Friday, August 30, 2013

Flashback Friday- Vitamin O

Today I am having my own little flashback of a week long kayaking trip my dad and I took on the outside of Vancouver Island 12ish or so years back.  What an amazing trip!  We paddles along little uninhabited islands and found so many wonders- animals, shells and even a couple of Japanese glass floats!  We learned from our kayak guides about good old Vitamin O.

What?! You've never heard of Vitamin O?!  Well it is super important for your daily nutrition and you should have some right now!  It is best with milk and I like the DoubleStuf version.  I am talking about Oreo's people!  While we are on the topic...SCANDAL ALERT- did you know that the DoubleStuf only has about 1.9 times the stuffing!!!!  It is a good think I am so loyal or I might have to forsake them forever! ;)

Anyway, I made this card for my Daddy who has a birthday coming up in a few days.  I thought it might bring him back fond memories of that trip and Vitamin O.  We still joke about it to this day and he has Oreos in the house every time I come visit him. :)  Love my Daddy! I used my We Go Together set from Fresh Squeezed stamps for the first time.  (Just realizing now that this is out of focus, must not have been wearing my glasses or something- boo!)

Here is the review of some of the last two week's questions and answers:

Briny Blue (8/18)
Q- What is your favorite paper crafting tool?
A-- Lots of you said your cuddlebug but I thought I'd share the one that was a little different, from Virginia who said, "My favorite tool (one of many) would be my Fiskar Micro Scissors.I don't think I can live without one :)"

Thai Adventure (8/20)
Q- What is one of the most memorable trips you've taken and what about it did you love?
A- Michelle Z said, "Your trip to Thailand sounds wonderful! The best trip I've had was my trip last weekend to see my daughter. She graduated from college and moved away and I've missed her sooo much! This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. He surprised me with a trip to see her. When I tell people this, they don't think that it sounds very romantic. And then I tell them that he took me there because he knew that there was no place in the world that I'd rather be. Sweet, huh?"

Life is a Circus (8/21)
Q- I want to know one either a) what is your favorite comic and why? b) what is a quote or saying that inspires you? OR c) all of the above!
A1-  Favorite cartoon answer by Barb which includes a quote!... "Calvin & Hobbes is my favorite cartoon. My favorite quote (among many from my enlightened little cartoon friend) is..."Nothing spoils fun like finding out it builds character."
A2- I loved this quote Amy left that is from Margaret Mead- "We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems."

Mama's takin' us to the Zoo tomorrow (8/26)
Q-  What is your favorite animal and Why?
A-  CM said, "My favorite animal: miniature schnauzers! I had 2, who I spoiled and pampered immeasurably. One of these days, new puppy coming home (I hope!!)"

Thank you also for the advice on what to do for my daughter for her first day of kindergarten and all the congrats on my DT news!  I love having all you amazing people in my life, thank goodness for the internet! :)

Don't forget, today is your opportunity to come up with the questions! I'll ask them as the weeks progress, so what is it you are burning to know?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The happies are still with me!


Just a quick post to share a card I made for Seize the Sketch #2.  Because this weeks challenge is sponsored by CASual Fridays, I thought it only appropriate to use their stamps.   A pretty simple card with some DP and the stamps and a few stickers that I used for my banners.  I love this soft color pallet and this stamp set, this card makes me happy. :)

Speaking of happy...hope you say my earlier post today with my crafty news! :)  To celebrate my news I stopped by my local scrapbook store Urban Scrapbooker and found a ton of fun new MME stuff and splurged.  Don't tell my hubby! :)  The earlier post is also where today's question is, check it out!

See ya'll tomorrow!

Some Crafty News...

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  This Wednesday is particularly exciting for me because I get to announce my first full time (not guest) DT gig!  I am super excited to be joing the Cut It Up Challenge Blog!  You probably remember this post where I mentioned my number one tool is my Big Shot....well, that is what this challenge blog is all about...using die cutting machines, whatever one you prefer!   

To celebrate this acheivement, I made a card that is specifically about feeling that sense of accomplishement, that *high* if you will.  Don't get the pun, well check out the card, because I feel like I am walking on air today!  Wahooo!  For this card I used my brand spankin new Simon Says Stamp Sunshine die as well as my favie-fave cloud die from Papertrey Ink.  I also added some pre-die cut bits from BasicGrey's What's Up collection. 

For today's Question of the Day- what is one goal you have that you'd like accomplish this year (it can be a calendar year, from your birthday, from now forward, whatever you want)?  Mine was getting on challenge DT because I LOVE challenges- check! 

Please come and play at the Cut It Up challenge on September 6th, which will be my first official post on the DT.  The challenges are every two weeks on Friday's there after!  There is lots of fun to be had over there and some good prizes ta-boot!  Oh and there is a FB page too, check that out for upcoming fun as well!

Thanks for stopping and sharing in my good news! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


It totally just dawned on me that next Tuesday is the last day home with my little girl.  I have the day off to stay with her since camp is out and the following morning she will get on the bus for the first time to go to Kindergarten.  KINDERGARTEN!  OH EM GEE where has the time gone?!  I could potentially sit down and cry right now, I want to, but instead I am going to put my thoughts towards what special thing I can do for her that am or afternoon (other than just being there) to let her know how special she is and how proud I am of my big girl.  Any thoughts?  Let's actually make that the Question of the Day!  I had something else in mind prior to sitting down and typing this but now I have to go with that question.  So what ideas do you have for something special I can do for my baby?

All previous train of thought has been disrupted, no there may not have been much but there was something there before!  I have no idea what I was even going to post about today. Now I just want to show you pics of my little girl and reminisce!  Here are a couple of my love. :)

August 2008                                                                                  October 2008

December 2009

September 2010                                                                                        November 2011

May 2012                                                                                       August 2013

I did have a card to share, but I think it would pale in comparison to my beautiful little girl, so maybe come back tomorrow and look for it then! :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mama's takin' us to the Zoo tomorrow....

...zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow.... and we can stay all day.  Going' to the zoo, zoo, zoo.  How about you, you, you?...

What?  You don't want to hear me sing anymore?  Well it is a good thing you are only reading it and not hearing my actual voice!  :)  The real question is, have you heard that song by Raffi?  Well I bring it up because...well because I can't get that song out of my head...but I also bring it up because I had a fun trip to the zoo on Saturday with my BFF and her son Cruz!   (Side note- as a parent almost every single reference I have goes back to something for kids, kids music, kids books, kids movies.  No wonder you non-parental units out there don't want to talk to the likes of me! LOL!)   This last weekend I was lucky enough to have a visit from two of my favorite people in the whole world, my BFF Lin
dsay and her son Cruz (age 3)! We have been friends for many years and I love to be around her, we just always have a hoot together!  It is always soooo fun when she visits that I wish she would stay forever (working on that part and you can help me later- GRIN!).  OK, enough distractions... so we went to the zoo and let me tell you there were babies galore there.  We saw baby lions, jaguars, komoto dragons a baby giraffe and apparently there are baby otters too, though we didn't see them.  We also spied our very favorite kind of baby monkey!  We were lucky enough to snap a photo....

Anyway, my friend LB is just the best.   I know that she is there for me no matter what I am feeling or needing and there is NEVER a shortage of laughter  And her son.....soooooooo cute!  I love that little guy like he is my own family, I would do anything for him.  Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, I just can't get enough of them and wish we lived in the same city.  Wanna help me work on her?! ;) Sure you do....send out vibes to Lindsay and Cruz for me to move to Edmonds, WA.  LB I think you might be reading this and chuckling about now. :)

I have a card to share with you, but first I'll ask today's Question of the Day- What is your favorite animal and why?  Perhaps it is your pet that you love or maybe it is an animal that facinates you.  I happen to love lots of critters for many reasons, but here are a few that pique my interest at this moment- the elephant with it's long memory, the giraffe with it's strange long legs and neck and bony knobs on its head, and the sea is just teaming with strange creatures.  So now it is your turn to tell me, but FIRST, take a look at today's card.

This is one for Neat & Tangled's birthday  and the Eat Cake Challenge over at the Little Tangles Blog.  I used the free digis they provided to make this fun card.  Love me some free digis BTW!  Anyway, I printed the sentiment small across the bottom of the paper, colored it a bit and used it as a banner on my card.  The cake is fun and I didn't have to add much, but I wanted some sparkle, so other than some color I added some Stickles to dress it up. I used my Doodlebug Washi tape for the cake platter to go with the DP. Finally, I finished my card off with some of these fantastic of the N&T birthday sequins.  Pretty easy peasy, and I am happy with how it turned out.

Thanks for stopping and commenting, I always love to read your comments!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

life is a circus...

The card for today is this fun little 4 1/4 X 4 1/4 guy!  This card was one I made for the Curtain Call's Carnival Craze, Simon Says Stamp Challenge- Circus (more mixed media art here but what the heck!), CAS-ology Challenge- Paper. I used two sets for this card, Inky Antics Honey Pop collection (don't know name sorry) and my Admit One from Lawn Fawn.  My fave part is are the tickets with the drooped ribbon!  You know that I love cute and this is surely that!  Because it is blank it could be a great baby card, birthday or encouragement card.  Thanks for looking and I hope you likey!

Now onto my every interesting circus analogy... ;)   Do you remember that comic that used to be in the papers called Family Circus?  It is probably still in the papers for all I know.... Well I was never a big comic reader and couldn't identify at the time, but it just occurred to me (this very instant!) how much I can identify with it now! 

For example, we've been battling with my daughter to try to get her to eat her lunch at school/camp.  She'll eat the small things, but not the know the thing with protein that gets her through the day.  When that happens by the end of the day we have a big meltdown (see left).  We've tried so many tactics I can't even tell you...  Another example, how many times have I had this conversation with her...(see right).  Then, on the turn of a dime we are having fun (below left)!  So much fun... and then back again!  Did you enjoy that ride?!  If only I could be so irrational all the time!  :)  Truly though, at times it feels just like being in a circus with a hundred little acts all occuring at once, lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" and drama and emotion everywhere and you are the circus master trying to keep it all together!  Totally worth it though, for moments like these (below)....  these are the moments that feel like nothing else in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It reminds me of one of those parenthood quotes about having your children is like, "deciding to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body."

For my Question of the Day today, I want to know one either a) what is your favorite comic and why? b) what is a quote or saying that inspires you? OR c) all of the above!

Enjoy your circus folks!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thai Adventure

Here is the card that I sneak-peaked yesterday.  What do you think?!?  I got my new MFT feather die and was inspired to use this side of my Studio Calico Atlantic paper.  From there is just fell together and I decided to submit it into the Moxie Fab World Trendy Triangle Challenge.  When I couldn't find a triangle stamps I just made one by cutting a small foam block diagonally into two triangles (I had saved it for just such and occasion).  The ribbon was salvaged from some box of holiday treats or something from the previous year and went perfectly, so I used it.   I am also submitted this to the MFT Sketch Challenge #137. This is one of the easier times I've had designing a card.  I love it when it feels that way!

Today's Question of the Day is related to travel.  I hope I haven't asked this already...  What is one of the most memorable trips you've taken and what about it did you love?  It doesn't have to be vacation, it can be for whatever reason, work, family, etc.  If you care to read part of one of my long winded travel stories about a trip to Thailand, feel free to read on.  If not, thanks for stopping and I'd still love to hear your story so feel free to comment! :)


My Thai Adventure 

How about I tell you about the time I went to Thailand for 10 myself...  It was pretty awesome actually, I traveled all around the country and made awesome new friends.  I did several eco-adventures like a jungle trek and rafting, kayaking and snorkeling... all sorts of stuff.  What a wonderland that place is, an the food...mmmm!  I love eating true Thai food, all of it!  Especially the thai omlettes, essentially eggs cooked in a wok, served over rice with Pik-nam-pla  (fish sauce with chilis in it).  It might sound gross but it was delicious!  All the food was!  I have so many fond memories of that trip, I can't even begin to tell you all of them.  Maybe this will be part one of my Thai adventure story and I'll give you part two later.  For part one I promise to highlight something other than just the food! :)  I'll start with the end of the trip since it was a huge highlight for me.  Why not tell it backwards right?!?!

For the last half of the trip I spent a majority of the trip on a little island called Koh-Lanta Noi  (Noi meaning small as opposed to Koh-Lanta Yai meaning big island).  The island is about 5 miles across and I was at the very end of the island at Ban Loi Noi (see map) at a the Last Beach Resort, which were in truth, single room huts.  Literally, it was the last place to be found on the beach.  The remaining stretch of island was national park.

Let me tell you about how I got there...Transportation to the island consisted of taking a "minibus"...aka vanagon style mini van... from Krabi to a tiny little village and then across on a car ferry.  I can tell you that in the minivan, which typically seats maximum of 8 people, was filled with about 12 Thai people and myself.  I was in the back with two adults and two children for several hours bouncing around in 80+ degree weather 70% or more humidity.  Truly, these people didn't know what to think of me, such an oddity sitting in the back with my huge backpack sweating buckets!  The kids and I eventually traded gum for "candy"...aka flavored Mentholatum drops... aka it was all good.  :) Then onto a car ferry across the water, which I believe that held a maximum of 20 cars.  From the car ferry I got into the proper taxi...aka the back of a pick up truck... with 1/2 a dozen or more others as we bounced for over an hour to travel the distance of 5 miles.  The beginning of the road was paved but quickly turned to rutted dirt tracks.  The bumpy adventure was worth it, what a gorgeous site to behold.  A few huts with a jungle back drop, and the rest was sea and sky forever.

I spent about 5 weeks there in total.  Initially I hung with other tourists but they can and went and I became more like one of the locals.  I learned Thai massage, practicing it for a week in a little hut like this (see fact this may be the exact one!).  I became fondly know as Yai (pronounced differently than Koh Lanta Yai) meaning grandmother, because at a mere 23 years of I looked much older to them.  The reverse stereotype was that they all looked much younger than they were.  It was all meant well and good spirited. :) In fact, that part of Thailand is partially Buddhist and partially Muslim, and consequently I had some Muslim suitors wanting me to be their second wife.  Yai indeed! :) Boy would they have been in for a surprise, I am one headstrong woman! :)

There is so much more to tell but I don't think you want to sit here for a week.  Meanwhile I hope you enjoyed this little (but long winded) tale of part of my adventure.  Let me know if you are interested in hearing more and I'll give you a part two!

PS- be forewarned that if you look up Last Beach Resort most of the pics found there are of some fancy place probably in a different part of the country or another country all together.  Though it may have changed since I have been there, it really was just modest and humble, which was all part of the charm!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Just a little sneak peak

Here are a sneak peak I am hoping to share this week....

....stay tuned!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Briny Blue

Happy Sunday folks!  Today's post is devoted to beautiful Briny Blue by Paper Smooches.  I just love this set!  So fun with all the critters!  A couple reasons I love this set...other than just loving PS stamps.  1-  I don't think I've ever seen another Orca whale stamp.  2- I LOVE this jell fish, one of my fave stamps in the set!  As an aside, when I got to the Seattle Aquarium, one of my things to see there is the cool jellyfish display that is like a large erected O where the jellyfish swim around you and you can walk through the middle.  The lights are often colored and you get these beautiful colored jellyfish to look at.  When we took my daughter there we thought that was so cool that we bought a stuffed jellyfish (and named it peanut butter- lol!).

When I saw this weeks Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge I knew I wanted to play, what a fun sketch!  I didn't want to go too much with the obvious though.  So I looked at it, flipped it on it's slide and around...what could I do?  Then I thought I could use the jellies in place of the clouds!  I still used a big circle shape and another shape to replace the hot air balloon but put the focus on the clouds/jellies.  I used my new Simon Says Stamp happy die (which I love) for the sentiment, added enamel dots and some crystal effects on part of my jelly to make it shiny.  Fun!

For today's Question of the Day, I am going to pick one of your questions.  This question is from Chunyuan and Barb-
 "What is your favorite paper crafting tool?"  That is a super hard question!  Anything that makes me have to narrow down my supplies or choose just one thing just makes me immediately scream out, "It's not possible!"  Which is super weird when you are in public...people really look at you funny... :)  Anyway, if I *have* to choose, I guess I'll pick my Big Shot.  All the dies that are coming out that go with stamp sets and embossing folders and largie dies for things like templates and boxes, super fun.  So what about all of you?

Thanks for stopping, I hope the rest of your weekend is fabulous!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Flashback Friday

Do you know where the term Friday originated?  No.  Well, the word Friday is based from the Latin root word Fri meaning crisp combined with the word day.  Put it together and you have crisp-day, aka cooked day, aka I am FRIED by Friday!  True Story!  OK, not really... I totally made that up, but it sounded pretty good didn't it?!  I was totally fried by the end of my work day today so it seemed like it could have been a possibility for how the word came about. 

Anyway, onto this week's flashback.  First the flashback to the card I made for the Little Tangles blog for my guest post about Neat & Tangled's birthday.  I didn't have the awesome new Dreams Do Come True stamp yet, so I freehanded it.  Admittedly, not even as close to as good as Danielle's actual stamp, but it seemed so appropriate for the occasion I had to.  Oh and I posted a super cute fun video over there too, check it out if you have time! :)

Now onto my fave questions and answers from this week:

Just Add Color (8/12)-
Q- Is there a color that has a specific meaning to you?  If so what is the color and what does it mean?  if not, then what is your favorite color?
A- Sav said, "my fav color... is green! I picked that in high school (randomly answered that question by singing "The green grass grows all around all around...the green grass grows all around." Yup-- that's how I picked my fav color!)... and never changed it. <3 em="">

Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler  (8/13)
Q- What is something you thought you would never like but were pleasantly surprised when you tried it?  It can be  reading this blog.... a food, an experience, whatever you want!
A- Kimberly said, "Sushi. I finally tried it in my late thirties!!! (ok I date myself I am mid 40 something' ish).  I did not know what to think. I am a "go alonger" type so when a gaggle of the office girls went to sushi, I hesitated, but said ok to follow the crowd.  To my surprise - I tried anything, and love most all of it, not only love it, I actually crave it more than any other food and must have it once a week. Went yesterday, and going today... LOL"

Doing the Chicken Dance (8/15)
Q- Have you ever spent any time on a farm?  If so, what was the most surprising thing you ever witnessed on that farm (e.g. seeing a chicken run around without a head...) and/or your favorite part? 
A- LeAnne said, "I, too, grew up on a farm, but while you're growing up there, you just think it's normal, so I don't have any specifically amazing memories...just fun to be able to run around, catch lightning bugs, go swimming in the pond....stuff like that. I do remember looking out my door one summer night and seeing the sky ablaze...I ran & called my dad and he told me the neighboring farmer's barn was on fire. That was SCARY! Thanks for the gentle nudge to get me walking down memory lane!"

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions everyone.  I like to ask them, they are fun and I enjoy getting to know a little bit more about each of you in turn. :)  Today's Question of the Day is again- if you could ask all these bloggie, crafty buddies of yours any question what would it be?  I asked this last Friday too.  I am hopping to get more answers so I can start sprinkling them into my posts and you can get the answers you want too! :)

Thanks for stopping and happy FRI-day! ;)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Doing the chicken dance!

I am running folks...running like a chicken with my head cut off these days, mostly at work.  I like to call it my chicken dance! ;)   I am hoping that I will get some respite soon.  Actually, I know I will, so I am not worried about it.  Meanwhile, down at the ranch....

...I've made this card for the Fusion Card Challenge #15 focusing on the lovely chalkboard portion of it and I accidentally matched the sketch too for a true FUSION! :)  I combined it with the colors from the ColorQ #202.  The colors made me want to use this Amercian Crafts set because the flower seemed just right.  My favorite part of this card is the May Arts Ribbon, the sharp colors and stripes jumps out me and says "HELLO, Look at me!!!!!!!"

So back to the farm... (BTW- did you notice these are great farm colors?!  Just an aside, but seriously, perfect!  Now I wish I had made a chicken card! HA!)  Did I ever tell you I grew up in Greenacres, WA? True story, it exists! ...And my name is Katie Brooks, but have also been called our Miss Brooks.  Remind you of any TV shows?  Even a spring chicken like me knows about these shows so you should too, but if not they were- Greenacres and Our Miss Brooks!  Too easy!  So all  of these farm/ranch references bring me to my Question of the Day- Have you ever spent any time on a farm?  If so, what was the most surprising thing you ever witnessed on that farm (e.g. seeing a chicken run around without a head...) and/or your favorite part?  Stacey- I expect a good answer from you girl! ;)