Saturday, July 25, 2015

Disney Cruise and Western U.S. Trip Report - Day 2

Day Two – June 26, 2015

I got to sleep in a smidge while Parrish was off acquiring a new tire (and some oft unavailable to us Texans, Dunkin’ Doughnuts).  We still hit the road by about 8 AM and knew that it would be a rougher day, as it would mostly be smaller highways, as opposed to the much easier-to-travel interstates.  We passed Shiprock on our way to Colorado, and after a couple of hours this other former homestate of ours, including much time stuck in road work traffic, we were in Utah. 

I had been through and to Utah several times over my lifetime, but had never been through Salt Lake City.  Little sidenote here - I converted, briefly, to LDS (Mormon) in high school and so was curious to see the temple in SLC.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to see it as we passed by on the interstate and there just wasn’t time to stop.  We continued on to Ogden and decided to get some dinner at Denny’s. 

Parrish, Ellie, and I headed in to make use of the facilities and to get a table.  More than five minutes had passed and Mom and Dad still hadn’t come in.  We peeked out and saw them fooling with  something in the car and shortly after they came through the door, looking less than thrilled.  As it turned out, someone had accidentally left their brand new camera (they bought it for the trip) on top of the open cooler lid and it had fallen into the melted ice at some point.  Needless to say, it was probably ruined and would have to be replaced.  We were all worn out.  We had intended to get well into Idaho, maybe even to Boise, for the night, but instead called and looked around and after some searching found a less than desirable hotel and stayed in Ogden.  Parrish took Ellie swimming and that was pretty much that!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Day One Layouts

I didn't have a scrap space for several months, because I was in the process of the first of two moves for me this year.  Fortunately, in my current home, I also have two big IKEA desks that I have put together for my home office/craft space and they will follow me this fall when I move again.  Going on Vacation really got me excited about playing with supplies again (and I am also feeling certain that I will fall prey to the new planner trend fairly soon).  So, I present to you a couple of  layouts that I have completed about our first day on the road.

Calico County

This restaurant is something of a legend in my family.  When I was in high school, we lived in Farmington, New Mexico and all of our extended family was here "at home" in Fort Worth.  Countless times we drove through Amarillo to Fort Worth and many of those stops involved dinner or lunch at Calico County.  It had been a good 20-something years since our last visit.  It was a required stop on the trip.

Supplies:   Carta Bella

Stagecoach Driver

My niece, Ellie, is very fond of having her picture taken.  We saw this little stagecoach and team somewhere in New Mexico at a filling station!  We went in to buy snacks and Ellie required that either her mother or me go back to the car and get some sort of camera in order to take her picture with them. It was a REQUIREMENT!

Supplies:  patterned paper, border sticker, and tin pin - October Afternoon; ticket embellishment - Jenny Bowlin; letter stickers and horse chipboard sticker - American Crafts;  stickers - October Afternoon, Crate Paper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Disney Cruise and Western U.S. Trip Report - Day 1

I wish I was better at recording my vacations in written form, but I’m going to try to record all the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) things that happened during The Horton Family’s Marvelous Adventures West…which included a 7-night cruise on The Disney Wonder, sailing to Alaska.

First, an overview in order to keep my memory somewhat organized

June 25, 2015 – Parrish’s 34th birthday and our departing from Fort Worth Day.  Spent the night in Farmington, New Mexico
June 26, 2015 – Farmington, NM to Ogden, Utah
June 27, 2015 – Ogden, Utah to Vancouver, BC, Canada
June 28, 2015 – Day in Vancouver/Victoria, BC
June 29, 2015 – Debarkation Day
June 30, 2015 – Day at Sea
July 1, 2015 – Tracy Arm, Alaska (essentially a day at sea with great scenery)
July 2, 2015 – Skagway, Alaska (with lots of rain.  Overall a Thumbs-Down)
July 3, 2015 – Juneau, Alaska (Deluxe Tour of Juneau Port Adventure)
July 4, 2015 – Ketchikan, Alaska (Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show Port Adventure)
July 5, 2015 – Day at Sea
July 6,  2015 – Debarkation Day; Vancouver, BC to Salem, Oregon
July 7, 2015 – Voodoo Doughnuts in Eugene, Oregon; Giant Redwoods in California (none of which we got photos of); scary mountain driving; Salem, Oregon to Sacramento, CA
July 8, 2015 – Sacramento, CA to Las Vegas, NV
July 9, 2015 – Day in Las Vegas
July 10, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV to Winslow, AZ; Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon
July 11, 2015 – Winslow, AZ to Amarillo, TX
July 12, 2015 – Amarillo, TX to Home

Secondly, an overview of our cast of characters

Me – Deedee, single, 39
Sister – Parrish, single,  mom to Ellie, 34 as of Day 1
Niece – Ellie, daughter of Parrish.  4, almost 5.  Light of my Life!
Mom – Candy, married to Tom (Dad) turned 67 on Embarkation Day
Dad – Tom, married to Candy (Mom), 73 also awesome

Day 1, Thursday, June 25, 2015  
We drove  to Canada, in two cars.  This is due mostly to the fact that Dad is a wheelchair driver and has a large electric wheelchair which takes up most of the back of his accessible van.  Mom and Dad drove  in their car, we three girls drove in Parrish’s mid-size SUV. 

We planned to leave at 6 AM.  When The Hortons make grand plans to leave early, they typically fail.  Somehow, this time we managed.  We pulled out of the driveway around 6:08.  This was after planting birthday cards for Parrish in her car AND having to chase my parents down the street because they failed to shut the driveway gate behind my car once I drove it in for safe keeping.  We hit the Sonic drive-thru for some greasy fast food breakfast, then we were off.

The Texas leg of our journey went off without a hitch.  We stopped in Amarillo around noon for lunch at a restaurant we had frequented on our trips to and from New Mexico during my high school years.  The place:  Calico County.  It had lived in our memories for years as some sort of legendary country cooking icon of greatness.  It did not, however, live up to my memories of it. 

Due to 75 MPH + speed limits, the trip went really quickly.  We finally hit New Mexico, which I think we were all looking forward to.  We had plans to drive to Albuquerque, then up through Farmington, which is where we lived 20 some years ago.  The original plan was to stay in Albuquerque for the night and drive through Farmington on our way to Utah the next day.  We were making such good time that we changed plans and decided to stay in Farmington.  There is a stretch of road between Albuquerque and Farmington that is basically nothing and requires a 3 hour drive.  On the second half of that, I was driving, and suddenly, we had a flat.  In the middle of nowhere.  We were going to call roadside assistance, and wait for however many 500 years it took them to reach us.  Fortunately, a state trooper pulled up behind us shortly thereafter and spent the better part of an hour changing the tire.  Yeah, we both probably should learn how to do that ourselves….

Ellie really wanted her picture taken with these "horsies" outside of a gas station somewhere in New Mexico.  :/

Finally, with another 80-90 miles to go, we were back on the road.  Driving at about 34 MPH due to the temporary spare on the car.  We finally reached Farmington and not much had changed in the two decades since I’d last been there!  We decided we’d (okay, Parrish would) get the tire replaced as soon as Wal-Mart opened up in the morning, at some Burger King, then hit the hay.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Choose Five Challenge

So, I mentioned last week that I am on a spending freeze (mostly...).  I really want to start tackling some of the supplies I rarely use, so I've created for myself a "Choose Five Challenge".

Now I can't claim that I completely invented this concept.  I remember someone posting something like this sometime ago on Two Peas (let's all pause for a brief moment of silence in its memory....)


But I loved the idea of challenging myself to use those oft-neglected items in my stash.  So, I'm going to give this a whirl.  And if I get any scrap time in anytime in the near future, I'll post some of my results.

What this entails, for me anyway, is posting a list of items I'd like to start using more of on my layouts.  I'll stick this puppy up somewhere near my scrap desk.  From said list, I shall choose five items to incorporate into the layout I'm working on at that time.

My list:

Washi Tape
Wood Veneer
Enamel Dots
Silhouette Cut File
Old Buttons
Old Brads
Old Stickers
Old Letter Stickers
Sew Fun Banner

I have tons and tons of stamps.  I have no idea what to do with them most of the time, so guess what?  I never use them.  I forget about most of the other items on the list or I'm just super lazy in my process and avoid them.  Especially my Silhouette.  I have a monthly subscription.  I almost always use up all the credit given me every month.  But then I don't actually get around to cutting shizz out.  So, I'm going to make an effort to use those files more frequently.

What are some things that you need to remind yourself to use more often in your layouts?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Just For Kicks

Full Disclosure:  December Daily 2014 is nearing completion.  December Daily 2013 isn't complete.  I think I just wasn't feeling it that year.  Late 2013 was a weird, weird time in my life.  And what I have completed, I'm super unhappy about.  

Anyway...I say all that to say this:  While my 2014 album is still incomplete, I do have a few shots to share, so thought I would do that now.  You know...just to keep my blog somewhat alive and kickin'.  Or at least keep the very faint pulse of it all chugging along before it just sees it's end.  ;)

These are not the best quality photos, as I snapped them with my phone while I was in the process of creating them several weeks ago, but they give you an idea of what I've been up to.  The middle photo shows an album sized envelope into which I slip little trinkets of the season - tickets, gift tags, etc.  

Stay tuned...I'll be back in the next couple of weeks with photos of my completed'll be Christmas all over again, friends!  

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hello Again!

Well, hey kids!  It's been quite sometime since I've posted, I know.  I think I've just decided to hide myself away a bit from all the blogging madness.  It's a new year, folks and I have some resolutions.  I won't bore you with the details of all of them,  but I will tell you that one of my biggest resolutions pertains to my crafting budget....specifically my scrapbooking budget.

I'm sure many of you share the same addiction to the purchasing of scrapbooky goodness that I do.  I love, love, love me some pretty paper and embellishments and stamps and so on...but I realized as I was working on my 2014 December Daily project (it's still not finished), that I really don't need to buy any more Christmas products for next year's album...and maybe not for 2016...or 2017 either!

With that thought, came this thought...I am almost drowning in supplies.  I spend probably $1,000 or more annually on scrapbooking products, many of which I never get around to using.  I'm currently working on becoming as close to debt-free as I can be and will be moving into (and furnishing) a new apartment in the next few months.  Additionally, I'm on the precipice of deciding whether or not I want to be a mom before it's too late.  So, I've learned the art form of "budgeting".  With that, I've decided I'm going to have a scrapbooking purchase free year.*

*with a few exceptions.

I belonged to two kit clubs.  I have canceled those memberships.  Mostly the kits, as beautiful as they are, have been sitting undisturbed in their little plastic bags for 3...4....6 months or more.  I've spent today going through the vast majority of my crafting supplies and my patterned paper alone (the vast majority of which is from 2012 or later) - if i were to stack it, I'd say there would be EASILY 4 feet of 12 x 12 PATTERNED paper.  That doesn't include the other 6 inch stack of 6x6 and 8x8 paper I own, nor does that include solid cardstock.

I have so many embellishments it has become overwhelming trying to decide what to use on which layout.  I didn't even know what all I had!  It, too, has been sorted and I now have a better idea of what I have.

My Thickers take up an entire shelf on my Raskog cart, as do my washi tapes.  I have Project Life kits and embellishments that do nothing but collect dust, because...let's be honest...PL has not been touched by me since January of last year.

And I haven't even mentioned my growing stash of yarn that I use to support my recent knitting and crocheting habits....though other than the 10 uncompleted projects I have already started, all those other balls and skeins are just resting and waiting for the chance at the needles or hook.

I have so much STUFF.  What I have may not seem like a lot to many other scrappers and crafters, but it does not really mesh well with my tiny living space.  And when I move, while I fully intend to create a full-on craft room, I still don't want to be overrun by crafting supplies.  Additionally, having SO much to choose from, SO many options sometimes makes starting a new project or layout rather intimidating.

So, I've regrouped my paper.  I'm using the same system I've been using for sometime - I organize alphabetically by manufacturer and then by line.  My patterned paper collection has spilled over into a third basket, however.

My embellishments are now grouped by the following categories:  3D flowers, flair & wood veneer, stickers (large sheets in one basket, smaller sheets in another), chunky embellishments, tags & labels, envelopes & pockets, bling, brads & buttons, ribbons & twine, frames & overlays.

I also reorganized my yarn and grew that stash into a bigger basket (not counting the three smaller bins that already housed said collection).  My four year old niece is staying with me during our winter break from school, so needless to say, she's been a tremendous asset in all of this! scrapbooking (crafting) spending freeze has the following rules...meaning, these are the ONLY things I can purchase until 2016....and yes, I did just get a little nauseated from panic as I typed that.  Just in case anyone is concerned.

1.  Adhesive - ATG refills, glue dots, pop dots, glue, doublesided tape
2.  Solid cardstock - white, vanilla, kraft, and black only
3.  Albums and album refills, on an as needed basis only.  No albums just for fun or because "it's so cute!"
4.  Journaling pens.  Though I don't really see this being a need this year, I've put it here in case of emergencies!  lol  Again, on an as needed basis only.
5.  Photo processing - whether it be refills for the Selphy or sending my photos in to be printed.  Next year, I might challenge myself to finish scrapbooking all my printed photos BEFORE printing more, but that's a little more than I can chew this year.
6.  Other crafting supplies for specific purposes (non-scrapbooking related) - ie...yarn for a specific knitting or crocheting project that is to be started within the three days following purchase, though, again, I don't really see this being a need for a good few months, if at all.

Though I do get a tad nervous thinking about not buying any fun scrapbooking supplies this next year, I think this will really help whittle down my stash AND help me to have some cash for moving purchases (and did I mention the Disney Cruise to Alaska this summer?)

So, your turn....what are some craft-related resolutions you've made for this new year?

Thanks for reading!  Until we meet again, my friends!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scrap Your Scraps: Using Your Ribbon, Buttons, & Brads

Hi all!  I have a new post up on the Scrap Your Scraps blog today about organizing, storing, AND using all those ribbons, buttons, and brads we all seem to have lying around our crafty spaces.

Here's a preview:

Please stop by and check it out!