Saturday, January 30, 2010

The One with the Griffith Observatory

Before I begin my coverage of our trip to the Griffith Observatory, I want to take a minute to express my deepest, most sincere condolences to the daughter of our dear family friends, the Milletts. Lindsey's husband hit a moose while driving home from work in Rexburg, ID last night in foggy conditions and died. They'd only been married a year; she's only 21, he was only 24. I'm so sad and so upset. I remember going to her bridal shower like it was yesterday (scroll to the very bottom of this post). Life is just so unfair sometimes. I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation and know that everything will be okay in the long run. But still. It's my biggest fear in life that Chris won't come home from school. My mind always wanders to the worst possible conclusions when he's late, and only when I hear the sound of the lock turning and he embraces me in his loving arms do I feel at ease. So to have my biggest fear happen to someone so close to me, really stings. Prayers, hugs, and positive thoughts to Lindsey, her family, and all of Derek's family.

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This morning we picked up the Bybees then headed up to the Griffith Observatory.

I'm not so much into astronomy or space or stars or anything like that (sorry to disappoint Dald!) but it's free - free is good - and it's on my list of things to do. We got good and lost (what's up with that?) and showed up at 11 rather than our planned time of 10...but we made it and that's all the matters.

Aren't they such a cute little family? Sigh :)

One of these weekends we'll take Joey and hike up to the Hollywood sign again.

So there's a scene in Yes Man (which we don't own, which says something) where they're exercising right out in front of the Griffith Observatory, and I thought it'd be fun to mimic said scene.


Then we went inside.

I was super impressed with the massive front doors.

Right inside the entryway is a huge pendulum which is supposed to prove that the earth is indeed moving.

It reminds me of the pendulum in LOST which tracks where the island is going to move to next. (T-minus three days and counting 'til the premier of season 6!!)
Here's a picture of the painted ceiling where the pendulum swings from.

No matter how many times and how many different ways I see it, the Hollywood sign will forever be cool in my eyes.

The observatory with the LA cityscape in the background. Picturesque.

In one wing of the observatory, there's a periodic table with actual elements; it's always cool to see things in real life rather than just on paper.


I learned that our sun is at the very small end of the scale as far as sizes of suns go. See that big massive red sphere on the top right? That's a Supergiant - as big as they get. And see the small dots below the big yellow sphere? That would be the size of our sun.

A picture of a solar flare on the sun. Wouldn't want to be standing too close when one of those things spurts out.

We saw plenty of people on the balconies and surrounding greenery that were writing in journals, sketching, reading, playing on their phones, or taking artsy pictures. Like this dude.

We want to come back at night so we can look through this ginormous telescope.


LA. Ever heard of it? (That's what Chris says to me EVERY SINGLE TIME he sees a sign for it or hears it on the radio or tv or a song....old news babe :)

The gang.

Now here's something more up my alley - jewels!! Down in the basement (which, after watching the video of the renovations and additions to the observatory that took four years and 90 million dollars to do, I can totally appreciate and just stand there dumbfounded as I look at the architecture), there was a super long wall showing "time" and how the earth came to be and for some reason or another it was decorated with fancy and ornate brooches, pins, and baubles. I really wanted to get my hands on some of those things!


And here's Chris being silly with Einstein.

'Twas a fun morning at the observatory!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The One with the CARDS Challenge Card: Squares and a Movie Rec

Every Friday I do a post on the CARDS blog, and here is my take on my own challenge which was to use squares:

Hey
Card is 4.25 x 5.5"
Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, buttons, ribbon, letter stickers: American Crafts; Scalloped square die: Nestabilities by Spellbinders; Die cut machine: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft; Adhesive: Helmar; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark; Paper cutter: Fiskars

Some tidbits about this card:
1) I watched Best in Show while making this card. That movie is so funny. Gets me every time.
2) I picked 16 bright and fun colored patterned papers then die cut mini scalloped squares from each.
3) I dabbed a tiny big of adhesive on a small part of each square then stuck them to a white cardstock base. I didn't cover the entire square with glue otherwise my sewing machine gets stuck (been there, done that...). After I adhered the 16 squares in a 4 x 4 grid, I straight stitched down and across each row.
4) Then I added a ribbon bow to the bottom, topped each scalloped square with a matching colored button, then set "hey" letter stickers on the bottom right buttons. As the French would say, "Fin!"

And on a totally unrelated to scrapbooking note (although the colors on the poster are bright and fun, akin to the aforementioned card) - I watched a GREAT movie last night with Veronica: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. (Don't mind the sketchy title...)

It's British. 'Nuf said. I laughed from beginning to end (well, except for the meant-to-be-emotionally-sad-parts) and I HIGHLY recommend it. Here's the IMBD link. Add it to your Netflix queue, buy the DVD, whatever, just watch it if you're in need of a good laugh. And turn on the subtitles - you'll understand it a lot better :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The One with January American Crafts Layouts

Here are my two monthly layouts for American Crafts featuring 100% American Crafts products. They carry everything. I mean that literally. At least as far as scrapbooking products goes. Cardstock. Patterned paper. Adhesive. Albums. Page protectors. Stickers. Rub ons. Ribbon. Stamps. Embossing powder. Chipboard shapes. Pens. What DON'T they carry is the more appropriate question. I heart them. So here are my layouts:

Mini Me.
The first thing I do when I go to scrap is pick a picture or two. A few months ago I got a whole bunch of pictures printed at Costco and I've been using those to scrap, but I'm sick of looking through them. Instead I delved into my "to scrap" box and found these pictures of me as a little tyke.

Some tidbits about this layout:
1) It took an entire movie (The Proposal) to make those flowers, but it was worth it. I pleated patterned paper and cardstock and added a piece of ribbon to make each bud, then topped it with a brad or button.
2) The layout needed more green so I handcut a vine from green cardstock and stitched it to the border. I don't know how I ever scrapped without a sewing machine. It's a staple now.

Supplies: Pearl cardstock, cardstock, patterned paper, brads (fabric, glitter, pearl), buttons (glitter, regular), Thickers (foam, fabric), ribbon, pen: American Crafts; Sewing machine: Brother; Thread: Coats & Clark; Paper cutter: Fiskars; Adhesive: Helmar


Love is in the Air
These are some pictures from our engagement photo session. I wanted to use the new I Heart You line by American Crafts and needed some lovey dovey pictures to showcase and this is what I found that I liked.

Some tidbits about this layout:
1) I watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3 while making this layout. That's my favorite of the three Pirate movies.
2) I glued the pictures first, add the scalloped ribbon and Thickers title, then I had fun on the bottom half of the layout. First I placed the letter sticker words (you & me, kisses, hugs, and love), then I added a few rub on letters to make ever more sentiments (be mine and forever). After that I just filled in the spaces with more rub ons, stickers, chipboard shapes (called House), Thickers shapes, love themed stamps, etc.
3) Some stickers or rub ons or even chipboard shapes went over the edge of the layout so I just cut them off. Easy peasy.

Supplies: Cardstock, scalloped ribbon, letter stickers, Thickers (patterned chipboard), rub ons, love themed stickers, love themed stamps, Flair (badges): American Crafts; Paper cutter: Fiskars; Adhesive: Helmar

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The One with Connect the Dots

I'll be the first to admit it: I have zits. Pimples. Acne. What have you. Ever since we moved to LA in August and I ran out of my magic cream called Duac, my skin has resembled that of a teenager. I'm nearly 25 - this is not okay. I told myself, "Self, if your face doesn't get better in such and such amount of time, do something about it. There is no excuse." Such and such time has long since come and gone and here I sit with so many zits on my face you could play connect the dots. I've had it. So I decided to take advantage of this health insurance that I'm paying for out of my own pocket every month and ventured out by myself to North Hollywood to visit a dermatologist.

I get really anxious when I go new places for the first time. I like familiarity, I like to know where I am at all times. Granted, I do like to travel, but it's a lot easier on my nerves if someone is there with me. Every time I see the LA cityscape my stomach does a little flip flop. I still can't grasp that I live in Los Angeles. Anyways. Luckily my trustee phone has a built in GPS with voice instructions and all (I love you I love you I love you Google) and I made it to my destination safe and sound.


An hour and 15 minutes later, I had a new set of topical creams in my hand and a renewed hope for better looking skin. Crossing my fingers.

On a completely different note. I opened up my internet browser as soon as I got home and saw that Apple has released yet another totally radical gadget. Meet the iPad:


I haven't quite figured out what it is or what it does, but it's by Apple and therefore it must be cool. To buy or not to buy? That is the question.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The One with the Book Reviews Book

First of all, I feel like I've posted a lot of crafty things lately and not very many "what we've been up to" things. Well, Chris is still in dental school, he's on the morning schedule now so he leaves at 7am and gets home at 12:30pm. I leave for work at 1pm and get home at 6pm. So I see him for approximately four hours every week day. It's okay, we make those four hours count and we live for the weekends. Meanwhile, I'm still working from home for Scrapbook Trends in the morning and night and from 1-6 I'm still answering phones and filing paperwork at RBJ Software. Same ol' same ol'. Scrapbooking and crafting keeps my life interesting, hence the reason I blog so much about it, take it or leave it :)

Which brings me to the point of this post: over on the American Crafts blog I've got a project featured today. (Click here to see a lot more pictures of it, including the inside.)

It's a handmade book for writing book reviews. I took a bookbinding class in college and ever since then I’ve loved to make books by hand. You can use any kind of paper for the pages, including scrapbook paper. You can also make them for any purpose, so for my blog assignment which was to make an altered item based on a book, I thought, why not make a book to store my book reviews? Perhaps this will be the motivation I need to start reading books other than Harry Potter or Twilight! One particularly great thing about this type of binding (it's called Link Stitch) is that the book lays perfectly flat - so easy for writing in! I hope to teach another bookbinding class here soon, just have to get my ducks in a row.

Here are some links to make this book:
How to make a link stitch book
Template for book reviews labels
Link to my other handmade books

Monday, January 25, 2010

The One with Valentine Cupcake Toppers

I have a thing for cupcake toppers. Ever since I saw Nichole's 4th of July cupcake toppers last year on the American Crafts blog, I can't help but make them for most every holiday. So when Elle from Elle's Studio asked me to make some cupcake toppers for Valentine's featuring their new Valentine product, I happily obliged :)

I used my Cuttlebug die cut machine by Provo Craft and Nestabilities heart dies by Spellbinders (scalloped and regular) with Elle's Studio's mini papers and matching Bazzill Basics cardstock. I adhered a scalloped heart and regular heart together with foam dots for extra dimension. Then I added a a sentiment to the front of each heart (either a journaling spot, circle tag, or cut out). To finish them off I added a big ribbon bow for for extra cuteness, glued a toothpick to the back, and stuck them in cherry chip cupcakes!











Make sure to stop by the Elle's Studio blog for a chance to win a special kit that includes all of the Elle's Studio items I used to create these, and more! The Valentine kit would be perfect for making these toppers, cards, mini albums, banners, so on and so forth!

Edited to add: so I was just reading through my blog lists, scrolling through 'em, no biggie, and then all of a sudden I see that these cupcake toppers are on ELSIE'S BLOG as an Elle's Studio giveaway!

Dude. I've been in love with Elsie's blog for YEARS. Can't believe something I made is on her blog. I'm in lalaland.

The One with CHA Highlights

CHA happens but twice a year - in January and July - and when the convention center where it's held is just 20 minutes away, I have to, without a doubt, no questions asked, go.

CHA is the Craft & Hobby Association and basically all scrapbooking companies work around these special dates in January and July to design and release their next big product lines. So this morning I drove to the Anaheim Convention Center, which is HUGE (815,000 square feet of exhibit space to be exact) and it was packed full of hobbyists and scrapbookers just like me :)

Last year at CHA, "The Girls" (Nichole, Lindsey, Alisha, and I, the in-house scrapbookers of American Crafts at the time), took a roadtrip to Vegas then CHA. We were excited to see all of the new products, but really what took the cake was being literally inches from Paris Hilton. (This is not zoomed in.)

Read all about it and see more pictures here. I wonder how her scrapbooking company is doing?...

This year, I was fortunate enough to get hooked up with a badge from American Crafts. Can I just say how much I love all of their new stuff? I'm in heaven. Where do I begin?

Here are all of the new releases:

I'm most excited about the Dear Lizzy stuff. American Crafts has teamed up with the one and only Elizabeth Kartchner to create a whole line of amazingness. Check out her special section of the booth:

Sooooo stinkin' cute.

Things I'm most excited about? These crocheted flowers:

This beautiful ribbon:

And these fabric covered brads:

There's also fabric-sticky-backed paper and stamps and rub ons and dimensional stickers and so much more. I can't wait to get my hands on it all. (Hurry up Lyndsey! :) And I got this super cute bag to tote around all my loot:

I was excited to see the Letterbox line in its entirety. This is the last line I helped design while working at American Crafts. It sure is lovely, if I do say so myself :)

It was a fun surprise to see pictures of my sister used on sample layouts and transferred to signs:

And whoever made these flowers (Alisha or Lindsey?), they're awesome and I want to make some:

After perusing the American Crafts booth for quite some time, I wandered off on my own. The following pictures are of things I found inspiring while trudging around.
I don't make jewelry. However, Making Memories is releasing an entire line of jewelry fixin's and I think I might give this hobby a whirl.



Love the cute pink and blue scooters Making Memories was giving away (or auctioning off? Or using as props? I'm not sure).

Pretty.

Neat.

Cute.

I really like handmade paper flowers.

Some gorgeous pillows at Hambly Screen Prints.

Beautiful paper mache rose balls at the Melissa Frances booth.


An awesome chandelier at 7 Gypsies.

A pretty arrangement of flowers.

Loooove these new stickers by K & Company.
Cool paper birds.

I like the design of this sign above G.C.D. Studios.

In-between halls there was this ginormous canvas made completely out of perler beads. A sign said it was the world's largest perler bead canvas. I believe it. Here is a closeup of the flag that appears on Obama's jacket:

And here is the canvas in its entirety:

Moving on...I heard tons of screams and shouts coming from the Provo Craft booth so I moseyed on over there.

They're releasing a new Cricut called the Cricut Cake.

If I baked cakes, I would have to buy one of these. Or perhaps, I should get one of these now and then learn to bake cakes and decorate them! Basically, you can use any existing Cricut cartridge (or some of the new cartridges are made specifically for cakes and have really intricate designs) and you can use the Cricut Cake to die cut shapes from fondant. I saw it with mine own two eyes and I was flabergasted. It's amazing what people can come up with. Technology is my friend.

Um, excuse, Mr. Shrek, Sir, I think you're confused, Disneyland is next door....

Shortly before I called it a day, I ran into Nancy Doren, sporting her hott pink hair and bedazzled shoes. She knows how much I love tulle right now so she tore this page of of Marie Claire and saved it just for me! I'm so glad I ran into you Nancy!

And that's all she wrote. What a fun and inspiring day. I can't wait 'til next year!