Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Blue Moon New Year!

It's been a hectic few weeks, but I'm taking some time to reflect on 2009. Not much of a year, especially compared to 2008, which included a wedding, a move and a hurricane. But, here it goes: highlights by month:

I'm starting off with this photo, taken early in the year and printed and posted in two prominent places: in the key holder and on my monitor. It set the tone for a new year, new family, new life.
After creating the site for Joseph's school, I held a training for the teachers and started another site called Galveston Now Open. It was a photo gallery displaying photos of signs businesses were posting around the Island to announce they had reopened after Hurricane Ike. By the time I posted 100 photos, life was almost back to normal. I said almost. Trucks continued to transport loads of sand up and down the Seawall to replenish the beaches in time for turtle nesting season.

Early in the month, a lady flipped her Lincoln into our nextdoor neighbor's yard. I was the first responder. We hear she's OK. There was Mardi Gras, of course. One of our favorite eateries, Sonny's, reopened. But the most life-changing event of the month was that Eddie and I got iPhones!
Grandpa came to visit and helped me with some improvements to the Houston house, which I've slowly updated, purged, cleaned and painted most of 2009. Grandpa also got to partake in a Friday Night Dinner (FND) and play with Joseph. Eddie celebrated the reopening of El Jardin!
Joseph and his 5th grade class went to Camp Kappe, and I went to CKC (my first) in Houston. The Grand Kids Festival was another sign of the Strand returning to normal. And of course, April is birthday month, so we did it fun at Schlitterbaun.
Rudy & Paco's finally opens! We don't go right away, but I've always thought that the reopening of Rudy & Paco's signaled the return of "normal". May wrapped up the school year with lots of end-of-school activities like May Crowning and Field Day. Also, I helped the 5th grade make cards to sell at the GCS Art Walk. Oh, and we hosted the May wine tasting. Not everyone is back in their homes.

(ok, enough for now. I'll recap the rest of the year tomorrow!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Hybrid

This is for my fellow scrappers in Circle Journal #7 over at We all are to do a layout of "Holiday Moments," however we interpret that. I overcomplicated this simple task by finally doing a LO that I've wanted to do for years and doing it hybrid. Well, my computer (and my skills) are not equipped to do digi, so after various programs and versions, I was able to come up with the image below. It's now at Color Inc., and when I get the prints, I'll scrap it up with a 3D surprise, mail them out, and post the final here. So CJ7, thanks for your patience, and thanks, Sandy, for coordinating.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

25 years ago...

...I graduated from high school. The reunion featured the classes of 1980-1985, so even my brother showed for the festivities. I was voted most changed (again) and Andy was voted least changed (again). Eddie took loads of photos. Here are 50 or so.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lillian Grace!

My best friend's "baby" is one year old today! Here's a recent layout to prove that I have been scrapping. Can you believe that all these photos were taken on my iPhone, indoors, without a flash?

July flew by without a single blog post. Bad blogger! If anyone is interested, I've been doing lots of little things: painting the old scrap room, organizing the new one; gardening, which really equates to watering the dying plants; learning what I can about SEO (search engine optimization), sepecially since the release of Bing and the whole scary Microsoft/Yahoo thang; pouting that I didn't get to go to CHA but pumped that Noell & Izzy are doing such a great job capturing the show; seeing positive effects of yoga and twice-weekly muscle power; oh, and becoming one with QuickBooks and customizing reports.

School starts soon, so Joseph is trying to enjoy what's left of summer. He's in the water at every chance and earned two first place ribbons at BeachFest. Apparently, he's quite the runner. Basketball Camp was this week, and next week he's at Camp Thurman. Then it's orientation week at his new school. Uh, there goes summer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back from GASC Arlington: Pics & Thoughts

I thought this LO was too cute not to post right away. This is one of two one-page LOs from the Queen & Co. Flower Power class, designed Jennifer Parks. When my sister showed me the kids' spring portrait, Gregory's green shirt was a perfect match for the Coordinations "grass". The bling and felt embellies are Queen & Co., and I added some touches of color-matching Stickles.
Not my style, but it's just too cute to pass up!
Needless to say, I also stocked up on my Stickles, picked up the coveted

Fiskars Threading Water Border Punch and this cool tool and its Little Sis from Creek Bank Creations. 1/2" Sanding Stick with rotating Belt (big Bro) 1/2" Sanding Stick with rotating Belt (big Bro).
I also brought home Rusty Pickle from helping Kim, Libby and Jill set up the booth on Wednesday.
Thursday I did make & takes (stay & plays, as I like to call them) at Piggy Tales, but spent most of Friday in the booth on my feet.
  • Huge array of consumers, some who came to the stay & play, didn't have knowledge of basic techniques, like sanding. Many said it was their first time at a scrapbooking convention. Some were overwhelmed and enjoyed sitting to do a relatively simple project. See, there are plenty of beginners out there, we're just not reaching them.
  • It was quiet! Thanks to the Crop-A-Dile, eyelet setters - and the banging noise that accompanied them - are a thing of the past.
  • Convention classes are not teaching experiences; they are assembly sessions.
  • People said the Piggy Tales Academy (kit club) was appealing to them because they no longer had a LSS near them. The monthly opt-out program also has the benefit of alerting you to what is in the kit so you can collect and print your photos by the time your kit arrives!
I'm hoping to go to CHA and CKC San Marcos. Don' t know how, but that's all details! Until then, I've got some scrapping to do!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photo Contest at

Picture PTA Contest | PTA

For a quick blog post, I thought I'd share a contest that combines a whole lot of what we love. Photography. Family. Kids. Community.

Go here and spread the word.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Art Walk Photos & Weekend Plans

Here's a little slide show of last night's Art Walk. Wish I took more pictures, but since my new camera battery mysteriously disappeared, I've resorted to the old one that holds a charge for about ten minutes.

So, what's going on in Galveston this weekend? Tonight is the 13th Annual Yaga's Children's Fund Wild Game and BBQ Cookoff, and Eddie is doing his own wild game for Friday Night Dinner: Bacon-wrapped quail on the grill. We've invited Facebook buddy Sonia and hubby Mike. With those two, there's no telling where will end up!

I have two more homes to tour on the Galveston Historic Homes Tour and I want to fit in the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA since I've never been and it's included with the Homes Tour ticket.

Joseph is altar server at Noon Mass, and Eddie wants to fit in a trip to Schlitterbahn, so that should wrap up our Sunday.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Art Walk at GCS

Here's a little slide show of last night's Art Walk. Wish I took more pictures, but since my new camera battery mysteriouly disappeared, I've resorted to the old one that holds a charge for about ten minutes.

So, what's going on in Galveston this weekend?

Tonight is the 13th Annual Yaga's Children's Fund Wild Game and BBQ Cookoff, and Eddie is doing his own wild game for Friday Night Dinner: Bacon-wrapped quail on the grill. We've invited Facebook buddy Sonia and hubby Mike. With those two, there's no telling where we'll end up!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Recent Projects

Tomorrow is Art Walk at Joseph's school. His 5th grade class does not have art class because of their schedule. So in order for them to participate, I raided my stash and led a card-making session. His class made plenty of greeting cards to sell to raise money for needed supplies. Here are some cards I made in preparation:

Joseph's birthday party thank you cards and variations thereof...

Thank you card for Jeyn at Piggy Tales, using their lovely BĂȘte (Beast) Glitter Paper...

Polka dots chipboard from Prima Say It With Crystals packaging...

Here's another way to use your scrapbooking supplies. I used Karen Foster Design paint circles paper and alphabet stickers for "Art Walk", then scanned it in to Picasa 3. Straighten, enhance, add text and voila! A hybrid logo for our event!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When Cheese & Scrapbooking Collide

I'm guessing that when cheese and scrapbooking collide, this is what it looks like. Eddie & I hosted last night's Oenophiles monthly tasting. And there was the obligitory cheese course. And, of course, Eddie asked me to make the labels. I've done it several times before, but this time I added the cartoon bubbles. And with everything in life, there is an appropriate line from When Harry Met Sally:

Harry: ...the words are still hanging in the air, you know, like in a balloon attached to a mouth.
Jess: Like in the cartoon.
Harry: Right.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Birthday Week! Let's Go Font Shopping!

Yes, my son turns eleven on Thursday.
(Insert Spinal Tap line here: "It goes up to eleven")
Sorry. Had to do that.

Anyway, a small party at Schlitterbahn is planned for Saturday. Here is the invitation:

Other than white cardstock and Color Box Creamy Brown Chalk Ink and my HP Photoprinter, all I needed were some cool fonts. And Score! I found one of my favorite rub-on alphas in a font: Go Boom is a dead ringer for Karen Foster Designs' calendar alphas, which are no longer available. The blocked font is Starguides. Some other free fonts I downloaded on my recent trip to dafont:


3Dumb & 2Dumb

BradburySans Light

Sometimes all it takes is a quick "shopping trip" to the font shop to curb the desire to spend money. Consider it a scrapbooker's alternative spending plan!

Monday, March 2, 2009

iPhone and a blonde joke

I know it's been a while since I've posted, so I've been a bad blogger. My excuse is worthy, though. Eddie got me an iPhone. I've had it for a week. I can't live without it.

That doesn't mean I don't have tons to say about the recent goings on. So I'll be back soon to rant, I'm hoping, in a very different way.

In the mean time, here's a link to a great blonde joke. Sometimes it's good to laugh at yourself.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Timing is everything

Last night was quite dramatic! Our yard backs up to Ave. U, which runs east and west. The setting sun can be brutal to drivers, especially this time of year. The sun may have contributed to the crash that happened last night. I think it reflected in the driver's rear view mirror, causing the 78-year-old female driver to loose control of her Chrysler. The car clipped a large oleander bush on my next-door neighbor's back fence line, flipped over, then hit an oak tree.

I was in the sunroom on the computer when I heard the crash. Joe and Eddie were just pulling up in the garage. The driver was going east on Ave. U, and Joe and Eddie were going west. She had just passed them when she lost control. If Joe and Eddie were 2-3 seconds earlier, she would have hit them head on.

Even though I could see the crash from the sun room, I didn't know what had happened. I ran out to the garage and onto the street, where I found the car up-side-down. I couldn't see too well into the car because of the smoke from the deployed air bags. Eddie called 9-1-1. I soon saw a leg from the driver's side. Someone opened the driver's side back door, and I crawled partially in to see a lady was inside. Thankfully she was able to move and tell me her name. I held her hand and continued to talk to her until EMS took over. Emergency crews arrived quickly; police blocked off traffic, fire trucks and an ambulance were at the scene. The woman was soon taken away in an ambulance.

Police questioned Joseph, since he saw the car drive into the oleander bush just as Eddie was pulling into our garage. Eddie and I gave our statements. Our neighbor was not at home; boy, is she going to be surprised.

The car crashed into the fence, which was mostly down already because of the storm. Both of us are getting our fences replaced, and I had just been on the phone with the fence company rep, who was as city hall pulling our permits.

Timing is everything. Again, we are all very lucky.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Galveston, Now Open

Yesterday I contacted Laura Elder, business reporter for the Galveston Daily News, and told her about one of my web sites, Galveston, Now Open. Today she posted about it on her BuzzBlog, and she might mention it in tomorrow's Biz Buzz column. Hopefully people will see it and let me know about more signs around the Island to be photographed. Right now there are 36 photos in the album; I'd like to get it up to over 100!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Scrapbooking Wish List...for now

I've been clearing out my old scrap room and setting up my new craft closet (read: less space for the same amount of stash.) And despite now having less space and adopting the "Light" theme this year, there are a few things I really want. I rarely purchase these wish list items; I guess there's fun in posting them, tho.

Fiskars Threading Water Border Punch
Fiskateer Kelly Jo has a You Tube tutorial how to do the treading water corners.

I'm pretty sure I need a Bind It All

and some of the Bind-It-All supplies, like
Binder Wire and these Bracket Shape Covers by Theresa Collins

I think I could do some real cute damage with these Scalloped Circle Giga Punches from Marvy Uchida

Of course, all the new stamps from Ali Edwards and Technique Tuesday will be hot sellers:

OK. That's enough for now. Speaking of hot sellers, I'm sure to post some of my predictions from last week's CHA show. After a look through my blog reader, I'll post my thoughts.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Eddie's friend, Joe Jaworski, announced his bid for mayor of Galveston, kicking off the next election cycle. Local politics is more a part of my life than when I lived in Houston. In Galveston, you actually know and socialize with the players. And the issues are more personal. Gambling. Buyouts. Education. Sometimes there are no degrees of separation.

Eddie sent me this link on Right Brain v Left Brain. Can you see the dancer? Is she spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise. Does she change direction? Now, watch the image with another person, and see if they see the same thing you do at the same time. Eddie and I didn't. It's an exercise in perceptions. Very cool.

Spinning lady

Tomorrow is National Yoga Day. I'm going to Sangha to participate in a series of one hundred and eight sun salutations. All proceeds will be donated to the children's section of Rosenberg Library, which flooded (of course).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Twitter from CHA! and a giveaway!

If you Twitter and you're going to CHA, or just twittering about CHA, be sure to place the hash tag #chaw09 in all of your tweets. That way, inquiring minds can subscribe to and get all the feeds with #chaw09 in them!

There are several ways to check out the tweets from #chaw09:

To test it out, go to Twitter and post with #chaw09 in your update, then go to the feed and watch it appear. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about feeds here.

Any questions? I'll try to answer them if I can.

Oh, and don't forget to post a comment, whether or not you'll be twittering from #chaw09. At the end of CHA, I'll randomly choose a winner to receive a 20-sheet pack of Bazzill cardstock

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life's a beach!

Seagulls wait for dump trucks to offload sand.

Joseph, in the yellow shirt, had a blast playing in the fresh sand. Over time, the tides will smooth out the 5-ft. edge. You can see how deep the "new" beach will be from the seawall.

Yesterday, Joseph and I went to the Seawall to check out the beach renourishment (or beach reconstruction) close up. Hurricane Ike blew away the beaches that are a vital tourism attraction in Galveston. Instead of fine, fluffy sand, the storm left mile after mile of broken seashells, which is no day at the beach.

Dump trucks are bringing in 400,000 cubic yards of sand from other parts of the island to widen the beach to about 70 feet and 5 feet deep. (I'm guessing each dump truck carries 8 cubic yards, so that's 50,000 loads!) Dump trucks have been hauling sand along the Seawall since December 17.

The renourished beaches, coupled with the mild weather we've been having, have brought out the courious. Yesterday, a holiday for most kids, the beaches looked as if it was early summer.

Although the wider beaches will make the island more attractive, the project is really designed to protect the base of the seawall from erosion. The project must be finished by March 31 so it doesn’t interfere with the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nesting season.

If you want to read more about the beach renourishment, here are some links to recent news reports. Note: My husband, Eddie, serves on the Park Board.

Park board agrees to match state beach funds
State pledges $3M for beach reconstruction
State looking for funds to finish beach projects

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Official Scrapbooking Hash Tags

With CHA right around the corner, and lots of tweets going and not going, I propose official scrapbooking hash tags. Game? Any more to add?

#scrap = anything SBR
#chaw09 - 2009 CHA Winter Show
#chas09 - 2009 CHA Summer Show
#sbpga - scrap book product give away
#sbc - scrap booking contest

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My latest project: GCS Web Site

Yesterday I held a training session for the teachers at my son's school on the school's new web site I developed. Check it out: Galveston Catholic School. This has been a great experience for me. I was taken back to the days when I developed and delivered end-user training at Shell. I've learned so much by immersing myself in the enterprise solutions offered by Google. I got to see the light bulb of learning go off in the eyes of my son's teachers. I was able to impart something useful and exciting to people who truly appreciated it... so much so that we're doing it again next week!

Saturday, January 10, 2009