Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Well, we decorated the store for Christmas today.  It comes earlier and earlier every year, it seems.  While it aggravates me how early it is (and we've had Christmas merchandise for a month already, at least), this is the only time I really get to enjoy it.  Today, I was actually feeling in the Christmas spirit.  A month from now, when normal people (i.e. people who don't work retail) are going into full-blown Christmas mode, I'll be going into full-blown CAN-THIS-JUST-BE-OVER-ALREADY mode.  I'll have seen Christmas merchandise for two months already.  I'll have already been listening to Christmas music in the mall for a month.  I'll have already made Christmas cards, bought Christmas gifts, closed down our Christmas classes, and be wondering when Valentine's Day merchandise is coming in. a snap decision upon arriving home after work, I decided to just put up my Christmas tree at home while I still actually felt like doing it.  Sick, I know.  But seriously...I just won't enjoy it later.  At least I didn't play Christmas music while I was doing it (no need to start that crap any earlier than I have to).  Last year when I put up my tree, I decided that it looked sad without any presents under it.  So, I wrapped up random things around the house that I hadn't used in a while.  And, in a stroke of genius, I decided I didn't really need those things and left them all wrapped and put them with the Christmas decorations, so I didn't have to do it again this year!  (Well, I mean, I wouldn't have HAD to do it again this year anyway, but I'm crazy, so I would have).  Anyway, productive night all-in-all...and now I think I'm going to sit around in the glow of my Christmas tree for a few minutes before I head to bed :) 

Goodnight all :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's shakin'...

First and foremost, I'm gonna say right now that posts are probably going to be once a week for a while, cuz right now, life. is. crazy.  Mostly work crazy.  Take tomorrow and Thursday, for example:

8am-1pm - Work
1pm-7pm - Walk/Feed dogs, Eat, Sleep
7pm-5am - Work
5am-1pm - Walk/Feed dogs, Eat, Sleep
1pm-10pm - Work

So yeah.  That's assuming our light install actually happens like it was supposed to.  If it gets hung up, it'll have to be rescheduled to an even LESS convenient time.  *sigh*  We'll see. 

Aaaaaanyway, to relieve stress, I finally took some time to play with my new Unity Stamp Set that I bought at the crop on Saturday (before KARAOKE! Which was awesome, by the way.)  Here's how it turned out:

Card with Lined Envelope

Close-up of the shakers

Closeup of the background (done with a stardust pen)

And that's all for tonight!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For the love of karaoke...

I'd just like to take a moment to express how much I love karaoke.  Honestly, if I could find someone to drag out with me whenever I wanted, I'd probably go twice a week.  At the cost of sleep and everything, cuz lord knows it never starts till 10pm.  When I lived in DeKalb a group of us went at LEAST once or twice a week.  Now that I'm in Zion, times are getting desperate for karaoke.  I haven't gone in almost six months.  I'm nearly to the point where I'd just go by myself...which is a trick, cuz I wouldn't be able to drink then since you usually can't take your drink on stage (something about drunk people spilling beer on expensive equipment), and I wouldn't want to leave my drink unattended in some random bar where I don't know anyone.  *sigh*  The good news is, I get to go tonight!  New location, people from work...yay!  Anyway, I'm off to bed for now, but I'll try to remember to take a couple pics and post them.  Hooray karaoke!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Variations on a theme...

FINALLY started working on Christmas gifts again, which I've been saying I was going to do for the last three or four weeks.  Anyway, I had a few different sets of paper to go with them, since I have a quite a few to do.  Here's how they're looking so far:

1) The Original (My Minds Eye Papers)

2) Basic Grey Papers

3) Cosmo Cricket Paper

4) Cosmo Cricket Paper

5) Cosmo Cricket Paper

So, only fifteen more to go...woot!

Button, button, who's got the button...

Well, my blog has been a little neglected for the last week.  It's been busy, busy, and I made a trip home to visit family since I'm not sure when or if I'll get back before Thanksgiving.  We're short-staffed at work, and the schedule is getting a little hairy at the moment.  Anyway, I was flipping through a card magazine at work the other night looking for crop demo ideas and I ran across these cute little cards with buttons.  Apparently it's supposed to be a button combined with a stamp set specifically designed to go with the button.  However, the designs aren't really complicated enough to necessitate a stamp set in order to re-create them, so I just used a Zig pen to draw in the details.  Here they are:


Up, Up and Away

The buttons are green, brown, and black, although for some reason my camera phone has decided to make them appear purple-ish. 

I think they turned out pretty cute :)  And now off to work on Christmas gifts!  More tomorrow, perhaps :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Inflating Lucy's ego...

I finished my canvas tonight!  I used Cosmo Cricket DeLovely paper, Bones Thickers, Hambly transparency, Making Memories Paint, and clear home decor gems.  Put it all on with some vellum tape and a glue gun, and voila :)  I like it...I'm not sure where I'm going to put it yet.  It doesn't really go with my apartment, but it wasn't really supposed was just supposed to be Lucy-ish, which it totally is.  It'd probably work in the kitchen with my other random art.  We'll see...either way, it makes me smile.  I LOVE those dang Thickers.  And the added bonus is I'm pretty sure there's twice as many letters in that pack as the normal thickers packs since the letters are so much smaller...a much more reasonable size for most titles, I think.  Anyway, here's the picture (the glare kinda sucks, but you get the idea at least):

And that's all for tonight :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The nature of retail...

Well, I've had my current assistant manager for all of about six months, and she's leaving :(  Although, it's important to note, that's BY FAR, the longest I've had an assistant manager in the year and a half since I've been at this store.  (And I swear, it's not because I'm running them out.)  Anyway, this one is moving across the country with her boyfriend for his job.  Exciting for her, but sad for me, because I'm short-staffed heading into full-swing holiday season again.  Ah well...such is the nature of retail.  Anyway, I made her this cute going away card tonight.  I'm really liking it.  The inspiration is from Get Real Greetings by Jessica Strawser.  I used Crate Paper, Making Memories alpha stickers, American Crafts Ribbon, and that's pretty much it. 



And that's all for tonight :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Seasons change...

It seems to me a rather cruel joke for me to have BOTH seasonal allergies AND Seasonal Affective Disorder.  So when I'm finally wrapping up with struggling to breathe season, I'm on my way (or at least I used to be on my way) into depressed and struggling to get out of bed season.  That said, I went to see someone about it in college, and was prescribed Wellbutrin, which as far as I'm concerned is a miracle drug, which I've been taking seasonally ever since.  The problem with depression is you often don't realize how far along into it you are until you're REALLY far along.  All of a sudden you realize you've been sleeping more than you've been awake for the last few're eating way too much...or hardly anything at don't go out because you don't feel like it, and then you get upset because you haven't seen your friends in a few days/weeks, and then you're in even less of a mood to go out, and on and on it goes...the downward spiral continues.  I spent a few years trying to drag myself out of that hole by staying busy, forcing myself to go out with friends, etc, etc, without much success.  It was around my Sophomore year in college when I ran across the book Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder, written by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD.  I thought it was kind of a load of bull at the time, until I started reading it and realized that they had my last five years' worth of winters laid perfectly.  Right down to the week of euphoria/insomnia around March or April when it first gets really sunny again.  It was crazy.  So, I read some more about it, read about options, and wound up taking the prescription route.  There's other options...light therapy, etc...but I didn't feel like they fit into my life/schedule very well.  That portion is entirely to each his own, I think.  Some people have major issues with medicating for things like depression...I just happen to not be one of those people.  Anyway, every year I get better at recognizing when my symptoms are coming on so I don't have to crash first and then dig myself out of that.  It's been an amazing improvement ever  I can get out of bed, I don't sleep for 14 hours a day, I don't pass out on my couch the second I get home, I eat normal amounts on a normal schedule, I don't have wild mood swings or just feel blah all the time anymore.  I had hoped medication would help, but I honestly never dreamt it could do all that.  Anyway, at the risk of sounding public service announcement-esque, because it's an issue that's close to my heart, just pay attention to how you're feeling on a daily basis.  Think about if there's a pattern when you tell yourself you're just tired because you've been working a lot, or you just don't feel like seeing anyone because it's been a long week, etc.  You don't have to spend your fall/winter miserable.  And if you have any questions about Seasonal Affective Disorder, check out that book I mentioned's a ton of great information.  More crafting stuff later, probably :)

Adventures on canvas begin...

So I guess canvas is hot this year in the crafting world.  We have workshops, samples, gift tags, and boxes and boxes of other canvas items at the store.  So...I figure it's about time to play!  I've always had sort of an interest in creating wall art with canvases.  I've actually tried a couple of times with limited success.  But that was back in high school before I had been introduced to the world of scrapbooking, and I was just using whatever paint, etc. I had lying around the house.  So I ran across this really snazzy idea in the idea book about doodling that I bought a few months ago...I was super excited when I saw it the first time, and then I got busy and kind of forgot about it...but I ran across it again a few days ago and was re-inspired, so my canvas project takes it's first baby steps tonight.  So here's the pic from the book that I'm working off of for inspiration:

First and foremost, of COURSE I'm doing my canvas with a picture of Lucy :)  I was thinking about doing one of both of them, but upon further consideration, I decided that I'll do one just for Millie later.  After having Lucy for almost a year now, I think I really have an understanding of her quirky little personality and can hopefully bring that to the piece.  I don't think I've had Millie long enough to say that.  So after she comes out of her shell a little more, she'll get her own picture :)

Now, that said, I think the most exciting little tidbit from this inspiration page is the little gems around the outside edges.  What in interesting idea...using a 5/8" circle punch for paper to put behind those gems you put in the bottom of vases.  I had never really seen anything like it.  It was, in fact, the whole reason I decided I really wanted to do this canvas afterall.  So while I haven't really figured out my whole concept yet, I got to play with the gems tonight to get a feel for how it might fit with the rest of my ideas.

So, the first column is just gems with paper behind them, the second column is with paper that has some Sharpie doodling on it behind the gems, and the third column is just the gems...which I'm thinking about mixing into the piece too.  I'm LOVING the Sharpie ones, though.  We'll see what happens.

Once I really get going on this, I'm going to have to figure out a better way to photograph it so you can see everything better (On that note, I'm seriously considering buying myself a new camera for Christmas.  The camera phone pictures aren't doing it for me, and I despise the camera I have...screw you Olympus with your damn XD card that isn't compatible with my computer and no auto-stabilization.  Gotta finish the rest of my Christmas shopping first and see if I have enough left for me!)

Anyway, that's all for tonight!  More tomorrow :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

But everything was going so well...

Blech, blech, and more blech today.  Isn't it irritating how just when you think everything is finally on track, life pulls the damn rug out from under you?  Every freaking time.  I was thinking about going into the store and cropping today, but I'm in way too bad of a mood now for that. *sigh*  Instead, I think I will take a nap, take myself out for lunch, possibly do a little shopping, make some cute cards, and depending how I'm feeling after all that, bust out the Captain and Coke later.  We'll see.  One more BLECH for good measure, and that's all for now.  If I manage to come up with a happy little card that cheers me up later, I'll post it. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Points for participation...

Anyone who knows me or my family knows...we don't do Halloween.  I don't think I've had a Halloween costume since I was maybe eight years old.  No costumes, no Halloween parties, and we lived in the country growing up, so no trick-or-treaters either (I got lucky that my apartment complex doesn't do it either).  Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm a scrooge about it necessarily.  I don't have issue with other people enjoying the holiday...I guess I can see the appeal if you're into that...I just don't like it.  The whole ordeal creeps me out.  People in costumes, strangers knocking on your door at night, wandering around in the dark asking for candy from people you don't know...I's all the stuff they teach you not to do from the age you're old enough to understand what the heck they're talking about.  I have enough issues with creepy little kids...I'm already terrified I'm going to wind up having a kid as pale as I am with great big eyes who likes to wake me up by standing next to my bed and staring at me...the horror.  (Note:  I have specific reasons for being extra terrified of people staring at me while I sleep...a roommate situation which I will not go into details about...suffice it to say, I moved out in a panic in three hours while she was at work...scary!). 

Anyway, so I typically avoid Halloween festivities like the plague and don't particularly mind being harassed about my lack of enthusiasm for everyone's apparent favorite holiday (I'll take Thanksgiving, thankyouverymuch).  BUT, when I showed up at work today, I had a "Boo" in my mailbox.  What is this, you may ask?  I asked myself the very same question, and luckily it came with a handy dandy instruction sheet telling me exactly what a "Boo" was, and detailing my loose obligation to pass it on.  That's right...a Halloween candy chain letter of sorts.  A little Halloween favor box with candies and a little poem and a cute little ghost for my nametag so everyone knows I've been "boo" we're able to tell who still needs a "boo."  It's interesting that something I would've completely ignored if it showed up at my house happened to show up at work instead, and I actually bothered to consider it.  When you put something in the frame of crafting potential, you just may spark my interest.

Also sparking my enthusiasm for this particular project is the fact that I just happened to buy a new Martha Stewart Scor-Board on Saturday night (so much for restraining myself from buying more scrapbooking stuff, eh?)  And this particular tool comes with a very helpful guide for making envelopes AND favor boxes.  Soooooo...I am officially participating in my first Halloween activity in nearly 20 years...shocking.  And to anyone who thinks maybe this means I've let up on my anti-Halloween stance...don't count on it.  But, from the crafting angle at least, it turned out pretty cute...and I imagine I'd participate in similar activities in the future should the situation call for it.  Plus, it's better that I don't seem like a big party pooper of a boss.  :)  lol.  So here's my "Boo!":



- Martha Stewart Scor-Board
- Various Bo-Bunny Papers
- Bazzill Bling Buttons
- We R Memory Keepers Deco Corner Chompers
- Googly-eyed Spider Stickers (from Walgreens, of all places)
- Charcoal Cateye Ink (required for any project I'm doing, without

And that's it for tonight!