Sunday, March 30, 2008

Caution... lots of pictures ahead!

Saturday we went to one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities. The Conservatory at the Como Zoo. It was in fact a zoo! There were a ton of people there. Here are a variety of pictures from our trip. We also wandered around the park grounds.

The weather was beautiful even though it was a bit breezy. Sunday was a nice day too. The temperature reached 49˚. Still a bit breezy but warm enough to go for a nice walk! I created a playlist and put it on Morgan's iPod so I could listen to some music while I walked. I don't usually do this but it was a nice change.

Maureen posed this challenge for today: What do you desire? (list everything)

Wow! What a can of worms Maureen! I really want spring to finally SPRING! And I'd like a set of Basic Grey journal block stamps. I have a pretty happy life so the things I desire are rather trivial and materialistic. I'd like children not to suffer abuse, neglect, starvation, illness and disease. I would like everyone to have enough food to eat, clothes to wear and a home to live comfortably in. I'd like war to stop and for everyone to just hug it out.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday's field trip...

With a forecasted high of 45˚ and sunshine I decided Owen and I needed a field trip on Friday. I'd not been to Paper Source in ages and really wanted to check out the Russell + Hazel store. So we set out for our destinations. While lots of people like to BE outside on days like these I like to DRIVE somewhere!

The Paper Source is in a new location. At least since I've lived in Mpls. Which has been almost 7 years so I really don't know when it moved! The new spot is much bigger than the old one and they had lots of fun stuff.

I found a new circle scallop punch which is about 3/4". Perfect for some of my digitally created alphabets. I also found a sheet of lovely butterflies for collage.

The Russell+Hazel store was next. I would love to work there as a designer. It's a great little shop. I believe the design studio is on one end and the shop on the other. They have all kinds of organizing things. (Noelia, you would LOVE it.) You can find Russell+Hazel products at many stores but the Flagship store is in Mpls. Lucky us!

Owen and I perused the store and I found lots of things I'd like for the Photo Freedom System but I need to have a better vision of how that's going to work. But I did find this wonderful thing instead!

First, I love how they packed it all up for me. Just like a great boutique.
My receipt is in this cute little folder!
I got these stretch bands that go around binders to keep them closed. I needed something like this for one of my creative inspo journals. So I found a box of them.
Here's the real big deal...
It's a binder with page protectors and recipe cards! I'm going to learn to cook!! The page protectors are large enough so I can slip in photos too. I'm sure it seems a little silly but I love the binder and the whole idea of it so now, slowly, I'm going to learn to cook. I will collect recipes I like and add some photos so I will have a little collection of recipes that I can make. And not baked goods. I can bake just fine. But I am not a cook. And this is something that bothers me. Especially now that I stay home. I do cook. But it's only when Morgan tells me exactly what to do with what he's left out. It's not the same as creating a meal. I'm not expecting to be a good cook, I'd just like to be able to do it a couple nights a week and provide a healthy meal for us. So my incentive was this purchase!

We also stopped at the bulk paper store to see if they had the BG stamps I've been looking for but no luck. Owen did have some fun running around there and checking stuff out. It's a huge warehouse so I don't feel bad letting him walk by himself. In the other stores I kept him in the stroller with some snacks. He was content to look at things from there. I'm also careful not to max out his time limit!

Lastly, here's a self-portrait in our bathroom mirror. My face, like my rear, is a bit too round. Hopefully now that it's warming up I can work some of the roundness off!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hooray for Friday!

Breakfast this morning. Have you ever had a blood orange? I hadn't until today. Morgan told me they were in the drawer so I knew what I was peeling but I didn't know how dark it would be! I didn't think it tasted any different than a regular orange. Perhaps not as sweet. Owen seemed to enjoy it too! All of yesterday I felt like it was Friday. We spent part of the day with some friends for scrapping and playing. The moms scrapped and the kids played. I didn't get much done. Circles for another paper globe, but it was fun to chat and hang out with other moms and Owen had fun playing with the other kids. Or the other kids toys! Sometimes it's just nice to have a change of venue!

Today is supposed to be a nicer day. Not 50˚ yet but low 40's with sun. I'll take what I can get. The snow forecast for yesterday missed us so that's something to be happy about! I looked at the 10-day forecast and it's looking like next weekend may hit 50˚! We are a little weather obsessed here in MN!

Oo, oo, oo! AND last night after work I stopped at Archiver's to see what was new. I did not find the new BG stamps I was looking for but I did find Stacy Julian's new Photo Freedom book! I read chapter one last night before bed. It's great so far. I got to use my 30% coupon on it! Love that!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


One of the difficulties for me, on a daily basis, is providing a good lunch for Owen. I'm not a good cook. I'm not even a marginal cook. Actually, it's not really a question of skill, but rather desire. I don't like to do it. I could clean forever, but I don't like to cook. So I try to make sure there's some fruit or vegetable with each meal as well as milk and some protein. Then I try to make things I know Owen likes.

Here's lunch from yesterday. I found these cute small divided trays at Target. He seems to really like them and it's a nice way to present lunch. Chicken nuggets and tator tots are not gourmet. But he does like them. And he loves his ketchup and broccoli!
Here's my orchid. It sits on the desk by my computer. It seems to love the light and the temperature in the study. We have two plants that are still living since Owen was born. This and this big plant Morgan's had for ages. They both do well in the study.

I came across this picture while sorting through photos in iPhoto. I took it in January or early February at the park by the art museum. It was a complete fluke. I can't recall what I was going for but this is what I got. I just loved the silhouette of the tree and the blue of the sky.
Supposedly the snow that was forecast for today is not going to come which is fine with me. The temp could be warmer but I'll settle for no snow. I'm supposed to go to a girlfriends for a scrap day. I'm not sure how that's going to go. I've nothing planned to work on and Owen will need a nap sometime during the day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It is amazing to me how fast children grow and change. I would notice this with my students from one year to the next. And now the first class of third graders I had are juniors in high school. But I notice it even more with Owen. It started the first time I had to put away clothes that didn't fit anymore. I cried over those teeny tiny little sleepers. And yesterday I felt a little twinge when I put on his new bigger shoes.

These are his first pair of hard sole shoes. I had looked and looked for shoes when he was first learning to walk but couldn't find anything that was easy to get on his chubby little feet. Then I found these Vans at Kohl's. They slipped right on and fit perfectly.

A month or so ago I thought they might be getting a bit tight and started looking for a bigger size but after several Kohl's stores and an online search I was unsuccessful in finding another pair of Vans. I finally settled on a pair of Stride Rites from Marshall's but the just didn't fit quite right so they sat in the box. I found a black pair of Vans at Famous Footwear but really just wanted another pair of the first ones. Finally, after a couple phone calls by a nice girl at Kohl's we found a pair! I had to drive out to Coon Rapids but it was worth it for the new Vans!

So yesterday we put on the new, bigger pair!
I think I need to write an e-mail to the Vans people to let them know they have to keep making these shoes. (Kohl's told me they were discontinued) They just fit Owen so well. I think perhaps his little toes were cramped in there because when we went for a walk last night he was running like crazy down the side walk. Another sign of being a big boy!

He just looks like a big boy sometimes too. He still has his cute little chubby cheeks but he wears jeans and polo shirts and rides the daddy horse without hands! If he'd stay still longer I'd take more pictures.

Here's some other cuteness I wanted to share with you. For my Easter basket this year my mom gave me this can. It has a little metal and wood handle on it too. I love green and polka dots and stripes together. So cute! And it was filled with chocolate. Owen opened it for me and my sister and I told him it was "mommy's" so he kept saying "mommy" "mommy" and pointing to it. He knew there was chocolate in it too!

Today is supposed to be a warmer day so I'm hoping to get outside for a walk and perhaps take a trip to Archiver's to see if they have some of the new Basic Grey stamps. I'm specifically looking for these and these and maybe these.

Oh, and Lynn asked me yesterday what size circle I cut out with the cricut for the paper globe. I believe it was a 3 1/2" circle. There are two different sizes on the pattern and I just measured the circle and set the real dial size on the cricut for the measurement I got.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Can someone take a 2 year old for the day??? He's driving me nuts!

A little spring decor...

This is a paper globe or, ball as Owen calls it, I made using a pattern from Heather Bailey. You can find the pattern on the side bar of her blog. It basically consists of 20 paper circles which are then scored, folded and glued together. I don't think this is a new idea but I followed the instructions from the pattern she had. I used my cricut to cut out the circles and made a template for the triangle to score with. The papers I used are from a pad of paper from KI Memories designed by Amy Butler.

Monday, March 24, 2008

For you Annie....

My sister wanted to post this little video on her blog but it didn't seem to work. So I'm testing it here.

Sissy... when you copy the code, copy the one that says "embed code for blogs".


Easter Sunday...

Despite the 6" of snow we have Easter was delightful. Owen enjoyed his Easter basket which had a jump rope, a boat, a new car and some treats in it.

I guess the best place for a 1/2 eaten muffin is on a boat. Seemed logical to Owen!After breakfast and a bath Owen got to do some baking with daddy.

We had a lovely service at church. We got there a bit late and had to sit up front. Which isn't a problem for Morgan and me but I was concerned that Owen would be noisy. Fortunately we sat in front of a couple with three boys who happily entertained Owen with peek-a-boo and the books they were reading.

Here are a few pictures of us all dressed up. Owen was not going to sit still for a picture alone though!

We had an evening Easter dinner as my mom was working at the crisis connection where she is doing her clinical hours. This is my little table display. I did not color eggs with Owen. I decided to use the ones I did with my SIL a few years ago. I just didn't think I was ready to color eggs with Owen by myself!

Lastly, this is a picture I took of Ludwig. He wanted me to post it for Maggie! He wanted to share his beautiful smile with you Mag! Today it supposed to get to 42˚ and tomorrow 47˚ so the snow should be melting. Of course there are snow showers in the forecast for the week. Only 7 more days of March!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Welcome Spring, in MN...

These are buds on our lilac bush.

And I know this picture is slightly out of focus. But it's just too cute not to keep.
Have a Happy Easter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thank you Mother Nature...

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you March in Minnesota. Yuck!
And there is probably another 3" coming. Again, thank you mother nature. Don't look to me to be doing you any favors today.

Ironically we bought Owen a tricycle last night! And weather like this, where I have to stay in the house, makes me do crazy things. Like think it would be fun to color easter eggs with a two year old. Perhaps I need to talk myself out of this....

This is a collage I'm working on. It's a 10" square piece of board with various pieces of book pages in the background and then acrylic over it. The squares are outlined with a sharpie marker. After I got this far it started reminding me of the Brady Bunch so I had to stop. Maybe today I'll work on it a bit.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Practice, practice, practice...

I was doing a bit of practicing with my new lens today. It's a handy lens for several reasons. First it's a fixed or prime lens meaning it doesn't zoom. It's fixed at 90mm. Second it has a 2.8 aperture which means it's fast. I can take pictures with less light than say my regular lens which only goes down to 3.6. And lastly, but the best part, is the macro feature. It has 1:1 macro capability.

And incidentally I stopped at the camera shop on the way home from work tonight to have my lens looked at. The guy I talked to checked it out pretty thoroughly and thought it was fine. It's amazing how much ambient noise stores have! I had a hard time hearing the sound and I could barely hear it in the lens the store had. But he thought it was fine so I think I'm okay with it. EDITED: I got this message from Tamron this morning. That is normal for that mount lens as there is a pair or bearing in the lens that interacts with the camera but when not attached, you can hear them more clearly moving around. If the lens is operating fine otherwise, then you do not have anything to worry about.

So first a macro shot of some primas.
Second a macro shot of this cool old postal scale that I have in my craft room. It used to be Morgan's grandpa's.

Here's Ashton Henry sitting on his suitcase waiting to take a trip. Poor Ashton Henry has been waiting a long, long time. I feel bad about that but he was lost for a bit.

The 90mm is a good lens for portraits also. It creates good bokeh which you can see in this first photo of Owen and also in the one above of Ashton Henry.

Owen isn't the best subject for portrait practice. He doesn't exactly hold still!

I also used the lens to take pictures of my latest project. It's actually an ongoing project for the year. Cathy Z. posted some templates for tags to tell stories with. You can see some of her tags on her blog.

I decided this is my project for the year. I am doing one tag a week. Kind of like the Deck of Me cards last year. I was feeling a little lost not doing those cards each week. I don't have any for January or February but hey, that's okay. So each week I pick a little something to write about. The third tag is my favorite. Mostly because it has pictures.

On another note, did you know, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the average person changes careers 3 times in their life? I've decided that since I'm going to be 35 this year, I need to change careers. And I've decided I am going to be an artist. I thought maybe if I decided it, and declared it, then I could make it happen. We'll see how it goes. I suppose it would be good to settle on a medium.