Sunday, May 30, 2010

3 Week Catch up... over 1,000 photos... hundreds of Grad Nite hours... and a trip to Urgent Care... Let's start with Birch Aquarium...

21 days since Mother's Day weekend... it feels like a LIFETIME ago! 

In the past 3 weeks, Jeff and I have taken Anna and her Kindergarten class to the Birch Aquarium, we volunteered at the Spring Football game and participated in the annual "Pie-Off,"  we spent HOURS constructing, promoting, selling tickets for, and preparing Grad Nite, and then, it was the actual day of Grad Nite.  I have also done a TON of scrapping (all for secret things I can't share yet), TRIED to keep the house clean, held down the fort while Jeff was in Vegas for 3 days for work, and kept the family going. 
We missed my brother-in-law's and niece's birthdays (HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN AND SARAH)... seriously, we suck for missing those events...then... there was the pain that started in my abdomen the day before Grad Nite... SERIOUSLY... as moms, we all know that we are NOT ALLOWED to get sick or hurt, and I couldn't let anything slow me down for Grad Nite!  I am not saying that because I am the martyr... suffering through to have a great party for everyone else... I seriously had SO MUCH TO DO... AUGH... WHY AREN'T THERE 30 HOURS IN A DAY!?

Long story short... Grad Nite was AWESOME (as you will see in a post shortly)... the best percentage turnout in 18 years!!!  I went to Urgent Care about 24 hours after Grad Nite... spent 5 hours there... an IV and CAT scan later and I was diagnosed with a rare something I can't even pronounce... the doctor telling me that the pain is so bad with this condition that he couldn't BELIEVE that I made it through Grad Nite (he says it feels like acute appendicitis)... there is nothing I could have done (or not done) to prevent it... he sees this diagnosis MAYBE once per year... I am this year's LUCKY recipient (I would much rather win the lottery!)  SOOOOO... I just want to be sure that I don't hear ANYONE (not that I have) say that I don't give EVERYTHING I HAVE to Grad Nite!!!  (Come on... is there any better gig than to put on the biggest party of a high school graduate's career!?)

Back to the catch up... so, after Mother's Day, our next big event was the Kindergarten field trip to Birch Aquarium.  We had never been there and it was SOOOOO COOL!  The photos here are of that day... the "Davey Jones" squid twin, the fish that seemed to "glow,"  Anna looking at a slimy Sea Cucumber (with Daddy watching over her), and the class learning about currents ....

There is so much more to see... keep watching... I am SOOO CLOSE to making it half way through the 2010 Project 365... there is no stopping me now!  Back to photo cropping and scrapping... life is GOOD!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

We Made It... start of catch up... Grad Nite... Graphic 45/Tombow layout...

WOW!  We made it through our 7th Grad Nite and it was the best in the 18 year history of the event!  I have lots of comments, stories and photos to share with you!  Those will be posted shortly! 

In the meantime, I am catching up with email, I spent 5 hours in Urgent Care today (more on that later) and am preparing 3 weeks of Project 365 photos from all our our year-end events!  So much fun... so little time...! 
I wanted to share this layout with you.  I created it for the Graphic 45/Tombow Blog Hop and now that it has been posted to the G45 blog, I can share it here with my friends!  Here is a link to the post on G45 and all of my design comments and tips.  Graphic 45 Blog Post

Thanks for stopping in!  I will have a TON of new work and photos for you in just a bit!  Make it a GREAT day!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Graphic 45 and Tombow BLOG HOP!

Hi All!  Grad Nite set up is going GREAT... long days... lots of work... and it is looking AWESOME!!!  Stopping in real quick to let you know that Graphic 45 and Tombow are doing a BLOG HOP with lots of YUMMY PRIZES!!!  Here is the info from the G45 blog...

We are so excited to be doing a blog swap with Tombow USA, one of my favorite adhesives EVER! Each of our new 2010 Design Team members received a "to die for" package of Tombow adhesives and color pens to show off, so be sure to check in here starting May 23rd through May 31st!

We will be featuring layouts, tutorials and projects using Tombow products with our collections of paper, with plenty of eye candy to get stuck on!

Be sure to comment during the swap, we are giving away a HUGE pile of paper to one lucky winner!

So get on over there and join the fun!  GRAPHIC 45 BLOG

Friday, May 21, 2010

RAK winner... WOO HOOO!

Stopping in to congratulate the winner of the Graphic 45 RAK! gave me #7... which means that APHRA is the winner!  She said:

What a fun idea you have here! LOVE your submission. So many creative embellishing ideas. Gosh, there are sooo many great submissions out there. I applied, and the hardest part for me was my second layout because I had used up almost all of my product that I didn't have much to work with. :)

Shoot me an email, Aphra, to so I can get your RAK out to you.

So... my original idea was to have a "My Little Shoebox Wait Party" here on my blog... however, MLS is putting on such a FANTASTIC wait party over on Facebook, that I think I am going to jump on over there and join the fun!  I'll see you over there! ;-)I just became a follower and am looking forward to seeing if we'll be teammates. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Graphic 45 DT Introduction... WOO HOO!

Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh at life!  I have been watching the Graphic 45 Blog (patiently...) for the special day that I would be introduced as one of the newest design team members.  Twice per week for the past month or so, my new teammates have been introduced and I have been LOVING getting to know them better through their bios and their audition pieces... (and the whole time, bowing in the general direction of my computer chanting, "I'm not worthy... I'm SO not worthy!")... there was also a lot of drooling and "Holy Cow's" as I studied each piece of art, but I digress...

Soooo... I think I have mentioned (like 100 times) that I am the Chair of Grad Nite at our high school and my life is CRAZY in April and May each year.  Yesterday was no exception as I gave 4 Grad Nite presentations, had 2 board meetings and my annual physical (oh yeah... the highlight of my day!)  As I was blurry eyed and finishing some Grad Nite business around 10PM last night (and I missed the WHOLE "Dancing with the Stars" semi-final... DRAT!), I remembered it was Monday and another introduction day... and, of course, with all sorts of irony pouring from my computer, the G45 blog opens and says, "LETS WELCOME TRACEY LOCHER!"  Those blurry eyes popped open and then teared up when I read the amazing comments that were posted about my work.

I am so honored to be a part of this AMAZING team and life sometimes reminds you to sit down, take a deep breath, and smell the roses.  (Not glue... I said smell the roses!)  Thank you, Graphic 45, for believing that my work could inspire your fans!  Today is going to be a GREAT day... and I only have 6 Grad Nite presentations to make...! ;-)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

SAKURA and My Little Shoebox WAIT PARTY... RAK!

So... the other day I was on the computer... minding my own business... when I got an email from Sakura of America.  (You know... Sakura... based in Japan... maker of the most AWESOME Glaze® and Gelly Roll® pens around!)  The email stated that my work for Magazine had come to their attention and they wanted to know if I would be interested in playing around some of their products... "LIKE TO PLAY?"  Y...E...A...H!!! 

[NOTE]  ALWAYS list your supplies with your work!  You never know when a manufacturer is going to come after YOU! ;-)

They sent me a large box of products to play and design with AS WELL AS stuff for me to give away on my blog!  WOO HOOO, we all win!  I will be posting about Sakura soon, as well as giving away RAK's... however...

While I play with the products I love and get acquainted with the new products, I figured that we should start a WAIT PARTY!  I just applied for the My Little Shoebox Design Team and the wait is a WHOLE MONTH before the new team is announced.  I know there are a TON of you out there that entered this call, too, so let's hang out and wait together!

RAK... RAK... RAK... RAK... RAK... RAK...

Although I don't have any My Little Shoebox left (I used almost every scrap for my audition), I just received a HUGE BOX of Graphic 45 products!  Here is what you need to do to win some of my favorite Graphic 45 including papers from the DARLING "Baby to Bride" line and the new "Le Romantique" line!

1.  THE COMMENT... If you applied for the MLS team, let us know what was the most difficult part of the application for you... the layouts, the card, the altered item, or putting it all together and writing the email about yourself.  If you didn't apply for the team, let us all know what team you would LOVE to audition for.

2.  BE A FOLLOWER... Let me know that you are one of my current followers or that you are a new one... you can follow my blog by clicking the Followers button in the column to the right.

3.  Post by midnight, May 19th and I will randomly pick a winner on May 20th.

Oh... and to answer my own question... I seem to work the hardest on my cards.  It might take a little longer to create, but I sure love the way they turn out!  Make it a GREAT day!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Little Shoebox... I pushed "SEND..."

... so there is nothing else I can do... AHHHHHH!  Oh, I guess I should share that I submitted for the My Little Shoebox Design Team!  WOOT WOOT!  The projects are done, the audition email has been sent... nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the next month until the announcement on June 15th... Anna's birthday, by the way!   In the meantime, here are the projects that I completed for this audition.  I hope you like them!!!

“You Make My Heart All A Flutter” (Above and below)  A fun layout with pictures from our engagement photo shoot. Blue skies up above and beautiful flowers below nicely frame the photos and flying butterflies. A folded strip of paper with tied buttons is a nice accent. Straight pins, trim, and Sakura’s black Glaze® 3-D Ink (#38395) pen add the perfect “pop” to finish the butterflies for the layout.

“Baby Girl Mobile” A two part mobile… perfect to hang above a baby girl’s crib. Layers of flowers, sprayed and glistening with Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels and crystals would hold any little one’s attention. Two strings of lime green butterflies hang from the centerpiece flowers. Thank goodness for my Cricut and my new Storybook Cartridge that made this project a snap!

“You are my ‘Tweet’heart Card” This was just plain fun… and easy, too. A few strips of MLS paper, some fun punches, and the darling bird MLS characters and you have yourself a greeting card! I used a new Sakura Gelly Roll® Metallic pen (Sepia #38923) to add a few doodles here and there.

“You Make Me Smile” Awww… that darling Hedgehog paper, cut by tracing another MLS paper, glued and glittered on the edges. A little sanding, ink, and distressing, flower and trim and a Hedgehog that is waving to little Anna, and this layout is easy and done!

Make it a GREAT week and stand by... I have a tease to post very shortly... ;-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Project 365 - Mother's Day and Photo Shoot Gone Bad...

A quick post... Grad Nite, year end stuff, playing with Graphic 45... lots to do! Spring is doing its thing and we have started a fun tomato garden... three different kinds of tomatoes (Roma, Yellow Pear, and Celebrity), potted in large pots, and serving as a border for Anna's new playhouse patio. We watch them everyday and, oddly enough, the smallest tomato (the Pear) is currently outgrowing its counterparts!

Photo shoots... sometimes they work... and sometimes they don't... but they are always fun and I know that someday, Anna will look back on these Project 365 photos and enjoy watching her grow over a year! I know I sure do!

Finally, we celebrated Mother's Day as we have for the past several years... Mom and Dad come down for a visit, which always includes one special meal and family time. We went to the Irish Pub in town this year (O'Sullivan's) and had a SPECTACULAR dinner. They had a Scottish singer doing the traditional Irish songs, including one that had the WHOLE RESTAURANT DANCING... "sway forward, and back, and left, and right, and UP, and down, and left, and right..." SERIOUSLY, the only thing missing from that scene were pints of beer being hoisted up in the air as all the patrons stood up in unison! The night concluded with my Dad being pulled up onto the stage, a short red-haired wig with a beanie placed on his head, and his having to repeat on the cue of the singer the words, "I'm Grand..." in his best Gaelic accent. We are still giggling about Dad and his PERFECT, "I'm Grand!"

My Mother's Day started at 6:00 a.m. when Chris burst into our bedroom, full of smiles and energy (at 6AM!), with a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and Toaster Strudels. With a "Happy Mother's Day" and "I'm going back to bed," my day was ready to go! Jessica came by around 8AM with my favorite Starbucks coffee (Carmel Frap, light) and flowers. I added her flowers to those that Anna brought me the day before... what a beautiful and fun bouquet from my family!

Back to work... Grad Nite in 16 days and counting!!! Make it a GREAT week!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Project 365 - The Lot and Los Olivos Mountain Bike Race

GRAD NITE... GRAD NITE... GRAD NITE... That is pretty much our lives at the moment... however, we were able to get away for a 4-day weekend for the last mountain bike race of the season. The race was up in Los Olivos... right down the street from Firestone Winery (one of Jeff's favorites.) It was a BEAUTIFUL place for a race... the pit was in a meadow... trees... and a HUGE HILL... and about 1,200 feet of climbing on each of the three laps of the race. The climbs were tough, but the downhill... mostly single track... let's just say that I would NEVER make it with my fear of heights!

We stayed with Coach Turek at our family property in Ojai that we call "The Lot." We had a nice and relaxing time up there... Jeff, Anna, puppy Abby and me. Since the famous tractor was out of commission, Jeff took Anna on rides on their bikes around the acre of property... and Abby LOVED running around with them. I don't think Abby stopped smiling for the four days we were there! We spent one morning in downtown Ojai... played at the park and did some chalk art. We had Dave, Mari and Shaney up for a bike ride and dinner and enjoyed their company (as always!)
"Whaaaaaaazzzzzzzz Uuuuuupppppppp?"

On race day, Chris made it through 2 of the 3 laps before he had to stop due to intense cramping. The photos here are of Jeff giving Chris last minute support at the start line and Chris making his way down the steep single tracks of the race course. This season might be over, but Chris is looking forward to really training next year for his senior mountain bike season!

Make it a GREAT day and thanks for stopping by!