Sunday, December 30, 2007
My brain does not like puzzles, putting things together, making pieces fit. Anyone who knows me knows I am not very precise with things and this one really tested me. I loved the concept and the finished product, but the process was really painful. I should not that the star is not flat, it is a dimensional barn star.
I had to actually make the pattern for the pieces, I wanted them all to be uniform and similar. It would have been a lot easier to cut each pictures to size in unique shapes and put them on the star but I wanted a pattern throughout, and each arm of the star to be the same. So I decided to torture myself and make a pattern and then try to fit my pictures onto each piece (I am getting the sense this is not making a whole lot of sense).
The pictures are printed in 8x10 size. You need a total of 10-13 and a mix of horizontal and vertical, but if you try this at home I recommend using mostly vertical ones. They just fit on the pieces better. Modge Podge to stick them down and to coat/seal on the top (I have not done that yet).
I have the pattern if anyone is crazy enough to do this at home and I will gladly give you the pattern. The end result is gorgeous and it was all worth it. It took me probably 5 hours total, and that does not include selecting photos. It will take you much less since you would have a pattern.
Thank goodness The Boss approved!
We went ice skating the other day. Dama is quite pathetic on skates and could not help me at all with the kids because he is completely unstable and the smallest breeze will send him crashing to the ice :) So I took Lucas around, dropped him at the bench, sped around the rink once on my own, picked up Ellie...lather, rinse, repeat. It was really fun though and Dama probably did 5 turns around the rink, compared to my 20. Lucas ended up being able to sate a tiny bit on his own. The rink was really nice but I wish they had those little walkers for kids that some rinks have.
The next day, we went to Green Lake and the kids rode their bikes all the way around. Ellie was on her new Princess bike that she got for Christmas. She did really well and made it almost all the way around without complaining. Then all of a sudden she burst into tears "I am so tiiiiirrrreeed!". So Daddy carried her the rest of the way as I pushed her bike. Lucas made it all the way around and we did the 3 miles in 56 minutes.
Yesterday, we went to Marymoor Park and went for another long walk. We walked around the doggie off leash area and I put the pressure on Dama for us to get a dog. We saw so many cute and sweet dogs. I have always loved Sheba Inu which is a Japanese dog with a curly tail. They are really smart but they are not really good with cats and they have to be trained well (I am much to lazy for that!). Same goes for the Schipperke. I love those dogs too but they are notorious high energy and needy dogs. Dama likes black labs. I love them too but think they may be a bit big for us. I always come back to the pug as my choice. No, we are not getting a dog anytime soon but Dama used to say when Lucas was 8 or so. Now he is saying when Lucas starts school. Progress!
I also have to mention that I have not cooked one single meal since Christmas dinner. Dama has done all the cooking, every meal for all of us. Is there some rare disease that may be causing this that I should know about?
Monday, December 17, 2007
Am I right?
So, I finally go through all my orders for Christmas. So now I am focusing on our Christmas and a bit of relaxing thrown in. The kids are done with school so it will be nice to have days where there is nowhere to go, nothing to shuttle the kids to. Just days where we can do whatever we want.
Dama started his own blog. It is all in Japanese but it has a lot of photos so it may be worth a look every so often. I need to stop him from posting such unflattering photos of me though!
I am still taking orders from local friends and family so if you still need a last minute gift, let me know.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I have a ton of pendant orders to get through in the next few days. The orders kept rolling in while we were gone which is great, but I have a lot to do. In between all of that, I will be putting together a photo slideshow of our trip to share with all of you. How do you pare down over 1000 photos? Any tips? ;)
Our bags got searched on the way home which was such a fun experience after such a long trip. We had 7 bags and they confiscated a bunch of food things we brought home with us. Apparently, beef and chicken products are a no-no, that includes anything with chicken bouillon. The good thing was we did claim everything on our customs form so there were no fines. And the officers were as nice a possible which made it very easy. We were not alone, there were many in the same situation.
We are off to Canada on Thursday for a reunion of sorts, my old swimming friends are getting together for a night on the town. I will be bound to home after that, my passport is up for renewal in January!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Yesterday was Tokyo Disneyland. It was pretty crazy! Luckily, Lucas was able to ride any ride he wanted so that was good (height requirements). We went on Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours (a Star Wars ride, he was in heaven!), some car race thing where both kids drove the cars, Cinderella castle (Elise wore her costume all day), and It's a Small World. The kids had a great time and we were amazed at how clean it is and how polite evryone was.
The day before, we did go to Obaachan's grave and cleaned it up, brought flowers and said prayers for her. Lucas did meet his great-Grandma when he was 6 months old and she just loved him. The cemetery was way out in the countryside, surrounded by cabbage and radish filds, on the side of a hill. There was a small shrine there where Lucas rang the bell 3 times for Obaachan.
After that, we found the mandarin groves. This was such a fun experience. The kids ate a lot of oranges and we filled our bags. The smaller the orange, the sweeter they are. Wait til you see the pictures! I am planning on making a slideshow after we get home so it will be easy for everyone to view them.
Everything has gone so well so far. The kids are eating well and sleeping well, which were my two biggest worries. But they are being troopers and enjoying every minute of the trip.
Got to go! Thanks for following along and for the comments. We miss you all!
Oh, and to Mum...Ellie was pouting yesterday at Disneyland and I asked her what was wrong. She said "I want to go to randma's house!". So I guess it is safe to say that Grandma's house outranks Disneyland!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Yesterday, we went into Yokohama by train. The kids loved the train ride and Elise spent almost all day holding hands with her cousin. They get along really well and Hitomi is great at occupying Elise!
Did some shopping at the 100 Yen store where I managed to spend 5700 yen. Yes, that is 57 items! Most of it is Bento stuff and some little kitchen gadgets. Wandered through the food sections of the major grocery stores, sampling and trying all sorts of things I have not had in ages. We bought some Japanese pickles and I was in heaven. We also got a new heated carpet, only this one will cover most of our upstairs living room!
The food has been amazing. Dama's mom has been cooking and we had lunch out yesterday. The kids are enjoying it and Lucas is being a trooper trying new things.
I may not get the chance to update tomorrow, but I will be back in Zushi tomorrow evening so I will post then for sure. Pictures may not be forthcoming, but I will give it a good try!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The trip went amazingly well. The kids were so good on the plane, sat quietly and played with their stuff, watched a couple of movies. It was an Airbus aircraft so each seat has and On Demand type of TV on the back of each seat. So Lucas got to watch Transformers and Ellie watched Pocahontas. I watched A Mighty Heart (heartbreaking but SO good), and The Client, an old movie.
We ordered kids meals for the kids beforehand and, if you ever travel with kids, make sure you do this. They were really good and fairly healthy. Lots of fruit, goodies and kid friendly stuff. Plus, with a special meal, you get them first before anyone else.
There was one tiny, itty bitty little hitch. Just a small one really, nothing huge. Ok, so maybe it was huge.
We left for our 2:20 pm flight at 11:15 am, shooting to get there 2 1/2 hours early. We get there at 12 noon and we try to check our bags and the counter lady (ever so friendly...NOT) tells us the flight is closed. Um, what? We cannot check in because the flight is boarding. What? WHAT??! It turns out that our 2:20 pm flight was really a 12:50 pm flight. Oops. But, by the stars being aligned just right, we had decided to check in online before we left the house. And they grabbed our bags and we ran through the airport. The stars were definitly aligned when there was no line at the security and the TSA staff seriously helped us fly right through. We made it by the skin of our teeth. Really.
We arrived in Tokyo and the whole family was there. Papa gave Elise a bouquet of pink roses (aw) and Lucas was treated like an absolute celebrity. I think he wanted the floor to open up and swallow him. We got home, had a nice meal and kept the kids up as long as possible and now we are up and ready for a fun day of family, shopping and great food.
Keep up with our travels here! I am excited to share it all with you.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Lucas asked me yesterday if the plane was going to fly like the ones on Star Wars. I thought it was so funny! But it got me thinking, and I often think like this before I go on a plane...maybe I need to write a will.
So here it is:
My furniture: goes to my brother so that he can fill his place with comfy stuff, and so he can give the red chair to my Mum since she loves it so much.
My jewelry: to Tia, since I know she would wear all my funky stuff.
My scrapbook kits: To Vic, since I know she would use them with her newfound scrap-ability.
My jewelry making supplies, website and business: To Lynette, because I know she can make them (even though she tries to pay me to do them) and because her husband loves the pendants so much.
The rest, you all can fight over.
I love you! Sayonara!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
It was a lot of fun to solder and I like the finished project. Here is my very first try at it:
I need a couple more supplies but had most of what I needed. I like the shabby/bumpy edges a bit better than the smooth edged metal frames. But that is me. I know people will have a preference.
I also made (on a whim) a bottlecap pendant which turned out very cute:
All of these will be offered on my website very soon! I am hoping to add ornaments also in time for the holidays.
Start thinking "Christmas"!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I am on day 6 with no Diet Coke. There have been times that I craved it but I had LaCroix Water
instead. I have been thinking about it less and less, which is great!
Halloween is tomorrow. We are going to a fun event called Trunk or Treat with some friends. There are carnival games and then everyone parks in the parking lot, opens their trunks and the kids go from car to car trick or treating. Then we will be back home to trick or treat around here.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I am trying a new recipe this week that has come highly recommended. I thought I would share it with you.
Pumpkin Pie Squares
1 (13oz.) can evaporated milk
1 lg can pumpkin
1 1/2 tspn. cinnamon
1/2 tspn. nutmeg
1/4 tspn. all spice
1 c. sugar
1/2 tspn. salt
1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cubes butter
1/2 to 1 cup nuts chopped (I use pecans)
Preheat oven to 350 combine first 8 ingredients; mix well. Pour into a
greased 9 by 13 pan. Sprinkle cake mix over top of the mixture. Slice
butter and dot over cake mix. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake 50 minutes or
until set in center. Great alternative to pumpkin pie.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We baked the cake together on Friday evening. He picked strawberry cake so we baked it and then frosted it. Then came the part where I asked him what he wanted written on the cake.
Me: What would you like me to write on the cake?
Lucas: How about "Happy 5th Birthday Lucas. I love you so much. From, Mummy"?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I am going to start them at $26 due to the time it takes to do them. Friends get a discount, of course :)
Hopefully I can get my website done soon and up and running so that those of you who have friends who are interested can just give them my web address.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
So I responded politely saying that I sell the materials and then I quoted her some ridiculously jacked up price. I was trying to prove a point. Well, she asked me to set up an auction for her!
Then I felt bad.
But I think I will do it anyways :)
Friday, October 5, 2007
I have my own website now! www.creative-jules.com
It is up, not yet running, but it will be a website where people can order my glass and/or epoxy pendants. Maybe in the future I will be adding even more items.
Next step is business cards so I can start publicizing.
I am SO excited, and quite proud that I have accomplished this. Building a website is an amazing amount of work, all in a world and language that was pretty much foreign to me.
Thanks to you all for your support!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Soooooo.....here we go! I know I won't make it to 100 today but I will add as they come to me.
1) Get a Master's degree (probably in Social Work)
2) Own a dog
3) Learn to play the harmonica really well
4) Travel to Italy
5) Take a photography class
6) Set up a table at a craft fair
7) Have my own business
8) Create my own website on my own domain
9) Be a Big Sister
10) Get published in a scrapbooking magazine
11) Travel to China
12) Take a pottery class
13) Have a psychic reading done by John Edwards
14) Eat a piece of fruit every day for the rest of my life
15) Build a composite backyard deck of my dreams (well, HAVE it built, not build it myself!)
16) Plant a vegetable garden
17) Learn operate a sewing machine and then to sew clothing
18) Run a marathon (did I really just type that??)
19) Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
20) Go on a cruise
21) Volunteer at a soup kitchen
22) Go away with 4 best friends for an entire week
23) Recycle everything I possibly can
24) Re-finish an old chest of drawers
25) Keep my recipe book up to date so I can pass it on to Ellie one day
26) Take a hip hop dance class with Lucas
27) Be an advocate for people in need
28) Make sure my friends and family know how much I love and appreciate them
29) Take my Mum on a trip, just her and I, to the place of her choice
30) Drive across the USA
31) Have a consistent family game night every week
32) Take a yoga class
33) Take an anger management class
34) Go to Iceland
35) Sponsor a child in a foreign country
36) Do the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk
37) Have a flower garden that I can make beautiful bouquets from (dahlias, small sunflowers, daisies)
38) Learn how to use Photoshop
39) Make a quilt
40) Get a tattoo with a friend
41) Go to an event/evening where I have to wear a ball gown
42) Make sure I never tell people I love that I didn't call or keep in touch because "I have been Sooooooo busy".
43) To get to know my brother better
44) Have a "summer home" or cabin
45) Go to the Oprah Show
46) Take graphic art/design classes
To be continued....
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tia's Cool Home Decor
Saturday, September 29, 2007
-a cherished story, a colorful memory, an inspiring quote, or a new thought
with someone in your life.
Your insight is a gift no one else can give!
Friday, September 28, 2007
It wasn't perfect. Some of the lines she had to follow were kind of curvy and she didn't go all the way around loops and things like that. I just praised her effort. After all, it was her first homework and, to me, the road we travel can sometimes be more important than the destination.
I put the homework in her folder to be turned in. When I picked her up, I checked the folder and the homework was re-done with a crayon. All of it. Not just the parts that were less-than-perfect. There was a note on the homework that said:
"Please do your homework with your mom. Please use a crayon."
I asked the teacher what happened and she told me they are to use crayons. Nowhere on the paper did it say that. I asked her if she told Ellie that and she said no, that it was "just how they do it" at their school. I asked if it was in the handbook and I had missed it and she said no. I guess Ellie and I are supposed to be mind readers?
So, I asked her (because I really wanted to seal my position as "THAT Mom" as early as possible in the year), "Did you really make her sit down and re-do this because she used a pen?" and she said "Yes". I asked her if she thought that was excessive and she said "If you don't want me correcting her anymore, I won't".
I tried to explain that it wasn't the correcting I had a problem with. I can totally see why they would possibly help her to re-do the ones she had trouble with. I tried to re-phrase it and she just did not get why I was raising an eyebrow at it.
I know it isn't a HUGE deal but this is one of a series of events so far this year that has led me to the conclusion that this school is not a good match for her (or me!).
It's not that it is a bad school, it's not, it's just that their philosophy is not jiving with how I would like Ellie to experience preschool. I want her to learn something....and that is to learn to love school. To learn to love learning. Not to learn that everything she does needs to be perfect. Or to learn that there is one path to a destination.
I met with Lucas' preschool director and they very much want to have her there. She spoke with me at length this morning about the issues I had.
Best of all, I don't think I would ever NEED to be "THAT mom" at this preschool.
Happy Happy Joy Joy, back to school all over again :/
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Finishing the test:
Taking off the old belt:
Putting on the new one and having a serious talk about the responsibility of having an orange belt:
Congratulations, big guy!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Anyone who has met Lucas knows that line 3 was his. But what some may not know is how much he loves to make new friends. He is still talking about "Skyler" who we met at the park a couple of weeks ago.
The 2 lines in the story really captured my wonderful boy.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The prize is a lovely and cute assortment of scrapbooking embellishments. **Oooo! Aaaaahhh!**
And since some of you do not scrap, I will think of an alternative if a boring, non-scrapping person happens to win ;)
So here is the deal. In Lucas' backpack today, there was a story that was written and acted out by Lucas and 3 of his classmates. The first person to comment in the comments section of this entry as to which 2 lines were Lucas' contribution wins!
And now.....the story:
by Lucas, Macy, Seth and Grace
The Bugs followed them
And they went far away.
They were surrounded by police officers because the police thought they destroyed the bugs.
And the bats runned away from their mom.
The bats got lost.
They couldn't find their way home.
They make new friends.
The kids finally find their way home.
I saw a box at the dollar store that I thought would look great in our red, white and blue bathroom downstairs. But I just didn't like the newness of it so I decided to old it up a bit.
You don't need much, just a sanding block and some fluid chalk. I also do a lot of my work now on a non-stick craft sheet. Easy to clean up.
First, take the sanding block and go to town. Sand the edges especially. If you look at the picture below, you will see the difference in the right and left sides:
I sanded all over, including over the stars. You really can't make a mistake with sanding stuff.
This is how it looked when I was done sanding:
Then, you take your fluid chalk. If you have not discovered this stuff for scrapbooking yet, run out and get one. They are $2 and one of the tools I use most. You can ink edges of pictures, picture mats and all sorts of stuff.
Ink it up as much or as little as you would like. Start light and then add more as you see fit.
Next, make sure the supervisor is ok with it:
Finally, you have the finished product:
Thursday, September 13, 2007
33 years ago today, my Dad passed away from cancer. He was 32 years old.
I wish he could be here, not only so I could know him but so my kids could too. Mum tells me all the time what a wonderful Grandfather he would be and I believe it. He was so smart, athletic, gentle and kind.
I try to keep his memory alive and we talk about Grandpa a lot, go to Grandpa's Park to visit when we are in Canada.
Even though I don't remember him, I feel like I know him. And I miss him very much.
I love you Dad!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I opened them up today and I wanted to share it with you:
We walk this way only once. Get it down.
Your words are unique and absolutely necessary"
That is just a little fuel for me to keep on journaling, scrapbooking, and blogging.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I still love Mount Rainier more, but this was a different setting. There was a nice beach where you could fish for salmon,
a lake you could swim in (great for the kids)
and the drive there and back was so pretty.
I staked out some great sites for our camping trip next year with a few friends. I found 2 adjoining sites, very private, beautiful setting with room for 3 tents. Who is in?
Friday, September 7, 2007
Here are some pictures of the first day of school and dance class:
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
"He did wonderfully! He is a natural at making friends".
I had to wake him up to get a good breakfast and get ready. He said he was going to miss me so I wrote a quick note saying "I love you!" on it, folded it up and tucked it in his pocket. He told me he would touch the note if he felt sad at school without me. :*)
Tomorrow is Ellie's first day. Expect a report of tears, "DON'T LEAVE ME!", and grabbing at my leg as I drag her into the classroom. She hasn't been exactly enthusiastic about it.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Tonight was Lucas' first class in his new Aikido class. The kids are all bigger and have higher belts than him but he did great. I also noticed that his teacher is a lot more strict with the higher class and she cracks the whip! Love it!
I made a banana cream pie with meringue on top and we are going to have a nice family dinner and talk about all the changes.
Every night at dinner, we have been doing "what was the best and worst part of the day?" and the kids share their thoughts.
Lucas usually says something like "The best part was spending time with you and the worst part was when you took my Transformer away". Ellie, who has not quite grasped the concept yet, says the same thing every night: "The best part was dancing class". Then I ask her the worst part and she says "Hmmmmm.....dancing class".
Nevermind that dance class hasn't even started yet.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
It is made from the old fence wood that came down in the storm. It took me about 90 mins to make. I plan on painting it either a barn red or black and then sanding it to distress it.
Quite proud of myself! Pat.pat.
I wanted a skinny little table to but stuff on, and maybe a lamp, for the downstairs hallway. It is one of the things I don't like about this house, it is dark and there isn't much you can do with it. So I figured I should redo the hallway and figured a skinny table would look nice. Here are a couple of other angles:
I will be painting the hallway too. I have picked a color called Lion Mane (3rd from the top and the color in the example book):
Throw in a bit better lighting (down the road) and some nice pictures and cute country primitive stuff, I am excited that is coming along.
Is there a space in your home that you would love to re-do?