Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas... everyone out in the blog-o-sphere!

I just noticed that it has been just shy of three weeks since I have posted, and it made me hang my head a bit. Then I realized that in the last three weeks I have been pretty much going non-stop, 90 miles-an-hour with my hair on fire trying to get things done. I know you can understand what I mean. It is like I wake up with a to-do list a mile long and the DH will say, "Oh, by the way," (at this point I know nothing good is going to come of this conversation, but I figure he is the hunter/provider and my job is the gatherer/doer, so I lull myself into a false sense of security for a couple of minutes). "By the way honey, can you go get a couple of cars inspected, run by the post office, pick up something at the grocery store, and blah blah blah Kim, blah blah, blibbity blah blah Kim."

At this point my hearing has gone to "cocker spaniel mode", where all I can hear is my name, and nothing else. This is my happy place. Don't judge me.

Anyway...the last three weeks. Little Miss finished up this year's preschool with their Christmas play which was so sweet it made my teeth hurt. She played an angel. Snort. Chuckle...Ho, Ho...BWAAHHAAAHAAA!!! I think they made her an angel because she is the tallest girl in her class and the angels have to stand at the back. In any case she was a cute angel and she knew all her words and motions and I loved every second of it.

A few days before the program we found out that she is going to need to get her tonsils and adenoids out and have a tube put in her ear as well, so that is helping to "firm up" my January schedule quite nicely, thank you very much. We are deliberately keeping details to a very, very bare minimum at this point in the game. No need saying anything about any body parts coming out of her, because she is pretty obsessive about her stuff staying close to her at all times, and I am guessing that if she cries over a missing Polly Pocket shoe she is going to be less than thrilled about some masked man taking part of her throat out.

In the midst of all of this, my mom made it safely to Austin to visit me (I'm sorry...visit my daughter. I might as well have been found under a cabbage leaf since giving birth to her granddaughter.) and spend time with us during Christmas and the upcoming 5th birthday party. She has been having great fun and has indulged Little Miss in so many games of Chutes and Ladders I am thinking Hasbro ought to give her some kind of award. I don't think my poor mom knew what to do today since I had the kitchen duties under control (brined turkey, anyone?) and all she had to do was sit in the floor and play Barbies all day long.

Somehow, in the daily fray I finally managed to stamp and send Christmas cards which I am calling "Christmas season" cards, since I know good and doggone well that not one of them made it out the door in time to be delivered before today. I also made and delivered all of the kiddo's birthday party invitations and got her goodie bag stuff picked up. If anyone wants to have a good laugh, feel free to swing by Goin' Bananas on Monday between noon and 2 p.m. Afterward, feel free to swing by Wine Styles where I will be "debriefing" myself from all the fun. Really.

I can say that today was wonderful though. We have been really explaining to Little Miss the meaning of the season and what makes it special, and she seems to understand it this year. Of course, Santa came by last night as well, and this morning was a fun sight to see. I love watching my daughter open presents, because she will open each one, look it over completely to get a better understanding of it, put it in her little presents pile, and then go for the next one. Very relaxed and fun, unlike her daddy and me trying to get the toys out of their super-sealed encapsulated packages. If only the NSA would contract out security to the companies that make toy packaging there would never be another problem on a flight.

You would step on board, at which point the flight attendants (who have been trained in the ways of the twist tie) would begin securing you to your seats with no less than 152 twist ties. They would then put a 2" wide strip of plastic around the back of your hair and sew it onto the headrest of the seat. Then, just to make sure that you will look good upon arrival they will put a semi-hard plastic case around you and hermetically seal you into it. I'm telling you, weapons on planes would not be an issue because you would not be able to reach anything if you tried.

OK, enough of that! I have a kiddo wanting to play Operation right now, and there is no way I can resist that! I hope that everyone had a wonderful day with friends and family, ate something tasty and maybe even got a visit from Santa as well.

Stay safe, enjoy the rest of this year, and until next time, Happy Stamping!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh what a difference...

...the correct lighting can make! I have to say that I have never been overly emotional about the lighting in my stamping area. I mean, I have a good overhead light and a halogen torch lamp both burning when I work, but I have noticed that when shooting pictures things could get kind of dicey. Sometimes blues want to be grays and pinks and oranges get confused.

Just look at the following two pictures of the exact same card, inspired by a card made by Traci DeGolier that I received during swaps at Regionals:

They are indeed the exact same card. In fact, these two photos were taken less than one minute apart. The difference? The one on the top was lit with my Ott Light, and the one on the bottom was just my regular dining room lighting. It amazed me to see exactly how much the color shifted using my standard every day lighting versus the natural color of the Ott Light. The colors of this card that suffered the most under my "regular" lights were the Sage Shadow and the Really Rust. I was happy when I got my new little light, mostly because I got an incredible Thanksgiving night deal on it at the big craft store whose name we won't mention here (you know---the one that rhymes with "Nichael's"), but when I saw how well it worked I was hooked.

Here is another card that I made last night. All of the cards you see here are going to be featured in my Stamp-a-Stack class next week. There are still some spots open if you are interested, so drop me an email to let me know. I love this designer paper and have been wanting to spend more time with my Bella Blossoms stamps, so this is what came of that little adventure. Just simple, with only Baja Breeze and Basic Gray carrying the load on this one. (Forgive the shadow on this one, I'm still figuring out the best way to use the light when I shoot!)
Finally, my last card using Upsy Daisy and some more really cool paper.
So, that is all for tonight. I have to say thanks to all the folks who have hung in here with me during my creative slump the last few weeks. Between trying to get classes done, fighting bronchitis (still) and taking care of a kiddo who has been more sick these last two months than her entire life, I just haven't felt the good juices flowing at my stamping table.
Hopefully all that nonsense has come to an end and I can get back to making some pretty things that make me happy on the inside. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and until next time--Happy Stamping!