Monday, August 31, 2009

True Beauty

My first post over at the Lily Bee blog is up! It's all about Audrey, inspired not only by Miss Hepburn herself, but also by the AMAZING new Audrey collection from Lily Bee. Here's a layout I created using this incredible line:

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

-- Audrey Hepburn

My post also kicks off the month-long September challenge, offering two lucky winners a chance to receive the entire Audrey collection. Score, right? If'n you're interested in some Audrey goodness, then be sure to check out the full post here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Five Faves Friday

Just a quick list before the clock strikes midnight and these become Saturday faves:

1. As soon as I walked in the door this afternoon,
my husband Rob (a total WoW geek) demanded
that I drop everything and watch this:

Geek-sexy. The video features Felicia Day,
whom you may recognize from...
2. Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog.
I saw this for the first time today
(thanks once again to Rob).
How had I never heard of this before today?

3. This week, we've been busy launching
my daughter's student council campaign,
and I must admit, I am so loving
what our late nights and
last minute efforts have produced.

Win or lose,
at least we both learned more about Photoshop. :)

4. Did you catch Sunday night's episode of True Blood?
I can't believe
that there are only two episodes left of the season.
This show always keeps me guessing.
I seriously have no idea where the plot is
going next, and I DIG that.
No clue. All I know is that I hope that
Maryanne gets her comeuppance.
She both intrigues and annoys me.
Mostly the latter.
I've been curious about the book series,
but I don't want anything to
cloud my vision of the show right now.
Maybe once the season ends,
I'll read the first couple of books.
I've heard that there are some big differences.
If any of you have read them, how's the writing?

5. My last favorite is my BEST favorite for the week.
During a science experiment a few days ago in class,
one of my students --
who can always use a confidence boost --
suddenly threw up his arms in the air
and shouted,
He was overjoyed that his results confirmed his hypothesis.

I won't remember the experiment,
but I will always remember his face.

Sorry for the simple and dirty fives this week --
it's been a long one!

Before I pass out for the night,
here's a layout I did last weekend
using Lily Bee patterned paper, Prima flowers,
and bits and pieces from my
latest Studio Calico kit, among other items:

Ooh, and have you seen the new release
from Collage Press, "Joyride"?
Check it out here.
I'm not usually a fan of Christmas lines.
I'll buy maybe one sheet and use it very sparingly.
This line, though, is not glitzy or overdone,
as so many Christmas lines are.
It's just plain PERFECT.
As such, I have to have it all, of course.

My favorite paper so far is this one:
It contains an excerpt from Pride and Prejudice.
Oh my.
I'm thinking layouts, mini albums, wallpaper.
This SO puts the joy in Joyride.
That and the fact that there are more lines to come!

P.S. Sorry about writing in "verse" form this time around.
The formatting on this post was kind of wonky.
I kind of like it this way, though. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Five Faves Friday

Today Hawaii celebrates its 50th year of statehood, which leads me to the first of my five faves for the week:

1. No school today! I wish I could write that every Friday. I'm pretty sure that every single one of my students wishes the same thing. Unfortunately, majority doesn't rule when it comes to decision-making in schools. As a former principal of mine once declared, "This is not a democracy. It is a totalitarian regime."

2. I celebrated statehood by embracing free expression, remaining in my pajamas almost all day. I finally got dressed at 3:00 and took Zoe to see Post Grad. Ah, the things I do for air conditioning. My advice? Don't wait for it to come out on video. Wait for it to show up on Lifetime or the Oxygen channel, where it truly belongs. I did like some of the music, however. So what does any of this have to do with my second fave? I got to see the trailer for Whip It, and I CANNOT WAIT to see this movie:

3. While we're on the subject of teams (not roller derbies), exactly one week ago today I received some AMAZING news: I've been asked to join the Lily Bee design team, starting in September! To say that I am stoked is an understatement. You know that guy in high school that you stared at because he was so handsome he was BEAUTIFUL? That's how I feel about Lily Bee and its stare-worthy papers. To actually have my paper crush "stare back" is both incredible and surreal to me.

4. I have discovered the perfect pen for me: the Uniball Gel Impact.
I use it at work and while playing with paper. It writes so smoothly, and it's acid free. Ooh, and when it runs out of ink, you can buy refills for it instead of having to buy an entirely new pen. Score.

5. My favorite "fave" of the week was seeing my mom try on her wedding dress last Sunday. She was beaming, and beautifully so. Of course I have lots of photos, but I'm not about to risk having the groom see the dress before the big day. Sorry. You'll have to make do with a bunch of bridesmaids at their dress fitting, myself included:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Collage Press Giveaway

Not one,
not two,
not three,
but FOUR
kits are up for grabs over at the Collage Press blog.

That's right -- Collage Press is giving away four kits, and all you have to do is leave a comment on the Design Day thread in order to win one.

For this month's Design Day, I created a mini-album using a mix of past Collage Press collections:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Five Faves Fried Day

At long last, it's Friday!

A lack of sleep can make any week seem twice as long as usual. Now that school has started again, I've been getting just a few hours of sleep a night. The beginning of a school year is both exhausting and exciting. Everything is so new; anything seems possible. This is the exciting part. However, when it comes to planning lessons and managing class time, exhaustion sets in pretty quickly. The students haven't yet settled into a routine, or revealed their special strengths or challenges. They're not yet in a position to take more active roles in class, so I tend to overplan, to ensure that I am using every moment of class efficiently, and I tend to spend a lot of class time "performing," exhausting myself in my attempts at a one-woman show for three different grade levels daily. By the time I hit the end of the week, it's not Friday, it's Fried Day. Now that it's Friday night, I'm looking forward to falling asleep and staying asleep for at least eight full hours.

Regardless of my sleep-silly state of mind, this week's Five Faves Friday is devoted to five bright spots that occurred during my waking hours this week:

1. A Fresh Start. I'm really looking forward to working with this year's classes. They all seem to be bursting with energy and effort. Granted, we're only a week in, and many will fall into more comfortable patterns soon enough, but I'm hoping that they'll remain motivated and passionate about learning. One of the highlights of this week was working with the "newbies," our sixth graders, who have never switched classes before this year. They were so afraid before our first class, but after their first day of switching, they couldn't wait to do it again. I love their enthusiasm and honesty, not to mention their curiosity. They're full of questions, and are genuinely yearning for answers. Their excitement is contagious.

2. Worth It. Months ago, I bought tickets to the August 11 No Doubt concert for my daughter and me. Weeks later, I received the 2009-2010 school year calendar, and saw that school would be starting on August 10. Wuh oh. On Sunday night, I read the fine print on our tickets and saw that the concert would be starting at 8:00 p.m. Say whaa? We braved it anyway -- I mean, it's No Doubt. School night or not, we're there.

It was definitely worth giving up a few hours of sleep. Even though our seats kind of sucked, we still enjoyed ourselves. Gwen was awesome, as always. Z and I could not stop marveling at her abs, or her level of energy. The woman is a goddess.

I've loved No Doubt since I was in high school, and apparently I'm not alone in that. Most of the people in attendance seemed to be in their 30s. That was surprising to me -- but then again, it was a school night. Z was maybe one of just a handful of tweens there.

My favorite songs performed were "It's My Life" (amazing sound) and "Stand and Deliver" (the band pulled drums to the edge of the stage and went crazy).

I must admit to feeling somewhat nauseated at times during the show. The thirtysomethings gathered around us were apparently hearing something in the music that I didn't, gyrating and grating into each other as if they were in a scene from True Blood. Who freaking does pelvic thrusts to "Simple Kind of Life"? How messed up is that? Luckily, the beer haze took over soon enough, and by the end of the concert, the horndogs were slumped over in their chairs, disoriented and sated.

3. "Sunshine." Matt Costa opened for No Doubt. I felt bad for him, though. The audience didn't really seem into him. I guess they came for a rowdy and raucous show, which isn't exactly Matt Costa's vibe. I didn't care -- he's freaking MATT COSTA! He's been inhabiting my playlists for the longest time. And when he finally sang "Sunshine" near the end of his set, I could barely hold my camera steady:

As you can see, our seats weren't the greatest, and I brought my little point-and-shoot rather than my "good" camera, but at least I have a little bit of "Sunshine" to remember here.

4. Band Slam. I saw it. I liked it. I know you think I'm kidding when I write this, but I kid you not. Z was curious about this movie, and I had had enough of this horrible humid weather, so we went to a showing after school today. I had extremely low expectations, especially based on the corny trailer that I had seen. Then Rob told us that the movie had a "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I figured, why not? There must be something there. And there was! This film certainly has its cornball moments, but it's also smart and funny at times. It's also a movie for music lovers. The actual band's songs are not that memorable, but the soundtrack is great. I also love that the main character plays a geek while actually looking like a geek; I'm so tired of movies that "clean up the geek" and give you some pretty boy in disguise.

5. A Surprise. I just got an email today that made me very, very, VERY happy. I can't share the details yet, but it's definitely worth its place on my faves list for this week. Woo and hoo, I say!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Five Faves Friday, or Fiving Faving Fridaying

As summer draws to a close and the school year begins, I am dedicating this week's faves list to my five favorite summertime 2009 activities. Here are my five "-ing" activities from this past summer:

1. Spending time with family.
2. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.
3. Scrapping my days and nights away.
4. Reconnecting with old friends.
5. Sleeping in until 10:00 a.m.

This is not to say that now that the school year has arrived, these activities will be discontinued. I just won't have the time and the freedom to do these things as often as I'd like.

For instance, I'd rather spend time with family while feeling happy and carefree, as opposed to de-stressing daily in their presence and calling that "family time."

I'd rather sleep without an alarm clock, but since "hobo" is not a vocation that I'd like to pursue at this time, I need to curb that habit right away.

Of course I'll keep scrapping, but instead of generating one or more pages each day, I'll be lucky if I can create one per week. Still, one is better than none, right?

I am happy, though, to have a routine of sorts back in my life. Summer is not the most stable season for me. I tend to lose myself in the litany of days.

It's both disappointing and refreshing to shake off Lazy Summer Me, and to shift my perspective toward the school year ahead. I'm excited about all of the things my colleagues and I have planned for this year, and I'm looking forward to teaching once again.

Perhaps along the way I'll figure out how to live purposefully and productively. Let the balancing act begin again...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From Must Have to Now Have

For a few weeks, Amanda Johnson has been revealing her new collection, "Housewife", piece by piece. It's been like taking small bites of an incredible piece of cheesecake, with each bite occurring days apart. Today, though, I totally binged -- minutes ago, Amanda just revealed the entire kit, and it's, well, WAY better than cheesecake:

And what good is a cheesecake if you can't share it with friends? Want some? Check it out here.

Yum yum. I'm tempted to get seconds.