Saturday, March 27, 2010

Signs of Spring and Layouts from Last Night

Signs of Spring

So, first off spring is on its way.  However, no one in my family actually paid any attention.  It took the pizza guy who delivered our pizza on Thursday night to point out that we had a few flowers poking up in our yard.  I felt a little embarassed that I hadn't really noticed.  I'd like to rationalize it that we were super busy this week but I'm afraid it's that I just simply did not notice.

Second, Rosy and I went to our local scrapbooking store (Scrappin' Soul Sisters in Concord, NH ) for their Friday night crop.  I must say that it's the best deal ever because not only do they have very comfortable office chairs, good lighting, and the store at your disposal, but also they serve you dinner!  We had porcipine meatballs (meatballs with rice) and chocolate frosten brownies for dessert.  So good!  (Jan very nicely volunteered to stay home with the kids.)

I was super productive last night.  I finshed my Disney on Ice is Nice layout. See below:
I just love the lacey paper with the sparkly, glittery, fun paper underneath.  I also did some hand-stitching and made the glittery "flowers" and the text box.  All these were techniques taught in my last on-line scrapbooking class. 

Then, I decided to focus on Phoebe's birthday which was in September.  (I am currently almost a year behind on some pictures.  But you know, I'm not exactly going to worry about it.  The hobby is suposed to be FUN!)

Don't you just love this paper?  I do!  So cheerful!  I made the flags by cutting a bunch of paper from my scrap pile with a small square punch (looked like a postage stamp with a scalloped edge).  Then, I took the squares and folded them in half.  I used double sided tape on the centers and folded them over floss.  It was super easy.  The flags aren't as pointy as the ones in the other layout but it was easy and cute. I was trying to staple the ribbon and and slipped and ended up with a huge rip.  Thus, embellishments under the ribbons.  You would never know if I hadn't told you.

On this one, I got a second sheet of the paper and cut out the flags and balloons so they would "pop" from the page.  Simple (with a steady cutting hand), but effective. 

I made a lot of these embellishments as well (buttons and rosettes) which I learned in the Get it Scrapped- Making Homemade Embellishments class.  I've wanted to try this layering technique for awhile so last night was the night.

Overall, this was a super productive night.  I've realized that I have gotten slower and slower on my layouts.  Last Friday, I didn't even quite finish a full layout.  I'm very happy that last night I stayed focused.  Not having to put kids to bed really helped; thank you Jan!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I want, what I really really want

Before you think that I am self-serving, this is a blog challenge (to say 5 things that you really, really want) so I am TOTALLY allowed to write down 5 things that I want.
1.  I want a mysterious patron to pay for our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for this year.  We normally use our tax return to pay for it, but this year with 2 kids in daycare..... (enough said about that)

2. I want someone to come and do a total spring cleaning of our house.  I would actually settle for a good deep cleaning of our kitchen floor but ultimately I would love to have this house cleaner. (I don't think that Phoebe is really qualified for this job.)

3. Even though I got a new camera, what I would really like is a digital Cannon rebel.  My camera is fine for what I do but I'd love to play with lenses and a really nice camera.  oh yea, and I'd like to take the photo class at Get it Scrapped! with that fancy new camera.

4. I want a new bathingsuit because my old one is kinda dorky looking and I just found out that my favorite one has both a hole and is starting to become see

5. I would like a date night for Jan and I.  The last one we had (in Feb), we cleaned the house together. (so sad) Before that our last date night was in August for Jan's reunion.  To be somewhere, anywhere, without kids!

6.  I almost forgot, I want a new cell phone because I left mine at the movies and haven't gotten a new one.  Jan and keep missing each other because I don't have a cell phone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Week becomes a talk about teaching

Ok, so the blog challenge today is to write about the schedule of our week.  I have to tell you that my weekly schedule looks something like this:  go to school, come home from school, think about school, maybe try and do some school work, try to get something together for dinner, get the kids to bed and think about doing school work again (but never get around to doing any), go to bed, and then start the process all over again.  Yes, teachers do have a great schedule with school hours and vacations and all of that.  However, there is no possible way that the job can be done in the hours we are in school.  And the other thing is that even when we aren't in school, we are obsessing about it (even when we don't have grading in front of us).  Have you ever sat in a group of teachers on the off hours?  They will ALWAYS begin to talk about students or classes or lessons.... ALWAYS.  It's a horrible disease. That's why teacher marry other teachers because only another teacher can understand.  The bad part is that two teachers are always stressed out at the same times (at least high school teachers) but that goes with the territory.  Jan and I ignore each other during exams and trade the kids back and forth.  It's crazy but it works.

Teachers become normal about half way through the summer, but then the teacher dreams begin again and they begin to obsess about the new school year.   My repeating dream is that I am wasting time somewhere and realize that I should have been in a class teaching.  I go into a complete panic.  Or the other dream is that they have hired me to teach something like French I and I am clueless.  I begin to try and create lesson plans with my limited knowledge of the subject.  Yup, teachers are crazy. (I know because I come from a long line of them).  My favorite line about teachers is when Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye says, "You can't stop a teacher when they want to do something.  They just do it." 

So, if you really want to know about my schedule, ask me in June because I might be organized enough to give you an answer.....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You should have bought it, when you saw it at _________________.

If you know how to anwer this jiggle, then I know you know what I am talking about.  If you don't, then the answer is "Marden's".  Marden's is what I would consider shopping bliss.  Some people are shopping folks who like complete organization.  They like to walk into a store and go to the exact section and find the item and then run to the cashier, pay, and leave.  I live with this kind of shopper (Jan).  I am NOT this kind of shopper.  If you are the kind of shopper who likes to dive head first into a cardboard box labled "Fill a bag for a $1.00" and spend twenty minutes with remenants of fabric and chit chat with the other sewer next to you debating if this remenant would look good on her cushions on her porch, then Marden's is for you.  I am the second kind of shopper.  Marden's is not only a treasure hunters paradise, but also a social experience.  Among the dusty shelves and piles of junk, there are always treasures!  And if it's not a treasure, then it's the thing you didn't know that you really needed, but really do.  Don't expect to get in and out of Marden's in 20 minutes, it is a hour minimum.  (Just ask Jan who was sitting in the car with the two sleeping kids and her i-pod.  Better yet, don't ask her because it's still a sore subject.)

The way Marden's works is that it buys up stock from various other stores when they have some sort of disaster or go out of business as a lot and then sell the stuff at a deep discount.  It's like Big Lots in this way.  When there has been some sort of disaster, Marden's normally swoops in.  For example, after September 11th, we found expensive designer baby clothes, after Katrina, sequined party dresses, and last month designer boys clothes for my son.  It totally cracks me up that my son is playing in the mud in designer duds that we bought for $5.00.  You really never know what'll you'll find at Marden's but you'll never find it again after you see it the first time. Trust me, I've tried to go back for things and you really should have "bought it, when you saw it".

Marden's is about 20 minutes from my parent's house in Sanford, Maine and about an hour (or so) from mine.  So, I can't just pop over to Marden's and I normally go to or from a visit to my parents.  They have an AMAZING fabric department that is the main reason why I can't get in and out of Marden's quickly. Today, after diving through the fill a bag for $1.00 bin, I focused on flannel for the quilt I am going to make for our living room (all 9 yards cost about $30- yes, most fabrics are $2.99/yard).  I made one for Jan a few years ago and we all fight about who gets to sit under it.  I also found TONS of stuff for the kids for Easter including some candy, cute felt baskets, lined crocks for Phoebe, and a few little toys.  Not to mention, a big frying pan that I have needed since beginning to cook big meals that I've been freezing (see below- a $70 frying pan for $20).  I feel slightly guilty for spending money (and after watch "No Impact Man") but I was going to buy these things anyway.... most likely.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Two for FRIDAY??? (aka Two for Tuesday)

Over at Get it Scrapped, I am finally getting around to Tuesday's challenge.  So, here it is:

What are your evening plans?
Tonight, we are having craft night which means my great friends are all getting together for dinner and then we crop.  It normally starts around 6:30 and goes to 12:00 or 1:00, or if we are particularly lively 1:30.  Tonight everyone is going to make it which is pretty impressive.  So Rosy, Rena, and Allison are on their way to scrapbook with Jan and I.  Yea!

What's for dinner tonight? 
Normally, I make dinner for the scrapbooking group.  However, It has gotten more difficult as some of us are eating gluten free, others are vegetarian, and one of us is kinda picky.  So, tonight I have the night off and we are going to order out.  Alison and I are having chinese food and the others are going to order what they want.  Hopefully, everyone will be happy.  All I know is that I am totally looking forward to pad tai and crab rangoon.  SO YUM!  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Ear, Now that I can Hear

My Ear
Why did I take a picture of my ear?  Because after two weeks of an ear infection, I could not hear.  It was murder to try and teach high school students and have NO CLUE what they were saying.  My students have this nasty habit of all talking at once.  So, finally the ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor saw me today.  The nice thing is that the office is right next to the high school.  Basically, he popped my ear and drained the fluid and I CAN HEAR!!!  I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take my hearing for granted again!  I felt like I was under water without being able to hear.  I was grumpy and miserable.  NOw, my lovely ear can hear again.  I heard birds this afternoon walking away from school, and I was so darn happy.

Going Green......with Scrapbooking

So, the inspiration for our blog today is talk about how you can be "green" in your scrapbooking, because of St. Patrick's Day and all.  I decided that I would tell you about a page from my little mini-book I made this summer.  So, the page itself is a little bit of felt in a lovely rainbow pattern and some embroidary letters.  What is green about this page is the cloud on the bottom.  It's a cut up dryer sheet.  I can' t actually take any credit for the idea of using a dryer sheet but I did come up with using it as a lovely floaty cloud that makes my scrapbook smell ever so good.  How else could you use a dryer sheet? What a great way to recycle!  It just makes me wonder what other household items that I could use?  Recycle, reuse, reduce!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Self-portrait in Cool Mirrors

I was at the Museum of Science awhile ago and there was this exhibit on reflection.  I snapped this self-portraits in these fun mirrors.  I really like the first one.  Isn't it called a fish-eye lens?  I wonder what other interesting ways that I could take a self-portrait?  Any ideas?  Leave me a comment if you think of something. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Smell of Moosewood

What I learned last night is that salad dressing is actually rather easy to make.  Why do I buy pre-made salad dressing?  It doesn't really taste that good.  Fresh salad dressing is lovely and fresh and tingly and smells SO GOOD.  This may be totally and completly obvious to you because you make your own salad dressing all the time, but I don't.  It is easier to buy a bottle and be done with it, I agree but the difference, the difference.  On the negative side, I probably used more than a serving.  Of course, is eating a ton of salad really an issue?  Hmmm....

Also on the topic of smells, while doing Moosewood our house has begun to smell a bit like an ethnic restaurant. The problem is that there is no hood over the stove so that anything I cook goes right into the air.  My students have begun to notice. When I made falafal the other week, the students all were commenting that it smelled like fried food.  I realized that it was my jacket that hangs in the kitchen.  There is not much I can do about this ut it's funny.  I have these visions of being the "smelly" teacher.  You know, like the one you had in high school that smelled like coffee and cigarettes and had stained teeth.  Oh, that was me.  Maybe you didn't have one of those.

I'm not sure what is on the docket for this weekend but I've been pouring over the cookbook.  I'll definitely be eating more salad with that yummy dressing!  Oh wonderful!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thinking about Gardening

So, tonight I went to the Capital City Organic gardners meeting.  Here is their website:  From this you might assume that I know something, anything really about gardening. If you assumed this, you would be wrong because I really don't know very little except how to throw some tomatoes in the ground and water them occassionally.  My mom laughs at me because every year I create these pretty window boxes in the spring that last about a month because I forget to water them.

However, I am longing for some warm weather and thinking about watching something grow this summer.  I am thinking that I would like the kids to be outside in the yard and this can't happen if there isn't a reason for me to be outside too.  And tending a garden and watching it grow sounds like a great outside activity.  My logic is imbecible, isn't it?  So, organic gardening?  Hey, at least you don't have to pay for chemicals that we don't have money for!  And I can grow all those veggies that I am using for the Moosewood Cookbook.

I can see my mother saying, "we'll see" and shaking her head right now.  Listen mom, you can send dad over to help me, all right?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Five W's for 2010

My five W's for 2010

Who is one person you want to see this year, or spend more time with?
Hmmmmm..... I would like to reconnect with some of my old camp friends this year from Camp Farnsworth.  Facebook has given me a way to be in touch (which is great) but I think I'd like to have some more involved conversations.  I would also like to talk to my friend Alyssa that I just keep forgetting to email and feel so guilty about it (and really miss her).

What is one thing you would like to do?
I would like to finish my NaNo novel that is 75% finished.  AND I would like to revise it and maybe have someone look at it to think about publication.

Where is one place you'd like to go?
Hmmm.... since we have no money right now.  I'd like to explore parts of New Hampshire that we haven't.  For instance, I want to go to the art museum in Manchester and a few outdoorsy places this summer.

Why is this year going to be different than others?
I am going to be more organized! (I said it here.)

When the year is over what is the one thing you want to be able to say you did?
That I didn't hold myself back from doing what I wanted to do.  That I went for it!
How are you making time for you this year?
I'm not picking up the kids at daycare until 4:30 and I am trying to do a few things for me during that time like going to the gym.  I am also not just crafting every other Friday night but time inbetween as well. 

If you like these questions, you may want to go over to the Get It Scrapped website and join the blog challenge.  Fun!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Inspired by Moosewood

If you have been reading my blog (hey Mom, my one devoted reader), then you know that I have set myself up with a challenge of making every recipe in the original Moosewood cookbook- the tan or beige one.  The reason I chose this cookbook it that is the sort of "classic" of Vegetarian cooking.  Friends ask me all the time about where I get my recipes and I almost always direct them to Moosewood.  However, it isn't just the recipes that I like; I love the handmade, hand drawn pictures for every recipe.  You can tell that there is a person behind every recipe.  Molly Katzen (author) is clearly present in the book.  It is this same quality of presence that I would like in my scrapbooks.  I could take out some scrapbook paper and slap it down and add some premade stickers that coordinate but I want it to feel like I was present, I was there.  I don't think that you have to have hand drawn elements on your layouts but It's important that the page represents you and who you are.
Here are some of the Moosewood pages that I'm talking about:
We had spanakopita on Wednesday.  Oh boy, oh boy...buttery bliss. Anyway, look at the detail in this picture.  It just amazes me that someone (Molly Katzen) drew this out with such detail for a recipe.  It must have taken as long if not longer than it would take to make the dish- and if you have ever made spanakopita, you know that it takes some time.

I normally put a note on the top of the page that gives the date I made it, where I made it, for whom I made it, and how we liked it.  I love looking back to see when I made the recipe.  It's like a scrapbook in itself. 
Who wouldn't want to make a recipe that has pictures of ostriches and unicorns?  Do I need to even ask?

A serious soup for a day on contemplation...  I think I may go make it now. 

And so, one cookbook can inspire me to cook, document, and create.  And that is what life is really about to me!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Conjunctivitis Movie Watching

Ok, so I have horrible itchy conjunctivitis in both eyes that is horribly disgusting so I cannot go to school.  So, I am stationed on the couch watching movies.  I just have to say that this movie lars.jpg
is one of the best that I have seen in awhile.  It's a movie about a man who is socially stunted because his mother died in childbirth and a father who was heartbroken.  He lives next to his brother and brother's wife who are expecting a baby in the family garage.  He orders a manaquin on-line but believes it is a real person.  Dispite his brother's initial reluctance, he and the rest of the town go along with it and treat "Biana" (the manaquin) like a real girl.  It becomes clear that Bianca is the way the Lars learns how to negotiate social interactions.

What I liked about this movie is that this is the way life should be.  We should learn to accept each other even if we are nutty or different.  Watching Lars' family and town accept him for who is was is what life is about.  It's about community and being there for each other in the bad, good, or slightly crazy.  It's about acceptance and restraining ourselves from judging each other.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Camera

So, I know that you are excited as I am but my new camera finally arrived.  I've been making due with the back-up camera which takes pretty awful pictures.  So, I managed to find a little money in our otherwise super tight budget and bought a new camera.  What I really would have liked is a Canon Rebel but I had compromise with a Z950 that has 12 megapixels and a 10x zoom.  When I tried it out in Walmart, it actually took great pictures.  It's sort of blend between a manual camera and a point and shoot.  So, soon very soon, I'll be able to post some new photos.  I am very excited!