31 December 2009

Tabby Thursday

Yes, Lily is especially cute and doesn't hesitate to use this fact to her advantage.

And it generally works. :-)

28 December 2009

26 December 2009

Santa Came! by Tinsel

After wee sended our ledders to Santa, we hanged up our stockings and went rite to slepe! (Can u tell wich is Lily's???)

Sum of u may not no dis, but Santa brot me heer 8 yeers ago, so I nose him PURR-sonally! It waz RILLY cold ridin in da slay!

An in da morning, we seed dat Santa had been at our howse!

He bringed eech of us our own can of yummy fuds wich taists lyke fishes! But we onlee had a teeny tiny sample so far.

We each got our own bag of Temptations, two! YAY! Also fishy tasting.

And Lily getted sum new nale trimmerz. And I getted sum catnip stuff. We will share ezzerieting, prettie much. We bofe had our nales trimmed last nite.

I am kinda glad Santa did not take Lily wif him, as I hoped. Cuz den I wood not have her treets to eat.


25 December 2009

Krismus Gretingz frum Lily

Marey Krismus!

My mommie letted me rite dis blog post todai so I cud send sum cheerie Krismus gretingz to u all! As u can see, I am filled wif da hollieday speerit. I hope u r two.


Rited an tiped all bi miself!

24 December 2009

Deer Santa

Deer Santa,

Halp! Remembr wen u brot me heer on Krismas morning a few yeerz ago? Dis is what I ask: PLEEEZE, find Lily a new home for Krismas! She chases me an tris to eet mi fuds. Den she tris to lik me -- ewww! GET HER OUT OF HEER!

Or if nobuddy wantz her (wich is entyrelie possibul) I also lik anyting dat taists lik fishes.

I hope you getz dis letr! Say hi to ur elves fur me!

Ur frend,

22 December 2009

Tabby Tuesday: Movie Classics with Lily

Last week, Lily watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time.

She preferred the scenes featuring Toto. I'm sure she was picturing herself in that role!

Maybe if there's ever a re-make...

19 December 2009

Layout: Show choir rehearsal

Show choir season is about to begin! In November, our choirs host an open rehearsal (in practice t-shirts) to give parents and friends a preview of the show. Of course, this calls for a layout.

I even used a small piece of one of my favorite older patterned papers. This one comes from my Super-Hoarded Stash of Paper from Companies That Have Gone Out of Business -- Arctic Frog. *sigh*

(Sorry for the crooked lines. It's straight in real life!)

Now back to work.

17 December 2009

Feline Friday: No interwebs!

Halp! My mommeh is ecsrtreemlie mad! I do not undurstand wut da problum is. No eeemayle? What is dat? I am a feemayle. I haz nezer seed a eeemayle. Haz u?

As if dat wasn't bad enuf, now we has no interwebs! I DO no what dat is becuz I sumtymes get to doo a Feline Friday blogg post. I had to go to my daddies orafice to rite dis post! Thingz is BAD at r howse!

Anywais she is so mad dat I had to cuvver mi ibawlz.

Tell mee when itz ozer!!!!!


16 December 2009

A non-event!

In scrapbooking, we often discuss the merits of "event" versus "moment" layouts. Some of us are exclusively event scrapbookers, documenting concerts, games, birthday parties, and holidays like some kind of crazed archivist. Others take a looser approach, choosing to document relationships, cute expressions, and milestones...in short, the little things in life.

I'm sure you can tell into which of these two camps I fall!

For this layout, I took a break from my relentless event scrapbooking to capture a moment in time, specifically a 1:25 AM caffeine-powered, stressed-students-on-a-deadline moment.

For Daughter, this moment marked the first time she had stayed up THAT late working on a school project. As the snacks ran out and time ticked away, serious squirreliness set in.

I'm glad I stayed up late to capture this moment. :-)

14 December 2009

ROYGBIV meets patterned paper

I recently undertook a rather radical reorganization of my patterned paper. Well, maybe not COMPLETELY radical, but a tiny bit radical...I re-organized ALL of my patterned paper by color!

Previously I had only one of the three above files organized by color. The others were sorted by manufacturer, with complete collections and/or brands together. I finally decided to take the plunge and sort it ALL by color....BECAUSE, you can NEVER go wrong with rainbow-color order!

Here are the completed files. In addition to the tabs for each color, I also set up a tab for "themed" paper, multi-colored paper (such as my vast collection of STRIPED paper!), and specialty paper. I kept a few collections together (notably Bazzill and Ki) but most everything else found a home in ROYGBIV.

In resorting all of my paper, I discovered a few things:

* Patterned paper can be hard to sort by color. I sorted by the dominant color or base color. If there was no dominant color, it went into my "multi-color" section.
* Holy cow, I have some very ugly paper in my possession. (I really should have made a "What was I thinking?" tab!) If it can't be used for cards, I will use the backside of it for draft copies in my wide-format printer.
* I have a TON of blue paper. Not sure why that is. I don't have anything against blue, but I'm not a huge fan, either.
* I also have way too much pink paper. I'm definitely not a pink person. The pinks need to be aggressively purged.
* I am not a themed paper person. I have some cat paper, some Girl Scout paper, and one odd sheet of paper with dominoes on it, but that's about it.
* I have more patterned paper than I will ever use in my lifetime, at the rate I use it.

With luck, the newly sorted ROYGBIV patterned paper will help me use it up a little more efficiently. At a minimum, my paper files look much cooler now that they're in proper form. :-)

11 December 2009

Holiday Decorating - 2009

I'm not really into holidays, although you might not believe that if you were to visit our house at Christmas. I put up a lot of Christmas decorations because over the years, I have accumulated a ton of them, primarily as gifts from family members. A few years ago, I started putting up multiple trees because I have so many ornaments. I also have a Dickens Village with 30+ buildings, all gifts from my parents or late grandma over the years.

So far this year, I have put up the village and four trees (all are tethered to sturdy objects with fishing line to keep Lily from knocking them down). I may put up my fifth tree, if I can summon the strength! In addition to these decorations, I also have a collection of old world Santas, two additional villages, and a host of other holiday items (many handmade) which didn't make it out of the boxes this year.

Our big tree has a variety of ornaments, many of which are special for one reason or another. The snowflakes, for example, were all made by Spouse's late grandmother. The tree in the dining room features my late grandma's mercury glass ornaments, which I absolutely treasure. This year, the small tree in on the landing has a variety of gold ornaments (mainly musical instruments), and the kitchen tree holds the set of Cosmo Cricket ornaments I made last year. I have so many ornaments that I sometimes switch the themes or color schemes.

I have to admit that once everything is in place, I enjoy it. Taking it down, however, is another story altogether!

Feline Friday: Big Snow!

Here in the Midwest, we are digging out from a major storm which dumped 12 inches or more of snow on us. Brisk 50 mph winds followed the snow, creating hours of white-out blizzard conditions. Then, once the wind died down, the arctic air moved in. Suffice it to say, it is COLD! This snow won't be melting anytime soon.

Since the snow began a couple of days ago, Lily has been determined to investigate it. So in the height of the snowstorm, I stood outside holding her for approximately 3 seconds, just so she could see what was falling from the sky (and stop crying at the back door). Turns out she was terrified of the swirling snow, so we went immediately back inside the house.

But once the snow stopped, she wanted to try it again. So outside we went once more.

We placed her gently on the snow-covered sidewalk, then onto a tall drift. Her little toes spread wide, forming miniature snowshoes!

But after a couple of minutes, she turned to us as if to say, "Um, dis seamed lik a gud ideah at da tyme. Pleeze to go insyde nowz!"

10 December 2009

Not a digital layout

I'm not a digital scrapbooker, and I doubt that I will ever be. BUT I am definitely a hybrid scrapbooker. I use my computer for titles, journaling, custom embellishments, and playing with layout designs. I also look at digital templates for design ideas.

Here's a layout I made using a digital template by Cathy Zielske as inspiration. With her clean style and background in graphic design, Cathy was MADE for digital design.

And that's a good thing, even for those of us still using paper! :-)

07 December 2009

Layout: Pumpkin carving

Here's another quick layout I finished up recently. Daughter had several of her high school friends over for a very intense pumpkin carving session this past October so, of course, this called for a scrapbook page.

Although I have a ton of photos from this particular event, I decided to devote only one page to it. So I used the collage feature in Picasa to group a few pictures to illustrate the story. In my quest to finish up a lot of scrapbooking FAST, collages have been a saving grace.

Lucky for me, the only two predominant colors in these photos were orange and blue, which happen to be complementary colors. (I swear, I did not engineer that!) This made color selection easy.

And see that little piece of orange and blue patterned paper? That is from my Super Hoarded Stash of Paper from Companies That Have Gone Out of Business. Recognize it? Yep, it's old Arctic Frog.

Don't worry...I still have plenty left. :-)

05 December 2009

Layout: Birthday

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I'm working to catch up on a serious backlog of scrapbooking in time for graduation at the end of May. So I'm working my way back in time through boxes of photos and ran across this set of pictures that I've been skipping over. As it happens, these are the last pictures we have of my daughter with my mom.

From a color standpoint, the photos were hard enough to deal with, but from an emotional point of view, I couldn't even look at them until recently. So I decided to keep the color scheme very simple, with a neutral white background. (Neutrals are always my solution for difficult color situations.)

If you click on the picture, you should be able to read the journaling. I didn't want it to be heavy or sad, because that is not representative of the kind of relationship my daughter shared with her grandma. The pink stuffed hearts in the ceramic basket at right were actually favors given out at the baby shower we had for my daughter after she was born. I have kept them all these years and for some reason decided to use them for our little birthday gathering that evening.

It has been hard working with pictures that include my mom, but I've found that it also feels good to finally scrapbook them. I feel that in order to be an authentic depiction of our life, our scrapbooks need to show our entire journey, including the rough patches we encounter. I'm getting there...

04 December 2009

Feline Friday

Deer Santa,

Hai im tryin to bee gud an leef mommiez pretti tings aloan. But itz rilly, rilly hard...

Luv, Lily

01 December 2009

It's Madrigal week!

It's the beginning of the holiday season and time for our high school's 30th annual Madrigal Feaste. It is a huge undertaking for our choir directors, our vocal students, and a host of volunteer parents. Attending the Madrigal production is a great opportunity for members of our community to enjoy the many talents of our students.

This is our daughter's last year in the Madrigal production and she has the honor of playing the role of the queen. (I had to laugh when members of the royal court decided to name her Queen Lily, which just HAPPENS to be the name of one of our kitties.)

Having helped with decorations and watched the rehearsals, I cannot wait to attend the production. It's a beautiful evening filled with song and dance and the perfect way to start the holiday season.

30 November 2009

Santa's furry elves

I normally put up five or six trees at Christmas time. As you can imagine, this is a lot of work.

But lucky for me, I have plenty of help! Santa's furry little elves are with me every step of the way!

Lily and Tinsel are on hand to unpack the boxes and make sure that we have all the necessary ingredients for festive decor. In certain instances, they even test the strength of decorations WITH THEIR TEETH, just to make sure they are durable enough for the holiday season!

Tinsel and Lily also supervise every aspect of tree assembly and light placement. Here, Lily demonstrates some fancy footwork while climbing to the highest inspection point on the ladder. (Tinsel was not impressed.)

From this high perch, Lily can oversee ornament placement. If there's a problem, I have no doubt that she will JUMP RIGHT IN to help!

As you can see, I am very lucky to have Santa's furry elves to help me get ready for Christmas! If you need assistance with your holiday decor, be sure to let us know! :-)

27 November 2009

Feline Friday, a bit late!

Lily takes great pride in being the irritating little sister to Tinsel.

This is one of her favorite tricks. She perches in the chair, peeking over the arm until poor, unsuspecting (oblivious) Tinsel passes by.

Then..SWIPE! Lily smacks her on the head as if to say, "HAI! Im up here! Plai wif me!"

As you can imagine, this tactic never yields the desired result. :-)

26 November 2009

Thanksgiving in review

After all of my fussing about making the Thanksgiving dinner again this year, things actually went pretty well. I had made myself a detailed cooking plan last year and -- once I found it -- basically followed it again this year.

You see, the kitchen feels like like alien turf to someone like me, so a good plan written in my own language ("Turn on oven." "Remove cat from table.") is a necessity.

But, as many have pointed out, the food is not the important thing on Thanksgiving anyway. It's taking a moment to be grateful for what we have, not what we don't have, and to celebrate the good things in our lives. Even though we hit rough patches on the road of life now and then, we are incredibly blessed. We need to do a better job of remembering that every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.

Happy Turkey Day!

With no offense meant to anyone, today I am sharing one of my very favorite seasonal lolcat pictures. It never fails to make me LOL!

Here's to a very happy Thanksgiving celebration, with lots of LOLS for everyone!

23 November 2009

And we're off! Another show choir season begins!

Our high school show choirs are in full rehearsal mode, preparing for the official start of the competitive season in January. This evening, we had the opportunity to attend an open rehearsal to see how the shows are coming together. At open rehearsals, the students perform in the practice clothes, without props, and do only a portion of their show.

If you're not familiar with show choir, it is a highly competitive activity in which students sing and dance as a group. Students audition to be part of show choirs, which usually include 40-60 members. A typical choir will do four to six songs with a couple of costume changes during a show, including high-energy pieces, a ballad, an all-male or all-female number, or a musical theatre piece.

Show choirs compete against each other at invitationals, which have all the excitement and energy of a sporting event plus significant amounts of aerosol hairspray. :-)

While I'm a band mom at heart, I have to admit that I love watching show choir, too. I've sobbed through more show choir ballads than I can count. A top notch show choir is unbelievably fun to watch.

This year, our competitive season will take us to several invitationals, capped by a trip to Nashville to compete in a national competition at the Grand Ole Opry. You can bet I'll be at every one of them, Kleenex in hand.

22 November 2009

A BIG Event

Last night was the annual Iowa All-State Music Festival, featuring the All-State Band, Orchestra, and Chorus. Back in October, over 1,000 students were selected by audition from around the state to participate. According to the program, these students represent the top 1% of Iowa music students.

Last year, our daughter was selected to play percussion in the All-State Band. I have to admit that we were pretty excited about that because percussion is a very difficult section to make. Soon after the festival last year, she announced that she planned to audition for the All-State Chorus this year. She prides herself in being a well-rounded musician and wanted to see if she could rise to the challenge. And sure enough, she did!

Last night we attended a wonderful concert at Iowa State University's Hilton Coliseum. Instead of looking for her at the back of the band, we had to pick her out 601 vocal students in a sea of multi-colored choir robes!

We're very happy that she has had the unique opportunity to be part of the both the band and the choir. Both were very different kinds of learning experiences and will serve her well in the future.

If you're in Iowa, be sure to watch the program on IPTV, Thanksgiving evening at 7:00 pm. More information can be found at IPTV.

20 November 2009

Feline Friday: A Short Feature Film by Lily

Producer's note: Lily is not (quite) as *plump* as she appears in this movie. You know what they say...The camera adds 10 pounds! Ten pounds is quite a lot when you're a kitty!

19 November 2009

One of many layouts!

I've been on a roll this month with my scrapbooking and, from what Ye Olde Calendar is telling me, I'd better keep up this pace for the foreseeable future. Graduation is still a few months away, but I have miles to go before then.

Since I'm playing catch up in a big way, I'm working forward (scrapbooking current events), but also backward (working on past events) at the same time. This can be very confusing! Of course, I had to make myself a form to keep track of all the layouts I need to make for a given month. :-) This has kept me organized and focused, and it makes it easy to see where the gaps are. (And they're everywhere!)

Here's a quick one-page layout I finished up in the past few days (sorry for the somewhat distorted photo). This is one of many show choir layouts that I need to make! The only thing difficult about this one was finding a green cardstock to match the kids' t-shirts. Here's a tip: When I find the right patterned paper or cardstock, I purchase a lot of it. I make multiple pages in which the kids are wearing the same costumes or uniforms. Using the same cardstock or paper on those layouts gives them continuity and simplifies the color selection process.

18 November 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yes, I'm still putting away Halloween decorations, but last week I made a set of Valentine cards for a January class at Memory Bound. When planning classes, we work several weeks (or months) ahead of the actual calendar!

I'm a firm believer that you can't go wrong with brown and pink (or brown and anything, for that matter), so I naturally grabbed the American Crafts Romance line for this set. Of course, it includes a very nice striped paper, which made it pretty much impossible to resist. :-)

16 November 2009

Layout: Prom - Behind the Scenes

By now, most of you know that I've been busily scrapbooking our daughter's events and activities (plus a few other family layouts), with a goal of having something to show for myself at graduation.

I'm happy to report that I'm making some progress. Over the past few days, I actually completed 25 pages, and none were cat layouts! :-)

I recently finished up a series of pages (probably way too many, truth be told) about last year's prom. This first layout covers the "behind the scenes" preparation for prom. The remaining pages cover the pre-dance photo shoot, the dinner, dance, and post-prom party.

I used my trusty Ki Memories Fruit Stripe paper throughout the series of pages. It just happened to match the girls' dresses perfectly. :-)

14 November 2009


I've been feverishly working on scrapbook pages with a goal of finishing my daughter's events/activities (and many other family layouts) before she graduates in May. Is this a realistic goal? Hmmm....Not sure yet. Given how much I have yet to do, the task is pretty daunting.

For the past several weeks, I have been stacking completed layouts on our dining room table, sorted in piles by month. But with Thanksgiving approaching, I could see something was going to have to change, otherwise our guests would be eating at a card table!

So I recently ordered some WRMK 3-ring binders through Memory Bound, and they came in this week! I am very pleased with the quality of the albums. They are very sturdy, and the page protectors are thick and roomy.

This evening, I spent several hours loading completed pages into the binders. I must say that it's a great feeling to see the layouts finally organized and in the proper order. Collectively, the pages will tell our story. I can finally see it coming together.

* brief happy dance*

Okay, enough celebrating. Now back to work.

13 November 2009

Feline Friday: Groserie Jakpot, by Lily

Mi mommie went to da groserie stor todai becuz she wants da banana bole bak. lol

I alwais chec in da bag when shee getz home to see if dare might be sumfing for me! Like ham or Cheetos or grene olifs!

And der wuz! Delly turkie!

I asked nisely for a peece rite awai. Nom, nom, nom...

Nom, nom, nom...

Nom, nom, nom... Oops! Sorrie, Mommie. I did not mene to nom ur finger.

Rited and typed by Lily, all bi miself!

12 November 2009

Yes, we have no bananas!

The fruit bowl was empty tonight. So Lily decided to see if she could fit in it.

It was a pretty tight squeeze, as you can CLEARLY see from these pictures. Her feet were all in a wad at the bottom of the bowl.

She managed to get comfortable enough for a two-hour nap. But when she stood up, she had to shake her legs before she could get her furry self out of the bowl.

I'd better go get more fruit.

11 November 2009

This layout was inspected by Lily

Very few people know that each layout I complete is carefully inspected by one of our kitties. Tinsel's specialty is cardstock and foam pop dots. Lily's expertise lies in embellishments, especially ribbon.

This layout was rigorously inspected by Lily. She actually gave it a "Paws Down" because it didn't include ribbon or flowers. You can see by her face that she was not impressed! She did give me a little bit of credit for using something other than striped paper!

But even layouts that don't pass inspection are usually good enough for me. I cannot afford to be as picky as Tinsel and Lily. One more down, only a few hundred to go before graduation. :-)