October 8, 2010

October 1, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES - Modello Designs

What a feast for my eyes!  If I ever want to feel creative this is the place to go.

Modello is a design concept that is both a method and a product.  You can read more about it here.

A couple of their designs for you to enjoy:
The Grand Del Mar/Barrel Vault Ceiling
Shanghai
concrete treatment
Gilding Under Glass
glass treatment

Do check out the site.  You won't regret the inspiration!

September 28, 2010

FOUR EYES DESIGNS - Shop Update

I listed a couple new fall themed items recently.  Click on the links for more details, photos or to purchase.

Thinking of You card - $2.75



Popcorn Box Set - $3.00


September 17, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES - Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech, Morrocco

I originally came across this gem on the Decor8 blog that I subscribe to.

One of the lovely bedrooms at the Peacock Pavilion.in Morrocco.

I love this bathroom.  It is so bright and cheery and with that beautiful burst of pink it really catches the eye!  I am in design heaven!!

September 16, 2010

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Highs and Lows

It has been a busy few weeks. Here's a little recap:

Hubby and I celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary at the end of August.  We took a little weekend getaway to Galena, IL (about 1 1/2 hours from home) and stayed at the Goldmoor Inn.
We stayed in the Turret Suite - the two story tower on the left hand side of the previous photo.
We had an amazing dinner at the hotel restaurant our first night where we shared a grilled shrimp appetizer, salads, beef wellington and peach stuffed pork chops - absolutely divine! - with a bottle of wine.  Afterward we admired the views around the property and got very silly
It felt so nice to just play around and act goofy and young for awhile.  After this we retired to our room to finish off our bottle of wine, soak in the hot tub and feed each other chocolates.  The rest I will leave to your imagination.

We also enjoyed massages, sight seeing and LOTS and LOTS of shopping.  I bought a gorgeous yellow jacket and a little black dress.  Spent a huge amount of money on those two items alone - I felt spoiled and a bit guilty too.

We also stopped in this place filled with hot sauces, salsas, jams, sausages, etc., most of it being offered for sampling. 
The place just SMELLED hot...oh my, it was overwhelming.  We ended up buying several varieties of sausage here, elk, pheasant and venison and a couple others I don't recall, and some jams.

We bought some guacamole seasoning, some handmade soaps, some caramel/cheddar popcorn that is so good we want to drive back JUST to buy more, some caramel apple varieties, 21 lbs. of peaches, chocolates, sandals and, yes, even some scrapbook supplies. 

We also stopped in for the "World's Best Mojito".  It was good, but for $9 a piece it was way overpriced.  Guess that's what you can charge when you're the "World's Best" (I should have known...and was very thankful we each only had one!)


Before we left we stopped at Durty Gurt's for a burger.  It was DELICIOUS!

It was a beautiful place to walk around and we want to go again soon.  We didn't get to tour Ulysses S. Grant's home or the Belvedere Mansion or take in any other historical monuments besides a trip down the Mississippi River which was rather disappointing.

But at the end of our weekend we felt like this:
It was an amazing weekend and much needed.

The next week was my birthday.  I took the day off and spent it with my friend Sherry, stopping for coffee and then doing some dreaming at Anthropologie.  This is one of the outfits I tried on, and I ended up buying the skirt.
It was a great day!

I also had a little get together at our house with a few girlfriends.  Diane, Kathleen and Debra came and we enjoyed chips & guacamole, homemade pizza and an assortment of wine coolers.  I made brownies for dessert.  We played Things and Apples to Apples.  It was a nice night.

The weekend after was a little different.  Hubby had a little accident bending down to pick something up and smashed his forehead on the half wall in our bathroom.  I missed the part where he was rolling around on the floor writhing in pain.  Unfortunately he had to go to work a short time after this happened. 
And then the next day I took a fall down our stairs to the basement while holding a full cup of coffee.  Thankfully I was okay but my stairs did get a coffee bath and I got several large bruises.  This is the worst of them, a day and a half after my fall.  (It actually looks much worse since this pic was taken.)  It is about 5-6 inches across. 
The day before this happened, I got to visit with both of my brothers and their wives, and my younger brother's new baby who is 3 months old.  She is absolutely GORGEOUS and so sweet and content.  It sure made me miss having a baby around at least once in awhile.
Laughing at my brother.

Enjoying some munchkin snuggles.  :o)

There is a ton of other things I've been doing around the house.  Organized both kids rooms and got some of their outgrown clothes packed away, I reorganized one of my drawers and a closet, and then started to reorganize my closet.  Between these efforts we came up with 7 grocery bags of items to donate.  I also managed to put my Disney photos in an album (almost a year later...eek!).

And, my daughter just lost her last baby tooth!  The tooth fairy brought her $5 for each of the last three molars she lost.  (She knows we are the tooth fairy but is happy to play along...love that!)

Until next week...enjoy the good times!

September 8, 2010

RECIPE: Corn and Crab Soup with Chive Oil


Tried this Sweet White Corn Soup with Crab and Chive Oil recipe this week.  It was tasty and easy to do.  (I simplified the original recipe by using frozen corn and skipped straining the soup prior to serving...though I think straining it would make a much better presentation with the crab).  Disappointed that all three of my family members immediately stirred my masterpiece upon serving.  Photo from the Chronicle Books Blog post.

September 3, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES - Dressy

Spotted in the April, 2010 issue of Women's Health Magazine, this Tibi dress for $278.  (I know I'm a little late to the game but what a perfect spring dress!)

August 31, 2010

FOUR EYES DESIGNS - Shop Update

I have added some new double layer butterflies into my shop.  They are being sold for $1.75 for a set of 12.  Custom orders are welcome.  Here are two of my favorites:

Pink and Orange Polka Dot

Yellow Stripe


August 27, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES - Pretty spoons

Oh if only I could redecorate my house.  What fun I'd have!!  These spoons from the Museum of Modern Art would be a great place to start!

So much goodness on that site...


August 26, 2010

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - 20 Years!

HAPPINESS:  Yesterday was my 20 year wedding anniversary and one of my best days ever.  A coworker surprised me with doughnuts, a bouquet of flowers and a spa gift card as a thank you..  Nice!  Then Hubby and the kids and I walked down State Street and had lunch at Five Guys.  Cheeseburgers and fries...yum!  Couldn't live without these in my life.  I also spotted a new bakery nearby and stopped in to treat us all to cupcakes and truffles.  Boy, did I feel spoiled! 

SADNESS:   My younger brother has been struggling for a long time to find his place in this world.  I  see him struggle and wish I could help him.  I've been through this and know that the only way he can find and maintain the life he wants is through hard work and dedication.  It also takes maturity and really knowing oneself.  The knowing oneself part has taken me the longest of all, and I am still learning.  I pray for him nearly every week and keep faith that he's on the path he's meant to be on.  I'm a big believer in "everything happens for a reason."

THOUGHTS:  Changes.  I'm still stuck on simplifying my life and being the person I want to be.  Every single time I examine who I want to be, it is a creative person and a writer/author.  I enjoy my job but it doesn't fulfill me.  Even worse, many of the hours I spend are directly contrary to becoming who I want to be.  This includes surfing blogs, gossip web sites and message boards, watching TV and "window" shopping and making me want more when I'm trying to simplify in the first place..  I have made some big changes over the past couple of weeks to become who I want to be.  
  • I have been exercising more.  Feels great.  Currently obsessed with the Wii Fit Table Tilt, Bubble Balance and wanting to master the plank.
  • I have started reading the Bible.  One of my lifelong goals that I have tried and failed at several times.  This time I am sharing it with the kids, reading one chapter a night before bedtime and then talking about it afterward.
  • I drastically cut down the number of blogs that I visit.  Some of my favorite scrappers in particular, they had to go.  I was being distracted by their creativity and life and not focusing on my own.  
  • I signed up for an online writing workshop and have begun that course.
  • I am trying to eliminate "I meant to" statements from my vocabulary.  If I really meant to then I would have, right???  Instead, I will do it now. 
There are a few more things I've changed in my daily life which should become more apparent as the weeks go on and the tone and focus of my blog gets a bit different.  I will no longer have a Use Your Stash blog post on Mondays.  I will continue my creative endeavors (and perhaps even expand them) but they will be for my own pleasure or to be sold in my shop and I will continue with the Shop Update blog posts.  

My big goal is to settle into my Wednesday Words blog posts to share my current writing endeavors with you.  I've been talking about this goal for a LONG time but have been unsuccessful in putting it into action. 

I will do it now. 

CONFESSION:   I feel so blessed right now in so many ways.  Wish everyone felt this good.


August 24, 2010

FOUR EYES DESIGNS - Shop Update

This week I've introduced another new item in my shop...layered butterflies with bling!  Each butterfly contains two layers and either a rhinestone or pearl accent.  The wings can be lifted for great dimension!  Sets of 12 are listed for $1.75.  I'll gladly take color combo requests or create a custom order just for you! 
This is one of my all-time favorites....polka dotted patterned paper in orange, pink, cream and kraft.  There are four different configurations for these so click on this link to see the full set.

And this set is yellow base topped with a striped butterfly in white/green/blue color combo and topped with a large yellow rhinestone.  This set contains 12 identical butterflies. 

August 20, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES - Spoonflower

Imagine a place where you can create and print your own fabric!  Sounds like utopia doesn't it?  Check it out here:  Spoonflower.

I loved this animal print:
Imagine all of the other possibilities!


August 17, 2010

FOUR EYES DESIGNS - Buttons

I have added several new button sets into the shop and many more are to come!  These are two of my favorite sets:
Large Purple Square Geometric (Set of 3) listed at $1.50
and the Blue Green Heart Mix (Set of 6) for $2.00


August 13, 2010

FRIDAY FAVORITES - Prima's brand new So Cute Collection!


This is a unique concept with a girl's theme and color on one side and boy's theme and color on the other!  The photo posted here is of their rub ons.  You can see the entire collection clicking here.  So cute!!

August 10, 2010

FOUR EYES DESIGNS - Shop Update

Check out the brand new kit Robot Love featuring new My Mind's Eye 'Lil Robots line.  Perfect for boys!
See the rest of the kit contents here.  Only $14.95!

August 9, 2010

USE YOUR STASH - Digital Elements, Fabric & Sassafras

This page again uses some lovely Studio Calico kit goodness, but I added in some fabulous older Sassafras Lass papers and alpha stickers and some fun digital frame elements from Emily Powers to my photos.  Don't you love that grungy Polaroid look?  I had so many photos on this layout that I felt the full frame on each photo was a bit much so I trimmed the bottom of three of the photos and just kept the last, focal photo intact. 

Thirdly, the fabric.  See those great blue clouds?  They are created with a type of corduroy fabric by an Australian company called Buzz & Bloom.  They make FABULOUS fabric and chipboard pieces but they are hard to find in the states.  So...I thought, why not make your own fabric clouds?  You would only need fabric scraps and scissors so...use this as an idea to try on your future projects and make sure you share them with me. 

Title:  Catch 'n Air


August 6, 2010

FRIDAY FAVES - Photoshop Actions

I love good Photoshop actions...especially the free ones!  Right now I'm using Virtual Photographer from Optikverve Labs but I came across this site - MCP Actions - that has this absolutely fabulous action collection called All in the Details.  Problem is...it costs $80 and I'm cheap...really cheap.  So....until I can part with $80 I'm stuck browsing for some great free ones.  What actions do you use on your photos??

One of the things I love about browsing the internet is the happy surprises you come across...and this week it was the FREE actions on this site.  I especially want the Burnt Edges action.  I completely love this look!


August 3, 2010

FOUR EYES DESIGNS - Shop Update

New buttons!!
The Citrus Mix set.  I love the bright sunny colors of this one.
And the lavender skies criss-cross set seems to be very popular with lots of views.

I have about 10 more button sets to list soon...keep a look out!

August 2, 2010

USE YOUR STASH - Scalloped Border, Stamps and Embossing Powder

This was made with some new Studio Calico goodness but I threw in some old classics that I hadn't used in awhile.

First, I've been trying to use my stamps a lot more.  I have many gorgeous ones that barely get used.  So, on this layout I used two different stamps.  The starburst on the lower right (Studio Calico) and the fancy frame that holds the title (Basic Grey).  The frame I embossed with my hot pink embossing powder that I'd bought from Stampin Up AGES ago.  I don't know why I thought a huge thing of bright pink, green, red and orange embossing powders would be a great deal, but I did and I've got TONS of it left so any use is a victory in my eyes!! 

Finally, I had this scrap of the brown Bazzill border that I wanted to use up and it worked perfectly with the colors on this page.  I used it to anchor the title and in the bottom right corner as an extra embellishment piece.

Title:  DC @ Night


July 30, 2010

July 29, 2010

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Grateful Me

HAPPINESS:  An unexpected call from my Hubby yesterday asking if I wanted to play hooky from work and see Despicable Me with my niece and kids.  Didn't have to think long on that one.  Despicable Me is a great movie...highly recommend!  So funny I laughed out loud several times.  My favorite part?  When Mr. Gru read the kitten puppet book...so cute!


Feeling very thankful for all of the blessings in my life.  Although money is pretty tight right now, we've never wanted for anything.  It is an eye opener when one of your loved ones is literally trying to work to make ends meet, not being able to eat or even buy gas for their car.  I have never, ever had to deal with that in my life.  I haven't even had to fear bouncing a check or figuring out what bills I should pay each month.  I am so grateful and blessed for all of the comforts I have in my life.

Also, just started watching Netflix streaming videos through a wireless blue ray player.  LOVE it.  Although there aren't a ton of instant watch movies available yet, I do feel this is the smartest path for Netflix to take in the future and now we're ready for it! 

SADNESS (sort of): It is almost August already which means summer is almost over.  It has been a very pleasant summer in Wisconsin this year but so little of my time can be spent enjoying it.  I've been heading outside after work the past few evenings just to read in the sun for awhile.  Heavenly!!

THOUGHTS:  Wishing I could eat better.  I've been getting daily emails from Eat This, Not That and they are always very enlightening.  Today they linked to the Food Additive Glossary.  One look through that and I no longer want to eat anything unless it's fresh & unprocessed.  If only I read this every day I might have a fighting chance at cutting out the crap.  It's worth a read. 

CONFESSION:  I've watched way too much TV this week - America's Got Talent, Losing It with Jillian Michaels, Intervention, Obsessed, Billy the Exterminator and, starting tonight, Project Runway.  Woohoo!  Considering I normally watch just an hour or two of TV a week this is A LOT.  

Wanting:  Lancome Genifique Eye, Essie Nail Polish in Splash of Grenadine, a new wardrobe, and a vacation.  (Had a dream I went to Fiji the other night...no clue why Fiji but I'm taking it as a sign...looking to head there in 5 years for our 25th wedding anniversary.)



July 27, 2010

July 26, 2010

USE YOUR STASH - Tags and Lace Cardstock

I used three very different tags on this layout, but combining the cream with the colors of the layout makes it work.  I also found a sheet of red apple lace cardstock (KI Memories).  I have several sheets that mostly go unused so I thought this would be a perfect time to get it out.  Besides cutting it to use as a border here, it also makes an awesome mask for misting or painting.  But school = apples so I kept this one simple.  Lots and lots of scraps here...yay!

I have the original cash register receipt from this school supply shopping trip but I have yet to type it up or scan it.  I hope to do that and add it to this layout, probably on the back.

Title:  First Day of School


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