31 October 2009

Skip the knife -- use the drill!

I'm not exactly handy with tools, so the prospect of working with a knife to carve my pumpkin is a bit daunting. Try as I may, I can't cut shapes more complicated than triangles.

A few years back, our friend Martha Stewart demonstrated how to make holes in your pumpkin with a power drill. I figured I could surely handle using a drill on a pumpkin...I mean, how difficult could that be? Sure enough, I found that it is very easy to do!

It's been a few years since I've drilled a pumpkin, so I decided that I'd try it again this Halloween. For those of you who have not tried this, I've outlined the process below. Believe me, if I can do it, you can, too!

1) As you can see, the first step is to have your pumpkin inspected by the cat or cats living in your house. Assuming the pumpkin meets quality standards, you can proceed to the next step.

2) Cut a hole (as you usually would) in the top or bottom of the pumpkin. I cut the hole in the bottom so that the lid wouldn't get in the way of my highly complex design. :-)

3) Scoop out the innards of the pumpkin.

4) Find your power drill. This was the most difficult step of all for me. I found it underneath a tarp and some little-used golf clubs out in the garage. It was covered with cobwebs and probably hasn't been used since the last time I drilled a pumpkin. Attach a drill bit in whatever size you desire. I chose one slightly larger than a pencil.

5) Use a pencil to make marks on the pumpkin for your holes or, like me, live on the edge and make your design up as you go! Since time was short, I decided to cover my pumpkin with randomly drilled holes rather than attempt an intricate design.

6) Begin drilling holes in your pumpkin. You probably should do this part outside, because bits of pumpkin will fly!

7) Wipe the shavings from your pumpkin. Clean up your mess! :-)

8) Put a candle inside your drilled pumpkin, then stand back and celebrate the fact that you've moved beyond triangle eyes and noses!

30 October 2009

Feline Friday: Trick or Treat Elf

'Twas the night before Trick or Treat

And all through the house

The tabbies were sleeping

Each with a mouse.

The children would dress

As a witch or a ghost,

Obama or Palin,

Or a piece of plain toast.

But mama was worried

About costumes to wear.

The tabbies had nothing

But ears and cat hair.

She ran to the toy chest

And sorted through clothes.

“Much too tight or too small:

They can wear none of those!”

When all of a sudden

The green suit did appear

It had not been worn

In many a year.

Mama snatched up her Lily,

The camera, and suit.

To the bathroom they went,

For a quick photo shoot.

She grabbed the Temptations

And slammed the door tight.

Then on went the suit

Only somewhat too tight.

Lily posed on the throne,

Her eyes filled with glee!

She snacked on Temptations --

They were the key!

Then came a rattle...

It shook the closed door.

‘Twas Tinsel!

She wanted to settle the score.

She, too, had Temptations

And checked on the shoot,

Then scurried away

After getting the boot.

So now Lily has something

Attractive to wear!

She looks like an elf

Or a large, lumpy pear.

When Halloween comes

She’ll be totally dressed.

But costumes or not,

We know kitties are best!

Special thanks to our blogging friend, Daisy, for the Temptations modeling tip!

29 October 2009

A good laundry day

Oh, how I love ROYGBIV! Cardstock, colored pencils, crayons...most everything goes in ROYGBIV order at our house.

Now, I DON'T love it when Bailey lets her laundry build up into a mountainous pile, but having a lot of laundry means that there just might be enough t-shirts to hang in ROYGBIV order.

This transforms laundry day into a thing of beauty!

And THIS little thing doesn't hurt, either. :-)

27 October 2009

The Thing That Wouldn't Leave

In the corner of this room sits an unfinished dollhouse.

Normally, the family who lives there leads a peaceful life.

That is, until this morning, when their kitchen was invaded by a very large visitor wearing tiny white socks.

And, like many unwelcome guests, she just wouldn't leave. In fact, after she tipped over the kitchen table and scattered the chairs, she found there was plenty of room for a nap.

So she settled in, the Dalmatian dog eying her suspiciously...as he should.

26 October 2009

Bad photo, simple layout

Sometimes I have plenty of great photos to use for a scrapbook page, but often I don't. My philosophy is to use what I have. After all, it's the memory that counts, and sometimes even a bad photo can trigger a memory.

Such was the case with the one photo I had from this year's academic lettering ceremony. It was blurry, the audience heads were green, and Daughter was dressed in shorts (she was headed to a show choir practice afterward), but I used it anyway. In fact, I enlarged it and made the most of the colors. Turns out my hoarded Ki Halloween striped paper worked just fine with this bad photo.

The layout itself is based on a sketch from Cathy Zielske's class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It's a super easy sketch for those single horizontal photo layouts. It even works with bad photos!

23 October 2009

Feline Friday: Wur kampin!

Our mommie setted up part of a nilon plai toob thingie in our familee room. Itz not fur kitties but Tinsel and me liek to go insied and purtend dat wur kampin! Its liek a reel tent!

We can jump in an out of da holes on da sides of da tent. Wee evun moved our beddie insied da tent so wee can purtend like wur slepin under da starz.

Maybe mommie will set up dee uzzer secshuns of dis plai toob for us. Wee hope so! It iz ginormus!

21 October 2009

On Autumn

Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up.

What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.

Edwin Way Teale

A Short Film Starring Lily

Ladybugs have infiltrated our house and Lily is captivated.

While enjoying the movie, Lily asks that viewers focus on her adorable face and kindly refrain from looking at her bulges. The camera adds 10 pounds, you know.

20 October 2009

Tabby Tuesday: The Look

Although this photo is out of focus, Tinsel's message is quite clear:

Feed me. Now.

18 October 2009

End of the season

Yesterday, our marching band performed in the state marching contest and an evening competition, taking first place and the drumline caption award .

All in all, it was a good end to the season. All marching band seasons are memorable, but this one brought some special challenges. This fall, our kids have played in freezing temperatures, rain, wind, and snow. They bought hand warmers in bulk and became well-acquainted with Toasty Toes. They even wore garbage bags for the homecoming show because the weather was so miserable.

This season, the H1N1 virus also showed up and wreaked havoc on our band, taking out 18 kids last Saturday, the day of our biggest competition. Yet those who remained rose to the challenge and delivered a second-place finish in spite of difficult odds and horrendous weather conditions.

The season is officially over, but those who have been in marching band know that it never really leaves you. Many of these kids will go on to march in college. Some may become music educators. And some may have a child of their own one day who decides to play an instrument.

And their eyes will light up as they tell that young child about their altogether wonderful days in marching band. Those vivid memories become the spark that ignites the torch as it is passed from one generation to the next.

Thanks, Marching Dragons. Pass it on.

16 October 2009

Feline Friday: Our mommie is sik!

Our mommie is not feline gud at all. She has not even bin on her blog fur a cupple of daiz. So we telled her we wud help her sins it is Feline Friday tooday.

When somebuddie is sik, a kittie must slepe in da bed wif dem. Mommie trayned us to do dis when we waz littul kitties. And sumtimes kitties shud need on da blankie. This helps da purson feel bedder.

Mommie thinks she has da flew but we do not understand. She is not flyin like da birds on our DVD. She iz layin purty low. We hope wif our help she will bee bedder vary soon.

13 October 2009

Tabby Tuesday: A Sunny Spot

You can track the seasons and the time of day by the location of Tinsel's napping spots. This time of year, the morning sun hits the corner of the dining room, creating the perfect place for an early snooze.

So comfy...

Oh, to be a cat for a day...

12 October 2009

Layout: Prairie in Early June

I firmly believe that part of being a scrapbooker is dealing with the tough subjects we all face in our lives. Sure, it's easier to make layouts of band concerts and kitty antics, but I want my scrapbooks to be an honest representation of life.

It's easier said than done, though. Although it's been over a year since my mom passed away, I have yet to scrapbook any photos of her. I need a few more months to be able to handle those photos and write about them with the perspective of time. It has also been difficult for me to work with photos from the weeks just prior to and following her passing. So I've been skipping over them for the time being, knowing I'll come back to them in time.

But this past week, I ran across a prairie collage I had posted on my blog a couple of weeks after Mom passed away. I had already written the journaling, so putting together the layout seemed like something I could handle emotionally. I decided to give it a try.

While it's just a start, it's good and important to document this very significant time in my life.

As a side note, I had to smile while I was working on this page, because the hoarded striped paper I used on my daughter's recent "Last First Day" layout worked for this one, too. And I still have plenty left!

10 October 2009

My last back to school layout!

This is my last back to school layout! Okay, not really, if you count the many back to school layouts from past years that I have yet to complete. But I'm getting there!

At the beginning and end of every school year, I force my daughter to complete a little journaling card. (In recent years, I haven't even had to force her because she knows it's important and enjoys going back and looking her journaling from years past.) This card becomes the main journaling on the page, along with a little sentiment from yours truly.

I would also like to point out the use of this particularly awesome striped paper by My Mind's Eye, which I had hoarded for this very moment! Since I only used a tiny bit, I still have plenty left to use any time she happens to wear that particular shirt again. :-) Case in point for my hoarding habit!

And don't miss those sweet little paws in the corner of the photo. This layout has been approved by Lily.

09 October 2009

Feline Friday: Mi Furever Home

Dis week, my mommi reeded me a stori about a kitti whoo wated 19 yeers to find a furever home. I wuz rilly lukki and did not haf to wate vary long. Todai I am goin to tel u about da dai I goed to mi furever home.

I wuz onlee ate weiks old an stayin at a vedernarien orafiss wif my kitti mommi an too bruffers. Lots of peepul dare plaied wif me. One dai my hooman mommi called to see if day had any grai tabbi kittis to dopt.

Yes, day did! Me, me, ME! I waifed mi paw in dee aire!

Da lady at da orafiss putted a bloo neklass on me wif mi mommi's naim. Da vary next dai she comed to see me. I wuz playin wif my bruffers but i stopped rite awai when i seed her. Da lady let mi mommi holded me.

I cud tel she luved me rite awai. I luved her bak. I purred an purred. Rilly lowd.

Den day cutted my toenales and did sum ozzer stufs to me and den i had to say bi to my kitti mommi and bruffers. I wuz sad to leef my mommi but my bruffers, not rilly dat much.

Den I went in a CAR! ZUME! As sune as we got to my new hows, I meeted mi noo hooman sister who I luved alott and den I started lernin stuf.

Lik da cumpootr! Luk at me heer playin a gaim!

An rite awai mi mommi teeched me how to krapbuk, wich i stil doo todai. Mi speshul talunt is imbelishmuntz.

Uh, der wuz onlee one smal problum at mi noo hows. Well, a kinda big problum --> Tinsul.

I asked Tinsul to bee my noo kitti mommi but she spitted at me. Den I tride to slepe rilly clos by her (and itz troo, I tride to lick her tummi one tyme) but she telled me to get lost. Mi mommi telled Tinsul to bee nise and den she wuz a littul niser.

Rite awai i was so happi to be in my furever home. I feeled saif an warm an luved.

Rited an also typed by Lily
(I did it all bi miselfs!)

08 October 2009

Tabby Thursday


Hey, is it OK to have Tabby Thursday only two days after Tabby Tuesday?

Sure! Every day is a tabby day around here.

05 October 2009

October Page Kit

I have the fun job of making our monthly page kits for Memory Bound, available for sale in the store. Our kits have a seasonal theme and (of course!) come with detailed instructions and photos.

I had a lot of fun putting together our October kit because I got to use Ki Memories striped paper (my favorite!) and chipboard letters. The diecut spider made a good substitute for the letter "o."

I hope our customers enjoy this project!

03 October 2009

House painting done!

I'm very pleased to report that our house painting project is done! The painter finished up early this week, but it's been so rainy that I haven't been able to get a decent picture until today.

When we started, the house had a smoke-colored base and pink (or ROSE, as Spouse claims) shutters. (We, in fact, did have shutters on the lower level, too, but the painter had already removed them by the time I remembered to take the "before" picture.) The house was painted in this color scheme when we moved in 15 years ago, and (even though I could not stand the colors) we repainted it a few years back in the same colors because the builder had left us a lot of paint.

Thankfully, we had run out of that paint, so this time we (or I) got to choose a new color scheme. I picked the base color based on my favorite (now discontinued!) Bazzill cardstock color, Tanner. I also wanted the scheme to work better with our roof color. (A couple of years ago, we re-roofed the house in the charcoal color you see now. Previously, it had been a brownish mix.) We purchased a black new front door and shutters to go with the new color scheme.

I could not be more pleased with how everything turned out! (And a few neighbors have stopped by to let us know they are happy the pink is gone!)

02 October 2009

Feline Friday: Lily and the Three Containers

Once upon a time, there was a little (well, maybe not so little) gray kitty named Lily. When she wasn't busy trying new foods, she was always on the lookout for new napping spots. She had a special fondness for boxes and plastic tubs.

One day, she was helping her mommy do some krapbuking (refer to last week's story here) when she discovered three new containers! Which one would be the most suitable for napping? And most importantly, which one would accommodate her rather wide back side?

The first container was a pretty brown box lid from Starbucks. (Yum! Lily pondered the treats which must have once been inside the box.) The lid was plenty spacious for Lily's back end, but the low sides caused a little bit of overhang which wasn't terribly comfortable or all that attractive. This container was TOO BIG.

Next, Lily tested a much taller, white plastic container, left over from Mommy's (failed) closet organization project. Lily felt nice and secure inside the high walls, but she soon realized that she would have to nap sitting up. This container was just TOO SMALL.

Finally, Lily tested a clear plastic container. The sides were just the right height for striking a casual, yet elegant, pose. The shape of the container fit her girlish figure purr-fectly.

And best of all, Mommy liked seeing her pressed tummy and paw pads through the clear sides. Sure enough...this container was JUST RIGHT!

01 October 2009

Decorated canisters

Here are some photos of a fun project I completed for Memory Bound this week. These three nesting canisters started out covered in plain white paper. I simply covered them using paper and diecuts from one of the new Christmas lines by My Mind's Eye, and now they are ready to fill with holiday goodies.

Of special interest here are the bows! I made the bows using double-sided patterned paper based on the easy instructions provided here. These bows are simple to make and much sturdier than store-bought bows.

It only takes a 1/2 sheet of patterned paper to make a bow. This would be a great way to customize gifts for any occasion and use up your patterned paper scraps at the same time -- except Ki Memories paper scraps, of course, which must be hoarded! :-)