Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Project 365 - Beach Day and Tooth Fairy!

I've been playing around with Photoshop Elements for these few posts!  I had a story to tell that included multiple photos... so I created compilation shots!  Anna and I had a beach day with the Brown family and it was AWESOME!  Little Luke is such a cutie pie!  I took this series of photos as he was standing and watching the water come in... not quite sure if he was going to like it or run, I figured I would take the pictures and see what happened.  He was more than happy to just watch the "wave" come in and get his feet wet.
Anna sure loves the beach... the water... the sand... all of it! 
Anna has had a loose tooth for a few weeks and last night it was finally time to come out!  We tied the dental floss around her tooth and gave her the string to see if she could pull it out all by herself... which she did just a few moments after she got the string!  She was SOOOO proud of her second tooth "hole!"  She placed her tooth in the pillow that Grandma Susie handmade for Jessica... then Chris... now Anna... and the Tooth Fairy gave her a dollar last night!  Anna was THRILLED!

It is about 24 hours until the new Graphic 45 Design Team is announced... 20 international finalists narrowed down to 7 for the team... I can't wait to see who will be on the team!  Fingers crossed my name in on the list!!! :-)  Make it a GREAT day!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Playing with CHA goodies for Ever After!

I just LOVE being on the Design Team for my favorite scrapbook store, Ever After, in Vista, CA... ESPECIALLY when the owner, Camille, gets home from CHA! She has lots of fun samples that we DT members get to play with before anyone else!

I was given five assignments and (surprise, surprise) the first project was for GRAPHIC 45, "A Proper Gentleman!" I just love this picture of the boys (Chris is the blond looking down) waiting for the girls to finish up their "photo shoot" before prom. They are all so handsome... and look so uncomfortable... I remember those days! I also love the layers on this layout. I backed the photo and embellishment pieces with chipboard and used 3-D adhesive foam to create the different layers.
Next is the bright and colorful "Flower Child" line by BO BUNNY (seen first above). SERIOUSLY... delicious colors and flowers and swirls... be still my heart! I used the exacto knife to cut out part of the corner accent and then "tucked" the photo behind the accent. I then cut flowers from another papers in the line to create coordinating flower accents that "popped" up off the layout. Add some rhinestone gems and swirls and there you go!
MY MIND'S EYE... BRILLIANT! The new "Hip and Luxurious Basics - Lush" is a FANTASTIC idea! Wonderful designs in flocked and inked papers in SINGLE COLORS... just black or just lime green, for example... in my opinion it is the new and improved option to cardstock! You get the single color with a single yummy design to back your photos! In the "Sweet Thing" layout, I used the beautiful flocked damask paper and added color and fun with the bright flowers. Using the black buttons help "ground" the flowers and bring them back into line with the layout. And Sweet Abby... our darling little puppy!
When I received the samples for the HEIDI GRACE DESIGNS "Crazy for Paisley" line, I admit that I had to sit and stare at it for a few minutes to figure out how I was going to make it work. The papers are very pretty and I love the glitter accents, but I still don't know exactly how these papers combine into a single line. I guess that is why I get paid the "big bucks" to create a design. ;-) In addition to the paper, I had to use the flowers and epoxy stickers... I was pleasantly surprised with the results. But, Camille wasn't done giving me challenging lines to work with...
Now, I know you are going to find this strange, but I thought about this layout for a few days. I know... I know... pink and oh, so girly papers, glitter paper, cute glitter chipboard alphas, and fun heart epoxy stickers... WHAT could be hard about this for ME? The "Bella Baby" line by COLORBOK is soooooo darn cute, I didn't want to cut it up! I know we have ALL purchased paper that we LOVE but we never use it because we don't want to make a mistake or use it for the "wrong" project! That was me this week. Then I decided to do a layout with Anna's birth announcement and it turned out GREAT! I even used the vellum envelope as a backing for the announcement. I made my own embellishments by cutting the words, dress and shoes out of one of the papers from the line, backing them with chipboard and "popping" them off the layout for dimension. The visual frame of the chipboard title, combined with the epoxy hearts, is subtle, but effective in the design. And that little Anna Banana at 6 weeks... OH... SO... CUTE!

Thanks for looking at this week's scrapping fun! Let me know if any of the above design tips were helpful or inspired you to create a new fun layout! (That would make my DAY!) Now off to create a layout for Creating Keepsakes and try to keep my mind off of Graphic 45... 5 more days until the new Design Team is announced... just keep busy... just keep busy... (Yeah, like that is hard to do around here!) ;-) Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Project 365 - Dog Kisses and 23 Years...

A quick post... Puppy Abby and her new friend played... a bit too rough at times... but they are (obviously) still friends with their Dog Kisses!
Last night we went out to dinner with our AWESOME friends to celebrate Mr. Manny's birthday... I got some pics of the birthday boy (that I can't post here), so I chose to post a FANTASTIC picture of our friends Mindy and Jeff... married for 23 years... and they still like each other (well, most of the time!).  Love you guys!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Project 365 - ST. PATTY'S DAY!

This weekend was FULL of BIG EVENTS!  Saturday was my triathlon... Sunday was our annual St. Patty's Day Party (for 26!)  We have been doing reconstruction projects in our backyard for over a year now... phase by phase the yard has been changing... well... the past few phases had to move VERY FAST to be sure they were done for our Irish Party... AND IT WAS!  The new raised wooden deck was claimed as the "Man Deck..."  SERIOUSLY... the men were sooooo funny... our new concrete deck is probably 3 times bigger than the wooden deck, but the men all crammed their chairs onto the wood deck... kinda like we women always cram into the kitchen to talk and catch up during a social event!
Our best friends, Penny and Bob (and little Catalina and Robbie) haven't been around since Penny went back to work back in September-ish.  We used to get together A MINIMUM of once a week... if not twice EVERY WEEK, so this 6 month absence has been HUGE... for the adults and the kids!  I FINALLY got my BEST MODEL back... Mr. Robbie... and he didn't disappoint!  I have about 20 GREAT pics of this adorable little guy... this is one of my favorites!  I'm just giving fair warning, BOB, that I will be taking a commission when he becomes a model since I trained him so well!
My sister, Mary, and her husband John... married 13 years now and just as (flipping) cute as ever!  Yeah, they love each other... and they deserve EVERY happiness!  (I love you guys!) 
Mom and Dad were here... the McWilliams... the Shedds... Penny and Bob and family and Mindy and Jeff and family... a GREAT night... our ANNUAL tradition...  I LOVE this final picture... nobody talks when the food is sooo good that all everyone can do is eat!  Wine... china... family and friends... and another GREAT night!  Make this week EXTRA special!!!

Project 365 - Rose Bowl Triathlon!!

Champagne Time!  Leeza, Me and Dave after the race!

There are some events that are SO BIG that I can't highlight them in just one day... I need a WHOLE WEEK of 365 postings to do them justice... and this is one of them!  This weekend, I competed in and FINISHED my first TRIATHLON!!! 
"Laura's Angels!"... Laura, Paula, Leeza, Heidi, me, Kellie... at the start line!

Jeff's frat brother, Dave Carlson, asked Jeff to do this race with him and Jeff passed... so I said I'd do it with him... and then I recruited several of my YMCA training buds to train and do it, too!  I've completed 2 marathons and a metric century, but this triathlon was BY FAR the most fun event to date.  I'm sure it was the fact that the race includes running, cycling and swimming... not just one event.  I was a bit concerned about running on my pulled hip flexor, and it hurt from the first step I took, but I ran slowly and evenly and didn't stop!
They write your race number all over you, but this number is special... your "age" for the year is your age by December 31st... I'm only 39 (40 in September), but according to the triathlon "powers that be," I'm 40 now... hummm...

The cycle section ROCKED!!!  Although I am afraid of my road bike, (more specifically, I'm afraid of becoming one with the pavement... which I have done several times and have scars to prove it!) I decided that there were enough cute paramedics around that if I crashed, I would be in good hands, so I went FULL SPEED!  I cranked up the gears on the down hill and FLEW!  Our trainer, Laura, drove all that way to support us.  She is WONDERFUL, but sure knows how to yell at you to get you to work harder.  When I passed her, she wasn't yelling at me... she was laughing and cheering saying, "Holy Cow... you're kicking ass, Tracey! GO, GO, GO!"  (Do you know how long I've waited to hear her say that!?)  Now... THAT... was a moment!   
I LOVE the look on that guys face... I just FLEW by him and he is thinking, "Where the hell did SHE come from!?"

The transitions weren't as scary as I thought... except for the bike to swim... here I am, not very confident about my weight... tearing off my clothes down to my swim suit as fast as I can... family, friends, other competitors all cheering and giving me advice... when all I was thinking was that I needed a moment of privacy... I had to make sure "the girls" were still in place and that my suit wasn't riding up my rear as my clothes are flying off.  No such luck in a triathlon... if I was going to have a "wardrobe malfunction," it was going to happen in front of everyone! 
Right after the swim... me, Heidi, Leeza and Kellie... WE DID IT!

The swim... now, there is a HUGE story during the swim, now affectionately referred to as the "Who Ha and the 4 Minute Kegel..."  I promised that I was going to post it here, but decided that there are just some stories that are not appropriate for my blog. (Sorry, Mike!)  Let's just say, the swim was tough, but only a few short minutes and it was over.  And by the time I got out of the pool... in a swim suit... with my running bra still on... dripping wet... goggles on my forehead... looking like a drowned rat... I didn't care WHO was standing around looking at me!  I had FINISHED my race... my girlfriends and their families were there... Dave, Mari and Shaney were there... Laura was there... and Jeff and Anna were there... all was good!  Oh, and I knew there were champagne cocktails waiting in the car... OJ, fresh strawberries and champagne... well deserved and OH... SO... YUMMY!  It was a PERFECT day!

Project 365 - So cute...

Anna loves to dress herself and she decided that she had to wear ALL WHITE to show off her new pink tennies and pink sunglasses... she is SOOOOOO CUTE!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

It doesn't really feel like St. Patrick's Day... the corned beef isn't simmering, the potatoes aren't boiling, and the blender isn't humming. Bummer with this special day being mid-week, but no worries... we are celebrating with our traditional extravaganza on Sunday!!! So, for today, here are a few tidbits from JibJab (I LOVE that site!) to help get us all in the spirit of the green!!! Let's hear it for the dancers, my sister Mary, Mom, me, girlfriend Penny and my cute Dad!  NOTE:  Before pushing the "play" button on the Irish Video, scroll down to my regular music on the right and push "pause."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Project 365 - Mt. Bike 1st Race, Anna's 1st Award, Abby's 1st Model Pose...

I spent most of last week creating my final audition project for the Graphic 45 Design Team.  Since I can't share the project with you until April 1st, (which is KILLING me!) I am going to give you one clue... "It spins me right round, baby, right round..." ;-)  Add to that training for the triathlon, backyard renovation (phase 3 and 4) and the rest of this stuff, and it was busy again!

We were invited to attend an awards ceremony at Anna's school where she received her very first award... (and, yes... in her book it was a "major award!")  She was awarded the "Best in Mathmatics" in her class for the entire trimester!  We called my Dad (the mathmatician) as soon as the ceremony was over and he just about came apart at the seams!  I told you that Dad has been "giddy" since retiring last month... then add pride over the award... that equals "coming apart at the seams!" ;-)  Anna's school has a 100 year old bell that the special winners get to ring.  It is pretty heavy, so Principal Mr. Ausby helps the kids.  I think Anna was more excited about getting to ring the bell than the award!

Abby... a PERFECT dog for our family! She has been suning herself every day out on the new deck and, well, she is a perfect model when I bring out the camera... she even knows how to "strike a pose!" SERIOUSLY... that dog cracks me up (and she is so darn cute!!)

This weekend was the first race for the new OGHS Mountain Bike Team.  There aren't any other schools in our area that have a team, so we were competing from kids from all over.  This race was held at Vail Lake... one of our favorite camping areas!  We had 5 kids competing... Krista was our only gal and had to ride 12 miles... Chris and the rest of our boys had to ride 18 miles!  I just have to say... for a team that JUST started and has only had a handful of practice rides, I am SOOOO proud of the kids for getting through this tough course. 

Just one little story about the race... Chris was doing well and was the first to finish lap #1 (6 mile laps) and lap #2 from our team... with an average of 40 minutes per lap. Then we started waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and no Chris. Jeff and I figured he had started cramping and was probably struggling to finish the last lap, which is exactly what happened. He was the last kid on the course... there was an official with him. The refs kept calling the official asking if Chris was a DNF (Did Not Finish). Every time the radio call would come in, Chris would yell back to the offical... "NO! I... AM... FINISHING... THIS... RACE!" Now, he fell off his bike about a dozen times during those last 6 miles as BOTH of his legs seized up in cramps... and the official couldn't help him as long as Chris was still "racing" or Chris would be disqualified. So, Chris had to get rid of the cramps himself, get back onto the bike, and keep riding... and he did... all the way to finish line to a HUGE applause from the crowd! And he pretty much collapsed off the bike at the line with excruciating cramps. The EMTs came over and started helping Chris... the first thing Chris said... "Hey, Dad! When is the next race!?" I am soooooo dang proud of that kid! 
5 days until my Triathlon... holy cow... Make it a GREAT week!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Project 365 - VEGAS, BABY! Badger Sport ELITE 7 on 7!!!

What a weekend!  We got a call from inviting Chris to the Las Vegas Badger Sport/New Level Athletics ELITE 7 on 7 football evaluation.  WOW!  The two day competition/evaluation was very well put together and a GREAT opportunity for Chris!  He was playing side by side with some of the top recruits in west coast high school football... California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Hawaii were represented.  And the college coaches were all there... Oregon, UCLA, Arizona... all schools Chris would LOVE to go to!

It was a quick up and back trip... we left at 6AM Saturday morning... the 7 on 7 started around 1PM... back to the hotel for dinner at 9:30PM... up at 6AM for Sunday competition... done by noon... and on to MARGARITAVILLE for lunch!  If you know us, you know that we are BIG Jimmy Buffett fans... Jeff hasn't missed a concert in 30 YEARS!  This was our first visit to a Margaritaville Restaurant and it was WONDERFUL!  Great beer (Land Shark, of course!)... Great atmosphere... and Great food (who could resist a "Cheeseburger in Paradise!?")
Now, back to reality... I have to get going on my final project for the Graphic 45 Design Team audition.  I know what I'm going to do... and it looks GREAT in my head... hope the final project turns out as well in real life! ;-)  Make it a GREAT week!!

Friday, March 5, 2010


WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!  What a way to wake up this morning... with a ton of "Congrats" emails from my Rusty Pickle sisters (even though the company is closing, the DT gals are still GREAT friends!)  All of the vintage layouts and projects that have been posted on my blog for the past 10 days or so were for my Graphic 45 audition and I am one of the TOP 20 FINALISTS!  (10 gals from the USA... 10 international gals!)

I am waiting for the instructions for the final round audition... (patiently... wait patiently...)  Good luck to the other finalists... and to Oceanside local, Gloria, who also made the top 20... how cool is THAT... 2 of 10 USA gals from San Diego!!!  Hope you all have a GREAT weekend!  (Holy Cow... holy cow... WOW!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Project 365 - Deck, Dancing, Books and Moving Out...

Here you go, Mom and Dad!  The first pictures of the new "floating" wooden deck... up against our new wooden fence... awaiting new plants and grass!  Anna (and Abby) think the deck is their own private stage... Anna has been out there every day dancing and practicing her ballet moves.  Of course, we need new patio furniture and to finish the planting, but the backyard is starting to look GOOD!

This weekend was the BIG MOVE... JESSICA MOVED TO HER OWN APARTMENT!  Anna, Corey (Jessica's boyfriend) and I helped her move and this is the first picture of her new place.  She and her roommate, Tiffany, have settled in... they still need a lot of stuff (like a dining table, couch and microwave), but... one step at a time! 

Anna had her first ballet class with the bar... and she started to learn her first piece for her first ballet recital!!!  These ballet classes are SO... DARN... CUTE to watch!  Jeff and I are still giggling through the whole hour! 
Finally, today was the Book Fair at school... OHHH... I remember the Book Fair... the smell of the paper... all of the bright colored covers just calling me to pick them up... wondering if I had enough money to buy them... Today was my volunteer day in Kindergarten and I was able to help the class at the Fair... Anna was NOT thrilled that I brought my camera... oh... poor Anna!  Make it a GREAT day!!