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October 2005
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December 2005

I let, you let, we all let for eyelets!

For those of you who are not scrapbookers, just trust me when I say that 2002 was all about eyelets. In a craze that has only been skimmed by today's ribbon and flower fetish, scrappers of yesteryear used eyelets.

Standard 1/8" round eyelets were not enough. Oh no, no, no. We wanted squares, triangles, stars, ovals, big circles, small circles, daisies and diamonds. We wanted every color of the rainbow in every shade imaginable. Eyelet manufacturers were dizzy with excitement, producing anything we asked for and several things we didn't, thereby emptying our wallets at warp speed. They even gave us themed eyelets like bunnies and turkeys that looked surprisingly ready for a holiday feast what with the shotgun blast through their middles. But we bought them anyway, because, after all, they were EYELETS!!!

Packing for a crop went something like this:

  • Lee Valley 32-piece watchmaker tins filled with (do I have to say it again?) . . .check.
  • Hammer, anywhere hole punch and setters. . . check.
  • Advil, earplugs. . . check.

Scrapping after the family went to bed was fraught with difficulties.

I can remember a mass e-mail from a magazine editor in late 2002 that basically said ENOUGH with the eyelets, already, and to please stop using them on every layout submission.

That was the beginning of the brad craze. Heh.

Anyway, I take this walk down memory lane to hopefully explain why I have 97 tic-tac containers of eyelets. NINETY-SEVEN! This is AFTER my massive purging and garage sale. If I had a penny for every eyelet I own I would have a lot of pennies. (Profound, I know)

So to make a microscopic dent in my supply, I dusted off forty containers or so and put 107 eyelets of varying shapes and colors to good use pinning down some shiny round confetti that I bought at Target the other day because I thought it would make a nifty layout background. Between laying out and adhering the confetti so it wouldn't move, pounding holes through it, picking out every style of red, blue, gold, green and white eyelet I could find, and trying to hold the eyelets in place while turning the whole stinkin page over to set them, it took . . . let me just calculate . . . mutter 2 plus 15 plus 297 carry the 2 mutter . . .oh yeah - FOREVER!

And THEN, of course, I didn't like it. *sigh* The all-over confetti background was just . . . too . . . much . . . even . . . for . . . me . . . (I myself am often surprised at life's little quirks)

Being a firm believer in never starting over, though, especially where 107 eyelets are concerned, I devised a way to salvage the layout by dusting off 2002's other big craze . . . vellum! Perfect! Toned down the background while leaving it visible - what IS this miracle stuff, anyway? Seriously, why did I ever stop using vellum? It's magically delicious! I must remember its healing properties. It probably could have cleaned up my flower mess of yesterpage!

So here it is: Confetti Emma (not to be confused with Fusilli Jerry) and my homage to the scrapbooking trends of 2002!


Happy Tuesday!

TPBQOTD (Look, I don't mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me.)

They killed Kenny! (er, Sandy)

OK, not really, but we tried.

Picture this: Thanksgiving morning. Parade has ended. Clay Aiken is croonin' Christmas toonin'. I'm preparing the stuffing while John is wrestling the turkey. He decides to get fancy with his cajun injector and shoots several squirts of butter marinade into the 20-lb bird. Next thing you know he's grabbed the Tony Chachere's seasoning and is soooo close to sprinkling some on top when I say "No! Not that! Sandy is allergic to peppers!"

John looks at me with an expression that can only be described as ghastly and says "Peppers?!"

(cue Psycho music)

We both glance at the bottle of butter marinade sitting on the counter. Tony Chachere's CREOLE butter marinade, to be exact. The first ingredient is butter. The second ingredient is red pepper.


It's 11:30 am, we're planning on eating at 4:00, and we've just removed TURKEY from Sandy's Thanksgiving menu. Think she'll notice? Eep.

Envisioning a Peppermint Patty-ish rant (not really, Sandy's too polite) I immediately put my razor-sharp Sudoku-honed problem-solving skills to work. Plan A was to high-tail it to the grocery store for a turkey breast. Of course, I'd forgotten that the turkey breasts would be frozen solid. I looked like a moron in Albertsons buying a frozen turkey breast at noon on Thanksgiving, but this just proves how much I like Sandy. On the way home I formulated Plan B as a back-up in case we couldn't get the breast defrosted in time. I was going to call my neighbor and ask to trade a few slices of turkey. Her hopefully un-injected pepper-free turkey for my spicy variety. Smart, huh?

It didn't come to Plan B though, because the breast was defrosted (slightly helped by the microwave) and the big bird took longer than expected. We ate late, but not too late, and everything was delicious.


Thank you Sudoku!

Anyone else in mourning over Thursday's tribal council outcome? At least Gary schooled Judd before his torch-snuffing. "Lying is 'Hey everyone - the immunity idol is on the ground' - THAT'S lying!" LOVED IT!

TPBQOTD ("Suddenly I just happened to look behind us and something is there."  "What?! Probably some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise . . . at night . . . through eel-infested waters.")

The whole week?! Really?

This seems to be the usual response when I tell my tale of woe to others.

"My kids have the whole week off for Thanksgiving"

"The whole week?! Really?"

I know.

The weekend was filled quite nicely with April's visit and we had a lovely time. I don't think I *quite* convinced her to move here though, so more work is required in that area. She says she wants to be able to breathe, or something. I personally think sea-level dwellers put way too much emphasis on oxygen but what do I know?

On the ride home from the airport yesterday morning was where the enormity of a "week off" hit me. I was trying to concentrate my thoughts and organize my to-do list by level of importance but the conversation from the back was distracting me.

"Karl, when you grow up and invent things can you make a van with a swimming pool in it?"

"Sure. I'll probably sell it for $4.00"

"Karl, the inventor doesn't set the price, the store sets the price, and they'll have to charge at least a hundred."

So apparently there'll be good deals on swimming pool equipped vans in about, oh, twenty years. Even better deals if Emma decides to go to beauty school instead of becoming Karl's agent.

I'm guessing beauty school after just discovering her in the upstairs hallway with a glass of water and a pink marker attempting to watercolor her toenails. On the carpet. Pink marker. Did I mention the carpet? *sigh*

I cannot escape the signs of children on vacation. There are clues everywhere. Remnants of art projects.  A foosball table that has been turned into a fort. Pretzels that started out on lunch plates but then, for some inexplicable reason, were pulverized and strewn about like confetti. Emma is in my comfy chair reading "Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants" while Karl is humming "Take me out to the ballgame" and shredding packing peanuts in front of the fireplace. Oh wait. Now he's all out singing and making up his own words. Loudly. Off-tune and LOUDLY.

I feel like the Grinch, but if there's one thing that makes concentrating impossible, it's the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!

Oh yeah, and I'm cooking for twelve on Thursday and except for the 20-lb turkey that's a-thawin' in the fridge, no other preparations or shopping have taken place. I see a kid-free trip to the grocery store in my future. My after-dinner-but-before-Amazing-Race future. Never has the grocery store seemed so inviting!

TPBQOTD (I myself am often surprised at life's little quirks. See, what I told you before about saying "Please" was true . . . it intrigued Roberts, as did my descriptions of your beauty. Finally Roberts decided something. He said "All right Westley. I've never had a valet. You can try it if you'd like. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.")

ETA: After reading what Susan had to be thankful for, I feel compelled to edit this post and add that I love my kids, am thankful for their health, interesting conversations, off-tune singing and mess-making. I only make fun of my life because that's what I do. In actuality, I love every minute of it and am blessed beyond reason! Thanks for the reminder, Susan!

Snow Day! *groan*

Snow_day I'm only groaning because Tuesday is my only complete work day. I don't walk with Ev, I don't volunteer at school and there is no PT or OT for Karl. The snow started Monday afternoon but quit after an inch or so. I figured there would be a 2-hour delay Tuesday to let the ice melt. Imagine my surprise (read "horror") to see CLOSED next to our district.


A snow day.

The kids were thrilled, naturally.

So Tuesday was a wash, work-wise. Went sledding at a nearby park. Played "Memory" with the entire box of cards. (I won) Ate McDonalds for dinner. Didn't clean my bathrooms. (Said ala Ace Ventura: "Do NOT go in there!")

At least snow sorta kinda gets me feeling festive for the upcoming holidays. If I block out all the work required to get there, that is. I can imagine my decorated house, something lovely baking, candles, a Christmas tree with presents underneath, a roaring fire (which we turn on at a switch. Please. We don't chop wood), filling my CD carousel with Christmas CD's (Clay Aiken, Barenaked Ladies, George Winston, Kenny & Dolly, and Very Special Christmas Volume 2 - strange mix, I know), watching Rudolph, Frosty and It's a Wonderful Life, (Merry Christmas Broken Bannister!), mailing packages early, no deadlines, well-behaved children who eat plum pudding . . . oh wait - I'm delirious.

My dear, dear friend April arrives tomorrow from New Orleans (don't worry, April, I'll clean your bathroom and ban the children from using it) and my mission in life, or at least for the weekend, is to convince her to move here. (shhhh, our secret) Oh wait - she can read this. April - don't the mountains look nice? Two words . . . White Christmas! (Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly . . . bwaaa!)

Happy Wednesday!

TPBQOTD ("Give us the gate key."  "I have no gate key"  "Fezzik, tear his arms off."  "Oh you mean THIS gate key.)

I'm it!

I got tagged! Doesn't that mean I'm in the cool blog crowd? Doesn't it? Huh? Huh? I got tagged by Wendy so here are my answers:

2 names you go by:  Karen, K1 (There are two Karens at Creative Imaginations. Karen Russell is K2. I'm K1 because I was there first. If it was a popularity contest I'd be K2094, or something. heh)

2 parts of your heritage:  Norwegian and German, I think. Not so much the heritage buff.

2 things that scare you: Message Boards (fun but frightening) and Going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

2 everyday essentials:  one 16.9 oz bottle of Diet Coke that I sip from all day. Sudoku puzzle in the paper.

2 of your favorite artists:  Indigo Girls, Better than Ezra

2 favorite songs: does this mean *right now* or *of all time*? For *right now* I choose Flake, by Jack Johnson and Photograph by Nickelback. For *of all time* I choose The Language of the Kiss by Indigo Girls and Oh come, oh come Immanuel at Christmastime

2 things you want in a relationship (other than true love):  Laughs, Teamwork

2 favorite hobbies:  scrapbooking, bird calling. (OK, so I lied about the bird calling, but I don't think TV counts as a hobby)

2 things you want really badly: to have nothing to do, to have nothing to do (See how badly I want it?)

2 places you want to go on vacation:  Africa (and I get to go in March! Yay!) Austria (the hills are alive and I want my heart to be filled with the sound of music)

2 things you want to do before you die: (1) see my kids grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted, self-sufficient, yada yada yada (2) compete on The Amazing Race (I would have chosen Survivor but I'm really cranky when I'm hungry and I couldn't eat gross stuff)

2 ways you are stereotypically a chick:  cry at sappy stuff on TV and love to read celebrity mags like People and such, but I only read them at the dentist's office or in the checkout line at King Soopers (Otherwise I'm reading fine literature, lemme tell ya!)

2 things you are thinking about right now: gotta get a class designed and when is this zit on my chin going to go away?

2 stores you shop at: Kohls and King Soopers

Hey that was fun! I think I'm supposed to tag someone else, so I'll tag my sister Julie

TPBQOTD ("And YOU! Friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back where you were? Unemployed . . . in Greenland?!")

Coughing up a flowerball

Panache Up until last week I owned no Prima flowers. (gasping is acceptable)

Up until last week I had never purchased silk flowers from Michaels for the purpose of beheading them into background fodder.

Up until last week I had never gone on an inexplicable flower buying frenzy, purchasing two bottles of Primas, two sale-bunches of Michaels flowers and a package of Joann flowers that I used a coupon for.

Up until last week, that is.

Suddenly I was flush with flowers, and the flowers were getting restless. (eerie music)

Why, exactly, did I feel compelled to use them all on one layout? Why exactly did I feel the need to create one manic "oh flower gods please belch on my paper" layout? I mean really. Moderation is acceptable, you know.

Just not to me.

I fill space. There, I said it. I FILL SPACE!

The first step is admitting it. Not sure about steps 2-12. I'm also not sure I'm ready to face my final frontier, since I get such a kick out of using twenty-two products on a page.

It's really no mystery where Emma gets it from.

TPBQOTD ("Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?"  "Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.")

Burniston Dynamite! (We've got skills!)

So here's how the conversation went after dinner last night:

Karl (doing acrobatics on the couch): Hey! I found out that I have a new skill! I can fall off the couch and do a somersault!

John: Impressive.

Emma_skillEmma: Well I have TWO skills. This one, of course, (demonstrates her ability to suck nostrils flat) and doing a backwards somersault. So who would you rather vote for - Karl, who has just one skill, falling off the couch, or me, who has two skills?

Karen: Well what about me? I can unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher AND cook dinner - that's THREE skills. Vote for me! In fact, who do you (gesturing towards the children) think is the President of this house?

Emma: MOM!

(That's my girl!)

Karl: Actually, Dad is the President of the house, Mom is the slave of the house, and we are the kids of the house.


My kid said I'm the slave of the house.


He'll be putting away his own laundry from now on, lemme tell ya!

Where did he even LEARN that word, anyway? Do they teach that in school? Sheesh!

Boy if ever I had the perfect excuse to plop on the couch with a Sudoku puzzle, sip a Diet Coke and eat leftover Halloween candy . . . which has been reduced to Dum Dums and Tootsie Rolls by this time. . . that would be today! But my parents are coming on Saturday. The kids have nothing to wear tomorrow. Emma is Dorothy in the music play at school today, and there's a scrapbook class that needs designing pronto.

Luckily, I have skills!

TPBQOTD: ("Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?"  "If there are, we'll all be dead."  "No more rhymes now, I mean it!"  "Anybody want a peanut?")

<---- Changed my photo

It seemed a bit strange to have the same photo in the banner and in the sidebar, so I switched it. The new photo isn't so close-uppy, but at least it isn't overexposed, so maybe better?  Dunno. I'll just let it sit there for a while. Sandy is supposed to take a bunch of photos of me with her fancy new camera because I desperately need a new headshot for Creative Imaginations so if the planets collide and there's a decent one in the bunch, I'll switch it out again.

Hmmm, this photo does nothing for my lower half, does it? Then again, my lower half doesn't do much for my lower half, so what miracle do I expect from Nikon?

TPBQOTD ("See? Didn't I tell you she'd never marry that rotten Humperdink?"  "Yes, you're very smart. Shut up.")

Quick Update

I can't be updating my blog every day because I'll never get anything done, but I just had to pop in and say thanks for all the comments! My face is buffed up and I'm ready for a trip to the post office (and maybe Ulta). I concur with Laura and Wendy - the BE isn't miraculous, but impressive. It's a good substitute for Bisquick+eggs+milk. (Pancakes, people, pancakes - as in the pancake makeup I used to wear.)

This reminds me of a movie quote - "We're in Barney." What movie is it from and what did it mean? 10 points and a RAK to the first person to post the answer. (Well, and send me your address. I'm not a mind-reader ya know!)

Don't *even* tell me that you make pancakes from scratch, either, because that is far too Martha Stewart.

The non-textured cardstock is heading to Sharyn to be used in some goodie bags for scrapping girls. (Rope 'em in while they're young, I say. Heh heh heh)

Everyone ready for The Amazing Race tonight? I was distraught last week when the Gaghan (sp?) family was eliminated. I was rooting for them all the way. Now I'm a little dazed and confused. I can't do Team Florida and the Godlewskis are way too screechy, but I guess I can get behind the Linzes or the Bransens. (Slightly more pro-Linz because I'm sick of the girls saying "Come on, Dad")

Now don't throw any rotting fruit at me, but the Paolo's, who I wanted gone, gone, gone from episode one, are now starting to almost, sort-of, maybe. . . grow on me . . . a little. (ducking)

TPBQOTD ("Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned by acid or something like that?"  "Oh no. It's just that they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.")

Here comes the sun! (Run in terror, run in terror!)

Isn't it amazing that we survived childhood? Seatbelts? Pshaw! I can remember sitting up on the armrests (which folded down out of the bench seat) just so I could see out of the windshield better. Sometimes I even used a frisbee as my own little kiddie steering wheel. My parents would glance at me with a "Isn't she precious?" look as we happily sped down the road, seatbelts probably still adorned with little protective wrappings somewhere in the cavernous underside of the bench seat. My parents' glances never seemed to say: "I should keep my eyes on the road before 'precious' goes flying through the windshield and into that mint field."

Sunscreen? Fuhgetaboutit! From June-August we spent the hours of 1-5 (open swim) and then an extra hour for swim team, soaking up all the sun had to offer. I even lifeguarded for several years and save the trendy stripe of bright pink Zinc oxide on the nose and cheekbones, sunscreen was for weenies.

Fast forward to age thirtysomething and let's do a little calculation: 10 years of sun damage + 15 years of birth control pills + a set of twins = brown spots all over my face. (Technical term = hyperpigmentation) It ain't purty. I dream of lasers. Pancake makeup is my friend.

So when Evelyn told me of a good sale on Bare Escentuals makeup, and how it was so wonderful and minerally and it felt like you were wearing no makeup at all, I was rather surly about it. Her skin looks all lovely and flawless and has a tone several shades up from my own "death pallor" and if you don't NEED makeup, well then anything will look fabulous on you. But we trotted off to Ulta anyway and I bought my starter kit, because the box said it could cover acne scars and rosacea, although I didn't quite know how a little powder could do all that. I finally got around to watching the instructional DVD last night. The owner and CEO looks just like Jenna who won Survivor Amazon, methinks.

Pretty soon I was absorbed by the DVD. Wow! You just swirl, tap and buff your way to a flawless complexion! John came in and got hooked, too. "What's that liner stuff for? Do you put that at the bottom of your eyes?" He was very fascinated with the whole process, although having been married 10 years to me, the "I can put on my makeup in 2 minutes flat and brush my teeth even faster" type, he scoffed at the idea that any woman would actually use 17 products on her face. Touche. I concur. Still, the Bare Escentuals really DID seem to cover up some flaws on Andrea's skin. I had little use for Angela, though, who had baby-pure skin to begin with. "I'm so pale, I'm so pale" was all she could find to complain about. Puhleeze. I'm polka-dotted over here!

So I'm off to shower and swirl, tap and buff my face. I figure that if I can at least even out my complexion as well as the pancake makeup without having to wear breakfast on my face, it's an improvement. Of course, the DVD has hooked me into wanting several more little canisters of chic-named powdery stuff, so I might have to take my buffed face back to Ulta. That's how they get ya!

Is this stuff as good as they say on the infomercials? Anyone have experience with it? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Or, if you haven't fallen victim to this PARTICULAR slick advertising but have a tale of some OTHER slick advertising that has caught you in its sticky web, tell me about it. OR, how about a nice anecdote about growing up in the time before safety?

Happy Monday!

TPBQOTD ("We'll never survive!"  "Nonsense! You're only saying that because no one ever has.")