Friday, September 19, 2014

Masculine Birthday Card & Bright Green Capri's - size XL

Wow - what a strange title for a blog post!  Do these two topics have anything to do with each other? Well, actually no.  But I'm in the mood to talk about both so here you go.

First, above is a fun birthday card I made a few weeks ago.  I love the fact that this can work for ANYONE.  I have such trouble with men and birthday's.  The only success I've had with masculine cards in the past is to use a nature scene (like tree or something) but this birthday cake works well for a guy - don't you think?

So now that we've got the card out of the way, let me tell you about my new bright green capri's - size XL.  Sadly, the 15 pound weight loss I achieved a few years ago has all been gained back.  Sigh.  I know many of you can relate.  What happened?  Well the first year, a few pounds came back on.  I should have been concerned but we were moving and life was busy and heck it was only 3-5 pounds. Then 2014 happened.  Work, Stress.  Travel.  Stress...... not a great combination for maintaining a healthy weight.  I gained 10 pounds in 12 months.  Sigh.  But I'm down 2 pounds since Sept 1st so I'm on the right track...  I've been logging my food using my fitbit and working extra hard to get to the gym 3 times a week, and 10,000 steps every day.  I also started doing 20 minute Yoga routines every morning.  I had too.  My whole body ached from working too much and moving too little.

I highly recommend doing yoga every day.  It's made a huge difference for me.  I just do a little routine up on the 3rd floor (available to me now that the newlyweds moved out.) I start with this great little stretch with a belt where I hold the belt in front of me and go up and over my head and around to my back.... it's a great stretch for shoulders/arms and is EXACTLY what I need to counter all the computer work I do.  Then I do three Sun A's and three Sun B's.  If I have time I do dancer or tree, but generally I hit the floor and do 60 crunch type things for the abs and then 2 eight breath bridges.  To finish I do a side stretch and I'm done.  The core work is really good to do every day.  It's so much easier to do the ab work now that I do it daily.

Sun A...

Sun B....

Shoulder stretch...

The shoulder stretch is one that Rebecca does a lot in our Thursday night hot yoga class.  You can check out her blog (OmGal)  ...She's an awesome yoga teacher... love her!

Oh and to make it FUN, I burn a tiny piece of real Japanese incense and turn on my TV (sound only) to soundscape channel.  Bob makes fun of me and my 'yoga' studio!   I entice Tank to join me with a treat.  He gladly hauls it up two flights of stairs for a treat and he sits on the floor and watches - either out the window or at me.  I love that he keeps me company.  Joey?  Well, he can't easily climb the stairs - so I give him a treat and he hangs out on the first floor with Bob.

So what does any of this have to do with bright green capri's?  Well,  I like bright green. I like bright colors.  And even though I"m not a size small or even a medium, I decided to buy them and actually wear them in public.  Here is my thinking.  My rear end looks big in black, grey, brown, pink, red and green.  the color of my pants sadly does nothing to even disguise the size of my tushy.  So I figure, buy what fits, buy what I like and get a top that covers the widest part and HAVE FUN.

So when I saw these on sale at Athleta last week, I bought them.  And I wear them to yoga and Zumba.  And lots of other girls are wearing bright colors - even if they don't wear size small.  The key for me, is get them to fit.  I'm not really an XL, I'm probably more of a L, but with capri's,  I don't want them too tight.  They stretch out and get see through.  That is bad in ANY COLOR.  So this fall, I'm rocking the bright green capri's.

What do you think?  Should big girls stick to dark colors?  Would you dare to wear these in size XL or even S or M?  I hope so.  Life is too short to not do what you love.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Who loves fall?

Hi friends,

I love fall, how about you?  Even though we are still having hot and humid weather here in New England in September, there are still all kinds of tell-tale signs that fall is soon to arrive.  The markets already have local apples (YUM), the days are shorter and leaves are just starting to fall - just a few.

This card is a perfect celebration of the end of summer start of fall, with the yellow sunflower heads and the yellow/brown backgound papers.  I made this card for the commission order I got this summer, but had an 'oopsy' on the lower portion so adjusted this one to be square.  I kept this one for myself (sent the other 3 'non-oopsy' ones off) and am glad to have it.  One of the girls I work with had a heart attack over labor day weekend and Wednesday underwent triple bi-pass surgery.  I'll send off this cheery card to her to let her know I'm thinking of her.

So, the last time I posted a blog entry, it was mid-August and the craziness of the summer was waning.  Let me give you a further update - I'll try to keep it brief.

Sarah and Ivan love their new apartment in Beverly.  It's great that they have their own place and they are having fun decorating on a budget.  Last I heard they were trying to figure out how to put bookshelves in the living room.  Ivan started a new job in Mid-August and really likes it.  It's precision manufacturing work.  He works on a microscope and very carefully puts extra tiny things together to test semiconductor electronic devices.  He likes the hours (8-4:30), he likes the steady pay check and he likes the skilled nature of the work.  Sarah got a new job that she will start in September.  She will be working for a start up publishing company as an editorial assistant.  The company publishes books on cooking, crafts and anything else that is new and up and coming.  She is excited for the opportunity.  Both will be working in Salem MA (the next town over from Beverly) and they will have an 8 minute commute to work.

Eric headed back to school to start his Junior Year at Clemson University.  He will continue studying Bio-systems engineering.  He had considered switching majors to Bio-Medical but decided in the end to stay with his current major.  Bio-systems would be anything to do with biology in engineering  It's a broader and newer field than bio-med.  Think water purification or bio fuel, not just heart valves and knee replacements.

As for me, well, I had another crazy work trip last week.  This time I was off to Germany.  It was a good training trip.  The work was hard, but we had really good success with this group and they were a tough group to teach.  I lost my iphone in Germany - I blame it on jet lag carelessness.  Thankfully the phone was 2 years old and I was planning to get the new iphone.  I found an old clamshell phone in the junk drawer and am using that until I can get my new iphone.  I forgot how spoiled I was with all the user friendly features of the iphone!  the worst part of my clamshell phone is the ringtone.  I have no options and have selected 'dancing cowboy' as my tone of choice.  Yes, it's as bad as you would think from the name, but believe it or not, it was the best option I found.

Well, there is banana bread baking in the oven and I'm off to do some yoga before I head over to Market Basket and Trader Joe's to get food for the week.  If you have been following the news, we are all SOOO glad the marketbasket management fiasco is done.   Thankfully it had a happy ending and customers and employees alike are excited for the future.  If you missed the story, you can check it out here.

Market Basket Story

Thanks for visiting.  Have a great day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chaos to Calm - Life in the {empty} nest again

My daughter and son-in-law moved in their first apartment on Monday and my son headed back to college yesterday so the chaos of the summer is over and calm once again is restored in the Monroe household.  I'm not too sure I like the new calm, but it is our new reality so I'll adjust again to the empty nest and settle in to the new routine.

But oh my word - what a chaotic week to get to this moment of calm.  Last weekend a friend of mine got married on Jeter Mountain, in Hendersonville NC.  I had just returned from my 3 week Asia trip, but we were not going to miss Melissa's wedding so off we went Friday night.   US Airways got us to Charlotte on time at 9:30 pm, but we didn't arrive to our hotel till 12:30 am since it was a 1 1/2 drive to the hotel and Charlotte NC is not known for speedy service at the rental car counter.  We got back home Sunday afternoon at 3:30 only to head straight from the airport up to Beverly to help Sarah and Ivan move in.  Sigh.  I was tired!

My in-laws were already at the apartment with a truck full of furniture and boxes (stuff people had been setting aside for S&I for their first apartment.)  Thank goodness for my in-laws.  They were a HUGE help in bringing all the stuff over and unpacking the first round of boxes before we arrived.  We finished up the non-furniture pieces and headed back to Waltham and enjoyed a nice dinner with everyone.

Once home, we had to find a place for everyone to sleep and park.  We had 5 cars to tuck into our city home driveways (2 in the front - 3 in the back.)  Our darling 3 bedroom condo is cozy, but we managed to get a sleeping surface for all 7 of us and lights were out by 10:30 pm.  Monday morning was off to an oh-dark-thirty start as Bob and I were up and at em at 5:30 am.  I had a full training class to teach in our Northern Boston location and training would start at 8:30 promptly with 22 users ready to learn a completely new system.  At 6:00 am, Eric greets me with a dreaded sentence 'Mom, I don't feel so well.'   

Eric had just returned Saturday night from West Africa.  He was part of 6 person team from Clemson who joined Engineers without Borders in The Gambia to begin a 5 year partnership with the community to improve life for the community in areas of bio-engineering (think water improvements, solar power....)  

10 minutes after Eric give me the dreaded sentence, he is violently ill in the bathroom. I wasn't nearby but Bob says he thought his toenails came out - it was that bad.

Sigh.  Not a great day to have a very sick young man.  In-laws are in bed upstairs.  Daughter and son-in-law are in bed upstairs.  Bob and I are moments away from heading off to work and an entire apartment needed to get unpacked and Eric's man-power was required to get the dressers and mattress to the 2nd floor apartment.

Oh and did I mention that many of us were trying hard not to think about Ebola as Eric is sick, but it was definitely on our minds as Eric went back to the couch moaning. Fun times. Not to spoil the end  of the story but Eric did NOT have Ebola.......

So, Bob and I give Eric a glass of water and bucket and send him to our room with the shades drawn and tell him to rest.  We head off to work and hope for the best.

When I get a break at 10:00 am from my training class I contact Eric's doctor and get him an appointment.  Bob checks in with the others and is re-assured that S&I were able to manage the heavy pieces and the move is going as scheduled.

Eric arrives at Mount Auburn Medical Center (1/2 a mile from our house) and gets situated in the examining room.  The darling nurse begins checking his vitals and asking him questions... 'so you've been feeling under the weather.. tell me about it.'  Eric describes his symptoms.  Nurse asks 'are you on any new medications?'  Eric replies 'well I am just finishing my malaria pills' Nurse 'oh, were you travelling out of the country?  where were you?'  Eric 'Well I got back from West Africa Saturday night.'  

The nurse and anyone else in the near vicinity jump back and literally run from the room like roaches when a light bulb is turned on.  Lots of scurrying is going on outside the examining room and a few moments later Dr. Becker cracks open the door to the examining room.  'Are you Eric from West Africa?' Eric replies 'yup.'  Dr. Becker rolls his eyes and say's 'we'll be back with you in a few minutes.'

The good news is that Ebola protocol is in full swing in MA health clinics.  

I guess the nurse had gotten enough of his vitals to confirm to the doctor that Eric did not have a fever so the Dr. and nurse return with gloves, masks (and a mask for Eric) and come back to the room.  If they had hazmat suits in the office, they would have been wearing them.  After further exam it is determined that Eric has gotten a parasite from his trip to Africa, a very common thing to happen, and an antibiotic is prescribed along with strict instructions to stay home and rest for 2 days.  Thankfully the parasite is not contagious and Eric was feeling fine and eating again by Tuesday afternoon. Having heard Eric describe the conditions of the food he ate in Africa none of us were surprised he had some stomach troubles.

I can't think of the last time I've had a more chaotic day than Monday August 11th.  I was quite distracted at work and had a really hard time focusing on training the users.   The training audience was my largest ever and as luck would have it the most resistant to change and quite grumpy.  It was not a great day and I was quite glad to have my head hit the pillow that evening.   Thankfully Eric was feeling better and the newlyweds were settling into their apartment.

So now all is quiet.  Eric is in VA 1/2 back to college.  Sarah and Ivan love their apartment and are settling in to the new routine.  Bob and I are heading off to Jordan's furniture tonight to buy a new mattress and we have a low key weekend on the docks.   I hope we can set up my craft stuff in the room Sarah and Ivan were using on Sunday.

The empty nest is back and while I miss the kids, I'm looking forward to a calmer quieter household and I'm so happy that they are all settled into their lives - moving ahead with their own dreams and plans.   I just hope that we still see Sarah and Ivan often.  I really enjoy their company and we'll have to build some routines to enjoy Sunday evening dinners together or something.  Their new apartment is about 40 minutes away so hopefully we'll see them several times a month.

Okay, well today was a long post.  Before I end, let me share a card I made a bit ago that I never posted. This is a sympathy card I made using Papertrey ink's 'through the tree's' set.  This image is gorgeous and I accentuated the leaves with a bit of distressed stickles.  The bow adds a nice textural touch and the inside has a beautiful scripture verse to encourage the grieving recipient.  I don't have a place to send this right now, but it's always good to have an inventory of sympathy cards because you never know in advance when you'll need one.

Thanks for visiting today.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 cities, 3 weeks, phew, I'm exhausted and ready to come home!

Hi all,

I meant to post stories and photo's during my trip, but this trip was VERY busy and I just didn't have any free time to update my blog.

Today is my last work day on this Asia Business Trip. It has been a very good trip - on a number of levels - but I'm ready to head home on Thursday July 31st.

So before I share my photo's and stories, let me put my work trips in context for you.  First, let me say that I am really thankful for my job and overall really enjoy the people I work with and the interesting work I get to do.  I truly enjoy these trips, not so much for the adventure of it, but because I get to know the people in my company that my dept supports and it is really a joy to see how they use the systems and processes my team develops to do their jobs.  Each group I meet is unique and fun in their own way and I'm always impressed with their professionalism, expertise and passion for doing their job well.

If I didn't ever get to work with them 'face to face' I would never know them as well or appreciate the work they do.  I also wouldn't get to really see the impact of the projects and initiatives we work on at corporate so I am truly thankful that my company sends me on these trips for these reasons.

But, the trips are very difficult.  Mostly because they take SO MUCH energy.  I know you've all had 'one of those weeks' at work.  You know, the type of day or week where you have a ton of things to do, and then 3 new urgent things pop-up that destroy your plans.  You wind up going 100 miles an hour, doing 10 million different things and work through lunch, then stay an extra hour or two after.  You finish exhausted and feel like you still left 100 things undone.  You finally give up, head home and collapse on your favorite chair.  If you are like me you grab your favorite drink (wine or tea) curl up with a dog (or two) and read mindless facebook posts or watch shows like 'america's got talent.'

Well, when I'm on these trips, every day is like 'one of those day's.'  Everything back at corporate is still going 100 miles an hour so you have to stay on top of that and you are working really hard to help the training group.  During training breaks, users come up to me and ask 'side questions' which I"m happy to answer but i"m lucky to get to the bathroom once or twice during the day.  the day ends (2 hours past normal) and I just want to go sit in comfy chair, but instead I have to navigate a foreign city street and/or public transportation.  the signage is great, but it still requires a fair amount of 'paying attention' to get to the hotel.  Once there the decision is what to eat.  I don't want to wimp out an eat at subway so I try to find a local restaurant with a picture menu.  I scan it, make a best guess that what I'm ordering is not jellyfish or eel and then taste the food.  No vegetables in sight.  Some of it tastes good, some of it doesn't.   Most of it appears not especially healthy, but it fills the void.  Now, sometimes the dinners are REALLY good, but generally they are just average and very different from what I normally eat.

Now that my appetite is satisfied, I head back to my hotel room and there is no comfy chair, doggie or mindless TV.  So I sit on the bed or at the desk and while I read mindless facebook posts my work inbox rapidly fills with about 30 e-mails per hour.  When I travel in Asia, I am 12 hours different from the US.  So when I return from dinner at 8pm, it's 8am in Boston and the e-mails start flying - many with URGENT in the subject.

So I muster a little bit of extra energy and answer e-mails for 2 hours and then collapse in my bed trying to get my mind to still and get some sleep.

And then the next day it starts all over again.  Oh and let's not forget the 14-18 hour trip to get here and adjusting to a 12 to 13 hour time difference and jet lag.... okay, enough on the tough stuff, on to the fun stuff...

So, as you look at my pictures and read my stories, keep in mind, yes it's interesting, yes it's exciting, but yes it's really exhausting also.

So, a few highlights of the trip.

First, my training partner convinced me to go to a rave party on Saturday night in Taipei/Taiwan that was happening at the hotel we stayed at.  We were at the W hotel (very glam and hip) and we hung out till 1:00 am listening to techno hip and looking at the beautiful people of Taiwan that showed up at the club.  I was the OLDEST person there......

Second, going to 'Bread of Life' church in Taipei Taiwan and LifeHouse Church in Tokyo.  Both were great churches, full of the holy spirit, friendly people and great pastors who has a real gift for teaching....

Third, going to Maokong on a 'Hello Kitty' gondola.  Enjoying lunch and tea ice cream from a tea house at the top of the mountain range.

Fourth, surviving Typhoon Matmo's direct hit to Taiwan with no issues what-so-ever.  They closed the office and we stayed at the hotel and the neighboring area.  Lots of rain and wind, but no issues.  Took advantage of the day off to catch up on e-mails and drop off laundry for 'same day service.'

View from my window at the W of Taipei 101 during the typhoon.
Above is the 'same day' laundry spot.  Since my training partner was asian, she had no problem finding this place in an alley near our hotel.   She knew how to speak mandarin so I trusted them to take my laundry in. Never would have done this on my own.  Notice the birds outside and the cramped space... yup it's asia...

Fifth - getting to know the team at our regional offices.  We had people travel from India, Korea and China to join the training.  I think you can figure out which one is ME!  Only non-asian in the room.  This is Taipei...

Below is Tokyo...
Sixth - going to Tokyo Disney Sea....

All the rides were in Japanese.  All the people were Japanese.  They had some pretty incredible rides.  We went on 'Journey to the center of the universe' twice.  I also visited Cape Cod (ha, ha... it looks just like it, made me very homesick!)

Seventh - eating sushi, a coke slurpee (yup they have them in japan) and various flavors of shaved ice....

Eighth - Singing Karaoke with some of the ladies from the Tokyo office.  They loved my rendition of 'I'm sexy and I know it' and '9-5'.  They did some awesome singing - both in English and in Japanese.  It was a lot of fun.

Ninth - instant messaging with the team back at corporate in Boston.  Many days, the tech team or my other co-workers were the last people I conversed with before bed and then the first people I conversed with in the morning.  It was great how well they supported our training program when we had system glitches, user access problems or just needed to see a happy smile face ping the IM at 11:00pm.

Tenth - Finishing the last training class, well at least for Asia.  I have 5 more training classes to teach, but except for Europe in August, the others are all driving distance from Boston.

As we concluded each training class, my training partner would create a graphic for the local audience with some type of image we thought we resonate with them and the message 'practice, practice, practice' in their local language.  Below are two of the images we used.  The first is an image of a chinese fable.  The second is an image we used for Japan.

It is now after midnight on Wednesday.  Tomorrow I have some souvenirs to buy before I catch the 'limo bus' to Narita. I will so enjoy walking onto that airplane, seeing familiar American (and Canadian - I'm flying Air Canada) faces and sinking into my seat.  I won't even mind the long flight because I'm going home.  My dear husband will meet me at the airport and I'll greet my two doggies when I arrive home (oh and I'll also greet Sarah and Ivan if they are home) and I'll collapse in my own bed, so thankful to put my head on my own pillow!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.   Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Preparing for a Typhoon

Hi friends,

Well, as mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, here I am in Taiwan, a few hours before Typhoon Matmo (or Typhoon Henry) hits the Island.  Don't be alarmed, no-one else here seems to be the least bit concerned about the storm, so I guess I'll take my cue from the locals.

Taiwan is an island off China.  I am in the capital city of Taipei which is on the northeastern corner of the island.  The storm is projected to hit the middle of the island and then move along and hit China a few hours later.  Currently they say the storm will hit here around 2 am and in the morning there will still be heavy rain till after lunch.

I think they expect the storm to just dump a lot of rain and wind as it quickly moves over the island, but unlike hurricanes that hit the east coast, that have no-where to go once they make landfall, it will be just coming in and moving out quickly.  I guess we'll find out.

The local office of my company is closed tomorrow.  To accommodate the meetings I am leading, we rescheduled one meeting to today from 4:30-6:30pm and then we'll start early on Thursday and end late in the day to cover the meeting agenda items.  I have no idea what we'll do tomorrow at the hotel.  I'm hoping I can go to the gym and maybe read a book.  Most likely I'll just answer e-mails from corporate all day long while the rain batters outside my window.

So, my trip to Asia is going really well.  I am in three cities over 14 days.  First we went to Shanghai, China, now we are in Taipei Taiwan and next week we go to Tokyo Japan.  I am here at our regional sales offices training the sales team on our new pricing software - Vendavo Systems.  Normally I visit these sales offices about once a year to review pricing policies and re-affirm training to the users.  I always travel with my boss on these trips, but this time I am here with one of the Vendavo consultants.  She was born in Malaysia and speaks several languages including Mandarin.  I can't tell you how much more interesting it is to be in China with someone who knows the culture and language.  Normally I get along just fine with the phrase Shay - Shay (thank you in Chinese), a credit card and a smile.  But I have no idea what I'm eating most of the time and have no understanding of the things I see around me.  Now, with my co-worker by my side, the whole city has opened up and I am really enjoying being here.

She does take a bit of advantage though... where-ever we go, I'm always asking 'what is this.... what did he say.'  She is like my Chinese Wikipedia.  She confessed yesterday that she only really knows 75% of the time and makes it up the other 25% of the time.  I thought that was hysterical and told her to keep answering everything.   But be warned, my source of information on these countries is now not to be trusted!

The other cool thing is that we are like two peas in a pod, only with a 20 year age difference.  Like me, she's a high intensity - go-getter kind of girl.  She is a christian and shares my same faith. She is a business woman specializing in pricing systems.  She is outgoing and adventurous.  She reminds me a little of me at 30 years old, only me at 30 if I took the path of a career instead of a family.  Oh and me if I had a lot more self confidence and poise at that age.  She's also a lot smarter than me at any age, but that's a good thing.  I like hanging around smart people!

I also like hanging around with her because she is challenging me to learn new things and try new things.  For those of you over 50, you know how much we prefer to just keep on doing things the way we always have, but I do know, it's good to learn at any age.

She encouraged me to learn to write Thank You in Chinese, so when we gave the host of our training a gift card, it would have the Chinese characters.  She drew the symbols out on the white board and then I did my best to copy them onto the thank you card.  She giggled when I started 'writing' because I put the lines in, using a very different 'order' than a Chinese person would do.

She also encourages me (not forcefully but gently) to try new foods.  Below I am enjoying shaved ice with pineapple from a food court vendor in Shanghai.  Normally I would not dare to try this type of food because I would have no idea what was in it!

Saturday night she talked me into going to a Rave party with her at the hotel bar.  Ba ha ha... me at a Rave party!  I managed to stay awake in the bar till 12:45am. Probably because the bright lights and loud beat were pulsating through the room.  It was fun, but boy did I feel old there and my pillow felt really good when my head landed on it at 1:00am.  I justified staying up so late because hey, in Boston it was only mid-afternoon!

On Sunday I recommended we head up to the Maokong mountain range.  This is an area where you take a gondola ride for about 30 minutes to an area of Taipei famous for tea.  We took the Hello Kitty themed gondola to the top and then enjoyed lunch.  We visited a tea house and tried some tea flavored ice cream.  It was a fun afternoon, but really, really hot! Oh and I was told that Maokong means 'meow kitty' in Chinese.  That could be right, or there is a 25% probability that it is totally made up.  I will never know!  Oh and in case you didn't know, I'm a huge Hello Kitty fan so I had a lot of pictures taken that day!

The tea house with a special tea ceremony set up.

The view from our lunch spot.

The views today were not as pretty.  When we left the office at 6:45pm, it was raining already and the streets were very crowded with traffic.  It was difficult to find a cab and for a ride that normally would only take 20 minutes, we were in the cab for an hour.  Thankfully we got back to the hotel with no issues and we are hunkered down for the night while the storm approaches.

Attached to our hotel is a shopping mall/transit station.  We were able to get a quick dinner at the mall food court and not step foot outside.  Below is a picture of the mall.  It was pretty crowded for a night when a storm was approaching.

I had something like Won Ton soup with a noodle dish (similar to pad-thai) and a honey tea drink.  It was delicious.

Oh and below is some crafty goodness for your enjoyment.  This is a card I made before I left for my trip. It's a shaker card.  The inside circle is a pop-out plastic overlay and inside are colored buttons that shake around when you pick up the card and move it.  It's a fun card with MOVEMENT.  

Well, that's my update so far.... stop back by later this week to find out how I weathered the storm and for more photo's of Taipei and/or Tokyo.    Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Make it a great day!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge

Hi friends,

Today's card is playing along with Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge.  #SSSC227.

I made 4 different versions of this card, all using the same sketch and stamp set.  The papers all came from the same matched set.

These need a few more embellishments to fit the challenge, but I only had limited supplies so the added extra's in the upper left corner will come later.

Below is the sketch.  You have till Friday to play along, check out the link to Karen's blog for details.

We are here in Albany NY for the weekend, visiting Bob's parents and I brought along a few of my crafting supplies since the guys were heading off to play golf today.

We came here yesterday because Bob's mom wanted to host a belated bridal shower for Sarah.  We had a lovely day yesterday and Sarah received some really nice gifts - her kitchen will be stocked.

The timing of the belated shower is perfect.  Sarah and Ivan just signed a lease for an apartment.  They will move in early August so they will need all these things (sheets, glasses, kitchen towels, cookie sheets) plus a bunch more.

Thanks for visiting today.  Make it a great day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Make gnome mistake...

Hi friends,

Happy Wednesday.  I'm savoring a few more days at home before I go on my 3 week business trip.  Sigh.  I travel for work, but usually I only do one two week (around the world) trip every year.  This year we have a HUGE project and I've got a 3 week trip to Asia starting Monday and then another 1 week trip to Europe.  Most likely there will be another trip in the fall.  I go to our regional offices (Japan, China, Taiwan, Germany) and train the sales team on pricing processes.  This trip will be tiring, but, as always, I try to find ways to enjoy the local culture and thankfully my family is grown so hopefully the household will survive without me.

But I have a card to share with you.  Want to see?  It's a gnome card!

Ok, I know I'm a little weird, but I really love gnomes.  I even watched that terrible movie 'Gnomio and Juliet' several years ago.  when the gnome fad fades (if it every was a fad and if it isn't already faded) I'll still be making funny gnome cards.

Isn't this little guy a darling?  I added lots of texture and extras.  Can you see his fluffy beard?  Can you see that his boots and belt are shiny?  If you were holding the card in your hot little hands, all these would be obvious, but since you are looking at my photo, I'll call attention to these details and maybe (just maybe) you'll zoom in to notice.

Well, hope you have a great day.  I'll be blogging all during my trip, so stop back by the blog for some fun.  I'm travelling with one of our consultants (who is from Malaysia, young and adventurous) so I'm sure I'll have some new and different experiences.  She has already peppered me with ideas for our weekends and evenings.  I hope I have some energy to keep up with her!