Thursday, April 17, 2014

Any Day Now...

...we are gonna have a walker!
Our grandson just turned 10 months.  He is taking his first wobbly steps all by himself.  He thinks it is great fun.  Lots of giggles. Purely a coincidence that he is wearing that particular onesie.

Pay no attention to the grandma in the background.  She's just there to get him started.  His mommy was catching him on the other side and got some great photos of the new activity.  (I just had to animate them!).

I give him two weeks.

Friday, March 14, 2014

@ 9 Months

@ 9 Months, he:
  • is a crawling machine
  • pulls himself to standing on almost anything
  • puts every "thing" in his mouth
  • says "ma ma" and "ba ba"
  • stands alone for about 5 seconds
  • make "ooh ooh ooh ooh" indian noise (if you pat his mouth)
  • is very curious and investigates non-stop
  • first tooth is barely visible (but has broken through!) hence, the jaw grinding instead of smiles
  • learning to wave
  • had first "spaghetti & beef" (Gerber) last night!
  • will walk almost any day
  • will no longer sit still and pose for pictures
  • somehow knows he is wearing a sticker.  Rips it right off.
And is loved beyond words.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mardi Gras 2014


On Friday morning, as he likes to do, Bill enters my office and says, "would you like to go see the 4:10 showing of the Son of God, or would you like to go to Mardi Gras?"


Are you kidding me?


We are lucky to have family in the travel-related industry.  A daughter-in-law who works for a hotel chain and a brother-in-law who works for the airline, but I was not optimistic.  Who is gonna score last minute travel discounts to Mardi Gras?

I was pleasantly surprised.  The hotel hookup was the easiest.  We were able to score an employee discount to the Ritz-Carlton.  The Ritz-friggin-Carlton!  And we were listed for the 9 available seats on Sunday morning. (I would've preferred going on Saturday, but we couldn't get the employee rate!).

I packed my suitcase haphazardly on Saturday night, fully expecting that we wouldn't get on the flight.  We checked in at the gate and not only got seats, but got premium exit row seats together!  We were going to Mardi Gras! (my second time...Bill's first)

We landed Sunday afternoon and headed to the hotel.  My first time at a Ritz-Carlton.  So impressed.
Room 831
The lobby.

The courtyard.
I can imagine it filled with happy people when the sun is shining!
Check out the gas lamps!
The Thoth parade was in full swing on Canal Street. Right out the front door of our hotel!  Pleasantly surprised.  The weather was great -75 degrees.  Bill immediately changed into shorts!  Nice getaway from the cold Denver weather we left behind.
It's Bloody Mary : thirty
"Hey, Mista!  Throw me something!"
We ventured up St. Charles that evening to watch the Bacchus parade.  Found us a nice corner with some locals who very generously shared their "homemade" bench.
Bill's never met a stranger!
Drink of the night?  Hurricane!
Bacchus King:  Hugh Laurie

Well, that lasted all of one day.  We woke up on Lundi Gras (Monday) to a whopping 41 degrees, a very big 35 degree swing in the weather, but at least it was dry.  Time to see the city.

Yes, we could have walked down Canal Street to the river, but where's the fun in that?  Had to ride a streetcar!  Love them!
We were able to do a fair amount of walking around the city and I did my best to show Bill the sights.
Saint Louis Cathedral
Like my hat?
Jackson Square
So worth the wait!
Caught some great beads here!
We were lucky to catch a Second Line parade!
Louis Armstrong Park.
Infamous Bourbon Street
Original hitching posts.
The crowds from Sunday to Monday had greatly diminished.  We again watched the parade(s) from the front door of our hotel. Front row.  Bill bought "leave-behind' chairs.  Our hotel set up a door-front bar with food & drink.  Saweet!
Drink of this night?
Hot chocolate.

Royalty: John Schneider

King Quentin Tarantino
Most impressive of all the floats.
I checked the weather forecasts that night of Lundi Gras and knew we were in for a cold Fat Tuesday. I had planned to get up early, get breakfast, and line up to see Zulu, a parade which rolls through the Treme and Central City on Mardi Gras morning. Zulu celebrates Black culture, and their prized throws are hand-decorated coconuts. But when I woke up at 7:30 a.m., and heard the patter of rain outside, the loud patter of relentless rain, I was in no hurry. The rain kept a lot of people in bed: Zulu rolled as planned, and while most years the majority of spectators go home coconut-less; because so few people showed this year, everyone there got a coconut. We took home six coconuts. Six! And, some of the best darn beads yet!

I paid $50 to STAND is the grand stands three years ago and did not get a coconut.  I know people who have celebrated Mardi Gras many times and did not get a coconut.  We got six.


Some of the conversations we overheard:

  • Coldest Mardi Gras since 1899
  • It has rained every single time Mardi Gras has fallen on March 4
  • I've lived here 26 years, first Mardi Gras I've missed due to the weather
Most of the bands marching on Tuesday opted out.  The parades were much shorter.  My pictures? Non existent! Pretty hard to balance an umbrella and a camera.  Yet, I managed just fine when the coconuts were being handed out!
Krewe of Elks
(aka the Truck parade still rolling @ 3:15)
Photo taken from the warmth of my hotel room
(notice the thinning crowds)
I still feel bad that Bill's first Mardi Gras was dampened by the rain. He could of cared less.  He was a throw-catching machine!  We brought back two big bags full of beads and every carnival-type-toy-stuffed-animal-thingy you can imagine.

To our pleasant surprise, the rain did not stop Mardi Gras. The place was not as crowded as on sunny years, but people were there, having fun.

Three fun days = 7 parades!


Monday, February 24, 2014


Thought I would share a fun layout I completed at my mountain retreat last month.  It's really fun to create a layout with such cute paper & stickers...and of course, the cute subject!
Gavin showed up one day wearing this cute Tigger sleep-n-play outfit and it wasn't even Halloween!  And, yes...he was little.  Only three months old at the time (you caught me...a little behind in my scrapbooking). But, I don't care.  I enjoy working with photos of him at any age (and he's only 8 1/2 months old now).  So, cool it.

Once again, I started with a sketch.  This one is from Let's Scrap:
A closer look:
I did have to manipulate the sketch a bit to fit the format of my photos.  The main photo is horizontal and I wanted to use 4" square photos on the left.  I searched for some cute Tigger quotes on the internet and added the orange text to my main photo in Photoshop.  I also changed up the right side a bit.  Instead of five square photos, I used three, two of which are 3" x 4" verticals.

The Tigger paper and the stickers are from Sandylion.  The stickers have a clear background (love that!), and I hope you can see the shimmer.

The chevrons were fussy cut from two different colored MME chevron papers.

The ribbon is from American Crafts (attached with my Tiny Attacher) and the cardstock is a mish/mash from my stash (hey, new rhyme theme there!).

The black stitching under the title is simply a black pen used to create movement across the page. This is a very old technique (from my beginner days).  Resurrected!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

(in)Famous Couples Subway Art

With a new grandbaby, most of my free time has been zapped with babysitting.  Not that I mind, however, I really love this Grandma time with Gavin.  He's already getting so big!  But...along with that, means I have less and less time for some of my other loves.

I decided not to buy Valentine's this year.  Everyone got something homemade.  I had really good intentions and had loads of holiday inspiration (thank you, pinterest).  Well, let's just say...eight-month-old babies don't cooperate!  I had to sideline my big project for my dear daughter.  Gavin was having none of it.  I'm so glad I did get the onesie and the shoes done.

The big kids got pretzel hugs.  We usually make these at Christmas, but this year they were tweaked with pink & red.  Still just as yummy.
Bill is on a new "wheat free" diet. Don't ask.  It's always something with him.  He got none.

I have had a "famous couples" project in my head for quite some time.  I had planned to make a really big one on canvas for the upstairs loft.  I really had no idea what to get him this year.  It donned on me on Thursday, that I could just do a subway art famous couples and frame it for him.  Much smaller.  So easy. The hardest part was editing the famous couples.  There are many, and of course, I wanted them all.
It's been awhile since I made subway art.  I have made several...mostly for friends/gifts.  I had not made one for us.  This one is 8" x 10" all done in Photoshop on a chalkboard background. Took me all about 4 hours total.

Maybe I'll do another.  Bigger.  Someday...

I think it turned out great.  He loved it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Gifts for an 8-Month-Old

Been playing with my Cameo and the Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV).  I am in love with HTV!  So easy to work with, so easy to cut, and transfers like a dream!  Don't look too closely, as I am still a novice, and you will notice some boo boos.

The "muffin" shape is from the a cupcake card design in the Silhouette online store.  I just took off the "foo foo" so it looked more like a muffin boyish.
Of course the backside, got some HTV love too.
As for the shoes, I am 100% sure the red vinyl will not stay on permanently for two reasons:
1.  He's a boy
2.  He's a boy

I'm just hoping for a couple of really great photographs for Mr. G's first Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World Cancer Day

February 4, 2014
World Cancer Day 
First, I want to share this beautiful, touching commercial from the Super Bowl.  I thought the commercials this year were mostly mediocre (which is a whole lot better than the game!).  I digress.   This one got me.  This one hits a little close to home.
Beautifully done Chevy.
I really wanted to acknowledge the tagline at the end. World Cancer Day. A day to remember those we've lost, to honor those still fighting, and to give thought to the ones who will be diagnosed today and every day, until cancer is no more.
For those of you who know me, I don't dwell on cancer.  I live like it was simply a bump in the road.  It does not affect my day-to-day life.  However, I just celebrated my 8th anniversary of being cancer free...
Woo to the hoo!
...and exactly seven days later, I mourn the loss of my mom to cancer.  I hate January 27 and have for sixteen years.  
I saw the Stand Up to Cancer movement today on FB.  I wanted to participate. 
I'll bet there's someone in your life that you can stand up for.  If you would like to participate, you can find the placard here or you can download an app and use your phone to upload your photo.
One small request.  Please take a moment out of your day to remember, honor, and think about all that cancer does.  All of the lives it has touched.  Can you even imagine a world where cancer doesn't exist?  I can't.