Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Owls Flew In

Today's mail brought the Halloween Owl Garland. It is just too adorable. I love the colors, and everyone did such a wonderful job. Tom and I hung it up right away, and I'm so glad that I got convinced to join this swap (thanks, Wanda).

Here are closer views of the owls:

Rebecca and Vicki
Julie and Wendy (me)
Christine and Gina
Shelia and Valerie
Cynthia and Bianca
Kathi and Marie

Gina even included a little owl pin that we could wear to Silver Bella, so that we can identify ourselves as participating in this swap. What a wonderful way to start out the Silver Bella experience!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Change of Plans

Tonight, I had intended to participate in a pep band gig for the OJ Brigance fundraiser. Unfortunately, Sunday afternoon around half-time, one of the band's long time members passed away. Monday night, I found out that our gig was cancelled. Today, I found out that it was so that band members could attend the viewing. So, I left work early, ran to the grocery store to pick up a small flower arrangement, went home to change my clothes, and rushed to the funeral home in Perry Hall. I made it there right at 5, at the very end of the Tuesday 3-5 viewing. Even though I didn't know JR very well, I'm glad that I went to show my respect. He was a very dedicated member of the band and it won't be the same without him.
On my way home, I stopped at JoAnn's and picked up some yo-yo makers.

I had no idea that they came in so many sizes, too bad they aren't packaged as a variety pack. I also thought that they were made of wood and consisted of a base, a stand, and whatever the yo-yo would be made on. Boy, was I wrong. For the OrnaBella Ornament Swap, I've switched around my initial idea of making beaded crowns, to making yo-yo bells, and these should definitely come in handy!
Then, this evening, after a server meeting at the Tidewater, I went downstairs to try to tidy up my craft area. It has turned into a hot mess since last December, and by posting this "after" picture, I hope to embarrass myself enough to get busy cleaning up that area.

Feel free to compare it to the "before" picture posted here. After this picture was taken, I started the job, and baby steps were taken. I just need to make the time for it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ravens vs. Browns

Today's game was against Cleveland, and boy, was it disappointing. I'd heard that the Browns weren't doing well so far this season, but I had hoped that they would put up more of a fight. I thought that their kick-off returns were great, but they just couldn't seem to score. The final score was 3-34. For our halftime show, we played Malaguena. We must have done well, because one of our drill instructors was really pleased with how we did. That's good, because we are planning on doing that show for an exhibition in Glen Burnie in October.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Third ATC

Before getting down to the business of my latest Birthday ATC, I would like to mention that I attempted a few more fall photos. Of the four I took, only one seemed worthy of sharing. It's the flowers that give me the fall feeling - they are so abundant in this season, and the colors are just right. Any opinions would be appreciated.

And without any further ado, here is the latest Birthday ATC. It is from Joy in Australia. It's fun because of all of the bright colors. Something else that was pretty cool were the stamps on the envelope. I don't get to see Australian stamps very often, and I'll enjoy sharing them with my father, who collects stamps.

Playing from A to Z Card

I think I've finally completed my cards for the Playing from A to Z Swap. The last couple of days I've been glittering them, brushing off excess glitter, and labeling the backs. Now, I just have to make sure they arrive in Nebraska by October 1!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Rehearsal Dinner

The other day, I noticed a swap on Swap-bot that involved taking five photographs that represent autumn, and putting them together in a mini-album. Ever since then, I've been on the lookout for fall-type photo ops. This morning I came across what I thought might work for one picture. Can I get your opinion?

So, anyway, work tonight was a rehearsal dinner. They brought in these lovely floral arrangements for centerpieces.

They even brought in an arrangement for the ladies room - along with a basket containing hairspray, lotion, and scented hand soap.

And then there was their groom's cake. This was a surprise for the groom, who is a police officer, along with some of the groomsmen. It was just too adorable!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sugar n Spice ATCs

I'm happy to say that I've completed one more Silver Bella swap. This one is the Sugar n' Spice n' Everthing Nice ATC Swap. One of the ATCs is pictured below, and they're all the same, except for the background paper. The candies have a little glitter on them, and the ATCs turned out the way I'd hoped they would.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Joli Paquet and Second Birthday ATC

So, I've joined another swap. It's Joli Paquet's 2009 Trick or Treat Swap. In this swap, we create/embellish a tote bag and fill it with Halloween goodies that our swap partner would enjoy. I think I'll like this swap. Last year at Silver Bella, Wanda took a class called "Prada Schmada" where they created a tote bag for themselves. After she told me how fun and easy it was, I considered doing one, myself. Now, I have an excuse to do it.
I also received my second Birthday ATC in the mail. I didn't expect to get another one so soon! This one is from Pippa in the UK. It looks like lace attached to fabric, but with some added touches. I love the colors on this one, too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the Mail

In the mail today, in addition to a little box of goodies from Wanda and my new apron for Silver Bella from Boojiboo, I got my first ATC for the 2009 Birthday ATC Swap. It came from Wil in the Netherlands and is wonderful. When I first felt it, I thought it was leather, but after looking at the cross-section, saw that it was textile. I just love the colors and texture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bare Bones

I finally finished reading "Bare Bones," by Kathy Reichs, today. It's taken a while, but not because it wasn't interesting, just because I got sidetracked on other books. I've read three of her other books, and I think this one will be the last - for a while, at least - they just get too convoluted. In the first three books I read, they start out with the main character working on one project/mystery. For whatever reason, she stumbles onto another mystery, and for the rest of the book, she goes back and forth between the two, finally solving both. My problem is that the whole time, I'm expecting a connection to pop up between the two mysteries. It usually doesn't, except in this last book. In this book, everything was connected in some way, shape, or fashion - like the whole six degrees of separation thing. The main character thinks everything is connected, but can't make things come together until the last couple of chapters in the book. I think I need my space from this author for a little while. This happened with me and Stephen King a while back - he just got too weird - but I think we're okay now.
Tonight, I got a lot accomplished for the Playing from A to Z Swap. I attached contrasting paper to the cards, little flowers, and completed half of the glittering I intend to do. Then, before bed, I opened the box from and unpacked my new Crop-a-Dile. It's been sitting on the counter for several days, and Tom finally asked me when I intended to open it. Then, I actually used it! Some time this past week, Tom was very kind and attempted to drill holes in the ears of my owls. Some of them were pretty rough, so I cleaned them up a bit with the Crop-a-Dile. It worked wonderfully!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Baby Shower

Today, I worked a baby shower in the back room. It was an appetizer/sandwich party, and I just wanted to share pictures of the cake and decorations. The cake was done by Rita, who provides our desserts, and looked really great.

The ladies throwing the baby shower decorated the centers of the tables with these cute little dolls, which were actually rattles, and little pink toys - which included miniature rattles, diaper pins, and pacifiers.

Some of the games they played seemed really creative to me, but I don't go to many baby showers. One was where they melted different candy bars in diapers, and the guests had to guess what candy bar was in what diaper by look and smell. Another game had unlabeled jars of baby food that the party-goers had to identify, without opening the jars. There was also a game where sealed brown paper bags were passed around that had items in them, and the ladies had to guess what was in each bag, just by feeling it's shape through the bag. They also did the you-can't-say-the-word-baby game, or else you have to give up your little clothes pin to the person who caught you saying it (I said "baby" three times to one table before I was told they were playing that game). It seemed like a lot of fun.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Creative... Ashley? She works in the cold kitchen at the Tidewater, which is where salads and desserts are prepared, and she's awesome. Ever since she started decorating the dessert plates, I've been astounded by her creativity. Tonight, I've finally decided to share some of that creativity with you.

Aren't they just too cool? I'll have to find time to share some more, as I see some of the more impressive ones - like on her first day, she did a gorgeous bird - I haven't seen another like it, since, but she still does a wonderful job.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Purchase, or Two

Today I made a few on-line purchases. That's unusual for me, but they were both Silver Bella oriented, and would have happened eventually. I finally purchased my apron for the Silver Bella Vendor Night. I got it from Boojiboo on Etsy, and I think it will be adorable!

I also purchased two Silver Bella bracelets, one for me and one for Wanda. Wanda bought me two charms at last year's Silver Bella, and I think they'll look wonderful attached to this bracelet.

We will, of course, have W's on the charms, instead of the N shown.

Tonight, I also worked a party on the porch, a rehearsal dinner I think. They brought in their own centerpieces and linens for the tables, so I thought I'd share how nicely it turned out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Took the Plunge

Well, I finally bought myself a Crop-a-Dile. After telling Wanda my trials and tribulations with getting holes punched in the ears of my owls for the Pre-Silver Bella Spooky-Ookey Halloween Owl Garland Swap, she searched for, and found, this awesome purple Crop-a-Dile on the Home Shopping Network website. I had seen this kit sold at Wal-Mart in both pink and orange, but I didn't pick one up because those colors just aren't for me. Now, I've finally joined the multitudes of crafters that have this totally cool tool.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ravens vs. Chiefs

Today was the home opener for the Ravens' 2009 season. It ended up well, with a 24-38 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. The game was a kind of roller coaster ride. The Ravens did well at first, then their performance fell off, then climbed back up towards the end. The Chiefs started off poorly, then through some lucky breaks, seemed to start to improve. Overall, it was a decent game with plenty of excitement, but I had a hard time concentrating on the game in the fourth quarter - maybe since yesterday I worked from 7 am to 12:30 am at the restaurant, and had to be up at 6 this morning so I could leave in time to meet the buses!
Our pregame show went okay - not as well as during practice, but we try to be consistent. Unfortunately, I know that I messed up a little in the halftime show. We performed with a rock band, Nation's Band, and there were definitely some phasing issues in the second of the three songs. The first and last songs, "Respect" and "Play that Funky Music," went well, but somehow "Brickhouse" was off. I ended the song a measure or two too early, and a good portion of the band around me did, too. But even though the drum major kept signalling that something was amiss, I couldn't hear what was wrong, since everyone around me was keeping the same time. I can't put my finger on what happened, but I'm sure we'll hear about it at practice on Wednesday. Otherwise, it seemed to go okay, and I even heard applause from the audience a couple of times!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back from Vacation

Last night, Tom and I returned home from vacation. The weather didn't cooperate, but it was good to get away. We ate in most nights, to help save money. We stayed in so much that I got addicted to "Project Runway," what a neat show! During the first day, I finished reading "The Celtic Riddle" by Lyn Hamilton. It's a mystery about a treasure hunt - I just love treasure hunts!

I also worked on a couple of my Silver Bella swaps. I think I'm just about done with my owls for the Pre-Silver Bella Spookey-Ookey Halloween Owl Garland Swap, I just want to add my personal information to the backs of each owl, and I need to punch holes in the ears.

I also pretty much completed the ATCs for the Vintage New Year's Resolutions with Flair ATC Swap. These also need personal information for the backs.

I started work on the ATCs for the Sugar 'n Spice 'n Everything Nice ATC Swap. I cut out the sweets, and mounted as many of them as I could. As well as my information for the backs, I still need to glue on some cocktail stirrers and print up some wording to attach to them. I also spent time cutting out cardboard for pages for The Sweetest Thing Recipe Swap. Phew, I got a lot done, but can't see any progress.