Friday, February 29, 2008

Mini Album with Sunday International acrylic covers

And I am really loving the stitch flowers. The acrylic is sturdy and cleans up nicely with a photo lens tagb when you are done working with them. Take care when cleaning that you do not remove part of the rub on.

First the Gathering of Goddesses weekend acrylic album, then the cute bird house, now this one and where will the madness end? lol Thanks for taking a look see. I know that G-a has an assortment of Sunday International acrylics coming into the store soon. Don't forget the Kaboodling that goes on several nights a week. Join us for some great fun!

Speaking of stores, the one at Creative Scrap Shack is having a great on on pre orders so take a look see. Lots of fun contests and challenges over there too.
And there is a social time Pool Party being held at the Shack from 1-3 EST tomorrow!
All are welcome.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


One of the many companies at CHA that carried acrylics, Sunday International had some very very cute versions. The bird house I did last week was a Sunday International product as is the one pictured here. I should be done with this by the end of the day but couldn't wait to show off the fun project. I love the stitch flowers and used two of the large ones on this mini album. I even picked up something for my Secret Stocking Pal. I'll post the completed album later.

I also finished the little shadow box I've been working on. The whole thing measures 11 inches wide by 4.5 top to bottom and the one inch squares were a challenge to work with. This will give me practice for some "inchies" I am wanting to try with some of the rubber stamps from Quietfire (see side bar for contact). The shadow box is at my other blog ( Thanks for looking.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nothing new here in Paradise

and rather than bore you with trivial things, I'm just going to wish you a great day and hopefully will have something to say tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Volunteer time...

I promised my dd that I would give her a solid month of Tues. afternoons to help her in her classroom and today is day one. I am starting in Feb. since I'll be on the cruise the last Monday in March.

I've volunteered in her classroom on party days and an assortment of other events but not like I use to when we both lived in St. Louis. For the greater part of the school year my first year of retirement, I would spend an hour or so a week teaching writing to her second graders. I enjoyed it and just never got back into the habit here.

I have a few chores to do around here this morning and then try to make my bank account balance. For a change, it says I have more than I say I have. I haven't been adding in the COL increase and so it could be delightfully true the bank is correct! We'll see.

Off to the showers....have a great day.

P.S. for those who want to see the progress I've been making on my Nana album, check out my other blog. Many thanks, J

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Sea and Blues Festival

in Clearwater was such fun. Sue Foley is an awesome blues guitarist and we enjoyed her sets as well as those by Chris King who really had the N.O. twist to the blues. We were able to hear three different groups before we headed back home. Rob and four of his friends joined us and the 'kids' were all fun. The view from Coachman's Park is so lovely with the water and the bridge in the background. Now, if only E and I had not lost the parking garage where we had left the

Not much on our schedule for today...a little laundry, a little yard work and hopefully some time to create!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How could I have forgotten...I got tagged!

A tag, going around....

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was entering my last couple of years of teaching; E and I had been married for 2 years.

On my to-do list today:

laundry, some weeding in the garden and attend the Blues Festival

What I would do if I were suddenly made a billionaire:

Take care of my kids and my sister by getting them homes free and clear. Buy the Victorian house here in Tarpon that is on the market for 1.6 mil and turn it into a Scrap Retreat with E as the chef; buy an island off Key West and a villa in Italy...

3 places I have lived:

Born in Waterloo Ia and spent every summer there until I was 19
St. Louis suburbs
Florida for the past 7 years (Ft. Myers and now here)

5 Jobs that I have had:
1. camp counselor
2. drug store checker
3 high school English teacher
4. cheer coach
5. sb instructor

5 Things people don't know about me: (this is hard as I am pretty open about my life)

1. I am petrified of snakes but worms don't bother me or spiders
2. I get frustrated when I can't find something or can't get something to work
3. During my divorce from my first dh, I lost so much weight I wore a size 2 (am fat and happy a size 12)
4. I don't learn easily with oral directions or instructions; I need to be shown or have it written down so I can follow Step One etc.
5. I am a speed reader.

I tag Carman and Chris from Creative Scrap Shack and Janet M.

Happy Sunday to one and alll

We have laundry and some weeding to do in the garden this morning and then it off to the Blues Festival in Clearwater on the beach! Can't wait. We attended the Blues Festival in both both St. Louis and in Ft. Myers and both were great. It is suppose to be 78 today and slightly cloudy...perfect weather for listening too great blues! Will post pics when we get home! Enjoy your day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thanks to Martha from the Shack

I have tunes. As you can see I am an eclectic when it comes to music as well as my creative nature. Click on any one and I'll add more from time to time. If the music is not to your liking, you can turn your volume down. Rob was laughing at me saying, welcome to the real world Mom! If I hadn't seen this on Martha's blog and snagged it, I would have never be having this much fun! Thanks, hon!

Even retired people love the weekends

While it is true that we subscribe to the newspaper so we know what day of the week it is, the weekends still hold that "I don't have to go to work" thrill even after eight years of being retired.

When we taught, "Gene's Team" as a bunch of folks from work were called, would head out for Happy Hour on Fridays after work. Sometimes we'd have supper out and even hit the dance floor from time to time. Often, someone would organize a special event like Trick or Drink at Halloween (kind of like a progressive party that would end with a bon fire at someone's house) or Metro Link and Drink that had stops along the St. Louis Metro line.
We've missed our Happy Hours with our pals.

Last night, we met up with my crafty friend, Sandy and her hubby, Walt, at a local place called Leo's. The food was typical Italian and the salads fresh. I had the antipasto and it was great as were the stuffed mushrooms! We had enough left over for lunch today.

But the best fun was yet to come. At eight pm promptly, the two man band starts and WOW! are they every good. And people get on the dance floor by the droves. It is like a 40 year reunion of American Bandstand! And what a blast. With my lame hoofer, we sat out the fun...but next time, watch out! Remember how much fun we had dancing at Parrot Key with that Platters guy, Kip and Janet M? Well, this is like that night!

Rob called yesterday and there is a Blue Festival at Coachman Park in Clearwater and it is free. It looks like rain today so maybe Rob can work on my computer in exchange for a steak on the grill and we can all go to the festival tomorrow. I'll take lots of pics....envisioning layouts now!

Later, gators. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Isn't this bird house just way cute? I picked the acrylic pieces up in a kit from Sunday International at CHA and has such fun making it yesterday. I used Sassafrasslass and Paper Salon papers...the owls were just perfect for this. I am thinking of getting a small nest and a few of the tiny pastel eggs and putting them on a platform under the bird house so that, when you look in the hole, you would see the birdie's nest.

It is general clean up day around here. I have half of my xxl to unpack, laundry to put away and my work table to clear. We are meeting friends for dinner at a local dive where the food is suppose to be good and the music hot. Not sure how long we will stay as my foot is still swollen from my self inflicted biking wound but the colors of the bruising are

E is making great progress with the front and back of our new arbor, gate and fence. He built up the down side of the fence with some pavers and we picked up some azaela bushes and other flowering plants and back filled with some dirt. The left side is slated for today. I'll post pics when I can.

Back to cleaning! Enjoy your day!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The papers for the album...

Blogger won't let me edit the slide show but wanted everyone to know that I used the wonderful double sided papers, the chipboard shapes and the new "Journaling-on-the-go" notes from Bisous.Biz for the acrylic album

My first acrylic album

It's Thrusday and Survivor night!

Here is Jill, one of the original Cabana Crew, with her door sign that reads, "Jill's Room" and, below that, is the close up of the cute 3D trailer she made for her sign. It has become tradition here that everyone who sleeps in the guest room make a door sign. Jill's has lots of references to our joint adventures of the past four or five years and is way cute.

The darling acrylic albums and stitch flowers are ones I picked up from the Sunday International booth at CHA. I can not wait to start the darling bird house. I thought it was a mini album but the sides and top hook together to create a tiny bird house. This one is going to be a blast and I will post it when I am done.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have 4 on-going projects to finish. I am working on my 3rd. and last submission to the Memory Makers mag call for "kidless" pages (see the forum at MM for details...ends Feb 25). I've sent in two so far and the limit is three.

I am trying to get brave enough to punch the holes in the vintage ceiling tiles for the covers to my Grandmother's album and do a couple of more layouts. I need to get to the cheap copy machine at the grocery to make copies for a photo transfer for one of the layouts. Putting that on my 'to do' list along with mailing out a couple of the kits from this past weekend's class, "Memo to Self" (see still have one kit left. If you are interested, please e-mail me at

My acrylic album on the Gathering of Goddesses weekend is almost complete. I have one panel left to paper and then I'll add the pics to the last 3 panels.

The Garden album is Glimmer Misted and the gate is being attached to the cover today. Thanks Di for the ribbon idea.

I'll never get anything done, if I don't start my to all!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Last of the Retreat pics

It has become a tradition that we take group pics of the members of our cabin on the bridge that spans the SanteFe River and then other shots of the gals. Here we are in groups of twos and threes: Robin and Amy, Kip, Barb, Jill and me, Jayne and her slightly older sister, Suzie, and Barb and me!

Today E and I start our "get this weight off" campaign. We need to get back to our biking/walking daily routine and monitoring our eating like we did before. When we did this, I took off 14 lbs and he lost almost 18. Some has crept back on with the eating out at CHA and at the retreat and if it continues, I will start feeling more and more like a slug. I want to climb the falls at Ocho Rios on the cruise and that is a scant 6 weeks away. My body will work better for me if I take better care of it and get some of this blubber off. Wish us/me luck.

It is overcast here today. I am hoping the sun comes out when we bike into town. E wants the bike shop guy to put his carrier on his bike as the directions are a bit vague. The guy at the shop told me he would install if for him when I bought it at Christmas. It gives us a reason for a nice long bike ride.

In the midst of all my unpacking, I had to stop and scrap a layout. I used the PDQ papers by Bisous.Biz and am loving it. I can't put it up because I am going to submit this one and the call says it can't be displayed anywhere. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Here are the promised pics (part 1)

This is the Road Trip Gang outside of my house (not pictured)before we left for the Winter Retreat. G-a and Sonia (who has been renamed Sophia by Linda) slept on the couch, Barb got the queen sized blow up bed in my work room and Jill got the guest room as she was staying more than one night. Now, are we not just the cutest women?

And this is the trailer that Sonia 'procured' for us from her b-i-l. And if you think this is full, you should have seen it on the trip home! Egads.

I love Oleano State Park...we had the neatest cabin (our own private bathroom, with two bedrooms and a kitchen and windows that close. There were 9 of us in our core group as Kelly caravaned up with us meeting up on Hw 75. Jayne and Susie joined us at the park. I think Sonia was actually a tad disappointed that the weather was not bone chilling as we had warned her other Winter Retreats had tended to be.
More tomorrow!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Finally home sweet home

Will have pics up tomorrow, I promise. We are all exhausted from all the laughing and late night cropping. You won't believe this but I actually stayed up until past mid-night both Friday night and Sat. evening.

E is cooking Jill and I something wonderful for supper that involves chicken. Meanwhile, we are getting into showers and jammies and I am having a nice glass of vino.

I finished 2 layouts, got 3/4 of my acrylic album "A Gathering of Goddesses" weekend done and started my tribute book to my Nana.

And to my sister, I have been thinking about you all weekend and wish there was something I could do. Stay busy, don't sit home and be sad (although I know how hard that is)and know that we love you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


We finished up orders by about one and headed back to the hotel for a bit to eat. The weather had cooled considerably and we were all exhausted. Barb and I packed and watched a bit of Law and Order while G-a and Sonia chilled out. We are ready to catch our flight back tomorrow around ten am.

The hotel is surrounded by the most amazing Bird of Paradise plants which are in full bloom. We have watched them open bit by bit this week.

I've included a photo of my pal, Thena and her charming honey. Thena and I go way back to the good ol' days of CKMB and had fun remembering the Cabana Boy Crew days from CKU Nashville in, I think, '04. Thena sends hugs to the Island Girls at Creative Scrap Shack, especially Carman and Chris!

We had supper at the Cheescake Factory and the pics of some of our meals are for you, Kipster.

I read back over a couple of my prior posts this week and want to apologize for the typos. As most of you know, I am a 'creative speller'. Perhaps this is a result of 30 years of seeing words spelled incorrectly. Along with that, most of my posts have been made early in the morning here, with the blanket pulled up over Minnie and me to muffle the keys and the light from my slumbering roomies. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Love to all,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day Three CHA

This is how we have spent most of our evenings to date: in our jammies, parked on our beds, surrounded by piles and piles of catalogs. "Does this go with this?" "What rub-ons do you like best?" and "Here is another hotel pen for Kip's goody bag". (we have been teasing Kip with promises of a goody bag).

Some of my favorites so far have been the new 12x12 stamps from Fancy Pants, the sparkly embellishments and the colorful transparencies and rub ons. Acrylic albums of all sizes and shapes are everywhere but the new flexible acrylic pieces both clear and with cool designs by Page Frame Designs were the most amazing. I also loved the Sunday International acrylics with the cute dog house being one of G-a's favorites.

And Glimmer Mist...oh my. There are now 75 colors. Sorry for the blurry photo.

I met up with my pal, Norma whose daughter, Elizabeth Avchin, ownes Simply Scrappin',
in Lafayette, La. Here are Barb, Norma and I....what fun.

The raspberry margarita was almost too pretty to drink. Notice I said "almost".

Ordered my Slice and it is due in mid July. This is going to be a great tool for crops so will be counting the days on this one.

Back to work! Love to all, Jules

Day Two continued

We hit the floor running yesterday and by late evening had assembled May, June, July 's kits plus a couple of side kits for specific events and all the add on kits as well. We found tons of fun 'have to have' things for the store and I found some great card and envelop places as well.

I got to meet the gal from Bisous.Biz for whom I am listed as her featured design for the next two months...what a plesant surprise. SuZanne is a lovely artistic lady filled with talent and enthusiasm.

I also ran into Thena and Sharon (literally) and Thena's very charming and dapper husband took this picture of us together. Notice tha Thena does not have her hands arund my throat as she did the last CHA!

A few more product peeks. While the papers have been hum drum and repetitive (with some exceptions...and we bought all those), the industry has stepped it up. Art De Classified is doing rubber stamps that mount on acrylic blocks and premiereing designs by Suzanne from Bisous.Biz and Amy's Memories in Uniform....The Art DC stamps leave such crisp them.

Ink and paint companies have stepped into the widing void in the paper varieties with more and more lovely ways to kick our papers up a notch. Tattered Angels new colors of Glimmer Mist and the stencils are yummy as is a new ink product or two from
Tsuidko(I am typing under a blanket so the light from Minnie doesn't wake the others in the room and can't look up product names right now).

Off to see what the others are saying about CHA...I know I have to have the SLICE and that everyone is getting excited about the longer arm that will be available for the Revolution so you can do 12x12 borders etc.

Broadcasting life from under the blanket at CHA, Jules

Monday, February 11, 2008


All this time I didn't know if I could use my memory card reader because I lost everything when my hard drive died but....everything loaded aok today. It was really the first time I've had since we got here to actually post and have some time to load my card. Enjoy the pics and I'll post more when I can. Our room is covered with catalogs from one end to the other and we've got miles to go before we sleep...and miles to go before we sleep (thank you Robert Frost)!

Day Two at CHA

Yesterday was a pretty intense day as we went from booth to booth gathering catalogs and checking out the new paper lines and products. In general, it looked to me as iff some of the companies handed their designs off to the right and then took what they got and used new colors. Not much new under the sun. The new CBX papers didn't do much for me. I could see buying may one or two but not the whole of a line like I use to.

There were several companies, much to my dismay that have gone back to the CBX type think lineny papers as opposed to the lovely papers that have substance.

On the plus side, more and more have gone to double sided papers with coordinated designs. Of course, my favorite has to be Bisous! Her colors to me are just so lovely and in such interesting combinations.

Saw my friend, Amy, who ownes Memories in Uniform and they have come out with the neatest "jacket" for scrapbook albums and Art DeClassified has both Amy's and Suzanne ( in rubber stamps! I love it when companys work together.

We did see lots of new boy's lines that are very cool and a few great masculine papers as well. So far my top three picks of the show would have to be The Slice, portable die cutter...saw it in action and it appears to do exactlywhat it says it does and does it well. My second pick is the Cosmo Cricket black chipboard...this is a must have for me and my mind is already spinning in anticipation of getting some in my hot hands! And thirdly, Tsuneko (I am typing in the dark and can't find my catalog) has come out with a line of inks that you put on with a dabber....the colors are increditble...light and airy and on slick papers resemble watercolors. On other pre stamped papers, they create a highlight that reflects light and glimmers. Gotta have them all!

WE have the new companies on our agenda for today along with a few others we didn't cross off yesterday. My camera is all charged and ready to roomies are still sleeping but I can hear Barb up in the adjorning room. Her two roomies had a 7 am class and just headed out.

P.S. QK has a new 'arm' for the Revolution that is suppose to be very can cut banners, borders and titles up to 12 inches. Our next door roomies were raving about it last night!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Greetings from CHA

We are still on Florida time as we woke up at 2ish this morning. G-a had set her phone alarm and when I heard it ring this morning, I assumed it was the alarm, got up, made coffee, showered and was ready to climb into my clothes when G-a let me know it had not been the alarm but an incoming call to her....argggggg! And we were all 3 wide awake. We're half into our second movie and waiting for it to be 6 am so we can get breakfast here at the hotel.

This ought to be an interesting day with 3 of us having only 3.5 hours sleep. Janet, Coleen and Barb are sound asleep in the adjoining room...we hate them! lol

We have a basic plan of attack for the next couple of days. Hopefully I can get my card reader program downloaded in a bit and will post pictures. At least I have internet and Minnie is doing great.

More later....

Saturday, February 09, 2008

We're off to CHA

I don't know if I'll be able to post again or not. My laptop is giving me fits and it won't acquire an IP address for some reason. G-a says to bring it along and she'll take a look at it. Here is hoping!

All 6 of us women are in the process of showering and dressing and having that much needed first cup of coffee. E is fixing us bacon and crepes for breakfast and we are off to the Tampa airport around 8 ish to catch an 11 am flight. We are scheduled to arrive in CA some time after 5pm.

E says he'll go back to bed after he wishes us all bye bye and can you blame him. He fixed a wonderful Cajun pasta w/shrimp for 4 of us last night and served his yummy frozen lemon mousse with raspberry champagne sauce for dessert for all 6 of us.

Hoping to blog soon with some shots from CHA so cross your fingers for me!

Friday, February 08, 2008


I've been working of a couple of projects these past few days when I was not going AWOL or crazy trying to get ready to attend CHA and the day after we return from Anaheim, to head out to Winter Retreat to have fun with my pals and teach a class.
The class is called "Memo to Self" and in in a slide show in the jules-atoasttoalteredart.blogspot Blog. This kit is stuffed and so many cute elements in it...well, go look for yourself! And, if I have any left, I'll be making them available here after the Winter Retreat for 30.00.

Well, Minnie, the laptop, comes back from her visit to the computer doctor today and she is coming home butt memory, no pictures, no nothing! and of course I have no clue where half the soft ware for my programs is and, even if I did, her burner is shot and it was not in this month's budget for a new one for her. Maybe next month, Minnie, ol' girl. I'd be more upset about losing all I had on the laptop but I can't remember but one or two things anyway. And I blog religiously so have representative photos from any major and many minor events in our lives for the past 2.5 years. There is an advantage to memory loss ya know? Next year, E and I plan on hiding our own Easter eggs!

The Just Jack layout was done with the amazing PDQ papers and (smiling big) it is up on Suzanne's web site for her wonderful company. The second picture of me was for a challenge that individual members of the Creative Scrap Shack were to come up with for this month. My challenge was to 'scrap your philosophy or scrap a phrase you live by...and this layout was mine.

BTW: Creative Scrap Shack ( is having a huge 40% off sale to clear the way for incoming CHA, don't walk over to Carman's store and pick up some fantastic deals!

My ToDo list only has 8 items left on it now. I am pretty well packed for CHA, almost packed for the retreat. Still have some photos to run, bills to pay and to post the Design Team Layout of the Day at Css.

Gerri-anne, Barb, Sonia, arrive around 6 ish tonight with another couple of gals following just in time for dessert. We're having Cajun pasta w/andouille sausage for supper and lemon mousse with raspberry champagne sauce for sweets. The tomorrow we catch that big bird in the sky and head to Anaheim! Will report in as often as I can.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


My friend, Sandy, and I have invented a lovely new tradition. About once a month or so, we declare ourselves AWOL from our daily lives, our creating or tasks and just do something fun! The last AWOl was a wonderful walk in a Bay side park and lunch out in Safety Harbor. This time, Sandy planned a day of pampering for us with spa day at the Aveda Institute in St. Pete, Fl.( This is our luncheon out starting with lovely glasses of wine in a garden courtyard right off the street. The waitress was attentive without being intrusive and the food was fantastic. I had the seared salmon on ciabata bread with a light mayo of horseradish and cilantro. I must have been really hungry because I ate my lunch before I could think to take a picture. The architecture here was beautiful as you can see.

The massage at the spa was wonderful and, other than losing the car in the parking garage, the day was just what the doctor ordered: great company, delightful food, relaxing massage with a dash of shopping for good measure.

If you have any ideas what Sandy and I should do for our next AWOL day, please let me is my turn to plan as Sandy has arranged the last two and hers were perfect!

I've put a shot of the Somerset article on my altered art blog if anyone would like a copy from Somerset came yesterday and I am so pleased with how the album was displayed.