Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I was really excited to have signed up for Ali Edward's 31 Things class at Big Picture earlier this month. I watch the pre-class video and read all the documents. I got up early on the first day to work on my assignment and wrote my first story that night. But then....

Yeah, I have been slacking. I am the worst. It's day fourteen and I haven't written a thing. I am terrible student. I was much better at this years ago - writing papers before they were due, spending weekends keeping up on my reading, even typing my notes. But once college was done, I was glad to have put that all behind me.

So at first, I just wasn't feeling inspired by the topics. Then I was just too burned out from work. Then the drama with the computer. I just kept putting things off. I did keep track of the topics, but haven't really read the topics from Ali. I kind of just feel like I can catch up when I'm ready. What's the point of crafting, writing, memory keeping, etc., when it feels like work.

Today, I did look at the topic before I went to take Penny to the vet. And then I took her to the park. And then I felt like writing. So I want to share what I did come up with after we got home...

5:30 View

Even though the sky looked like it could burst at any minute, I decided to take Penny to the park after our trip to the vet. There were four puglets, a mommy pug, another dog and a cat there to get her riled up – not to mention having the doctor check her out and the car ride.


So we drove a few blocks north to Hudson County Park. There aren’t many beautiful places here in Hudson County, but this is definitely one of them.  With the clouds overhead, it was pretty cool out and perfect for a walk around the pond.

I always feel a bit of family pride when I see the lake. My great-grandfather helped build it as part of a New Deal work program. I am so jealous that my sister lives right across the street. If she wasn’t at work, I would have called her to come bring Rocky to join us. But it’s ok, because Penny and I are slow and we could just walk around without having to match their pace.

The pond looks so scenic this time of year. The fresh greens of spring all around haven’t changed into the deeper colors of summer. There are so many shades of green. Everything was lush and a bit wet from last night’s rain storm.

Penny didn’t want to get very close to the water. She prefers the grassier side. She pulled back and dragged as I tried to get a little bit closer. I’d love to get a photo of her looking at the pond. But that wasn’t going to happen.

There’s too much going on the park and Penny didn’t want to pay attention to me, even when we took a break at the bench. There were birds, dogs, people.  Why would she want to sit and pose? We saw a few other little dogs out for walks. Penny was excited to see them, but she moved on pretty easily and didn’t start whining in that high-pitched tone, as she usually does. When you see us walking, you’d think she’s walking me. Pretty funny considering she’s 14.5 pounds. A guy walking towards us smiled and said, “She’s pretty strong.” Yup, she is.

We saw lots of squirrels, ducks, pigeons, robins, sparrows, mocking birds, a few turtles and too many Canada geese.  I like that the walkway is clean – unlike the streets of West New York – but you do have to watch out for that goose poop. A lot of the birds were resting. Two pigeons were squatting down right in one of the pathways, not budging for passers-by. And ducks and turtles were luxuriating on the rocks and ledges along the pond. One of the turtles jumped back in for a swim as we walked by. I spotted some white swans along the banks of the island in the center of the pond. There were also some kind of water birds hanging out in the middle, which I couldn’t identify. They were brown or black with long necks. Not ducks. I wish I had binoculars to see them better. I have loved bird watching since we spent a few weeks spying on birds in Advanced Bio in high school.

There are a couple of fountains spurting up in the water – I think it looks so pretty. The pond is not a perfect circle by any means and I just think it makes the walk more interesting. The view changes around every bend. From one side, you can even see the Empire State Building, even though it’s pretty hazy. I do wish the county did a better job of keeping the water clean. At some ends, there is sickish looking muck at the surface of the water, along with lots of garbage. Maybe Penny has the right idea about sticking the grassy side.

As you walk around the pond, you cross paths with all kinds of people – sometimes even twice or more as they circle around in the opposite direction. We go pretty slowly, so I am impressed when we see people more than once.

At this time of day – it’s about 11 a.m. – there are mostly adults at the park. Senior citizens, parents with young children, people exercising or walking their dogs. Some are just sitting on the benches taking a break or people watching. There’s a guy with a fishing pole. I see one lady as I walk around watching the swimming birds intently and taking notes. I see her again at the other side of the pond feeding the geese and ducks. A few pigeons landed in front of us to get in on the snacks. I think Penny wanted to join them but the geese hiss at her if she gets too close. She mostly leaves them alone. I hear the lady talking to the birds, calling them over like she knows them. I think she just told one of them to get back over there. For a minute I think she’s crazy, but then I see walking towards us and it looks like he’s talking to himself. He’s got a head piece on and is talking to someone on the phone. I think that looks even crazier.

After finishing our lap, we take the path back toward the car. I’d like to take another lap, but Penny’s panting pretty heavily and I know I’d start hurting if we did another round. I think we both could use some more time walking there. Maybe now that it’s summer – I always say this after a trip to the park and wish I’d follow through.

Penny collapses on the front seat. She’s not as hyper as she was on our drive here. We head home along Boulevard East and take in one of my other favorite local views, the New York City skyline.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Greetings from my Mac

Well, last week was crazy. It rained almost all week. I was at work late almost every night.  And oh yeah, and my laptop died on me. Well, either the motherboard or video card died.

So I took my poor little puter over to the Geek Squad and while talking to a Geek about options for revival, he said I could have it shipped out for diagnostics (which could take weeks) or give up and get a new one. And well, I have been wanting a new one for awhile, but I've been waiting to get a Mac instead of another PC. So the Geek told me about open box models, which are still brand new but discounted. And well, I got a Mac!

I'm a little annoyed that the Geeks didn't do my data transfer properly, but luckily I have just about everything backed up! I didn't lose a song, a photo or a scrapbook page. There were a few documents, but I don't care as much about those.

So I have been playing with my new computer all weekend, installing fonts. playing with a trial version of PS6, copying photos, organizing my music. I even got one scrapbook page done! I am pretty used to Macs from work, I'm just not used to using the command key when I'm at home. My muscle memory is a little confused!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Penny, new cons, etc...

Where did this week go? I kept meaning to blog all week, but never got around to it. Let's see. Some highlights...

- Last Thursday, I made a cameo appearance at karaoke! It's been too long! (Plans are in the works for a karaoke birthday party!) Also... I had a to buy another pair of Converse! I had been wearing a pair of shoes which I got in Italy more than 10 years ago and when I was about to drive home I realized that both shoes cracked! I think the rubber soles just got dried out and nasty. So sad! I loved those shoes. Well, I couldn't drive home for an hour with a shoe that was catching on my brakes. Luckily, I work next door to a Converse outlet (SERIOUSLY!!!!) and I now a pair of royal blue Chucks!

- Friday was Penny's birthday! I found my little pug 4 years ago! For her 5th birthday, I spoiled her with lots of treats and some new toys. 

- On Saturday, I went on a little shopping spree and got myself some new clothes! All bright and fun colors. I've been wearing too much gray. Blech! I need more color in my life. My glasses, cons and nails seem to be the only things that change color! After all that spending, I took Penny to the park and then came home to do some cooking for mom's day.

- We spent Mother's Day over at my brother's with the crazy kids. My salad was a big hit. I had prepared the chicken the way I do for quesadillas - with lime, onions and garlic. I served that over romaine lettuce along with green pepper, fresh corn, black beans, some of my homemade salsa, shredded cheddar, tortilla strips, and avocado ranch dressing. 

- I watch too much TV! Lots of season finales - OMG Vampire Diaries and Grey's Anatomy - plus there's Game of Thrones, Mad Men and some other cable stuff. And Craig Ferguson was in Scotland this week. I like it when shows wrap up in May. I need a break! 

- Work is crazy, but at least I got this cool mug! 

- And I signed up for a class at Big Picture - Ali Edward's 31 Things. The class focuses mostly on writing. So I find it funny that I am procrastinating my daily assignment by writing this blog post! But seriously, I'm excited about it. I am a big fan of Ali Edwards - she's inspired me in so many ways, but mostly in her approach - to just play. I love that. 

- I meant to tell you all that I was hosting a chat for One Story Down's first Block Party. All I will say is that it was probably the craziest chat I've ever hosted.

- Oh yeah, and I did a little scrapping...

Sunday Funday... Did I blog about this yet? Andrea, who is my nerd twin on the OSD team, told us about how her daughter invented her own holiday, Sunday Funday! So I did my best to celebrate!
Credits: Tracy Martin's Sunshine kit and Stenciled Alpha from One Story Down.

Some karaoking on my b'day last year. Credits: Emily Merritt's M is for Milk and Cookies, Em-Isms and Simple Scraps No 14 from the Lily Pad; Kim Jensen's Bloomin' Eggcelent flowers from Lily Pad; Amber Clegg's These Moments String from the Lily Pad

A little tribute to my mom. Credits: Michelle Godin's Happy Mom's Day from Lily Pad, No Place Like Home butterfly; Janet Phillips Scrap Your Heart Out Templates 5 from Sweet Shoppe

And here's one featuring T and her diary. Credits::: Peeps & Milo, Domesticated Lady and Snips N Snail's Boho Chic collab from One Story Down; Lauren Reid's Perky Alpha from One Story Down; Chere Kaye's Random Stitches from One Story Down;  Domesticated Lady's Type A Personality Font from One Story Down

Tomorrow, I'm cropping with the ladies! So excited! Going to bring my smash book stuff and hopefully get to use some of this stuff I hoarded on NSD! Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Terrible dreams and more scrapping

I had the worst dream ever this morning! I got up, took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, started driving to work. But then I realized that wasn't a honking I heard - it was my alarm clock. So I had to get up and do it all over again! I am not getting used to being a morning person!

Isn't that much worse than a nightmare? My other most hated dream involved winning the lottery. I had this awesome penthouse apartment. And then I woke up - and I was still broke.

Ok, so enough about my dreams. Time to catch up on my scrapbook pages....

I have been in an ATC mood lately. I have been wanting to re-create a poster I saw on Etsy or Pinterest and this bowtie from The Ardent Sparrow's Wesley kit immediately made me think of Doctor Who. 

Here's a mushy little page about my little buddy. He loves to play ball - any kind of ball - and always throws them up trying to make a shot - whether or not there's a hoop there. He's so cute. 
Credits: Peeps & Milo and The Hidden Heart's The Family Project from One Story Down
Peeps & Milo's Instamatick No 1 Template, Typewriter Blunder Alpha, Up The Woods Alpha, Wishy Washi Sticky Tapes from One Story Down 

Here's one I did for the Paper Scrap Pirates challenge at OSD for NSD. Credits: The Ardent Sparrow's Wesley kit and word art from One Story Down; Tape by the Ardent Sparrow from Tell Me A Story collab at One Story Down; Michelle Godin's Teeny Tiny Alpha from The Lily Pad; Kim Jensen's Stringbats from The Lily Pad; Lauren Reid's Make it Snappy tape from One Story Down
Scraplifted from a page by Lisa Truesdell.
Wesley is seriously one of my favorite kits ever!

Some pics from D's bday party! Kim's new kit was perfect for the Yo Gabba Gabba theme. Credits: Kim Jensen's Every Day Boy from The Lily Pad; Michelle Godin's Teeny Tiny Alpha from The Lily Pad; Janet Phillips' Year in Review template from Sweet Shoppe

I also really love this month's BOYC kit from Lily Pad! I did four pages with it! Credits: Kim Jensen's Electomania Papers and Stringbats from the Lily Pad; Emily Merritt's Love The Summer Templates from the Lily Pad; Jacque Larsen's Huff N Puff Alpha from the Lily Pad; Jennifer Barrette's Naturally Organic elements from the Lily Pad; Salhlin Studio's A Wonderful Day Elements from the Lily Pad; Amy Martin's Mini Dots Alpha from the Lily Pad; Valorie Wibbens' Honey Honey elements from the Lily Pad

Here's crazy Kylie. I think these photos capture her personality so well! Credits: Michelle Godin's Sunshine and Grass Stains papers and elements and Sloppy Stencil Alphas 2 from the Lily Pad; Amy Martin's Mini Dots Alpha from The Lily Pad

Here's K at her preK graduation. Credits: Michelle Godin and Amy Wolff's Smart Cookie from the Lily pad; Amy Martin May 2012 template from The Lily Pad's Template Challenge

Kylie is getting very good at reading. I am so proud! Credits: The Doodle Queen's Hello Book and Hello Book Add On from One Story Down; Flutter Expressions template from Floor Plan INSD Challenge at One Story Down; The Ardent's Sparrow flower from Yesterday's Jam by One Story Down designers; Emily Merritt's My Life journal card and Here to There word strip from The Lily Pad; Kim Jensen's Frame O Mania from The Lily Pad

I made this page at an NSD speed scrap at OSD. It's been so long since I've done one of those! Credits: Yesterday's Jam collab by the One Story Down designers;  Ardent Sparow's Wesley Paint from One Story Down; Jennifer Barrette's Chasing Rainbows ruler 

My little garden gnome. Credits: Kim Jensen's Frame-O-Mania, Eclectomania papers, String Bats, Paint It White Alphas; Kate Hadfield's Garden Gnome; Jennifer Barrette's Naturally Organic; Sahlin Studio's Wonderful Day - all from The Lily Pad.

And here's one I was inspired to do after seeing this cute kit by Jacque Larsen. We grew up listening to my aunt's version of The Three Little Pigs. It's quite a family legend. Credits: Jacque Larsen's Little Pig, Little Pig and Huff N Puff Alpha, Kim Jensen's Eclectomania Papers, Valorie Wibbens' Honey Honey, Amy Martin's Mini Dots Alpha; Amy Wolff & Michelle Godin's Smart Cookie journal strip, Sahlin Studio's Wonderful Day all from Lily Pad

Sunday, May 06, 2012


It's NSD weekend so I've been glued to my computer shopping, chatting and scrapping. (I did take a break to see the Avengers!!!) And even though I've been digiscrapping my heart out, I wanted to share some of my non-digi projects. I worked on these mostly during my furlough earlier this year, and I've only just given most of them to their new owners. I still have one more to deliver!

Fun with Buttons: I have a huge stash of buttons so I wanted to make some shadow box projects. This was so much fun to work on. I really got to use my crafty supplies and tools. Now I just need to decide where to put them.

Frames: I made these for some friends who were expecting babies or grandbabies - some of those kids are now almost 2! One of the frames was for my mom's friend whose daughter just got married. It usually takes me forever to make these - not because they are hard. I will paint them out in the yard when it's nice out, then leave them in a pile for a few months and then do the rest! I am so lazy! But I really love how these turned out and everyone really loved them!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

One of those days...

It's cloudy and rainy.

I'm tired.

I miss karaoke.

I'm tired of people nagging me.

And my eye hurts.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


 This little guy just turned two and we celebrated his birthday on Saturday.

He loved his cake, which was made by my mom. Here's a better look...