30 April 2010

Feline Friday: Whodunnit?

I walked past the bathroom this week and noticed that something was amiss:

The toilet paper had been unrolled.

The spare roll was also unrolled. Toilet paper was all over the floor.

Who could be responsible for this naughtiness?

A gray tabby suspect -- with cute little white tennis shoes --
is in custody but so far, she isn't talking.

29 April 2010

Memory Bound Page Kit

Each month, I have the very enjoyable job of designing the page kit for Memory Bound, the scrapbooking store where I teach. The kits come with complete instructions and all the materials needed to create a two-page layout.

This is the Mother's Day page kit I created for the month of May. The paper is by K&Company. I cut the round piece in the center with our store's large Accu-Cut die. The title was cut with the Cricut.

27 April 2010

Tabby Tuesday: Im wateen

Sumtymes i just wate an wate bi da bak dohr fur mi mommie 2 git hom.

I kinda miss hur but moslie i jus want fuds.

Hurrie, mommie!

25 April 2010

73 Pages and Counting

If you've been reading my blog, you've probably read that I've been feverishly working on scrapbook pages for my daughter's upcoming graduation open house, to be held in early June. (Any chance I could move that back by about a year? No?)

I had done a LOT of scrapbooking over the years, but I hadn't kept up very well with her many activities and events. When her senior year began, I thought that with a little more focused effort, I'd soon be on top of the situation.

Well, I was wrong. I didn't realize how much there was to do. You see, the girl who lives in this house is involved in many activities. Most of those activities include multiple performances each season. And that equates to many, many layouts for a given school year.

This month so far, I've completed 73 pages. That seems like a lot, but there is SO much more left to be done. My lofty goal of having her entire life scrapbooked by the time graduation rolls around is slipping away from me. I'm a tiny bit discouraged about that, but I'm nonetheless continuing on. I still have a few weeks to go!

So enough whining! Here's a layout I finished earlier this month documenting her 13th birthday party. This particular paper is one of my favorites so, of course, I only used a strip of it!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some serious scrapbooking to do. Bye! :-)

23 April 2010

Feline Friday: Puffballs FOUND and LOST!

Of call the cat toys we have around this house, Lily loves her puffballs best. These fuzzy toys are remnants of past craft projects. Lily has commandeered them in several sizes and colors, but the puffballs she prefers are the small white ones, about the size of a quarter.

The first time I saw Lily with one of these small puffballs in her teeth, I took it away from her because I thought she would choke. But upon closer observation, I could see that she never puts it completely in her mouth. She simply clamps onto the puffball and transports it for short distances to find a better spot to play.

Of course, these puffballs are so small that they easily get lost. In fact, they had been lost for months and just recently resurfaced. Lily was quite excited to be reunited with her puffballs and took to carrying them all around the house.

It was quite an adorable sight to see.

Lily was in Puffball Heaven until yesterday, when both white puffballs disappeared again, no doubt under some appliance or piece of furniture. I've offered the large red puffball or the medium black puffball as a substitute, but she rejects them flat out.

She only wants her white puffballs. 

So this weekend, I'm thinking of asking Spouse to help slide the refrigerator out from the wall, under the guise of needing to clean for our graduation open house.

Sure, that probably needs to be done. But really, I'll be looking to put the smile back on Lily's face. :-)

22 April 2010

And an occasional "family" page...

Well, with about six weeks to go, I'm still plugging away at the scrapbooking for our daughter's graduation open house. I'll admit that the college decision process was pretty stressful and zapped almost all of my scrapbooking mojo for awhile. But I'm back in the saddle again and am trying to do as much as I can before the big day.

In addition to all of her activity and event pages, I am trying to make a few "family" pages because life is not just a series of events -- even though it really does seem like it right now!

Here's a page I recently finished made with photos of Spouse's family. I've been hanging onto this set of Making Memories paper, waiting for something "teal" to happen and this particular set of photos seemed to fit the bill. All products are from MM, except for the QuicKutz swirl, the brown buttons, and the cardstock.

Now, back to my regular scrapbooking: marching band, jazz band, show choir, wind symphony, chamber choir...repeat! :-)

21 April 2010

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

Indiana University - Bloomington, snowy audition weekend at Jacobs School of Music, February 5-6, 2010

Who would have dreamt that our very long and emotional college search process would lead to IU, one of the top music schools in the country? We could not be happier for our new Hoosier!

19 April 2010

Let the play-fight begin!

There is a lot of play-fighting around here. Lily generally starts it by taunting Tinsel in some fashion: dive-bombing her from the top of the couch, smacking her on the head, or blocking Tinsel's path, as she was doing here. You can see that she has her sweet back feet positioned against the wall so that she can push her heavy little body directly in front of Tinsel, not unlike a slow-moving missile. You can tell from Tinsel's ear position that she's irritated!

What follows is a lot of growling, head smacking, and chasing. I will say that Lily never snarls or uses her claws on Tinsel, who was front-declawed when we adopted her. They each do "pretend biting" but never touch the other with their teeth.

Even though this play-fighting sounds and looks scary, I think it's all in fun. And as much as Lily drives Tinsel crazy, I think she secretly enjoys having an irritating little sister around the house.

16 April 2010

Feline Friday: Meatloafing on the Deck

Now that the warm spring weather has arrived, you can find Lily meatloafing on her corrugated scratching post "deck", enjoying the fresh breeze wafting through the sliding door and

plotting her escape. But that might involve actually standing up so...

Never mind! :-)

15 April 2010

Tabby Thursday

Tinsel's festive bow slid around to the front, giving her an Old West gambler's tie. She was obviously not pleased with the look.

14 April 2010

State Champs!

Our high school jazz ensemble competed in the Iowa State Jazz Championships yesterday against top bands from around the state. Two bands are chosen from each class to participate in finals. The 4A class is extremely competitive, so we were ecstatic that our band made finals for the first time in our school's history!

But we were even more ecstatic when our band won last night! What a thrill for the kids, our director, and for the entire music program in our district.

As our senior year begins to wind down, I am feeling so grateful for the many opportunities our daughter has had to participate in a rich variety of instrumental and vocal music activities throughout her school years, and for the many fine directors who have provided her with such a great musical foundation.

What an amazing ride it has been!

12 April 2010

Early Spring

I made a quick survey of our yard this weekend to confirm that my perennials survived the winter. Based on what I observed, I'm optimistic that most everything I planted last year is coming back, along with my old standbys. Snow must indeed be a good insulator!

I also noticed that many spring plants are in bloom or ready to do so very soon. Here are a few images captured around our yard:

Let's see if I can name them, beginning at the top left corner (click on the image to bigify):

1) Vinca groundcover -- A slow growing but pretty groundcover with simple purple flowers.

2) Daffodils (or jonquils?) -- This particular set has very tiny blooms.

3) and 4) Hyacinth --See if you can find Mr. Bumblebee! We received a pot of pink hyacinths when our daughter was born. These may no longer be from that same batch of bulbs, but they always remind me of her. :-)

5) Pasque (=Easter in French) flowers -- This unusual plant is one of the earliest bloomers each spring, hence the name.

6) Virginia bluebells -- Almost ready to bloom! My bluebells came from my late grandma's yard. She loved them and so do I.

7) Grape hyacinth -- Spreads easily...so pretty! Apparently makes good rabbit snacks.

8) Coralbells -- I have several different varieties around the yard. Love the color of this one.

9) Sedum -- Beautiful succulent, very hardy and heat tolerant. I've divided my sedum plants a few times and now have several!

11 April 2010

Big project, simple layout

I've been working on older photos and was glad to finally scrapbook this particular set of pictures. Back in 2006, my daughter was an independent Girl Scout, meaning that she was not part of a troop but was working on her own on various Girl Scout projects. One of her projects was organizing our community's Thinking Day event. This is an annual Girl Scout day set aside for thinking of girls in other countries.

This particular year, she asked the scouts attending Thinking Day to donate school supplies to be given to needy children in other countries through UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Her part of the service project was to sew denim school bags for each set of supplies. As it turned out, the troops donated enough supplies to fill more than 50 bags, so she had a LOT of sewing to do!

She was only 13 at the time and was just learning to sew, but once her grandma got her started, she charged through this big project undaunted. We were (and still are!) very proud of her!

10 April 2010

All good things must come to an end...

...Show choir being one of them. Today is the final performance for our show choirs, and the very last show for our seniors. It's the end of an activity that has been near and dear to my heart for many years. Anyone close to show choir will tell you that there is nothing like it.

In honor of the end of the season, here's a page I finished up recently about 8th grade show choir. Those same kids are graduating this year. So much has happened since those middle school days, yet it feels like it all passed in the blink of an eye. Sequins, hair spray, wardrobe malfunctions, trophies, long bus rides, blizzards, and tears...We've experienced it all and more!

So congratulations to all the kids who are finishing their show choir careers today. You should be very proud of what you've learned and how you've entertained us for so many years.

And even though your time in show choir is ending, I'm sure that many of you will go on to use your talents in musical theater, community plays, and more. And one day, you can sit in the audience as your son or daughter takes the stage for the first time.

You will be the perfect fan.

09 April 2010

Feline Friday

It's been one of those weeks...

No, one of those MONTHS...

No, one of those YEARS around here!

Even Lily is ready for a break!

06 April 2010

A Different Kind of White Stuff

The spring storms have started! I barely made it home yesterday before we were pelted with a nice little hail storm:

Fortunately, the hail was merely pea-sized, not big enough to do any serious damage.

But it was a peculiar reminder of the OTHER kind of white stuff which has covered the ground for the past few months!

05 April 2010

Time Flies

In going through my photo boxes, I ran across a stack of photos that our daughter took on the last day of 8th grade. She's still friends with all of these kids and of course, they're all graduating this year. Amazing how time has flown.

Of course, it's preferable to keep current with your scrapbooking and work on layouts soon after the events take place, but it's also interesting think about those events through the filter of time. Time can change your perspective on things.

I always do an "end of the school year" layout with her notes captured on a journaling card. It's interesting to read her thoughts about each school year, through the filter of time.

Sure enough, back in 8th grade (and even earlier, in fact), she knew she wanted to be a band director, and that's still her plan today.

Time changes some things, but not everything!

03 April 2010

A Favorite Photo

In working on my daughter's albums for graduation, I came across this photo taken at one of those "old west" studios at a local amusement park. This was taken when the girls were in 8th grade, and they're still good friends. Over the years, it's been one of my favorite photos, so I took it out of the cardboard frame where it was stored and put it on a page.

I decided to re-use a Cathy Zielske digital sketch which I've used a time or two (notably here), rather than try a shabby, technique-heavy page that would be hard for me to do well anyway! My hoarded (striped) Cosmo Cricket paper seemed to be waiting just for this photo.

Here's to a productive weekend with many more old favorites!

02 April 2010

Feline Friday: Lily Plots her Escape

As soon as the weather started getting warmer, the kitties took to lurking at the back door, just waiting for the opportunity to bolt out of the house, into the garage, and on into the wide, wide world. But as much as I'd like them to be able to freely explore, it's just not safe. They can go outside on a leash, but not unattended!

Of course, this is not the response that Tinsel and Lily want to hear! So Lily has been actively (I use that word loosely!) plotting her escape all week.

It begins with her sitting daintily by the door and meowing in her sweetest voice. "Please? Let me out!"

Next, she advances to lightly pawing the door. This doesn't last long, because Lily thinks she is much taller than she actually is!

She has been working for months at reaching doorknobs, and when she stretches, she can do it! Thankfully, she is still having trouble turning the knobs or she would have been long gone!

Eventually all of that stretching and reaching gets pretty tiring, so Lily resorts to camping out on the box sitting atop our dryer. She's waiting for some unsuspecting person to open the door so she can execute her great escape.

That is, unless she's napping. :-)

01 April 2010

4 Sure Signs of Spring

We've been enjoying some unusually warm weather this week. So warm, in fact, that it feels like we jumped directly from winter to summer. This can only mean that spring is truly here!

Don't believe me? Consider the evidence:

1) Cheerful pansies for sale at the local grocery
2) Garden centers springing up overnight
3) Bags of shrink-wrapped mulch on the ready
4) Well-worn sandals ON!