Monday, August 25, 2008

Students First

"Students First" - roughly translated it means, we're parking off campus so that the students can have our parking spaces. In the interest of full disclosure, the school has made alternate arrangments available. We have an off-site parking lot and a free shuttle that I am more than welcome to use. And I do have one of the coveted on campus parking permits thanks to my lovely foot injury....but I am demented....and I have decided to bike commute!

Here's the plan

Monday - Thursday Josh is dropping me off in the morning and I'm riding home.
Friday - Park on campus day so we all get to have our cars.

Depending on which route I take, I'll be riding between 6 and 11 miles. 6 miles if I decide to stop at Dad's house, 9 if I go up the big hill and 11 if I go around and take the long slow climb...

We did a few test runs a couple of weeks ago and I worked out some of the bugs. I'd still like to get panniers for my bike, but until I work it into the budget, I'll be using a backpack and the bag on the front of the bike.

So this weekends prep included:

Grocery shopping - yep, no more lunches out. I actually had to buy and make my lunch.
Bike Store - switched out the knobby mountain bike tires for some less knobby tires. The guy at the bike shop said it will make me go 20% faster, but my question is "will it be 20% easier?" I'm not trying to win a race. I just want to survive. :-)

I got on the scale this morning so that I can see if this new venture will also yield some other fun results and I lost four pounds just contemplating the change...hahaha! I think maybe the four pounds was from all the other cycling I've been doing lately. Maybe that's a good sign for the future?!

Stay tuned and I'll let you know how Day 1 went....and I might even remember to take pictures from my weekend stamping projects....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

200 Miles and I stamped too!!

Ok first...I got permission from my midnight madness buddies to post a fun picture of the three of us, so here's a little more madness....

Here's the beginning of the race. (Josh came along with us, helped with the bikes and took pictures too.)

And speaking of odometer met a new milestone.....

Not only did I hit 200 miles, but I also rode all the way up Los Coches. The funny thing is that as I was riding down Los Coches, I was really enjoying it. I kept thinking "now, why is it that I thought I liked riding? Why isn't this more fun?" Maybe it was the fear and the dread of going back up, but I really wasn't all that into the ride.

Then I started back up the hill. Now this isn't a big giant hill or anything. It's a long, slow increase that gets a little bit steeper towards the end. Normally I stop at Candace's, which is right before the incline gets harder, but since I have to ride up the Coronado Bridge soon, I figured I'd better become friends with the hills.

So anyway, just after I pass the turn off to Candace's I start start getting out of breath and I have to gear down and I'm sweating and suddenly.... I am absolutely LOVING it. I just had to laugh at myself. I thought it sucked when I was flying down the hill with the wind and I loved it when I thought I was going to die. Crazy!

Ok...and yes... I stamped too!! Here's the first card I made using the September Stamp of the Month "Treasure Life." This was my prototype and I ended up switching the saying to another one in the set. I made 11 cards and I even mailed them! Wooooo

Monday, August 18, 2008

Midnight Madness

We did it! Candace, Jane and I completed the Midnight Madness bike ride and we had a blast!! The ride was actually pretty easy. There were only a couple of minor hills and since it was at night it was nice and cool outside. I think the hardest part for all of us was the whole riding at midnight thing. In my head I might still think I'm a teenager, but my body doesn't really enjoy staying up all night anymore. :-)

The ride is a little over 18 miles and we went on Harbor Island, Shelter Island, part of Point Loma and through Old Town. Overall most of the riders were fun and kind, but there were quite a few non-registered riders that smelled like a brewery when they passed and acted obnoxious!! We weren't real sad when they started talking about meeting at "Joel's house" in Pt. Loma. I'm not sure if they headed off to another party or joined the crazy riders that stopped at the Pt. Loma liquor store on the way back downtown. Seriously, there were so many riders stopped at the liquor store that it looked like a pit stop. Crazy! All I know is we seemed to leave them behind and the last part of the ride was quiet and peaceful.

The costumes were hilarious. I think my favorite was the tandem bike that had a bubble blower and a disco ball. I also loved the people who strapped boom boxes onto their bikes and blared music for us....especially when we were going uphill....

Overall, it was a fun, fun time... so fun... that Jane talked me into signing up for Bike the Bay on September 7th. I'm pretty sure I'll be walking my bike up the Coronado bridge, but at least it will be a nice view. I'm trying to talk Candace into going with us. She's my best hope of having a walking partner. Jane? Oh she'll blast right up the hill and be waiting for me on the other side.

Well I better go.... I've got some hill climbing to practice.... (Oh, please let me survive!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Journal Time!

Fellow consultant, Jan Dagley, shared some amazing journals at our mini-convention recently and she re-inspired me to have fun with journals. I made a quick trip to Michaels yesterday and the $1 bin lured me over... Just had to buy a few of those $1 journals.

Sorry for the icky picture! I figured you'd all rather have a picture taken with my cell phone instead of another excuse about why I was too busy to take a picture.

I used the Life's Delight paper pack and matching stickers and embellished with assorted ribbons. You can't see them, but the My Stickease assortment has a few of those cute little tab divider stickers. I added a couple of pieces of cardstock to the journal while I had it taken apart and put the little divider stickers on the cardstock to create sections in the journal.

Have you covered any journals? Leave me a comment with a link to your blog. I'd love to see them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And Another week flys by....

How is it possible that times just zooms by like that. I can't believe it's been a whole week since I posted and I haven't had a chance to take any more pictures!

What happened?

On Tuesday Joshua completed his Eagle Board of Review and he is an official Eagle Scout!!!! It was an amazing experience and I am so proud of him. There are two eagle scouts in our troop right now so we're working to plan the Court of Honor together. Right now it looks like it will be on or around October 11th. This definately isn't the end of his scouting career though... he's already an 11 year old scout leader and he's going to work on the Rendezvous Staff.

Cycling - I started to bike commute!!!!!! I have been talking and dreaming about it forever and I finally started taking the steps to transition to bike commuting and I am so stinkin happy!!! It was fun!

The family Josh babysits for is on vacation, which means I have a chauffer who would love to have my car anytime I'm willing to give it to him.... so it was the perfect time to experiment with riding my bike home from work.

Thursday I rode from work to the gym. I had a meeting in Santee so I went to the gym, showered and changed. It was a pretty short ride, just a little over 3 miles and I wished I could ride further.

Friday - I rode from work to my Dad's house. It was about 6 miles and pretty much the same route I would take all the way home, except home is 9 miles and the last three miles have some incredible hills. It took me about 40 minutes, but a lot of that was figuring out where to go, traffic lights, etc. I think it will be much faster next time.

I'm planning to ride Tuesday and Wednesday and then I'll ride Monday-Thursday when school starts. It is so exciting to have a plan.

Well hopefully I'll post again, before another week flys by!

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Weekend of Stamping Fun....

When I first figured out that I did not have enough vacation to go to my family reunion, girls camp and convention, I was a bit disappointed. I knew it would be hard so I decided to find other things to do during keep my mind off of it. Boy did I end up doing that!!! Little did I know that July would end up being such a whirlwhind that I wouldn't have time to think about anything else anyway.

On Friday I taught a virtual class for consultants and Saturday Gail and I hosted a mini-convention for the local consultants that couldn't make the trip to Florida. We had a blast and everything went really well.

I was kind of busy and didn't take too many photos of the day, but I'll be taking photos of all the items over the next couple of days and I'll post them.

Here are a few for now....

This is the front of the My Creations album we created....

Here's one of Jan's amazing samples!! She brought a ton of great covered journals. I'm all inspired to go make a few for gifts.

Our Challenge project. We gave everyone two sheets of patterned paper and one sheet of cardstock and allowed them to add a neutral cardstock.... and we challenged them to create something... Problem was that we kept them so busy, they didn't really have time. We were surprised that anyone was able to complete it. I love what they came up with!

Rather than load this entry up with pictures of everyone, I figured I'll include one or two people pictures with each entry... and so here's Michelle and her guest Barbara.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Got Scraps? Paper Beads

Ok, I can finally share my latest obsession!! Paper Beads. It's a great way to use up the little leftover strips of paper and create unique jewelry. I had no problem making the's the jewelry assembly I needed a little help with. Thanks to Rian, I just got a little mini lesson and I'm good to go.

Gather your paper scraps....

Cut your scraps/strips into triangle strips. I played with this a lot....
  • I used a ruler and carefully drew perfect triangles
  • I cut triangles from cardboard and used traced them

and finally... I figured out it was quicker and easier to just line it up on my papercutter and go for it. They don't have to be "perfect."

The width of the wide end is the length of your finished bead. I like mine to be about 3/4 inch. I cut a bunch of strips and carry them around in a zip top bag to work on when I have time. It doesn't matter if they get wrinkled from hanging out in your's a very travel friendly project.

Put a little gluestick on the strip, starting about 1 inch from the end of the widest end. Do not put it all the way to the end or you will glue your strip to the toothpick. :-) As you roll the paper, adjust it to make the bead even. It will be awkward at first, but you'll get the hang of it. I like to put a little drop of liquid glue on the narrow end to fasten it. It seems to hold the best.

Place your finished bead on a toothpick and roll across your versamark pad and then dip into embossing powder. Heat until melted and then dip in the powder again. Heat until melted. I kind of roll the toothpick between my fingers while heating. It helps the melted powder to stay even around the bead, instead of dripping to one side.

I like to use Ultra Thick Embossing Powder and then I only have to heat/emboss twice. If you use finer powder, it will take approx. four dips to reach the same thickness.

(Sorry no pictures. Check back in a couple of days and I'll try to add pictures of that part of the process.)

Here's a sampling of my finished beads. All papers used are from Close To My Heart. Starting with the green beads and moving clockwise, I used....

Creative Basics Boom Di Aida Collection
The next section has a mixture...dark beads are from It's a guy Thing, light beads are Sonata
Next is Majestic Blue - my favorites!!!
Purple beads are from Paper Garden as are the next section
Black beads are Silhouette
and the center section is Creative Basics Silhouette collection

Once you've made your beads you can turn them into unique jewelry...

You can also use the beads on cards or scrapbook pages, create zipper pulls for bags or backpacks, earrings, necklaces.....

I have a few more I'm creating. Stay tuned for more pictures.