Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

winner winner, chicken dinner July 29, 2011

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 10:47 pm

I don’t typically enter contests or giveaways, but a couple of weeks ago the Moxie Fab crafts blog was doing one of their weekly sponsor giveaways, for a really cute set of acrylic stamps from a company called WPlus9 Design Studio. I’d never heard of them but the stamps pictured were cute so I thought “what the heck” and left a comment on the post. This was a few days before my birthday and with all the fiascos of that weekend, I had all but forgotten about the giveaway.

 

A couple of days later I was scrolling through my Google Reader subscriptions and lo and behold, what did I see??

 

I won! Woo-hoo!!

 

Listen, I never win anything. And with the trying weekend I’d had, this was the happiest news in the world at that moment. The stamps arrived in the mail this week and they are SO cute!

 

Yay! I LOVE happy mail! They sent me five – FIVE – full sets of stamps. (Sorry for the poor images; I only had my desk lamp on and didn’t edit the photos prior to posting.)

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Design Basics Backgrounds II (this is probably my favorite.)

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The Birds & The Bees (that heart-shaped butterfly trail is too cute.)

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Postmarked (this is perfect for personalizing birthday cards with the date.)

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Mehndi Medallions (this is my second favorite and the round images work well with circle punches.)

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Funky Flowers (I love that little owl!)

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I read up on the company and found out that it is a home-grown business. WPlus9 Design Studio is independently owned and operated by graphic designer Dawn Woleslagle. From their website:

Our stamps are made of high quality clear photo-polymer and manufactured in the United States exclusively for Wplus9 Design Studio.  They are of exceptional quality which will be obvious from the first impression!

The quality of the stamps is evident. I tested several of them with both fluid chalk and pigment-based inks. The designs are lovely and they stamp beautifully. Even the teeny little sentiments stamped very cleanly with no smudging or “ghost” images along the edges. I’ll be sure to share some pics as soon as I get to make some real projects with them.

 

That’s all for now. Peace out, yo!

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do they still make calgon?? July 20, 2011

Filed under: Life,Miscellany — Lulu @ 3:41 pm

If so, I really need it to take me away.

 

 

I finally got the chance to take my car to the mechanic yesterday (after having to call roadside assistance for a jump start… again) to replace the dead battery. I figured as long as I was there I might as well ask them to replace my wiper blades which were splitting. Apparently, the guy at the service counter also went ahead and ordered a 7-point inspection for me, because I came to find out that in addition to my dead battery I also had four bald tires, one of the rear tires was coming loose from the axel, and my front brake pads were completely worn down to almost nothing.

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So five hours and $775 later… everything got replaced. Including the stupid battery. And now I feel like I need to take a road trip just to justify all this BS. But, of course, now there is no money for that.

 

Worst. Birthday. EVER.

 

Peace out, yo!

 

Na-na, na-na, na-na, They say it’s your birthday! July 18, 2011

Filed under: Life,Miscellany — Lulu @ 10:33 pm

My birthday was yesterday and it was certainly one I won’t easily forget. No, not an epic, party-filled, whirlwind of fun. Please allow me to recap my “Murphy’s Law” birthday weekend for you…

 

On Friday night I accidentally sliced my finger open (again) with the blade part of my Martha Stewart Circle Cutter. This thing:

See that teeny little blade in the handle part (on the left?) Yeah, THAT! That little effer is SHARP!! Hurt like a bitch and bled like crazy, too.

 

Saturday morning I headed over to the beach to stay at Fanless’, as usual. On the way over I stopped at Target to pick up a few things and discovered, while in the check out line, that I didn’t have my ATM/Debit card. No problem, I thought; it’s probably in the car. Umm… it was so NOT in the car. I checked under the seats and floor mats, took everything out of my wallet and purse. Not there either. So then I had to call Bank of America to cancel it and request a new one, and was informed it would take at least a week. However, the agent I spoke to did wish me a happy birthday. So that was nice.

 

On Sunday we had planned to go see “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (which I keep mistakenly calling “Bark at the Moon”; too much Ozzy, I guess) at the IMAX 3D in Aventura Mall. Turns out the new Harry Potter movie displaced Transformers so it’s no longer showing at the IMAX. We decided to just stay in and relax, which was fine with me. We ended up ordering pizza and Fanless bought me a slice of chocolate cake from the Argentine restaurant across the street.

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The photo cracks me up. Fanless took the picture and I immediately sent it to my cousin, Jose. (The joke in my family is that when we were kids every single birthday party picture has me and my cousins standing behind the table with the cake as the centerpiece, a tray of bocaditos and a bottle of Pepsi. See below for evidence.)

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I couldn’t even tell you whose birthday party that was because ALL of our pictures were like that.

 

Anyway, I usually leave the beach immediately following The Glades, which ends at 11pm. Last night we decided to watch Falling Skies as well, but Fanless’ mom called to wish me a happy birthday and we ended up chatting with her for quite a while. By the time we finished the show it was 1AM. I gathered my stuff and walked down to my car and… it wouldn’t start. Like, at all.

 

So I marched myself back to Fanless’ apartment and called Geico’s roadside assistance to request a jump start. They advised it would be about 40 minutes. Over an hour later, the guy from the tow company called to let me know that the driver originally headed my way got a flat tire (irony?) so they were sending someone else. The dude finally showed up at about 2:45AM. By the time I got home it was 3:30AM. And then I found someone parked in my assigned spot, so I had to park in someone else’s space. In the middle of writing a note of explanation to leave on my dashboard for the rightful owner of the spot I had pilfered, my car died again. 

 

Now. If that isn’t a Murphy’s Law birthday weekend, I don’t know what is. =)

 

But… It wasn’t all bad. My honey got me some beautiful jewelry for my gifts. This gorgeous, vintage-looking amber ring:

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And this beautiful, silver, anchor ring and matching earrings (I’m really loving nautically-themed accessories lately):

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So that was my exciting birthday weekend. I think I’m done celebrating now.

 

Peace out, yo!

 

Summer-summer-summertime… July 13, 2011

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 9:44 pm

Now I have this song stuck in my head.

 

Moving on!

 

It’s that time of year again! No, not my birthday. Not summer vacation either. Nope. It’s almost time for the most spectacular event of the year…

 

SUMMER CHA!!!

 

That’s right! It’s that wonderful, glorious time of the year when all the paper crafts manufacturers debut their new collections for the summer/fall. There have been a lot of lovely sneak peeks into new products but there are a few in particular that have really caught my eye.

 

Crate Paper Farmhouse Collection

I really love this collection. Crate Paper has become one of my favorite brands due to the variety of designs they offer and the fantastic quality of their products. This collection is just gorgeous and, I was telling the boy today, it’ll be perfect for scrapping about all our new adventures in the country (when we move to Washington. Someday. Hopefully soon.)

 

American Crafts Amy Tangerine

I love the quirkiness of this collection. It just has a fun, sunny vibe to it.

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Echo Park Victoria Gardens

I love the frilly, feminine look and vintage-inspired designs in this collection. It’s just gorgeous.

 

 

Pink Paislee Nantucket

This collection makes me think of lighthouses, lobster rolls and fishermen in yellow slickers (like the guy in ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, but way less psycho killer-y).

 

  

 

And last but not least…

 

SMASH BOOKS!!!!

My beloved SMASH books are coming out in three – THREEEEE!!! – brand new, delicious colors for summer.

K&Company SMASH Journal - Simple OrangeK&Company SMASH Journal - InternationalK&Company SMASH Journal - Eco Green

Aren’t they gorgeous?? It’s like looking at a carton of Rainbow Sherbert! *sigh*

 

 

Alright, that’s all for now. Peace out, yo!

 

The Island of misfit toys July 6, 2011

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 9:51 pm

You know that 1964 “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” stop-motion animated TV special they show every year around Christmas time?

You know the part where he runs away to the Island of Misfit Toys?

You know when they sing the song about being misfit toys?

 

Yeah, that’s pretty much what pops into my head every time I look at my pile of incomplete mini-albums.

 

That “Family” album on the left? That’s from Teresa Collins’ 2008 (I think) releases. It’s decorated, it’s bound, yet there is not a single photo in it. The blue “Friends” album is also Teresa Collins’. I made it during the scrapbook retreat I went to in Sanibel… in 2009. It’s also decorated and bound. And completely empty. The hot pink album is only about 25% done; no photos, no embellishments, just patterned paper. The teeny tiny Urban Rhapsody album? All decorated, no photos.
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Ahh, let’s see… Here we have seven – SEVEN! – additional albums that are in various stages of completion. The “Love” album at the bottom right is pretty much done, but – go ahead, guess… Yep, no pictures. Same with the round butterfly album at the top row center and the mini flower album at the bottom row center. The “This Is Me” album was started in 2007 based on this website. I think I did about 8 of the prompts then got bored. The other three have patterned paper on all the pages and… that’s it.
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*Sigh*…  I‘m not sure what I’m going to do with these. But I’m telling you, every single time I look at them, I hear this:

 

Yankee Doodle Dandy July 5, 2011

Filed under: Life,Personal,Photography — Lulu @ 4:12 pm

The boy and I have an Independence day tradition of heading over to Ocean Drive, on South Beach, to watch the fireworks from the sand. This year, we skipped the free jazz concert beforehand and headed straight to the sand in order to secure a good spot at the front of the crowd.

 

See? Crowd…

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Front of crowd… =)

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As usual, I took about 200 pictures and maybe 10 were usable… after a LOT of Photoshop. Man, fireworks are tough!

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I really like the next four, if only for the cool effect the red glow gives off. Plus, I like that you can see the sand and buildings towards the bottom of the pictures.

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(Below is a short video I shot of the fireworks. You may want to lower your volume at around 00:09 in. You’ll see why.)

 

 

Hope everyone had a very safe and happy Independence Day weekend!

 

Peace out, yo!