Cotton Row 5K & The End of Staycation

Monday, May 31, 2010

29:42. I officially did it- I broke 30 minutes in a 5K!!! I've never been so happy to place 480th in something in my entire life!! And with 1976 runners that were in this year's Cotton Row 5K, I'd say that's not bad (especially a mere 7 months after my second knee surgery).

See that teeming crush of humanity? That was the starting line.

I was here (look for the bright green arrow). I'm pretty sure that at that moment I was telling myself the same thing I tell myself at the beginning of any 5K- "you will not die of boredom, you will not die of boredom..."

Darren was very sweet and took photos for me...we'll call this one my "determined" look. Because that sounds so much better than the "I'm seriously sucking wind, here" look.

And this is me with the finish line in my sights. My old software lead from SAIC (hi, Joe!) was watching (his daughter was also running), and when I ran past him with about a tenth of a mile to go he looked at the clock, and then I looked at the clock, and then he started yelling something about 29 minutes, and I started sprinting.

Based on my start (it was really hard to find a pace with that many people starting at the same time) I didn't think I had a chance of getting anywhere close to that time. But, hey, there's my bouncing pony tail crossing the finish line!

Later in the afternoon I did something else I've never done before...I spent a little time at the spa here. :)

So, I had a great end to my staycation...and tomorrow is back to work and coding. Want to know a secret? I actually miss work just a little...

15 Minute Scrapbooking

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've thoroughly enjoyed my little staycation, but next week I'll be back at work and won't have the large, uninterrupted chunks of scrapping time that I've become accustomed to recently.

Yesterday I decided to try a little experiment (not that it was really an experiment since I know from past experience that this process works). I set the timer on my iPhone for 15 minutes and started working on the page below. I had already chosen my inspiration piece (the page is a total lift, but I don't remember who made the original- I think it was Jennifer Johner), so I started with photo editing and printing and went from there. Each time the timer went off, I forced myself to work on another (non-scrapping) task. I could have done the page all in one shot, but I was trying to simulate what life was like on a "normal" day.


I definitely did not finish the page in 15 minutes, but during each 15 minute session I was amazed at what I could accomplish in such a short period of time. I think it took 5 sessions to finish the page, and that included me getting sidetracked during one of them and organizing my Spellbinders dies after cutting the scalloped circles (that needed to be done, anyway).

So many times over the last few weeks and months I've wanted to start a page or project but haven't because I didn't have time to finish it all "right then." How silly of me! I should have known better, especially after years of Flylady, and it's one of the great accomplishments of my staycation that I've reacquainted myself with this method. Hopefully it's something that I'll stick with- I guess I just needed a "reset" of sorts.

I noted two things that really made the process of being able to scrap during little chunks of time work. First, it's a huge help if your supplies are organized and easily accessible. I've got the scrap room so organized now that I can quickly find just what I need. Second, having a place where you can leave your unfinished work (and corresponding supplies) out and not have to put them away after each session is almost a must. If you're lacking a place to do this in your home, I would encourage you to find one- a corner of your bedroom, a side table in the dining room, or even a desk built into a closet would work! You're totally worth carving out a little piece of your home just for you. :)

Introducing the ScrappyJedi Etsy Shop!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I finally did it! I've been wanting to open my own Etsy shop to sell cupcake wrappers and toppers for months, and since I had this week off I decided it was a good time to start.

As of right now there are only two listings- one for the toppers pictured below and one for the wrappers.

One of the cool thing about these is that they can be customized in so many ways. Over the coming weeks and months I will be designing more color sets to add to the shop, but I also welcome (gladly, with open arms) any custom orders. I also plan on adding coordinating favor bags, invitations, thank you cards, and whatever else I can come up with. :)

I have the following shades of crepe paper on hand (I'm pretty tickled that I found polka dot and zebra print paper!). Mix and match as many different colors per set as you like.

And for the toppers, I have the following center designs available in addition to your choice of colors above. If you want to order but don't see exactly what you need here, please send me a message and I'm sure I can find something that will be perfect for your next party. :)

You can find a preview and a link to my little shop just to the right of this post.

And not to worry- I definitely do not plan to turn this into an all Etsy, all the time blog. I expect I'll only have a shop related post every week or two, and the rest of the time will be regularly scheduled scrapping and sci-fi content.

I'm so excited to finally have this little venture started!

Friday Favorites: More Flowers

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone!! I'm on the last few days of my staycation and have had a fabulous time making stuff, watching old movies and TV shows, getting caught up on some housework, and doing lots and lots of reading.

Handmade flowers of all types are a hot trend in scrapping right now. Early last month I shared a post full of them, and today I'm bringing you another round. Ready for some more floral fun?

From left to right:
  • American Crafts has a video on their blog showing how to make these fun rolled fabric flowers.
  • These crepe paper flowers by Lisa Pace are so beautiful. Her method is very similar to the one I use to make my crepe paper cupcake toppers, except I only make one layer of ruffles for mine.
  • Learn how to make these spiral paper flowers on Pink Paislee's blog.
  • Kristina Werner shares a video on her blog showing how to make a gathered paper flower (and the rest of the card, too!).
  • Find directions for making these lovely tissue paper flower centerpieces on Once Wed.
  • Jennifer McGuire shows examples of many, many, many different handmade flower embellishments.
  • I love the color and the layering in these coffee filter flowers by Rhonna Farrer.
  • Check out these lovely layered paper and transparency flowers on the Hambly Screen Prints blog.
  • A Million Memories has another video tutorial for you showing how to make these dainty paper flowers.
Have a scrappy weekend, everyone!

How Vintage Am I

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Last week I was listening to an episode of Paperclipping Roundtable (while running a 5K on the track at the gym), and as usual sparked some creative thoughts (and really, really made me want to scrap). Tim Holtz was the guest, and so of course the topic was vintage style. I hadn't expected to be very interested in the topic- after all, I like to scrap with bright colors and lots of white space, and vintage is all about being cluttered and muted and having all the edges inked in brown, right?

Wrong. Oh, so wrong. It turns out that I do like vintage-style scrapping, just not that kind of vintage.

I'm actually more this kind of vintage...

...which I think qualifies as retro. This photo was taken with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, which I became obsessed with (thanks to this post by Shimelle Laine) at about the same time as I listened to that PRT episode. Yes, the app intentionally makes your photos look like they're taken with a toy camera, but since iPhone photos are often pretty bad to begin with, why not go all the way with it, right? I totally love the washed "70's" look it gives photos.

And then I looked at the last couple of scrapbook pages I've had in the works and started to pick out various "retro vintage" elements in them.

Let's see, there's some hand-ruffled crepe paper, some elements from Making Memories Vintage Findings collection (purchased when I found a ton of it on clearance), and even some retro-looking die cuts from the Handmade and Serendipity collections by K & Company. So there are definitely vintage touches to be found on my pages.

I edited the photos for each of these pages normally- no 70's wash-out here- but added vintage-style frames to each before printing. The frames for both pages came from kits by Kitschy Digitals- I've bought several of Danielle's kits lately (she sells them here and here).

I'm especially drawn to the bright colors in many of the Kitschy Digitals kits, and that love of bright colors and retro elements brought me to another couple of blogs of the same style- Gnome and Birdy and Pugly Pixel. Pugly Pixel, by the way, gives away some amazing free clip-art. The Paper Buffet is my latest favorite.

The whole kitschy-retro-theme (I seem to be picking up modifiers as I go along...) is also reflected in some of my recent scrapping purchases. I have ordered and can't wait to get my hands on two of October Afternoon's latest lines- Thrift Shop and Fly a Kite.



And Sassafras Lass totally has the colorful retro vibe going on, as well, in their Nerdy Bird and Cherry Delicious lines.


It would seem that a little (okay a lot) of the vintage style has crept into my home decorating, as well.

I love almost anything Shabby Chic, as is evidenced by the fact that I love white furniture, and if my furniture isn't white I will almost immediately start scheming of a way to get it painted. (Photo taken from the gallery on the Shabby Chic web site.)


Did you notice the white wash of paint behind the photo strips in one of my pages above? Yup, definitely a Shabby touch.

I also love Amy Butler's fabrics (especially her new turquoise and green collections at Bed, Bath, and Beyond), which definitely have a vintage feel to them. I've also got lots of her scrapbook papers...


So I guess that makes me a shabby-retro-kitschy sort of vintage scrapper. :)

Staycation Update

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wow! I am having the most wonderful time being off of work for a little while and doing some projects that I both want and need to do (often, though, it's not something I both want and need to do at the same time). I want to get it all documented here on the blog because I know that in a couple of weeks, once I'm back at work, I'm going to look back at this time and wonder what in the world it was that I actually did while I was off. :)

I started Thursday evening with a trip to Sam's Club to procure another 2 pound package of blueberries to snack on (they're $8 a crate- an awesome price!). I've also been a bit obsessed with the Hipstamatic app for my iPhone as of late- I love the look of old, really badly exposed photos for some reason. Yup, that's right, I shoot a Nikon D3, and have been known to edit my images to try to get them to look like old Polaroids.

Friday was not technically a vacation day, but I was off for my usual 9/80 Friday. As is often the case with my off Fridays I ended up running errands for the better part of the day. I picked up loads of different colors of crepe paper streamers at Hobby Lobby and Party City, and also got Star Wars pancake molds and cookie cutters at Williams Sonoma.

Friday's errand list also included stops at Anthropologie and Bed, Bath, and Beyond where I picked up some items to spruce up the bathroom, including this awesome Amy Butler shower curtain I've been eyeing. Before you see this photo, I will warn you that my bathroom is ugly. I mean really, really ugly. The brown tile is hideous and is slated to be removed at some point when I have time and funding. Mostly the issue there is just time.

Oh, and here are some more Hipstamatic photos of Bridge Street, just because I felt like playing. :)

Also on Friday our realtor called to let us know that a tree had fallen onto our garage during a wind storm the night before. This is the house we have a contract on and are expecting to sell in the next 6 weeks or so. Insurance is covering it and it's not going to affect the sale, but, still, look at that damage!!

On Saturday I picked up a few more accessories for the bathroom, but haven't taken any photos of it since I put it all back together.

I've also been working on some other house projects, such as the great Rearranging of the Scrap Room. I'll share one photo here, though I've done a lot of work and put a lot of things away since this was taken. It gives you an idea of what my desk looks like in front of the window, though- I love having it there!

Other household projects have included unpacking what seems like a neverending pile of boxes and culling items out to put into a yard sale (hopefully to be held next month).

Of course I've been spending lots of time in the scrap room, as well. I learned to make crepe paper rosettes, which I then turned into cupcake toppers. I've made a couple of different sets so far.

As you can see, I already have the 4th of July on the brain. I've even bought coordinating sprinkles!

I scrapped this page, which is pretty much a complete scraplift of May Flaum's layout here. I hope May doesn't mind that I copied her, but I totally loved her idea to just print the Spring Junque border (by House of 3) out onto kraft paper and then cut around it. I'd recently bought those borders and didn't know quite what I was going to do with them, so this was perfect.

And I've done a ton of work on my Week in the Life album. All the photos are edited and printed, and I've also printed the overlays (directly onto kraft paper) and started assembling the collage pages. Now I just need to get the rest of the photos and items into pocket pages, do my journaling, and embellish. I think that for me the photo editing is the hardest part of that entire project.

I've also been doing some reading, including this book on my iPad (when I'm at the gym)

and this book when I'm lounging on the daybed in the back yard.

Star Wars Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor

A new Star Wars book was just released today, as well, and since I had it on Kindle preorder it's now sitting on my iPad waiting for me to get to it.

On the watched list, I have this stack of movies (all watched in the background while I scrapped or edited or reorganized).

As of this evening I can also add Return of the Jedi to that list. 

There are also some shows I've actually watched without another project going on- Chuck, Lost (I was very, very disappointed in the finale), the season finale of Castle (sniff, sniff), the last episode of the first series of Doctor Who (I'm going to miss Christopher Eccleston...a lot...I don't care how great David Tennant's hair is), and even some Scarecrow and Mrs. King since I finally have it on DVD. Bruce Boxleitner was so young!!

Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete First Season

There have also been trips to the gym (I'm actually about to go run again shortly), church, groceries, laundry, and cooking (I made chicken parmesan from Pioneer Woman's recipe over the weekend) and lots of little daily things.

I've kind of fallen into a nice routine...I could get used to this not working thing. :)

It's Good To Be Geek : Things That Go Vroom, and Muppets!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's been far too long since I've done a geek post- I really need to do them more often. I'm actually surprised that my brother hasn't gotten after me about it yet!

By the way, did you know the difference between geek, nerd, dweeb, and dork? No? That's okay, neither did I until I saw it explained in a Venn diagram on The Great White Snark.


Cool, eh? I like being at the intersection of intelligence and obsession.

The have one for operating systems, too.


As a geek, I have a certain fondness for fast cars. Or at least for cars that look fast. In reality, I could care less if they are capable of breaking the sound barrier because, at most, I get to drive around 70mph on a daily basis. They could take any of these car bodies and drop in my Honda Civic engine and I would be a happy camper. A heretical camper to all the big engine junkies out there, but a happy camper nonetheless.

Here are three (semi) recent examples of concept car awesomeness dredged up from Geeky Gadgets.

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept


Audi R8 GT


Alfa Romeo Pandion Concept


Aren't they all so pretty?

And now to switch gears without a clutch to...the Muppets!! Yes, the Muppets have been a recurring theme around here lately, from tons of mentions on the interwebs to Darren's fascination with the new towels...he's actually named them Rolfe (and his clones).

The Muppets are best viewed in video, don't you think? Like these gems from YouTube...they have their own channel now, dontcha know? :)

Stand By Me is pretty funny...

As are the Muppets trying out for Star Wars (come on, you didn't think I'd get through a geek post without mentioning Star Wars, did you?

The Muppets don't just look good in video, though- they look awesome on cupcakes, as well! Images courtesy of Cupcakes Take the Cake.



And, in my last bit of Muppet News, it's been revealed that Wash (of Firefly fame- come on, you knew that I also couldn't get through a geek post without also mentioning Firefly...) is actually a Fraggle.


And in other Geek TV news, Chuck has been renewed for a fourth season and, alas, Lost is (finally!) over. I haven't watched the final episode yet- it's on tonight's to-do list. I can't wait to see how The Ack Attack sums it up, though. This one is from many weeks back, so I feel safe posting it in all of its snarky goodness.


"This week on Lost, Jack and Claire do some family bonding, Sawyer takes charge, Sayid tries to whack Desmond, Sun and Jin finally reunite, and more crap explodes."

Mostly I'm just stuck on this show right now, though...

And you know I just can't do a geek post without including a photo of this guy. :)

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