25 February 2010

Feline Friday: The Perfect Disguise

You may recall my post from earlier this week about Lily's current obsession with tissue paper.

Recently, she has taken to napping UNDER the tissue paper, presumably because it makes a cool hiding spot.

One day this week I happened to walk through the kitchen and caught a strange sight out of the corner of my eye: A maroon blob was traveling silently across the kitchen floor. It was Lily -- creeping EVER SO SLOWLY toward Tinsel's food dish, with the tissue paper draped over her body.

As she walked very cautiously so that the tissue paper stayed in place, I'm sure she was thinking, "Nobuddy can see me!"

Yes, it's a perfect disguise, Lily!

22 February 2010

Pocket Recipe Book

Here's a project I created recently for Memory Bound, the great store where I teach. This little pocket recipe book was made using the new America Crafts line, Abode. The line features paper with little houses, kitchen icons, and other images from around the home.

So what do I love about American Crafts? *sigh* Clean designs, clear colors, heavy double-sided paper, great chipboard, and the occasional retro motif.

I made this little book -- "good eats" -- with a package of 7 Gypsies envelope-type pockets. Those of you who are into the shabby look no doubt have other uses for these super-cute pockets, but I thought they would work just fine as slots for a little recipe book.

I covered the fronts and backs of the pockets with AC paper, then re-punched the hole along the side opening of each pocket.

Once the pockets were all covered, I used my trusty Bind-It-All to bind the pockets together. Each pocket holds several recipe cards. I downloaded and printed these cards from Hoover Web Designs.

I added labels, a bit of ribbon, and a few pieces of chipboard to the book, and the project was complete. Except for the actual recipes. You all know I can't be of much help with that!

19 February 2010

Feline Friday

Lily has commandeered this piece of tissue paper and has been using it for naps for the past couple of weeks.

Why sleep on your nice, soft blankie or in your expensive cat basket when you can rest on a crinkly sheet of tissue paper?

18 February 2010

Tell the Story

Persistence counts for something, even in the face of daunting odds, right?

Our daughter is graduating in May and, although I had done a lot of scrapbooking for her, I had fallen way behind on her pages. She's a busy student with lots of activities and performances each month, so it's very hard to keep up with her current pages, let alone go back and pick up past years. In spite of those odds, I set a goal of having her entire life scrapbooked by graduation. While I would never display all of those albums at her open house, Daughter and I agreed that it would be great to have this stage of life well-documented.

The truth is, I'm making great progress but may not make my goal. The layouts below show one of the reasons why it's slow going: Daughter and I both take photos with an eye toward telling the story, and it's often impossible to compress them into just a couple of "summary" pages. For example, two summers ago she attended a church camp in Colorado which she described as "life changing". She did a great job of documenting and writing about all facets of the trip: The bus ride, the beautiful scenery, the music, and more...resulting in 12 pages for this event alone.

Because my pages are very simple, I'm a fairly speedy scrapbooker. Yet with so many meaningful activities to document, it's taking longer than I anticipated.

But that's okay. At the open house, no one will be able to tell if I haven't finished all of her scrapbooking. I'd much rather take a little additional time to tell the stories.

After all, it's the stories that will really matter in years to come.

15 February 2010

Monday Musings

It's Monday and time for list of what's on my mind:

THE SNOW. Will it ever end? We have snow on top of snow on top of snow. Along with the snow comes sand tracked through the house and ice-melt on shoes and pants. Yesterday I swept up enough sand in the laundry room to fill a sandbox. Sheesh!

LILY'S WEIGHT. Enough said.

SCRAPBOOKING. The scrapbooks for graduation aren't coming along nearly as well as I'd hoped. I've made a huge amount of progress, but I guess I had more to do than I realized. I haven't given up hope, and I will continue to finish as much as I can, but I may not make my goal of having DD's entire life scrapbooked. Not that anyone would look at all those albums anyway, but still...

AUDITIONS. DD is in the midst of auditions for college music ed/percussion programs. She's cool as a cucumber about the auditions, but I'm in a knot. I'll be much happier when this part of the process is done and we know what next year will bring.

DIET COKE. Or lack of it. I had to give it up a couple of weeks ago because I started having rather severe palpitations. I know that Diet Coke has this effect on me, but still I succumbed! Now the palpitations are gone, but so is the Diet Coke. It's sad, really.

COFFEE. Thankfully, I am back to having a bit of coffee every morning. It was an ugly two weeks with no Diet Coke and no coffee.

OLYMPICS. I'm afraid to watch Olympic figure skating because I do not like to see skaters fall. During the last round of the winter Olympics, it seemed like every single skater fell.

Speaking of the Olympics, why do some female skaters pull their tights over the top of their skates? They surely do not think that doing so disguises the fact that they're wearing skates. It just looks weird to me. I'm going to start wearing my tights over the top of my shoes. (Okay, not really...I don't wear tights. But if I DID...)

12 February 2010

Feline Friday: Bad Behavior

Lily is a very vocal cat. She has a loud voice and is not afraid to use it, especially when she wants food. Which is pretty much all the time.

She's also a very smart cat. (Remember, I taught her to ring a bell for food. Now she rings it incessantly.) If she can't get someone's attention with bell-ringing or vocalizing, she resorts to more drastic measures, as shown in the photo below.

She drags her claws down the wall verrrrrry slowly:

(I cannot begin to describe what an irritating sound this is, especially at 3 in the morning. Just like nails on a chalkboard, only infinitely worse.)

LILY! We (that would be Daughter and me) scream. NO!


And then (this is the only cute part) Lily turns her head ever so sweetly to see if anybody is looking at her.




This routine is punctuated by Spouse uttering various expletives and threatening to put Lily up for adoption (or worse). Sometimes he even clambers out of his chair like Archie Bunker, waving a newspaper around wildly.

But Lily is undaunted.


And so it continues until someone (that would be me) responds. Of course, I know better than to feed her when she scratches the wall, so she has to go into time-out in the basement until the scratching stops.

But night after night, this Bad Behavior continues. Lily is smart. She knows that by scratching the wall, she may not get food, but she'll but she'll always get attention. Especially at 3 in the morning.

Amazingly, it works every time.:-)

09 February 2010

Indiana University

This past weekend, our daughter auditioned at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. She's interested in music education with a percussion emphasis. In addition to being a great music school, IU has the distinction of being ranked as one of the most beautiful campuses anywhere.

Spouse and Daughter took a walking tour and, although it was miserably cold, the campus looked beautiful in the snow.

The campus features limestone buildings and towering trees, giving it a definite "old world" feel. It's a great school set in beautiful surroundings.

05 February 2010

Feline Friday

Hey, did you happen to lose something in the couch cushions?

Coins? A gum wrapper? The remote control?

Whatever it is, Lily, the Couch Cushion Diver, will find it!

Especially if it's edible!

04 February 2010

Tabby Tummy Thursday

Here's a tabby tummy for you! I love how Lily's stripes and white "diamond" patterns show when she is in this position.

Did you know that kitties with gray fur are considered "blue" by official feline standards? There are also four kinds of tabby patterns: mackerel, classic, spotted, and ticked. Lily is a mackerel tabby, because she has gently curving vertical stripes on her sides (resembling fish bones). The nickname for this type of tabby is McTabby. So Lily, in official cat terms, is a Blue McTabby!

But of course, she is just Lily to us!

01 February 2010

And it only took four months!

Some of you may recall that we had our house painted back in late August. At the time, we took down the PINK metal house number plaque because it (thankfully) did not match the new color scheme. Since then, we've had no house numbers, which is not a good situation for all sorts of reasons. A month ago, I finally fashioned a paper house sign which at least made the UPS guy happy.

We spray-painted the pink metal plaque black, but we were apprehensive about painting the embossed numbers and the scroll work.

I picked up a small bottle of "yard and garden" paint at Hobby Lobby, suitable for metal and outdoors. First, we (read: Daughter) tried to use a brayer for the embossed areas, but we quickly discovered that it tended to pull the paint up with each roll. A fine-tipped paint brush worked best for this detailed job.

And here is the finished plaque. Now everyone can find us, only four months later!