Monday, May 26, 2008

Ooops!! II - Mea Culpa!

I think I'd have 'Old Timers' if I hadn't been doing this all my life. Doing what you ask? Forgetting peoples names and faces. I am awful, terrible, mistaken, confused, befuddled and NOT amused!!

I haven't been able to remember names since I was a kid. High school wasn't that bad, college - who remembers? Jobs - that was a toughie. Not good to forget the boss's name or an important client. When I worked at Keuka it was still bad - but thank heaven, students are more forgiving and there was one of me and 900 of them!

My husband and I would run into someone on the street, in a store, at a restaurant and we'd have a lovely conversation with them for a few minutes and then say goodbye and walk away. Id lean over and whisper to my DH - "Have I met them before?" Norman would just shake his head and tell me when and where.

There are two lovely ladies that I have know for four years now. First, we took classes at Michael's together - they are friends of Debbie Shuh and today they crop at the store on Wednesday afternoons when they are in town. Both are named Susan, but one goes by Suzie and the other by Sue or Susan - do I know which one is which - NO!! (I'm so sorry ladies, I've admitted it publicly now, please forgive me.) They are so nice, they ask about Alexa every week and how things are going and I can't remember which is which!

The kicker came this week when I saw Marty at the store and she pulled me over and told me that I labeled her husband with the wrong name on my blog in the entry that included the store move pictures. She's telling me it's Kirk - I apologized profusely, I'm so sorry, I'll post a change - I'll change it - Kurt, Kurt, Kurt, I'm muttering to myself. Marty gently says, no, not Kurt - KIRK - finally the light bulb goes on - Kirk, like Captain Kirk - Yes! I've got it now!

So first, let me apologize to Kirk. I'm so sorry for the mistake and I'll change the post as soon as I post this. For everyone else out there who has spoken to me and gotten a totally blank or questioning look - please forgive me, it's not you it's definitely me, - what's her name...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Layouts

Bear with me, I'm still trying to get the hang of scanning and stitching. I hope I've gotten it right and my layouts down to size. These layouts are two I'm doing for the store. They are my first shot at teaching a class. Both are very, very simple and easy. Both can be used with vintage pictures or heritage shots.
I created the one above on my last Sweatshoppe retreat back in March. It's my favorite picture of my dad. He signed on with several of his golfing buddies as extras for a movie being shot in Wilmington, NC. The movie was an early Coen brothers piece called "The Hudsucker Proxy" - a cute, quirky film about the invention of the hula hoop (not a true story). It starred Paul Newman, Tim Robbins, Charles Durning and Jennifer Jason Leigh. My dad was an extra in the mail room scene and although we never quite saw his full face, I swear I saw his nose!
This is my mother's high school graduation photo. I just love this picture! I apologize for the lousy scanning and stitching job, still working on it, but I put this together at the store one Friday night during the crop.

Both layouts for the store are designed to be used with a single 5X7 photo. There are a few slight variations on each and a sample is on display in the store. Check them out if you are interested.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Star of the Week...

Getting ready to bug out to Alexa school where she is 'Star of the Week' in her homebase. She had to do a poster board presentation of herself for Monday (above) and last night she was busy creating a power point presentation, complete with music (Hannah Montana, of course) We get to go (at not be too visable) and bring cupcakes and juice boxes and see her presentation this morning. I'll try and take pictures and post later today.

Well, as always there were a few glitches. First, Alexa forgot she had a music lesson and apparently, according to her teacher, "Music is God in this school!" So the time had to be moved up and cut in half because she could only be 10 minutes late for music. Above Alexa is reading her 'biography' while two classmates hold up her presentation boards. As you can see the background is pink, the letters are pink glitter and she had me mat all the photos in various colors of glitter paper. Remarkably, we got credit as being her parents and where we both worked was mentioned also.

After she read her script she pointed out all the photos and what she was doing and who is in each photo, etc. She also brought a few things from home for a 'show and tell' portion but unfortunately the mini snowglobe she brought from DisneyWorld broke. You can see the water stain spreading in the bag she is holding below.

Classmates got to ask questions afterward and she was asked what she did in gymnastics, what was her favorite site in NYC (Statue of Liberty and Americal Girl Store). We were asked what trait Alexa had that we thought was special. Her father answered and mentioned that how mad at us she gets, she never holds a grudge.

Lastly, a number of the boys and Mrs. Sedor commented on Norm's Yankee jacket. We were asked if we were Yankee fans and supported in our YES comment. I was able to tell the story of how Alexa was barely in the country for a little over a month before she attended her first Yankee game and we were able to get 'Welcome Alexa Muir and Family' up on the Diamond Vision message board. This impressed several people.

Cupcakes and juice boxes were handed out and Alexa had to hustle butt to the music room and we left to go on our merry ways. Thus ends, Alexa Muir, Star of the Week!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yawn (..............)!

Here it is 10:33 a.m. and I can't wake up! More appropriately, I'm falling asleep! I feel like that lady in the commercial who has fallen and can't get up. Well, I'm awake and I can't stay that way!

Now for Donna 101 - I've always been a night owl. That's not to say I can't get up in the morning. I was never one of those kids who's parent's needed a bull horn to get out of bed. Matter of fact, my mother was usually still in bed when I left for school because I went in so early and she didn't have to go to work until later. She was a night owl also who stayed up past midnight, too. I can get up - if I have to - that's the operative phrase! Also, when I get up, don't expect Miss Donna Dew Eyed - I'm a bear. I figure out what is last possible moment I can stay in bed and still get all I need to get done in a morning and still be where I need to be at a specific time within a five minute window. Then I count back and stay in bed until I have to positively, absolutely, can't put it off any longer - get up.

My grandmother gave me a portable TV as a birthday present one year when I was very young and I became hopelessly addicted to TV and we all know the good shows were on after 9:00 p.m. So I'd say my good nights at nine, go upstairs and pretend to be in bed. (You see, my Dad was convinced children needed 12 hours of sleep or whatever. Me, I'd do just fine on 7 or 8.)

I'd tip-toe to the TV in my room and turn the switch on and turn the channel selector til I found the station that had my 'must see' show on. I was convinced my Dad could hear every little sound that clicking TV made so I had the process down to a fine art.*

*Time out for all you newbie kids out there, born after the ice age. This was in the old'n days, the days before remotes when you had to manually turn on and off your TV and change channels by, gasp! getting out of your chair or off your couch and walking, that's right using your two legs and going to the TV set to change the channel. Two other archaic notes, first, we only had about 7 channels and my little set was black and white - NO COLOR! How's that for the stone age!

I'd lay at the foot of my bed with sound down really low and watch whatever show it was and then at the end try and turn the set off without making a sound. I got away with it most of the time, but when my grades went south, so did the TV eventually being put into the basement so that video temptation would be farther away.

Anyway, I'm still a late owl for the most part. I'll be awake all night and fall asleep during the last five minutes of 'Law and Order', you know, when the verdict comes in. I wake up just in time to see Dick Wolf's name plastered across the screen. Then, when I should go to bed, I get my second wind and can stay up for hours - just because I slept for five minutes!

I've tried going to bed early, I just stay awake in the dark. I try and read - I'll finish the whole book and turn out the light at three in the morning. I've tried Tylenol PM and all the other PM's out there. I'll go to sleep - and then wake up at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and then, when I've got to get Alexa up at 7:30 - I sleep until almost 8:00 and have Miss Pris whining at me, "MOM, why didn't you get me up earlier!" Do you think she would have liked 3:00 or 5:00 a.m.?

So here I am instead of taking a nap, blogging! Hey, if I can't sleep - neither can you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

China Memories

I've been thinking a lot about China over the past 48 hours because of the terrible earthquake they suffered on Monday. We have some very fond memories of China because it's where our daughter was born and in a million years we never thought we'd travel halfway around the world to find our family or have such a tangible link to China.

Norman has been lucky to have travelled back to China three times since our initial journey in 1998. The last time he was there was just a few month ago in March. He got to see one sight I've never seen and would love to, the Terra Cotta Army. In the photo above Norman is standing above the army in what looks like a vast airplane hanger. It gives you an idea of how large the find was.

This is outside the building that houses the army. I believe the story is that a farmer tilling his land found the army back in the sixties. It is a full size army of men and horses made out of terra cotta clay. Hundreds of soldiers and horses have been excavated and put on display. Each soldier is different They are also life size, not miniatures. They are not carbon copies of each other. The poses, facial expressions and clothing reflect individuals. Here you can some of the soldiers and horses.
Here is an attempt at a little more detail. Norman said that outside the exhibit the farmer that discovered the army sits and for a yuan or two will sign a book you can purchase that has photos and the story of the find. He has become quite the local celebrity.

Nothing prepares westerns for China. It is like no place we have ever seen or have here. We traveled very little in 1998. Just the cities of Hong Kong, Fuzhou and Guangzhou. The size of the country is amazing and the number of people is overwhelming. Even more than the tangible comparisons we make of today's world. The history of this land is even more astounding.

Our thoughts and prayers for the millions (yes, millions) affected by Monday's earthquake are with this nation that has given our family so much.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

It's after 2:00 a.m. so it's officially Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers I know out there. I'm posting really late or really early (depending on how look at it) because I was trying to get some pictures up on the store blog and I'm tech challenged as always.

I'm finally committed to teaching a class at the store. It will be a Vintage Pages class featuring two 12x12 layouts. They are very, very, very...simple and easy. No challenging techniques, no knock-em dead design innovation. Just two single photo layouts to hopefully inspire you to start on those vintage pictures you keep putting off scrapbooking.

I think I enjoyed these layouts more than the ones I've been doing lately of current times, events and people because they each contain favorite photos of my parents. One is of my mother taken for her high school graduation and the second is my favorite photo of my dad when he was an extra on a movie being filmed in Wilmington about 10-15 years ago. Just looking at both of these photos really made me smile and remember how special both my parents were. A good thing to do on Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's been awhile...

I know I've said that before, but it has been a while since I posted. No disasters, calamities or trouble, just plain busy! Those of you who have been sneaking over from Buffalo Stamps & Stuff know we moved! Here are a few photos:

Here is the 'old' store with almost everything out. Next we have Kirk Larson and Norm Muir helping with some of the paper racks. We were lucky that many of the big items and displays in the center of the store could be rolled. So we rolled them right out the door, around the corner, down the plaza and into the 'new' store. The guys were a great help (not that they had much to say about it LOL) We just volunteered them and told them they HAD to be there and help.

I have to send out major kudos to Mark Klima, Sharon's husband. He did 98% of the work on this new store. He tore down walls, repaired carpet, put in new overhead lighting, built a big new counter, moved old counters and cabinets, put up all the new slat wall, tore out tile, and a million other chores. He definitely is in the running for "Husband of the Year" - not only with Sharon but with all of us who will benefit by the new store.

Sharon's mother-in-law came to help and after helping fix the food for all the helpers wiped down hundreds of little plastic shelves that fit into the slat board wall.She also entertained Marty's daughter Abby. Every once in a while I'd walk by and they would be talking up a blue streak!

The new store looks so big! Here is a view down the left side wall from the back of the store.

Now, a week after the move we're wondering how we fit everything in the old store! We still have a men's room that is stocked with 'stuff', about 10 boxes worth of product to put out, and a hundred and one little things to figure out where to go.

We did 'christen' the store this past weekend with a 12 hr. crop for National Scrapbook Day. We had about 15 ladies join Elizabeth and myself. We ran a bingo game, had hourly door prizes, Sharon made chicken caccitore(sp.) lots of snacks and a really nice time. I can't wait to go in tomorrow and see what more progress has been made since Saturday!

If you are in the area or just passing through, come visit! We are at 3314 Sheridan Drive between Sweet Home and Bailey, opposite Markheim Pets (next to the Hoover Store). Same plaza as before, just the opposite end!