Friday, December 31, 2010

PAD 12/31/2010

It's the last day of 2010 and here is my picture of the day. Anyone care to take a guess where I took this photo?

Leave a comment with your guess and I will send a little prize to the first person who guesses correctly.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Title fun with the Cricut

Here is something really fun that I like to do once in a while with my cricut and that is to cut letters out of actual photos and use them as your titles! It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it and the first thing you want to do is make an actual template to work with so for this I cut a piece to the exact size of my photo from a scrap piece of paper or cardstock, whatever you have around. I did this about 3 different times until I got the right size and location of the letters on my piece. What you do is put your paper on your mat and just align the blade where you think the best place will be for the letters to be cut based on the length of your word and if you want it centered on the photo or not. If you are simply going to use the letters that you cut out as your title and not the negative space it doesn't really matter if the cut is centered but for this I wanted it to be pretty centered since I was using one of my panoramic photos and I will be using the actual photo as part of the layout.

So here is my piece once is it cut and now this will be my template that I can work from to see where I need to line my photo up on my mat so that it will cut in the exact place I want the letters to be.

What I do is take the photo and place it behind the template and lay it down on my mat exactly where I had the template and press the photo down and take the template off. I remembered where I had positioned my blade (in this case I had counted how many times I moved it across and down) and I pressed cut once I was sure of the location of the blade. So here is my photo under the template here.

Here is a quick video showing the photo being cut by the cricut and the letters are exactly where I want them to be. I then was able to use the photo as part of my title.

I cut the word Canyon from another photo (back in the 90's we used to get free double prints all the time so I was lucky to have doubles of a lot of these photos to play with) and just put it under the cut photo to complete the title, this is just the beginning of this layout but I wanted to show the technique of cutting our your letters from photos.

PAD 12/29/2010

Alex and I spent the afternoon shopping together and I really enjoyed it. We stopped in at Guitar Center to look around so that he could see which one he wants to save up was a hard choice but I think he knows what he wants and now to save up a little more money.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PAD 12/28/2010

Insanity...this is what I saw when I was coming down the stairs this morning at work. All I could say was "Oh my GOD..." and pretty much everyone coming down the stairs had the same reaction! Our drop boxes were overflowing! We also had newspapers from the last 4 days to sort through...let's just say I hit the ground running and didn't stop until I left to go home at the end of my shift.

Monday, December 27, 2010

12/27/2010 PAD

Not much to say about this one...just a kid having fun in the snow...lots and LOTS of snow. We had us quite the blizzard here between yesterday and today...amazing amounts of snow!! Alex was loving every minute of it and even helped shovel the driveway, what a good boy. :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

PAD 12/26/2010

Alex's science experiment, what happens to an egg when you put it in vinegar? It was interesting to watch, first it just sat with bubbles all over it and then it would spin by itself from time to time. This morning the shell had been removed and it left behind this yellow egg and if you hold it up to the light you can see the yolk in the middle of it.

Cool stuff!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day and PAD for 12/25

We really had a wonderful day with family, I just wish that Robert was with us but I am sure that there will be many more holidays to celebrate together.

My photo for today is of me and Jim, we don't take that many of the two of us so I am glad that I have this to remember our Christmas this year.

Alex added $100 to his "guitar fund" today so he was thrilled with that and I know he is saving up his allowance money so that he can buy the guitar that he wants! We will see how long it takes him to get it. He really had a great time playing with his little cousins, I guess it is pretty cool that he's the older one now. Matthew will be 5 in January and he just loves to hang out with his big cousin, Alex. Abby will be 3 in April and I can't get over her, she is so smart and her speech is amazing for that age. And then there is Lily who turned 3 in September, she is just so precious and playful. It really is a blessing to see the next generation of our family growing up before our eyes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

PAD 12/24/2010

It's Christmas eve and time to enjoy the family. Keeping this simple today I decided to go with the crock pot so that I could relax and enjoy the day with everyone.

It's a Back to the Future marathon today, we have already watched the first 2 and now I'm heading back to the living room to start watching the last of the trilogy.

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PAD 12/23/2010

Thursday 12/23

Thursdays I am the official "greeter" at work, I sit at my podium and greet people as they come in the door, answer phones and help patrons renew library material or answer questions that they may have and also help patrons check out at the self check machines that are just to my left (you can see the pad on the desk where they put their material to be checked out.) It's a fun time for me, sort of brings me back to my days in customer service when I worked at American Express before I had my children so that was a million years ago. ;)

Picture a Day 12/22

I love my E Reader and it stands up perfectly atop my bathroom sink so that I can read my book while I blow dry my hair!! HAHAHA! Hey, sometimes you have to grab a few free moments when you can get them. I love to read and don't find I have nearly enough time to do it these days.

How many of you have an E Reader? What kind do you have? For me the choice was pretty easy because my library offers the ability to borrow E Books with my library card and in fact just a couple of days ago started supporting even Iphone and Ipod so I was able to download a book that I had in my 'cart' right to my iPod touch which I think is fantastic!!! I have wanted an Ereader but not one where I have to purchase the books so that is how I based my decision. My reader has a color touch screen and WIFI build in as well, I guess you can say it is like a small Ipad, in a way.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Picture a Day or PAD

I watched a few of my scrappin' sisters do this in the past and thought about trying it out even if it is just to chronicle things we do while Robert is away overseas because I know he reads my blog. :)

Friday the 17th of December I didn't have to go to work until the evening so it was a good opportunity for a day of shopping since Alex was in desperate need of long sleeved shirts and as luck would have it I got a $10 off coupon in the mail from JC Penneys so off I went to the mall and alo
ng the way I made a few stops at the craft stores, of course. I did great at the mall and saved over $100 off regular prices at JC Penneys! In the end I spent $35.60 and got 3 shirts for Alex and a nice sweater for myself. After that I was starving so I treated myself to a salad at Panera Bread with dressing on the side, of course. One the way home I stopped off to pick up some photos I had uploaded to print at Sam's Club and then into the Starbucks inside the Target store next door. I have to say that I'm not a big SB girl but this is my indulgence during the holiday season, a tall peppermint mocha with extra peppermint...boy was it ever good and so worth the wait. I just might have to snag another one before the new year.

That evening I worked at the annual holiday party for all of our literacy students and tutors at the library! I love working this party every year because it is so rewarding to see all of the smiling faces on the people that our program serves and helps year after year!
As someone whose first language was not english I really love seeing someone learn to speak english and watch as they come to classes every week with a huge smile on their face. My library ROCKS!!!!

December 20th

Just a picture of me wearing the beautiful scarf that Nancy made for me, I got so many compliments at work that day and I told everyone that it was handmade by my little sister and I know mom would be so proud of her at how much her
knitting skills have improved over the past couple of years!! Nancy always jumps into everything 200% and now I fear she might have been bitten with the scrapbooking bug...might have something to do with my old Cricut that I gave her. We will see where this leads.

December 21st

Another day at work just like any other...with the digital age upon us we are having to make room for more and more
computers and that means removing books that are not circulating and let me tell you it is a huge undertaking!! I filled up 2 carts with books that will be deleted from our collection and sadly most if not all of them are being taken away because they have not been checked out in 3 years or more. Our shelves are just bursting at the seams as you can see from the photos I have here, just showing one shelf before and after I pulled out the books that are going away. So that's just a glimpse of me at work.

AC Moore had a 60% coupon and I couldn't let that opportunity pass me by!!! I have my eye on some scrapbook albums that are in the $20-$30 range and since I have so many scrapbook pages to put into albums I know I need quite a few so I stock up whenever I can get a good deal!! AC Moore has a rewards card and I've been using it and getting my points every single time I shop and as luck would have it I got my first $10 reward certificate in the mail yesterday!! So off I went with those things in my hand and picked up the scrapbook I wanted and it was $24.99. Imagine my joy when I got to the register and realized that I was getting it for FREE!!!! With the 60% off it came to $10 and I gave her my rewards certificate and grinned like an idiot all the way out of the store!!

It was a great shopping day for me all around because after that I went into the grocery store to get some cookie dough for Alex to bake over the vacation next week and they were having a special deal from Pillsbury so I bought 4 batches of ready to bake cookies and with that I got a gallon of milk ($3.99) for FREE!!! Whoooo!! It was a good day!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Treat Bags

I truly love my new Cricut Expression and the possibilities are endless. I’ve been inspired by watching videos and tutorials and I am following a great blog and getting ideas from that. I watched a video where she showed how to make goodie bags and I decided to give it a go and make some for my co-workers for the holidays this year. I went on the website that she talked about to get the clear bags but I don’t need such a large quantity so I went on a search and for me the best bang for my buck is 100 bags for $1.19!! I got them at the party store near my house and they are great bags. 100_1853 The most important part is that you want bags that are flat and not the ones that are gusseted because that will make your treat bags too sloppy and they won’t lay right. Once I found my bags I had to stock up on the candy and I just chose whatever looked colorful and festive through the clear bag. If you are going to make bags for kids you might want to include a small toy as a treat as well, the party stores have tons of little things like that for not a lot of money.

I looked through my cricut cartridges next to decide what image I wanted to use and I settled on something from “Stretch Your Imagination” one of the cartridges I got on Black Friday for myself. 100_1847 100_1848 I chose the snowman in the middle and I cut it at 3” on my cricut with the paper saver key and the auto fill key pressed. So at 3” I was able to get all of these white snowmen cut on one mat. 100_1849 Since I had decided that I was going to be making 30 of these bags I went ahead and cut another 15 and set the white snowmen aside. Next I chose light blue and pressed the shadow feature on my cricut and hit ‘repeat last’ and with the auto fill still selected I cut 30 of those. Next would be all of the “layers” and looking at the image I knew that I needed 30 sets in black, 30 sets in red and 30 sets in orange. Again you just hit your layer key and you will see the scarf, buttons, mittens, nose, boots and hat show up on your screen in one group if you hit repeat last. For this I didn’t want to use auto fill because it would have cut 90 sets or more if I had a 12 X 12 sheet in my cricut so I hit my quantity key and selected 30 for each and cut everything out. Here is what I had when I was done with all of my cuts. 100_1850

Next was just a matter of putting everything together! I filled my bags with the candy and set them all aside. The toppers were cut with a blue that is a bit darker than the shadow on the snowman. Since my bags are 3” by 5” I cut the topper at 3 1/2” by 5 1/2” and folded them all in half. I used my Score-Pal but you can just fold them and use a bone folder on the edge to make it flat. I also cut a strip of green card stock at 3 1/2” by 2” and that would be to cover up the staples on the topper after attaching it to the bags.

100_1854 Now I had everything cut and laid out and I started putting the snowmen together in an assembly line fashion one step at a time.

100_1857The snowman with his blue shadow


A hat to keep his head warm.


Festive red scarf


His carrot orange nose


I drew in his eyes and mouth and

added some ‘blush’ with my chalks.


Some red mittens


After I put all their black boots on they were

ready to decorate my bag toppers.


Folded topper placed over the bag

and stapled twice to hold.


I stamped the right lower corner with a sentiment for the

holidays. This was a $1 stamp set from Michael’s. :)

I love cheap little things that are also cute.


Add the green strip to the front of the topper to

cover up the staples.


Add your snowman and you are done!

I also stamped the back of these and signed my name to them.


And here they are! I delivered them to all of my friends and

co-workers today and I’m glad I was able to see what I can

create with my cricut and can’t wait to try some more fun stuff.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


So it's been a while since I posted anything that I've made since I've been so busy with holiday stuff and parties at work, etc. I finally started to clean and reorganize my scrapbook room after the mess of making the centerpieces for my work holiday party! I am really loving this layout and just got my pictures printed out to put on it so it will go in my power layout box that I am prepping to bring to my weekend crop in January!! Yay! I can't wait for that and this one is close to home so there will not be tons of driving involved and I am staying at the hotel, as well, so I can stay up late to scrap and not have to worry about driving home tired and waking up early to drive back to my scrap stuff. I love the hotel, been going to this crop for a few years now and it's a really nice group of ladies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mom's Bucket List

Dear Mom,

I really miss you lately, I started crying at work yesterday because I had a flashback of driving you to the hospital because you were having some speech problems one morning and you had a seizure in the passenger seat right next to me. I don't know if it is the holidays or what but you have been on my mind so much more lately and I am more emotional. Right now I'm wat
ching a show on NBC called "The Sing-off" and it is all groups singing acapella and it is making me teary because I know how much you would have loved watching this with me.

Guess what, mom? Today I got up at 4:30 in the morning (boy was I tired!!) and it was freezing cold (only 20 degrees when I got in my car) but I drove to th
e train station and parked my car and took a train into NYC to meet my friend, Sandi. I was wearing your coat and your very warm scarf so I was pretty safe from the cold. We took the subway to Rockefeller Center and had fun taking pictures and looking at the amazingly huge tree they have up there this year...I think this one is the biggest I have ever seen!! The tree came from Mahopac...not too far from where we used to live in Mt. Vernon, right? I think it is so festive and I really love watching the skaters on the rink because every time I do it reminds me of skating there in 2003 with my very dear friend, Mary...I scratched something off dad's bucket list that day didn't I, mom? :) I'll never forget that day as long as I live.

So I bet you're wondering what I was doing there, huh? Well you know NBC Studios are there and guess who tapes his TV show there, as luck would have it? You know I can still hear your voice..."He's my man!!!" whenever you would see him on Oprah. I never would have guessed what the segments on the show would be about today and I actually had tickets for last month but at the last minute they emailed to say that they wouldn't be taping that day (I guess a heart surgeon turned TV star still has patients to attend to) so I got tickets for a different day. The opening segment started and when Dr. Oz came out I thought about you and wished you could have been with me but when they started to talk about pancreatic cancer I shifted gears and got very emotional about dad...there was no way I could have known that the show would cover that horrible cancer on the day that I was in the audience!! It was so surreal for me, everything he talked about just made me nod in agreement and dad had a lot of the warning signs early on and I wish I had known more back then but I don't know if it would have changed the outcome. They are actually working on a vaccine to treat patients who have cancer of the pancreas now so it is really very promising and I hope that I see a cure for this cancer in my lifetime.

The rest of the show was about Weight Watchers (this show is going to air in January so it is fitting since so many people make New Year's resolutions to lose weight) and that was really interesting and fun to watch. I'm so glad I went and I really had a great time.

So for now there is only one more thing left on your list, mom...and I don't know if I'll be able to do it but I will try if the opportunity comes up. It's Tina Turner and I'm keeping my eyes and ears peeled...but you know she toured when you were battling your brain cancer so I wasn't able to take you to see her, you were just not well enough. I give you my word, if she tours again...I will be there and you will be with me...I will feel your spirit with me just like I felt you with me today.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A busy week in December!

Christmas came early for our family this year as we traveled to Virginia to spend time with each other. Nancy and Paul, along with little Cole, are going to be spending the holidays in Montana this year so we decided that we would get together earlier and celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one. I didn’t take too many pictures but we had a really nice visit even if it was short. Cole was very cute, Nancy told me that they had been practicing opening presents so he was really good at ripping the paper, that’s for sure! 02 He opened everything we got him but I think his favorite new toy was his farm tractor and animals. Here he is opening that box…oh how I love his cute little toes!!

Alex was very surprised at all that he got and I know that he was really thrilled at the gift that his big brother, Bobby, sent him…just look at that huge smile!! 03 He also got a bunch of gift cards from Guitar Center and he can’t wait to go there and pick out a new guitar from himself. Jim and I gave him an electric scooter as his big gift this year and he was pretty surprised at that!

100_1792 He really enjoyed trying it out the next morning before we set out for the drive home. As for me I just enjoyed spending time with Cole and reading books and playing with him, the time was so short and quick but I am looking forward to visiting with him in February for a few days while Alex has off from school for winter recess.

01 Coming home from that trip I hit the ground running and worked a crazy week…5 days in a row! I was supposed to have off on wednesday but volunteered to go in and work on a project and I figured it wasn’t a bad thing to pick up extra hours since I’ll be off for a few days during the Christmas break at the end of the month. The library will be closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and I took off from the 28th to the 30th so I’ll have a really long stretch of time off to get things done around the house and have some fun with Alex, we are hoping to take in a couple of movies. :)

On Saturday the 11th Alex and I were off to the American Museum of Natural History with the teen department at the library and I had a really nice day. Alex ditched me for his friends but I still had a good time walking around and looking at the exhibits with another librarian and one of my co-workers and her son. There was a really beautiful tree in the center of one of the floors that was all decorated with origami ornaments, it was spectacular and I wish the photo of it came out a bit better but someday I’ll get a good camera and then all my photos will be fantastic! :) 01 02 On the bus ride I managed to get quite a bit of reading done on my E reader that my son, Robert, gave me for Christmas and I absolutely love! It really is wonderful to relax and read a good book, that’s for sure. It wouldn’t be the same without the typical mother/son photo with Alex making a face. 03 I had to laugh when I looked at this up close because I think my baby is showing signs of peach fuzz on top of his lip…guess he’ll be shaving before you know it. *sigh* Where does the time go?

I am looking forward to the coming weeks where I hope to make more memories to scrapbook and my upcoming weekend crop in January!!