Previous month:
August 2007
Next month:
October 2007

Mom jeans (genes?)

About a year ago I bought a pair of jeans that John hates. I think they're cute and very comfy, but he insists that they look like mom jeans. I'm not totally sure I understand what makes them scream "mom" and why that's automatically synonymous with "not cool" but whatever. I wear them when he's out of town.

I've always considered myself a pretty hip mom. Oh sure, I drive a mini-van, but that's just practical. And yes, I generally shlump around my house and neighborhood in a greasy ponytail, pilled tee-shirt and jeans with holes in the knees, but that's just practical. I'm conserving water, makeup, and money. It's for the environment, people!

And when I decide to venture out of my neighborhood, I clean up pretty nice. Well, decent anyway. I have some cute tops and jeans with rhinestones on the butt and shoes that make people say "I love your shoes!" In fact, tonight I'm going out with the girls and I will be shampooed and spritzed and moussed, and I will wear shoes with heels and jewelry with attitude and there may just be glitter involved, so there!


Just mostly.

But luckily I'm in good company.

Because yesterday Evelyn and I and our two sets of twins piled into my mini-van for a road trip up to Centennial. Scrapbook Destination was kicking off their Scrap Pink events with a silent auction and a great "20% off of anything pink" sale. I donated some stuff for the auction from my altering kick of several months ago - the Christmas Pail, the Scenic Route Purse, and the Brown Basket. Bid on them at the store, Colorado girls - it's for a good cause. My ego. Heh.

It was at a stoplight on the journey up there that I finally understood John's point about the mom jeans. Evelyn and I had been discussing where to eat dinner.

EVELYN: Where should we eat?

ME: Doesn't matter to me - got any ideas?

EV: (looking around) OH! We could take the kids to Charles E. Fromage!

ME: Great idea!

EV: I've got coupons!

ME: I think I do, too!

And then it happened. Like synchronized swimmers in the big pool of motherhood we reached into our purses and pulled out . . . matching accordion coupon holders!

Oh no you didn't?

Oh yes, we did.

And we had a little discussion about them, too.

EV: I had to get this little holder after I saw yours. It's perfect! Donna got the bigger one and she puts ALL her coupons in it, even the grocery ones, and keeps it in her car.

ME: Smart. Oh darn, my Charles E. Fromage coupons are expired.

EV: I have plenty.

Because, in addition to having a thoroughly scintillating convo about our coupon organization systems, we can speak in "Mom-ese" without missing a beat. Every mother knows that you don't say "Chuck E. Cheese" around little ears when you're still deciding. There are certain words and phrases that are taboo when children are within, say, 100 yards of your location. "Disneyworld" "Stop for ice cream" "Open presents early" - you get the idea. You spell when they're little, and speak in code when they're older.

And every mother knows this!

It's in our genes. And, apparently, our jeans. *sigh*

But luckily I have an alter-ego . . . scrapbooking teacher extraordinaire! (Segues, so good at the segues)

"Extraordinaire" is in the eyes of the beholder, of course, so I have a new class for you to behold:


This is the class for Scrap-a-Ganza that I will teach in the Netherlands November 16-18. It's called Moving Transparent Mini-Album in the class descriptions and you MUST sign up for both sessions. More class info, including picture sizes and the "what to bring" list can be found here: Clearly Now. One of the sessions is full already and the other one has 8 spots left. Can I just say a huge THANK YOU to the 112 people who were willing to sign up for this class before I'd even designed it?! You guys make me feel very hip and cool! I mean, not cool enough to throw away the mom jeans, but cooler.

This is my first acrylic album and it was more mentally challenging to figure out placement of things on a transparent album than any interactive feature I've ever designed! I absolutely love the way this turned out and I hope you do, too. The collection is called Funky Vintage - Ruby from Making Memories. The rub-ons are Basic Grey. The interactive feature is on the front - a wrap-around picture chain that holds 40 additional photos! The album itself will hold a comparitively modest 24 photos - we want a lot of clear area, after all. I put photos of my Paris trip in it, because I knew I had 64 photos handy, but the theme is generic - not travel. I think it would be an adorable kids, about me, friendship, summer or Easter album. You do not need photos in class, but feel free to bring them. At Scrap-a-Ganza we're going to attempt this 3 hour class in 2.5 hours, so I doubt we'll get to the photos, but bring them to add during your crop time, if you want.

For the Americans, give me some feedback - you want this one in the States? I can offer it online with enough interest.

Last piece of business - where are my Southerners? I need workers next week for the DollarScrapbooking booth at Simply Southern. If you're going to the show and can work - even for a few hours, please post a comment or e-mail me. The show is in Huntsville, Alabama. I really need a worker (or two) for Thursday set-up, too.

RKQOTD (Me: Emma, you know what I heard? Emma: What? Me: I heard the girls on the team you're playing tonight in soccer say that you weren't any good. Emma: Oh yeah? Me: Yep. I heard them say "Let's take the ball from Emma!" Can you believe that? They also said "Emma's no good at the Scooby Doo Game Boy game!" Are you going to let them get away with that? Are you going to let them take YOUR ball? Emma: Mom, I know you don't know any of those girls. You're just trying to encourage me.)

Website Makeover!

I did it!! I went out and bought a web editing program, watched the tutorials, referenced the help section more than I care to admit, and with about four days of designing graphics and compiling information, I am pleased to announce my brand new completely updated teaching website:


I don't have the kit ordering or online class information yet - that's project #2, but at least all the classes are finally on there, including a brand new one: Starstruck ● Rusty Pickle

Starstruck is the second class for Akkefietje that I'll be teaching on November 15th. Thanks for being so patient while I designed it. I may also teach Starstruck at doe@ding in Rotterdam on November 13th, but that's tentative until I confirm with Marlous.

So now my blog can get back to the business of being funny. Only I sort of need to get out more, you know, to let the funny stuff happen.

Tomorrow I have to buy some super glue and brads. There's got to be some material there!

RKQOTD (Emma: Mom! There's a bee in the van! Me: That's not a bee, silly, it's a fly. Karl: Did you know that bees are actually more dangerous than sharks? Over a hundred people die from bee stings each year but only a few get eaten by sharks. Emma: Shhhh, it will hear you! Me: It's a FLY! Karl: Plus, bees don't understand English. They test all animals to see if they understand English. Then they test the ones that understand English to see if they can be trained. If they can be trained then you can have them as a pet. Emma: Well you can't have a gorilla as a pet, and you can teach a gorilla sign language!)

Pocket Pop Mini-Album ● Rusty Pickle

Well the response to the Sweetwater class has been phenomenal, thank you! Because I cannot possibly travel to every location that has been requested, I'm going to offer Pocket Pop Sweetwater as an online class in December. Details will be posted here (and on which, hello, I totally updated the calendar and am hard at work getting these classes loaded, too) in October, so please check back in a couple of weeks. For Coloradans, I will be teaching Pocket Pop Sweetwater at Scrapbook Destination in Centennial on December 1st.

I also wanted to design a mini-album class with the picture ball, and knowing that Lance would probably really dig the technique, I designed a Rusty Pickle mini-album class that we both can teach. I made an improvement to the picture ball - it now rotates so you can easily view all the photos. The Sweetwater class will be taught with a rotating picture ball, too. (Or you can make it stationary - completely up to you!)

The products in the Rusty Pickle class are from the new School Daze collection, released at Summer CHA. I chose not to make the project specific to a school theme, though, so although you can use school photos, you certainly don't have to. I chose to decorate mine as a summary of Karl's first 9 years. The colors are bright and gender-neutral, so the theme is wide open. It's a 6x6 album with 14 interior pages, several pull-out tags, hidden areas and a picture ball - I think I used something like 31 pictures on mine.

So without any further ado, I give you Pocket Pop Mini-Album ● Rusty Pickle:


If you're a store owner and would like me to come teach at your store/in your area, I'd love to hear from you! Please post a comment or e-mail me from the sidebar. 

RKQOTD (while driving by a 7-Eleven . . . Emma: Why do you suppose they named that store 7-Eleven? Karl: I think it's supposed to be 7 SLASH Eleven, but they left the slash off the sign. Emma: But why would they name it that? Karl: That's the rating. Seven out of Eleven. Eleven out of Eleven would be the best.) 

Pocket Pop - Sweetwater

Yes, yes, I know that I purposely separated all the teaching stuff from this blog because you guys would much rather read about our family misadventures than trifling little things like my teaching business and how I pay for this blog. (heh)

Yes, I know this. But I have a problem.

I don't know how to update my website. I have a fabulous webmaster who is also fabulously underpaid. He's my brother, lives in Seattle, just bought a house, works odd hours, does it for me as a favor, and, to be frank, I feel bad pestering him with updates.

So I asked him for access and some instructions for how to update my website myself. I figured I could at least update the calendar. That's just typing in an address and phone number, no?

And he sent me this:

Hi Karen,

First, download this program: (x) Save it to your desktop.

Next, run the program (double-click the desktop icon).  Click the "New" button.  Enter: (x) for the Host name.   Enter: (x) for the Port number.  Enter: (x) for the User name.  Enter (x) for the Password.

Click Save..., click OK when it warns about storing the password.  Accept the default name.

Double click the new entry.  Click Yes when it asks to add the host key to your cache.

On the right half of the window will be a list of files in your home folder.  Double click the webroot icon.  This is your website.  Double-click the index.html file.  This is the default page that people get when they enter into their web site.  You can view and edit the html source here.  When you close the window it will save your changes back to the website.

Give me a call when you have got this far and I can help guide you on where to make changes.  Don't worry, it easy...   So easy even a Caveman can do it...


All I can say is . . . Cavemen were really bright!

Because I did all this. I did. And I got to that filey thing and I could double-click and view all the HTML source and it was all "HTMLey" and "Half-Caf" and I just wanted a coffee and everyone was sipping their lattes and talking about politics.

And so I closed that bad boy up, have no idea how to get back to it, and haven't called my brother yet.

You must therefore suffer through another post about a class.

However, this is a kick-booty class. (Have we not determined that I do, in fact, say so myself?)

A little history - I used to be an avid rubber stamper for years and years before the scrapbooking bug hit, and I would engineer all sorts of pop-up cards - some of them my own creations and some of them copies of something I'd seen in a store or a book. When I found out I was having twins I sent out a card that had a shocked pregnant lady on the front and the caption "Guess what showed up on the ultrasound?". When you opened it there were two high chairs that popped up with babies sitting in them. Stuff like that.

Pop_up_calendar_2I also used to work full time as a construction project manager and would often get little trinkets from subcontractors - flashlights, keychains, letter openers, etc. One time I got a desk calendar in an envelope (see sample image at right) and when I pulled it out of the envelope, it popped right up! A rubber band created the tension.

And I knew I had to figure out how to make something like that for a card.

But, interestingly, for as long as I kept that calendar (a couple of years, I think) I never got around to making the card.

Phlat_ball Fast forward to this year, when my kids both received Phlat Balls for their birthdays and I remembered that little desk calendar.

Only now I wasn't going to be satisfied with a mere card. Oh no, no, no. I wanted a full-blown interactive class based on the concept of the Phlat Ball/Desk Calendar.

I spent a full EIGHT HOURS on the engineering this week. Without having an actual sample in front of me, I had to figure out all the angles with my rusty geometry skills and a fair amount of guess and check. The Phlat Balls helped for reference.

With two working test samples made from inexpensive (yet surprisingly sturdy) plain white cardstock, I felt confident to create one out of Bazzill, which is the cardstock I use in all my classes. Naturally, having created it with my only two pieces of the perfect matching color, the first Bazzill ball failed. *sigh* The cardstock, probably because of the texture, had slightly more flexibility than my test stock and the rubber band collapsed the sides. AURGH!

I redrafted the ball with side reinforcing and tried again. It worked! Insert a quick trip to the scrapbook store for more Bazzill and I was back in business.

So let me share the finished class, using the delightful "Make Life" collection from Sweetwater and letter stickers from Rusty Pickle:



Pretty nifty, huh? Space for 21 pictures! Evelyn and one of her 5-year-olds have given it their seal of approval. (It's not like the other 5-year-old didn't like it - he was just engrossed in something else) Oh, and with some simple modifications to your page protectors, this layout can be operated in an album without removing it from the sleeve. I'll show you how.

Pocket Pop Sweetwater is on the books for only one store as of now - Akke Fietje, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in November. I would love to teach this bad boy Stateside as well and will be contacting some of my usual haunts. If you're a store owner interested in this class, please post a comment or e-mail me from the sidebar.

More classes are coming and I'll post them as I finish them.

And someday soon I'm going to update my teaching website. Someday. Soon. Because even a caveman could do it.

RKQOTD (Karl: Hey Emma, are you singing "Where the Columbines Grow"? Emma: Yes. It's our state song. Karl: I know. We read the words to the song in class, but nobody knew what the tune was. We tried to sing it, but it pretty much sounded like a bunch of people being dragged back to a vampire's lair. Emma: Well then you definitely weren't singing it right!)