Wednesday, April 29, 2009

World Procrastinators Meeting Postponed Indefinitely

I've been thinking and talking about this paper I'm supposed to write for weeks on end and yet somehow it still hasn't written itself. What's up with that? I think part of the problem is I need to quit looking for new research articles and actually read the ones I have, and then get started with the writing part. I have the 8.5 pages I turned in over two weeks ago, so I just need to double that and it's done. Not so hard, right?

Uh, yeah. I am a humongoloid procrastinator. I blame my mom, I'm pretty sure I got it from her and she just claims she "works better under pressure." Anyway, I know I am not the only slowpoke in my class since someone else asked for a class-wide extension and we now have until next Thursday to turn it in (which is also our last day of that class).

So I need to sit down and seriously work on this, like, now. What sucks is I got a new alphabet stamp set in the mail today and I'm two pages shy of my April scrapbooking goal (here I was thinking I would get scads of things done while Lee is gone, and yeah not so much) so I would just really love to work on some paper craft stuff instead of writing a research paper. I thought I could give myself a half-day off to finish two more pages, but then I thought I was going to be gone for one hour to help out with something and then ended up being gone all morning instead, so that was my half a day of freedom from paper-writing. Ok, seriously. I'm going to go work on it. Right now.

As soon as I check my email. :p

Oh yeah, I got regrets for one of the jobs I interviewed for this month, and this was the one that I would have picked if I'd gotten to choose between the two jobs. I got regrets via email. Really, is that how it's done these days? Although the email was very nice (inasmuch as such things can be), it still seems kinda tacky to me to do it that way.

P.S. In the four hours or so since I wrote the above blog post, I've written another page and a half on my paper and I've been reading through more of the research I've already gathered. So I have accomplished *something* despite Liz trying to distract me on Skype. :p Ten pages down, ten more to go! Somehow that doesn't sound quite as encouraging as I thought it would...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Weirdest Thing I've Seen in a Right Long While

A hot dog vending machine. It's a vending machine that sells hot dogs. Do you find this odd too, or am I the only one?

On Saturday, my shopping partner in crime Amber picked me up and we went to a spring bazaar just to see what they had. We had mucho fun looking at all the cool furniture (it did seem like there was an awful lot of furniture compared to last year) and imagined how some of the more outlandish stuff would look in our houses. After a couple of hours of shopping we were both starved, but there was a big long line to get food. That's when we spied these. I was so intrigued and Amber was so disinclined to wait in line that we had to try it.

Oh yes, I was the weird person who took a bunch of pictures of the hot dog vending machine while it worked. I missed the part where it said "your hot dog is grilling" but I tried very hard to get a picture of "your bun is warming". The weird thing is that while the letters weren't blinking or anything if you just looked at them, when you look through the camera lens they DO blink. Don't know why.

So here's what it looks like when it's done, and they've got a little thing where you can grab mayo or ketchup and napkins (why mayo? On a hot dog? Ew! What happened to mustard?! Personally I only like ketchup on hot dogs, but my sweet hubby Ree likes ketchup and mustard. Also, they had no relish, but I hate anything pickle-related anyway.)

And here's Amber with her vending machine hot dog :)

We sat down to eat lunch at a picnic table a little ways away from the vending machines and discovered from watching the crowds that we were not the only two who were intrigued with the idea, although I don't think anyone else was taking pictures of the machine. Heh. Guess I'm special.

Do you like my Team Edward t-shirt? I *thought* Amber was gonna wear hers too, we want to get our picture taken in our matching t-shirts. She went to St. Louis for a week a while back and brought me back that shirt, isn't that sweet? If you don't get it (you must be living under a rock) it's a Twilight reference :) I may re-read the series after my 20-page paper is done...but that's slow going considering I haven't really worked on it for over a week. I've got under two weeks till it's due on May 5 so I need to get my bum in gear. Plus if I just hurry up and finish it, I can stamp my lil heart out with a clear conscience.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Forgot To Put A Title On This Post

Since Vicki got her box of kokeshi dolls today, I can share pictures of the ones I chose for her (Vicki made me her personal shopper for kokeshi dolls. How much fun is that?) I went to several different stores and had a fabulous time looking at all the dolls even if I wasn't supposed to be shopping for me ;)

This one is pretty tiny. but I thought she was all the cuter for that. Red and pink seem to be the most prevalent colors for kokeshi dolls, but I wanted Vicki to have a variety of colors and shapes and sizes. Of course the next one I got was red anyway....

This one is much taller than the first one, like half again as tall. I love the ombre effect of the red color the farther down on the doll it goes, and the leafy pattern is carved into the front of the doll. I loved this one so much that I splurged and got her for myself too. (Maybe Lee isn't reading this....)

This is the one of the few purple kokeshi dolls I've seen. She's been in my collection since last December and I knew Vicki liked her, so I hunted down another one for V. This particular doll comes in several colors but I got the very last purple one. There's a red one that's pretty and a midnight blue one.

I'm going to be stalking the store where I bought this one until they get more in because I want her too. Are those pigtails not totally PRECIOUS?! And I love the morning glories on her kimono, I used to have morning glories in my backyard in North Carolina. I *could* have gotten Vicki a different one that had the pigtails so I could have this one, but the other doll was pink and like I said, I was going for variety. So I'll just have to keep my eye out for this one to come around again because those pigtails are irresistible.

So on my big day off to do nothing but paper crafts, I actually spent most of the day reading a book. It was an accident, I happened to pick up the book after I took Sadie and Vader for a walk and then I was just sucked into it...and then I didn't even go in my craft room until 9:00 Wednesday night. But I made this card that night using this week's Stamping Bella sketch (which I tweaked a tiny bit). Need to get this card sent out to a Sistah whose birthday is next weekend. I just wish I'd done the table cloth a lighter purple because Bella's little black cat isn't showing up too well.

This card was for the main sketch challenge on Splitcoast, I really liked this layout. I borrowed the stamp set Garden greetings from Amber, which is bad because now I really wanna buy it :) I like the cool retro style to the flowers and this card was SO easy, it came together in like ten minutes.

And here's the last project I started on Wednesday and finally finished last night. These are all pictures of my friend Liz's daughter (Liz and her hubby Bobby are in some of the pics too)...Liz sends me pictures throughout the year and I didn't want them to just get put in an old shoebox never to see the light of day, so that's why they're now in my scrapbook. Orange is Liz's favorite color and I had this patterned paper from Stampin' Up that has orange and brown in it, and it all just seemed to work perfectly for these pictures of Autumn. I like to tease Liz that she named Autumn after me because my middle name is Lynn too, but she didn't know it was my middle name when she picked it out for Autumn. If Autumn had been a boy, she would have been named Cole William, and William is Lee's middle name so no matter what Liz was gonna name her kid after one of us ;)

In other news, I had an interview yesterday. I'm actually quite surprised; I had been halfheartedly searching for a job and I'd pretty much decided to wait until I finished with the two classes I'm working on right now before I really put forth any effort on the job hunt. Well, the job hunt found me instead. I've got another interview on Monday for a different job...they're both secretarial but working for different groups. On the up side, if I get a job, I can buy all the kokeshi dolls I want. And shoes, I've got my eye on some new shoes. Not to mention new stamps. On the down side, I won't have as much time to PLAY with said new stamps, and I'm sure Sadie and Vader will throw a fit if I'm gone all day too. We'll have to buy lots of peanut butter to keep them appeased. Anyway, we'll just see how this whole thing goes over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tiny Task Tuesday

Actually Tuesday is just about over and done with where I am, but I wanted to share this. You can hop on over to Twinkle's blog to see what TTT is all about. But don't go till you read this :)

So the aim of Tiny Task Tuesday is to make the world a better place by just doing little things in the local community to help others out. I gotta say, I saw someone last week at the post office who exemplified the whole idea of Tiny Task Tuesday (although I think it was a Thursday when I witnessed this). Anyway, everyone here has a PO box, so when a package arrives in the mail, the recipient has to go to the package pickup window to get it. Sometimes the mail all arrives in a big clump (like I got nothing at all yesterday but two packages today), it's just weird like that. I was waiting in line on Thursday to get my Winkflash photos and this lady was up at the window with a teeny baby in a carrier and a little girl of maybe 3 years. She had around five packages; most were little, like just oversized envelopes, but the last one was pretty sizable. A very nice young man was also up at the window to get his mail, and when he noticed what all the lady had to carry (plus the two kids) he offered to help her carry all her mail out to her car. He waited until she had all her stuff and then indeed carried the big stuff out to her car for her, it was such a nice gesture on his part. *I* wanted to stop him and say thanks for being so nice, but the lady he helped beat me to it :)

My own contributions to the TTT movement were pretty small this last week. One of my friends has had some car issues so I offered to lend her Lee's car (hey, he's gone for over a month, he doesn't need it) if she couldn't get the car back from the repair shop on the same day. She didn't take me up on it, but the offer was made. Similarly, another friend told me she was planning to go back home to the States for a month this summer, so I immediately offered to watch her dog while she's gone. I always think of the fur babies...this one had had several owners before her, and spent quite a bit of time in the shelter before she and her hubs adopted him, so she really doesn't want to send him to a kennel for that long (plus it would be prohibitively expensive). So I may have a three-dog househould this July, maybe I should tell Lee I did that...

I made this card several months ago. Why am I sharing it now? Just because I really like how it turned out. Love the colors, love the patterns, love the hummingbird image. I sent this to my mom because I always have something I need to thank her fact, I need to send her another thank you card this week. She sent me a box of goodies just so I'd have something fun to look forward to since Lee's not here. I got some Easter candy (I so should never buy caramel Hershey's Kisses, they are so yummy...but she sent me some mini Cadbury eggs, not Hershey's Kisses), TWO shirts, and several little crafty items, including a cross stitch magazine. There's a gorgeous pattern of irises in the magazine; the first flowers Lee ever gave me were irises. So pretty.

For the first time in quite a while, I worked on my current stitching project for a bit tonight after class. (My take-home midterm and the first draft of my paper were due today; I'm a bit nervous about both of them, especially the of the guys in my class had a works cited page on his midterm and I kinda treated it like an open-book test, not a whole 'nother research paper! Gyahhh...) I've just been poking along on this stitching project, I think I started it before we left North Carolina. Multiple other projects have been stitched from start to finish while this one has languished. Here's what it's going to look like:

Only mine will say "Welcome" on the top and "The Stanfords" on the bottom. Yeah, this is the second time I've stitched this piece, which might account for my boredom with it. I'm working on the upper right hand quadrant right now; the other three are already done, so I just need to finish the last quarter, do the little hearts in the middle and the words on the top and bottom, and it's done. But it's taking me forever. I'm going to make myself finish it before I start any other stitching projects though.

Anyway, I should get to bed, it's almost midnight here. I can't seem to get on a normal schedule with Lee being gone, I've been rotten about going to the gym (I did hit the elliptical today though). Tomorrow I'm taking the entire day off from homework-related tasks and I plan to do something fun and creative. We'll see what I come up with tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

It's already Easter Sunday here on Okinawa so I thought I'd share a few cards I got in the mail over the last week.

I got this pretty card from Janice in California. Love how she painted the flowers.

This was from Sharon, also in California and a good friend of Janice's. I love the orange and apricot color combo; not necessarily traditional Easter colors (the orange bit, I mean) but still very pretty. And that orange idea must have stuck with me, you'll see what I mean in a minute.

The cracked up Huggabugg is from Vicki in Massachusetts, isn't it darling? I'm glad the camera caught how the egg is kinda pearlescent. Vicki also sent me a whole bunch of "dots" from Stamping Bella as a present; look at the corners of the main image panel and you'll see them on her card. They're much cuter in real life and glittery, too. Vicki also sent me money to be her personal shopper for kokeshi dolls (oh gee, like *that's* a hard job for me!!) so yesterday I sent her a box with four dolls in it. I took pictures of them all but I won't post them until Vicki gets them in the mail because it's more fun for her to be surprised. I liked one of them so much I got her for myself too, and I'm going to stalk one of the stores until they get in more of another doll because I bought Vicki the last one and I want one for me. :) I now have seven in my collection and Vicki has five plus a keychain.

This is the card I sent Vicki with her new dolls. She had sent me a bunch of stamped out Stamping Bella images and this is the first one I've used, is she not adorable? This is Wasabi Ketto from the new stamp line. She has several other compatriots who are also in kimonos so I am going to have to add those stamps to my collection. I've got ten different Kettos on my wish list, plus some Huggabuggs and a few other things...maybe I'll indulge myself after the first of May. Or possibly wait until the final draft of my paper is due on May 5, that'll be a nice reward for finishing it up. I'm going to be working on the first draft (due Tuesday) for most of today and tomorrow, so that's my big plan for Easter weekend. Fun, huh?

K, remember I said the orange idea must have gotten stuck in my head?

Now my toes are orange :) (Try not to see the dog hair on the floor...and I just vacuumed, too!) Not sure how well you can see it, but they're orange fading into yellow, with red dragonflies on them (and glittery silver swirly trails). I went to Cocok's-with-the-silent-k yesterday with Arrie, Jamie, and Margaret and we all had our toes done, but I forgot my camera so I couldn't take pictures of everyone's toes this time. Jamie got a colorblock pattern in red, pink, and white with polka dots (she seems to like the abstract designs, she'd been considering some argyle patterns), Margaret got koi fish, and Arrie got hot pink toes with big white flowers. I zeroed in on the orange dragonfly design pretty much as soon as I got there, something very different from my last design with the cherry blossoms. I'm thinking next time it'll be red, white and blue for the fourth of July.

Well, I think I've procrastinated about as much as I can this's time to get to work on that paper. I've spent the whole last week doing research for it but I haven't actually started writing. The first draft on Tuesday has to be six to eight pages, and given that I have about fifteen pages of handwritten notes I don't think that will be a problem. So anyway, have a wonderful Easter everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Busy Little Bee, That's Me

So I realize I haven't posted anything in several days, and it's just because I've been so stinkin' busy. I'm still cranking along on some scrapbook projects and I've been trying to work on my paper...yeah, I've got ten pages of notes but nothing actually written for the paper itself and I have to do 6-8 pages by Tuesday, PLUS a midterm (take-home essay type thing) for the same class. So this will be a working weekend.

Part of what is slowing me down is I think my friends are conspiring to make sure I'm not lonely or bored while Lee is gone. I do appreciate that they care about me, don't get me wrong, but it's not helping me write that paper :) On the up side, I changed my topic to discrimination against the Roma in Europe, which is something I'm interested in so at least I'm not bored while doing the research. It still just takes a long time. I took a Slavic and Eastern European Studies class while I was at Baylor (for fun, no less, it was not a requirement for my major), and for that class I read a book about the Roma called Bury Me Standing, so I thought that book might help me with this paper. Of course when we were packing to move here I never in a million years thought I'd need that book, so it's in storage...I bought a second copy on Amazon earlier this week. It should get here in time to use on the final draft of the paper that's due May 5, but not for the literature review due next Tuesday. But at least I'll have it in case I ever write another paper on this topic for a different class.

Anyway, today my friend Tiana came over to get some help making her baby announcements (she's due at the end of July). She had some pink cardstock and some patterned paper but no real idea of what she wanted, so I had her go through my stamp sets until she found one she liked, and then we checked out the gallery for it on Splitcoast so I could get a feel for what Tiana liked as far as the different cards went. So here's what we came up with:

The colors are softer in real life than they look on the picture (the yellow is much more of a baby yellow, and the brown mat on the giraffe is a nice medium brown like milk chocolate, prettier than in the picture), but I think they turned out pretty cute. More importantly, Tiana loves them, so I call this a success :) I think it took us about an hour or so to hammer out what we wanted to do, and we kept changing the color of the little horizontal strip until Tiana brought out her plaid patterned paper and it just worked perfectly. We had tried out probably 10 other combinations before we decided on this one. After that, we divvied up the work and made 20 of these...Tiana stamped the moon and stars background, I did the greeting and the giraffe; she painted the brown parts of the giraffe and I did the pink, and we both worked on assembling all the pieces at the end. Tiana's new to stamping so this was a nice, easy project for her to start on--the style of the giraffe is such that it actually looks better if the watercoloring is a little outside the lines or darker in some areas than others, so it's a forgiving stamp for a newbie to work with. And Tiana was thrilled with the results.

Anyway, it's about time for me to feed my kiddos dinner, and then I've got to do some more reading about rampant racial discrimination in Europe. But I would like to make a few cards too...haven't made many cards lately what with the scrapping projects and researching for this paper. Sometimes there's just not enough hours in the day! Oh well. Enjoy your holiday weekend, peeps!

(Except I don't like the marshmallow peeps, I think they're kinda yucky. Give me chocolate any day of the week. I'm thinking I might have a brownie sundae for dinner...chocolate is one of the four basic food groups, right? It is in my house!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Lee left this morning to do a class back in the States for almost two months, so it's just me and Sadie and Vader for a while. I had my Intercultural Relations class today and I was kinda sad when I came home this afternoon and Lee wasn't here. I mean, I can cope just fine with him being gone, but I do like having the guy around ;) It almost feels like he moved out because there's no big laundry pile on his side of the bedroom. I hope Lee made his connection in San Francisco; he only had an hour and a half to clear customs and get to his flight to DFW. He gets to see the parental units for a few days before his class starts so they're all doing a barbecue (my family and his). Meanwhile I'll be here, just me and the kids, doing my class. :p

So anyway, I had class all day today and then I went to dinner with my buddies Amber and Jamie at Chili's. I was really hungry when we got there so I ate all three chicken club tacos and got about 80% through a chocolate molten lava cake for dessert...oh man, I don't think I'm going to eat again for another week. I'm soooo stuffed and I'm sleepy too, I think I've got Fat Puppy Syndrome.

Speaking of puppies, there was a guy giving away free 10-week-old puppies out in front of Subway today. They were so stinkin' cute!! Little black Lab mixes, all four girls, and one had some white on her chest and looked just like Sadie when she was a teeny pupster. If they didn't have a two-dog limit here then I so would have taken home at least one of them, I just can't resist puppies. And then by the time Lee got back here it would have been too late to give the puppy back....well, luckily for our domestic tranquility I managed to resist the irresistable puppy dog eyes. Lee would have had a cow if I'd brought home another dog...he thinks two are plenty. And what would we do with a cow? So since I don't have a new puppy to play with that just means I have to love on Sadie and Vader a bit more now :)

I went "shopping" at Amber's house today and borrowed a tall stack of stamp sets to play with, yay! Now I just need to finish up my homework so I can play guilt-free tomorrow. I've still got six months to go on those baby books plus some other projects I want to start! So ta-ta for now, hope everyone out there in Cyberland has a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Found Waldo

No fooling, I did. I went to the store today and there he was, in his red-and-white striped shirt and glasses, near where the Easter Bunny has been doing photos with the kiddies (the Easter Bunny was out to lunch, which is just as well since the last time I saw him there, I found him to be just a teensy bit (ok a lot) creepy. Not sure why, but he was creepy). What Waldo was doing in the store today I don't know, I didn't ask him.

In other news, April Fool's Day is our little fool's birthday...that would be SADIE! So today I made the carob chip cookies that Liz so kindly sent at Christmas time for my furbabies. (Sadie and Vader both said thank you to Auntie Liz). This one, like the brownie mix, smelled like paint, but the dogs seem to like it--and they seemed to know that these cookies were going to be just for them. And now the whole house smells like paint too. But we did get a few funny pictures...Lee was the photographer, I'm the person attached to the girly-looking hand with the long fingernails. And those pink pajama pants with hearts all over them? Also mine.

Sadie just WOULD NOT open up her mouth and try to eat the whole cookie, candle and all, the way Vader did with his birthday brownie. Instead she kept licking the bottom of the cookie but the peanut butter (which is what I suspect she *really* wanted) was all on the top of the cookie so I could make the candle stand up. I also think that the candle flame kinda freaked her out, she can be a much bigger chicken than Vader sometimes.

Vader's like, "Hey, what'd you get? Can I have one? Where's mine??" But she hadn't eaten the cookie yet, I had to de-candle it first.

See? She's going for the bottom of the cookie first even though the peanut butter is on top. Never fear, Vader got a peanut-butter topped cookie too.

And I let Sadie lick the peanut butter off the bottom of the candle. I'm so nice to her even though she tried to bite my fingers off this morning when I gave her a treat after our walk. She'd been doing so well too, we passed a guy who was working on someone's lawn and she behaved very well when she said hi to him, instead of going all crazy and spastic like she usually does. So I thought she deserved the treat up until I almost ended up missing three fingers. But I digress.

Just to be fair, I put some *more* peanut butter on it for Vader (I'm such a good dog mama). Can't have one kid thinking that you like the other one better (RIGHT MOM? Like how I know Adam's your favorite kid?! Just kidding!)

And we have finally figured out how to get two dogs to wear party hats at the same time. It's the peanut butter, dude. There is no room in their little brains for anything else when peanut butter is involved. That's the only people food that our kids are allowed to eat and boy, do they love it (we used to put it inside their Kongs when we left the house but haven't done that in a while and I think they miss it).

Ok, this picture totally cracks me up. See how Vader is just barely sticking his tongue out at Sadie? And how about that expression on Bee's face? It's so "don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful!" or possibly "it's my birthday, I deserve ALLLLLL the cookies!" or maybe "Mom, why did you have to adopt him?"

Because we needed someone to keep you company, Bee. You know you love him. (Even if she didn't, *I* love Vader to little bitty pieces so he's not going anywhere!)

Anyway, that's it for me today, time to go to bed. I've got quite a few things to finish up tomorrow...I feel like a schizophrenic stamper. I started a birthday card yesterday and still haven't finished it, and I worked on two more layouts for the baby books but neither one of them is done, and I need to do another birthday card and I think I need to make a list of things I need to do before I forget something important. Like my homework for class tomorrow...urgh.