Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some things you won't be getting for Christmas

I went back to work last month at Lands End but I actually work as a personal shoppper for Sears. So all day long when I work.............I am on the computer chatting with customers. Shoppers who are online trying to find something at Sears or Kmart. If I can't find it at those stores, I then go off and search the web for you. Sometimes I actually get a sale but most of the time people are looking for some of the impossible to find items this year.

The one I search for most often is a game called Mindflex by Mattel. Retails for $79.99 but since it is out of stock EVERYWHERE people are selling it on Ebay and Amazon for almost $200. Whoever thought of this game has struck gold. Ellen had it on her talk show last week and the calls have gone up big time since then. It's a game where you wear a head set and send mind waves to the ball to make it rise into the air...........hmm.......what will they come up with next? If you missed it on Ellen and still want to see it, just google the word Mindflex.

Another big item is Barbie's glamour camper or her townhouse. Hard to believe that Barbie is still popular but even harder to believe what people will spend on her accessories. I have close to 30 dolls here at the house for Allayah to play with when she comes over. She does have her own jeep and a bedroom set but none of these were even near $15 which is a drop in the hat when it comes to the townhouse or camper.

Now you can understand how hard it is to come home from work and sit on my own computer just for fun. After 8 hours of chatting with people from all over the United States........the last thing I want to do is type some there is cleaning, cooking and I still have to finish making some Christmas cards. Don't get me wrong...........I really enjoy being a personal shopper...........especially if I can help them find something they are looking for. It's just that I'm not used to working full time and especially not during the holidays when I want to be decorating my house, making gifts and cards and of course baking cookies. Thank goodness it is only temporary so soon I will be home again full time and I won't have to worry about driving to work in a blizzard. Yes we had a blizzard here in Wisconsin last week........almost 12 inches and then came the bone chilling cold ......................... temps below zero and wind chills at -20.BRRRR!!! They are now talking 3 to 5 inches of snow tomorrow. Good thing I have off tomorrow since I worked today.

I do miss blogging and I miss spending time in my scraproom (the messiest place in the house at the moment) but it is nice to earn some extra spending money for Christmas gifts. I'll be back again soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving fun

I can't believe I haven't been on my blog for such a long time and I can give you the excuse of the new job and Thanksgiving but.................there really isn't any excuse to miss my friends online.

Thanksgiving was great! My youngest son Travis came up with his son Alex and he also brought along Allayah. His girlfriend Jamie came up later that night too. My dining room table looked really nice with all the matching napkins and placemats,a gift from my friend Betsy (thanks again!). I even made little nametags for everyone so they would know where they sat. It was fun using some of my border punches and just getting my creative juices flowing. The turkey was great and if you've never used an oven bag for your turkey you don't know what you are missing. So easy and so very moist.

We had our 2 oldest grandkids for 3 days. They played so well together we didn't even realize we had kids in the house. They spent hours in my scraproom just being creative (they LOVED the cuttlebug), they played at the park and of course we swam for hours. Friday night we all went bowling and wouldn't you know I forgot my new camera (normally I carry one in my purse at all times). But I did get some cute pictures of the kids swimming so I will share them with you.

I took everyone to Lands End on Friday since the company store was open and they all found some really good deals. Plus they got to be the first people to ride in our new car. We went to Sears on black Friday but otherwise avoided the stores. We had too many other fun family things to do and I can shop anytime right? Actually my job is being a personal shoppper online for Sears so that's all I do every day when I work.

Well I'm off to find my scraproom again so I can make some Christmas cards.......yes I know I should have them done a LONG time ago but this has been one very strange year. Do you have all your Christmas cards done??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy week-end

First I have to say that my blogging has been so slow due to working full time at Lands End. I am assuming that after this week my hours will not be full time and then life might return to as I know it. I've forgotten how hard it is to work full time and keep up with household stuff. Forget the scrapping and this is something I truly miss especially when I should be busy making Christmas cards. The job is interesting as I am a personal shopper for So if you happen to be online at Sears or Kmart and click that button that says "chat now" you could possibly be talking to me! It is an awesome service offered by Sears where they will help you find or buy just about anything online or even locate the nearest store to you that has it available. Getting paid to shop................doesn't get better then this!

My husband and I did go to see that new movie out 2012 and I will give it a thumbs up! It was 2 1/2 hours long but it was a movie that had brilliant effects and the suspense kept you sitting on the edge of the seat most of the time. Definitely worth seeing on a "big" screen. I just saw on the news that there are people who actually believe the Mayan calendar and are preparing for the end of the world. Makes you wonder....

Later this week I will blog about our car shopping trip that we did on Saturday and yes we actually did buy our first BRAND NEW car...........more to come in just a few day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday to me............

Well today is day 2 at my new job at Lands End where I am going to be a personal shopper for Sears. Sounds like a perfect job for me............helping someone shop online and spend their money! And you know me I'm a GREAT shopper!

It also is my birthday..........not a day I am particularly fond of but today was special. First of all I woke up to so many nice messages on Facebook and Fiskars and emails from friends. At work they have a birthday board so my class found out and sang happy birthday to me. I got cards in the mail from 2 of my brothers and of course my mom and in-laws. My darling husband had a gorgeous card waiting for me when I got home and then took me to Apple bee's........and you can guess what happened there when the whole working crew started singing Happy Birthday too.

While eating I got a phone call from my son Todd and another one just now from my son Travis. Just a few minutes ago my grandson Alex (he's 8) called and wished me a great day (sure Jamie dialed her cell for him but it still was so very special)! Funny thing is why we were eating..........I told Kevin how special it would be if Alex or Allayah called......and 30 minutes later that wish came true when Alex called.

Nuthing makes a birthday better then family or friends! Now I'm off to relax in front of the fireplace with my hubby and watch some tv.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween...............

Happy Halloween and we have a winner for the Halloween goodies RAK. It is Laura...........please send me an email with your address and I will get it in the mail.

I have been busy raking leaves and covering all my gardens with them for the winter. Today it is actually 60 degrees but very windy and tomorrow the high will only be 45...........which is kinda sad for all the kids going trick or treating. Last year we had Allayah here for the 1st time for Halloween and it was so nice she actually didn't need a jacket until later in the evening. Not sure what she is going to be this year but I know I sent her a cute little costume that was a long velvet dress complete with a muff for her hands...........this year it would be very appropriate.

We have to bowl tomorrow nite in couples league and then are heading to a bonfire so that will be our entertainment. How about you............any plans for Halloween?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Arizona was GREAT!!

You just can't have a bad time in is always the same..........sunny and warm......and even tho one day it was 102, it never felt like it since it is a dry heat. You don't even sweat there.....well at least I don't.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and was surprised to see BOTH of my brothers picking us up at the airport so we all had a nice visit on the drive home (1 1/2 hours). Went out to eat in the evening and they served Spumoni (Italian ice cream cake) for desert. Here's a picture of Kevin having his and it also has a candle on it!

Sunday after church we headed to Riverside casino for their champagne brunch. It wasn't as impressive as I remembered...............not like the seafood buffets we normally hit on Fridays. We watched the Packers play in the Losers Lounge since they weren't on regular tv this week. After that we headed back to my moms and sat in the hot tub and did some more visiting. This picture is of my 2 older brothers, my mom & I out on her deck in back.

Monday was golf day..............first time I played in over 7 years. It really wasn't as bad as I remembered. I only lost 5 to the water, 2 to the bushes, 1 across the street and the last ended up on someone's patio (hoping it didn't hit or break anything). This was an unusual course as it was surrounded by condo's so lots of windows just begging to be hit especially from someone like me who doesn't hit it straight and far yet! What a great way to spend 4 1/2 hours ..............getting some sun, exercise and enjoying some wonderful scenery. Here's a picture of my mom, Bob & Kevin just before we went out to play. The 3 of them just LOVE & Bob play almost daily. I think they are hoping that I will get that bug too.

Palm trees, mountains, cactus plants...........and look at how close the houses were. I finally got in a picture too......not a great hair day when wearing a sun visor!

Just had to get a picture of this sign since the comedian playing at the Riverside Casino was Kevin Johnson (same name as my husband). We didn't go see him but the 4 of us did go see Couples Retreat which was a very funny movie.

Now we are back in Wisconsin with temps in the 30's & 40's and lots of rain. I even put our electric blanket back on the bed Thursday night as it was so cold even with flannel sheets. Where is our Indian Summer?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BOOO -- I'm back with a RAK!

Just got home tonite from a wonderful vacation with warm weather and wonderful family time. Unfortunately came home to chilly rainy weather with maybe even some snow on the way.

So before I go to bed ...........I wanted to offer a Halloween RAK..............all you need to do is leave an easy favorite recipe that you enjoy making...........maybe something for the slow cooker, a desert or hot dish. I know from the past that coming back from vacation means catching up on lots of stuff including laundry etc so you could make my life easier with your recipes. I will draw a name next week-end and this is what you can win. Lots of nice spooky goodies including a set of Fiskars trick or treat clear stamps!
Will tell you more about my trip tomorrow!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gonna Leave this snow & head out west

Here it is 36 and snowing pretty as it looks......I sure am glad that I'm am packing to head to sunny Arizona where temps are in the 90's! This fall has just been too wierd and so was summer! Anyhow tomorrow we will be spending the night at my brother Andy's place in Madison and he will drive us to airport there early Saturday morning. We arrive in Las Vegas at 1:22 and my oldest brother Norm will be picking us up and driving us 1 1/2 hours to my mom's place in BullHead City. We will be celebrating Kevin's and Norm's birthday that evening at an Italian resteraunt and my brother Robert from Milwaukee will actually be there too. How exciting for my mom to have 3 of her children together at the same time! I will have seen 3 out of 4 brothers within 24 hours and I spent an hour on the phone last night with the 4th brother Tony in Texas. Gotta love family time!

So while cleaning up my scraproom I got sidetracked and started organizing things. I received this neat bag from Fiskars with some garden tools so I decided to use it for all my adhesives. It is large enuf even to fit my ATG gun (a tool that I love).

Then I had this neat bag that I got in a RAK from Karen (Ladydoc) so I decided to put all my inks organized in there. It too was large enuf for lots of ink pads and stamp cleaners too!

Now I have an empty drawer so course gotta fill that....... so I organized a bunch of my squeeze punches in there. It fit 18 punches and some corner punches too. I like the way they sit nice on top of each other and now I can see which design I have 2 sizes of or 3 ( I actually only have the circle set in all 3 sizes but some of the scalloped ones only came in 2 sizes so they are complete too). The other 16 fit into this nice box and are very handy. The orange ones are the seasonal (Halloween) ones so aren't used year round. The drawer above this one holds all my border punches nicely! Don't ya just love being organized?

Last but not least I organized all my stickles and smooch into this nice little round basket. I put a piece of styrofoam in the bottom so they could all stand upside down in there and actually stay put.

By this time all my laundry was done so I carried it up to our bedroom and started putting it away. While doing that I thought hmmm I should pack socks etc for my husband and next thing I know I was cleaning out his sock drawer, sorting, matching and taking out all the ones that were wearing out. I did get his socks packed but it just shows you how sidetracked I can get from one chore to the next. Does anyone else have this problem LOL??????

Well not sure what free time I will have while on vacation so you might not see another blog until I get back. I'll try to bring back some sunshine!

Monday, October 12, 2009

crafting while it snows!

Yup it has been snowing all day...........little white flakes that could add up to be 1 to 3 inches. Doesn't seem quite right for October 12th does it? Course it will all be gone tomorrow but still made a nice day to say inside and be crafty!

I spent hours making a birthday card for my granddaughter Allayah who will turn 8 on the 24th. Knowing we wouldn't be seeing or talking to her this month I wanted it to be extra special. The felt frame on the front blends so perfect with the picture I took of her in our gardens back in August. I love the beading in the flowers and even the cake and present are made of felt.

On the top half of the inside I filled it with butterfly kisses and each butterfly is prettier then the next. On the bottom half I used my Cuttlebug folder and in the middle of it used a happy birthday rub on. I used my glitter pens to make this look special plus I remember how much Allayah liked using them and I think she will recognize it too! I enjoy making special cards for special people and hope they will be treasured for many years.

I also made my brother a birthday card and what was unique about it is that I used samples from a wallpaper book. I like the crackled aged look to this lighthouse envelope. I used the coordinating paper to make the card and on the inside I found a sweet picture of a girl on a beach which is so appropriate since I am his only sister. So next time you are near a paint store stop and see if they have any "old" sample books...........the best part is they are FREE and now you have another ideal of what to do with them. I have also used them to make frames which is fun.

As much fun as I had crafting is almost 3pm so I better get something constructive done around the house too! Thank goodness I made a nice turkey yesterday and fresh apple crisp so I don't think Kevin will mind leftovers tonite especially since he has to rush out to bowl.

I'll try to post again this week before we head out to warmer weather this week-end!

Friday, October 9, 2009

48 pages in 8 days!

8 days ago I booked a trip for my husband Kevin & I to go out to Arizona by my mom. It is Kevin's last week of vacation for the year and he normally needs some time to regroup before the hustle and bustle of the holidays his job that is! Right now he has been working some 12 hour days and comes home just beat so we leave next Saturday on his birthday and will spend 6 days where it is nice and warm.

Kevin shares his birthday with my oldest brother Norm so my mom is planning a little get together that night at a local Italian restaurant for us all to celebrate. When my brother was here visiting earlier this summer he left his 2 photo albums with me and said it would be nice if I would make him a scrapbook like I did for our other brother Andy. I sorted through some of the photos but that was as far as I got since my gardens keep me pretty busy during the summer and of course there was also just the big warehouse sale.

Needless to say, the same day I got our flights booked, I started Norm's album and I have been working on it non stop (well at least the days that I wasn't fighting some dental problems). I found this neat album in blue jean material and it even has a pocket on the front. I spelled out his name in brads........kewl huh?

I think the hardest part doing 48 pages was finding paper to match......especially stuff that wasn't "girlish" with flowers etc. Also working with pictures that were 40 to 50 years old..........lot of them in black and white. I won't bore you with many pictures but here are a few. This page was of his 8th grade graduation and I used Hannah's Story line.

I loved finding pictures of both of our grandma's and we had a special name for them too. Grandma Close just lived a few blocks away in Milwaukee whereas Grandma Faraway lived all the way across the city LOL! Here was the one chance for me to use some prima flowers.

I did a page on each of my brothers and spelled their names out in foil trimmed Cloud 9 letters. Simple but sweet. I also did one of both my folks. I am going to bring along a pen in case he would like me to add some journaling but there sure are allot of pictures and memories in this 48 page album I made him. I know it will be something for him to treasure no matter where he moves to or ends up in life. I just wouldn't recommend trying to do it in 8 days!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Computer problems???

I love computers..........when they are working..........when they are not .......... it's a headache! I was smart enuf this time when we bought our Gateway to take out the protection plan so I gave them a call last week to tell them I was having problems with my wireless mouse. I put batteries in and within a few hours it was telling me I needed new batteries.........hmmm something not quite right with that huh?

So while discussing this with the tech guy, I mentioned that the computer froze allot & I couldn't do ctrl, alt, delete to reboot it either. So it was decided that they would need to take my computer back to how it first came to other words erasing the hard drive. When I heard that I got scared knowing how many pictures etc I have that I would not want to lose. So it was off to Staples to buy an external hard drive. I was lucky enough to have a clerk who knew the pro's and con's of each type and I walked away buying one that I feel will meet my needs.

It wasn't hard to hook up and only took 30 minutes to backup all my stuff then came the hard part of getting on the phone with the tech guy again and re-doing the hard drive. I spent most of yesterday afternoon & evening re-installing programs and of course my anti virus protection. Today I am trying to find some things that don't seem to be there and the one thing I really miss that I didn't think of copying was my favorite's list. Every morning I would get up and there were a number of sites I checked out daily for deals etc and now I don't have their websites and it will take time for me to remember who they were too LOL! I also have some different things on my screen that weren't there before. Why oh why do they not give you manuals with computers? I love reading, high lighting and taking notes rather then going online and trying to find what I'm looking for in an online manual.

The good news is I haven't had any problems in the past 24 hours besides my computer going to sleep and me not knowing how to wake it up?? But I will learn again and soon things will be back to normal.

I hope in my next blog I will have some pictures of the scrapbook that I am making for my oldest brother Norm's birthday which is in less then 2 weeks.

Back to watching the Packers play the Vikings..........GO PACK GO!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall is here

It has been a busy week packing and shipping out boxes of Fiskar goodies to my friends which is why I haven't been on the computer much. Plus the weather has changed and we had one night with a frost and the next night with a freeze. Some of my flowers survived but most took a big hit between that and the HIGH winds we had one day. The wind tore the rest of my canopy on my swing right off (earlier storm started it) and also pulled out my gorgeous butterfly screen that I had in my garden so you can imagine how strong those winds were. All the really tall spider plants were also destroyed. But you know we had a nice September with temps in the 70's and it couldn't last forever.

The temps now are only in the 50's and we are finally getting the rain that I have been waiting patiently for weeks. It is in the forecast for most of the next week so it will be a good time to be doing some inside stuff this week. Luckily we have all that wood stacked and stored as we do have our wood stove going right now!

My favorite part of fall is waiting for the leaves to change. I love taking a long drive just to see all the gorgeous colors at this time of the year. Normally we do it this week-end when we take a drive to Eagle River for their annual Cranberry Fest but if it's going to rain and be in the low 50's I think I can skip this fun craft show this year.

Have a great week-end all and enjoy the beginning of fall!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The warehouse sale

ok so I don't know the secret to adding lots of pictures to this blog and moving them to where I want them so I started a new post about the sale. If anyone does have a secret to this and wants to share it with me............that would be awesome! This is the picture of all the boxes on my dining room table just after we got home.

So this is a big warehouse with aisles of pallets and boxes and basically you just go up and down picking up what you want and putting it in empty boxes on your cart. If you were not lucky enuf to get a cart you have to push the boxes along the cement floors. As you can see I have my cart kinda full.

Then you stand in a very LONG line that snakes up and down the aisles until you get to the checkout. Good thing is you can shop the aisles as you walk up and down them............bad thing is that somehow the lines got mixed up and were merging together.............the lucky ones got through allot faster then us. They didn't realize this problem until we had been in line for TWO hours. So there were some crabby shoppers and people cutting in line...........that part I could do without.

We didn't get home until almost 4pm (thank goodness Jen ran out and brought back McDonalds for all of us).........did I say Thank you JEN!!!!

These pictures are after it is all separated by the line like Kimberely Polosum, Ink by Steph, Cloud 9 etc. Lots of cute scissors, stencils, some albums, trimmers too.

Now comes the fun part of deciding what to keep, who I bought for, where am I sending it etc.

The day after

The last few days seemed to fly right by. My Fiskateer friends arrived Wednesday around 5 and after a quick tour of my home & the gardens the pizza had arrived and so had Ashani (another gal from Illinois) and Jen. We ate & chatted and got right down to some crafty business.

Kimberlee was the speedy one of our bunch so no she's not bored.....maybe a little tired after a long day of driving and touring the Fiskars headquarters in Madison.....she is just waiting patiently for the bracelets to dry and us to finish up.

Merlene brought some wooden bracelets along so we painted them green & orange (Fiskar colors) and then embellished them with bling, buttons, etc.

Ashani brought along a make n take earring project since she makes and designs jewelry. She had cute orange & green beads and the little scissors we cut out of that shrinky dink plastic & then shrunk in my toaster oven. They turned out so cute & original too!

In between these two projects we tye dyed t-shirts (my very 1st time). It was a little messy but actually kinda fun and they each turned out so different. Betsy then used her Cricut to cut out our names, Fiskateer numbers & a pair of scissors for the back of the shirt (we stenciled that on with paint). Between all these projects and just gabbing away it was after midnite before we went to bed.

We all got up with Kevin around 5am so that we could leave for the warehouse sale by 6:30am.

It didn't start until 9 but there were already 8 to 10 people there in front of us. The reason we go early to these sales is not only to get the special item that is limited (like Fiskar tree branch trimmers for $20....normally $70) but also cuz they only have so many carts available to use and the way I shop I need a big cart! Yes they do sell garden tools along with the crafty stuff and scissors galore! Here's a picture of us all decked out in our crafty projects waiting a the warehouse for it to open.

Tomorrow or later tonite I will post again with pictures of the sale & all my goodies I got!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Company Coming

Thursday is the BIG warehouse sale at Fiskars in Wausau. On Wednesday some out of state Fiskateers will be arriving at my house to spend the night so that we can go bright and early in the morning to the sale. A pool/pizza party is planned for that night and some local gals might pop in. Plans are in the making for doing some tye dyed shirts to wear to the sale and some beading. Of course majority of the time will be chatting since most of these women I have only met online. Isn't it great that the internet can connect people from all over the world just by their interest or passion of crafting?

Course with 6 overnight guests..........guess what I have been doing for the past week or so? You guessed it CLEANING! I also wanted to be able to show off my gorgeous gardens that are still in full bloom since our temps are still in the 70's. How bizarre is that for middle of September? We have lacked rain for the past 3 weeks so watering is must and does take a few hours to do all my gardens and the lawn. We do have an inground sprinkler system but it only covers so much.

My hibiscus (red) finally opened up last week since it is only 1 year old. I forgot how huge the flowers were! Also my butterfly bush which I cut down to the ground in the spring is now over 6 feet tall............flowering and attracting butterflies! I did find a plant that I don't remember planting and I believe it is a chinese lantern is a picture of one of the orange

By the way thanks for all the names that you came up with............winner drawn was Maxine...Congrats Maxine! I will get that out to you soon. Well back to cleaning!