Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mama needs a new bag!

So I made myself one!! Isn't it pretty? I even made the piping! Lie to me and tell me is amazing, OK?

It's pretty long, maybe a little too long for me, but I'm going to try it for a while and see. And I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to use it for because I don't carry a purse...but maybe I'll start. 32 isn't too old to start carrying a purse, right?

AND, because I don't want to be mistaken for a GIRL or anything, here's the inside! See, so the pretty girly fabric is like my secret identity! Ha! If only other people found me as amusing as I find myself...

HERE is the tutorial I used (obviously not all of it, I made a change or two). Next time I think I might try for a wider bottom and shorter straps. We'll see. It was fun and fast, you should try it!!

Friday, December 28, 2012


I got invited to join a Facebook group that I found extremely confusing. It was about random acts of kindness, which are good things. But the group, it seems to be a place to crow about them...and so I thought about it. And I was finishing up the Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts (best author ever) and the third book, some of the things in it, got me thinking. About kindness. And then, one of my friends re-posted this dumb article on facebook about Denzel Washington and how he wrote a check while he was at a hospital for some thing and it was a GOOD THING, but the article was more focused on how people like Paris Hilton and other celebrities DIDN'T do this thing.

And this confuses me. I just don't relate to this kind of thinking. I think, in my life, that there are three kinds of kindness. The first is the simple, everyday things that I do for the people I love. Clean socks are a kindness. Warm chicken nuggets, fresh from the toaster oven. The second is the occasional cup of coffee that I buy for the person in the drive-thru behind me at Starbucks or the toll I pay for the person behind me. The third is things like picking up a piece of trash, simply because it's THERE. Not just walking by and leaving it. But this doesn't mean that people who don't pay for a stranger's coffee or wash anyone's socks but their own or leave the trash laying there are UNkind. I have lots of random acts of kindness that I could share with you, and I promise you I have a "you wish you knew what I was up to" smile on my face right now...but I feel like the crowing about it takes something away. It turns the kindness into something else. I like anonymity. I would rather NOT get credit for things and just see the person's happiness in my head - I don't have to see it in person. I don't need kudos from my friends.

One more thing - at my son's school, they call kindness #3 (things like picking up something that you didn't drop, helping someone without being asked, etc) "Think Twice". He got his first award for thinking twice on the second day of school and has gotten many more since then. He's NEVER told me when he gets this award, I've found out from Facebook and because the teachers send home little notes in his backpack. He is my heart.

PS - I declined membership to the facebook group. I like quiet kindness.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Journal + Art

I wanna be able to art over my journaling. I think. This isn't important stuff, I'm a word-vomit journaler when I write. Writing crap down helps stop me from turning it over and over and over in my head, so I write it. But then it's boring, and I'm never going to read it again, AND I'm using this notebook for more than just journaling, I have meeting notes from school in it and some appointments and stuff. I'm going to try and print calendar pages for it. An all-for-one CTJ kind of thing.

But NOW WHAT? Is it OK just to leave it like this? I mean, of course it's OK, what's going to happen if I leave it like this? Nothing! And I kind of like it. And I feel like I'm done with it, which is the most important thing. BUT - I could layer stuff over it. More words, with gel pens or paint pens or glaze pens. Or I could leave it. See, just writing all this stuff out here makes me happier! Good times.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I found the fun-est fabric store that's only about five minutes from my apartment! It's like a huge warehouse and there are TONS of fabrics. It's not all box store like Jo-Ann's and it's not all stuck up like a quilt shop, it was FUN and I wandered around for an hour and no one rushed me or kept trying to talk to me. One of the ladies even had me go buy a newspaper so I could use the coupons in it! Oh, oh, AND they take Jo-Ann's coupons!

So, I got these funky fabrics:

And I figured out what I needed to cut to make this pattern:

And I cut a pretty little pile of fabrics!

No quilt in progress pics yet, but they'll be along soon!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Captchas - a rant!

Something that bloggers, especially ones who offer freebies or tutorials on their blogs, complain about A LOT is that they don't get very many comments. Here is a blog I was going to comment on today:

Guess what? I didn't comment. "Type the two words"? Those aren't words. And you know what else? I have dyslexia. Typing NORMAL WORDS is hard for me. I can't do captchas. I'm not being self-deprecating. I literally can't do them. If you were to READ those letters to me so I could type them, I would screw it up. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give me a phone number. I download a lot of stuff from blogs - digital scrapbooking freebies, tutorials, I save stuff with Evernote. I adore blogs. I just do. I could spend all day surfing around looking at them. But commenting, EVEN IF I'VE DOWNLOADED SOMETHING, I will only do if there is no captcha requirement. I love to comment, network, build relationships with people. Captchas stand solidly between me and expressing thanks or condolences or sharing ideas. This blog is captcha-free. Does this mean spam-free? Not 100%, but Blogger BLOCKS the spammers. Even the ones who try to post things like "love your idea, here's my website". Also, I feel like if a blogger is SUPER concerned about spam (although I don't see why you would care all that much since it doesn't actually affect you OR your blog), they can simply read their comments and delete the spam ones. And for the record, I find the phrase "Please prove you're not a robot" insulting. I have no idea why, since I'm not a robot, but I do. Rant over. 

PS - I really felt like you could all use a light-hearted rant because of all the heavy stuff being ranted about lately. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


ANOTHER face in a journal! I know, you're shocked! I'm a shocking kind of chick. She's crooked, I know, but I'm learning to live with imperfection.

Chubby Girl Returns!

So, our assignment this week for Suzi's class is to write about out life - journey vs destination. Are we were we want to be, or still on our journey to get there? Personally, I've always HATED the thought that "life's a journey". That doesn't mean I want stagnation in my life. I love to learn, I love to move, I like change. But I need stability. Sure, let's move to Minnesota - but let's have at least one of us get a job first. So, here's my journaling, I added it to my chubby girl's pages and it makes me crazy happy! I love it!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas and stuff...

Last night, at about 7:15, there was a knock at my door. I live in an apartment complex, in a locked building. The only person who ever knocks on my door is the mailman. But not at that time of night. Still, it was a cheerful knock, and the man on the other side of the peep was an old man and I DO live in Eden Prairie, I opened the door and it was one of my neighbors. He lives a few doors down from me and wanted to thank me for my Christmas tree. 

My Christmas tree is real, and cost $35 at Home Deopt. The ornaments on it are all cheapies from Target (seriously cheap, like a whole bucket for $3), and Liam picked out the blue glittery star on top when he was three years old. Maybe two. There are three strands of lights on it, and it stands maybe seven feet tall. Tim and Liam decorated it when I was at school, so there are LOTS of ornaments on the bottom because that's where Liam can reach. It's silly. And fun. And since I live in the first apartment on the first floor of the first building in my complex, everyone who drives by the building or turns into the parking lot sees my tree. The lights stay on all the time (some of them sporatically blink). This is my ENTIRE Christmas decorating effort. That and three stockings. It all fits inside one small plastic bin when Christmas is over. My apartment is small and there is very little storage, so this is what we can manage. For now. Maybe forever, who knows? But my $35 Christmas tree and its $10 worth of ornaments made a neighbor so happy that he knocked on a stranger's door to say thank you. Just for having a tree that he can see when he comes home at night.

You know what my son asked Santa for? Blue matchbox cars. I bought him an xbox, I think he'll love it, but seriously. A matchbox car costs about a dollar. That's what the kid wants, I'm going to fill his stocking with them. He doesn't expect hundreds of presents under that tree. He expects cookie crumbs on the plate he leaves out for santa, and he expects to spend the day running around like a lunatic at Kelly's house, and he expects to decorate cookies and build gingerbread houses. He expects my mom to read us T'was the Night Before Christmas over Skype. He expects me to wake him up because he'd sleep all dang day and I want to see his happy little face on Christmas morning!

I think a lot of what stresses people out at Christmas is their own expectations. Maybe try some different ones. Instead of complaining about how much Christmas music is on the radio, try to remember when you were a kid and how FUNNY that stupid Chipmunk song was, and the 12 days of Christmas with the Disney characters singing (five onion rings!!). Instead of complaining about long shopping lines, be grateful that you can afford to buy presents AND for the fact that you have people in your life to buy presents for. A lot of people will spend this holiday alone. Call someone you haven't spoken to in awhile, especially if it's someone you're mad at, and tell them you're sorry and you've missed them even if it was their fault to begin with. Figure out what's making you stressed and miserable for the holidays and choose a new attitude. My friend Kelly calls this "reframing". Reframe Christmas so it's something you enjoy, not just something you grit your teeth and get through. If you want, come to my house. Look at my Christmas tree. I'll feed you some butterscotch fudge and sneak Southern Comfort into your Dr. Pepper until you're happy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Paint & Chronicle

A Suzi class, of course. I don't know why, but I wanted this page done quickly today - what the heck is the hurry? I have no idea. Maybe it's because I've been too uptight about journaling lately and I just wanted to do a page and not stress over it.

Sometimes I like to draw along with Suzi

The original sketch:

I refined her a little, gave her some hair. Now, this isn't a bad girl - I've certainly done a LOT worse. However, her face isn't quite "right". Check out how easy she was to fix...

ALL I did was put the part in her hair exactly in the center (I know, not everyone parts their hair in the center, but it looks better on drawings) and made the longest part of the face in the center, too. It made a HUGE difference and took about ten seconds.

I shaded her a little with PanPastels:

Now she has a little outfit:

This is about five layers later, maybe more :) 

Here's the spread: 

It's totally NOT fantastic, but it doesn't matter! It's done and it makes me happy. I think I'm even going to add some words - actual journaling! Oh, and see that unpainted part on the bottom? I'm leaving it. I'm not an uptight person, I don't understand why I've been so uptight about my stupid journals lately.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A face in a journal...

I was going for a rounder face and I made one...but now she looks I care if she's chubby? I'm not sure!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Try this!!

So, it's a little known fact that I'm Italian (just kidding, my last name gives it away). I hate place like The Olive Garden, I dislike most pizza joints (especially in MN, it's all Chicago-style here), and I really, really, REALLY hate eating Italian food at people's houses. I never buy jars of sauce (we call it 'gravy'), not even for making pizza. However, I've always loved Spaghettios. Beefaroni. Those horrible canned raviolis. I don't know why, I just do! But it wasn't until I was in my 20's that I realized that stuff is supposed to be Italian food. There's a commercial about Chef Boyardee (yes, I know spaghettios are Franco-American and not Chef Boyardee, but it's all the same crap). The other day I brought spaghettios with me to school and I had an epiphany: why didn't I just MAKE MY OWN spaghettios?!? So here they are:

It's my sauce, my meatballs, and pasta rings! It's AWESOME, I totally love it! And for those of you who never look past the spaghetti and elbows, LOOK! Pasta comes in ALL KINDS of shapes! I made stuffed shells for my friend Kelly and her family and she was so funny about how big the shells were. Jumbo. OK, I'm done now. Try this, it's ridiculously fun and I promise it's so much better than the can!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Drawing Happy :)

I'm just playing in the world's cheapest journal!


All filled up with faces!

Hee hee! Kelly!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


If that was a comic book, I'd totally read it! So, I checked this book out of my library - it's about TYPE! Hubby saw it sitting on the kitchen counter and thought it was about finding my type of man, poor guy. Then he cracked up when he realized what it was. I've had it for about a week but just started reading it today. I was reading it at Barnes & Noble and ten pages in I went over and found a copy that I could buy because I was SO AMUSED! I heart this book, which is about typefaces (fonts). I am totally a geek. Hurray!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


So, you know I recently started working at a restaurant, as a host. And since I work lunch, I work alone. I didn't even know that the dinner shift was more than one host until I worked a double on Black Friday. I HATED it. Working with other hosts was confusing and no one seemed to know what they were supposed to be doing. It was totally stupid. So when the boss man asked if I could stay last Friday, I cringed. I did it, and I realized why I hated working with these people. They WHINE. The servers whine about their sections. They whine when we're busy and when we're slow. They take every opportunity they have and they complain about it. The hosts are the SAME WAY. One of them pulled something out of the host stand and was totally Valley Girl: "Ew! What is this?" I replied: "Swiffer." Her (squealy): "It's covered in lotion!" Me (calmly): "So, wipe it off." She stuffed it back into the host stand and looked away from me. I took it out yesterday and it was totally fine. No lotion.

This is my fundamental problem with people. I don't rely on outside influences in my life. My feelings are valid simply because I have them. I don't need you to confirm them. I don't have the need for validation. It's not that I don't want friends, it's simply that I'm not good at needing them and that leaves most people confused. If I call/message/text/skype you and you never get back to me, I forgot I ever called you in the first place. It doesn't hurt me. Not even a little bit. Most likely because I wasn't calling you for validation. I probably saw a stupid bumper sticker or a Star Wars meme or a funny commercial and I wanted to laugh about it with you. Or laugh while I tried to tell you about it and had you not understand me but start laughing anyway because I was laughing so hard. Remember high school friends? How you could peel off your makeup and lounge in your pajamas and eat greasy food and laugh till your stomach hurt? Do you remember sitting so close to your friends that your thighs were pressed together on the school bus and how no subject was off-limits to talk about? Friends were like magnets, you were pulled together the instant you spotted them in the lunch line, at the bus stop, in the classroom. When you saw them, you were SO RELIEVED that there was someone you knew, someone you liked. Then you grow up and you start to think "Will Becky think my hair is too shiny? Will she notice that my purse doesn't match my shoes? I can't wait to tell her about my new iPad." Instead of "Thank god, there's Becky, I can't wait to tell her about how I fell on my ass yesterday in the snow and how my ass cheek has a huge purple bruise on it." No, you'll sit carefully and lie about how everything is fine and how life is grand and you love everything about it. And so Becky will lie and say the same things because GOD FORBID anyone finds out that maybe your husband isn't the perfect man and your kids drive you crazy and you wish you hadn't given up your career or that you had given it up or that you like espresso and dark beer even though all your friends get half-caf lattes and Corona.

I'm babbling. What else is new? In case you wondered, I do NOT have the perfect life. It's just my life. I make $8/hour, I'm 32 years old, and I'm going to graduate from college (for the first time ever) in six months. My son is creative and amazing but he's five and can drive me crazy, my husband is a man (that's really enough to say, isn't it?). I would rather be friend-less than fake. I don't watch TV, movies are too long for my attention span, and I love video games but I'm too cheap to buy them new. That's me in a nutshell. (Help, I'm in a nutshell!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Grandma :(

Tim's grandma died yesterday. Her health has been failing and she didn't want to be on Earth anymore, but that doesn't make it easier to deal with. Her name was Emma Lee, but everyone said it together so it sounded like "Emily"...a silly thing, I know, but it's one of those things I keep thinking about for some reason.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

12/8 Page

I feel like I should paint these, but I haven't decided HOW yet. I'm thinking watercolors...

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Just trying to figure out how to incorporate art into my everyday. I know, I should have shown this to you days ago, but seriously, you know this is how I roll!!

Like my little Christmas lights? I probably should have made them a bit bigger so they'd be easier to see.

They're all colored in, all seven million of them, with glaze pens - if you look REALLY closely you can see!

I'm gonna add stuff to it as the month goes along, so hopefully this page will be all filled with tons of stuff from the month of December. Hopefully.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holidazzle was a bust

It sounds cool, doesn't it? HoliDAZZLE! It's a parade in Minneapolis, and it was ridiculously stupid! There were maybe seven floats, a teeny (crappy) marching band, it was freezing, and they DIDN'T STOP TRAFFIC so in between floats, we had to wait while the cross traffic drove through!! The concept was SO COOL. Everything was lit up, the people, the floats, even the marching band had lights down their uniforms. But the execution was mediocre at best. I'd grade the whole thing a D-minus.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


It's so strange to be anxious for NO REASON. I just have these days where I'm nervous and freaked out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I know you can't WAIT to see my final projects for this semester! (Lie to me, OK?) So, a little backstory: Digital Mayhem is a fictional digital design company. A friend of mine said that she thinks I need to start a company and call it Digital Mayhem. Then when we were supposed to design a logo for a class, I thought it was a GREAT idea to design the logo for Digital Mayhem. The symbol for mayhem is eight arrows pointing in all directions, and the first logo I made was hand drawn for a different class. 

This semester we had to do an animated logo for Animation in 3D Studio Max:

This one had to be partly 3DS Max and then composed in After Effects:

Voila! They're not crazy impressive, I get that, but I'm pretty excited about them!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quality Time

People think that the age of technology is destroying "real" relationships. They babble about how texting isn't really communicating and blah, blah, blah. My son will be a texter. A chatter. A skyper. He'll Facebook when he's old enough, and probably blog, too. My family lives FAR away from me. Some in Florida, some in New York. Skype is how we "see" each other. This is Liam, talking to my stepdad (who he calls "Papa") and building things. They have an AMAZING relationship, and he skypes with Pinky (my mom) and Papa almost every single day.

This kit and the template I used are called "For Life" and are by Sweet Digi Scraps

Monday, December 3, 2012


I have no idea where these pages are going, if anywhere. I just know that I'm journaling again and it feels good. It doesn't have to look good if it feels good. (And yes, that's what she said!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I asked my friends for an assignment the other day when I was at school, bored. Kelly said "barn owl". Now, I had no idea how to draw a barn owl, or even what one looked like, so she sent me a picture and I drew him with his witchy friend. I know, it's not the witchy time of year, but she came out pretty :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How funny is this??

I got this text just now from my best friend, who is in Ireland. I haven't seen her in for-freaking-ever, but she reads my blog and we text and facebook and Skype. This one from today totally made my day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Journal Freedom

I liberated my new journal (the Dylusions one) from it's stupid "cover" or holder or whatever it was. It's SO much happier now! Ajae drew this face, it's Kelly! We were asking Ajae for a tutorial on drawing curly hair and she was teasing us and sent us a picture of her pen sketch. I messed with it in photoshop and printed it on sticky paper and now it's on the front of my journal! I'm babbling because I had three cups of Dr. Pepper and a grande mocha latte from Starbucks!!! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lost and gone forever!

The cheekster lost a TOOTH! How crazy is that? He's only five! And then he literally lost it on the school bus. Poor little guy was all upset - how was the tooth fairy going to know it was his tooth?!? But, as we all know, the tooth fairy (AKA the molinator) is magic! She brought him a dollar and a note saying that all lost teeth seem to find their way to her and he shouldn't be sad that he can't find it. Look at his little gap!! 

The kit I used for this page is called Sir Plays a Lot and it's by Sweet Digi Scraps and Etc by Danyale.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Subtle is creepy

C'mon, that's a creepy face!! It's from a lesson in Suzi's Paint & Chronicle class, and I LOVE the way her face came out. Mine, not so much! I'm going to practice, though, because it could be really lovely.

  After I took this picture I realized that her eyes are ridiculously crooked:

I managed to sort of fix them. She won't be awful when she's finished, and finished is better than perfect, right? Right?? (Lie to me if you have to!)

Thursday, November 22, 2012