Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Love You Grandpa...

A week ago from Monday, my Grandpa Dale passed away. Today would have been his 97th birthday. It has taken me a little while to post this because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it. I didn't get the opportunity to say good-by in person and I wasn't able to attend his funeral, either. I had a rough few days coming to terms with his passing and accepting that I won't see him again on this earth, but I know that he is in a much better place now...especially since he has been reunited with my Grandma Ila who passed away in 1982, just a few months after I was born.
My grandfather was a remarkable man - he was strong, intelligent, caring, loyal, extremely talented, and hard-working. He was an educator most of his life, but he was also a very gifted artist and a universal handyman. He gave the best - and I mean the BEST - bear hugs ever, and he always had a warm smile and a booming "Howdy-doo!" greeting. As loving as he was, he was also very stubborn and independent - he approached much of a life with a no-nonsense, get 'er done attitude...and I loved that about him. Grandpa always encouraged my artistic interests, and he tried to instill confidence in me when he saw that I was struggling.
I have a lot of fond memories about my grandfather, but a few of my favorites include:
- his picture wall in the stairway hall, which showcased ALL of his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.
- working with him in the garden, weeding and helping him plant flowers
- our first trip to the art store in downtown SLC where he insisted I get some real art pencils and supplies.
-our matching polyester pants at a family reunion when I was only about 2 years old or so
- receiving birthday cards with a celebratory dollar EVERY year...I don't think he ever missed a birthday.
- eating KFC at family picnics in his backyard and sliding down the hill
- his coveralls (blue or tan ) - a wardrobe staple
- alka-seltzer and orange juice - his sure-fire cure to an upset stomach
- his stories - especially of my grandma and my mom
Even though I didn't get to say good-bye in person, I hope my grandfather knows that I loved him dearly. He taught me so many things, and although I miss him already, he will continue to influence me through the legacy he left behind.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scrap Haps...and Some Other Stuff

Been feeling a little scrappy lately...and it's been a while since I've posted my pages, so here's what I've been up to (click on the image for product credits)...

9.08.09 Font Challenge @ FPD - use Love Ya Like a Sister font
9.10.09 Product Challenge @ FPD - Scrap an emotion and use a big title
9.11.09 Designer Challenge @ FPD - Life's Lessons
**NEW RELEASE** - Squid Ink from Plucky Pear Designs (a.k.a. the dynamic duo of Creations by Rachael and Late Night Scraps)
**NEW RELEASE** - Squid Ink from Plucky Pear Designs (a.k.a. the dynamic duo of Creations by Rachael and Late Night Scraps)
9.14.09 Color Challenge @ FPD - orange, blue, green, and pink.
9.15.09 Font Challenge @ FPD - Highlight your journaling
9.16.09 Scraplift Challenge @ FPD - Lift from aphro dee pea's paper gallery at 2Peas
9.17.09 Re-do Challenge @ ScrapOrchard - redo an old layout
9.17.09 Product Challenge @ FPD - Use "Life" in title or journaling
9.18.09 Designer Challenge @ FPD - Template
**NEW RELEASE** - Vintage Spooky from Designs by Leah
9.21.09 Color Challenge @ FPD - yellow, white, blue
9.22.09 Font Challenge @ FPD - Use journaling strips
9.23.09 Scraplift Challenge @ FPD - Lift from Stacey Michu's paper gallery at 2Peas
9.24.09 Product Challenge - Use love or heart in your journaling/layout
9.25.09 Designer Challenge @ FPD - Use white space
9.28.09 Color Challenge @ FPD - Blue and Orange
As you can seen, I LOVE participating in the daily/weekly challenges at Funky Playground Designs (FPD). Not only do they help me think outside the box and try new things, but I also gain the chance to win $5 to the FPD shop for every challenge completed. So, if you need some inpsiration for your scrapbooking, or if you would just like the chance to win some free scrap goodies, I highly recommend that you check out the FPD forum. You'll have to register first, but it's a really fun group of gals to hang out with and the designers at FPD are seriously amazing.

Now, to the "other stuff." Timed seemed to move really slowly on Sunday, so I pulled out my paints and started working on a piece of wood that's been sitting under our desk for over a year...the girls decided they wanted to "help" and started painting on the plaque with their watercolors and some watered-down acrylics...I appreciated their enthusiasm, but had to paint a couple of extra coats to cover-up their contributions. Anyway, here's what I made in just a couple of hours with some acrylic paint, a few scrapbooking supplies, some old ribbon, and a black ink pad:

And, I managed to put a few cards together as well...

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Best of Both Worlds...

Well, it's official folks....we have entered into the Hannah Montana craze at the Hoopes' household. By some random, unexplainable phenomenon - the girls have become hooked. They love hannatana (as they call her) and walk around everywhere singing her songs. While I'm still a little ambivalent about their new found love, I have to admit it is pretty cute to see them dancing around and singing - striking poses like the little divas I know they are.

I didn't think the girls would hop on the Hannah train for a few years still...apparently I was wrong. Oh heaven, help us!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Scrap Haps...

While I was off playing in California and Utah these past two weeks, the designers for whom I CT were hard at's an update on what these talented ladies have been up to.

Creations by Rachael
New Release: [Autumn Hues]

And, here are the layouts I created with the amazing kit...

And here's a Sneak Peek of Rachael's upcoming kit that will be released next Friday, the 18th.

Which reminds me, Rachael has closed her store at to move onto bigger and better opportunities. She is now selling at [the much anticipated] Polka Dot Plum and her very own site/store that she opened up with designer Late Night Scraps...the new site is called Plucky Pear Designs - you should go check it out!

Leah Farquharson
New Releases: [Vintage Fruity]
I love the different textures in the solid papers, and I love the colors and cute fruity prints in the patterned papers. So fun, so cute; here's what I created with them...

Freebie: [Backyard Buzz]

I [heart] the polka dot paper in this one...and the wood grain alpha is fabulous!!

Miss Tiina
[My Big Adventure] Charity Collab

I believe I mentioned this in a previous post, but I just want to reiterate how amazingly FABULOUS this kit is. It is HUGE - 150+ papers, 400+ elements, and 11 alpha sets. This kit was the collaborative effort of 38 fantastic designers (I'm fortunate to CT for two of the designers - Miss Tiina and Leah), and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Autism Society of America. This kit will only be available through September and October...for just $9.99 for the kit(left image) and $7.99 for the Quickpage set (right image), you are getting a SERIOUS steal!!
[i heart...]
Honestly, I [heart] this kit! It is so adorable...I love all the doodles, wordart, and [of course] the polka dots.
Last but not least, here are the various layouts I have created for the weekly challenges at Funky Playground Designs. I really enjoy the challenges, because they help me to venture outside my comfort zone and try new things...some of my favorite LO's have been the result of a challenge. If you have a minute or two, I suggest stopping by the Playground and checking out the challenges - they really are a lot of fun!!

[8.31.09] Black, Green, & White

[9.07.09] Brown, Red, & Green
[9.03.09] Use an FPD Collab
[9.04.09] Create a "10 Things About Me Page"
This was the first "Me" page I have done since I turned to the world of much as I dislike getting in front of the camera, I really enjoyed creating this page. I'm also loving the look of my new glasses...[swoon]

Well, that's all I have for now. As always, thanks for looking at my recent creations. Take care...and happy scrapping!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cali Was Wonderful...Wish We Were Still There

So...I really feel bad, because I just realized how neglected this blog has been lately. Not that it was entirely intentional - after all, we just got back from our 2 week vacation and I can't say I had any undeniable urges to blog while we were living it up in California. I love you, dear blog, I really do...just not that much! Sorry - but it's the truth.

Not that you stopped by to hear me babble on and on, so I'll get right to the update of our little trip. In the most simple of conclusions, this trip was awesome. Seriously. We got to camp in Oceanside Harbor in my in-laws' RV for a couple of days. Other than dealing with some idiotic (albeit entertaining) neighbors, I have to say that beach-camping was a blast!! We secured a spot right by the playground, which also meant close to the showers and bathrooms - total score! The girls knew we were camping at the beach, and they couldn't stop talking about the ocean the whole drive over from Arizona. However, our first day there neither AK or Roo wanted anything to do with the water...they were content playing in the sand and running along the edge of the waterline. Their hesitancy quickly dissolved, and within days they were charging full speed into the water - splashing, playing, and laughing like regular little beach bums. While we were down in Oside, we also took full advantage of the good eats (i.e. Beach Break Cafe, Harbor Fish and Chips, Longboarder...YUMM-O!!) ...the only place we didn't hit up was Diego's for a carne asada burrito - I've already penciled that one in for our next trip (whenever that may be).

Doug had to return to work for a couple of days, but the girls and I stayed behind in Fallbrook with his parents. Grapa (as the girls pronounce it) kept the girls busy by having them help him with Miles, and in the garden, and hunting bugs, and chasing rabbits, etc. By the end of each day, they were filthy and covered in any normal almost 4-year old should be.

When Doug returned to Cali, that was my sign to hightail it out of there and head to Utah with my friend Casey. Our friend Heidi got married on the 4th, and I was privileged to be a bridesmaid in her wedding line. Doug stayed with the girls and I got to go on a weekend trip without my hubby or the girls - for the first time since they were born!! I had a fun and amazing time (I got to see two of my sisters and few other friends who I don't get to see often enough), but it was also very strange being without my little family. Although we kept ourselves busy, I couldn't help but think of what the girls and Doug were doing back in Cali. It was a nice little break, but it was definitely long enough. What can I say? I've grown accustomed to having two little mischievous shadows around.

After all that, the four of us made it back safely (although a little reluctantly) to our little apartment in Chandler. It was fun being gone, but now I'm dealing with the not-so-fun part of being know, the laundry, the unpacking, the cleaning - all of the stuff that you're able to neglect while on vacation?! I also had to catch up on some scrapbooking stuff (I'll put all of that in a separate post), and I've had some unfortunate things to attend to with UOP (a sore subject...I'll definitely have to touch on that later as well)...but I did manage to drag the girls to the library yesterday - I stocked up on 3 more Nicholas Sparks' novels, so I should be good for a week or so. The girls seem to be happy to be back in their own beds with their toys and such, but that hasn't stopped them from asking every day about going back to the beach.

**NOTE-pictures of our trip will follow. I haven't had time to put them into a slideshow yet, and my internet browser keeps shutting down whenever I try to upload a photo to this post. I'll have to work on the matter and try again later...sorry it's just boring text until then!!**