Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Before I start sheepishly showing you the rest of the Skydiving scrapbook, I wanted to share a few things I picked up off the side of the road. I have big plans for these babies. BIG PLANS.

ALL of this came from a crazy middle-aged woman off of 11th street, which is a fairly busy road, so I'm extremely lucky that I snagged all of this.  I first saw a bookshelf on a curb waiting for garbage pickup, which you'll see below, but once we got it in the car, she came out to be crazy and talk to us, and said she had another shelf in her garage, which just so happened to be an ANTIQUE that she was just.going.to.throw.away....... What!? Yes. Then I asked her if she happened to be throwing out a chair that hadn't got to the curb yet. Which she was. She took me inside her house and showed me the two chairs and a table (perfectly fine pieces of furniture) that she was going to throw out. She wanted me to take the whole set, but I just wanted one chair. She was confused, but she was crazy, so whatever. On the way out of the house, I saw a bench on the deck. I made Adam go back and ask her what she was doing with it... and she gave that to me, too!!

And of course, pictures:

I've been looking for a chair on the side of the road for years. I'd been using our kitchen table chair, which is extremely comfortable, but it's a pain to keep having to bring it back into the kitchen when we have guests over. I wanted my own chair, and I finally found one! It's a little chewed up on a leg, probably from a dog, but since I've spray painted it down, you can't really see it.

A purple chair! It's totally Tessa. My room is totally me, and nothing but me, even down to the chair! 

A BENCH that I've been dreaming about for the (soon to be finished) mud room!

An antique, but very sad (what used to be a) "secretary desk", which is pretty much just a book shelf.

This baby has a lot of issues. I don't know if I can fix it up, and to be honest, I don't even know what to do with it at all because it's so damaged. Should I just paint over it?

Bits are even missing.

This is the piece that I actually saw on the side of the road and made me call Adam in a panic, saying "GET YOUR DAD'S JEEP! THERE'S A BOOKSHELF ON 11th THAT I HAVE TO HAVE! HURRY! SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO TAKE IT!" He was very annoyed. But he came anyway, like a good husband does. 

I actually didn't know it was a children's toy chest until I got there and dug it out of a bunch of other crap that way laying on it. I thought it was a regular bookshelf. I'll find a use for it, though. Or I'll try to sell it on Craig's list.  

The front edge piece is really chewed up, probably from a dog. Our friend Matt helped me cut and nail a piece of L-shaped molding over it so it looks a lot better. I'm very intimidated by this task. Probably because it's going to take hours of sanding, caulking and painting. And I still have the mudroom to finish.

Look at the naked babies! So appropriate! ...

And although this didn't come from the crazy lady, I'll include it too:

When we had our windows replaced last month, I asked the window guys to save me the ones from the basement. There are a few more that aren't pictured. After I scrub and sand them down, I'll give them a fresh coat of paint. THEN... the plan is to turn them into shelves above the windows in my craft room.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I typed up a long story about all the things that this scrapbook has taught me and how I've grown from it, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I was typing it on Adam's 15 year old laptop in my craft room that hardly runs, has no battery, and has a power cord that falls out if you barely nudge it.

So, like an idiot, I typed everything in Notepad, instead of on Blogger.

I went to get some water, sat back down, and as I sat, my knee nudged the TV tray the laptop was sitting on. Out came the power cord. Gone went all my writings.

So mad right now.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I did it! I found a huge secret to the Silhouette!

Take your image or phrase, use the mirror tool to make it backwards, then cut it. That way, when the silhouette cuts around a corner and slightly nicks the edge, just turn the image or word right-side up and viola! you have a perfectly cut piece!

It's hard to explain unless you see it, but just know that THIS IS EXCITING for me! I might have better luck with my cuts in the future! I've already had a HUGELY successful cut today with this page:

This purple paper is just colored white card stock. Do you know what I mean? When you cut it, you can see the white base. When I use my Silhouette, this type of card stock is a huge problem on those tight corners. But when I mirrored the words "what a view!", the flip side of the words looked perfect! HA!

My love/hate relationship with my Silhouette status today: love it!

By the way, I love that Chrome does what Word does by underlining misspelled words. 
It saves me the hassle of using the dang spell check on Blogger which I always forget.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Saturday mornings are my favorite. We wake up slowly and cuddle with our babies into the afternoon. I always feel so content and happy. Even today, and I'm even sick! Sick and content. That seems like an oxymoron.

I was playing around with my new Photobucket app while in bed and thought to upload my favorite iPod backgrounds. Because I'm bored, I also thought I would share them :)

I get all of my wallpapers from an app called WallpapersHD by Kappboom.

I had this one as either my background
or lock screen since I got my iPod.
I think it is so, so, so beautiful.

This one I just got last night.
I love it. I think it's so beautiful.

This one I also got last night.
It's currently my lock screen background.
Love it!
I think you can tell a lot from a person from what their backgrounds are. I like art, I like modern, I like geometric designs, I like flowers, I like paisleys, and I love butterflies. I also have quite a few cat backgrounds that I downloaded, but I've never used them. I love my Nuke, but not so much other cats. I don't have any dog ones, but I definitely love my Coco.

Friday, August 16, 2013


From Saturday's post, you could see that I was frustrated with stamps, ink, and paper. Since I wrote that post *however many* months ago, I've done a lot more trial and errors and had a lot more success.

I found this post which is AWESOME and helped me decide on ordering a case (10 reams) of Neenah Solar White paper that Michelle said "everyone [was] raving about". I was actually able to purchase it through my work and just pay the company back, which, although a lot of money to drop on card stock all at once, was a steal and even cheaper than Walmart's card stock option: Georgia Pacific for a ream of 150 sheets.

I've found that Neenah is dreamy and creamy. I don't know how I used the old Staples card stock!

I've also found that for the crispest images, I like Archival Ink the best, otherwise Color Box is really nice if I want to heat set it. I'm going to try Michelle's idea to turn the stamp upside down and put the card stock on top of the stamp. I would've never thought to try that.

As far as my project today, I'm posting something new. I started a Project Life scrapbook, a mini album for a reception I helped Erin throw together in just one week, a mini album for our trip to New York from two years ago, and another mini album for my SKYDIVING ADVENTURE. Did you know I went skydiving?? True story. I paid (quite a bit) extra for a photo and video package, and you can see the video here: http://www.skydivemilwaukee.com/videos/6e7321b52002

As far as the projects I'm showing goes, I started Project Life up. I know, I know, I'm such a conformist.

But it's really fun with the pocket dividers. It makes it really easy to scrap something every day. 

I wanted a starting page:

And an introduction page, starting with our home:

Our house looks a little different now - we have a raised flower bed in front of the deck:

It's not the best photo, and the plants on the deck look like they're dead because the picture was taken during a heat wave that kinda killed them (but they're coming back alive now). 

In several weeks we will have new siding (EEEEK!!!!) because of a HUGE hail storm that came through last month and dinged up nearly everyone's siding and/or roof in the city. We were fortunate enough to have our siding messed up from the storm! We're so excited! We hate the brown and white and cannot wait to get rid of it. We even got a few quotes for new siding before the hail storm hit, so it was a blessing in disguise! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

*UPDATED*: Flowers.

*UPDATE* I mist-typed and said it was a hydrangea bush in the sad south flower bed, but it was HIBISCUS. Also, added more/better pictures of the lilacs.

I wrote my mother a long email yesterday and told her of all of the plants that I've been nurturing this year. Last year grubs got the best of some of my favorites (and of course they were all expensive!): my butterfly bush, hydrangea, a Red Hot Poker, and a lilac bush, and that's just to name a few. We planted three lilac bushes last year and one and a half survived the holocaust, but one did not. 

In fact, the email was so detailed that I think I'll just copy and paste it.

All images can be clicked on to enlarge.

Several weeks ago I bought some plant bulbs and seeds because they were on sale/clearance and of course are a million times cheaper than the grown plants themselves. I finally got around to planting them last week and I've been religious about watering them every day. Cross your fingers for me! I planted a peony, spread some poppy seeds around, 4 lilies of the valley (or is it lily of the valleys?), a Red Hot Poker, a day lily, and a clematis for the ugly wire fence our neighbors have.
Again,  Click on picture to enlarge.
I posted this picture last week of our house but didn't explain the flower planting. I have little markers to tell me where I planted what because my memory is so bad.
About two months ago we bought full-sized pots of three plants, one being some kind of a lily that grows three colors - red, yellow and another color I haven't seen yet (read on), and I don't remember the name of it, an Astra Pink Balloon Flower, and a Hydrangea. They all died in the heat wave a few weeks back. Shriveled up and looked awful. Even though Adam thought it was useless, I decided to give it a try and water them a whole bunch every day. Guess what!? They've revived! The lily plant has the red and yellow flowers and there's a big pre-bloom thing for the other color! I think it's pink. The hydrangea has exploded into life and will soon have blooms. I'm so excited! 
It's like a phoenix, rising from the ashes.
Only a few blooms on this one, but there's green so I'm happy.
Adam swore this thing was dead, dead, dead. 
Last year we bought some small lilac bushes. We thought they all died over the winter because my butterfly bush also died, we think from grubs. Adam bought me a new butterfly bush this year, although a lot smaller since we ended up wasting the money last year. Anyway, two of the three lilac bushes came back and one is huge and even has flowers on it! Like, a bunch of flowers! It's not even lilac season (right?) but they're all over! It makes me so happy.
A year or two ago I planted some regular deep red lily bulbs (my favorite) and they finally came up this year and are beautiful. I have one hollyhock left over from when Adam killed all of them. It's growing outwards really nice but it's not tall or blooming yet. The bleeding heart bush Adam's mother pulls out every year that always comes back is blooming beautifully as expected. 
This shot is on the side of our property, the garage on the left is ours, and technically this land I planted in isn't ours, but we couldn't stand looking at the weeds on this side of the fence because the neighbors never take care of their lawn. They haven't complained, and I think they like that they don't have to take care of it. Excuse the mess of weeds I didn't pick up before taking the pic.
I'm hoping to pretty up this ugly fence with the clematis.
8-14 Lilac Bush 1.
8-14 Lilac Bush 1 Flowers.

Lilac Bush 2.
You can see the twigs on the right that never came back to life. I don't have the heart to rip it out yet.

Butterfly Bush.
This is the flower bed on the north side of our backyard. I've tried a few things with it, and last year it was a hollyhocks forest. Adam may or may not have dumped a huge amount of soil on top of the bed right as they were coming in this year, and may or may not have killed all but one of them.  Look at the progression this year:

5-15 - pre-killing, see the hollyhocks sprouts.
5-15 Lilies.
I couldn't figure out what these were. I planted these bulbs two years ago and I thought they just died and I'd have to plant more or something else. 
6-26 Lilies, bigger hollyhocks leaves.
6-26 Bleeding Heart.
2013-8-14 - no blooms as of right now, but there are some about to come out. Only one hollyhocks left.
One tiny, little heart today.
So many flowers and they remind me of you. I've been weeding the flower beds and I hate it but I'm glad you taught me the value of working hard. 
This is the flower bed on the south side of our back yard. I haven't done much to it. I planted a beautiful, expensive hibiscus bush in the corner last year that the grubs ate. Those tall things might even be weeds but this is how much I care about this bed right now: *holds up hand in the shape of a zero*.
I'm also painting the mud room that we had fixed a few months ago. I'm sure you remember when our ceiling leaked, we had to tear the ceiling out, had to get the roof replaced in that area (flat roof), and then we had to get a new ceiling and wall put up. I have to prime the ceiling and the wall that was replaced and the baseboards (which are new as well). I finally did the first coat of the baseboard yesterday. It's pitch black like most of the rest of the house. Should I have started with the ceiling?
Coat one of baseboards I did yesterday evening.
Ceiling from a weird angle by the floor
I've been scrapbooking my skydiving pictures. I decided to do an 8x8 album instead of a thin 12x12, and it's a challenge! I thought smaller would be easier!  
I went to my psychiatrist today to talk to her about possibly becoming a foster parent. She stressed over and over that it's really hard and that you have to be very emotionally strong. Majority of the time kids are placed back with their parents. They are all troubled and my doctor said that some will curse and scream at you for no reason and you have to be able to take that. She was leery of me doing it, which I am as well. She suggested that we try "respit" fostering, meaning that we take a child for little while if the foster parents need a break, are going on vacation, etc. That way we can get a small idea of what it would be like. She also referred me to a non-profit organization called Catholic Charities of Green Bay. They have an adoption division. It does cost money but she said that their fees would be less than other agencies because they're non-profit. She's going to send me a packet in the mail. I think adoption is upwards of $5k to $10k. If we can ever save that money up, that might be the way to go. It just sucks that we have to go through an agency. I wish that we could find a birth mother without having to use an agency. 
Teddy's parents are in town from Florida this week. We are all going to Deb & Teddy's tomorrow for family night/dinner/etc and I'm bringing dessert - cookies. Mini Chip Snowball cookies. 
They are delish and you should make them sometime. They melt in your mouth. EVERYONE that has tried one LOVES them, raves about them, and asks me for the recipe. Even people I don't even know ask me for the recipe. I got it from a Nestle cookbook that Patsy gave us for a wedding gift way back when (ha!).

The pictures are obviously what I added for the post. My mother requested them of the flowers. I think she got a little MORE than what she asked for, but that's what you get when you get me.

I worked too much yesterday when I scrapbooked, painted the baseboards and made cookies. For any normal person that's no big deal, since the cookies took all of 10 minutes, as did the baseboards... but for my body, it's completely NOT ok. I couldn't move this morning, and as a result I'm missing an entire day of work. My pain has steadily gotten better over the past few months and I haven't even realized it until today. Pain scale is at a 6 right now with meds, and in the past I would at least be at an 8 with meds. I don't know how I functioned at all. Someone must've been helping me and answering my prayers.

And one more picture for good measure. I don't know if you remember my vegetable garden from last year, but Adam said he was going to grow it this year. Want to see how it turned out?

Those are the largest weeds I think I've ever seen.  The big leaves on the bottom are actual plants, probably a zucchini plant, maybe a cucumber, maybe a pumpkin. Maybe.

Au Revoir!