Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekly Layout

As I reported on Monday, the historic flooding has definitely changed the history books in Colorado.  It is truly a great pleasure to live in such a beautiful state with huge Rocky Mountains, smaller foothills, and a rolling landscape, but living with such beauty brings big risks.  People choose to live in the quaint, beautiful mountain towns...and every 500 years or so come record-breaking floods.  Or fires.  We've definitely had our share.  Is something wrong with the planet?

Again...we are FINE!  We had no water damage at our house, but others are not so lucky.  Entire towns have been condemned.  Some aren't expected to "re-open" for six months.  Others have no way in and no way out...and no flood insurance!  It is expected that 200 miles of roadways need to be rebuilt and over 30 bridges repaired and/or fixed...all before our first snow storms of the season arrive in about 4-6 weeks.   Our beautiful Colorado landscape has forever been changed.

On a more happier, fun note, I wanted to post this week's layout.
Yes, we have our very own toddler.  She is such a lively dog.  So playful and fun loving.  I wanted the LO to be just that.  Gracie brings so much laughter and happiness to our house.  I can't imagine our lives without her.

It is based on this sketch from Scrapbook Generation.
Some closer-up detail:
I hope you can see the textures on this layout!  From the textured orange cardstock to the rough feel of the "two" paper to the layered #2 candle!  Doesn't it look so much like the real one?  As is getting pretty normal for me, the title and the #2 candle were cut with my Silhouette Cameo.  I layered on some bling to mimic the dots.
The Scrapbook Expo is in town today and tomorrow.  That's where you'll find me...

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Flood of 2013

Last year, we had the most damaging fires ever.  This's flooding.  Colorado has been on national news of late, but I'm not sure how far-reaching "national" really is.  Here's what's been going on:
Fatalities: 8

People "unaccounted" for: 708

People evacuated: 11,700

People in shelters: 1,872

Shelters open: 36 (in 17 counties)

Structures damaged: 17,994

Structures destroyed: 1,502
It has been raining non-stop for 6 days!  Some are saying that this rain storm is a 100-year event.  Some say "biblical proportions."

It was still raining on my way to work today, but is expected to ease up today and tomorrow, and the flooding is still rampant along Colorado's Front Range.
The Big Thompson River flood of 1976 has long been the "benchmark."  That flood crested at 9.31' in the town of Drake. The river crested at 10.55' on Friday morning. 

The steady rainfall that caused the flooding was record breaking.  Boulder, just 15 miles from us got over 21".   The previous record for the past 100 years was a mere 5.5" in 1940.  In the foothills of Boulder, as well as eastern parts of the county like Longmont, rainfall was comparable, ranging anywhere from 7 to 15".  The Boulder Creek crested at 7.78', just below the 8' mark, which is considered 'major' flooding for the area.  This little, scenic creek normally has depths of just 1'.  It is packed with people wading and tubing all summer with picnickers and walkers on both sides.  It is a Boulder "must see"... most of the time.  It crested at 7.78' feet people!

The quaint little town of Lyons, was completely cut off from the outside.  Both major highways destroyed.  The National Guard was called in to rescue residents.  The St. Vrain River was measured at 7' just before the town was literally washed away and all major roads were inescapable.  The record was 9.06' in 1941.
In all, more than 3 million people in Colorado – or about 60% of our population – were in some sort of flood warning over the past 6 days.  In fact, we got emergency notifications on our phones twice yesterday.  However...we are FINE.

The flooding has destroyed over 30 bridges and still many roads are still impassable.  Schools, our major two Universities and several businesses have been closed for days.  Our major northern roadway, Interstate 25, was closed from Thornton all the way to the Wyoming border.  

Localized neighborhood flooding is occurring because the drainage pipes and spillways cannot hold any more water! Fortunately, we sit at a highpoint in our neighborhood, and we've not seen any local flooding.

The clouds final broke apart today and out came the sun! 

The National Guard is flying a total of 21 helicopters from the Colorado, Wyoming, and Fort Carson.  In total there are 17 counties now listed as affected by the flooding:  Boulder, El Paso, Larimer, Adams (where we live), Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Washington, Weld, Sedgewick, Otero and Archuelta counties.  It is the biggest air rescue effort since hurricane Katrina.

Yes.  We were lucky.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in NYC

I had so, so much fun cruising all over NYC over Labor Day weekend! It was a totally unplanned, last minute thing, but such a fun weekend whirlwind.  We usually go somewhere on Labor Day as summer's final hurrah.  Even though it isn't really an anniversary, I celebrate it as such.  Bill and I have officially been together now 22 years!  OMG.  Really?  22 years?  Where did the time go?

Bill's brother works for United Airlines.  He called on Thursday and said there were 10 seats available on the 2:47 flight out of Denver.  Oh boy. How is it even possible to get ready that quick?  Oh, and what about our fur baby? Who's gonna keep her?

Well, for those that know us, not a problem!  Gracie was dropped at the PetsMart hotel @ 11:00, and we were at the departure gate by 1:00.  As we watched the standby list get longer and longer, we thought for sure we were gonna turn around and go home.  We ended up being #9 and #10 for the 10 available seats!  Yep, two middle seats for a 3-hour-forty-five-minute flight.  Talk about luck!  Bill's brother was working and wouldn't be home until Sunday afternoon.  So, we had his apartment in Queens all to ourselves until then.

We arrived in NYC about 9 pm Friday night.  It was absolutely sweltering.  I hate humidity (especially since we live in such a dry climate).  Evening of rest.  We were gonna need it.

We started out first thing Saturday morning.  We've been to NYC a few times now, so we had some not-your-average-thing-to-do-in-New-York-City to-do list. 

First, we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.  Great spot for photos of this magnificent city.
We stopped @ City Hall and rested our feet at the cute little park.  I have a new iphone app called Glimps.  Just couldn't quite get the hang of it.  Feel free to call me a dork.
Headed over to Pier 17.  They have a great summer set up here with tables, lots of craft beer booths, and some very expensive food items.  We shared a beer and a $16 lobster roll.  They were setting up the plaza for an outdoor movie night.  There is also a remote TKTS booth at the Pier...and no line!  We bought tickets to a 7:30 pm Let It Be Broadway show. 
We decided to hop a Water Taxi back to midtown.  Beats the subway and costs less than a real taxi, but boy did it take a long time...zigzagging across the east river, but offered many more photo opportunities.  I was happy.
Lower Left:  Pier 17
You can see One World Trade Center!
Funny how humidity & fog looks in the daytime!
Another view of the Freedom Tower.
Let It Be was like being at a Beatles concert throughout every stage of their career!  These were four of the most talented musicians I've ever seen.  The "Paul" even played the guitar left handed!
I loved those B&W TV's.  They played Beatles footage complete
with TV commercials from when I was a kid.  Great throwback!
Bill get's just a tad bid overexcited.
Sorry you can see his tonsils.
Afterwards, a stroll through the busiest place on earth!  Times Square!
The City has a new share-a-bike program called citibike.  Bill's brother had left behind two prepaid bike keys so we could use the bikes.  Let me just tell you, I was SCARED!  Bill wanted to get them as soon as we arrived, but I kept dragging my feet, always thinking of something else to do.  On Sunday, I had no choice.  We picked up the keys and got our first bike that afternoon.  Bill thinks we can just ride all over the City.  He is INSANE!  The City is INSANE!  I haven't ridden my own bike since we got the tandem probably 15 years ago!  New York City is not the place where I wanted to see if I remembered how to ride!
But...ride we did.  All over the City.  From as far as the Flatiron Building up to and through Central Park.  I was a wreck (literally wrecked the bike pulling into a docking station...a scrape on my arm, a bruised hip and a bruised ego), but got back on and rode them from Central Park to Chelsea...long after dark.  Even got honked at by a NYC taxi.  Check that off the list!
I got it in my head that we absolutely had to have lunch at the diner made famous by the Seinfeld Show.  We rode and rode in the exact wrong direction.  Well, after getting lost on the bikes, we decided to take a taxi...a THIRTY DOLLAR taxi, but the sandwiches and milk shakes are just as good as everyone says they are!
We were really far uptown.  Just at the top of Central Park.  Of course, I wanted to see it.  Sitting just across the street is the 2nd most magnificent church I've ever seen. 
The Cathedral of St. John the Devine
It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a school campus.  They have their own (dog) commandments for the area.
Monday was rainy.  We had brunch and then headed back to Broadway.  We might as well sit in a theatre.  We decided on Spiderman and tried to get discounted tickets at the TKTS booth on Broadway.  Every other tourist was in the line.  So we hightailed it over to the Foxwoods Theatre only to find out that there is no Monday matinee!  So...again, we bought tickets for the 7:30 show.

After indulging in some famous Crumbs cupcakes and a Starbucks, we WALKED from the theatre district to Central Park and spent a very leisurely afternoon riding a park bench and people watching.  Of course, we stopped by to pay our respects to the Imagine Memorial and Strawberry Fields as we were still humming Beatles tunes.
...we walked back to theatre!  Tired and ready to be entertained.  Well, let's just say that Spiderman was not my favorite musical, but it is surely a spectacle to see!
See that cabling on the ceiling?  Superman flies everywhere!
Tip: if you get a chance to see the show, get balcony seats!
Back to Queens for about four hours of sleep.  Our red-eye, standby flight left @ 6:50 Tuesday morning.  We were back at our desks by 10:30.

Oh my took my feet a full week to recover.  Note:  never take sandals and/or flip flops to NYC. Although I was comfortable, I had a hard time getting the New York City grime off my toes!  Definitely not the souvenir I was looking for...and P.S. they are definitely not good for riding bikes.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Meet Mr. Three Months Old

Oh my!  Time is flying by...we no longer have a newborn. 

Three Months Old Already!
He's such a good baby.  Super sweet and starting to get a personality.  Grandma sure loves her boy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Layout

Hello Monday!

I have just one layout to share this week (although I did get a lot of pictures printed and put into TWO project life books over the weekend!).  I still have so many projects going on...

This is the current sketch @ Let's Scrap:
And, here is my take on it:
This is just one of several LO's I will preserve from watching the ball drop in New York City this past New Years Eve.  It was such a big event for me.  It will take many pages to give it the proper prominence and emphasis in the 'ole scrapbook!

Most of the pictures are iphone pics so they are a bit grainy.  And, with the confetti floating in the air, it was hard to get a good shot.  I have to just say to myself, THESE PHOTOS ARE GOOD ENOUGH! 

Here's a closer look at some of the detail:
I really wanted this LO to mimic the Nivea blue of our hats and the lively lights of Times  Square.  After all, the company throws lip balm to the crowd along with those famous hats! 
I don't know if you can tell, how shimmery the LO really is:
  • The self-made title is cut using the Silhouette Cameo from blue glitter paper. 
  • The bling comes in sheets and is sewn/woven together somehow.  I simply cut it into strips and adhered it with glue dots.
  • The top two patterned papers are from the American Crafts Margarita line (loved that one!).  The white paper has a raised chevron print and the blue triangles are glittered as well.
  • The street signs were made & printed from this website. I use it all the time!
Well, I feel a bit better about that trip.  At least two of the pages are done...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Weekly Layouts

I thought I'd share two more recent layouts and my inspiration for each. 

The first is a layout from when we visited the world famous Maroon Bells a year ago!  It was our 21st anniversary weekend and we stopped to hike and enjoy the most photographed spot in Colorado. 
The sketch I used is from Scrapbook Generation.  When I saw the trees, I knew it would be perfect.  I absolutely love their sketch books, but you can also find some free sketches to download here:
I used the 3" x 3" photo blocks to showcase one panoramic photo.  I love taking panoramic shots and I sometimes find them hard to scrapbook.  So, I had to move the journaling strips, and that upper rh dead space was just begging for some embellishments!
And, no, I didn't hand cut all those trees.  They were done in a snap on the Silhouette Cameo.
We stayed at the Maroon Bells long enough to do some hiking.  So I had lots more photos of our day.  I decided another two pay layout would be perfect.  This one is a bit different for me.  The rh side is a 12" x 12" diecut from the Silhouette Cameo.  I'm loving these!  They are so easy to make.
There is solid cardstock backing the title box, and the trees are backed with a green wood grain patterned paper.  These brightly colored papers really complimented the photos!  No matting necessary.
The rh side is simply 4" x 6" and 3" x 4" photos placed in a straight grid style.  I didn't have a lot of room for embellishments, but added the compass and the mountains with pop dots.  The subtitle, word strips, and the hiking boots are stickers. 
Ever so slowly catching up.