Monday, January 30, 2012

Catching Up on Stamping

So this weekend it seems like all I did was sleep, read, and bake cookies.  My friend Sarah sent me a bunch of books (we have very similar taste in books, which is marvelous because both of us had never found anyone else that liked the kind of books we do, so for the last year we've been mailing books back and forth and trading recommendations) and so I dove into a new series this weekend in between making batches of cookies.  Tried some new cookie recipes too--chocolate peanut butter chip (the recipe on the bag of Reese's peanut butter chips...I don't like peanut butter much but Lee does), chocolate cherry (they have M&Ms and maraschino cherries in them) and my favorite, butterscotch apple.  YUM.  They even have frosting.

But before this weekend I did actually get some stamping done, so that's what I'm sharing today.


Needed another name frame...I don't really like how this one turned out though, it seems too plain so I might redo it.  It was supposed to be given to Kinley's mom last week but then I left it in the car by accident so I still have it.  Which means I can redo it.


I pulled heart stamps from three different stamp sets for this kind of CAS card (clean & simple if you're unfamiliar with the lingo).  The largest heart is stamped on a separate piece of paper, cut out, and popped up.


At one point I had done all of the color and sketch challenges over on Splitcoast, and now I'm like way far behind so I'm trying to go back and do the older challenges I missed.  That's all well and good, but sometimes I feel like doing that is kind of hampering me a bit...like I'm trying too hard to make my stuff fit in the challenges and then I don't like it as well.  Like this card.


This one, however, represents a recent color challenge and a sketch from Clean & Simple Stamping and I do like how it turned out.  I think maybe my style is just leaning more towards CAS.


Lee's grandmother recently had surgery so I made her a get-well card.  I pulled out a real oldie, Roses in Winter, and then paired it with a new stamp set for the sentiment, Perfectly Penned.  I love that font : )


Here's another one that I just didn't like as well because of the sketch.  I tried to make it work but it just doesn't appeal to me.  Sorry Tiana, I sent you a birthday card I don't like much!


This one is a birthday card for Lee's dad, and again I think the sketch is just too fiddly for my taste.  The whole time I was putting it together I was like HOW many pieces are on this thing?!


Here's a simpler one...hey, Paris and the Eiffel Tower are kind of Valentine-y, right?  The only thing I'd change about this card is that I think the sentiment should be in a heavier font, it gets lost a bit on the collage since it's such thin lines.


This card was a bit of a surprise.  It's an old, old sketch challenge that I'd always avoided because I didn't like it, and then I used it here and surprised myself with how much I liked the results.  So hey, at least I try.


Another sketch that is just too much, I kind of feel like the line of flowers on the bottom was barfed on there.  I'm not really feeling those colors together much either...I want to like them but this card is just NOT where it's at.


The inside is ok though.  Heh.

I've also done a bit of scrapbooking here and there, yay!  I kind of wish I could wave a magic wand and be caught up with my scrapbooks but until I invent that magic wand, I'll just have to slog through the slow way.  That said, I don't want to do digital scrapbooking...I like the process with real paper and photos.  And I think I already spend too much time on the computer, I like to get away from it.


I had this layout all done like six months ago except for the journaling.  And now it's all done!  Sorry for the picture quality on these, I have a hard time getting a halfway decent shot of scrapbook layouts with our big camera and Lee absconded with the little one.  (I should get extra cosmic points for using the word "absconded" on my blog.  I'm just sayin'.)  Anyway, you might remember Pizza in the Sky as the restaurant high up in the hills on Okinawa.


 A layout dedicated to two other Okinawa restaurants, Jack's Place and Sam's by the Sea.  These layouts all go into the book from when my parents came out to visit us.  We ate a LOT.


And here's the last one I have done (there's another one that's halfway done on my desk but it'll just have to wait until next time).  It kind of cracks me up that I put the kanji for tranquility on the layout, and then my journaling is all about how Lee and I call the place Cape Zampa and my parents call it Bolo Point so we argue about that, and then Mom and I went up in the lighthouse and dropped gummy bears on Dad's head.  Real tranquil.  I'm starting to wonder though if I'm using too many flowers on that scrapbook.  They seem to be my go-to embellishment for every page.  Hmm...

All supplies for each card/layout will be listed on my SCS gallery if you're curious.  For now, I'm going to go downstairs and watch NCIS:  LA and Hawaii Five-O that I recorded last night.  Cheers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Calton Hill

Missy is putting me to shame posting pictures from Scotland much faster than I am.  And I'm thinking that mine are now out of order because it's just too many brain bytes to keep three cameras' worth of photos in chronological order, so I'm just going to embrace the chaos because that's how I roll.

On the morning of our last day in Edinburgh (we caught a train at like 4 in the afternoon), we took a cab out to Calton Hill overlooking the city.  Missy had somehow gotten her hands on a tourist map of Edinburgh and it looked interesting so we said hey why not.  The hill is crowned with several monuments in Ancient Greek style.


Lee has been teasing me so much about my pictures coming out crooked, so I tried really hard to get one that was NOT crooked and I won't even tell you how many tries it took 'cause it's kind of embarrassing.  I'm thinking maybe my eyes are crooked.  Anyway, this is the Dugald Stewart Monument.


And this is the unfinished National Monument. What's amusing to me is that I don't think it occurred to any of us while we were there that this was unfinished, we thought it was supposed to look that way.  It was begun in 1826, and then they ran out of funds to complete it so it's been this way for a right long while (at least, a long while by American standards.  By British standards, that's like 40 winks or something).


Lee insisted we all get in a group photo.  'Cept for him since he took it.


And this is us having some fun : p


Here's the Nelson Monument, also note how this one is pretty much NOT crooked thankyouverymuch.


And a picture through tree branches just for Miss Vicki.


Lee and Bennet sitting on the National Monument...they think they heard someone yell at them to get down so the skedaddled really fast after this picture was taken.


Just kind of a fun silhouette with the sun coming up.  I was playing with the camera a little bit.


And here's a view of the city from atop the hill.


Lee must have taken this 'cause I don't remember photographing any cannons.


One more pic of the city because I like it; that Ferris wheel was close to the Christmas faire we went to earlier in our visit.


One more group photo.  After we were done looking around on Calton Hill, I don't think we had a firm plan as to what to do next but we decided to start walking down towards the city and then we ended up in a cemetery.


Lee still thinks it's slightly creepy that I like to walk around cemeteries periodically, and the rest of our group seemed to think it was interesting too.



I found this cross lying on the ground and thought it looked kind of neat and also sad since it was broken.


Here you can see how the cemetery is built into the hillside.


Mom  liked this photo; I liked how the light was shining on the headless angel so I was pretty pleased with how this picture turned out.  I think I've said it before but I'll say it again, we lucked out with weather while we were in Scotland.  Now I just need to sit down and organize the photos so I can order some prints to scrapbook...not that I don't have over three years' worth of pictures already printed out.  I have been working on an Okinawa scrapbook this week though so yay me.  I'm always so far behind that it's not possible for me to ever be bored.  At least, I'll try to be optimistic and think about how I have lots of choices for what photos to scrap next, and try not to dwell on the part where I probably will never catch up.  Positive energy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's a Star Wars Birthday

When I get up in the mornings (ok, ok, occasionally when I get up in the afternoon...but generally it's in the mornings), one of the first things I do is check email and Facebook.  And the first thing I saw on Facebook today was this video, courtesy of Cake Wrecks Jen who I think must have posted it just for me (just kidding, she doesn't know me but we're secretly geek sisters separated at birth):


*feeling faint from supreme awesomeness*  I so want to give these guys all my money so I can have this piece on my iPod.  Because it's made of AWESOME.  And last night, right before I went to bed, the last thing I saw was this blog post (again, courtesy of Cake Wrecks Jen) which leaves me with a strong urge to redo the guest room.  I want color-changing lightsaber wall sconces!  And the world's cutest Boba Fett lamp!  Not to mention the AT-AT decals on the closet door...and the Han Solo quote!  Ack!!!  The wampa rug though, I think that's where I'd draw the line.  My tauntaun sleeping bag is way less terror-inducing.

So yeah, it's been a Star Wars-y day, which I love.  My geek flag is flying high today.  Liz took me out for lunch today, we stuffed ourselves silly at my favorite pub, and we did some shopping too for Lee's birthday.  My mom (who is also made of awesome) sent me two boxes packed full of goodies wrapped in Tinker Bell tissue paper and Star Wars wrapping paper (I love Ahsoka Tano).  And I'm not afraid to admit that I have Wookieepedia as a favorite on my web browser.  So anyway, here I sit in my brand-new pajama pants, contemplating an evening with Princess Bride and The Empire Strikes Back, two of my favoritestmost movies in the history of cinema, and I'm a happy camper.

May the Force be with you!

Friday, January 20, 2012

St. Giles' Cathedral

It's been raining all day and Sadie is still convinced I can make it stop so she can go for a walk.  No way am I taking her and Vader out when it's been raining all day, so she's doomed to disappointment today.  She'll probably be all feisty and annoying tonight though.

Anyway, today I have pictures from St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh.  You saw the front of it in the last post.  I don't think I took any pictures inside it since our camera usually doesn't do too hot in low light situations, so these are but a tiny fraction of Mom's pictures.  I just picked the ones I liked of the different carvings and other ornamentation from around the cathedral, so my commentary will be kept to a minimum today.




Mom must have really liked the vaulted ceiling; I think there were at least a dozen photos of it.


I don't know why Dad won't smile in pictures.  He *said* he was thrilled to be there, at any rate...


This looks like bunches of cabbage suspended from the ceiling.  At least I don't have to eat these veggies ; )



These are two shots of the same bit of carving so you can read what it says on the bottom.



This little guy was on the end of the pew.


Hey, it's the lion and the unicorn again!  Ever hear the nursery rhyme "The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown"?  Scotland is the unicorn, and England is the lion.  Oh the things one can learn from Google.





Uh-oh, Mom is adopting Dad's no-smile policy.  What is UP with that??




I like the looks of Celtic crosses.  And that's all I've got today.

I've got a long list of things I need to do in my craft room, but honestly I'm just not feeling motivated in there today, so I may go downstairs and stitch for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  Let me tell you, I've made ridiculous amounts of progress on this month's stitching project.  I'll reattack the craft room tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Royal Mile

Dude, I've been pretty scarce in blogland lately, huh?  I was a total hermit for three weeks or so and then suddenly this week I've had places to go and things to do every day.  Vader says he misses me when I'm not at the house.  So anyway, today I've got some more Scotland photos to share and wow, I would have thought I'd be done with the blog posts all about when everyone was out here for Thanksgiving and stuff, but here I am.  I kinda have a headache tonight so bear with me if I'm not as entertaining as usual.


Speaking of unusual, we saw blue skies in Edinburgh.  Seriously, we hardly even got rained on the whole time we were in Scotland.  Who says the UK always has dismal weather?


We were all walking up the Royal Mile to go do...something...and then all the male members of our group suddenly lost the will to move on because they were busy drooling over this car.  I don't know what it is even, I am so NOT a car nut.  But they were really excited about it, I swear we had almost a dozen photos of it.


View down the Royal Mile.


Here's Missy and Bennet in front of St. Giles' Cathedral, Missy likes to get pictures with her in front of all the things she goes to see.  Which is funny, 'cause Lee usually wants a shot with NO PEOPLE in it.


But hey look, there we are too.  Probably because Missy insisted we get in the picture.


Hey look, it's a butt picture!


And another one!  Wow, I should start a photo collage.


So in Edinburgh you have the signs that Robert Burns stayed here.  What do we have in the States?  "Elvis ate here."


We did not go ask him if he was a traditional Scotsman...no full moons for us.


I just thought this picture was kinda cool, I don't even know where it is.


Ohhh yeah.  So I don't drink coffee, but I do have a collection of coffee mugs because they work quite well for tea and hot chocolate (and I am so totally in love with English breakfast tea!  but I digress) and Missy likes to pick up the Starbucks mugs wherever since they usually have the cool ones with place names on them.  I have one from Hokkaido (northern Japan) that has polar bears on it.


And there's another car that was apparently drool-worthy.  There was a wedding going on at the cathedral and this was the getaway vehicle.  I think that all the guys were drooling over the car when the wedding party walked by, a gust of wind came up and all the dudes wearing kilts inadvertently flashed Dad, Lee and Bennet.  *giggle*


This dude was one of several buskers we saw up and down the Royal Mile (in addition to Mr. Bagpipes up above).


And you can't go to Scotland without seeing Braveheart, so there you go.  Hopefully next time I return to the ol' bloggypoo, I'll have a much more entertaining narrative to go along with.  For now, I think I'll crawl in bed...maybe read a bit before I go to sleep, or not.  Peace out, yo!

So, I just started to put a label on this post, and I meant to type Scotland but instead I typed in Starbucks.  Maybe I'm caffeine-deprived and that's why my head hurts...hey, I haven't had a Coke since the new year started!  But probably a bunch of my tea is caffeinated, so whatever.  I'm off to bed.