Friday, January 29, 2010

Scrapbook Page - Amber and Lana's DAY OF FUN!

I've had this on my scrapbook desk for about 3 weeks and just finished it last night. I finally said to heck with it, I was going to take some time to work on this page!!

When we went to Branson, Amber and I decided we were going to take the back seat for a multitude of reasons, the main one being that no one would be screaming at the back of our heads, which is great when there are 6 women in a minivan.

I will kind of admit, that we all had a bit of a "bleh" attitude when we started out, and I think it was because of the drive. I said to Amber right off the bat "Amber and Lana's DAY OF FUN!" (ala Janice and Joey on Friends - and to be honest, I looked for 20 min for the clip and can't find it so settle for this). Anyway, so I said that like 900 times and Amber wanted to kill me in my sleep. heh.

In the end, we had a lot of fun! And, we want to go again some day!



Circle diecut paper - Bo Bunny (that amber got me for Christmas!)
Star paper - I don't know!!
Flowers - Prima
Foam letters - Thickers, American Crafts
Red brad flower centers - Creative Imaginations
Wood travel token - K and company

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tips for Momtographers - What if?

Yesterday, I had to make my usual errand runs which of course, always includes a trip to the Walls-mart. Right inside the front door, there's a bin where they keep the discounted flowers, and as I walked in the door, I saw an older lady carrying a bouquet of tulips.

Stellar idea!

So, I bought myself a bouquet of tulips too. It was easy since they were pink and all, and the fact that I've been a little obsessed with spring lately. I can't help it. I'm itching for warmer weather.

So I bring it home, and decide that I should take a photo, the pink is so pretty. Here's a normal photo that I would have taken:


Please note the dish strainer in the background.
Thank you.

Then I picked up the vase, set it on the counter in that 5 p.m. light that burns my left cornea during late Jan, early Feb each year. This is because it streams perfectly through my dining room window into my EYE.

I'm surprised I don't have a walking cane and dark glasses...

or curtains.

The light hit the flowers and I said "what if?"


What if I shot up, into the light, letting the light flare across the lens.


What if I took a photo of just one tulip, hanging down into the light? Expose the background, so the tulip is just a silhouette.


What if I took a photo of the tulip from a different angle? This being the bottom of the tulip base, and the petals cast an unusual shadow across the inside of the tulip.

{Note: I just found out yesterday that some photographers use this method to create shadows on 3rd party objects... referred to as a cookie. Not like the one you eat, or the one that tracks every move you make on the internet.}


What if I let the petals play second fiddle to a leaf? This pretty little leave had the cutest little curl. Forget the petal, that gets all the glory. But you still know what you're looking at, even tho the leaf is taking center stage.


And what if you just get a little weird, and layer some texture on top? Fade the photo 15% to make it look more vintage. Hate it? No worries, there's no wrong if you're just playing and saying "what if".

My point?
Well, look at your subject (be it a flower, a toddler or your cat, whatever) and think "what would happen if I would do this completely different?" What's the worst that could happen? You delete some duds?

** As an aside, I'd like to note that all that flare is real. I know, I have no right cornea now either as proof. Not that I would ever *fake* flare. Not me.
I never do stuff like that.

You know.

Just sayin.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Signs: Good or bad?

While packing the car for the bridal fair on Sunday, we discovered this guy in the driveway:


Now normally, I would say "hu-ray!" and smile a happy smile thinking of Spring. However, I have not decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing. For starters, I have no idea where he came from, he was leaving one snow pile and headed towards another. (I feel your pain brother).

This guy, he was going no where fast. Actually, he was going no where really really slowly. Imagine walking through mud with shoes made of cement.... covered in molasses. Yeah, that's kinda how slow he was going.

Now on the other hand, folklore says that the less black, the shorter the winter and well frankly Mr. Caterpillar, you have virtually no black pants at all. Sorry.

In the end, I decided that the best answer was to pick him up and return him to the flower bed lest he become lunch for some starving bird. He didn't curl up when I picked him up, he was too cold, but he looked up at me with his 12 doe eyes and said "omg, warmest. hands. ever!"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Go Holga.. Go Holga!

Holy Cow!
What a ride!

This past week was really busy. Hence, less posting. All of it was to get ready for yesterday. 3 hours. Isn't that crazy!?

Yesterday there was the bridal fair in St. Joseph, and it was much better than I expected. The place was absolutely packed the entire time. I talked for 3 solid hours and I have a sore throat today.

I met so many beautiful brides, and 2 handsome grooms. LOL. Everyone was so incredibly nice. So many compliments. One bride is coordinating her wedding day around MY AVAILABILITY! I'm getting a big head here ppl. That is one of the most flattering things anyone has said to me.

To top off such a nice day, we ate BBQ. I'm sticking with the diet, and it's paying off. I'm currently at 8.5 pounds lost. Woot. Next goal is 10. Hoping i make it by next week. I've not missed one day of journaling my food (counting ww points) and today marks the beginning of my 4th week, and from what I've heard over the years, if you can do a new thing every day for 30 days, you've created a new habit. Just trying to make that 30 day mark! No looking at the big picture here. Only keeping my eye on the next 5 pound goal. That's it.

So to celebrate my awesome good mood, I bought myself this:


It's a Holga 135BC camera, and it fell right below the "$50 rule" so I didn't have to inform ANYONE I was getting it. LOL. But I'm excited so of course I'll tell Gene anyway. These cool little plastic cameras take some mildly craptacular photos that make them feel artsy and fun.

I wanted the pink one, but I thought the black one would be easier to sneak into a wedding. heh.

How would you feel if your wedding photographer pulled out a pink plastic camera? Ok then.

Not much time for lounging around and resting. I have errands to run, a gallery promised for someone, some prints to make. I thought Sunday/Monday was supposed to be my days off!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yes, I know it's completely politically incorrect...

This past weekend, Gene and I hit an antique show in St. Joseph. We really didn't see a lot that tripped the light fantastic for us. Well, actually we did, however, there were a lot of dealers that were very proud of their offerings, and had pricing to match.

Having said that, I found a couple guys I could not resist.


Pale Face and Injun Joe.

Yes. I know. It's so inappropriate.
And dated.

Kinda like me.


They even used Pale, for Pale face, and Red for Injun Joe. Injun Joe looks so pissed off, but face it, Pale Face probably had it coming.


"Ohhhh.. He got me!"

They harken back to an era (1950's Marx toys) where kids were allowed buy candy cigarettes and allowed to dress like "indians" and carry toy pistols to school at halloween.

You can't do that anymore! It's not "appropriate" HELLO!? Nowadays we dress our kids as sexy devils. Duh. You are so lame sometimes. sheesh.

So anyway,

PC aside, I picked up these guys, and made a point of buying the two where the Native american guy is getting one up on the white dude. Cuz he had it coming. I mean really, look at him.

I displayed them with my wagon I bought a year ago. I love the details of the figures. Why don't they make toys like that anymore? No, I don't mean toys that represent gang fights or Bratz Hookers. I mean, toys that have such cool minute details. If you buy a bag of army men, you can kind of make out a head, and I think those are arms. These dudes, they have fingernails.

I think I was supposed to be born in 1947.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Support the Marching Spoofhounds!

If you are a local, or semi-local, you can help the local marching band by just eating some pizza! Take the coupon below to pizza hut on the 25th, and they will donate 20% to the band. This helps them pay for their trips, etc.

You can click on the coupon, to get a larger version for you to print.

The quintessential Gene love note

Gene goes to bed earlier than I do. By a long shot. He always has, and always will. Probably because A.) he has to get up early in the morning. B.) has a hard job and he needs a lot of rest. C.) I'm a night owl.

Always have, always will be.

I am slowing down tho, instead of going to bed at 2-3 a.m., I now to bed somewhere between 11 and midnight. Sometimes I get a bug in my bonnet and will stay up til 1. Why? A.) I don't have to get up early. B.) I can't sleep, so I don't see the point in staring into the darkness for hours for no reason. C.) I love that time of the day, it's quiet, and not a soul is bothering me, I can do *whatever I want* Ahhhh.

So in return, sometimes I need to leave Gene a reminder like "Take out the Trash" or "Look! An Alien!" Those lil' notes get left on the face of the microwave. No matter how coffee deprived he his, I know he'll be forced to deal with see it.

Sometimes I get notes too. Mine are usually "Don't forget to:__________" And 90% of the time, it's something already on my list. But to be fair, he got yelled at for writing on my to-do lists. Mainly cuz he doesn't make a little box next to it so I can check it off... AND... because he writes in big capital man writing and takes up half the page.

Why is my blood pressure going up?

But once in a while I get one of these:


This made me smile and laugh. It's just so Gene.

A.) Aww.. it's a love note. For a bulldog kinda guy, he's pretty sweet when he warms up.

B.) There's a big man writing note from a few days before about Boo Boo Kitty coming back. If you don't know who Boo-Boo Kitty is, that's what I call any outdoor stray cat. Mainly cuz they are still cute and I want to keep them, but I'm on cat restriction... not only by my husband but probably the local health department. As soon as I ditch him, I'm getting 17 cats.

You are warned.

Technically, this is New Boo Boo. Old Boo Boo went to the "big farm in the sky" recently. No idea what happened, but all I know was it was weird, and Tanner took care of it for me.

C.) There's a coffee stain in the middle of it. Just as proof that, yes, he does stumble around in a haze in the morning.

D.) What you can't see is the long letter I left him a few days before (on the back) about how life is too short to be mad at people, and how we need to work harder towards forgiveness - even if we are right - sometimes others don't see it that way. "I'm sorry" goes a long way to heal.

ugh. Aren't we sickingly sweet.

(I just said it for you.. tis ok)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wanna know what frozen air looks like?

Well then, here you go:


It has been unREASONABLY foggy here in our parts of the world for about a week. I've come to the conclusion, that London has nothing on us at all. I know. I've been there. Twice.

Not only can we not see what our neighbors are doing, we can't see if an ax murder is hiding in the back yard. Getting dismembered really is something that you'd like a little pre-warning for if yaknowhatimean.

On second thought, maybe I'd prefer that to just be a big surprise if it *must happen*.

Today we had to go to Kansas City, and it makes for a really long trip when you can only see 62 feet in front of you. I was so happy when the road curved to the left, (five mile corner) and I said to Tanner "Oh thank god, I know where I am now!"


So the other morning, we got around, headed out the door, and Gene said "you have to see this!" Everywhere there was spikes of frozen fog on everything. One of the more surreal things I've seen out here. Well, that and the fox's butt. Other than that, it was pretty surreal.


Can you guess what this is? I'll tell you at the end.


And a day without seeing my clothesline, is like a day without sunshine.
Which, well, quite frankly, is pretty much all of them.


Me no understand.



I really wanna lick the antenna. I really really do.


He looks like he has lots of tiny teeth eh?

And as proof of my voyages:


Titled: "Holy crap! Get me out of this place!"

PS. It was a broom!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My other new ride!


  • Don't ya love my other new ride? Ain't it cute!? I picked it up at the antique store a couple weeks ago, I am dying for warmer weather, and a couple to put it on, or a kid, or me. No, I don't still have my tree up! I took this moments before we took it down a couple weeks ago. I have to admit, there was a little "excited" feeling seeing a "brand new scooter" under the tree. Brought me back to when I was around 5 and got my brand new wagon!

  • It's going to be a super busy week. We have a bridal fair this weekend. If you are in the area, you should go to the Bridal Fair this Sunday at the Ramada Inn in St. Joseph, Mo. Doors open at 1 p.m. and there is a fashion show at 3:00 p.m.

  • Another bridal fair coming up is in Lenox, Iowa at Rockin' Rollers Salon on Main Street. Saturday, February 6. Smaller venue, but much more close and personal with your vendors. If you need more details, please contact Rockin' Rollers.

  • I'm working away at this weight loss thing. I haven't given up yet, and every day I feel a little better about it, and a little more determined. If I can make it a month, I feel like that's an accomlishment right there! It's been about 5 years since I've really been able to stick with anything on a consistant basis. Right now, I'm doing weight watchers (at home), tracking my points and not exercising a lick. I will tho, I just wanted to drop a few pounds first and then get going. Plus, it's so hard to excercise out here. Walking is unbearably boring as you can walk 2 miles, and STILL see your our house. I'm going to investigate some dance/exercise videos I've seen advertised, since dance is one of the few exercises I really enjoy. Oh, for the record, I'm at 6.5 pounds since Jan 4. Weigh-ins on Monday mornings. Goal is 1.25 pounds a week. I'll be happy with ANY loss tho :)

  • Did a lot of reorganization here over the weekend. Wow.. that was really not fun! We got rid of our entertainment center and moved the buffet to the living room as our entertainment center. It's eventual use is going to be the bathroom vanity when we get to our bathroom remodel in 263 years! But for now, it holds up the TV. Where the buffet was in our dining room, we bought 9.5 feet of cabinets. Why yes, I AM addicted to cabinets, why do you ask? :p Right now they are just sitting there, and everyone already likes them. It's soooo nice seeing 9 feet of "counter" space. Eventually it will be installed, stained a beautiful maple color, black granite top (to match our island) and then over that will be book cases to the ceiling, and in the very center, a small "bar" type area with a mirror and glass shelves. Oh, and a lock because I have a teenager.

  • OK, must work! Dilly dallied too much! Diet coke is my friend!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hurry Up Kansas City!

In December, Gene and I went to KC for the weekend, spent the night at the Hyatt Regency downtown, which is home to Skies Restaurant. It rotates and gives a 360 view of all KC at night. This video took an hour to shoot, sped up so you can see it in under a minute. Please note how fast traffic is going!

I'm just learning how to edit videos, so sorry it's not spectacular. lol However, it is something nice to have running in the background when editing!

'Allo, I am Jacque Cousteau

It just seems like there's a whole other ecosystem out here in the boonies. It's a unique set of weather at times it seems and with that, comes it own set of rules.

During the storm last week, we were all stuck here, the snow, blowing so hard that if we wanted to scoop ourselves out, it would have only filled back in within hours, if not minutes. So we did what any civilized pretend cattle rancher does.... We made some stew and hunkered down.

Makes for a sucky paycheck when you miss a few days work, for the record.

All the sudden, along comes a truck. One of the very few of the day, 2-3 tops. Of course this draws our attention, and even moreso when he pulls into our drive, and then sits there for 15 minutes. Eventually, he gets out, and comes to the house. Turns out it's our neighbor from a 1/4 mile away, and he's gotten stuck and dug himself out THREE TIMES in that 1/4 mile. For what it's worth, it's another mile to the highway, and there's 3 big drifts just in front of our house on the road alone. One at least 2-3 feet deep.

He comes in, we talk a while and he's in a quandry. Wife needs to get home, yet no one can get through. He can't go back down the road he just came.

He finally decides, if he cuts across our yard, and through the extra acre (which we let grow up), that he can make it to the field and drive across it to get home. Which is a good theory, but in practice, not so much:


Don't worry, he's ok. So is the dog that was with him. He left the dog, walked across the field home, and got his ATV stuck too.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:


While one drama is unfolding on the right, another is developing on the left. Someone is trying to go east. Why? No idea. But he does not have a big old pick up truck. Or a snowmobile, or a helicopter.

Dude is STUCK.

Eventually he dug himself out, backed up a 1/4" and left. Smart thinkin' my friend.

But the other dude is still stuck in my yard!

Eventually our other neighbor drove across the field from the other direction (at this point I'm eating stew.. so I had dinner AND a show) and brings a big truck to haul him out.


Ya know, I felt kinda bad. I really wanted to help, but since my own vehicle was buried:


And I couldn't get the new 4 wheel drive one out of my own back yard...
I determined "Survival of the Fittest" mode.

Cuz dude, I have my own problems:


" 'Allo, ze name iz Lana, and I vill trek to ze mailbox. Please observe"

Eventually 4 years later, a super corvette looking road grader came by. Probably cuz my loving husband calls and reminds them (nicely) that we have no services.... can't get to work, and by golly thank god no one is pregnant down here and went to squeeze one out. (Mainly me) because a baby would have definitely been born in a less than favorable conditions.

No kidding.

The corvette grader guy said "We'll try to come by at least once" and you know what? I think they showed up and said "what the HECK!" and decided to make 4 more passes.

(I guess it pays to leave a pie with them at Christmas)

Then a backhoe came and cleaned out the ends of driveways (after we scooped on it for an hour).


Oh, then a bobcat came too (the neighbors).


I only have one other problem...


There is a russian sub surfacing in my back yard!

Send help!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scrapbook page day!

Over the weekend, I sat down at my scrapbook table and did 2 things that worked well for me to get something accomplished.

#1 - I didn't turn on my laptop. It's a distraction

#2 - I didn't look at any magazines for "inspiration" which has become a habit for me. I find myself confused about what I want to do, what should I scrapbook, this doesn't look right, I don't want to print pictures. blah blah.

So instead, I had a stack of pics in front of me, I just picked up a few I wanted to work on, and went from there. *like I used to do*. You would think it would be as simple as that always eh?


Lil' Bug: It's my niece Tayen, and how she was entertained by a "ladybug" (japanese beetle) on our family girl trip to Branson this fall. I hated it at first, and as I kept working on it, I really ended up liking it. It's really more my old style, which solidfies that maybe I should stop buying magazines.

I have issues.

Paper: K&Company Berry Sweet stack
Chipboard letters: K&Co too (I think)
Ribbon, vellum, pen, and "patch" style ladybugs I've had for eons.


I got this idea from Ali Edwards. I like hers better, but she obviously gets more pics/cards for christmas than I do. I thought it was a cool way to keep your cards, and pics, and not feel bad about tossing them.

Paper: Creative imaginations - Debbie Mumm (you can't see much of it!) it's an older paper.
Brads: No idea, Stacy gave them to me!
Vellum, pen, chipboard star came off my card from Amber.

Speaking of Amber...

She gave me a really nice scrapbook for Christmas that's all about being sisters! I love it because 1. she made it special for me and 2. Amber and I have gotten so much closer over the years, she is one of my best friends. I love that she scrapbooks too!


It has a cupcake theme!




I don't know all the products that Amber used. The main front cover is a cupcake diecut, which I LOVE. I think I have this one too! Some of the swirly stamps are from Autumn Leaves, some of the products are some products by ME! She also used her cricut on several pages.

Thank you Amber, it was one of my very fav gifts this year!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Keep the faith my friends!

I'm sitting here, listening to the wind whip around my house, and wondering if my car is going to be completely covered by morning.

And I thought about spring, and how it's so far away.

I pulled up some pics from last year and see what I found?


See, that's not so far away! Less than 3 months!









Very Very soon.

Remember that scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where Clark is fantasizing about the pool?

Yeah, it felt kinda like that while doing this.

Local Kawaski plant shut down after roof caves from accumulated snow!

"Employees at the Kawasaki Motors manufacturing plant in Maryville were sent home early Thursday afternoon after temporary repairs to a large section of the factory's roof failed under the weight of recent heavy snowfall.

The plant will remain shut down through the weekend but should resume operations on Monday morning, according to Steve Bratt, plant manager and vice president of Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. USA."


Not a big shocker when you look out your back door and see this:


I used to have a Dodge Neon. I lost it in a huge sea of global warming. This was about 3 hours ago... it's still blowing. This is the worst it's been yet! Sadly, it's starting to feel normal. Is this what northern canada feels like? oh, no, it's not. I have a good friend up there, she said they have an inch of snow.


Gene had to spend the day here today, and probably will tomorrow too. We hunkered down and I made stew for supper... which sadly, was not enough for the TWO trucks that got stuck in front of my house at the *same time*.

Both finally got out. A lot of digging, a lot of pulling, and me watching warmly from my front room with a big bowl of stew. Not that I could help. My jeep is in the BACK YARD. Gene tried to make it around the house. No go... the drifts are too deep so we just left it there.

Safety first kids!

NW Mo Mohave style snowstorm!

Imagine this snow is sand.

You are now in Mohave desert during a sandstorm.
Happy New Year!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010



There is something that winter has over summer. Hands down.


Winter has the proof that summer does not. Having 27 feet of snow on the ground something little happens. There is proof of where you've been, and who's been here before you.

I love that.


I'm not sure what my fascination is with tracks. I love trying to see a track, and figure out what was there. I think it's interesting to watch the way a critter will travel across the field. Why did they stop there? What made them travel in a big S curve, or run around in a circle 3 times?

You just don't get that kind of proof with green grass.

Sorry summer, I still love you baby.


There is this huge open field around us on all 4 sides. yes, I live in a bean field. It's flat, and the snow blows over. I mentioned to Gene the other day, that this must be what Alaska looks like. And he said "it is, it looks just like this".

and I said "wtf? You've been to Alaska?"

and he responded that yes, he had, for a month on manuevers.

I had no idea. lol.

So let's just say, I have little desire to go to AK. Sorry hun, I love you too, you're an awesome state, very important and helping us round out to the 50 mark. But I don't wanna visit, even tho Uncle Kermit is up there half the year.


Lately I have noticed something that shouldn't irritate me, but does.

It's a snowmobile. Yes, a snowmobile is disturbing my beautiful white field of snow. Grrr... all the way from here to town, through peoples yards, along the highway. Something about it just annoys me when I drive along and see an ugly path. (I almost caught a pic of them today).

I suppose I shouldn't complain too much. We had snowmobiles when I was a kid, and for the record, I wasn't all that into them.

Oh look, it's cold.. let's go out and do 55... in the snow. With no facial protection.
Super FUN!


I'll be fine. Just give me a Xanax.
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