Monday, June 30, 2008

Snowflaking Through Online Surveys

I finished my first few online surveys tonight. Spilling Buckets suggested this website for me to make some extra money doing online surveys. It's a little time consuming but I am willing to do it to make my vacation account get bigger. T-minus 285 days and counting until Savannah backdrop to the true events recorded in the book (and then movie) Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil.

I used an old email address to sign up and I'm glad I did. I took my first survey and got six responses and four phone calls regarding it. I also used a third cell phone we use as our house phone for my phone number. I guess that is the price you pay to make a little extra money. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Net Worth Update

I'm silly. I didn't add the value of our condo in to my net worth badge so it looked WAYYYYY worse than it really is. I just added the value it was at the time of purchase which was just over a year ago and recalculated. According to Zillow it is worth $20,000 less than a year ago but I take that with a grain of salt I think.

Not all of our updates are on the Zillow site and I do think it's not a completely accurate estimate but more of a ball park for people out there in the housing market.
For goodness sakes, we paid property taxes last year based on what the place was worth at time of purchase. Our property taxes went up this year so I can only assume that means the value went up as well. The badge is now much more current - thank goodness! Still partly a guestimate as I need to add more specific 401(k) information and changes to our car loan and credit card balances.

This past week we made our first extra payment on the car loan. It was only an additional $300 but coupled with the minimum payment on the car and personal loan it was ALMOST what I bring home in two weeks. Yikes! That's OK though. We are getting closer to our personal goals of being debt free and I like that even more than the temporary freak out of that large check I wrote. I have written larger check for college tuition.

On a personal note, I had written several days ago about my MIL and hubby and I not agreeing on things. I had sent her and her hubby an rather long email explanation which pretty much included everything we have been trying to tell them for the past eight months. I tried a different tack and that seemed to have worked at least as far as getting our point across. She did finally reply that they understood and it sounds like a next step will be taken. Moving forward I hope as this seems to be a step in the right direction.

Normally I would go back to the previous posts (there are two) where I alluded without too many details about what was going on. But I'm not going to. I have apologized for my personal part in the family drama, I had said my peace and if people don't agree with my opinion then that doesn't mean I don't have to right to post it and keep it posted. It has taken me a long time to learn not to be stepped all over. So far in this situation I have not been very graceful at it but I am learning.

I am going to go out and enjoy the sun that finally showed up in Seattle! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

What would you do with this?

Maybe some of you would never own this.


I picked it up about nine years ago when I lived in North Carolina. At the time it fit with my "Shabby Chic" decorating style. I had intended to hang it from chain in a window cause I thought it would be pretty. That never happend and currently takes up floor space leaning against a wall in my bathroom. I have thought of how to turn this in to something cool and I am at a dead end.

Maybe it will end up in the yardsale tomorrow. Is it clutter if you walk by it and don't even think about it or get pleasure from it? Any ideas out there in Blogville?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Betta Geta Vespa

My FIL sent hubby and I a postcard one time with that "Betta Getta Vespa" tagline on it. Yesterday I was speaking to a coworker who just ordered a brand new scooter for $1200. It's get's 90 miles to the GALLON she says.


Right now hubby and I can carpool as we both work downtown. Next spring my company is moving and carpooling will no longer be possible. My company currently pays for my parking at work. When hubby goes back to driving himself he will either have to pay $70 per month for parking or find an alternative. Enter the scooter (or motorcycle - there is a debate). Better gass mileage + better parking options (read free) = not as much of a reduction in our take home pay.

There is still the debate of motorcycle over scooter. I don't think I care too much what one we get. I would prefer a scooter first so when we get hubby his motorcycle the scooter will be mine to use.

Anyone want to weigh in on the debate?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Agatha Christie and why I HATE Video Games

I caved. We bought a Wii on Sunday. I had been thinking about buying one. Ever since I saw the Fit Board commercial on TV I have been wanting a Wii. The Fit Board enables you to do Yoga etc on a Nintendo game system.

Out of our entire household my hubby and SK's are game freaks. We have an X-Box system and I didn't think we really needed a new game system. SD was with us and when SS came home she freaked out. They played some game called Worms for hours. Hubby also bought Lego Indiana Jones. He bought me an Agatha Christie game cause I love me some mysteries to solve (LOVE Agatha Christie books/movies too)! I am stuck on Chapter 3 because I can't get a stupid scoop to take flour out of a bag to get to some batteries I need for my flashlight so I can investigate the upstairs. WTF!

Sorry about the language but this is one of the reasons I DON'T like video games. Too many rules etc to understand. I am not a gamer and I JUST DON'T GET IT! I spent a while online trying to discover cheats or hints in order for me to do what I wanted to do. Hubby has been playing for the last half hour to rescue me and figure it out.

I still will give the Wii a chance and if any of you out there can solve my flour scoop problem PLEASE comment! Maybe some red wine will help..........

Monday, June 23, 2008

Net Worth

Yesterday I decided to sit down and figure out what our net worth is.

For a while now all I keep thinking about is the amount of debt we have. I have discovered that we are not in as bad a position as I thought. Not counting our mortgage we have assets that equal 2/3 of our debt. When I refer to debt I mean credit card, car and student loans. Our mortgage will be aggressively paid down after all other debt is paid off, six months living expenses are saved and our vacation account is well stocked. This time next year our car loan will be paid off so we should be at the break even point as far as assets vs liabilities.

Our financial focus right now is the following...
a) Putting an additional $300 per month on our car loan
b) Snowflaking as much as possible in to our vacation fund
c) Creating alternate streams of income outside of our JOBS and snowflaking them

A vacation account may not seem that important but hubby and I LIVE for travel. We feel that if we are taking all of these steps to become debt free as fast as possible, we could reward ourselves with vacations that are completely paid for instead of charged.

So far this month we have snowflaked $532.84 (thanks in a little bit to part of our tax incentive check). If you also count another $1000 from our tax incentive check we put in a 7 month CD we have actually snowflaked $1532.84. Yeehaw, Savannah here we come!


Hubby and I hope to take a mini retirement of sorts after his youngest has graduated from high school.
We also do plan to move to an area that has a lower cost of living once the kids are out of school. That is six short years away. We hope to actually live off a home business earlier than that. But for now we just need to focus on the above.

My challenge for us from today until both hubby and my next payday is to spend money only on food and gas with a tiny budget for a small amount of fun. We do plan to find fun in other ways that are free like geocashing, walks at the pier (a short drive from our house and has a dog park) with the dog, etc.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Solstice, Car Art & Lenin

Yesterday we met hubby's dad down in Freemont. The Summer Solstice celebration was in full swing. We missed the parade but got to see a lot of the fair. Painted people were everywhere...



We saw people dressed up in all kinds of costumes...

There were nudists (don't worry - this is a G rated blog)....

There were people expressing themselves in all sorts of ways...

Even cars got in to the act (yes that really is a car bra made out of bras)...

Who knew carpeting wasn't just for floors...

The same could be said for laminate...


I'm uncertain what exactly this was was trying to convey. Possibly the exploration of space???

We had really good pizza by the slice at Mad Pizza and stopped by the statue of Lenin salvaged from Slovakia by a local art lover who mortgaged his house to bring the statue over.

We also saw the Freemont Troll created in 1990.

The weather was just perfect. Sunny and not too warm. Just enough of an overcast sky to make it nice but not uncomfortable. Welcome to summer!







Thursday, June 19, 2008

Answering questions no one has asked

Found this post (scroll down for the post from June 19th) today on one of my favorite blogs.

It really hit home with me. All to often I do feel that I answer peoples questions they have not asked. Not to mention my life would be considerably less stressful if I chose to argue the point less. Needless to say, this attitude expressed by Crazy Aunt Purl is something I plan to adopt as part of decluttering my relationships. I was probably aware of all of this before but the way she presented it just really made sense.

The scope of my blog is always to talk about positive elements to my life and to connect with other like-minded individuals. Weather it be things I am working on or goals I want to acheive. Not to mention celebrating life's little joys.

One thing that has been bogging me down lately is a continual dispute with my inlaws. In the beginning I just thought they were really family oriented people. In their own way (and in their own minds/worlds) they are. They just take everything WAY TOO FAR. My MIL has a supremely high opinion of herself and coddles my SD which is NOT balanced by how she treats my SS. Until I found a website about narcissistic personality disorder (thanks Vanessa!) I thought I was going crazy. For the past eight months we have not spoken (in person) to my husbands mother and step father and we literally live feet from each other (in the same condo complex). Pretty much all of our communication is via email.

Without going in to detail, our (hubby and I) core values just do not line up with my MIL (who wears the pants in her "relationship") and when we but heads due to those core values she goes balistic by belittling us and trying to take control. We finally put our foot down and it's getting to the point now (with the help of a counselor) where we are in a place we may need to cut off the inlaws for good. That problem I have with that is it will hurt the kids which is never our intention but a necessary evil.

What absolutely kills me about this situation is my MIL can't be there for my hubby the way she should be. In a loving and supportive way. We have enough to deal with his ex wife that we don't need stress from my MIL as well. My own parents and I have an adult relationship but it's not the way I would like it to be. It's taken me many years to get over the way I was parented by them and I REFUSE to do the same thing to my SK's.

Sorry to be such a downer but I really felt I needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tag Your It

Found this meme at one of my favorite blogs.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? Ten years ago I was 26 and working as a nanny trying to figure out my life. Not a great year for personal growth etc. I think I have come a long way since then but there are still changes to be made.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today? a)Use elliptical for at least twenty minutes. b) Go through a pile in my dining room that used to be in my bedroom c)Post on blog d) Empty dishwasher e) Make banana bread

3) Snacks I enjoy: Hummus, Tzatziki & Pita Bread, Tomatoes and Mozarella, Bruschetta

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: a) Be debt free b) Travel the world c) Make more films d) Build a home on a lake in a warm climate e) Volunteer with World Vision

5) Places I have lived: Shoreline, WA; Pullman, WA; Seattle, WA; Pineville, NC & Edmonds, WA

Small Town City Girl, Spilling Buckets, One Small Stitch For Mankind, The Cottage Nest & Confessions Of A Hoarder

Tag your it! Everyone feel free to play and leave me a comment if you did!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bedroom Update

Hubby decided he really wanted to get the shelf up under the TV. It's the same dark brown/black color as the shelving in our closet and the color of the floor with silver braces on either side. We had a dresser there which was holding our DVD player as well as storing clothing. We don't need it now since we have our grand new closet. The two dressers we used to have we gave to the kids and got rid of their old dressers which were not really working for them.

Visually the space is more open and looks larger and less cluttered. The old dresser we had under the TV came out as far as the hamper you see in this photo. We plan to replace the hamper with something else. Maybe a dark stained wicker basket.

Up close photo. I LOVE having only the DVD player, cable box and the incense burner up there! We do have a couple DVD cases - but only what we watched yesterday.


I wish we could say we were finished. Along with the additional shelves we have to wait to come in at IKEA we still need to do the baseboard and crown molding in here, construct our headboard and I would like to find a chair for the large empty corner between the bed and the closet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

End of Vacation - Room Almost Finished

It's been busy the last couple days around here. I am sore and tired and have not been on the computer since Friday morning. We have installed (almost) everything we could in the closet. IKEA ran out of shelving so we still need to get about six more shelves when they come in ten days from now. We have items to return as well.

We have hanging clothing on each side of the closet and drawers, shelves and shoe racks in the center. This shot is my side which needs another shelf (above my purse) and I still need to put some clothes here. My purse will probably not live here. It's hard to tell in this photo but I have left enough room under the drawers to store my sewing machine. The right side has the same configuration and my sewing basket is under the right set of drawers.

We have overhead long term storage. This bin holds scarfs, hats, gloves, etc. We have another that holds extra bedding. We have a total of three of these boxes but need more shelving before we can put the other up.

We can get twelve pair of shoes on these four racks. We are not certain if we will get more of these and less shelving. Some shoes even fit under the bottom rack (like my Uggs pictured here). The rest of our shoes are in the third bin under the hanging clothing on the right of the closet.

Here is the right side of the closet where some of our hanging clothing it (you can see the third bin temporarily sitting here). The only thing I wish I could change would be the closet to be twelve inches wider so the hanging clothing did not sit slightly in front of the drawers and shelves on either side of the back of the closet. Oh well, at least we ended up with a pretty efficient closet system. I really like the industrial look and the floor matches the shelf and drawer color perfectly. Now it looks like we meant to do the floor the way we did.

Even thought today is Father's Day hubby still wants to install a shelf under our mounted TV for the DVD player. Then our two old dressers will go to the kids and we will get rid of the dressers they have now. Our old dressers will be sanded and painted but not this weekend. Hubby came home with a rug I have been wanting from IKEA. It was in the marked down area and was only used as a floor model. It was $100 off and will go in my living room.
More updates as we complete them but the hard part is over thank goodness!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Vacation Day 4

OK, this morning we did put down the fourth coat which is the clear glossy polyurethane coat. While this was drying hubby and I ran some errands and stopped by to visit my mom.

I also spent a little time planning our next vacation. This will involve a plane and lots of sun. Our three choices were Savannah, GA, Key West FL or New Orleans, LA. We are pretty certain Savannah has won as they have the best (read least expensive) airfare from Seattle. That doesn't rule out the other two. We are going to use a week of my parents timeshare and the only one in the Savannah area is on Tybee Island. As long as they have availability when we want to go then it's a done deal.

We plan to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary while away. Possible sight seeing will include a ghost tour and the movie tour for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which I first heard about ironically on This Old House.

Getting back to the project at hand. We were able to paint the first coat of paint in the closet. This photo really doesn't give it justice but it really is a lighter blue than the walls. If you look where the floor meets the wall you can see where the paint stops. Chris wants to do one last coat of clear polyurethane on the floors before a second coat of paint in the closet.


It's back to the fold out couch for one more night. Early tomorrow morning we will be able to move our furniture back in to the bedroom and start on the closet organizer. We plan to go to a matinee of The Happening before we pick up the kids tomorrow. Our week of vacation is almost over but if we had done this over the course of a few weekends it would have been pure hell!

Next time we take time off there are no condo projects involved but a road trip east of the mountains.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vacation Day 3 - Update

The second coat is on the floor. I like it better already. This particular stain has a polyurethane in it to make the floor a bit glossy which is what I wanted. The Ebony did not have that in it. Hence the dull finish of the first coat. There is a bit of red in this color as well which warms up the floor. The Ebony was just too cold and flat.


While waiting for the second coat to dry hubby and I went to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. There is only one Rainforest Cafe in Washington. It's at a mall not near us but it is near IKEA. The entire interior of the cafe is a jungle theme with vines and jungle animals and a waterfall. They also have huge tanks full of saltwater fish. We went because we had a gift card that we had not used. It's definately more of a place for kids but the food was good. Below is one of the gorillas in the cafe.

Then we went to IKEA to get the rest of our closet organizer.

Last night we put the third coat down which looks much like the second coat. It's still not as glossy as I would like so we are going to get a fourth coat down of a clear polyurethane finish to achieve the glossy shine we want.

The photo actually shows the floor redder and glossier than in person. I really had hoped we would be moving on to painting the closet this morning. We need to paint two coats before we can install our closet organizers. The entire contents of our bedroom are in the kids room, the dining room and the living room. We need to go pick up the kids tomorrow evening and if we can't get most of our bedroom put back together before then we will have to get them on Saturday morning as they won't be able to get to their beds to sleep.

Wish us luck!

Vacation Day 3

There is a fine layer of sawdust on every surface inside our house. Despite our best efforts to contain it to the immediate bedroom area.

Sorry I did not post an update last night. I was exhausted.

It took us about an hour last night to go around the edges of the bedroom with two palm sanders (thank goodness we have two) and completely prep the floor for it's first coat of stain. The first coat doesn't look like much. We bought ebony stain which should have been my first clue it was going to be black (duh). I don't know, the little 1 x 2 chip didn't seem so formidable. And unlike paint this is harder to fix if you don't like it.

Chris really got in to it by going back over some of what we had stained in his bare feet. Don't worry, pretty much all of it came out.


This morning we are going to do a second coat in Bombay Mahogany which is what we used for our new computer shelf in our dining room. It has some red in it which I wanted for the bedroom I just wanted a darker finish. I think with the base coat of Ebony we should get our achieved results, a slightly African Rosewood look.

After coat number two we are off to IKEA to pick up the rest of the closet organizer we are installing.

Stay tuned for more photos!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vacation Day 2

Today we have finished emptying out the bedroom so now our main living spaces look like this...

We rented a drum sander from Homer. It took us around an hour after we got it home to completely sand our bedroom and closet floors. You can't even tell there used to be two different colors of flooring in here. The blue wall color looks a little more true in this photo than in the one from yesterday.

I even took it for a spin.
Chris did the majority of the sanding though.

We need to take our palm sanders to the edges of the room and then we can stain. I hope to get one coat of stain down tonight. Updates to come soon!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Vacation Day 1 Completed

I'm going to attempt update what was accomplished each day of our vacation.

Today we moved most everything out of the bedroom with the exception of our bed (covered in a tarp cause hubby is using the saw in the bedroom - sawdust is everywhere) and a dresser that currently holds the DVD player (so hubby could watch movies while working - our TV is mounted to the wall).

Here is a pile of sewing projects that was in a corner of the bedroom. Curtains to hem for our bedroom, a yoga mat I bought supplies for two years ago, a second pair of curtains for the front of our garden window and curtains closest to the window that need to be hemmed. All of these were completed today.


Here are scrapbooking supplies that were under our bed. They now reside in my dining room and I don't intend for them to go back in to my bedroom. I need to go through them, get rid of what I don't want and put the rest that I want to keep in the bins in my hallway bookshelves.

For the bedroom - which is the main focus this week.

I was able to shorten our bedroom curtains (they had been pinned up) to keep them away from the heater (put in a terrible place in my opinion). Not to mention de-fur them. The cat loves to sit in the window and her hair was everywhere! Sounds like I didn't do much but I spent a lot of time at my sewing machine today (see below).


Hubby spent all day finishing up the flooring in the bedroom and closet. Tomorrow we hope to sand the floor in preparation for stain and possibly get a first coat of paint in the closet (the paint may have to wait). He even managed to get flooring pieces under the existing shelves in the closet. Amazing. This shelving will eventually go when we have purchased all of our closet organizational items.


The fabric pictured below is left over chenille from the shower curtain I made for the bathroom and paisley brocade from a covered lamp shade on my side of the bed. I'm thinking a throw. I did sew the chenille together but need to run to the fabric store and see if they have more of the blue and brown paisley brocade to edge my throw with.

We have a garden window in our dining room which makes it really hard to create curtains for. To complicate things even more there is a heater on the wall under the window (another badly misplaced one) so the long curtains I wanted in the front of the window (to puddle on the floor) were not going to happen. I was able to shorten the one set of curtains in the dining room closest to the windows and and make the second set of curtains. The window is bare as we still need to hang them.

Tell me what you think and ideas are welcome!

Vacation Day 1

Today marks the first day of "vacation" for hubby and I. We decided since we don't have a lot of money for a true vacation getaway we would stay home and finish our master bedroom floor. That involves pretty much clearing out the entire room, finishing laying down the floor, sanding it, staining it and sealing it. Not to mention painting the closet and installing our new closet system.

The photo below is Chris prepping the closet floor for goop to put down more flooring tile. Our carpeting was old and there is cement under the padding. You can see some of the bedroom wall color in this photo. It is brighter than in person. The wall color for the closet will be a lighter sky blue to match our bathroom.

This morning after I get off the computer I plan to empty out the bedroom and closet. If we finish all of the flooring today I can paint the closet and we can rent a sander tomorrow. Chris has really bad allergies so he wears this mask whenever he is doing something dusty. He looks like he is preparing for war.

Over the course of the last couple years we have been taking out carpeting and laying down this parquet flooring. The darker color below is the color we have been doing throughout our condo. Unfortunately, by the time we got to our bedroom they discontinued this brand of flooring and all they had left was the lighter color. That is the reason once we finish getting the flooring down we will have to sand and stain it all a uniform color.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Friends

A double post day! Every Sunday morning I get up at the ungodly hour of 6 AM to meet a friend to walk at the mall by 7 AM. We usually get three laps in before we take a break and stop at Starbucks for our morning coffee and sometimes pastry. We usually chat for an hour or so especially if we can get the comfy chair before "Sunny" (more about him later). Then usually we do at least one more lap. If we have tons to talk about we will do two or three more laps instead of the one. I look forward to my Sunday mornings with my friend. It's sometimes really hard to get my but out of bed so early but within a few minutes I'm over the hangover of "need more sleep" and on my way. I met Mindy at a local Weight Watchers meeting a couple years ago. Back when I was going to quit yet again. It's been really great to have a supportive friend who understands just how hard it is to lose weight and stay within a budget.

Our chat this morning reminded me of why I started my blog in the first place. It really started as a knitting blog but soon I was reading other peoples blogs about things I was interested in (being debt free, living simply, healthy weight loss, crafts, repurposing, etc).

I'm a goal setter but not the best goal achiever. More than likely it's because I am overzealous with my goals. I always think if a little is good then a lot must be better and faster. Whenever I try to start losing weight again I don't gradually work in to it but go all out and end up dissapointed. When I try to become debt free my hubby and I put ourselves on a stringent financial diet and end up going to a movie or buying something because we feel like we have restricted ourselves too much and "we deserve it". The justification for we deserve it ranges from we are breathing to we work hard to we are not as in debt as so and so.

Today is a new day. I resolve to do the following....

1. Lose ten pounds. I need to lose more than that but ten is more easily achievable in a shorter period of time. Once the first ten pounds is gone I can move on to the next ten.

2. Put an additional $300 on my car payment. That will mean I will have my car paid off in 16 months. This extra $300 has already been placed in my monthly budget for my car payment.

3. Vacation savings. We received our tax refund check and it's sitting at our credit union. Later this week we are going to move $500 of it to our savings account and $1000 will be used to purchase a six month CD. This is money we may or may not use for our vacation next April. The honeymoon we never took.

4. Complete unfinished projects. I have curtains for the dining room, paint for the bathroom, flooring & closet installation for our bedroom to do. Plenty of supplies we have already paid for and are sitting around our house that need to be installed. Hubby and I are actually taking this week off to focus mainly on our bedroom but if items in other rooms are accomplished that is fine too.

Lovlies

Last weekend I happened to walk by the donate bag in the hallway. We don't always have a donate bag going but if we do, items often end up in there. Or, one is started if any person sees fit to donate an item. Anyway, I walked by the donate bag and saw a pair of shoes my SD had placed there. I had noticed them in her bedroom the previous week. Not certain where she got them as I have never seen them before. I suspect my MIL.

The shoes caught my eye because it's typically something my SD does not wear. She's more of a Chuck Taylor kind of gal. They are Japanese style shoes you often see made of canvass but these are black brocade with red flowers on them.
SD placed them in the donate bag because they are too small. They fit me perfectly. I went to Joann Fabrics yesterday to get some fabric to make capri pants and a top to go with these new shoes.

The black linen will be the capri's and top and I will make a cuff for both (legs and arms) out of the brocade. It was 60% off too!



While browsing in the same isle I happened to notice sari fabrics also 60% off. I have been planning for a while to purchase a bunch of colorful fabric (weather through yard sales, thrift shops or sales in general) and just couldn't resist. There were so many colors to choose from so I bought two yards each of six different colors. There will be some sewing in my future!


As a side note to my last post; I was chatting with my friend today on our walk (we go walking every Sunday morning at the ungodly hour of 7:00 am) and she suggested it sounded like I really want to do paper crafts but not keep 12 x 12 scrapbooks, or make pages for my sisters kids scrapbooks. That pretty much nails it on the head.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hobbies & Collecting

For years I have had many a hobby and collection. Lately I have been wondering about giving some of them up. My hubby and I are leaning towards a more simple and clutter free life and some of my hobbies just don't fit in to that blueprint anymore.

I have been sewing since I was eight and still utilize my sewing machine to make clothing for my family or items for my home. I would like a new sewing machine but that is on the back burner as my current one works fine. I don't have a permanent place to keep and use it so I will wait until I do to get the one I want. I received a serger for free and just need to take a look at it to make certain everything works properly. I don't imagine I will ever give up sewing as it's useful and practical and I enjoy it.

About eight years ago I was introduced to scrapbooking. I really wasn't sure I wanted to get in to it cause I knew I would be spending a great deal of time and money on it - and I was bad about getting my photos developed. I have TONS of scrapbooking paper and supplies and several half finished albums.

My scrapbooks are all 12 x 12 which require a lot of expensive paper, especially with the way I do my pages.
I recycle a lot of my designed pages with different colors or themes of paper and photos cause I like them so much. I'm really behind too. I got married four years ago and I am only half finished with my wedding album. My trip to California three summers ago is still mostly in a large mailing envelope. I tend to be a perfectionist so that doesn't help with my scrapping budget. I LOVE embellishments, ribbon, buttons and paper for my pages. One of my favorite local stores is Lasting Memories, probably because they are really creative and always showcase other ways to utilize scrapbooking supplies other than in scrapbooks.

Now that I have a better digital camera (I want an even better one) I don't really print any of my photos but save them on the computer, post them to myspace, email them to friends and family or post them here on my blog. I would really like a digital picture frame. I think that would be a really great way to show lots of photos without having the physical clutter of scrapbooks that just get dusty.

So, I am seriously thinking of giving up scrapbooking. I still like the paper and ribbon and embellishments and I think it would be great to have a completed wedding album, maybe even a travel scrapbook. I think I would keep some stuff around to make the occasional card or gift tag.
Since I spent the money on the stuff I do want to use it up. I should probably start finding some projects I can make for friends and family. Maybe I will make some shadow boxes I can change out a couple times a year. However, I think it's time to simplify that past time to a few containers and move on.

Two years ago I took up knitting. I really like it and as a hobby goes it fits perfectly in with my lifestyle and criteria. I have a few projects going right now.
I'm making a wrap using a technique called entrelac. I'm using self striping wool yarn which has a ton of colors in it. I think I'm a little more than half finished with this project and really want to complete it before the cold weather rolls around again.

I have some gloves started and other projects I want to make like new kilt hose to go with hubby's kilt. Tons of other projects I want to make when I find the time and money for the yarn! I at least don't have much of a stash of yarn or even fabric for that matter.

I used to collect lot's of things too. One of the things I hated about collecting is you are then known for liking that item. Suddenly, all your Christmas and Birthday gifts have that "thing" associated with it. Even when you tell people you are no longer collecting that thing they seem to feel you really are not serious about it and still continue to give you items with that "thing" on it. This also gives them license to buy you that green and pink flannel sheet set with kittens on it or that framed artwork that totally does not go with your style because there is a cow in it.

I don't really collect anything anymore. I went through the teddy bear phase as a young girl, I liked rainbows and unicorns, then the cow phase (I even had cow Christmas lights!). At one time I attempted to collect old sporting equipment but got rid of it all in a purge.

One collection I do have going is secret. I have a friend who's aunt really liked Blue Heron's. Her husband was an artist and painted her a Blue Heron in every room. Some were obvious as part of a mural and some were hidden in a corner. It was her secret collection and she loved seeing them in every room of her home.

I really loved that idea and started something similar. Only my friend who's Aunt has the original Blue Heron collection and my hubby (and now you) know about it. My "Blue Heron's" are monkeys. I really like them as they are mischevious creatures. So far I only have two, a small statue of a monkey sitting on a stack of books wearing a fez on the mantle in my living room and monkey tassels holding back the curtains in my bedroom. Only I am allowed to by any Monkeys for my Blue Heron collection.

I guess you could call all of our DVD's as a collection since we have so many. I am just waiting for the day when you can digitally store movies (like on an iPod) and not have to physically store them in your home. If you pay for the movie once you can call it up any time and watch it.

I have not ever regretted any of the collections I have given up in the past and as long as a hobby causes me more stress than happiness I don't need to have it around.

Are you trapped by your hobbies and collections?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Update - The Book of Zombie

It's been a while since I wrote about the film I worked on. For those of you who don't know, last summer I costumed an independent Zombie movie. My hubby and I were both executive producers. That's just a fancy way of saying we paid for the privilege. All joking aside it was a really great experience and one we want to have more of.

After some pickup shots this summer we plan to have a screening in October of this year. The editing process is 70% complete and I can't wait to see the finished product!

Here is an interview with two of the director/writers of our flick. If you are interested in more you can click on our website or our myspace .

Feedback is always welcome!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Brazil 3 - Canada 2

Last night hubby and I went to the Brazil vs Canada soccer match here in Seattle. It was held at Qwest field which is the current home of the Seattle Seahawks and soon to be the home of the new Seattle Sounders FC MLS soccer team. A minority owner in the new team is actor Drew Carey. My hubby is stoked!

As expected, Brazil pretty much dominated Canada's end of the field the entire night although Canada did make more of an effort in the second half.



This guy was one of the many wearing Brazilian flags and green hair.

Both of the teams headed out on to the field with their pint sized escorts.

This guy danced through almost the entire game. Some Brazilian fans had brought drums and were playing non stop.

A lonely Canadian fan in a sea of yellow.

Hubby and I enjoying beer, garlic fries and of course a soccer match!

One of the few shots that my camera took that was NOT blurry. Note to self - need a better digital camera.

This guy ran across the field after the game was over and the players had returned to their locker rooms. He was cuffed and escorted out. Ignore my hubby's thumb.

More Brazilian fans. These people were with the band of drummers.

One thing I thought was cool but didn't really understand. After the game many of the player switched jersey's with a player from the opposite team. I wonder why they do that? Hubby and I had a great time!