Frist Center

During my last post, I mentioned the Nashville Zoo. It was one of many places Trent & I visited during an anniversary trip to Nashville in November 2005. I've only scrapped a small part of it so far. Tonight I pulled out a bag of memorabilia from our trip and made a quick page about the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Supplies: Archiver's cardstock; Uniball Signo white & silver pens; chalk; Making Memories Clears brackets; museum brochure. Inspired by Apr 15 of dw2008.


Walk on the Wild Side

Trent gave me a membership to the North Carolina Zoo for Christmas. It's the largest natural habitat zoo in the nation and such a beautiful place. We haven't been in 4 years so I have really been looking forward to going. One of the highlights this year is the "new & improved" rhino and elephant area. In the past we could only view them from a distance. I was in awe during a trip to the Nashville Zoo in 2005 when we could get so close to the elephants.

This morning the zoo had a special 8am opening for members and we could see the new exhibit space: Watani Grasslands Reserve. Here's a photo I took from within the exhibit. In the righthand side you can see where one of the observation areas is located.

For a bit of perspective, I took this next photo from the same location - a full 180° from the previous view. The building in the photo is the African Pavilion. There is an observation area at the rear of it (far right) - that is one of the old areas to view the elephants. Quite a difference.
As large as the NC Zoo is, you probably need 8 hours to really enjoy it all and not feel rushed. We had only planned to spend about 4 hours since our membership allows us free visits for a full 12 months. This worked perfectly as the forecasts of 20% chance of rain were wrong. The rain came early on and poured! We ducked into the sea lion and polar bear exhibits to keep dry. After about an hour of dodging the rain, it was obvious it wouldn't clear up anytime soon so we ventured on northward to visit with my dad & his wife for the afternoon. Of course, the rain stopped before we got there. Hopefully our next visit will be a bit sunnier. :)

Regarding yesterday's post about the eye pillow and yoga - I had questions in the comment section about what the connection was. Trent & I enjoy taking a gentle style yoga class that ends with corpse pose or savasana. During this time you lay completely still on your back mentally scanning for tense spots throughout your body. Slowly relaxing those areas. Releasing the tension. Focusing entirely on your body & how it feels. An eye pillow can come in handy to block out light and place a small amount of relaxing pressure on the eyes & sinuses. Also, I've found mine to be handy during migraines for the same reasons.


Eye Pillow

When we went shopping last week to buy fabric for the apron, I thumbed through a few pattern books and came across a pattern package for yoga accessories. All of the items look great and I hope to try a few. Trent requested an eye pillow so we can each take our own to class. I altered the pattern a bit to create a pillow with removable cover so it can be washed.

Eye pillow & cover:

Completed eye pillow:

Now to find a fun fabric for mine. :)


Blizzard Beach

Here's a quick digi layout I created tonight. I did a little creative cropping & embellishment placement to remove the 2 strangers in the photo. ;)

Supplies: Light Comfort patterned paper & doodle frame from Twinkle Toes kit at Peppermint Creative; snowflakes from Winter Sparkle kit at Peppermint Creative; tag from be merry kit at Two Peas; Crazy Pooch & Squish fonts from Two Peas in a Bucket. Inspired by Mar 4 & 28 of dw2008.

Lessons from the Laundry Closet

Yes, I clearly am obsessed with our laundry closet. I joked with Trent last night that we probably won't see a reduction in our water bill because I'm constantly running loads. ;) And, really creepy, I'm folding & putting away the clothes as soon as they are done! Typically the baskets of clean, folded clothes end up on the floor at the foot our bed with us rummaging through as we need something. Terrible, I know. But, for the moment at least, the clothes are returning to the closet where they belong.

Now I've digressed from my original post intent. I wanted to share a few lessons I've learned in the remodeling of my laundry closet...

Doing a remodel project yourself will save money. And you might learn something during the process.

It won't necessarily happen as quickly as you planned. Or as quickly as if you'd hired someone instead.
This was actually one of our faster projects, but I truly thought we'd wrap it up last Friday in a few hours.

Use coupons to get a discount on large priced items.
We hurried to buy the washer & dryer while we had a 12% off coupon. It was only valid for one item, but attributed to about $84 in savings.

Buy appliances from a store that offers free delivery and installation.

The free installation is only guaranteed if everything is new so we had to purchase new hoses, vent & electrical plug (for the dryer).
The latter two I planned to buy anyway, but the new washer hoses were an extra $20 we weren't planning to spend.

The installers aren't always fully trained on the appliance you've purchased so prepare for a mishap. In our case, a screw was lost and a small piece on the dryer door was broken.

Explaining the installation mishap to the store manager gets a quick response. We walked out 10 minutes later with replacement pieces the manager took off the display. And now our dryer is 100% intact.

Check the sales ads after you've bought the appliance(s) [or really any purchase]. If your item is on sale within 14-30 days (check store policy), you might be entitled to a refund.
While price checking the work surface last week, I discovered by accident that our washer & dryer were on sale. When I looked at the ad, it said "all appliances." So, I printed the online sales info, took it to the store, and we got about $37 back (we could only get money back on one because of the coupon).

The work surface was on sale as well last week.

It wasn't in stock, but was in the warehouse. We could pay for it in store and pick-up later (no s&h fees). If we paid on-line and had sent to the store, we'd have to pay shipping. If we had it sent to our house, we'd have to pay shipping. I agreed to pick it up on Tuesday thinking "we'll save money." Bad, bad idea. I called before noon to be sure it was there. Went to the store after work for what I thought should be an easy pick-up. After all, the store advertises the ease of their order/pick-up. Twenty minutes later, a lot of "we can't find it" and line waiting, I finally had my work surface and was irritable. Next time, we'll have it shipped.

We bought the washer, dryer & work surface from a store with a frequent shopper rewards card so we'll be getting a gift certificate in the near future to shop again. And seeing as we've had enough appliance shopping for the time being, we'll use that money for something fun.

Now, I'll stop talking about our laundry closet. At least until I scrap it. ;)


Project Complete: Laundry Closet

After work I picked up the final piece for our laundry closet renovation: the Whirlpool Work Surface. Now that it's in place, the room is complete and I have before & after photos to share. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

First, a look at the closet two weeks ago. On the upper left side, the step ladder hung on a pair of screws. I bumped it multiple times over the years while loading clothes in the washer and it fell on my head - not fun at all. There were 2 wire shelves along the back wall. Everything was shoved up there and, like the step ladder, items would fall on your head when you tried to get something down. Again, not fun. I really should have worn my hard hat in there. ;) Then on the right side, we kept two folding chairs between the wall and dryer. Otherwise, that space was wasted.

After selling the old washer & dryer and removing the shelving, we cleaned and repainted the room. It's now a nice off-white with a slight yellow hue. The new washer & dryer allows us a bit of extra wall space above and the work surface on top of them provides for a spot to fold laundry as well as holding the detergent & dryer sheets.
Instead of 2 shelves on the back wall, we have 3 shelves plus one on the right side. All are on standards & adjustable so we can change them in the future as our needs change. While we did clear out a few miscellaneous items we no longer needed, the closet holds 90% of what was in it before and a few additional items. If you look on the bottom shelf where the Clorox & old detergent bottle are, you'll see we still have some space to fill.

Finally, the step ladder and 2 chairs are hanging on the left wall on a ladder hanger. Now all 3 are out of the way and they won't come crashing down on me. ;)

Doing the laundry is almost enjoyable now. :) Certainly less stressful since I can open those doors and not see a mess (nor have items falling on me!). And, to top it all off - we came in under our budget.


Floral Apron

Here is my completed apron for Jen's swap:

As I said on Saturday, I haven't sewn in quite a while or very much at all for that matter. I took my time and finished it late yesterday afternoon. Very pleased with the results though. I put it in the mail this morning so hopefully its lucky recipient will find it in her mailbox before the end of the week. :)

Pattern: Cottage Inspired Apron from BHG.com


Happy Easter!

A very happy Easter! :) We're off to church for the services. But before I left, I wanted to share my 2 other card designs I created this year. The first was sent to our parents and the second to our younger brothers.

Supplies: Die Cuts with a View card; misc. yellow, white, blue, green & pink cardstocks; black stamp ink; Easter Lily clip art; Micron black pen; fonts: Two Peas Architect, Mistral, Two Peas Flower Pot; bunny paper piecing pattern from Creating Keepsakes Fun With Photos, Memories & More.


With the chores all done. Time for a bit of fun.

Today started off with a few chores. Including a couple loads of laundry which was almost enjoyable with the new washer & dryer. ;) We took a break this afternoon to go out for lunch and to see Horton Hears a Who. It was a fun movie. Very cute and humorous.

Afterwards, we headed home and I started on my apron for Jen's swap. I haven't sewn in quite some time (except for the occasional detail on a scrapbook page) so I'm taking it slow. I should be able to complete it tomorrow. Still need to sew on the waistband & ties. Here's a little sneak peek at the fun fabrics.

For now, it's off to bed. I'll need all the energy I can muster up in the morning to help keep an eye on the kids during their Sunday school Easter egg hunt.


Project Renovation: Laundry Closet

Next Friday marks 5 years since we closed on our home. We were young, rent was high, the market was good so we bought an inventory home from a builder & worked a deal. It had been sitting for 3 months and they were willing to move it. In our young minds we thought This will be our starter home. We'll stay 3-5 years, build up some equity and move. Uh huh. Well, as I said at the beginning, next Friday marks 5 years. ;) LOL

Since then various ideas have popped into our young, optimistic, we can do anything little minds. Of course, time & money as well as occasional common sense has prevented some of these ideas from fruition. But now that we are staying longer, we have started a list of projects we want to complete. It includes the recent master bedroom painting & picture moulding ledge.

Since those were checked off, we scanned the list for the next project and chose to tackle the laundry closet. It's a little spot (5.5 feet wide by 3 feet deep) stashed under the stairs. The first step was shopping for these:

We bought them 2 weeks ago and requested delivery for yesterday. That gave us time to sell the old pair, tear out the shelving, patch the walls, paint. I even scrubbed the baseboards while I had the opportunity. The floor was still quite clean from its scrubbing in December - I just had to clean up the mess we made removing the shelves.

Today we made two trips to Lowe's buying additional odds and ends. Almost everything is in its place. We have a few small details to finish. Hopefully tomorrow we'll knock those out. Then on Tuesday it will be complete. Why Tuesday and not tomorrow? Because after much pondering, reworking & contemplating during the last 24hrs, today we went out and bought one more item: the work surface. Of course, no one has them in stock so the best we could do was order one for pick-up on Tuesday.

ETA 3/25/08: Click here to see the completed room.


Annual Prayer Breakfast

The day started very early for me. Once a year the YMCA has a Prayer Breakfast at 7:00am. Today was the day and it was located about 25 minutes from home so I made sure to be out the door by 6:30. So well worth it. They are always enjoyable, but this year tops the list. The guest speaker & musician was Mark Schultz. He's a Christian artist and unknown to me until today. I was utterly blown away. He's a wonderful speaker and his music reaches out and touches you. You can't walk away from hearing his songs and say you didn't feel the Spirit. It was a beautiful way to start the Easter weekend. :)

He opened with Walking Her Home ...

Other songs he shared were Letters from War, He's My Son, and I Am.



Cali enjoying the luxury of the bed to herself. :)

An almost Wordless Wednesday. :)


Easter Egg Card

I made cards to mail to our family for Easter this year. Here's a look at the first of 3 designs I used. The others will have to wait so I don't spoil the surprise. ;)

Supplies: Die Cuts with a View card; Archiver's cardstock; black stamp pad; Micron black pen; Jolee's Boutique felt egg. Inspired by March 17 of dw2008.


Easter Eggs

Next week at church the kids have an Easter egg hunt during Sunday School so I took my class a little gift today instead. Here are the eggs I made for them:

Each is filled with jelly beans and has a little poem included. The poem is from Shirley's Preschool Activities website: Easter Poem - Jelly Beans.


Altered Binders

One of the challenges this month in the designing with 2008 calendar is to alter a binder. I had 2 binders in my kitchen that were functional, but ugly. One stores recipes I've printed from the internet, torn out of magazines, etc. The other holds menus from local restaurants. Yesterday I picked up a 2-pack of Avery view binders to alter and replace the old, ugly 2.

My new "Favorite Recipes" binder:

Supplies: Avery binder; We R Memory Keepers patterned paper; My Mind's Eye "frame ups"; Making Memories TinyAlpha; QuicKutz Sunshine font; Die Cuts with a View adhesive backed cardstock; generic staples; white CS; black ink pad.

My new "Menus" binder:

I was also inspired by Mar 12 of dw2008 for this design. The prompt was to print digital paper to use. I created my own paper by scanning some of the menus, "tossing" them around in Photoshop, and then printing on a marbled grey/white cardstock.

Supplies: Avery binder; Archiver's black cardstock; misc "marbled" grey/white cardstock; Die Cuts with a View adhesive backed cardstock; QuicKutz Studio classic font.


ABC's of Me

I've been tagged by Tina. :)

A- Attached or single: very happily attached
B- Best Friend: Trent
C- Cake or Pie: cake

D- Day of Choice: Friday
E- Essential Item(s): cell phone, inhaler, wallet
F-Favorite type of music: pop, country, oldies - I enjoy it all :)

G- Gummy Bears or Worms: bears
H- Hometown: Culpeper, VA
I- Indulgence(s): dark chocolate peanut M&M's

J- January or July: July
K- Kids: 0
L Last movie: Meet the Robinsons

M- Marriage Date: November 8
N- Number of Siblings: 1 sister, 1 brother, 1 step-sister, 3 step-brothers
O- Oranges or Apples: apples

P- Phobias or Fears: claustrophobia
Q- Quote(s): It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. - Ursula K. LeGuin
R- Reason To Smile: my husband & family

S- Season: fall
T- Tag: Colleen, Jen, and Toni.
U- Unknown Fact About Me: I'm a sock freak. I don't like it when my feet are naked.

V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: oppressor
W- Worst Habit: leaving folded clothes in the baskets
X- X-Rays or Ultrasounds: x-rays

Y- Your Favorite Food: chocolate ;)
Z- Zodiac: Scorpio

'my feet' layout created January 2007. Inspired by Jan 13/14 of dw2007.
Supplies: Deja View patterned paper; American Crafts ribbon; Making Memories feet plaque; Jenkins font; Photoshop CS for fun feet effects.



The warm, sunny days we've had recently have me day dreaming of the beach and tropical places. One of which is St. Lucia where we spent a week in 2006. I had fun tonight creating a 12x12 page of our visit to the rainforest near Soufriere.

Supplies: Bazzill cardstock; Archiver's cardstock; KI Memories lace paper; Making Memories brads & photo anchors; Heidi Swapp 'escape' stamp; Autumn Leaves journaling stamp; Micron black pen; black ink pad; Pebbles Inc. sticker. Inspired by Mar 20 of dw2008.


a Migraine, a RAK & a Card

Today has not been the best. I've been fighting a migraine. I did attempt to go to work - managed for 1 hour. I had some CAD files I needed to get out today in order to meet my deadline for this Friday. Once that was taken care of, it was much easier to come home, take Zomig and go to bed. I'm feeling better now, but still a bit out of it from the medicine.

Many, many thanks to Karen for the wonderful RAK she sent me! It arrived today - such perfect timing - and full of LOTS of goodies. I feel spoiled. Thanks, Karen!!

And, finally, here's a card I made today for a friend:

Supplies: Die Cuts with a View card; Archiver's cardstock; scallop edged deco scissors; flower unknown; Autumn Leaves button from A Rhonna Christmas Bag of Buttons; Making Memories stitches & TinyAlpha. Inspired by 8/29 of dw2006 and 3/28 of dw2008.



I've been tagged by Shirley and Gabrielle. :)

Here are the rules:
  • Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Here are my 7 random/weird facts:
  1. I love visiting National Parks & Historic Sites and getting cancellation stamps in my Passport Book.
  2. I love Sudoku puzzles.
  3. I can wiggle my ears.
  4. I'm allergic to grass. It's something I've assumed since childhood, but had proven during allergy testing in 2006. And, of course, the two types I'm most allergic to grow in my own yard!
  5. I don't like barbecue and that's practically a sin living in the South.
  6. I can't eat fish - causes an asthma attack.
  7. In high school I was a member of the math club.
I'm tagging Lynn, Tina, Linda, Theresa, Janet, Benita and Lida. Looking forward to reading your responses! :)

Sudoku layout created September 2006. Inspired by 9/25 of dw2006.
Supplies: Basic Grey patterned paper; QuicKutz star font; 2ps Flower Pot font; Making Memories snaps; Li'l Davis rub-ons; scrap cardstock & ribbon.



Trent & I went to cheer on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in their victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Many thanks to Kevin for inviting us!


Lego Imagination Center

8x8 digital layout about our visit to the Lego Imagination Center at Downtown Disney. Our 2nd visit, but it still amazes me all of the parts, pieces & kits they have.

Inspired by Mar 14th of dw2008 to "stamp a subtle tone-on-tone background." I scanned Basic Grey chipboard stars from my stash to create the "stamping." Also, lifted the layout Lego Love by bluestardesign.

Supplies: Basic Grey chipboard stars; Office Note Rip from Rhonna Farrer's Office Supply Tool Kit at Two Peas; alpha for "Lego" from Craft Jar Kit at Peppermint Creative; EuroRoman font.



Quick, 12x12 layout I made tonight of my niece. She's 2 years old and very curious. Over Christmas she discovered the dog door at my Dad's house and peeked in at me. She thought it was funny. :) Not too happy with the scan and I can't quite get it to photograph well either - it's not so dull in real life.

Supplies: Archiver's cardstock; Paper Salon patterned paper; Uniball Signo white pen; Die Cuts with a View adhesive backed cardstock; QuicKutz Tangerine font; Making Memories brads. Inspired by Mar 13th of dw2008.


Birthday Card

A birthday card I made tonight for a friend's mom. My inspiration came from Sketch This: 43 by Janelle Richmond.

Supplies: Die Cuts with a View card; Making Memories chipboard frame & brads; Archiver's cardstock; orange acrylic paint; Scenic Route patterned paper; black stamp ink; Two Peas Old Type font.



2ps blog challenge:
What five things in life give you joy?
  1. My faith
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Creating
  5. Helping others


a RAK, a couple of books & a squid?

Oops! Look what I missed over the weekend - on Friday, KarenSue named me as the winner of her RAK. I logged onto 2ps this morning & had a message from her with the good news. How cool! Thanks, KarenSue!! :)

I wasn't terribly good about blogging or commenting this past weekend. Thus how I missed my RAK win. While I was a little consumed with the picture moulding ledge, it didn't take too much time. In between waiting on paint or filler to dry, I worked on 2 other projects.

First, I checked out a couple of books from the library on home organization. I'm on a weird clean, reorganize, do-it-yourself kick right now and figure I better go along for the ride while it lasts so we can knock a few things off the to-do list.

The first book is Real Simple: The Organized Home. Lots of pretty pictures with ideas. I loved flipping through it, but was disappointed in one respect. It has a list of stores in the back where they purchased products, but no direct listing match to the page as they normally do in the magazine. So, the photo boxes I loved on one page - who knows where they might have come from. In fairness, this book was published almost 2 years ago so it's highly possible some or most of the items are no longer available, but it would have been nice to have that info. That aside, the book does have some really nice, inspiring photos and tips.

The other book I checked out is Everything Organize Your Home Book. No photos - just a few black & white sketches - but LOTS and LOTS of information. Very easy read. I've been devouring this book and getting some good ideas.

The second little project I worked on over the weekend was playing on Squidoo.com. I happened to stumble across the site last week and it caught my attention. The general idea is that everyone is an expert on something. You can set up a free page (pardon me, a "lens" is what they call it) or more on whatever subject(s) your expertise lies in. I set up two (hmm... I'm beginning to notice a weird 2 theme in this post): http://www.squidoo.com/2pawsdesigns & http://www.squidoo.com/TriangleAreaNC. Yes, clearly I need to get back to scrapping so that I won't have so much free time on my hands. ;)


Picture Moulding Ledge

One of the walls in our bedroom is just a mass of, well, wall. There are no pieces of furniture along it except for a tall, skinny bookcase in one corner. The door from the hall is at the opposite end. I originally just hung 3 frames with pictures from our wedding & honeymoon as I wasn't quite sure what else to do with the space.

As you can see in the photo below, it looked pretty bland especially with the old white walls:

Just before we painted the room a couple weeks ago, I was thumbing through the winter 2007/2008 copy of Lowe's Creative Ideas. It was near the bottom of the mail pile and I had almost forgotten about it. So glad I found it though because it has instructions for building a picture moulding ledge. It looked so good in the pictures and fairly simple, so I added this to my "to-do" list for the bedroom.

Now that the painting is complete and we didn't have any set plans for yesterday, it was off to Lowe's for supplies. Thanks to both Trent & his friend, John, for their assistance when I needed an extra set (or two) of hands to install it. Here are the results:

And a close-up detail:
I plan to add a few additional pictures later. But, I'm loving the result. It really pops against the newly painted walls and adds more interest to what was just a wall. And, it cost only $20.