Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I just wanted to say a quick thanks to those of you who have left me messages here and in private. It really means a lot to me. I will continue to post from time to time when something comes up in life... LOL, like my 16 yr old driving my Suburban tonight and pulling out in front of someone... my life flashed before my eyes!!! and I continue to hold out hope that I will put ink to paper soon and will definitely post if and when it finally happens.

A couple of you asked about my new job. At first I was nervous because the firm has an "at will" termination clause meaning they can walk up to you at any time and tell you to leave without giving you an explanation or warning. This is exactly what happened to my predecessor, although I don't know all the reasons behind it. Well, I absolutely love my job and I'm no longer nervous about it. I think it's a great "fit" - I have already taken on a couple of tasks and assignments that were unexpected but welcome challanges. I really like the people I work with and I can definitely see myself staying for the long haul.

I'll be around here for the long haul too...LOL, just consider me on the road at the moment and unable to post!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Taking a Step Back

I have decided that I won't delete this blog entirely, but I won't be posting to it in the near future, either. I've often wondered how many true readers I have. In my post yesterday I mentioned that I was at a crossroads and asked for comments or suggestions. LOL, I guess I got my answer because as of now, I still have no comments. That's okay, I never started this for anyone else, but for me.

I have already taken unsubscribed from the counter, and will be doing the same with the counter after I post this entry.

To those of you who have actually kept up with me here, I appreciate you and your support!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

At a Crossroads....

I don't know what to do. I haven't picked up a stamp in over a month, and I honestly don't see myself doing it anytime soon. I'm trying to be realistic with myself - my life when I am working fulltime and running two pre-teen/teenagers around for their sports and events doesn't leave much time for me. Once S is home, although the load will be easier on me, I then spend time with him too so again, no time for me. This is the way life has been and I don't see anything changing it in the foreseeable future.

So herein lies my crossroads. Why do I have this "stamping" blog if I'm not stamping? Do I change the name and make it center more about me and my life and drop in the occasional card if and when I get the time to stamp? Or do I completely give up the blog - do I really need and/or want to put my life out there on the line?

My answer to the latter question is no. I don't really want to put my whole life out there on the line anymore, nor do I believe it's anything everyone wants to read. I came very close earlier today to deleting all my counters and telling everyone to take off their links to me.... I haven't come to that yet, but I don't think it's too far away.

LOL, I'm so torn. I know the easy answer..... your input gladly accepted and appreciated!

Monday, October 16, 2006

A *very* Good Day!!!

LOL, no, I didn't get a chance to stamp but it's still been a great day!!

I got a job! Yay!! I start Wednesday. It is the smaller firm that I interviewed with last week that is close to the house. The offered, I counter-offered, and they accepted! Can't wait to start and have a stead income.... which leads me to my next subject....

OMG!! I am sooooooo in trouble and if you're a Stampin' Up! lover, you will be too! I thought the Spring mini last year was the best one yet, but this one is right there with it - Stampin' Up! does it again! The ribbons, the new tag punch, the die cuts, the kits, new papers, and of course - the stamps! The catty will start being delivered to customers mid-November and items in it will be available December 1 - February 28. Start saving your pennies (dollars!!) now!

Thank you for your continued support throughout my job search. There were many a day that I was down and dejected and was able to come to my SCS and bloggin' buddies for support. I appreciate you all very much.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Soon! I promise!!

I *PROMISE* to upload some pics this weekend - but first I have a *huge* favor to ask! Please say a little prayer, think good thoughts, whatever you do - that I will get favorable results today on my job interview. Yes, I am still searching for a permanent full time job, and I think I have finally found the match. I went on a first interview on Tuesday, and just finished with a second interview today. The firm is small - 5 attorneys - and soooooo close to my house I literally have a 10-15 minute drive. They are looking to fill this immediately so I should hear something back today. I hear I am the only one they called back for a second interview so it looks promising.

Thanks for your help, and thanks for coming back every day even though I don't have any new stampin stuff up. I really appreciate your support!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Off to the Fair

I have been settling down into the working mom roll. I *still* haven't had a chance to stamp although I get to stamp on my business cards this morning... at least it's stamping but *not* what I want to do!

I am on my way to the Carmel Mountain Ranch Fall Festival today to try to drum up some business. We're not selling anything handmade - we're promoting our businesses.

I still haven't done any parties since moving here and am at the moment my own best customer. LOL, I *really* don't mind having to buy stuff to stay active *grin* but with the changes to the demonstrator reimbursement plan that were made in July, I don't know if I will ever make money off of my downline again unless things change. I am hoping that going to the Festival today will start that change.

As for the job front. The 3rd interview went okay, I still don't know anything definite with them. I went to another firm that had a part time position I really wanted but they didn't want me. The firm I am temping with has asked if I would like to work with them full time. We are going to discuss things tomorrow. I would really love to put the uncertainty to rest!

I'll check in later tonight after the Fair!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Life Happens

Wow, I now realize why I enjoyed my summer of stamping so much - when I'm working and the kids are in school, I have no time to myself. I haven't had a chance to stamp in over two weeks and I'm dyin here! After I enter this blog, I'm heading to Michael's and JoAnn's. I have been eyeing the Marvy Uchida scallop punches with envy for a while now and just hadn't bought them because I couldn't justify spending the money. Now that I'm working I'm going to give myself a gift and I'm hoping to be able to use that gift later today!!

Speaking of work - I made it through the first week at my new job as a temp. I like the firm and the people, but they really don't have a lot of work for me to do. This is supposed to be a three to five week assignment, with no opportunity for a permanent position. HOWEVER!!! I have two - yup, two!!! interviews on Tuesday for permanent positions. One is with the original firm I interviewed with over a month ago - this will be the third time I will have interviewed with them - third time's the charm, right? I am also interviewing with a different firm for a secretarial/word processor position with the lead attorney in the firm. The appealing part about this position is that it's only part time. I have been told it would be around 30 hours a week. LOL, is this the "feast or famine" deal? Am I going to go from having nothing to being in a temp position and getting two offers? I would love to be able to hear from both of them that they are interested and that I get to choose between the two.

Got the wheels put on the truck - I love the look!

S says I "done good" and that it looks great. See below for the "before" picture.

OK, I'm outta here - I'm goin shoppin!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jobs, Revisited

Well, it finally looks like it's official. I have a new job! It's not the firm, nor the money that I had wanted, but it's definitely better than the unemployment check that I've been collecting every two weeks! I begin at a firm in La Jolla tomorrow in an open-ended temporary position. This basically means that it *could* turn into a permanent position at some point in the future.

Although I'm not holding out much hope anymore, there is also still a slight possibility that the original firm I interviewed with will call with a permanent position. If and when they do, we'll figure it all out. I do know that if they do finally call they will be offering me about $12K a year more than the job I start at tomorrow - LOL, with that in mind, it's almost a no-brainer!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support during this time of struggle. You believed in me even when I began to doubt myself.

Friday, September 22, 2006


So here it is!! I got rid of the Pacifica and got my new Suburban!! I did all the dealing yesterday, but just brought the Suburban home today.

I'm so excited! I love it! C doesn't like the color, G is so-so - he thinks it is too big, but knows we really need it. I get custom wheels and new tires put on next week, part of the deal. I'm in heaven!

I know I will get some who say I shouldn't be driving such a big gas hog, etc. But I was actually getting worse gas mileage with the Pacifica than I will with this. And with my "growing" family - LOL, their height and size, not in numbers - I definitely am going to enjoy it!

We're in the middle of our "GG weekend" - see below - but I am hoping to be able to do some stamping tomorrow. I'm going through withdrawals!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Crazy? Maybe....

So I'm putting it all out on the line right here - I *HATE* my new car! We bought a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica when we moved back to the states. We've made three - yep, that's right - three payments on it. And why am I crazy? Because I'm trading it in! Yep - hopefully today I will be getting rid of it and getting my new Suburban - LOL, the vehicle we originally wanted in the first place!

We opted not to get a Suburban because of the gas mileage and the price of gas. We thought we could make do with a smaller vehicle. Well, we can't make do with a smaller vehicle - we're a very tall family and our height all tends to be in our legs... and gas mileage? Let's just say that I will probably end up getting better mileage in the Suburban with it's V8 engine than I am in the Pacifica. Chrysler advertises the Pacifica to get 17 mph in the city, 25 on the highway. The most I have ever gotten was 19 when we first bought it, and I am currently getting 12.9!

More to follow on this later - I have to get the car cleaned up and head back to the dealer this morning.

As for jobs - still no news. S says not to stress and worry about it, but I can't help it. I am so frustrated! I know there is a reason for this - for me not getting one yet - but for the life of me I can't figure it out!

I haven't stamped in days - I'm going through withdrawals! C and I have been having a Gilmore Girls marathon because Season 6 came out on video this week and Season 7 starts next week. We have 17 more episodes left to watch before next Tuesday. As much as I love "GG" - I need to stamp!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I have been frustrated as all get out this past week as I still didn't have any good news about jobs. The firm I had done two interviews with supposedly wanted me but couldn't hire me due to some restructuring, I interviewed with another firm for a temp position and they didn't want me, and a third firm that I had been told I would start with on Monday decided I didn't have enough "recent" experience and didn't want me.

So I was feeling down, my feelings were definitely bruised - I have *never* had this hard of a time finding a job. C and I went clothes shopping the other night and even though I liked some of the outfits I tried on, my heart wasn't in it and I just couldn't bring myself to buy anything.

Friday afternoon at about 5:15 I received a telephone call. It seems the original firm really *is* interested. They would like me to come in and work as a temp between the two offices. We are assuming it is probably their "try before you buy" type thing and if it works out they will offer me full time employment. I will hear more about it on Monday but it looks like I will be starting sometime this week.

So what did I do since I was in a better mood? I went shopping! C and I went back out today and boy did I strike gold! I ended up getting over $500 worth of clothes out the door for $260. They were having a huge sale on work slacks, a lady standing next to me in line gave me a coupon that saved me $75, and for the heck of it I applied for their in-house credit card and received an additional 20% off. LOL, I don't want the card, and if I do get approved for it will cancel - I only wanted the discount!

So, it looks like I should finally join the ranks of the gainfully employed again this week. Thanks for all your well wishes and "happy thoughts." They have been very much appreciated!

Back to Basics

I haven't been able to stamp in the past few days because I've been busy with so many other things - job interviews, getting some maintenance and repairs done to my car, etc. Today C and I went shopping for work clothes for me (job info to follow) and I was finally able to sit down and play tonight.

I wanted something quick... I wanted something basic... This flower stamp was sitting out on my desk from the last time I played. As I was sitting here literally playing with the stamp - turning it over and over in my hand - I wondered what it would look like if I stamped it in two colors - so I grabbed the nearest pad - Bashful Blue and then decided I wanted to try the combination below. I loved the color combination - Pumpkin Pie and Bashful Blue - and this is what I came up with. Fast, easy, basic layout and concept.

This is where I am most happiest - quick and easy cards. It's the reason my site is named Simply Stamping. It's not for "the only thing you're going to get here is stamping" it's for "this was done so easily and quickly."

I did use the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the orange over the blue. I wonder what I have done without this darn thing all these years. I know - I eyeballed - but I have always been anal about how my stamps line up and have often been disappointed with my results - so to me, this little gadget is a Godsend.

The bottom layer is Pumpkin Pie with both Linen and Weathered stamped on it. I love the look that you get from double stamping background images.

I purposely didn't clean the Linen stamp very good so that when I inked it again with Bashful Blue and stamped on the blue cardstock, I got some muddy colors.

For the ribbon I used the Seaside Ribbon Originals from SU! and put a small amount of ink from the pumpkin marker on the white stitching - mainly because I stamped my main image on vanilla instead of white and I didn't like the contrast.

So, here are the supplies - all from SU!:

Stamps: Bodacious Bouquet, IBB, Linen, Weathered, AYCI
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, Very Vanilla
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Seaside Ribbon Originals, Cutter Kit, Pumpkin Pie marker, SAMJ

Thanks for looking! I'll post about job results separately!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Do the Hula Rock

*grin* I'm sitting here with that darn song stuck in my head and can't get it out. Somebody help me, quick!

I think as long as I'm not working and have time to stamp I am now officially glued to the SCS challenges! This is my version of Sketch Challenge 89 *and* Beate's technique of the week - Rock-N-Roll.

I had seen some patterned paper at my LSS recently and almost bought it, but realized I could make almost the exact same thing with my stamps. I used Weathered background and Hula to make the background paper. I stamped Weathered first by finger walking it onto the cardstock. I then inked the flower in Marigold Morning and then lightly rolled the edges in Cranberry Crisp before stamping.

I watercolored the hula girl on watercolor paper with aquapainters and classic inks. I love to just squeeze the pad before opening it so that ink transfers to the lid. I then just use the lid as my palette.

The layer under our dancer was scrunched up and then after straightening it out I dabbed brown ink on it.

All supplies SU! unless noted:

Stamps: Do the Hula, Weathered, Linen, Everyday Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Cranberry Crisp, Very Vanilla, Marigold Morning, Watercolor
Ink: Cranberry Crisp, Marigold Morning, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, True Thyme, Mellow Moss
Accessories: Aquapainters, Making Memories brads

Thanks for looking!

My Obsession!

Okay - I have to admit stamping/scrapbooking and Splitcoast are my first obsessions, but I'm talking about my *other* obsession!

There's this awesome website that is run by National Geographic. It's called Pete's Pond. It is a pond in the middle of Africa with webcams on it and you can watch all the wildlife coming to the pond to drink. I have seen some other feeds from different sites where they take pictures every few seconds and update them - Pete's Pond is different - it is streaming video.

I got hooked on this thing last year and then they stopped it in December because the rainy season had come back to Africa and the animals wouldn't be coming to the pond as much. I have been faithfully checking every few days to see if they would start the video at the pond back up and lo and behold - we have contact! Within the last week or so, National Geographic has started the live feed again.

If at first you don't succeed, try try again! What I'm saying is - if at first you don't see any animals - don't give up! I have seen lions, crocs, zebras, elephants, hyenas, water buffalo, ostriches, gazelle - the list goes on and on. It is something that the entire family can enjoy!

So enough with the spiel Karen, where's the link? LOL, I'm sure that's what y'all are saying by now!

Here ya go - Enjoy!

Pete's Pond

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bodacious Dream

So I had this dream.... *grin* - not really.

I am daydreaming about the fact that I'm still jobless and am supposed to find out something today though. It's been over two weeks since I went in for my first interview and over a week since I went back for the second one. I know they got my background report because I got a copy of it on Thursday. I'm still *sooooo * stressed over this! So what have I been doing to ease the stress? STAMP - of course!

I'm really trying to do more of the challenges on SCS. I loved the new color combination one that Emily posted today. - Real Red, Almost Amethyst and Bashful Blue. I combined it with the sketch challenge from yesterday and came up with this card.

I am loving the little Cutter Kit tool that Stampin' Up! has in the new catty. I have been distressing just about everything lately! And the new ribbons... well, suffice it to say that I will be buying more as soon as I get my first real paycheck!

This card also uses a technique called Finger Walking. Ink up a backgrond stamp and then lay it on your desk, rubber side up. Lay your cardstock over the top of it and then just tap your fingers around on top of it - you don't want to fully ink the whole piece of CS, just randomly move around so that the ink is darker in some places, and others won't get any ink at all.

All supplies SU!.
Stamps: Bodacious Bouquet, Linen, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Everyday Flexible Phrases
CS: Whisper White, Almost Amethyst, Real Red, Bashful Blue
Ink: Same as above
Accessories: Cutter Kit, Hodgepodge Hardware, Sweet Shop Ribbon Originals

Well, need to go check on my not-so-young'un.... He has a recurring problem with a thumb that gets dislocated very easily. It has been recommended that he have surgery but he doesn't want to be out from basketball as long as it would take for the recovery process. In his defense, it hasn't dislocated since maybe January, but he did it pretty bad at school today lifting weights. I picked him up and had him pop it back into place, and told him if it popped back out I was taking him to the doctor. He is in the other room asleep with ice on it, and so far, it has not popped back out. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Up to the Challenge?

I had some more scraps of my blossoms sitting around and wanted to do something with them so I decided to do another weave. This is a very toned down version of Sketch Challenge 88 on Splitcoast Stampers. I kind of cheated in that the heart, as the fourth layer, is *supposed* to be on top of the weave, not straddling both layers.

Oh well, at least I did something! I initially thought that if I put the little white x's it would look somewhat like stitching and quilting - carrying forth the weave/quilt of the layer. I guess it does but if I were to do it over again, I'm not sure I would put them on there.

Supplies used - all supplies Stampin' Up! unless noted:
Stamps: Print Patter, Linen, Blossoms Abound, Wonderful Words
Cardstock: Whisper White, Pretty In Pink, Rose Red
Ink: Rose Red, Pretty In Pink, Green Galore, Gable Green, Cranberry Crisp
Accessories: Rose Grosgrain Ribbon, On Board Accents, White Signo Gel Pen, Making Memories Brads
I definitely feel better now. Much better than during my previous post.

Where Were You? - Reflections

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children?
Or working on some stage in LA?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor?
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?

Did you burst out with pride
For the red white and blue
And the heroes who died just doing what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, Hope and Love are some good things
He gave usAnd the greatest is Love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Teaching a class full of innocent children?
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor?
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?
Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened?
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages?
Speak with some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow?
Go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent home movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers?
Stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family?
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is Love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is Love

And the greatest is Love
And the greatest is Love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?

I *still* cry every time I hear this beautiful song by Alan Jackson. In fact, I'm typing through tears now. I believe September 11th affected us all, and will continue to do so, but for me - and many other military wives and families - it has completely changed our lives in ways that some just wouldn't understand.

Rewind to that day. I remember sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. I distinctly remember thinking, "Wow, this is kinda nice. Today is the first day in a long time that I have some time to myself. " The kids were back in school, my hubby had left over the weekend to go to Mayport, FL - he was on an inspection team that happened to be on the John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier that day. The TV was off, I was enjoying some quiet time.

Next thing I know the phone is ringing. My mother-in-law was frantic. I didn't even get a "Good morning, how are you?" It was, "How's this going to affect S?" "Um, how's what going to affect him, Mom?" She proceeded to explain as I turned on the TV, and right as I did the second plane went into the tower.

I sat paralyzed and glued to my seat in front of the television. Word came quickly about the other two planes - the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. It was also quickly announced that the JFK, which was on routine work-ups off the coast of Florida, had been re-routed to NYC. My hubby eventually got off the ship before it ended up in NYC - but we did have a communication blackout for almost a week.

I can't imagine what it was like for the families that lost loved ones. However, I do know what it's like to have loved ones in places of danger . The dread and fear that accompany those feelings are completely different ones that I wish upon no one.

So how did my life change because of 9/11? My husband, after serving almost 20 years in the Marine Corps and never having actually been to a "war" or skermish, left for Iraq - the first time in 2004. He "celebrated" his 20 year anniversary with the Corps, and our 17th wedding anniversary while there. He was home for little over a year and is now back there again. He will "celebrate" our 19th anniversary while there also.

He goes because it is his job. As we grow older, our values and our minds change - we see things differently than we did years ago. I had a family member say to me not too long ago, "He's been in for 22 years. Why don't they send the young ones?" Well, they do. But, who is going to train and mentor the young ones? They need our senior military members to guide them and be there with them. That's why he's there.

I had an assignment a few years back - at SU! Leadership as a matter of fact - that was to make a list of the people in leadership positions that we most respected. Many people were putting down people such as Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Shelli Gardner, etc. And while I do respect many of those people also, the person at the top of the list was my hubby. I have seen him with his troops over the years, and I have talked with so many people who truly respect him and say that he has changed their lives for the better. That's why he's there...

As a mother, it has been difficult recently for me to hear these words from my oldest - "Mom, I want to follow Dad and join the Marines." His father and I have talked about it a lot over the years and I think deep down we both knew it was inevitable. My son goes on to say "I don't want to be a grunt, I want to do what Dad does." "I know that unless things change in the next couple of years, I will be going to Iraq." Wow... as a wife I handle it - as a mother I don't know what I would do! By the time he joins and would go, his dad will most likely be retired and home with me for good. At least then I'll have some support here at home.

I sit back and reread what I have written today and I see no succession or point. It looks to me like a lot of rambling. I don't really seem to get the point that I was trying to make across. It does feel good to get it out though.

Guess I need to go stamp....

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Weavin' all over...

If I were driving I think I would be weaving all over the road. I'm dead tired - it's been a long day - but I wanted to get this last one finished.

While I was trimming pieces off of the other cards I made today I started playing around with a weave. I liked how the pieces were coming together so I decided to stamp a couple more pieces of cardstock with Blossoms Abound, cut them up, and see what I could come up with. Above is my end result. From the very beginning all I wanted was the weave pattern without anything over it - I envisioned it as a quilt background when I started on it.

The little piece of ribbon was left over from an earlier project - and believe it or not, that's my *first* prima! I have four bottles that have been sitting on my desk for months - they were too pretty to open and use! I finally broke down and opened them a while back but still hadn't used them. The one I did end up using was a blue - maybe around the shade of Not Quite Navy or Buckaroo Blue? I just laid it on the Vintage Violet stamp pad to get it to match the color that I wanted.

I think it's sort of understated, but exactly what I was looking for. I even cut the edges of the Violet so that it is a frame around the weave.

All Supplies SU! unless stated:

Stamps: Linen, Blossoms Abound, Happy Everything, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Cardstock: Naturals White, Vintage Violet, True Thyme
Inks: Certainly Celery, True Thyme, Mellow Moss, Almost Amethyst, Vintage Violet - classics
Accessories: Sweet Shop Ribbon Originals, Hodgepodge Hardware, Prima flower

Thanks for looking! It's time to catch some zzzzzz's.

Challenge Fun

I'm having fun playing with my stamps today and remembered that I have been wanting to try this sketch challenge from Splitcoaststampers. The challenge is *only* two weeks old - better late than never, huh?

I had seen somewhere that someone had used Almost Amythest with Vintage Violet and liked the results, so I thought I would give it a try. I am pleased with this card, and since it's probably the last one I will get to do today, I'm ending on a happy note!

My oldest is at his first drivers' ed class and I have to go pick him up soon. I'm not sure what else we have in store for the day - who knows? maybe I'll get to come back and play some more.

Another fun note - since we don't have the markers to match the In Colors, I had to try to figure out a way to get my sentiment to match VV... I used Bravo Burgundy and then Night of Navy over it - together the two match just about perfectly! The brads really are even - it just photo'd weird.

All supplies Stampin' Up!:

Stamps: Linen, Blossoms Abound, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Eat Cake
Cardstock: Naturals White, Almost Amethyst, True Thyme, Vintage Violet
Ink: Certainly Celery, True Thyme, Mellow Moss, Almost Amethyst, Vintage Violet (all Classic)Accessories: Cutter Kit to distress, Word Window, Bravo Burgundy and Night of Navy markers Hodgepodge Hardware, Sweet Shop Ribbon Originals.

Thanks for looking - have a great weekend!

Accidental Beauty

Do you ever try a technique or maybe a color and decide you don't like it and put it aside? I know you do... I think we all do. But do you throw it away or keep it? As I have said before, I don't tend to throw much away - my desk is covered with clutter and small pieces of cardstock!

Yesterday when I was playing with faux shaving cream, I thought I would try it on a background stamp. I inked the Linen background stamp with Certainly Celery, and *tried* to get the swirls with Green Galore - it didn't work. That is, it didn't work to my liking for the card I was trying to work on, so I put it aside and went in a different direction.

Fast forward to today. I wanted to play with blues and greens. I was getting ready to stamp on white cardstock when I noticed the green background that I had made yesterday... hmmm, the wheels start turning in my head - wonder what it would look like if I stamped over it?!

The above card is what I came up with, and I love the main image. The flowers stamped over it beautifully! I still feel like it could use something up at the top, but I didn't want to cover too much of the image.

I used a piece of the On Board Chipboard and just dyed it with my Buckaroo Blue classic pad. I also dyed white grosgrain ribbon with True Thyme to get the colored ribbon I wanted.

Supplies: - All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Linen, Blossoms Abound, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Cardstock: Whisper White, Buckaroo Blue, True Thyme
Ink: Certainly Celery, Green Galore, Bashful Blue, Buckaroo Blue, True Thyme, Mellow Moss - all classic pads
Accessories: On Board Chipboard, White Grosgrain Ribbon, Cutter Kit

Thanks for looking!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Halloween Fun

This one I like. LOL, figures - it uses background papers. I have been getting into them so much more now - especially since I have finally decided to cut them up... I have kept my papers in pristine condition - I don't like cutting them, they're too pretty to look at. *grin* - guess you could call me a hoarder. A couple of weeks ago I took the plunge and actually cut into one of my sets - and now there's no stopping me!

This one actually just used scraps from something else I had done - I believe it was the notecards. I tend to throw *nothing* away - maybe if I did my desk would be a little cleaner once in a while!

I also double dyed my ribbon on this one, so it is two-sided. Take white grosgrain ribbon and use your daubers and pastel chalks. I didn't have daubers so I used cotton balls - a little messier - you can see smears of chalk if you click on the card - but I achieved the same result. I used Only Orange and Green Galore.

All supplies Stampin' Up!:
Cardstock: Green Galore - base, Only Orange, Dots & Dashes
Stamps: Trick Or Treat
Classic Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Only Orange, Green Galore
Accessories: White Grosgrain Ribbon, Pastels, Cutter Kit - the cutter blade to make a hole at the top of the card to put the ribbon through.

Too Simple!?

I wanted to play around with Halloween and had an idea. I thought it would look clean and simple - problem is I think it is TOO simple.

I did the "Faux Shaving Cream" technique on the pumpkins and saying, and made faux eyelets also (courtesy of MamaK and Em on SCS). AND, I got to play with some more of my new ribbon - but something's missing - I think there is still too much white.

Give it to me straight, I can take it - what do *you* think?

Supplies: All items by Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted:

Stamps: Trick or Treat, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery, Whisper White
Classic Inks: Pumpkin Pie, Green Galore (for "shaving cream"), Certainly Celery
Accessories: Dimensionals, Non-SU! ribbon

Steve Irwin, RIP

I think my daughter said it best the other day when she said, "Mom, it feels like we lost a family member." My kids have grown up with him. When we moved to Okinawa we said the one thing we wanted to do - and unfortunately never accomplished - was to go to Australia and visit him at the Australia Zoo. Man, if I just had it to do over again. He will be sorely missed. As my hubby said, at least maybe at some point in the future there will be some peace and solace knowing that he died doing something that he thoroughly loved and enjoyed.

Steve Irwin Memorial is an area on Animal Planet's website dedicated to the man and his life that was tragically cut too short.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

See 2 posts down!

OK, so I FINALLY got pictures to upload, but since I had saved my post in draft it comes up with yesterday's date - please see "Stamp-A-Ma-What?" below!


I am trying to upload a tutorial and pictures - Blogger isn't agreeing with me and won't let me upload pics. I have tried directly from the computer and from a different website. I'm sorry folks, no new pictures at this time... this kills me!! I guess it has something to do with BETA.

Off to get my car serviced, hopefully it will work when I get back.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Have you ever been stamping something and wished you could line it up perfectly? And you try over and over, and you just can't quite get it right? ME TOO! I have had this darn thing sitting around my house for*evah* and had never used it. OMG!!! Whatever did I do without it? What is this "darn thing" you ask? Why, it's the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig! (SAMJ)

Now, how to use it? EASY!!!!! The SAMJ comes with a clear piece of plastic called an Imaging Sheet. It has a smooth side and a textured side. Use your dye-based inks on the smooth side and pigment inks on the textured side.

Enough with the "what is it"s - I'm a visual person you say... Okay, so here ya go:

First you need to align your plastic piece in the corner of your SAMJ. Ink up your stamp and stamp your image - placing your block completely in the corner of the SAMJ.

Your imaging sheet now has a stamped image that you can use to line up the placement of your stamps. In my samples, I used Stampin' Up!'s Blossoms Abound stamp set. I stamped the first image in Pretty in Pink and then wanted to line up the second layer to stamp in Rose Red.

I layed the imaging sheet directly over my PIP stamped image, lining it up exactly where I wanted it. Without moving the imaging sheet, I placed the SAMJ so that the imaging sheet was aligned in the corner.

Leave the SAMJ in place and remove the imaging sheet, ink your rubber and stamp.

Voila - a perfectly placed image every time!

Here's the finished image:

Products used:

All products by Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted.

Stamps: Blossoms Abound, Linen
Cardstock: Gable Green, Rose Red, Pretty In Pink, Whisper White
Classic Ink: Gable Green, Green Galore, Rose Red, Pretty In Pink
Accessories: Cutter Kit, non-SU! ribbon

Thanks for looking!


Well, sort of anyway! I got my header changed to what I wanted, but can't get it to stretch over the entire header section so I have some blue - but hey, who's counting? LOL, *I* did it!!! Since I wasted an entire day trying to figure it out, I didn't get to stamp, but definitely plan on it today!

Now I'm going to go out into left field here. My oldest child turned 16 yesterday. Phew! It has really made me reflective - it seems like just yesterday that we were holding him in our arms. He's anxious to drive - we couldn't get him into drivers' ed over the summer because of the move - he starts classes this weekend. His dad took him out once in a while before he left, and now I've been doing it. We went out yesterday afternoon for a lesson. When S gets home we'll be buying both of them "new" trucks - NOT new, but new to them! G was "chomping at the bit" to put in job applications and completed and turned in one yesterday, and has 3 more he is working on. I think it will be good for him. He hates it here. He has no friends, he says he's a "loner" and is having some issues with me and his father because we "chose" to come here. It's bound to get better soon - I pray that basketball season gets here soon, and that he makes the team. I think it would definitely be the end of our world if he didn't.

I guess I can't stamp if I'm typing, so I'm outta here for now, back later!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Creative Clutter

Does anyone know how to add a picture to a header in Blogger? LOL, so by asking this question I am assuming that I am possibly getting some hits by other creative bloggers out there.... I want to add this picture to my header and although I have figured out how to do quite a few other things on here this probably simple task eludes me!

Monday, September 04, 2006

"Lovin' Them Notecards!"

While watching movies with C last night after our run to Michael's and Golden Spoon for yogurt - YUM! - I came up with these notecards. I am so hooked on these things I literally sat with all of my patterned paper last night figuring out what combinations I am going to use as I make more. These are going to be a gift to my sister-in-law for her upcoming birthday. I made a total of 12 - three each of the four designs, all with matching envelopes.
All Products Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Sincere Salutations, Bodacious Bouquets
Paper: Whisper White, So Saffron, Friends & Family Simply Scrappin Kit (hostess)
Ink: So Saffron Classic
To make the dots - I used an old stump (the ones for gamsol)
I have some other projects in the works on my desk but have to go pick up my soon to be 16 year old (tomorrow!) - he spent with weekend with friends - and will be back later!
I hope you have all enjoyed your holiday weekend!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Land of the Big PX

I think I have said about a million times, and I'm sure you'll hear me say it again - "I love being back in the states!" *Grin* - In all honesty, I really miss Okinawa - we absolutely loved it there and had the situation been any different, we would have stayed given the chance. But the crafy side of me couldn't wait to get back here to the "Land of the Big PX!"

My daughter and I were trying to figure out something to do this afternoon/evening that didn't cost a lot of money. LOL, I know - let's go to Michael's! She couldn't get out the door fast enough - a girl after my heart! They didn't have what I went there for - a scalloped punch - but I can *never* leave there empty-handed.

All of the above ribbons were on the $1.00 clearance rack - meaning no one else wanted them but I can always figure out a way to use them! LOL, C and I were quite a sight - "I can use the orange and green one for Halloween, and I already know what I'm going to do with the green and pink argyle." And "Mom, the blue and green dots would look cute with the colors you were working on last night." We're home for the evening - she's going to work on her poster she's coloring, I'm going to stamp, and we're going to watch movies. A great way to spend the evening with your daughter, eh?

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I have added a subscription box in the right sidebar if you would like to subscribe to my blog. Don't worry - you'll only get one email at the end of the day, not multiples if I have updated more than once in a day (like today). Thanks for your interest and support!

A Different Take on the Monogram

OK, as seen in the post below, the original inspiration card is in the middle. The one on the right was the first one I did, but I wanted to try it again with the other striped pattern from Dots & Dashes Designer Paper. Of course, I *love* the one on the left - looks more sophisticated to me. My daughter and her friend who is here spending the night both think the one on the right with the polka dots is better. What do you think?

Monogram Magic

Once again - inspiration that has been sitting around the house and I'm finally getting to it! The smaller card with the monogram "i" was sent to my daughter by her good friend Isabelle months ago for her birthday. As she was cleaning out her room, I grabbed it and stashed it in my office. LOL, when I was cleaning *my* room I ran across it again. Go figure!

I have the house to myself today - except for Lucky, who is asleep on my office couch - and decided to finally work on this. I may still work on putting some Crystal Effects on the monogram on the "T" - I do like how the other one is so shiny. I did pop the monogram off the card with a dimensional though. Here's what I used:

Stamp Sets: Bodacious Bouquet; Riveting; Simple Type Alphabet, all by Stampin' Up!
Inks: Craft White and Classic Gable Green, by Stampin' Up!
Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Gable Green and Dots & Dashes Designer Paper, all by Stampin' Up!

I designed it so it would fit in SU!'s new small open end envelopes. I do think I am going to use the other striped paper in the Dots & Dashes paper - more blues and greens - for more of these. I have decided that I am going to actually make some Christmas gifts this year, and notecards will be at the top of the list!

Enjoy your holiday weekend everyone!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fun Ribbon

I've had this incredible pink ribbon with brown dots since February or so, I just have never had a chance to play with it. I have it in a very pale yellow (Barely Banana) a light green (dangit - it's a perfect match for ret. Mint Melody), and light blue (Bashful Blue) all with brown dots (which are a perfect match to Chocolate Chip).

I put all my ribbon in a new holder sitting on my desk, so I've been staring at this stuff for about the past week or so. I've been thinking about what I wanted to do with it, and I *finally* got it out today and decided to play.

I'm realizing I definitely like my work better when I have had time to think about what I'm going to do - as in I have an idea in my head before I sit down and actually start working. This is another of those ones that I had pretty much figured out in my head.. I knew I wanted to use the Weathered background stamp, and I knew I wanted to use Riveting (hostess set). I had even decided which color combination I was going to use. The rest was on the fly, but at least I didn't just sit down with a bunch of stuff and not know what I was going to do. I am very happy with the end result!

I've seen others talk about carrying sketch pads and small notebooks with them and had never really thought about having one, but now I am beginning to see the possible advantage of that. Since I know I like my work after it's been thought out, if I have a notebook nearby that I can start making sketches and notes in as I think about it, I just might start liking the ends results more.

Unfortunately on the job hunt, I *still* have not heard anything. J from the agency said not to worry about it. She said this firm is notorious for dragging it's feet and not hearing anything is actually good, not bad. I had just hoped to hear something before the holiday weekend, but no such joy. The kids keep telling me not to beat myself up about it - easier said than done!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nothing to Update

Ugh!! Once again I'm playing the waiting game. I went in and was tag-teamed by the three attorneys that I would be working with. They all seem nice and I think I would enjoy working with them. After talking with them I met with the office manager. She led me to believe that they had others to interview and then they would get back to me - I was not aware of that, but I'm not necessarily in the *need to know* category. She said that the staffing manager would be getting back to me one way or the other.

I called the agency that sent me. J was on the phone and didn't get back to me, so I assume she hasn't heard anything either. I'm going to go on the concept of no news is good news at this point. However, it sure would be nice to have some positive word tomorrow - it would make for a great holiday weekend!

There are times when I really wish S were here. I hear a song on the radio or see something on TV and start bawling. I give myself less than 5 minutes to wallow in self-pity and then I have to pick up the pieces and move on. We're really doing extremely well considering the circumstances - I've done this so many times before, but that doesn't make it any easier. The kids both miss him, but this is the life they are used to also. C mentioned today that she had had a rough day missin him today. We talked, cried, hugged, and went on with homework :)

Good Friends

Good friends are hard to come by, especially with all the moving we military families seem to do! I wanted to play for a few minutes to relax before I get ready for my interview - see below - and came up with this card. Hope you like it!

Fingers Crossed?!?

Now that the kids are back in school and life is starting to settle into a routine, I have "kicked it up a notch" in my search for employment. I interviewed with a firm last Friday - see "Fun Frames" below. I have been waiting all week to hear something. I knew that the firm had done a background check, and the agency that sent me has been checking my references. Fast forward to today - in exactly 4 hours from now, I have an interview with three attorneys and after I meet with them I meet with the office manager. I was told I would probably know something definite either this afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning.

Can you say "no pressure?" LOL - neither can I! It's bad enough having to interview, but having to sit with three attorneys at once - give me strength!

So think happy thoughts for me please, keep all your fingers and toes crossed, and if you're the praying type, even say a little prayer! I'll update with more as soon as I know something!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Color Challenged

There are daily challenges posted on Splitcoast Stampers and in the three plus years that I have been a member, I have *never* participated! I have been thinking about it a lot lately and had wanted to start, and figured yesterday's challenge was as good as any!
This challenge involved using three of the new In Colors - Marigold Morning, Cranberry Crisp and Cool Caribbean - from Stampin Up! I have been thinking about this card for the past two days and I finally got around to stamping it tonight.
First I stamped the Word By Word background stamp with black StazOn on a transparency. I then painstakingly cut out the inside of each of the boxes so I had a template. Next I inked the actual stamp with a marker - I used Chocolate Chip - and stamped on Very Vanilla cardstock. Then using the template I stamped with the above colors and the Do the Hula stamp set, and then sponged, faux stitched, and added ribbon. I even made my own ribbon - the Cool Caribbean is white grosgrain dyed with the stamp pad, and the ribbon that matches Cranberry Crisp so well is actually one of the Bravo Burgundy ribbons from the Prep School Ribbon Originals set.
This is one of those "I'm not sure I like it" cards - the ones I absolutely love from the get go are few and far between.

It's All About Me!!

I thought I'd share a little of my other passion here with you - scrapbooking! These pages are the beginning of an All About Me album. As mothers and scrapbookers, or just as scrapbookers in general, we tend to scrap events, holidays, pets, children -- everything *but* ourselves! I found this album by Lisa Bearnson on QVC - it's one of four, the other three being: All About You; Family; and the Year in Review. Although I *do* enjoy coming up with ideas for pages on my own, I do like how all of the ingredients to make this album are already included.

If you've never done an album about yourself, I suggest thinking about it - but be warned - it's HARD!! I have found that working in this album has made me very self reflective - and I don't always like what I see. However, with that being said, I believe albums strictly about yourself will provide your family members and friends with some wonderful insight into who you are and what makes you tick. And as with all scrapbooks, think of the legacy that you will leave!

I'll add more pages as I get them done, and will also put in some pages from other albums that I'm proud of . I will also be putting in a link to a scrapping gallery on the sidebar where my convention pictures are located.

Monday, August 28, 2006

My New Guys!

Oh man, am I in T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!! Here's my latest - Woohoo - I got *3* done today!!! I have two ways of thinking on this - one, I am so going to be spending a lot of money now on Whipper Snapper!! and two, this is the beginning of the change that I think I am looking for. I absolutely love how this card came out and can't wait to do some more. Think I am going to have to get a snowflake stamp from them now too.... the ones on this card are from SU!.

Much Better

I wasn't completely thrilled with the Gamsol "magic" on my other card, so I decided to "go back to basics" and try again. I stamped our dude with StazOn on watercolor paper and watercolored him with aquapainters this time. I am so much happier with this result! I guess this just goes to show that I need to spend more time playin with my stuff.

I can't believe it - I actually did two separate cards today that had nothing to do with swaps or anything - I can't remember the last time I stamped just to stamp. It really felt good, and I'm even in the process of working on a third!


In part of my branching out and wanting to try new things with my stamping, I forced myself to buy some non-Stampin' Up! stamps. I have been seeing some things done with this little guy and absolutely *love* him, so decided to finally check out the Whipper Snapper Designs website. LOL, boy was I in for trouble!!

I have seen so many cards and designs done with Gamsol that I just had to try it out. I actually received my Gamsol and stumps from Inky Antics back before I left Okinawa, but never had a chance to play with them. Unfortunately, I don't have Prismacolor pencils, but do have Stampin' Up!'s Pure Color pencils, which also work.

I had a blast making this little dude - my stamps got here this morning and I just *had* to play with him immediately! I feel like there is still something missing from this card, but didn't want to put a ribbon on and interrupt the picture. Oh how I wish I had the new colored brads from SU! Guess those will definitely go on my next order!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Do you second guess yourself?

I do!! I need to take a lesson - make that lessons - in self esteem. There are two things I know about myself and will readily admit: 1) I do not take gratitude graciously; and 2) I am my own worst critic when it comes to my work. I have seriously worked over the years to learn to graciously accept thanks and gratitude when given, but still have a serious problem with judging my creative work.

What brings this whole rambling dialogue on, you ask? Yesterday I created my very first picture frame - see below - and as much as I absolutely loved the finished product, was afraid that my stamping peers would find the flaws - one of the corners wasn't right, something was lifting, maybe it wasn't straight - you get the picture.... Put one of my creations in front of me and I can always make a list of things that I think others will nitpick on them.

Anyway, I had mentioned that I was taking the frame to a meeting of Stampin' Up! demonstrators and it was to be one of the door prizes. So it's meeting time and time to pick doorprizes. There on the ledge were all the beautiful stamped and decorated gifts, and to my surprise which was the first one that was chosen by someone as theirs? You guessed it - mine! Deep down inside I was totally "woohooing!"

So how do you get beyond the "I'm not worthy" part of worrying when creating? I'm really going to have to work on it!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fun Frames

I just have to say I *love* being back in the states and having more crafting options available to me! I am going to a meeting with some other area demos tomorrow and have to take something that is stamped as a door prize. Well, I didn't stamp, but I did use all Stampin' Up! products. I have to tell you, for a $2.49 frame to end up like this, I think I will be doing a lot more as gifts in the near future!! I didn't want the frame to be completely empty when I took a picture of it, so I put in a picture of C and Lucky. The frame says "favorite friend" - and it's a very appropriate picture. LOL, so much so that she is now begging me to make a frame just like it to put this picture in for herself.

On another note, here's to keeping fingers and toes crossed, and even saying a little prayer. I went on another job interview this morning. The firm that I interviewed with has 3 positions open, two downtown (about 45 minutes away) and one about 15 minutes away in a different office. I found out this afternoon that they are seriously considering me for the job that is closer to my house, they are just waiting on the results of my skills testing. I didn't hear anything back late this afternoon so now I have to wait until Monday.

*Sigh* I don't know what's worse - not knowing anything at all, or knowing that they're interested and then the waiting period.....with the possibility of them not wanting me at all.... but I'm not thinking that way - they *do* want me and I *will* get this job!!! So why am I so stressed?

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Wow, it's been a while. The dog has adjusted wonderfully, and today was the first day of school!! Yippee!! I am still looking for work, but actually got to stamp today! Here is a little card I am working on for a swap with some other demonstrators that I have coming up on Saturday. The template is from a card that I received from a very special and talented demonstrator and member of Splitcoast Stampers. I changed everything else about the card - the stamps, colors, ribbons, etc. LOL, my fingers are so blue - I didn't have a grosgrain ribbon to match the new Cool Caribbean ink so I dyed white grosgrain to match.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I had to take the paperwork back to the Humane Society today and they made appointments for us for tomorrow!!! We have to meet with their vet because he had heartworm, and we have to do a behavioral class with him, and then we get to bring him home! The kids and I went shopping for all his new stuff today and can hardly wait to get him home. I think this is really going to help them. They both have had a difficult time with the move. They got to go spend a lot of time with family and friends around the country this summer, but neither of them have any new friends here. School doesn't start until the 24th - once it does I know things will get better for them, but in the meantime, they will now have Lucky to take care of and love.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


The kids and I had an eventful morning... I said before that we were going to go look for a new member of our family. After much consideraton today, we chose Lucky! (Or did he choose us?) We all three fell in love with him and can't wait to bring him home. He was at the San Diego Humane Society. He is a transplant from Mississippi and was surrendered by his elderly owners last year after the hurricane. He is a 3 yr old shepard mix. We have to get a written okay from S for them - they would prefer all family members to come in but since he is in Iraq that's kind of hard to do right now. We also have to go through a couple of behavioral classes with him, but are hoping to have him home with us by the end of the week!

Friday, August 04, 2006

New Convention Pics!

I have been playing around with my blog some tonight and added a Photo Gallery link. As I update I will add a cards section, a scrapbook page section, and a family section, but today I uploaded all the pics I took at Stampin' Up! convention in July. Enjoy!

So much fun!

I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the office today - I got my new desk set up, I have the computer and printer on it, still have to get the scanner set up, I have all my stamp sets cut and mounted, and my scrapbooks are sitting here begging to be played with. I renamed my site once again to "Simply Stampin." I think that fits me. I have always been a stamp on the fly type of person - I never have time to sit and play a lot so I have always done simple cards. As much as I would like my style to change, and I do dabble from time to time, I always end up with my simple, quick stuff - hence Simply Stampin.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to play. In order to keep the peace around this house I am taking the kids to rescue a dog from the pound tomorrow. We have looked at the pictures and are debating betwee two or three - I will post pics once we get it home!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Rubbah!

Watch for new updates soon!! I am off to cut and mount 14 new stamp sets that I received today from Mr. Brown. LOL, I haven't been here that long and he already told my daughter today "your mom knows me." I said, "Yeah, we've just moved in and he already knows that I get deliveries all the time!"

Can't wait to play - so I guess I better get to cuttin!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Where to start?

Wow, long time no post. Life has been hectic, it's just finally starting to get back on track, and I've decided to continue this blog but with a stampin twist instead of just "me" stuff. I had contemplated not going forward with this, but I am at a point where I want to start exploring submitting things for publication, I am contemplating opening an online scrap store, and I want "more" out of what I am doing. I am going to continue with SU! as long as I can - but at the moment I am my own best customer as I haven't had time to start marketing since the move. Tomorrow we receive the rest of our furniture and stuff from storage, so I finally get my desk! I will take a few days to get my office back into shape, receive my *huge* order of new stuff from the SU! catty, and get my creative juices working again. I am actually dying to start working on my albums - more so than cards.

As I take the next few days to get things organized, let me leave you with this reminder ... Freedom is *not* free. Remember that while we are sitting here enjoying all the luxuries we have in life that there are men and women serving our country around the world. You may not agree with the war or the reason we are in remote areas of the world, but please, please always support our troops.

Friday, May 05, 2006

We have a house!

Wow, it's a whirlwind. I am finding it more and more stressful as time goes by before our move. I'm trying to stay focused and relax, but there is so much going on. We finally sold the car, but haven't even decided what we're going to do with the van. We are down to only 16 days on-island - we need to figure something out quick! G is doing well biding his time on the varsity golf team, C is depressed and doesn't want to leave. She cries at the drop of a hat. S is worried about money, and I'm just ready for it all to be over... plus, on top of everything else, I go in for surgery next Wednesday!

At least we have some good news. We found a house! I should say, Annette found a house! I was looking online at ads and found an open house last weekend that looked interesting - no pics, just the ad. Some good friends of ours who are alread stationed at Miramar went and looked at it for us - we had already discussed them looking for a house for us - we totally trust their judgment. They said if we didn't take it, they would try to figure out a way to get out of their lease to take it - that had to say something! Originally the rent was $1995 but someone else put in an offer to rent it for $2100, so that's what we have to end up paying. It is 4 br, 3 bath, 2 car garage, 2 story, approx 2400 sq ft (that's twice the size of our apartment here!), dining, living, family rooms, covered patio.... I'm so excited!!! I get my office!!!!! LOL, the family will never see me! It's a relief to know that we already have an address and someplace to put our heads once we get our stuff in mid-June.

S and I went to Bonten today - he, G and I are all getting new tattoos before we leave here. C is begging for one, but I keep reminding her that she just turned 12. "But G is only 15." True, but he's still older. Truth be told, I don't see much harm in it, especially what she wants, but her dad had an absolute fit and refuses. It's probably a good thing. :) We are all three getting shisa dogs - mine on my left shoulder on either side of my kanji that I already have, S on his right arm/shoulder, and G wants them with the island of Okinawa in the middle and on his right shoulderblade. The only reason we are allowing him to go through with this here is because shisas are traditional to Okinawa and for him to get it done here instead of in the states will mean something. He has thought long and hard about it, knows the significance of it being there for a lifetime, etc... he should, between us S and I have 9.... if he was only wanting some tribal or something to do with sports, etc., I don't think we would allow it at this age. But I think the four years here has been a significant part of their lives, and he will look back on it years from now with fond memories. Besides, if he is serious and we don't take him to have it done someplace where we trust, just about any studio on this island will do it for him without any parental consent.

We had planned on stopping in Tokyo for a few days on the way back to the states and staying at the New Sanno Hotel. Fujiko and her family wanted us to stay for a day or so... they have now asked us to stay the whole time with them. They will pick us up from the airport on Sunday, Monday we go to Disney (Sea or Land, haven't decided yet), Tuesday we are going to ride the train and go shopping, and Wednesday we leave for the states. Can't wait to REALLY experience the culture!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I've become one of THEM!

Ugh, I never thought I would do this! I have become one of "them." "Them" being the military wives who do nothing but complain. I'm so freakin tired of it all.... We've been sitting here in a house with no furniture and sleeping on the floor for over a week because I had been told by the housing office that they would *not* reissue furniture if we had already turned it in. So they wouldn't give us beds to sleep on for the last month we are here --- we're picking beds up tomorrow.... I heard that someone else had gone in and gotten furniture today, I call and am told "Of course you can come get stuff, we wouldn't want you to have to sleep on the floor for a month." That's not the biggest of my bitches though. We have been told as of today that it looks like he will defnitely be going back to Iraq. I know there is nothing I can do about it but I can lay blame -especially if it makes me feel better!.... LOL, I'm just looking for someone to be pissed off at. I have always been very involved and active with the Key Volunteer Network and also with helping plan and execute stuff around the squadron. I even planned a catered dinner for 400 people while he was on his way home from Iraq with the current squadron. I had already decided to take a break and not be so involved with the new squadron - this made the decision easy for me. I will *not* do jack to help out if this is the way they are going to be. I am soooo going into this with such a negative outlook now. We have to give the Corps two more years as he just pinned on rank on 01Mar - that will put him at 24 years. We had talked about possibly sticking around for a total of 30.... I now feel that this is the "nail in the coffin" - horrible analogy, I know - but if this is the way it is going to be, I can't wait to do the time so we can go on with our lives. I know I sound like a lot of the new wives who are young and didn't seem to know any better - "I didn't know he was going to be gone so much." Oh, how many times have I heard that one? But I've definitely been around long enough to know - over 18 years worth of knowing.... I've earned the right to bitch about it once in a while! The kids don't like it but are okay with it. C has plans to go to North Carolina and visit friends for about a month over the summer. I asked if this will change her plans, if she would go for a shorter time so she could spend time with Dad before he left. Her reply? "No, I think I'll still go for a month. I'm used to Dad being gone all the time." C'est la vie.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Jose Cuervo, You Are a Friend of Mine...

LOL, so I'm not drinking Cuervo, but watermelon vodka and Sprite works! I don't know what's wrong with me tonight. I should be happy, we're out of here in a month. But I'm depressed, home alone tonight, and decided to have a couple of drinks... Wow, I look at that and realize how bad it looks - it's really not!

Since I last wrote we have shipped our household goods. We have no beds, no living room furniture - we're using the rattan patio furniture - and very little else in the house except for a few dishes, linens and, of course, we all four kept our computers. We cleaned up the car and have it up for sale. I'm stressing over that - the money from my car selling here is going to the taxes and registration on the Pacifica. Know anyone in Okinawa who needs a nice car? It's the equivalent of a Lexus in the states. I would love to bring it back with us but it takes too much to get it legal for registration.

I think the two things that are bothering me the most are my impending surgery and S's possible re-deployment to the sandbox. I have my pre-op on the 2nd of May for an endometrial ablation. I was supposed to have a hysterectomy, but of course, since I've been begging them for 8 years to do it, now they agree and there isn't enough time for recovery before we leave here. The ablation should help for a while but I will most likely have to still have the hysterectomy in the future. I'm hopeful that I won't have to go through this whole process again once we get to Balboa. They have assured me that I'll just have to walk in and say "Hi, I'm here for surgery" but I have been around this gun club long enough to know that assurances don't mean shit. Take our new command, for instance. To make a long story short - I want so bad to type it all out but have been around too long... OpSec is drilled into me and I know it's not right to put it all out here on the web. So, we had been assured - there's that "A" word again - that he would NOT have to go back, even though the command is there. Numerous people said "no, you won't go, 'such and such' is going." Well, it seems that while we are 3/4 away around the world it has been decided that it would be better to have S go instead of the guy who is supposed to go. I'm all for him doing his job and his duty - I know there are others who have been 3 or 4 times already - I'm not against him having to go again, it's just that dammit - if I were to total it up, he has been gone at least 6 out of the last 10 years, if not more. Hell, just in the last 3.5 years here on Oki he has been gone a total of over 2 years. Suffice it to say that's the one part of this life that definitely gets old! If he is going to have to go, just let us know so we can prepare for it - both mentally and in other ways. I do not want to wait and find out the 1st of July that he will leave in 4 weeks.....

I would love to stamp but even though that's what I had planned to do tonite now I'm not in the mood for it. Maybe I'll go watch some Gilmore Girls - they always put me in a good mood. :)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chula U, Chula U!

Once again I have to say, why they heck do we wait until it's time to leave for us to do things?!?!?!? S, C and I went to Chula U yesterday - man, best Y2100 we have spent in a long time! For approximately $20US the three of us got to sit in natural hot springs and jacuzzis all afternoon. As a society in general, we, as Americans are very prudish... the Japanese think nothing of being nude in a bathhouse - which was a real "eye opener" for C. Although they did have segregated nude areas, we stayed in the clothing mandatory areas. I tried to get her to see the lesson in humility - she didn't understand.

I also got my acrylic nails put back on yesterday. I keep them short and love having nails - my own are just so darn thin I can never get them to grow and stay long without breaking (or without me biting them!). I also treated C and myself to pedicures. What a relaxing day - manicure, pedicure and then the spa!

After the spa we went to CoCo's for dinner - it is going to be sooooo hard leaving all the great authentic food here - and then to Felton's going away party - Futenma Bowling Alley as usual. I sure am going to miss him. I can't begin to describe how I feel about these young guys. I look at them like my sons, or my little brothers. LOL, some of them are so young I really am old enough to be their mother! I remember when we first got here to Okinawa and I was around the guys that I was actually kind of jealous when I would hear them talking to DeDee and I was the outsider. It's so funny to hear a newbie call me "Ma'am" and have someone else say "that's Mom!" I know how difficult it was for S and I to move in our younger years, and that was just in the states. I can't imagine what it's like for these guys to be so far from home and not have anyone - hence the reason we are really more like a big family here and why they are so special to me. It's going to be very hard for me to leave this place and all of them. The closer we get to our departure date (36 and a wakeup!) the harder it is already becoming - I'm excited but also already starting to get a bit depressed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Family For Sale!

Will I ever make it through this week? I know the answer is "yes," but It's not been fun getting there.... We're all stressed because we have the big pack-out on Monday. We didn't get to go to the Caramas to go snorkeling because of the weather. Gt has been coaching a basketball camp all week, and S, C and I have been working on stuff around the house and trying to do some small trips. It's been raining off and on all week, and we're all getting cabin fever! It's frustrating - we've got to go through all our stuff and figure out what we want to trash, what we want to sell, what will go in the household goods shipment, what will go in express pack, and what we will carry with us....on top of that we're trying to cram all the stuff we have neglected to do and buy in the last 4 years into the 4 weeks we have left on the island. Still haven't gotten the car up for sale... can you say STRESS!!! I know that this too shall pass. C and I are going to get pedicures and manicures tomorrow and then tomorrow afternoon after our pre-inspection we're going to go to the hot springs... I am sooooo looking forward to just relaxing in the hot water!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Free at Last

Wow, I'm free of work! Today was my last day at work - besides the fact that I now get to sleep in a little - woohoo!! - this tells me that our time on the island is getting shorter. As much as that excites me, it also depresses me. Okinawa has become home - we have lived here longer than anywhere in our lives with the Marine Corps. Tonight we went to an Izakaya - an all you can eat restaurant - for my going away party. S and G went with me, although I know G only went so he could get free food before going out with his friends! Good food, great friends! It's so hard to say goodbye. I got three bouquets of flowers today, a photo album with group pictures taken of all of us yesterday in the office, a caricature drawing by one of the girls at work that everyone signed their names and good wishes around, and another Norikane print! I do have this print already, but my boss meant well. He wanted it to be one that is truly Okinawan instead of Japanese - this print definitely is... You can see a copy of it here.. Okinawa Roof. I love the print - obviously, or I wouldn't have bought it myself!!! S and I will take it back this weekend to exchange it for something else. We will be in the area tomorrow anyway since we have to take the car to get the windows re-tinted - dang JCI's! - and are going to go to Rose Garden for breakfast. We need to get the car finished and detailed so we can get it sold. I keep saying "we have time, we have time" but I noticed that another friend who leaves here two weeks after us already has her van for sale. I'm sure the car will sell quickly - it's a Toyota Mark II, which in the states is a Lexus.... I would love to bring it back to the states but there is a lot that would have to be done to it to make it legal to register - not worth it!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Don't Tell Me You Love Me

Remember the song by Night Ranger - "Don't Tell Me You Love Me"... That's all that keeps runnin through my head today - different situation though. Tomorrow is my last day at work - WOOHOO!!! I really don't like the job - but it's a job, and it's damn good money - about the most I can find here - and it's not retail! I'm only here for the paycheck. LOL, sound familiar? So anyway, I only work with 5 Americans, the other 40 or so are Okinawan - not a problem. The Okinawans are great, it's the Americans that I have a problem with - go figure. So back to the title of my song.... A couple of the girls I don't have anything to do with - never have. I don't kiss ass like they do, and have never let on that I would even want to. My problem lies with one of the others. She and I have been friendly off and on while I have worked here, but I wouldn't really term her a "friend." I knew her hubby for a couple of months before she started working here, we have all gone out for dinner a couple of times (S, me, and the two of them). She bitches all the time about how she doesn't like the others, but yet she is right there with them... so herein lies my problem. They (my entire office) threw a luncheon for me today, and we are partying tomorrow night too. My "friend" tells me today.... "I don't know why they decided to do this luncheon today, and at this time... we're all going to church." Um, geez, the rest of the year you're not a practicing Catholic, so why now? And um, I'm sorry I didn't check with your schedule before I scheduled my last days at work. "We'll try to come by after church if you're still there." So we sat at lunch for almost 2 hours - they went to church (supposedly, I don't know and don't care), and came straight back to the office - never even tried to stop in. "Don't tell me you love me...." Basically what I'm sayin is - DON'T f#&*'n lie to me! In all honesty, I couldn't give a shit if you want to come or not, but don't tell me one thing because it's what you think I want to hear when you mean something completely different. We all have things that we don't like - I'm not that hard to get along with. I'm fairly easygoing and laid back, I just don't like liars. In fact, I think the one thing that bothers me more than anything else, is lying...

On a different note - I get to go shooopppppin, I get to go shooooppppppin!! AAFES gave me a $250 gift certificate - I was fairly certain they would so have been trying to figure out how I am going to spend it. I have decided I am going to buy myself a new IPod.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Name change

I have been unhappy with the name of my blog - okay, so I love Semper Gumby - so much so that I have been living the life for 18 years and even have a tattoo on my back to prove it! I'm just bummed that I can't have it as my actual blog address - all variations I tried are taken, but it wouldn't bother me so much if they were actually up to date. They're taken by people who haven't even blogged in, like 3 years! The Marine Corps' motto is Semper Fidelis - Semper Fi for short. It means "always faithful." So think gumby, as in the play-doh character from childhood - LOL, did I just date myself? Gumby was able to easily bend and move - he was flexible - hence Semper Gumby - always flexible! It's kind of like the unofficial Marine Corps' motto. I'll have to get a picture of my tattoo and post it on here one of these days. Maybe next week - I'm *hoping* to go get my next one before we get out of here.

Back to my name - my group name with Stampin' Up! is the Semper Fi Stampers - most of us are Marine wives, and if not Marine, military. The name seemed natural. I decided that this is now my semper stampin blog.... the only way I could figure out a way to get the best of both worlds - LOL, suggestions are welcome!

Guess I need to spend more time around here too instead of rushing to do things. Can't believe I was trying to make it so much more difficult than it actually is! Now that I've figured stuff out, pictures to be posted soon!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Spending Money

I'm going to convention!! LOL, I''ve known for a while that I was picked to be a Make N Take helper at this year's Stampin' Up! Convention, Session I, but last night I got a roommate! It's funny that GMTA! I had been thinking of sending a message to someone on the boards and funny enough, she sent me a message first! She asked if I would like to room with her and we have decided we're going to do it! I'm stressing about my swaps though. All my stuff is going to be packed up in our TMO Household Goods shipment on 17 April - before the retired list comes out on 01 May. So, I have to GUESS as to which sets will be retired or which mini catty sets will make it to the catty - I would hate to end up would be difficult to swap because the set didn't make it to the new catty. I also have to figure out what colors, etc., that I want to use so I can keep them out of the shipment too! I am thinking maybe I'll just order one or two of the new hostess sets that we will be able to buy in May, I think - that would solve everything I guess.
I REALLY need to stamp - hopefully tomorrow if I get the house cleaned first!

I just spent $120 on CTMH today - I love their scrapping papers, and in March if you spent $40 you got a free stamp set. So I spent $120 on papers, got 3 free sets (alphas and numbers) and a friend of mine put some in too so that I got hostess benefits. I still love my SU! though!

C is off on her Yoron Island trip - she is doing a culture program with 140 American kids from Okinawa and 300 Japanese kids from mainland Japan. She's been gone since Thursday and gets home Monday night. S finally gets home from Korea on Monday also. G is out running around and I am going to an art auction tonight - LOL, that's where the spending money comes in to play! Although CTMH was part of it too! I have wanted stuff from Kanda's the entire time I have been here and have yet to buy any - maybe tonight I can finally get a couple of pieces. Funny that S is in Iwakuni and at a bazaar - he calls and says "I'm in the middle of all this Kanda's crap - what do you want?" Once again we're on the same wavelength - seems to happen a lot during our 18 years of marriage!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Joining the Revolution

So this is something that I have thought about doing for a long time - guess it's time I join the revolution. My life as a stamping, scrapbooking, Marine Corps wife - I also happen to resemble a taxi driver - at least my kids think so! Funny how when I want something my 15 yr old doesn't want anything to do with me, but when he wants something from me - be it a ride, money, or some other sort of favor he just expects it will happen, and on his time schedule. Hopefully this will evolve into a serious stamping and scrapping blog. Right now I don't have much time to do either one - we are currently in Okinawa, Japan, and have been here for the past 3.5 years - but are soon moving back to the states to MCAS Miramar. With the move will be my own room - LOL, I don't think the family will ever see me again! G has his "bat cave" - I'll have to figure out what my room will be called.... any suggestions?