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Scoreboard Blog Hop - Scalloped Box Pop-up Gift Card Holder

The NEW Scoreboard Blog Hop starts today!

Eileen Hull, the designer of the Scoreboards dies, has put together an even bigger group of participants for this hop. Every Wednesday we'll be featuring one of her NEW dies and as an added challenge to us, you get to vote for your favorite!

Visit Eileen's Blog for all the details.

Today's die is the Sizzix Scoreboards XL 656546 Box w/Scallop Flap & Flowers and naturally I could not leave it as a box or else where would the pop-up go? Heh. I cut away the side panels of the box and made it a tri-fold opening card instead with room for a gift card velcro-ed to the back of the pop-up.

(Click to make it bigger)

Scoreboard Scalloped Box TH GCH

Sizzix Products Used:
NEW! Scoreboards XL Box w/Scallop Flap & Flowers, by Eileen Hull
Bigz Pop-up Sleigh (mechanism piece only), by Karen Burniston
Bigz Gadget Gears, by Tim Holtz
Matboard, White

Other Products Used:
Grunge Paper, Grunge Board, Swivel Clasp, Paper Clips, Filmstrip Ribbon, Tiny Attacher, Floral - Tim Holtz for Advantus
Rubber Stamps - "Ultimate Grunge" and "Mini Muse" - Tim Holtz for Stamper's Anonymous
Inks, embossing powders - Ranger
Adhesives - 3 in 1, Beacon
Hook/loop Fasteners - Scotch
General craft/source unknown - eyelet, metal-rimmed tag, cardstock, embroidery floss

Once again I'm using a mechanism from a pop-up die to be able to animate a flat die. In this case, I used the mechanism piece from the Pop-up Sleigh die and then glued Gadget Gears all over it so they would pop-up when the card is opened.

I'm going to sound like a broken record (for the kiddos - "broken record" means "scratched CD" or "corrupted MP3") but I really want to say again that the pop-up dies are tools. You can use them to create the shapes that I designed them to be, but you can also take all those mechanisms and use them to animate your flat dies.

And now it's time to KEEP HOPPING! Here is a list of the designers who have posted Scalloped Box projects today:

Eileen Hull

Bonnie Bruns

Brenda Pinnick

Ann Butler

Carla Schauer

Candice Windham Designs

Cindi Bisson - Fat Cat Creations

Craftside - A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world

Designs by Roxi

JGoode Designs

Jennifer Ellefson

Julie McGuffee

Just a Thought or Two

Laura Bray

Marisa Pawelko - Modern Surrealist

Mel Designs Trendy Thank You Gifts

Niki Meiners

Michelle Cummings

Pink Lemonade

Sandy Laipply

Sizzix ScoreBoard blog Hop

Sparkle's Studio

Veronica Goff

Stampin' Queen Creations




 


In the words of an Apollo 13 astronaut . . .

Houstonproblem


 Only I would change it to:

"Hey Houston, you're creating a problem here." - Karen Burniston

Look, it's not anything against Houston per se. I've made peace with the move. It wouldn't have been my first choice to leave Colorado, but doors close, windows open, clouds have silver linings, yada yada yada.

But "Houston" now encompasses:

  • Selling a house (with repair/touch-ups and keep-it-clean and vacate-for-showings and keep-the-dog-from-messing-up-the-stuff-we've-already-done and make-the-kids-eat-snacks-outside)
  • Buying a house (deciding the area, schools, pool-or-no-pool, new-or-not-new, commute, etc.)
  • Paperwork related to both above items (SO MUCH PAPERWORK!)
  • Reassuring two children that we are not trying to ruin their lives

And so naturally my work is suffering BIG TIME! Like, I'm so far behind that I've encircled the globe and am actually looking at my behind. Heh. Die designs and class designs and video tutorials and website stuff and unanswered e-mails and blog posts . . . all stacking up to a pile the size of, you guessed it; HOUSTON!

Kids in houston

We went down there last week for Spring Break. My Mom came with us, too. It was two days of house hunting and two days of goofing off/sightseeing.

To truly appreciate Karl's expression in the above photo you would have to see the movie "Bowfinger" and fast forward to Eddie Murphy (in the geeky brother role) saying "Awesome!"

Emma was a fan of the Johnson Space Center. She was thoroughly impressed with being able to see the green Mission Control room and found the whole tour fascinating. While we expected Karl to also enjoy the tour, he surprised us by answering "Lunch" when asked to describe his favorite part of the Space Center day. Huh. Didn't expect that!

But somehow through all the chaos I have managed to make a few things. The Scoreboard Blog Hop starts tomorrow, so be sure to check back for that.

I also got to take a recent Sunday afternoon off from the craziness and spend some time with my friend Nanette and her group of Stampin' Up! enthusiasts. I taught everyone how to make the Pop-up Cake. Nanette designed the front of the card and made the color choices, but everyone got to customize their cards. It was a fun day! 

Nanette cake crowd

SU Wedding Cake Nanette
All supplies Stampin' Up! except matboard (Sizzix) and Velcro (craft store)

And then one last thing to share before diving into my HSTDL (Houston-Sized To-Do List).

I can "see" cards in my head before I make them. I can "see" the cards even when making product choices. When I came across the Eggcellent Eggs Kit in the SU! Occasions Mini catalog I immediately knew that the die-cut egg stands would work wonderfully as cake tiers. And so I bought it.

Months ago.

And it sat, and it sat, and it sat-sat-sat-sat!

So before Easter came and went, I figured I'd better make my Easter Cake Card.

And then I got another vision!

What if I built the cake like this: small tier/medium tier/small tier - wouldn't it look like an egg?! Brilliant! Genius! I have such vision!!!

So I used my precious Eggcellent Eggs Kit to construct my "egg" and guess what?

It looked nothing like an egg.

Not. Even. Close.

"John, does this look like an egg?"

"No."

"What if you squint?"

"Still no."

*sigh*

I did my best to salvage the card and turn it into an Easter basket with one giant egg inside, but I would have to say that I don't "see" things quite so well as I thought I did. Just sayin'!

SU Easter Basket Card
All supplies Stampin' Up! except matboard (Sizzix) and Velcro (craft store)
 

Buzz banana

RKQOTD (Emma: I just love "Buzz Banana" - my space-traveling stuffed monkey! Mimi: It was a great choice for a souvenir - you've adopted him and now he has his forever home! Karl: Actually, he'll eventually end up at Goodwill like everything else.)

 


  


Video Tutorial: Pop-up Bird Cage Card (Tim Holtz)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I am wearing my Tulane sweatshirt (Green Wave!) in honor of the occasion.

You asked for it . . . now you've got it. But . . . to watch it all you'll have to devote 42 minutes of your life! I know, I know, it's a beast of a tutorial, but making a pop-up birdcage out of a pop-up Christmas Tree takes a few steps, yo!

As usual, though, I've broken the tutorial into bite-sized chunks, about 5 minutes each, so you can go back and review any particular section individually.

The card I'm creating in the tutorial is this one:

(Click to make it bigger)Thank You Bird Cage TH

Sizzix Products Used:
Pop-up Christmas Tree, by Karen Burniston
Caged Bird, by Tim Holtz
Tattered Florals, by Tim Holtz
Styled Labels, by Tim Holtz
Vintage Market Alphabet, by Tim Holtz
Elegant Flourishes, by Tim Holtz
Textured Impressions Folder: Damask, by Rachael Bright
Matboard, black

Other Products Used:
Patterned Papers - "Mama-razzi" by Bo Bunny
Clear Plastic Sheets - Grafix
Tim Holtz "idea-ology" products by Advantus - Tiny Attacher, Grunge Paper, Foliage, Mini Fasteners, and Swivel Clasp
Rubber Stamps - Tim Holtz "Ultimate Grunge" by Stamper's Anonymous
Wire - Artistic Wire
Adhesives - Beacon Zip Dry & 3 in 1, Ranger Glossy Accents, Tacky Tape, Mini Glue Dots
General Craft - rhinestone, black ink pad

The videos are on my YouTube channel. There is a link in the top right corner of this blog and mini-players below:

THBC Tutorial 1: Intro & Die Cutting (3:04)

 

THBC Tutorial 2: The Big Trees & The Big Bird Cages (6:23)

 

THBC Tutorial 3: Assemble the Centerpiece (1:55)


THBC Tutorial 4: The Small Trees & The Small Bird Cages (5:27)



THBC Tutorial 5: Assemble the Bird Cage (5:10)



THBC Tutorial 6: Add the Base, the Bird & the Chain (4:42)


 

THBC Tutorial 7: Make the Card Interior (5:42)


 

THBC Tutorial 8: Make the Card Exterior (5:02)


 

THBC Tutorial 9: Optional Flourish Pop-up & Finished Card (4:16)

 




 



 


Pop-up Birthday Card (Tim Holtz) with Tutorial

I am very much enjoying combining the new Tim Holtz Alterations dies with the Pop-up dies. His style is very layered, grungy and artsy, and I've been having a ball getting messy with inks and paints, trying my best to capture the "feel" of his dies. 

Today's card may seem a bit dark & twisty for a kid birthday card, so maybe you'll want to use this idea for a masculine adult card instead. I was going for an "artsy" look, but may have strayed into "macabre". Such a fine line, really. Heh.

(Click to make it bigger)Bday Card 11 TH

Sizzix Products Used:
Pop-up Cake, by Karen Burniston
Vintage Market Alphabet, by Tim Holtz
Filmstrip Frame, by Tim Holtz
Ornate "On the Edge", by Tim Holtz
Elegant Flourishes, by Tim Holtz
Baroque, by Tim Holtz
Heart Wings, by Tim Holtz
Birthday Phrases Stamps, by Dena Designs ("Happy")
Matboard, black

Other Products Used:
Tim Holtz for Advantus: Ball Chain, Grunge Paper, Type Charms, Mini Paperclips, Washers, Tiny Attacher, Numerals
Tim Holtz for Ranger: Distress Ink "Vintage Photo", Distress Stickles "Picket Fence"
Patterned Papers - Creative Imaginations (Cream Music, by Marah Johnson and Lucky Ornate Flourish, by Creative Cafe)
Vintage Cardstocks - Core'dinations
General Craft/Source Unknown - gems, elastic, paint, eyelet, embossing powder, tacky tape

Step-by-Step Picture Tutorial:

Tut1

1. I used the Baroque Movers & Shapers die as a cake plate, so I built my cake on the "plate" first, and then glued the finished plate/pop-up inside my card. First I folded the Baroque shape in half, and then measured 1/8" in either direction, scored and made two more folds. You can see the three folds in the picture above, in brown. (I brushed Vintage Photo ink over the cake plate to distress it and bring out the folds) The cake is built on the center fold like usual, but the other two folds will be mirrored into the card itself, making the card have a thick fold, which allows the tiers of the cake to remain rounded even when the card is closed. This helps maintain a nearly-round appearance when the card is opened. I've used a strong tacky tape to construct the largest tier of my cake in the usual manner. (Download the "Supplemental Cake Die Instructions" from the left sidebar of this blog and use with the Pop-up Cake die to construct the cake to this point)

Tut2

2. One of my favorite tools is the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher (The link is an online source, but you might also check your local stores. I've also seen them at Hobby Lobby). You may think it's just a stapler, but it's so much more! The staples are tiny and the tool has a pretty long reach. Those two features make it the perfect tool for reinforcing pop-up cards. The above photo is blurry (sorry!) but hopefully you can see what I'm doing here. I'm reinforcing the connection on the bottom tier of the cake as close to the fold as I can get it. This is going to replace the step in the "Supplemental Cake Die Instructions" that tells you to use a mini-brad. The tiny staple is going to lay much flatter than a mini-brad, and this is quicker and easier than piercing a hole for a brad.

Tut3

3. The above photo shows the bottom tier of the cake with the tiny attacher staples as reinforcing. It also shows my messy fingers. Tim Holtz-style cards get your hands dirty, yo!

Tut4

4. Another blurry photo, but, in my defense, it's difficult to hold the pieces and take the photos at the same time. (She says, evoking much sympathy) Here I've continued construction of the pop-up cake by adding the second tier and then reinforcing the connection with the Tiny Attacher.

Tut5

5. I wanted to make a cake that could have a topper but also fit in a standard A2-sized card (4.25" x 5.5") so I elected to make a two-tier cake instead of a three-tier cake. I also thought a two-tier cake might look a little like a crown. So after constructing two tiers, I cut off the remaining centerpiece at the top, leaving enough to attach my numerals later.

With the Pop-up Cake die, the cake tiers (sides) are not cut with the die. You decide the materials, shape and height of the tiers, which means you can make them taller and/or with decorative edges at your discretion. The tier in the photo above is a 1.5" wide strip of Tim Holtz Grunge Paper that is run through the Big Shot with the Ornate On the Edge die to give it the decorative edge. Grunge paper is an excellent material for the pop-up cake because Grunge Paper doesn't want to keep a fold. It will unbend into a nearly-round shape. For the decoration of this tier, I painted the tier black, then spread Tim Holtz Washers randomly over the strip and sprayed it with silver & gold metallic spray-paints. Then I removed the washers, leaving the decoration of washer shapes all over the strip without having to add the weight of actual washers. (Plus I've got some cool spray-painted washers for another project! Bonus!)

Notice that I used the Tiny Attacher again to reinforce the connections where the tiers attach to the sides of the cake. I'll show you how to do this in the next few steps as I illustrate adding the bottom tier:

Tut6


6. For the bottom tier, I die cut the Filmstrip Frame from patterned paper and then added photos (printed in black/white on regular printer paper so they'll bend easily) behind each frame. There is space for 8 photos, but only 7 will be visible when the tier is finished, so you can choose to put blank paper in one of the end slots. Initially I tried to die cut Grunge Paper with the die, but this is a Sizzlit strip, which is really meant for paper/cardstock, not thick materials. The tiny holes in the filmstrip were not cut through when I used Grunge, so I would not recommend it. I did, however, keep my failed Grunge strip to glue behind the paper to make it unbend easier. You'll see that in some of the photos below.

After creating my filmstrip frame, I centered it (ish) so that an area between two photos would be right over the connection point. This is so I wouldn't end up stapling through a face. I used my strong tacky tape to attach it, but then for additional durability, I turned to my Tiny Attacher:

Tut7

7. Experiment until you can get a good angle to put a staple through the connection point.

Tut8


8. Now turn the Cake around and you can see that failed Grunge filmstrip (I cut the top/bottom holes off so they wouldn't show) behind the paper strip. I used my failed Grunge strip because I had it handy, but I would actually recommend just using a full strip of Grunge Paper behind the filmstrip. My photos are flimsy and tend to warp. If I had a solid strip of Grunge behind them, I'd be happier with the finished look. (Live and learn!)

Tut9

9. Now wrap one end of the strip to the other side connection point and use strong tacky tape to attach it. Reinforce the connection with the Tiny Attacher. This is the photo that will end up being covered, so I didn't worry about stapling through Karl's face. (Sorry Karl!)

Tut10

10. The last step is to bring the other side around and use strong tacky tape to attach it. You can reinforce this connection with the Tiny Attacher by partially collapsing the cake by folding the cake/plate closed, and then weaving the Tiny Attacher into the cake to staple this last section.

Cake closeup

Here's my finished cake inside the card. I added the "11" numerals to the top of the cake and hung the kids' initials from them using ball chain. I added some Stickles to the top of the "crown" tier, and then for one last bit of pop-up fun, I used the larger flourish from the Elegant Flourishes die to make a standard spiral pop-up on the back of the cake. Adding a spiral pop-up is pretty darn easy. So easy, in fact, that I didn't think to take pictures of it as I did it. Whoops! We'll make that a tutorial for another day, eh?

Now let's look at the card itself:

Card top view 

I started with a 5.25" x 8.5" piece of striped patterned paper (Lucky Ornate Flourish) and folded it in half as a card. I measured off the fold 1/8" in each direction, making two more folds just like I did with the Baroque cake plate. I cut the ends of the paper with the Ornate On the Edge die and then distressed the entire sheet with Vintage Photo distress ink.

Attach the finished cake inside the card using a really strong glue. I love 3-in-1 or Zip Dry, both by Beacon.

I cut two pieces of black matboard to 5.5" wide x 4.125" tall. I glued the matboard behind each of the card panels, starting at the outer folds, so that the area within the triple-fold has no matboard behind it.

The decorations inside the card are die-cut Elegant Flourishes and Vintage Alphabet letters for "Birthday". Those pieces are decorated with Stickles. I stamped "Happy" in black ink and embossed in clear powder for a shiny look.

Card front
The front of the card is a 5.5" x 12" strip of Starry Night Vintage cardstock from Core'dinations. I scored the strip at 4.125" so it would match the front of the matboard perfectly. Then, with the card closed, I held the cardstock on the front of the card in position, then folded the cardstock strip up and over the triple-fold and marked where it would meet the back piece of matboard. Remove the cardstock and score it there for folding. Now glue the front panel to the front matboard, and the back of the strip to the back matboard, with no glue between the folds. Trim off any excess cardstock.

I die cut a scrap of black cardstock with the Ornate On the Edge die and glued it to the bottom of the card. The Celebrate letters are die cut using Vintage Alphabet. The Heart Wings die (cut out of matboard for elevation and then papers for decoration) completes the design. The edges of the card are brushed with black paint.

Closure closeup 
Finally, for a closure I added a mini-brad through a washer, leaving the mini-brad elevated a bit. I tied black elastic cord to a mini-paperclip and attached it through the back of the card with an eyelet. The paperclip can be stretched up and over the brad to keep the card closed. The brad prongs inside the card can be covered with a small flourish.

So there you have it! One arsty/macabre birthday card! Perfect for wishing your little ones a happy birthday while simultaneously giving them nightmares. You're welcome!


Happy Birthday to John! (Also, cleaning is killing me!)

We have realtors coming to the house this week and the only room that is still in a state of disaster is my office. (Surprise!)

But geez - cleaning is dangerous, yo! First I tried to dump my trashcan only to find a wad of stuck-on hardened gum on the bottom. I tried using my fingernails to release it, but it was stuck like, well, gum! So then I grabbed the closest sharp object - my craft scissors - and put a lot of force against the mound. A lot of force with the right hand while the left hand held the trash can stable, directly across from the scissors . . .

Uh huh.

Neosporin and band-aid on finger #1.

Moving on to a less-dangerous activity, I decided to clean out the drawer that's directly below my work area. This is the drawer where I toss all the oft-used tools and supplies, very haphazardly. Reaching to the back to do a bulldozer-action with all the stuff in the drawer, I discovered two loose Xacto blades that had fallen out of the safety container.

Uh huh.

Neosporin and band-aid on finger #2.

And yet I'm braving the pain to type this blog post. I think the word you're looking for is "She-ro".

But I have to say Happy Birthday to John, because 40 is a big deal, yo! Not that I know, of course, being much, much younger. (When I was born, John was already 5-months-old! I think the word you're looking for is "pervy". Heh.)

We celebrated John's birthday last week, while his Mom was still in town. Her birthday was yesterday, and it was a milestone number for her as well. In addition to new Wii games, I also got John a bottle of Old Spice bodywash, in honor of our favorite commercial: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like I went with "Swagger", which smells pretty nice, ladies!

And also in honor of John's birthday, I'm changing the Random Kid Quote of the Day to Random John Quote of the Day.

RJQOTD (John: Look at that license plate frame in front of us: "I live for David Archuletta". Are you kidding me? Who buys something like that and puts it on their car? Me: Obviously a fan of David Archuletta. John: But someone had to MAKE that! They had to think "here's something that will sell . . ." and produce them, put them on a website for sale . . .  Me: Hey, the guy's got his fans and you can't begrudge him that. Don't be so superior! John: grins It's hard not to be superior when I'm better than everyone else. Me: Yes, it must be quite a burden.)

Happy Birthday Mr. Burniston!


Pop-up Cards with Tim Holtz dies (Volume 1)

Yes, I'm calling these cards "Volume 1" because there are going to be a lot more coming! The Tim Holtz Alterations collection is shipping now, and there's not a dud in the bunch. These are some seriously cool dies, yo! Like, you'll want them all. Just sayin'!

You can learn more about the following three cards, including full supply lists and descriptions of how I combined the pop-up dies with the new TH dies on the Sizzix Blog - but you have to scroll down to February 2nd. I can't direct link to it (sorry) so you'll just have to scroll, but in positive news, you'll see a lot of other cool projects as you scroll!

You're an Angel Card Tim Holtz

You Make my Heart Sing TH

Sweet Emma Purse Card

I got a chance to meet Tim Holtz and business manager Mario Rossi at the Stitches trade show in the UK. I kept my cool and didn't make a fool of myself at all. There was no school girl giggling. There was absolutely no gushing and I did not, I repeat DID NOT, jump up and down and clap like a seal. I did not ask if I could get a picture with Tim and then become freakishly protective of my camera lest someone would accidentally delete it. None of that happened, so I can't think WHERE you heard such ridiculous rumors.

Me and TH

*giggle* *CLAP* *ARF* *CLAP* *giggle*
 
 
 


Home again, home again, creakity-creak!

The trip to the U.K. was amazing and I have so much to share that I'm going to go backwards. Today I'm focusing only on the flight home.

It started with a flight from Manchester to Philadelphia. I had a window seat next to Joyce, an elderly British lady on her way to America for the first time. She was heading to Miami to take a Caribbean cruise and was nervous about the change in Philly. I talked her through the procedures and helped her fill out her Immigration card. I noticed her birth year as 1937 and calculated that she was 73 years old. Wow! That's some pluck, huh? Going on a cruise, by yourself, leaving from a country you've never visited. Have fun, Joyce!

At the Philly airport I managed to fall down collecting my baggage at Customs, in front of about a hundred people and the security cameras. I jumped up and said "I'm OK!" as though anyone cared, and then slunk off with my red face and heavy bags. *sigh*

A pretzel dog helped ease the pain.

And finally it was time to board the Denver flight.

I used to be somebody. I've been a United Premier or Premier Executive member for four years, meaning I get to sit up front, upgrade myself, never pay for bags, board first, use the short security line . . . basically a cushy life in the air.

But that was then, and this is now. I didn't go to Europe in 2009. At all. I barely went anywhere in 2009, choosing to stay home and focus on the pop-up dies. Consequently, at the end of January 2010, I no longer had any status. None. I have to sit in the back of the plane with the dirty people. (Heh)

So there I was, settled into seat 26F (one row away from the bathroom) and waiting to see if I'd have two other people crammed into the row. As luck would have it, nobody came, and I was brightening at the idea of having the whole row to stretch out in when I looked up and saw an old guy hobbling toward me, using a cane. He had gray hair and neat gray goatee. He managed to struggle into the aisle seat, storing the cane in the seat between us. I heard him say something to the Flight Attendant in a thick country accent and so, by way of conversation, since we would be spending 4 hours together, I said "You don't sound like you're from Denver?" and the ice was broken.

OLD GUY: North Carolina, actually. I'm heading out to visit my daughter in Denver.

OG's daughter is a branch manager at a bank, by the way. I was about to ask if he had grandchildren when he said:

OLD GUY: Do you have kids?

ME: Yes, I have 11-year-old twins.

OG: I have four more kids at home - three girls, ages 5, 4 and 3, and then a little boy.

Now here my mind started to wander, as I tried to figure out how this guy had so many little kids. Thoughts of Tony Randall and a much-younger wife sprung to mind, but I awakened from my musings just in time to hear him say:

OG: We're just not the type to give foster kids back after a year. We've got to adopt them.

Ah! Now it makes sense. They're foster parents, taking in children and giving them a better life. What a nice thing. Boy, they must tire the old guy out, all those little kids. Well, it goes to show that you really can be young at heart! Well done, OG, well done!

OG: I used to work in construction after I got out of the military. But then I hurt my back and couldn't do that anymore. The VA said they'd send me back to school so now I'm a full time college student.

ME: Wow! That's impressive. What are you studying?

OG: Social work.

ME: Of course! That's a great fit, with your history with foster parenting.

And here my mind started to wander again. What an inspiration this old guy is! How does he manage it all? Wife, four young kids, bad back, visiting grown daughter in Colorado . . . still need to ask him about those grandkids . . . and now going back to college . . . truly amazing . . .

OG: Yep. But I'll tell you . . . going back to college at age 43 isn't easy!

BZZZRRRRRRPPPPPT! HOLD ON A SECOND!

What did he just say? Did he just say 43?! That's ME! I'm only four years younger than him! (Three and change if you're being technical)

And suddenly it was cold in the plane. Some breath was visible from OG's mouth and Haley Joel Osment popped into my head and whispered; "I see old people. They don't know they're old. They only see what they want to see!"

My mind flashed to OG's words: "I have four kids under the age of 5" "I'm a veteran of Desert Storm" "I had a real thing for Duran Duran" (OK, so he didn't say that last part, but he could have!)

And then I was imagining Joyce's birth year on the Immigration form. Floating up in front of me: 1937. Fluffy white hair and orthopedic socks. What if those numbers were reversed? What if she really wrote "1973" and is actually three years younger than me?! Oh the horror!

I see old people.

Flash to the liquor store last month. Paying by credit card. The man asks for my ID. I smile and say "sure!" and hand it to him, feeling very flattered. He compares the signatures and hands it back to me. Oh.

They don't know they're old.

Flash to my Snuggie. Me in my Snuggie. Good gracious . . . I have a Snuggie!!!!!

They only see what they want to see.

Flash to the mirror. Look at those deep creases in my forehead. I could hide a snack in there. Need my eye cream. Where's my eye cream? When did I start using eye cream?

AURGH!

(RKQOTD during American Idol last night EMMA: I don't like that Lilly girl. ME: Really? Why not? She's from Denver. Go Colorado! EMMA: She's creepy. ME: What? How can you say that? She has an indie look. White-blonde hair, funky earrings. She's an artist. EMMA: Odd. Crazy. Choose your word.)