Faded Shabby Blogs

24 February 2011

Bliss of a different kind

Last Friday we flew to Michigan to spend some time with family and friends. Verona had been asking about snow and has been singing Frosty the Snowman frequently. She will lay down on the kitchen floor to make snow angels. She got her wish: 10 inches fell once we were safely here (arriving to 50 degrees and sunshine, much as we had left in Washington).

In Ohio, where we spent two full days and nights at Kalahari Water Park, we saw a blizzard from the cozy place we played in shorts and swim suits.

Today I read a funny Facebook post that someone had posted as a status: "Snowed in in Seattle; it's been snowing for 15 minutes." When Verona wants something, she gets it!

I'm up too early. But I am enjoying the quiet breathing sounds of my family. Vincent and Verona aren't used to Nanny and Pappy's house enough to sleep two flights up from the guest bed, so we are all piled in here together. It's warm and cozy. After the unscheduled but always at the same time of night trip to the bathroom for Verona, I haven't been able to fall back asleep. I am posting from my phone.

Today we will meet my terrific friend at our old breakfast rendezvous spot, the Caribou Coffee location on Sashabaw Road in Clarkston. I sure hope Jason is there to have a little happy talk with him too. And I am so looking forward to the Classic 7-grain oatmeal there. Wish they would sell me some. Noticed a 7-grain cereal option at the Winco in Kent, WA, last time I was there. I will likely give that a try. But it's good to have the real thing too!

After our breakfast, the Vs and I will go see our friends and what I used to call the weekday parents at Inspiring Minds Childcare. Ms.Carrie and Mr.Ahdi have welcomed their own baby as well as have renovated the daycare space. Can't wait to see all, meet their precious daughter, and have some good times with old friends! No wonder I can't sleep!

Life is blissful!

13 February 2011

Bliss Project

The weekly organizational calendar I procured for the year has failed me in more than one way. First, its cover is one I can't personalize easily, so I'm stuck with what I bought and not what I could make of what I bought. Next, there is no monthly overview anywhere in it. I know I bought a weekly planner, thinking I could journal important thoughts or occasions, but I really need to be able to glance at my month's plan. I found a 29-month monthly planner at quite a discount, since five of the 29 months had passed.

I'm so pleased with this. In 2013, I'll try to remember to get another one by this company. There aren't any of the little photos throughout the calendar to indicate the cutesy picture or theme from the cover throughout, as I find on the Dollar Spot at so many stores. I think this is the perfect complement to what I have going. It's small and light, I can have it with me and refer to it before making appointments. I can keep the weekly planner at home to use for journaling or writing more important details.

Of course, I desired a change of the cover. And I decided to try the new Bliss paper to do it. Here's what I came up with it. It is basic to remain as flat as possibly. I would hate for my hand-writing to get messed up because of a bumpy embellishment.

Here's how it turned out:

Teacher Valentines and Laundry Tips!

Pardon the poor photography. These are reusable travel mugs - an inexpensive version that came with some coffee and a coupon inside (purchased at Target). I had originally tried to get my not-yet-5-year-old to color in the paper insert included, but he lost interest quickly. Rather than give a partially colored mug, I decided to take matters into my hands and create the decoration for each mug.

Those who have been paying attention may notice that the background papers resemble some of the banner pennants for the Valentine's banner I made. It's because you are astute and alert! The world needs more lerts, I've been told. I had some leftover scraps from that project, and I traced the provided insert on the back to get a lot of the work done quickly. (This is where the "with purpose" comes into play in my title, in case you have been wondering. Sometimes the purpose is to reduce, sometimes to reuse, sometimes to recycle. Sometimes it's just to use up stuff I've been hoarding so that my husband doesn't notice the new stuff I'm bringing in.)

For Ms. Stephanie's mug, I tied some hemp twine around the base of the page, stamped letters from her name in Pear ink from the new Bohemian Alphabet (LOVE that this comes with two of each vowel, the numbers, and some other punctuation too), cut out the letters, edged them in Chocolate ink, and adhered them with 3D glue dots. Because the papers were a bit stiff, I decided to curve the base around the mug inset and adhere it before I put the letters on. Normally with mugs, I make the whole design before I put them in. (With just photo collages, I laminate them too, so I can be a little more careless while washing. And so I can easily extract them to update them with up-to-date photo collages.)

For Ms. Kelly's mug, I tied some Chocolate ribbon around the bottom and used the PosterBoard Alphabet to stamp the outline of the letters onto scraps from the paper strip project, then cut those out and used Liquid Glass to adhere to the base paper. I thought it gave an interesting bit of texture and interest, especially since Kelly's name is so many letters fewer than Stephanie's. :)

These mugs had one major flaw. The lids were held on by tape, so there was a lot of adhesive gum all over. I used the CTMH Rub and Remove eraser to lift the adhesive residue, then wiped clean. Vincent comes home with stickers on himself a lot. (Both at this school and at daycare, or from any doctor's appointment.) While I've been meaning to ask the teachers about providing them with some bookmarks to use each week, I've had to deal with the reality of my laundry situation. Often, Vincent pulls his shirt off in such a way that the shirt ends up inside out. If I neglect to turn each shirt right side out and inspect before the laundry begins, I have a gooey mess at the end. One day, I thought to try the Rub and Remove eraser on a shirt. What could be the worst case scenario? I'd end up having to buy a new eraser.

Well, I had to buy at least one new eraser so that I could keep one in my laundry room. For under $3, this thing is a laundry saver! I should start putting these in baby shower presents!

But I digress. I hope that the teachers like the mugs. Perhaps they won't want to bother with the hand-washing they require. These will make lovely pencil holders! Teachers always need those, right? (Yeah, I know that teachers have their office supplies organized just as they like them and aren't going to be messing up the orderly design just to make me feel better. I'm just spit-balling here.)

12 February 2011

A Tic Tac Toe-rrific Valentine's Idea!

After having participated in a "buy-in" for coasters, I find myself trying to find multiple ways to use them up! Here, I stamped the game side with the A Game stamp set (only $7.95!) in Cocoa and Tulip. The "tic tac toe" words came on that stamp set, and I used the Tiny Typewriter Alphabet to build the rest of my pun and Vincent's name on a block then stamped in Cocoa at once. The "Have a" and "Valentine's Day" were fun the fun Celebrate stamp set. I used my Cricut to cut 1/2 inch circles and then stamped them with the Xs and hearts (representing Os) while still on the cutting mat. This was an inexpensive way to give the kids in Vincent's preschool class a little Valentine that was not food-related and not the run-of-the-mill set off the Target shelves. I hope the kids have fun playing with them!

10 February 2011

A little birthday card

Just a quick card I made for my niece's birthday, utilizing some scraps of paper, the new Sophia paper for the paper flower and its center (punched with our 1.25" punch) and a sparkle embellishment, and a funky sentiment. I like the pop of Pear in an otherwise monochromatic scene.

I'm also delighted to report that I'm already getting good response to my 40th birthday giveaway. If you'd like to get your gift, please read the next (previous) post! Have a terrific day!

05 February 2011

I'm turning 40 and...

I'm giving 40 gifts at the end of February to celebrate! Want one? Here's how:

Place an order through my website, JuliAnne.MyCTMH.com - this includes the "While Supplies Last" items at discounts (which can be on orders with current Idea Book items too), or with me directly for $40 in product, and you will receive a gift from me. For every $40 you spend, you'll receive another gift!


Host a gathering (EZ Invite "virtual" gathering OR an in-home, for those local) with a minimum of $150 in sales (from all guests combined) and you will receive at least $25 in Hostess Rewards AND a free gift for hosting the gathering. If you, as a customer at your gathering, spend at least $40, you will receive an additional gift for every $40 spent!


Purchase Studio J products. For a Studio J 3-month membership (only $30), you'll receive one gift from me. For a Studio J 5-Pack ($55), you will get two gifts from me. For a Studio J 12-Month membership ($99), you'll find yourself with three gifts from me! Clearly, I've lost the ability to do math, but that's how crazy I am for Studio J!


Become a consultant in my downline ($129 - which includes business basics and your choice of three "choose me" collections, one of which is a Studio J 12-Month membership!) and receive five gifts from me! Through the month of February, Close To My Heart is offering an incentive achievement program which could allow the cost of your starter kit to be reimbursed (see my website for FREE and FABULOUS details, or talk with me)!

All orders must be placed by 11:59 PM (Pacific time...that's an extra three hours for those on EST) February 28, 2011 to qualify for the free gifts from me. I do hope you'll join in my birthday celebration!

04 February 2011

Ways in Which I Lose...and Gain

Pretty much each day I think, "Well, I lost Mother of the Year today." There are a variety of ways in which I do this. Often, it's merely in refusing my children some whim and having to hear the painful cries of how dissatisfied they are with me. I'm bad like that. I'm certain my husband may even have a few items he has observed that he might write in to the committee to take away my title, if he were the writing-to-the-committee sort of man.

Today I lost because I disregarded the schedule of when preschoolers ought to be in bed rule. By more than a few minutes.

It all began innocent enough. It is our last night without Daddy (he's in Luxembourg for business). Rather than do some mundane thing like eat leftover pizza from last weekend (home made, though it is - and with a light wheat crust) and watch a movie, I asked if the Vs would mind running and errand with Mommy.

The errand was to procure a "Klean Seam" silicone strip to bridge the gap between the stove top and the counter. This became an imperative task today after an embarrassing situation during our play date. Someone forgot the rule that the HexBugs had to remain in their habitat. (It's disconcerting to see what looks, at a glance, like cockroaches in the corner of the kitchen, thus the rule was established.) The sound of these little HexBugs under the stove/oven is quite alarming. I ended up having to pull the appliance several inches away from the wall in order to find and capture the escaped toy. And in doing so, I revealed that the team hired to "super clean" our rental home prior to its being leased had clearly neglected to take this same action. I also revealed that I had not, in the nearly four months we've been here, investigated and remedied this fact.

After our guests left our home and I got the Vs situated for a moment, I fired up my Shark steam cleaner and set to work on the cooking indiscretions of other tenants (as well as us). I could not let another meal preparation pass before procuring said Klean Seam and further cinching my transition to becoming my beloved MIL. I hope my hubby is not horrified by this when he returns home and discovers this little item adorning our counter-stove gap.

The item could be found at a store at the Crossroads Mall. The incentive for the Vs to come there with me was that they would get to ride any number of mechanical rides, each of which costs a quarter. My favorite is the replica of the 1886 German carousel, because three children can ride for a quarter. I'm pretty sure the Vs love the race horse the best, especially since some more experienced child let them onto the secret that pulling back the reins makes that horse go even faster!

We didn't even head to the mall until after 6 PM. What was I thinking? That we would shop, ride, and be home for dinner, tubbies, and bed at a normal hour?

While we were there, we couldn't help but take notice of a band playing near the food court area. There is actually a stage set up there. And on it, a band. Suddenly, Mr. V was very hungry. We settled on soup (chicken noodle, minestrone, and butternut squash) and took a seat. Mr. V was pleased with his spot as he could still see the pretty woman in the band. Ms. V was extremely disconcerted when they stopped playing. "Why are they not talking, Mommy?" was asked repeatedly between her establishment of the best bites on her spoonful (no zucchini, tomato chunks, or spinach were to pass her lips tonight). I don't know how many times I explained that they were taking a break. And then why musicians take breaks.

Once our soup was consumed, the Vs asked if we could sit in the seats by the band. Absolutely. We found a spot, and the standing bass player announced that their two greatest fans had joined the fun. The Vs moved us up to the front row. They abandoned the safety of their seats to dance. I got up to dance too. When I sat down after some silly dancing with Ms. V, the gentleman of the older couple beside us said, "She really loved that. You could just see on her face how much she loved dancing with her Mommy."

We stayed (and continued dancing) through the last song of their set. We bought a CD. We spoke with members of the band. Mr. V saw someone hug Tekla, the lone woman in this "Spaghetti Western" quintet, and I saw that he felt somehow disappointed that there had been no hug for him. We went back, waited, and then asked for a hug. She gleefully gave hugs to both the Vs. We heard the announcement that the mall was closing in 15 minutes. One pit stop at the restroom proved worth it, and then we were out to the car. It was almost 10 PM.

Tonight, I lost Mother of the Year because I kept my children out at a mall until 10 PM. In all my many losses of this award, I don't believe I've ever had so much fun with the Vs. Mr. V impressed all (I heard them talking) with his break-dancing moves (he can jump into a worm/handstand now, and then back out of it). Ms. V was charming with her waves, her funny pichinouli-shaking, and her smile. We had lots of run-into-Mommy's-arms moments, ending in what Ms. V declared was a "group hug" (my first day hearing her say that).

Yep. I'm a terrible mother. In a time when I've been so desperately missing my own Mommers, this night really lifted me. Boulevard Park (or maybe it's just Blvd Park) transported us all. Mr. V asked if we can come back for more music. Ms. V stayed awake the entire drive home and then sounded out "Fro-sty...snow-man" as we read the book. All this AND developing literacy? Yes...I'm a terrible mother.