Sunday, October 31, 2010

Miss Halloween Pageant

Submitted by Linda
One of the best days in kindergarten is Halloween. At our school, only the Kindergarten students are allowed to dress up and parade throughout the school. Our team of teachers always tries to do something together that the big kids and teachers will enjoy.

This year, I'm blessed to have a child in my class whose mommy owns the sash company that makes the Miss America sashes! She offered early in the fall to set us up for Halloween. We decided to a pageant/book character mash-up. We ended up with Ms. Frizzle, Miss Pinkalicious (me!), Fancy Nancy (her name is Nancy!), Miss Rose Queen (her name is Rose!), and for our friend who doesn't enjoy the dressing up..... Miss Behavior!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Anti-Procrastination Weekend

Submitted by Michelle
In just 10 short days I will be singing the classic Frank Sinatra song, New York, New York as I board a plane to my favorite city in the U.S. In preparation for my trip I've been a busy bee, trying to get all my ducks in a row so I won't come home to a pile of work. Over the weekend I got busy on my November stamp club cards and with the help of my front row friend Carrie, I got everything prepped and ready to go. Here's a look at what we will be making come November 18th.

I originally designed this card as a birthday party invitation. (I'll be blogging about said party later this week.) My favorite part of this card is the cupcake with white icing. I used Liquid Applique to give it the 3-dimensional look. Liquid Applique goes on wet but when heated, puffs up to a glorious foam. Unfortunately, Stampin' Up does not sell Liquid Applique but you can find it in some craft stores or online. Just click here.
Carrie has brought many things to my life, but one biggie is her love of craft projects as opposed to just cards. She is always looking for bright ideas of things to make as presents. Recently she has been obsessed with mini-calendars. She designed this one and decided our whole club should make it. The background is simply a cardboard coaster which Carrie swiped from a local restaurant. (I'll be purchasing the ones our club will use. Smile.) She covered the coaster with Green House Gala designer paper, added some ribbon and a flower and viola! An adorable holder for the mini-calendar she ordered online. We will attach a magnet to the back and it can be hung on a refrigerator or for me, on my white board at school. Too cute, right?
With Christmas approaching, I thought it appropriate to have the gals in my club make at least 1 holiday card. This Dasher card came together in a matter of seconds. I love simple and clean design and this card is just that. The poinsettia background and the felt stitched ribbon give the card lots of texture, and though it is hard to see, I added some glitter to Dasher's antlers for some bling. If any of my ladies are looking for an easy to make Christmas card, this will fit the bill.
So now that my stamping work is done, I can concentrate on the birthday party I am throwing this weekend and on packing for my trip. I am usually not prepared so far in advance and I am thankful that Carrie helped me avoid the pitfalls of procrastination.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Few New Cards

Submitted by Michelle

Tonight is my monthly card club with my La Quinta Ladies so I've created a few things for them to make. Last month I taught a technique called Poppin' Pastels and I wanted to use it again this month to reinforce what they learned. The card below uses said technique. The pastel chalks on the floral image and the sponging on the edges of the cardstock gives this card a vintage look that I love.
This card is a direct copy from Lis Ljung. She created this card for a make-and-take at a recent demonstrators meeting that I attended. I had already been pining for the Artistic Etchings stamp set and this card sealed the deal for me. I ordered the set immediately and am putting it to good use.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I had to create something that was focused on fall. I used the Falling Leaves stamp set to make this crisp looking card.
That's all for now! I've got a few other card ideas in my back pocket so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera

Submitted by Michelle

In early October Celeste and I took a little road trip to Los Angeles for her first experience with professional musical theatre. Along with our Front Row Friends Linda, Carrie and Carrie's daughter Samantha (or Sis as we like to call her), we made the trek to the Pantages Theatre to watch The Phantom of the Opera. Thanks to Carrie, who ordered the tickets for us many months ago, we had excellent seats and Celeste was able to see everything from the falling chandelier to the boat ride through the misty river. Though we could not take photos inside the theatre, we did get a good picture of all of us in the lobby.
Linda, me, Celeste, Carrie and Sis

There was a huge crowd for the Saturday matinee, but that didn't stop us from holding up traffic on the sidewalk and snapping a few fun photos.
Linda actually sat down on the sidewalk to take these!
After the show we ate dinner at Mario Batali's pizzeria, Mozza. I am a huge Mario fan and I was so happy to introduce my friends to his amazing food.
Celeste isn't big on pizza, but she was quite happy when we ordered dessert: chocolate gelato.
Beauty and the Beast is coming to the Pantages in the Spring and I am fairly certain there will be another all girl road trip in our future.

Make It Work!

I'm not sure how many of our blog readers watch the Bravo reality show, Project Runway, but even if you don't, you may recognize the man in the photo above from his contributions to fashion magazines and books he has published on style and fashion. He is the fabulous Mr. Tim Gunn and I was lucky enough to meet him on Saturday at a fashion show. Thanks to my friend Jennifer, I had a front row seat in the VIP section.
Jennifer enjoys beautiful clothing and handbags and she has already made the manager of our newly opened Kate Spade store her close and personal friend, which lead to our VIP status. I have long been a fan of Kate Spade and don't want to reveal how many of her purses I own, but you may remember my latest acquirement from this blog post. I've made many pilgrimages to the Kate Spade store in Manhattan so you can only imagine my excitement when during the summer I learned her store was being built in the desert. This picture of her store on El Paseo (the desert's version of Rodeo Drive) isn't the best, but the neon signage in the front window says, "She is quick and curious and playful and strong." I like to think that I fit that description most of the time.
The fashion show included clothing and accessories from Lucky Brand, Juicy Couture and Kate Spade.
Tim and his assistant narrated the show and talked about how some of the looks would translate for women who do not have a model sized body.
Here Tim is extolling the virtue of a belt and how it breaks up the look. He also pointed out that jeggings (denim leggings) should only be worn by women have the body of this model.
I love, love, love, polka dots so this coat was right up my alley.
The most important thing Tim had to say was, whatever your age or body type, one needs to wear clothing that fits one's own personal style. Following fashion trends is a nice concept, but not everything works on everyone. Being conscious of proportion and silhouette, and keeping in mind that the body should be divided into thirds is key to looking good.

The thirds concept is simply this: a woman should divide herself from shoulders to waist, waist to knee, and knee to feet. Shirts should be tucked in, skirts should either fall just above the knee or just below the knee and belts are a huge help when wearing something that can't be tucked in. I don't own many belts and I often wear my shirts untucked for the sake of comfort, but as Tim said, "If you want to be comfortable, stay in bed!" I'm planning to give his thirds suggestion a try this week.
A minor celebrity at the show was Michael Costello, a current contestant on Project Runway and Palm Springs native.
Jennifer and I also made a new friend whilst sitting in the front row. We hit it off with Candice right away and it turns out she and Jennifer have several mutual friends.
As VIP's we also received a bag of swag, as Jennifer calls it. In the bag was an autographed copy of Tim's latest book Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making it Work, new fragrances from Kate Spade and Juicy, bracelets from Monet, and other fun presents. Not a bad way for a kindergarten teacher to spend a Saturday afternoon

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

Submitted by Linda
Nine years ago, our 9 and 10 year old boys wished for a dog, especially Nick. We ended up at the Humane Society in Pasadena, where we began our journey as a dog owners. I had been reluctant, at first, and had threatened to name any dog that we got "Mother" (because I'd be leaving, haha). We ended up with our friend Toby (a female, but named after Toby Keith, because the boys didn't want a dog with a girly name like "princess" or "lady").

Over time, I went from reluctant dog owner to loyal fan of Toby. I took her to doggy school, and began walking her regularly. I even learned her language, and was able to translate her different barks (you know, the "I want out" bark, "the boys are wrestling!" bark, "my bowl is empty" bark).

While we were with Toby at home, she was literally the perfect dog, aside from the shedding.
You may remember this picture from last May.
This was from New Year's eve, with a grown up Nick.
Ironically, our dog who was so perfect when we were home, was a nut case when we were gone. Over the years, we've tried every strategy to keep her contained and happy while we were at school during the days. I have many stories of her busting out of her chain link kennel to come over to school to see the boys (back in their elementary days), and as recently as 2 Fridays ago, to find me. To make a long story short, she has become so anxious when we're gone, that she harms herself to escape. Hard to believe this sweet girl could do that, right?
Well, after months of worry, and a recent increase in the amount of damage to herself, we decided to do the humane thing, and 'set her free'. Though it was far from easy, it was the right thing to do, for Toby.

I will miss her wagging her tail by the back door each time I come in, and her deep breathing as she laid beside my bed, especially when Craig is out of town.

I was emailed a sweet poem from a friend today about dogs and heaven. I'm pretty certain that if there weren't dogs in heaven before, there's one there now.