Friday, November 30, 2007

Let there be light....

We have shown a modicum of restraint this year in our holiday outside decos...gone is the huge inflatable snow globe, banished to the back are the reindeer, gifted to Ed and Deb, our good neighbors in Ft. Myers, is our 5 foot lit snowman...and we are left with this modest display of lighting. We are a bit different in our neighborhood of white icicle lights with our candy cane striped palm trees in the front and our healthy dash of color amongst the twinkles.

Today we hoist our big Santa, who shorted out on us last year and no longer sings or dance, onto the rock fountain above the pool...we've been talking about getting Ol' St. Nick in place for over a week and I think today is the day.

________________________LOTS HAPPENING TOMORROW___________________________________

December 1st. marks the half price sale for Hang Ten Paper Arts kits. You can check with www.hilltopmemories to see which ones are on the list. This is a good chance to pick up a kit you may have missed or to get one as a gift for a friend.
Hang Ten takes off every year for the month of December. We wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and watch for a great kit coming your way Jan. 1. I'll post more details on that as the time gets closer.

Dec. 1st. is also the day my Techniques column goes up at KnK Club. This month I worked with stencils and all the wonderful things you can do with them and inks, paints, gel pens, hand stitching...and, well, just stop on by and see for Also, Gerri-anne, the owner is offering a free shipping deal for store purchases. If you do not get the newsletter, sign up now!

Dec. 1st is a great time also to get inspiration at Creative Scrap Shack. There is a new contest in Island Maps forum, the Reveal from the DT is tomorrow and the new challenges will go up tomorrow as well.

Don't miss the fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh Christmas tree...oh Christmas tree...

We actually have 5 (count 'em) Christmas trees in our house. You've seen Lucille, my lime green retro tree who sits in my workroom in the shuttered window facing the street and you may have seen a pic of our new big tree, whom I've named Bella because she is so beautiful (but whom my friend Chris from the Shack calls but you may not have met E's tree that we refer to as his Charley Brown tree. It is this white branched bendable thing with bulbs on the ends of the spindly branches. It sits on the beer fridge out on the lanai in all its glory. E loves his Charley Brown tree! The other two trees are tiny on the entry way table to light the way in and out of our home and another tiny and unlit one in the guest bedroom. When E was a child, every member of his family had their own tree plus the big family tree. He says this is an old German custom (I guess the tiny trees are the cats in our While half of my family is German, we only had the one big family tree that I can remember. My dad's side of the family was French Canadian (Cyr) and only had one tree as well. I think I like E's way of thinking!


Looks like Tim Holtz' new products have hit the U.S. market running. I know of three places you can get what you want and have it shipped soon: the Grunge board, the shapes (Elements), the alphas with designs and not, the rulers, the hammers, the distress inks and will have to pick because I have strong ties to all three places: (in alphabetical order)Creative Scrap Shack, Hilltop Memories, Kit n Kaboodle. Or, for maximum fun, place a different order with each so you can see the Brown Guy lots (mine here is not as cute as the one in Ft. Myers but is not bad at all)!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jack the Cat in his 'finery'

Everyone has been so kind asking how Just Jack has been doing since we brought him home two days ago. He is doing aok! The stitches come out Thursday but not sure if he can lose the collar. Several have made suggestions that I embellish it for Jack for the holidays and I am giving that some thought....maybe some little lights around the rim or some holiday glitter and some stamping, you think?

Goof is having adjustment problems to Jack's return. Jack smells differently and, while Goof has not hissed at him, he seems put off by the collar and the fact that he (Goof) is not the center of attention any more. He got pretty use to being the only child the ten days Jack was at the vets. Jack has mellowed considerably and now sleeps all night with us, pressed as closely to E as he can with that collar on. He would seldom condescend to sleep with us before unless it was really cold. We call these Two Cat Nights!

I finished a project for KnK and posted it in the gallery. I'll try to put it up here later today or tomorrow....I had such fun glittering. BTW: be sure to watch the store at KnK as G-a, the owner, has some brand spankin' new stuff of Tim Holtz' going up this week. You won't want to miss these!

It is only a few days until the Dec Reveal at Creative Scrap Shack. I was fortunate to get both the sponsors' kit from Cosmo Cricket (oh my) and the Shack's December kit (ooh la la) and design lots of goodies with both. I am not usually a big card maker but have been having a blast doing some interesting enclosures and accordion cards. These will be up at the Shack on Dec. 1.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chance to get some goodies

I am a big Luxe fan and they are having a give away...check this out

Monday, November 26, 2007


Here I sit with tons on my plate and all I wanted to do today was play with my canvas and inks and Lumieres and Glimmer Mists. At the crop, Kip and Di were both playing with Kip's canvas book that we learned how to make in Tim Holtz class and, because one book is more than my room can handle right now, I decided to make a hanging for our bath above the toilet which has it's own little room off the main bath. I applied the ink and used Adironack Alcohol Blending Solution to soften the color. When that dried I spritzed the whole thing with Glimmer Mist, which I adore. It gave a shimmer to the soft Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. I printed the image of the dancing girl onto canvas and ironed it onto the inked canvas piece. I used Lumieres to enhance her costume and used a rub on in the upper left corner also enhancing it.

I want to 'frame' the piece a bit more but will figure out how I want to approach that tomorrow. Today, I am happy.

Moon Glow

Kristen and I played "shop 'til ya drop" yesterday and I am DONE with the holiday shopping except for one person/one gift! YEAH!. Kristen did her Driving Miss Daisy routine and hauled her dear mother to a very cool mall a ways away from here. I took her out for her birthday lunch and we hit the stores running. I found darling outfits for our friend, Jadee's, two beautiful daughters, lovely things for my great niece, Kaela, and Petey's little boy, Brian is now good to go and in Brownies (the Cleveland football team, not the Girls Scouts) colors. Now to wrap and ship.

I got home after dark to find our house all aglow. It looks so pretty. (pic to follow soonest) but what really grabbed me was the moon peeking from the black and gray clouds that layered the sky. The moonlight last night was so bright, I could have almost read by it. Amazing!

Clean and scrap today. I am finishing up a project for KnK and working on something fun for Creative Scrap Shack. Should have one done today and the other tomorrow.

Hang Ten Paper Arts is having a sale starting Dec. 1 of selected kits from this past year. It will be a great chance to pick up some gifts for your scrapping friends. Watch www.hilltopmemories on Dec. 1 to see what will be price slashed!

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One day closer to Christmas

I came home yesterday from the Hilltop Memories one day crop and the Hang Ten staff meeting (watch for some exciting happenings with Hang Ten Paper Arts btw)to some surprises from my honey. I have a rather large collection of snow people and he thought I needed just one more, sweet man that he is. He found this cutie for me. She stands about 3 feet tall or a trifle less and has an embroidered white on white skirt. Her tree is so cute too!

And, as if that were not enough, he bought a sparkling live poinsettia for our table on the pretty.

We are off to the kids in a bit to help them put up their outdoor lights. K and I will take off for a shopping day and to get some presents crossed off our list. Just another wonderful day in Paradise! and one day closer to Christmas!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kristen's first Thanksgiving

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. The kids outdid themselves with their first TG at their house. The food was divine and the company even better!

Years ago, when I was freshly separated from the kids' dad, the kids and I reinvented Thanksgiving and other holidays to make them 'ours'. One of the things I insisted on was that I not do all the cooking and all the clean up which had been the case with our previous family TGs. We made some decisions and came up with a game plan which, in part, we still follow to this day some twenty-five years later. We each cook our two favorite dishes; we turn off the t.v. and play games and we all pitch in to clean up. I don't think the kids realized how much work it was especially when their dad would invite lots of family over and I would do it all. Then everyone would retire to the family room and watch football while I cleaned it all up....I had grown to despise TG. When the kids and I reinvented the holiday, it took on such joy and we all had such fun.

We had a bit of a time convincing E when he joined our merry band, that he did not have to do it all! But he has come around to our way of thinking

1. Kristen and Chris' newly redecorated dining room was lovely and sparkled with her china and crystal.

2. Rob made his infamous smashed potatoes and was wondering where the sweet potatoes were

3. Chris cleaned, stuffed, baked and carved his first turkey under the tutelage of E

4. Kristen won at poker even though she had no clue what she was doing...beginner's luck...but Rob had the most chips...Mr. Fold is his new nic name!

5. I "made" the rolls...I do less and less each year and love it more and more!

6. Kristen's apple crumble pies rocked.

To my friends, may you find your holiday nitch. To my family, you make my life complete.

Hope yours was a great one!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Look what Santa left us under Lucille! Goof has taken to napping in the small space under my retro Christmas tree. He seems to like the glitter and glow and he can also watch the neighborhood go by through the open slats of the shutters.

It is daily things like this for which I am thankful. And being thankful for my family and friends is such a given. I have good health, my family is close by and I have ample time to play and enjoy the company of kindred spirits. I am able to live in what has turned out to be the perfect place for E and I and we are both so appreciate of the life we have together.

Just Jack is doing so very much better. He will be able to come home tomorrow with an luck. Thanks to all who have kept this little guy in their thoughts. We appreciate it so very much.

Off to watch the parade and head over to Kristen's around noon. We have pennies for poker and food for our tummies. Who could ask for a better way to spend the day.

Have a great one!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One more day 'til we shine!

Here at the Griswald', the Eickmeiers, we traditionally turn on the holiday lights both inside and out on Thanksgiving evening. Rumors that we have, in the past, caused major power outages is only semi true and fairly misleading. We have actually downsized a bit this year although I could not tell you how as there is very little left in the Christmas boxes that is not up or out somewhere. We have a few more things to take care of (a new lit wreath for one of the garage lights, Santa tied down on the rock waterfall above the pool, the reindeer out by rose bushes and a swag on the wall leading to the front door) but, for the most part, it is all systems go.

This is our main Christmas tree. We are collectors of glass ornaments and of hand painted and blown vintage looking Santas and the tree is laden with both. Unlike most else of ours, this tree has no name. I've thought about this and perhaps she/he should have a fitting title since Lucille, my retro tree, has a name and is about 1/4 or less the size of the large tree. Any thoughts?

We're off today to see the Kipper in St. Pete. Last summer at Pool School, E and I won this wonderful floating lounge. It has pontoons like a boat and, in our pool, feels like one too. This type of chair just happens to be Kip's favorite for floating in her pool so we are gifting it to her and taking it down. I am also returning a bottle of wine and her altered paper mache pumpkin she made at Creep Over and then left both in the van. I'm hoping Kip will feel good enough to go out to lunch with us as she has been having cold/sinus problems and on her week off from school too! Get better my friend.

Have a great day all and if you have any name suggestions for our tree, please leave them here!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A couple of layouts for KnK

(the file folder on the first layout opens to reveal a mini album for more photos)

One thing I love about being on a design team is that I get to play with some great new products and, between KnK and Creative Scrap Shack, their December kits were both filled with some awesome things. I am not a huge fan of KI but when it comes to the lace paper, I have to eat my words. Since getting the numbers from KNK with my kit, I've purchased flowers and swirls too.

I finished my card and a layout for Creative Scrap Shack whose reveal is Dec. 1 and I have more product to create at least two more layouts and an altered project. The same applies for Kit n Kaboodles Dec. kit which, if you scroll down a bit, is pictured. I can't wait to play with the gift pack. That snowman paper is way cute.

I am getting almost caught up with last year's Christmas photos and just in time for this years! Although I am not sure I'll ever get caught up. I've pretty much decided that is not the name of the game for me since I randomly pic photos to scrap and in no particular order.

Jack the Cat is doing well after his surgery yesterday. He did have a stone obstruction and it was removed along with a surgical procedure to enable him to pass any future stones that develop. Hopefully he'll be home some time this week. I am sure he is wondering what he did wrong to deserve all that he has been through and will be spitting mad at us! lol

Further good news is that E did NOT fall off the roof putting up the lights as I worried about. The man has a past history of not doing so hot with ladders and heights. He did, however, step on his own glasses so we'll be calling for an eye apt. right after TG. And more scary news, he has to go back up on the roof for some light repairs...a section is not lit on the highest eave and half the lights over the garage twinkle and blink and the others do not. We may get the palms trimmed and if so, we are done in the front.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lucille loves her new home...

For those of you who are new to this blog, last year I found Lucille, a lime green 4ft. tall shiny Christmas tree. I put her on the screened in front porch of our home in Ft. Myers and deco'ed her in retro pinks, limes, blues, etc. and with fun ornaments my friend, Kip helped me find. My friend Ann and her husband sent me some cute little ornaments from the Smithsonian and Lucille was ready for the holidays.

Then we moved. We are having to find lots of new ways to decorate since we no longer have stairs or a screened in front porch but did add a huge pool cage to the mix. This is step one of our redecorating efforts. Lucille sits in the window of my workroom which faces the street. I opened the slats on the shutters on in the sections where Lucille can shine through. I've posted a few of her cute ornaments and hopefully can find her one or two new ones for this year, just like we do with the big tree, which, by the way, is now up! YEAH!

Have a great day. It is looking good for Jack to come home this morning. The dr. called with an update yesterday late afternoon and Jack was doing well. Crossed fingers and toes here plus knocking on all the wood in the house.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another glorious weekend in Paradise

Our weather here has been amazing. We get up to chilly put-on-socks weather and move to a-jacket-might-be-nice. The hot tub in the evening has been wonderful. We are suppose to have warmer weather next week so will probably wait 'til then to put the lights on the roof.

We had a great day yesterday. E got the ice lights up around the pool cage; his Charley Brown Christmas tree is lit and perched on top of the mini fridge on the lanai and our snowman is in all its glory on the rod iron towel holder. The only thing missing from the back is our 5 ft. Santa and we'll have to play around with securing him to the top of the rock waterfall so he doesn't take a dip in the pool.

Mid afternoon, we got out our bikes and took the Pinellas Trail into town. There was a tiny craft fair that we roamed through in about 5 min. and then roamed through town. There is a funny little cafe on one of the side street in Tarpon Springs called Zante's. The food is a little of this and a little of that with an emphasis on Greek and, of all things, Cajun. I had crawfish tails and tasso in a brandy cream sauce over angel hair pasta and E had Jambalaya. The food was so goooood. and we took our left overs home for supper. The funny thing about this place is that is also an antique/flea market and every where you look, there is something odd or old or just plain the Barbie dolls perched in a twisted Christmas tree or the cigar smoking gator next to our table. It is a bring your own wine/beer kind of place and we'll know next time.

We will know later this morning if Just Jack is getting released from the vet today. We got a call from them yesterday and he had removed his own cath for the second night in a row but that there was sufficient fluids in the bottom of his cage to think that he is unblocked. Crossing our fingers that he did not relapse last night and that we can get his crabby old self back home where he belongs.

Will post some layouts I've been working on tomorrow. Today is more clean up in my work room and putting up the big tree while E watches some football.

Have a great one.

Friday, November 16, 2007

December is looking good!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

KnK is not only doing the regular kit but is also offering a special to subscription customers with the darling snowman pack. Can't wait to play with this one. Will post the two layouts I did with the December kit in a bit.

Between KnK and Creative Scrap Shack's December kits, all my scrapping for the holidays is covered. These two sites have the best kits, the hottest products and the nicest gals on the message boards. Santa has already been very good to me!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Too much to do and too little time

Today is a 'honey do' kind of day. We have a holiday swag to drape across our huge slidrs out to the lanai, we have an arrangement that has to go on the shelf in the dinning room near the ceiling and then lights to get for the peppermint stick effect on the palm trees in the front yard. And, Just Jack appears to be blocked again. He just came off his antibiotics and we have no clue what is going on with him. We gave him the unclog meds and will have to see what happens.

Accompanied Kristen to Theresa's last night while she presented a Pampered Chef party and, let me tell you, Theresa's home is beautiful...move over Martha Stewart! She is making some really cute beach/spa tote bags and the one with the backward facing beach gal in a hat is a 'must have'. If you are interested, I'll put you in touch with her. She is working on towels to match the how cute will that be?

I've got to clean this room. In my creating frenzy over the past week, I have completely destroyed any semblance of order or cleanliness this room may have had. And now, Ruban Rouge is having a Black Friday sale starting at 8 am with 50% any item for a limited time...just what I need, more stuff! I can always use a cute QK die or adhesives, right?

Off to dream that the cleaning fairy shows up soon...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Messy Art

So, I was sitting amidst the chaos of Christmas boxes everywhere yesterday trying to pull some order from it or at least create a pathway to the bathroom, when I wondered to myself why I had never played with the paper mache torso I have had up in my closet for the past couple of years. It was one of those 'had to have' purchases but I could not figure out how to get paper soft and pliable enough to adhere to all the torso's curves.

When E ran up to the grocery store, which he does several times a day, I roamed through my supplies hunting for a little of this and a lot of that and, before I knew it, the project is half way to completion.

Now E is a practical man who taught science for eons. After he told me how lovely the torso had become, he asked the question few of my artsy fartsy friends ever ask, "What are you going to do with it when it is done". Why heavens! I'll add it to the shelf with all the other projects I've done, of course. lol

As you can see, I am not a neat and tidy person when the creative urge hits me. I've managed to take a six or seven foot work surface and narrow my room to work down to about two square feet. When I finish this project....I HAVE to clean. Anyone else a messy artist? Know a good cleaning lady? lol

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Posted my Technique for Tues. at Creative Scrap Shack

Be sure to click on the layout to see the detail work!

I posted a step by step on gilding transparency overlays to give them that extra va-va-va voom. This is especially lovely on holiday layouts. By cutting the overlays into smaller sections, more effective use of the overlay can be achieved. To read the 'how to' on this, go to and the forum is called "Catch a Wave". There are lots of fun techniques in this forum. This one is posted for today, 11/13. Thanks for looking.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Remember our Vets and happy b'day Kristen!

Thirty one years ago, my dear daughter and most excellent friend, Kristin was born. Because of the way the school district had instituted the pregnancy policy, had I taken a leave of absence, I would have stood a big chance of not having my job when I returned, which, at the time, we could not afford. If, on the other hand, I took sick leave for the delivery and time after, I would not only be able to resume my job but would get paid for my time away and spend six glorious weeks with the baby. I had saved and saved my sick days just for this event. But, due to a twist in the policy, I would have to use up ten days before the actually delivery date given by my OB. With his wonderful cooperation, my "official" due date kept magically changing until neither of us were actually sure when I was estimated to deliver.

I got up that morning, waddled off to work with my packed bag in the trunk of the car where it had been for about two weeks and thought it was just another day. Lo and Behold, half way through giving out spelling words to my seventh graders, something strange began to occur. I already had one child but we all know how fast those memories of labor fade (a trick of Mother Nature's I'm not sure I can forgive)and, since I'd had false labor a couple of weeks before and was not going to visit the hospital again, I just continued to breath deeply and teach the youth of America. Or, I did until the contractions were about ten to twelve minutes apart.

I gave in, called my doctor and, at his insistence, drove myself to his office where he announced that unless I wanted to have my child there in his office, I should check into the hospital. What a worry wart he was! That was at about 2pm and my little girl did not arrive until after I had watched the six 0'clock news.

Kristen and I have evolved from mom and little girl to such good friends. She is witty and clever and funny and one of the hardest workers I've known. She is an excellent educator and her little students thrive with her. She and her hubby are two of our favorite people and we enjoy their company so very much. The times all three of the kids are here with us are some of our most joyful memories.

Thank you Kristen for being such a good friend and wonderful daughter. E and I love you and hope this day is a delight. See you tonight for supper.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Shop 'til we drop and we did!

For such an action packed two days, I have few photo for show and tell! Guess we were too busy laughing, eating, shopping, laughing, shopping, talking to take time for more. I know that Kip has some that are different than mine so cruise on over to her blog later for "the rest of the story".

I got to Kip's about ten am and we hit the road shortly thereafter. We had our usual hysteria on the trip down and I finally learned to get my voice mail messages off my cell phone...thanks Kip! And Teri, dear, thank you so much for the hand holding offer...wish I had known how to get it off the phone. E says thanks for the good wishes. You and your wonderful message are appreciated.

We got to Barb's with only a minor faux pas at the gate (and no, we didn't have to crash through it after all). G-a was there and ready to rock n roll. We called our pal Kim, but she had kids' soccer games Sat. :(....hope they both won, Kim!

Our first stop was across the river in Cape Coral at a new cute little scrap store called Strawberry Fields. The owner is a very talented young lady who has a darling store. I wish her the best of luck. We all dropped a few bucks there and moved on down the road. We took a pass with the second lss in Cape Coral, crossed the river and headed to Betty's Stamp Pad. I found some cool Vamp Stamps there but, for some reason, only bought a cute chipboard book in an ink well shape and some of Patricia DiBona's amazing vellum collage sheets.

We stopped for lunch at Hops and headed down to Wicked Rubber Stamps in Bonita Springs. Although it was only a bit after past 3, the owner waved us away saying she was closed, so we headed on to Janet's Scrapbooks Etc. just up the street. The pic of me with head on table was taken at Janet's at the end of our wonderful shopping spree. We all headed to the Fish House in Bonita for some fantastic food, libations and then there was the sunset....ahhhhhh!

The first picture is just one of those that had to be taken. Whenever we had company from up north, we would head down to Bonita Beach to Doc's Restaurant for burgers and then to the Bait Shop for the tourist photo. I even have a tee shirt from here but only wear it in the privacy of my

Speaking of home....good to be here. Hope your weekend was even half as much fun as mine and then I'll know you had a great one. Love, Jules