to make room for new inspiration. I just love seeing all the colors right in front of me. Something about that inspires me. I actually got the idea years ago when I used to frequent a local bead shop. She had little votive holders everywhere full of beautiful colored beads. I was in awe. Also, I'm wierd...I love anything with lots of small compartments!

Here is the front of the desk. This little square of corkboard is another favorite thing. In my old apt it was the only bulletin "board" I had. I keep some computer/blog related codes on it and a few other clippings. The basket below holds most recent issues of scrap mags and inspiration books.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my space. It is small but I love it. Someday I would love to have a whole art room/studio...but that isn't in the cards for awhile. I love my little space.

Thought I would also post the three cards made in the class I took at my LSS on Tuesday. They are made with the new Hero Arts birthday stamps. They are cute. In classes I am not always thrilled with the outcome of the cards. They are usually not my usual style. I like these but mainly I like that I got lots of ideas and tried out some new techniques. Particularly playing with Taking Twinkling H2o's on the balloon card. I loved them! But think I will make do with my perfect pearls and watercolor pencils. I did invest in a water brush though. It is a great tool.


Here they are:

Thanks for reading! I'm going to try and relax and watch some television before getting to bed. Will be up early tomorrow and hopefully meeting my dad wherever he is working for a coffee. I love sitting and talking with him. He's one of my favorite people.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


So...since New Year's I've worked on "the girl" a little more but. Here she is. She's still not finished. I just keep looking at it trying to decide what to add. Something is missing. Maybe more dimension...the belt has a button on it...but it needs something else I think.
Last night I finished two layouts I started planning two days ago. For some reason I spent SO much time on this two-page spread! I couldn't get it together and make a decision. So here they are...they are from a trip to the fair in October. I don't have any software to stitch them together so you see them as a 2-page spread. The first photo is the left side of the layout.

This a.m. I went to a mini class at my LSS using HeroArts stamps. It was fun! I'll post the three cards I made later. I also spent some of my $47 store credit! Mostly utilitarian cleaner, new black ink pad, a water brush, glue and adhesive. But also got a set of stamps. I made a few cards when I got home because I was full of ideas. I always am if I take a class. I really should more often.
I'm hoping to take some pictures of my space tonight or tomorrow to post!

Off to spend some time with Cary before he goes to work.

Monday, January 5, 2009

curbing spending and junk

I am determined to get a handle on extra spending. I feel guilty because I bought too much scrapbooking stuff this weekend. In the grand scheme it was not a lot of money, but more than I needed to spend. On stuff I really didn't need. I watch women in these stores with arms full of stuff when there is a sale. I'm not like that. I look at my little, carefully price chosen pile and wish I could just indiscriminately take things off the shelf and pile them in my basket. I don't. But I still spend more than I should.

I just sat and reworked my budget I figured out last October. Adjusted some expenses that have changed, increased how much I will put in savings and toward a credit card balance. Now I know what I have leftover. Besides Target and scrapping stuff I have trouble sticking to a grocery budget. I love going grocery shopping, cooking and having food in the cabinets. Much like the scrapbook store, I only buy things on sale, bring coupons and write a list before going, etc. But I still spend too much and things go to waste. In honor of my word SIMPLIFY I am going to streamline spending on groceries and extras. Am in search of some good websites for printable grocery coupons too.

Yesterday I had so much fun helping my LSS with inventory. It was a lot of work. I was there for over 5 hours and some were still there when I left! I don't know yet how much store credit I earned but will this week. I got a close-up view of such cool product! Every sheet of paper, every button, every ribbon, every mini-book was counted. Good Lord! There were about 30 0f us. I guess for previous years it has always just been the 5 people who work in the store counting everything! was fun, I met some ladies and had an awesome lunch.
I mentioned this weekend that I reorganized my desk a little. This actually helped in seeing all the cool stuff I already have that really needs to get used! Here is one of the extras {guilt} I got this weekend to store little embellishments...I think it is Melissa Frances...

It's a great little box with three layers of compartments! I put all my brads in the top, some photo corners and metal pieces in the center and some ghost peices and extras in the bottom compartments. This freed up a lot of space in my drawer unit to spread my stamps into two drawers (instead of one). Now I can see them all more clearly and get more use out of them. It also saves me from spending. I was going to get another 3-drawer cube for stamps but now I have room! It also freed up my desk top organizer (it is a candle holder from Nate Berkus) that I love! Now I can put new little embellishments there along with my rhinestones which I use all the time on cards. I also put some other peices in the jars I have on my desk so I'll use them. For me "out of sight is out of mind." In all this organizing I streamlined and through out a lot of junk that is taking up space that I haven't used in years. Some will be donated - some was tossed.

I'll try and take some more photos of my scrap area later today and post them.

Saturday I backed up all my photos onto disks too. My computer is getting full. I'm so afraid to delete them though! I double checked the disks. The photos are on them. But I'm afraid to delete off the hard drive. A few years ago I saved photos from a trip to California on disks. Fast forward to my new computer and when I insert the disk...nothing. The pictures don't show. I don't know why. I'm not good with this stuff...I just know I don't want to lose more photos! But in the interest of SIMPLFYING there is no point of having them in three places: on the computer, disk and in albums/prints. SIMPLIFY!

It feels good to have all this organizing of stuff and money done for the new year. Now I need to stick with it. And I need to have fun and play with my scrapping stuff today! I started a layout last night but haven't finished. I've been feeling a little "blocked" since Christmas. Looked up some sketches for ideas. Might go through my old magazines and add to my Inspiration binder today for ideas.

Well....I'm off! Have a Happy Monday everyone...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

off to my LSS

I'm off to my LSS to help with their inventory. I get paid in store credit and they said there might be other incentives. Yeah! I was there yesterday and spend the $20 coupon I earned there over Thanksgiving. They were selling everything 25% off to get ready for inventory. I just got a little box organizer, some paper, a white gel pen, a blue Distress ink and some glossy accents. Little things I have been needing. I got home and reorganized my desk. Consolidated some stuff so I could put my stamps into two drawers. Originally I was going to buy 2 more storage cubes (one for paper and one with drawers) but I really am trying to not spend.

Yesterday I also bought some storage totes for the closets. Little organizing things that have been bugging me. Also got a few things at Target I needed. Boring stuff. But it was a productive day. Last night played on the computer for awhile with Cary and then crashed.

Well...gotta finish my coffee and be off!

Have a nice Sunday

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 intentions

new running sneaks to help me with #5
2009 Intentions

1. I intend to have one night a week where I read, do art, whatever without turning on the television or computer when I get home.

2. I intend to pay off my car and 1/2 of my credit card.

3. I intend to find a part-time job that rejuvinates me and makes me excited to got to work.

4. I intend to submit a card, layout or art to a publication this year.

5. I intend to run for 30 minutes 3 days per week.

6. I intend to take a knitting class to learn how to make a sweater.

7. I intend to make a new friend by making connections through my artistic interests.

8. I intend to come home from work with a positive attitude and to Let Go of little frustrations and irritations during the day.

9. I intend to learn how to bake bread.

10. I intend to get outside for fresh air and space once per day while at work.

I haven't decided how I want to document these this year. It helps me to do them in a collage or mini book and keep them somewhere I can see them throughout the year. I was thinking of continuing with one of my '08 intentions (re: photographing the everyday) and taking a photo to represent each of this year's intentions and creating a mini album. We'll see!

Sunday I'm looking forward to helping out my LSS do thier inventory. I volunteered to spend a few hours counting products and will be reimbursed with a generous store credit with a 20% discount. Now to me that is like paying me cash! I am excited to do something different and meet a few people in the process. And you can't go wrong with store credit at your LSS!

Well I'm off to go to the little gym in the complex and walk on the treadmill a bit. Then we'll see what the rest of the day brings...

2008 intentions in review

Looked back at the mini album I did last January for my 2008 Intentions. It makes me feel good to see what I have accomplished. Intentions are something I've been doing for years instead of Resolutions. The idea is to frame your New Years goals in the positive...what you will add to your life or changes you will make rather than what you won't do. They say that a goal framed in a positive way is a good way to start.

Here were my 2008 Intentions:

1. I intend to take one day a week to do art, read or just do whatever. One day to not do work! For the most part I accomplished this. I wanted to get out of the habit of doing course planning or checking work email on the weekends.

2. I intend to find a place to make a home with Cary. We found a nice apartment that is both of ours and we are settling into a routine.

3. I intend to pay off my car and my credit card bill. Not completed. Yet. In all fairness my car will be paid off in February. So almost. But the credit card isn't. I have been paying it down though and not using it except for 2 minor car related issues.

4. I intend to take more photographs of everyday life and whatever catches my interest.I did this and had fun with it! I found it helped me to notice the little things more. I documented life's details, practiced photography, got outside more, paid attention more. I felt more present. I know I will look back and these pictures years from now and be glad I took the moment to document those details of my life.

5. I intend to finish school once and for all. I did it! Got my CAGS in Counseling and am now state license eligible (mental health counseling) in addition to my already achieved art therapy credentials. Something I put off for 7 years for many reasons. But with the way the economy is going it hasn't helped me yet. More school may be in my future. We'll see.

6. I intend to return to my walking and exercise routine. I did...somewhat. Added a little running in. But still need to increase my consistency with how many days I exercise. I used to be much better about this and I'm slacking.

7. I intend to grow my position at the college by using my creativity. I did this. I will be teaching one more class next fall for a total of 2 each semester!

8. I intend to sell my cards one time this year at a craft fair or in a store. Technically my mom helped me out with this one. I had to go to a funeral out of state on the day I signed up to do her school's fair. She manned my table for me!

9. I intend to find a part-time job that rejuvenates me, whether it's another art therapy job or just something else for awhile. I desparately wanted to accomplish this one but wasn't able to. Yet.

10. I intend to make an effort to live by the phrase "First things First". Focus on what's important and worry less about what is not. I worked hard on this one...took a few steps back recently but hope to continue with it when I work on focusing on my 2009 One Little Word...


Tomorrow I'll post about my 2009 Intentions


Happy New Year everyone! I am determined to make 2009 more positive. I rang in the New Year with a call from Cary who was at work 'til 2am. Yesterday, as of noon I am on vacation until Jan 13th. Yippee. Yesterday was not such a good day. I thought about listing why but decided to hit "backspace." No need to rehash yesterday. Last year.

So today. I started off with a nice breakfast for myself. Cary sleeps 'til noon so it's a quiet morning to start of the year by myself.

Then I boiled shrimp and made nice hot cocktail sauce for some hor'dourves I'm making later. That is something my mom always did on holidays and I want to continue. Even if it is just the two of us.

Now I want to just knit, watch TV and enjoy the sun coming in the window...over the huge drift of snow on our balcony! my flower bloom today!

Maybe a little later I'll post about my 2009 Intentions and my One Little Word. Haven't worked on my painting since my last post but maybe tonight I will. Thanks so much for the kind compliments! It always feels like a risk to put stuff you make out there for others to see and it is nice to hear positive comments. Thank you!

Here's to 2009 and a positive attitude!


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