Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Games I play

Here are a few of the games I play.

1. Alter the Nifty Peg Board.

I started playing this game last fall, when my electronics-related cords became a tangled mess. I decided what I needed was a nifty peg board to paint, stamp, alter, and turn into a cord-hanging thingamabob. I found a lovely peg board online.

I asked for it for Christmas.

I got it.

The problem, of course, is that it's too nifty to actually alter. Every time I get it out and put it on my scrap table to start altering it, I find myself arranging the pegs to form a pretty pattern. And when I do that, then one of my kids comes along and takes out my pretty pattern to put in his/her own pretty pattern. The pattern above is by Woodrow.

ROYGBIV, baby. The color spectrum never gets old in my house.

2. Spot the Hummer.

(No, not a Hummer SUV. I hate those things. They're wrecking the environment. And they're ugly.) (My childhood mentor Mr. Pelham used to say, "Hate means to want to kill or destroy." And of course, that used to make me feel guilty. Now I just feel like destroying some Hummers.)

Anyway, Spot the Hummer entails setting up one's camera on a tripod and then standing very still like a statue to wait until a hummingbird comes to the feeder, while still keeping enough mobility in one's index finger to hit the shutter on the camera when a hummingbird does come by.

I didn't play it very well today. I wanted to catch a male so I could get his ruby throat on the camera, but the males were only interested in chasing off other males. The only birds who actually stopped at the feeder were the less colorful females.

But at least I have hummingbirds!

And peg boards!

So... I guess these games I play really are fun, after all?

Little green monsters

I'm so relieved.

I'm back online. I'm on the computer. And furthermore, I have all my files. All my beeyoooo- teefull pictures and essays and, OMG, my recipe collection could have been lost. But no! They're fine.

Thank heaven for sisters who know how to fix nearly-dead computers!!!

So tonight's post is dedicated to little green monsters. This is my darlin' Cosmo, who very nicely chomped on a homework paper when I needed an excuse for a late sound file to a fellow podcaster.

[Taking just a second to shill one of my favorite podcasts, 5 Questions -- I love it. It's like a blog meme, only it's a podcast. It's so cool to hear from people all over the world. It's very man-on-the-street cool, and it's only published once a month. I wouldn't mind if Greg posted it more often! And I'm not just saying that because he also posted this picture of Cosmo on *his* website.]

And this post is also dedicated to the little green monsters in my head while I gaze at other people's weekend crafting accomplishments. I meant to make a post-bound album tonight. Instead, I worked on the computer. Maybe Monday I'll be able to finish that album. I would love to have a new album to store my ALSB layouts in.

And finally, I'd like to send a shout out to all those gullible souls, like me, who let their teenaged daughters use their computers. Teenaged daughters have the most amazing ability to unleash little green (and red and blue and black) monsters in the computer itself! Without trial and error, without stress and worry, without testing our abilities against the most vile of computer gremlins, we would never know that we can in fact squash the evil monsters and vanquish their dastardly plots to crash our computers and eat all our precious photo files. HA HA, green monsters! We're smarter than you are, and our laughing monkey kung fu is greater than yours!

... With help from our computer-programming sisters, of course.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fast as a hummingbird's wings

They grow up too fast. On the other hand, I'm scrapbooking at the speed of light these days, so maybe I'll have pictures to look at when Emily and Woodrow have moved out and I'm old and lonely.

I've been Assembly Line Scrapbooking again. (I {heart} Club Scrap.) I made 8 photo-less layouts in an afternoon. Then this morning, I added photos and journaling to two of 'em, tying them together into a seamless two-page spread. All I had to do was flip one page on its side.

Dang. Why didn't I start ALSB'ing sooner?

My 8 pages on the right, no photos...

... Club Scrap's example 8 pages on the left

In other news, I finally saw a hummingbird at my feeder yesterday. I knew they were here because the nectar was disappearing, but it's so good to finally see one!

And finally... it's official. I finally figured out how to register my business with the state of Tennessee, applied for a Resale Certificate, and the processing of my paperwork has begun. I'm a Food for Craft Crafter! For real. (I really {heart} Club Scrap, huh?)

It all goes by in the blink of an eye, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spring may have finally come to Tennessee. I thought it had arrived a bit earlier, but then the weather got really cold and blustery.

This is my favorite time of year. And every year at some point around April or May, I can actually smell the earth waking up. It's the sweetest smell. It's up there with babies' necks and plain yellow cake -- springtime just has the most delicious, clean, filled-with-promise scent.

Last night, after a sinfully easy teriyaki dinner -- and the fresh, slightly undercooked, steamed broccoli that I added to the mix, yum -- I remembered that I had left my light blue Crocs in the car, so I went outside to get them. And I wasn't paying any attention. I was just in search of my Crocs. I went to the happy blue Prius; I got the Crocs out of the floorboard; I slammed the door; and I walked back to the front door....

And I inhaled just a whiff -- just a whisper -- of the scent of spring.

Of course I stopped right in my tracks and turned around to breathe more deeply the night air. And there it was again -- faint, but there.


Now, if only our trees will recover from the freeze that turned the leaf buds into brown, slimy pods hanging limply on the limbs. Because after the earth wakes up, the next step is always the day that all the leaves go VOOMP! and make the world full of green.

I like that day, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stand and stare

Rarely do I find such lovely links in the blogosphere, but today -- today -- when everything feels rough and raw and abused by the tragedy in Virginia -- today I was indelibly reminded of why it's OK to be an unemployed homeschooling mom.

This article is long. And it's worth every minute you spend reading it.

Thanks to every other blogger who pointed me in its direction.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Going to the dogs

Happy Monday!

Oh, yeah, I forgot -- it's Monday. Sigh. Never mind. But wasn't the weekend lovely? I mean, besides the weather. It was still a weekend. Right?

Ahhhh, OK, I'll change the subject. Here's how my life is "going to the dogs" this week:

1. I'm selling more stuff on eBay. (Stamp auction 1 and Stamp auction 2, sniffle.) I don't really love selling my stash, but at least I know that whoever is buying it will love it for me.

I think that's why I take the time to write such crazy descriptions for my auctions. I want my buyers to know I'm emotionally invested in placing my beloved stamps and papers with the best possible homes, and the only reason I'm giving them up is to make room for *more* stuff.

2. I was supposed to go to the dentist today for a cleaning. Ugh. I hate getting my teeth cleaned. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I hate it more every time. And I'm 40 years old, so that's a LOT of teeth cleanings in my past.

I also got up extra-early for this appointment. I don't like mornings all that much more than getting my teeth cleaned. Hmmmmm. I feel a Monday-like pattern in my rants this morning.

Anyway, when I was awake and had coffee in my system, I checked my voice mail... and I don't have to go to the dentist because my hygienist is out today with a sick child. WOOO HOOOO!!!!! What will I do with this whole, glorious day before me?

Oh, wait a second, I just realized it sounds like I'm happy my hygienist's daughter is sick. I'm not. Poor baby girl! I hope she gets better soon!

But in the meantime, I'm going to relish putting off the cleaning of my teefies.

(Snicker -- "teefies." Shades o' second grade!)

3. Finally, and most importantly, my sister Amy and her husband created a video clip for a contest. A&E's "King of Cars" reality show is having a lip synch contest. It's nice to see my favorite dog-nephew Leon starring in a video! (I think it's the best entry, too!) Good luck, Amy & Paul!!! Break a leg, Leon!!!

(And, Amy? Great job sewing that Blue Genie!!!! You're really rockin' the sewing thang!)

Friday, April 13, 2007

If you love something...

You know that saying? "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't..."

(I like both the original, schmaltzy version and the wickedly funny joke ending, so I'm leaving it unfinished. Y'all can fill in the blanks as you see fit.)

Well, I love Club Scrap. Always have, from the moment I first got my hands on the paper. Nothing else ever feels like CS paper. They make their very own paper now, you know. Extra-luscious. It's just my kind of stuff.

So I stopped scrapbooking. I didn't cancel my Club Scrap membership; I just stopped using the paper and goodies to make scrapbook pages. I used the paper and goodies to make other things.

And at the Rolling Retreat two weeks ago, Club Scrap came back to me, smacked me upside the head, and hollered, "HEY! BAY! YOU LOVE ME, DANG IT!"

Or something close to that.

So I'm giving in to this passion. And I think love like this should be shared. I feel like putting flowers in my hair, joining hands with some hippies, swaying on a hillside and singing, "I'd like to teach the world to scrap/ In perfect harmony/ I'd like to buy the world a kit/ And keep it company."

(Yes, now I'm ripping off classic Coke commercials. I can't help it. If I were a little less in control of my emotions, I'd be jumping up and down on Oprah's couch right now. "LOVE! WOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOO-EEEEEEEE! Yeehaw!" Like Tom Cruise. Or whoever last jumped around on Oprah's couch. Come to think of it... I wonder if Oprah has ever gotten her hands on Club Scrap paper?)

It's official. I signed on the dotted line; I sent the paperwork to CSHQ; I'm waiting for my official Resale Certificate and sales tax ID number and my business cards.

I'm a Food For Craft Crafter. TM. Banquets and workshops and classes, oh, my!

I can't wait to hold my first Banquet!

Now -- who wants me to come teach in their home? I promise to leave the flowery hippie songs at home -- but not my love for Club Scrap stuff. Nope, I take my passion with me. And we'll see whether or not I ever really set it free!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Six & a half years later...

Six and a half years after beginning scrap- booking (the right way), I finally got something accomp- lished.

It may not seem like much to you, but four gorgeous pages in one sitting?

This rocks.

The top 2-page spread contains ALL of the surviving [moose snot] photos from our first family trip to Walt Disney World. No, it ain't art -- but those are the best memories of May, 1996. And I've finally got them on a scrapbook page, so they'll last a couple of generations -- at the very least.

The bottom layout are the only two pictures from a summer day in 1973. That's my first bike. That little smock top was my mother's favorite garment in my entire wardrobe. And I've even squeezed in a little journaling about both items.

Last page -- Woodrow. I wish he would stop growing up.

Now, tell me any one of these pages is less fabulous because I didn't make it on assignment from a magazine or agonize two weeks over each tiny detail.

That's what I thought.

I love Club Scrap... & ALSB

I made 9 pages with the January 2006 Framed kit. In one sitting. With minimal instructions or help.

Assembly Line Scrap- booking. Club Scrap stuff. Scrapbook pages.


What's on the iPod: TheDivaCast podcast. Love it! Very empowering, uplifting chick chat.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

K-CSRR, Part 5 of 5 - Sunday, April 1st

Seriously! I had to take a break from writing to take my son to the dentist. I've got to say, Rolling Retreat is a *lot* more fun than waiting in a dentist's office.

Well, OK, you already knew that. Still. I had to say it.

So we're finally up to Sunday, and my hallway was much quieter than it had been Friday night. Once I finally fell asleep -- not nearly as early as I would have liked -- I slept, and slept hard. So when my alarms went off (again, cell phone and wake-up call, no relying on the erroneous clocks), I groaned and told myself I could get out of bed and have a good day even if it killed me.

Then I remembered that the FFC meeting would be at 8:30, and that *really* woke me up! I danced all around the room getting ready, but -- OK, I have to confess -- much later in the day, on my way home, I saw myself in the rear-view mirror, and that's when I realized, Oh, my gosh, I was so tired and goofy when I woke up, I totally forgot to put on concealer under my eyes when I did my makeup! OMG! Now, dang it, that is *goofy* when you forget something like that! So the dark circles under my eyes....yeah. OK.


Anyway, I barreled down to the restaurant for breakfast, and this time I didn't find Staci. I found Shona, though, and the waitress cleared a spot for me so I could be pushy and force poor Shona to endure my company for yet another meal.

So the first thing Shona says is, "Were you there when Boris started paying for drinks?"


Oh, I left the bar *way* too early if someone else started buying the drinks. We talked and laughed while we ate breakfast -- Shona got pictures of Boris and Max the hunky South American guy -- and I kinda wondered, well, if Staci was still in the bar when Boris started buying the drinks, then.... maybe she had overslept? I worried about that.

I had to run up to my room -- I had forgotten my class kit -- so after breakfast, I ran to my room, and then I ran downstairs again for the Food For Craft meeting. There were a *lot* of us there -- Shona and... is it Donna who's already a Crafter in NC? -- Well, two Crafters were there, along with Karen the Crafter Coordinator, of course, and then there were five or six of us sitting in on the meeting. I sat there looking scared and confused. I wanted to sign up immediately. I was too scared. Kim was across the way and she asked the *best* questions. I tried to think of good questions, but really the only question I had was, "Can I do this?" And I don't think Karen could really probe my psyche and ascertain whether or not I am brave enough to be a Crafter. I *know* FFC would be supportive and helpful. I *know* Club Scrap stuff sells itself. Without once twisting *my* arm, Club Scrap has been selling itself to me for five fabulous years!

[Bunny trail: Happy Anniversary to me! Five years ago this month, I finally got my grubby paws on a slip of Club Scrap Architecture paper. I loved it, I tore it, and the rest is history!]

So I know that the support and encouragement is there -- I'm just not sure I can book the room, invite the scrappers, and really make it happen, just because I'm a lazy bum who sits behind a computer all day and plays with words. Y'know? I'm not sure this is the kind of venture for an introvert. But then again, I do love people, and I did enjoy that Make'n'Take......

Augh! Too much to think about!!!

At the end of the meeting, I ran upstairs and packed up the last of my stuff and trucked it out to my car. Then I remembered that there were still some things I wanted to buy at the Pro Shop. I definitely wanted more of that incredible Colossal paper, because I loved those Pass Portfolios so much. I ran to the Pro Shop and grabbed some stuff, and then it was time for class. But I was a bum, because the tools were out for the Make'n'Takes, and I looked at that big, clear, clean table top, and I thought, "Bay, all of the tables at your house are covered up with stuff. You should make another Pass Portfolio now! While you have a space for this big gorgeous piece of Colossal paper!!!"

So... yeah. I totally whipped out a piece of paper, grabbed a bone folder and a ruler, and I absolutely folded myself another Pass Portfolio -- using the light Written Word paper. WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I can make the mattes at home, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight. Just as soon as I clear off my scrapping table. ;)

Then I ran to class, and because I was the last one there, I sat at the back table. It was the only class that I didn't sit with Staci, and I really missed her!!!! When I dropped ink pads on myself or glued things to tables, she never laughed at me. She was really nice!!! Of course, no one laughed at me at the back table... but that's because I was by myself... and sooooo looooonelyyyyyyy.... sniffle!

Karen was teaching the stencil class, and I love the little technique tag chain that we made. I love the ColorBox Stylus tool -- I own four or five, and I don't know how many sponge tips. I keep oodles of them on hand because I don't like dirty tips. Ink is so much fun to play with, and I thought it was very dramatic to do all the stenciling in one shade of ink. I can't believe I finished all of the tags, but that was fun. And I *loved* hearing the non-CS'ers ooh'ing and ah'ing over every single technique they learned!

From that class, we got EIGHT Club Scrap stencils, and the tag thingie, and dang it, that was *fun*!!!

By the time we finished, the scents of lunch were wafting back to us, and I could smell broccoli, which I love, and I was sooooooo hungry. ROFL!!!! My mouth was watering! At the same time, I knew that lunch was the last thing on the Retreat itinerary, and I was sad. I knew I would miss all my new friends. I wanted to sit with Dawn and her sister again, but my table was already taken up. :(

Lunch was a scrumptious, light affair with a salad and baked potato bar. The toppings included butter, sour cream, salsa, grilled chicken chunks, and I forget what else. Cheese! Of course. And the steamed broccoli. I loaded my plate and hoped I didn't look like too much of a glutton. Dessert was cookies and fruit. Oh, those oatmeal raisin cookies!!!! I wish I had one now!

Dinah closed the Retreat with a few remarks -- she announced three new members who joined CS right there at the Retreat, and she, Karen, and Nikki handed out MORE GOODIES. I was floored! I had no idea we would get presents at the very end! We all got a big pack of Design Classics paper, and the ladies at my table -- the cropping group from Alabama in matching pink shirts -- went through every last piece of paper, ooh'ing and ah'ing with delight. And we got a discount code for shopping in the GHM! Dept. when we get home for... a little while after the Retreat ended. I can't remember if it's a week or two weeks! Duh, me!

As the Retreat came to an official end, I surprised myself by not crying. Not once! Not a single tear! OK, maybe one or two. I couldn't find Lisa and her daughter Holly to say goodbye. I guess I'm just going to have to go back to Walton County, Georgia and say goodbye in person!

I took my class kit in my big red CS bag -- which had become *way* heavier than it had been on my way *to* the Rolling Retreat -- and my big brown paper bag o' Pro Shop purchases to my car, and then I went back inside, saying goodbye to people who were on their way out. Sniffle!!!! I looked and looked for Lisa, but to no avail -- she had already left during the last workshop. :(

In the hallway, I ran into Andy and Kim to say goodbye -- but I hope not for long, because they live in Atlanta, and that's not far away -- and that's when I found out that Kim already signed on the dotted line -- she's a Food For Craft Crafter!!!!! Go, Kim!!!!!!!!! I know she's going to be wonderful.

And then I joined Nikki, Dinah, Karen, Staci, and Shona in breaking down everything and packing it away. The CSHQ girls kept telling me I didn't *have* to help, but I helped out at one convention, and I know it's quite a task. Come to think of it, I kind of wish I had gotten there early to help them set up -- it's really a lot harder to unpack than to pack. Cuz at the end, there's less stuff to pack! It's all going home with happy Retreat attendees!!!!

We had fun, and someone put early 80's music on the iPod. What a blast from the past! There were so many songs from when I was in high school, it was kinda freakin' me out. That made the time pass quickly, and I *hope* that I was some assistance. I kind of rattled around and didn't know what to do. At one point, I was putting UM's back in their binders, and I totally mixed up the months and the symbols. Duh! Karen cleared up the confusion for me, and I put the months in one binder and the symbols in the other.

Before we finished, Shona's husband came to pick her up, and her darlin' kids were just the cutest little things in the world! I've forgotten what it's like to be around *little* children. My kids are teenagers. Shona's children were polite and cuuuuuuuuute, cute cute!

I think we made quick work of the packing -- I hope we did, anyway. Nikki wanted a nap, and Dinah and Karen were drooping a little bit, too. We all said our goodbyes, and then....

Yep. It was officially over. I hopped into my happy blue Prius while Staci was driving away in her happy red Prius, and we hit the road.

And all I can think is... I've *got* to fall into a bucket of money so I can go to a Main Retreat! I've just *got* to. I love Wisconsin in August! But September sounds really nice, too!!!! Quick, y'all, what can I do to find the moolah for another Main Retreat? Should I sell my stash? Or... should I sell CS's stash????


Quick Recap of Sunday RR Goodies:
- 8 stencils and a tag booklet o' techniques!
- BIG pack o' luscious CS paper!
- GHM coupon!
- And getting to spend just a little more time with all the lovely attendees!!!!

So if you were on the fence about attending a Rolling Retreat near you, get off that fence! It's an amazing experience and easily as great a value for your dollar as Main Retreat. And you absolutely can't put a pricetag on friendship, you know you can't.

Go! And when you've gone, please let me know if you were in the special group. B for Best!

K-CSRR, Part 4 of 5

All righty! It's after dinner on Saturday, I have laughed, I have cried, and I have gotten a fabulous goodie!

And... there was something going on in my brain chemistry that I can't quite identify properly. It might be *curiosity*. It might be *inspiration*. Then again, it might be plain old *insanity*. Because after a full day of classes and being around people who love Club Scrap, I was starting to wonder ... maybe ... Should I? Well. For the first time ever, I was wondering if I have what it takes to be a Food For Craft crafter.


So on the way out of dinner, I totally ambushed Shona and tackled her for more info. She was really nice and encouraging and didn't seem to mind at all that I was just totally pumping her for information. (I could swear I started having a German accent, "Ach! You vill tell me ze formulae or you vill DIE!!! Schnell! Schnell!!!") (That's, like, all the German I remember from "Hogan's Heroes.")

But everyone was splitting up, and I was hot. So....

I went up to my room and once again stood directly in front of the air conditioner to cool off. While cooing lovingly over my new CS logo toiletries bag! That thing really is cool, y'all.

Then I tried to decide what to do with my evening. In all honesty, I was wiped out. Three classes in one day! Three projects finished!!!

I thought about making a 12x12 album. That was a class at other RR's, but they decided to go with a different project. I think the new class project is the CD Booklet, although I'm not sure. But Dinah had *very* graciously offered to teach an album class for any attendees who wanted to buy the album kit and put one together that night. What a sweetie! She was on her feet teaching, all day long, and she was going to once again teach what amounts to an entire, intense, full-scale class ... on what was supposed to be her night off? OK, I know CSHQ ladies never have a night off during a Retreat, whether it's Main, Mini, or Rolling, but still -- there's a big difference between helping in the Pro Shop and teaching a whole class about making 12x12 post-bound albums. Dinah is Iron Woman!

Me? I'm a wimp. I had already glued enough things to myself and others, and I didn't want to risk gluing an entire album to the ballroom wall.

And furthermore, I had lost Staci somewhere. I grabbed the phone and called the front desk, and asked them to connect me to her room. She was not there! I left a voice mail, and then I ran down to the crop room to ... I don't know what. What I wanted to do was go hang out in the bar and relaaaaaaaaaaax. I needed to chill out. My brain was bursting with new ideas and thoughts.

I was, of course, distracted in the cropping room by all the cropping. I kept looking over people's shoulders. At Janet and Carrie's table, someone was already putting photos on her ALSB pages! They looked *fabulous*!!! It was incredibly inspiring to see, and I was of course blown away by how good the pages looked, both blank and filled with photos. Too cool for words!

I also stopped and talked to Andy while I was twisting Staci's arm to come relax with me. She wanted to do the Pass Portfolio, but she didn't know if she would make it to Make'n'Takes on Sunday morning. So I told her I would show her how to do one in a bit.

Staci was already in her croppin' pj's, but she very sweetly agreed to come to the bar with me. She just had to change clothes. I'm so much trouble! But I'm so glad she did change! While she was gone, I packed up my sloppy, uncooperative UM's and stuff, and I chatted a little.

Y'know. CS Retreat-type chatting. :D

When Staci came back downstairs, I abandoned my packing-up efforts and bolted for the door, dragging poor Staci along in my wake. I did cut through the album class room, which was bad, bad of me, but I wanted to see how the albums were looking. I know I stopped and chatted with someone briefly (like, "Hey! Looks fun! Gotta go! Bar's a-waitin'!"), ... and then... And Thennnnnnn.....

... And then I pushed Staci down in my haste to get downstairs and have a relaxing beverage. It was all my fault. What can I say? I have no excuse. I might oughtta reflect on how much I wanted a relaxing beverage vs. how much I thought I *needed* a relaxing beverage. Hmmmmm. Food for thought. Anyway, Staci went flying through the air and landed very untidily on her knee. You know Staci's knee? The one she landed on when she fell the day before the August 2005 Retreat? Yes, *that* one.

Dinah and I rushed to her and tried to figure out if she needed ice, an ambulance, a relaxing beverage, or if she was going to be OK. She sat on the floor for a minute until the sting abated somewhat, and then we limped downstairs to the bar. Thank heaven, we made it! No more pushing people down for meeeeeeeee.

The bar at that time was only moderately peopled with patrons, and Staci and I got a table and ordered a couple of drinks. I got a White Russian, and Staci got a lemondrop martini. My drink was *excellent*. I don't trust Knoxville bartenders for the most part because I've never had a good White Russian in a Knoxville bar. Well, that bartender made a *great* White Russian. Staci and I chatted at length -- I loved hearing about her family and her life and the introverts we know and love -- and then we considered our options. I wanted to show Andy the Pass Portfolio, but I also wanted another drink....

We decided to settle up and go upstairs for just a bit.

That's when I discovered the bar was good, but the drinks were expensive. Yikes! I was going to have to be moderate!

Upstairs, I was really rude and rooted around under the display tables, dragging out boxes and stuff for Andy's Make'n'Take. I found almost all the supplies necessary -- gorgeous CS Colossal print, adhesive, paper and mattes, bone folder... but I didn't find the big grid rulers. Then I remembered that they were in a classroom for the CD booklet class, so I just dug out my big grid ruler and let Andy use that.

It only took a few minutes to get Andy on her way to a Pass Portfolio -- Andy? Are you gonna make more? -- and then I tidied up and put all the supplies back. Andy was a *great* student, and I have to say that it really was fun to be able to help with that Make'n'Take in general. Everyone was good!

Then Staci and I ... yes, we went back to the bar. I think we must have seen Shona somewhere in there and told her that we were going back to the bar.

Well... the bar... got crowded while we were out of the room. And *loud*. There were tons of business men on one side of the room and tons of engineering students all over the place. We seriously thought about leaving, but decided to brave the crowd, and I'm so glad we did! After we got our drinks, Shona came and joined us, and although we couldn't speak in conversational tones, we shouted at each other above the din. The engineering students were celebrating the end of their competition. I think they had a good weekend.

Not too much later, Dinah, Nikki, and Karen joined us, and we found a big couch in the corner. The bartender was overwhelmed, and a second bartender showed up for a few minutes but seemed to disappear again later. So it took a long time to get drinks, and it was loud, but dang, it was fun. We were laughing a lot. And I spilled half a drink and had to push people over to get napkins from the bar to clean it up. Shortly thereafter, Nikki cleared the table of all the empty glasses that were sitting around -- whew! With my proclivity for pushing, I could have made a big mess with all those breakables in front of me.

So... time passed, and it was fabulous, and I settled up my tab... after my fourth drink. Yep. Four drinks in one night. I was toasty. I'm just sayin'. It wasn't terribly late, but I was sooooo tired from a full day of activity and all the crazy thoughts in my head (do I have what it takes to be a FFC crafter?), I really needed to call it a night. I bid the ladies good night, and then I headed upstairs, where I crashed....

... And I stared at the ceiling for a long time, thinking, "Can I be a FFC crafter? Can I get a community room to hold banquets? Wouldn't people love the ALSB workshop? Can I be a FFC Crafter???"

Quick Recap of Saturday's RR Goodies:
- ALSB kit!!!
- CD Booklet, including the nifty lock!!!
- A full Greetings to Go pack, with adhesive, and fibers and stickers to match!!!
- Gorgeous toiletries bag!
- Inspiration and education to last a lifetime!!
- Fun & frivolity with all my new friends!!!

Coming up in the last installment:
FFC! -- Playing with ink! -- Great lunch! -- and more presents!! The only down side was [sniffle!] saying goodbye to everyone....

K-CSRR, Part 3 of 5

When last we left our erstwhile heroine, she had just stumbled upon a pauper with a thorn in his suspiciously well-pedicured toe... No, wait, wrong story. Sorry! Ahem. Back to the Retreeeeeeeeat!

... By the time Group B (for Best!) made our way to Sequoyah 1 for the last class of the day, we had gotten pretty well acquainted. And we knew we were the special class. We had seen each other through trials and tribulations, triumphs and trophy pages. We knew who the neediest and most special people were. (Some of them glued pages to tables. Some of them had difficulty with cutting measurements. And some of them still yelled "crap." And they had drunk beer the night before. I'm not naming names, but I think tequila may have been involved. I'm just sayin'. Is all.) We knew who had all the extra tools for those of us who had left ours at home. (Hi, Shona!) And ... we were getting maybe just a wee bit punchy. Maybe. I could be wrong. We were having a *lot* of fun, though.

Nikki was our energetic and ambitious, gorgeous and gifted teacher for a Greetings to Go class, and we were all given an entire Wheel & Sprocket G2G pack. With the adhesive!!!! I was so excited, because I have *just* started playing with G2G. There were Wheel & Sprocket stamps and a Palette ink pad for each pair of attendees to share, and fibers, and we each got a whole sheet of the luscious, glossy, white crack'n'peel W&S stickers to use, too. And instructions! And dang it, we had a wonderful teacher right there!

And did we, Group B (for Best!), the Special Class -- did *we* finish all the cards in the G2G pack?

Dang! No! I think we got 9 cards finished before we kind of gave up. We were well over the time limit. I don't know what happened! I can't claim that really inexperienced cardmakers slowed us all down, because I was knocking myself out to try to finish one card while Nikki was moving on to the next one. They were *gorgeous* cards and *so* cool and I'm so happy that I did get through 9 of the cards in the pack. Everyone was ooh'ing and ah'ing over the sayings on the stickers (so Terri Zwicker!!!), and I think we all just loved the class...

...But I think we must have been hypnotized or something by the coolness of the cards. Because we were *slow*!

And I think we were mesmerized by Nikki's wonderful Wisconsin accent. Almost every time she said "tag," someone would repeat it. It's just so adorable! We don't get exotic accents down here in the South, you know. I hope her feelings weren't hurt, because I don't think anyone meant anything mean by it -- we just don't hear "tag" pronounced that way very often.

(I have since heard that Group A finished all 15 cards in *their* G2G class. Nikki is a great teacher! I hope the special class -- Group B for Best -- didn't bum her out too much!)

Spilling out of the G2G class, I ran back to my room because I was hot. Back when I was young and skinny, I was always cold. Not any more! Now I'm always hot. So I ran back to my room and stood in front of the air conditioner. OMG! Y'all! I think this is the second time I've ever had a hotel room to myself. You know what's the best thing about not sharing a room? No one ever complains about your thermostat setting! I kept the air on 66 or 65 degrees all weekend long. It was fabulous!

But of course... that meant I was going to be late to dinner... Except that I went downstairs early. And guess what! I *finally* met Lisa Oglesby!!!!!!!!! I had been looking for her all weekend long, for a lot of reasons. A, she's really sweet in email. 2, she's a homeschooler like me. And III, she lives in Walton County, Georgia, which is where I grew up until I was almost 11 years old!!! Let's all join hands and sing a chorus of "It's A Small World"!!!!!

Lisa and I stood out there in the hallway, right next to all those gorgeous ALSB layouts, chatting... until it was time to go inside for dinner, and even then, I think we had to snag the last available table. I can't remember everyone who was sitting with us (dang it!), but it was another really great table full of wonderful people. One of the great things about the Knoxville Rolling Retreat was its small size. I really got to chat with almost everyone there, and then I felt like I actually got to know them. It's a small thing, but it's important to an introvert like me. I really... OK, I'm gonna cry... I really felt like I made *friends* with almost every attendee.

Also! Dinah was sitting at our table, so I felt like we had a celebrity in our midst! That was cool. :D

While we were eating a sumptuous spinach salad, someone asked me about Main Retreat, and I was talking about it. I don't remember what all I said -- Main Retreat is really fabulous, and Rolling Retreat is really fabulous in a different way. I mean, RR costs less, but CS still spoils you *so* much, and the classes are *just as good* as the ones in Wisconsin. The difference is ...

... And the next thing I knew, I totally choked up and started crying right there at the table.

I tried to get myself under control, but I'm telling you, I had to struggle. And part of me -- of course! -- part of me was thinking, "Why didn't I put on waterproof mascara? I KNEW I WAS AT A CLUB SCRAP RETREAT!"

And I was struggling *not* to look at Dinah, because I just knew if I did, I was going to be bawling instead of just crying!

I got hold of myself, and when I *did* look at Dinah, I think she had tears in her eyes, too! Someone at the table said Main Retreat must be something if it moved me like that, and yes, it is, but I don't want to take anything away from Rolling Retreat. RR is fabulous, too!!!

Dinner was an *amazing* chicken dish with big, thick chunks of tomatoes and artichoke hearts. As much as I loved the pork on Friday night, I think I actually preferred the chicken thing more on Saturday night! It came with wild rice and wonderful, flavorful asparagus. Yummy!!!! All over again! And again with the crusty French rolls, and OMG, dessert was a rich chocolate mousse, piped beautifully into a glass with a big strawberry on top. I know Staci was happy with the strawberry!

Then Dinah went to the podium and spoke again, and once again, I felt like I was at Main Retreat. Every Club Scrapper there was clapping and cheering over various things that Dinah mentioned. I seriously don't know how any non-members held out from joining at that very moment. I mean, the feeling of camaraderie and companionship in the room was just overwhelming.

Dinah also thanked me and Shona for being "Rolling Retreat helpers," and that was a little embarrassing. Are you kidding? I'm a RR helper? No, no, y'all -- RR is *my* helper!!!!!! I can't tell you how much this weekend meant to me!!!! But I'll get into that more later on when I do my summary...

I sat down, and Dinah chatted a little more. I think Saturday night was the night that Nikki got hold of the microphone and thanked her mom. That was *so* sweet and fabulous!!!!! I know Dinah must always get her thanks in before Nikki, but at this RR, Nikki upstaged Dinah and thanked her first. Awwwwwwwwww!!!! It's so nice to see a mother and daughter with such a wonderful *professional* relationship. That's truly rare, and I think it speaks to the profundity of CS in general.

Then Dinah asked me and Dawn P (I think I remembered an initial!!!) and Janet to come up and talk about our CS experience just a bit. Ack!!!! I was put on the spot again! I don't know exactly what I said -- I said, "Hi, I'm Bay," and everyone yelled back, "HI, BAY!" as if it were a meeting of Paperholics Anonymous, and that cracked me up. I hope I was marginally coherent.

Then Dawn P took the podium, and I almost died when she said she joined CS because of my posts on a message board years ago. Eek! I'm responsible for someone else's addiction??? Nah -- it's all CS's fault!!!!!

Janet rounded out the group, and she was *hilarious*. She said something about "Ya think this is a good retreat? Nah! This sucks! Go to Main Retreat!" We were laughing so hard, I almost cried again!!!!

Oh! And then! Another CS Retreat Goodie!!!!!! Nikki and Karen distributed black gift bags with the CS logo, and Dinah kept us from opening our bags until we all had them... and the anticipation was *killing* me... And when we opened 'em... OMG! Y'all!!!!!!!! I seriously did not know that a Rolling Retreat would have goodies like this. We all got toiletries bags with lovely wood-handled brushes and a glove washcloth and eeeeeeeeee! It's a really good bag, and I already used mine when I came home! It's way nicer than the plastic grocery bag I used on the way *to* the Retreat!!!!!!

Is this segment too long? OK, I'm going to quit here and finish out Saturday night in Part IV. I'm telling you, a Rolling Retreat is way too fabulous to put in short sentences!!!!! You've got to go experience it for yourself!!!!!!!!

CD Booklet

The photos aren't the best and I still need to embellish this darlin' thing, but this gives you an idea of the project. It's 3 glossy cardstock CD folders, sandwiched together with luscious CS paper, glued, and bound with a ribbon and a lock. You can mount photos on the little pages in sections, or on the white folders, or tuck them into the pockets. It's really, really cool, and I know it'll be less gorgeous when I finish it. Why? Because I still don't take photos as pretty as Club Scrap products!!!!

K-CSRR, Part 2 of 5 - Sat., March 31st

Saturday morning when the alarms went off (two on my cell phone and one wake-up call, because ever since I went to the Orlando convention with Annette Dragon, I don't trust hotel room alarm clocks because they don't like me and go off at crazy times), what I really wanted more than my classes to start was about three more hours of sleep.

My floor of the hotel was really relatively quiet. There were college engineering majors all over the hotel, attending some kind of competition, and they were partying on some floors. On my floor, they would just meet in the hall and talk earnestly about something. What? I don't know. But I hope that they got their posterboards made and the statistics finished on whatever their project was. They had those conversations right outside my door three times during the night, and I finally decided the next time they needed to check on their posterboard progress, I was going to stick my grumpy, middle-aged head out into the hall and tell them where they could find their posterboard if they kept waking me up.

When I actually woke up, though, and had a cup of the in-room coffee (the best in-room coffee I think I've ever had), somehow the aggravations of the night melted away, and I was ready to learn. Ooooo, boy! Retreat classes!!!! Two trips to Main Retreat have prepared me for some serious projects and fabulous fun! I *know* what's in store for me when I go to a Club Scrap event!!!

I was ready for something else, though... what was it? Oh, yes, now I remember. Breakfast!!!!!! I screeched into the restaurant before they shut off the lights, thank heaven. And yay! Staci was right there! I pushed past the maitre d' and asked Staci if I could sit with her. Staci is much nicer than I am. I think I would have been scared of me if I had been someone else looking at me. I was really hungry and needed another cup of coffee before I could even approach polite behavior.

The waiter poured me a cup of coffee and a glass of juice, and I hit the breakfast buffet at a full tilt. YUM. I love breakfast foods, but I can't eat a whole lot of it. I had a bit of pineapple, sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs (cooked fresh for me by the omelet guy) with cheese, and homestyle potatoes. I do love breakfast. Staci and I chatted while I snarfed down the food, and soon we were upstairs, arriving at Sequoyah 1 (a classroom) to gather with my lovely Group B compatriots. Karen was our beauteous teacher for ... ALSB!!

In my humble opinion, I think the Knoxville ALSB kit is the prettiest one yet. It was a Remix containing shades of turquoise and brown papers from: Asian Artisan, LMCTW, Collections, Autumn Splendor, Renaissance, and I think even Textiles & Notions. It was an incredible mix. Seriously! Anyone who wasn't at the Knoxville RR totally missed out, cuz we got the best kit. I'm just sayin'. Is all. I mean, the others are nice. But. Y'know. ;)

Karen gave a brief overview of the various Club Scrap kits and levels, and checked to see if we needed Tonic Studios trimmers, and then she started the class.

And, oh, my gosh, you know you are in the special class when you aren't three steps into the first page and someone in the back of the room says, "Oh, crap!" Yeeeeeeessssss. I was in the special class! Karen was a *fabulous* teacher. She was calm, cool, collected, and incredibly helpful. We really did have a lot of different skill levels in Group B (for Best!), and at one point, I actually thought about going over and offering to help one group of ladies. They were *really* nice and soooo cute -- they were a crop group from Alabama who like to travel together, and they always wear matching shirts. They had red on Friday, and orange striped on Saturday. Nice, nice ladies! But man, they only had one person cutting the paper. I was using a Tonic Studios trimmer and could've really churned out some photo mattes...

... But I was being all shy and retiring. Also, I put adhesive on the wrong side of a paper "ribbon," and I had to figure out how not to let anyone know that I had messed up, too.


Karen, in the meantime, was just the best teacher. Whenever someone *really* messed up their piece of paper while cutting it, Karen would just sing happily, "Trade ya!" and hand over *her* correctly cut piece of paper. After a while, instead of saying, "Oh, crap" when we messed up, we would just yell, "Karen! Trade!"

I'm tellin' you. Group B. B for best. We were the special class.

So at the end of the 1.5-hour class, I was totally shocked and amazed to look down and realize that I had ten -- 10 -- TEN!!!!! layouts all made, and they were gorgeous, and I was so tickled. And sold. ALSB rocks!!!!!!! Karen asked us when was the last time we made 10 layouts in one sitting, and I yelled, "NEVER!!!!!" Puhleeeeeeeeeze! It takes me two weeks to make *one* layout!

And I really do think the Knoxville ALSB kit is the best ever. CSHQ remixes different ALSB kits for *every* Rolling Retreat. Every single one of 'em. All of 'em. If you go to an RR this year, you'll get your own special ALSB Remix. And I'm so sorry, too, because the Knoxville one is the best. Ever.

Just sayin'.

After the first class, we had a lovely long break for shopping, cropping, and eating. I went back up to my room to put away my gorgeous ALSB pages. I also called my sister in Las Vegas because I forgot she was three hours behind me, so I woke her up early on a Saturday to tell her all about how cool ALSB is. Then I got confused and wandered around my hotel room for a while. OK, seriously? I don't know what I did, but when I arrived at lunch, I was the last person there and had to search for a seat.

Lunch was *incredible*. They had ham & cheese croissants with pasta salad and chips. Wow, those sandwiches were good! I know -- y'say, "Ham and cheese croissants? C'mon, that's *ordinary*." But these weren't! They were really, really good! I think they must have rolled 'em in cookie dough or something. Yummers.

Next class!!!! Group B (for Best) moved to Salon D for a class with Dinah. The queen of class! The project was the CD Booklet similar to the one in the Fizz CStamp kit. I confess, when I got that project, I was scared of trying to assemble the locking mechanism, so I made a single CD-folder booklet and didn't use the clasp. I'm so glad I got lessons in lock assembly!!!! And OMG, the Retreat kit for the CD Booklet is sooooooooo cooooooooool!!!!! It utilized the Extra Extra kit, one of my all-time favorites, and lots of Bookbinding Glue. I love playing with glue. No, I didn't sniff the glue!!!!

But I did manage to glue a whole piece of cardstock to the table because I got too much glue *on* the table. Dang it. Dinah was really nice and gave me another piece of paper to replace the one I wrecked. And she didn't once refer to my specialness. But I think we all know... yeah, I fit into that class.

I have to also say, although she isn't on this yahoogroup yet, that my guest Carrie was a sweetie and was totally loving the classes. Every once in a while she would turn around and yell at me, "Thank you!" The first couple of times I asked why, and she said, "For telling me about this!" Carrie is from Indiana, and there was a large, lovely contingent of Indiana ladies there! And of course, there were some young and energetic people like Carrie. I think she had a good time at Retreat.

Well, at the end of the class, I had a completely lovely CD Booklet of my very own, and I'm happy to report that I didn't infact attach the whole shebang to the table. ...

I gotta quit writing on this... I'm tired!! I'm so tired. More on that later. I will try to finish the trip report tonight, but I just gotta take another break and maybe get another little nap....

K-CSRR Pass Portfolio

These are Pass Portfolios, the Make'n'Take that I was privileged to teach at the Retreat. The open one on top was the sample for the class, and it was a gift from Tricia Morris, co-founder of Club Scrap, and one of my best friends in the world. And I never would've gotten to know her if it hadn't been for CS.

The folio under Tricia's is the nearly blank sample that I made five minutes before I started teaching the Make'n'Take. I added the turquoise chalk ink after I saw the Retreat ALSB kit the next day.

["ALSB" is an abbreviation for "Assembly Line Scrapbooking," the smartest thing I've ever seen in the scrapbooking industry, especially since it combines the best paper in the world with such a cool technique. It means that with a minimum of effort, you can make 10 (or more!) layouts in an hour and a half, utilizing all of your Club Scrap kit papers, saving money and time and frustration. Club Scrap is geeeeeeeeenius. I'm just sayin'.]

Back to the trip report.........

Knoxville Club Scrap Rolling Retreat - Pt 1 of 5

(Note to blog readers: This report was written for Club Scrap's Yahoogroup for members, so there may be some abbreviations and shorthand that non-scrappers don't understand. There are certainly references to people you don't know. Forgive me.)

I am home from the Knoxville Rolling Retreat, and -- oh, my heavens above, y'all!!!!! It was the *so* fabulous!!!! I wish all of you could have been there!!!!!

I'll try to go in order, but this is by no means a complete trip report. I just wanted y'all to know how completely fabulous the whole thing was! So this is the first installment! Day 1! Rolling Retreeeeeeeeat!!!!

Friday afternoon -- Registration and Make'n'Takes -- I was lucky enough to get to help with one of the Make'n'Takes, the Pass Portfolio. Using one of those *gorgeous* Club Scrap Colossal pieces of paper, we folded and folded and scored and bone folded and folded a little bit more to make a four-pocket folio complete with paper and mattes to match. GORGEOUS! And everyone who attended were ROCK STARS! They rocked the folios. While I was there, I Staci Brightwell re-introduced herself -- I've met her three times now, and this Retreat, I *finally* got to hang out with her as much as I wanted! I also met Dawn and Dawn and ... I need my piece of paper that I took notes on, but it's packed. Eek! And Andy and Kim! And Shona, and I ... really need that piece of paper. LOL!

I didn't have time to do the nifty other Make'n'Take, but it was notecards in a little paper envelope -- made with Painted Desert paper and embellished with my darlin' favorite little paper flowers!!! Eeeeeeeeee! I snagged a passel and the instructions, so I hope to get a little Painted Desert bling going when I have recovered from the weekend.

Which was intense. Where are my notes??? Oh, yeah, in the suitcase. Sheesh.

After all the lovely makin' and takin' and shoppin' and meetin' and greetin' -- oh, yes, there was champagne and sparkling grape juice, fruit, and lovely little spanikopitas (spelling? The little Greek spinach and cheese in phyllo dough things, yummy) -- After just a little while, we all gathered in the dining room for dinner. Except I was late. I don't know *how* I was late. All I did was run to find my room and put some luggage in it, that's all. Still, I was the last person in there, so I got the best seat at the best table.

The meal was faaaaaaaaaabulous. OMG. I have always raved about the food we get at Main Retreat. I'm *so* proud of Tennessee for putting on such great meals! Dinner was salad, and pork tenderloins with some kind of fabulous sauce, totally yummy, and garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed squash'n'zucchini. The bread was to die for. Crusty rolls! Auck!

Janet and my guest Carrie were cutting up at another table. I'm just sayin'. Is all. I'm not saying they were being *bad*, but let's just say the beer and the wine somehow mysteriously found its way to the crop room later on.

*My* well-behaved and fabulous table were sitting there talking about favorite old kits and debating which kit came out when. Dawn ... eek, I'm bad with last names, and there were two fabulous Dawns there! -- Dawn brought a guest, and she was telling on me about all my emails on the yahoogroup. Dawn! Did you get your guest signed up yet???

OMG, I almost forgot dessert -- this incredible cake! With a strawberry on the side! Staci likes strawberries. I think we need a Fruit & Vine Remix for Staci and her strawberry passion. I was so full from dinner that I couldn't even finish my cake. I would have cried, but Dinah got up to chat. And you know... when Dinah stands up to chat... someone's going to cry.

Tee hee!!!! Yes!!!! She cried! She told us about how CS was started (a story which *never* gets old), and she had people doing a show of hands, who all were members, and who all weren't. I was *really* surprised at the number of people in attendance who weren't members! I thought CS RR was just for us nutjobs! I think there must have been a third of them who weren't members already? Well, let me tell you, we tried our best to get 'em to see the light! But without twisting arms, of course.

Dinah introduced Karen and Nikki, and then she solicited a husband for Nikki, but none of us attendees had brought suitably handsome, rich young men who would dote on Nikki and give Dinah some grandkids. (Hint for future RR's: You might want to be better prepared! Nikki is absolutely gorgeous and such a sweetheart, and I think it's going to take a *very* special guy to be lucky enough to snag her!)

They also introduced those members who had brought guests, and then Dinah started passing out the presents. OMG, Dinah is such a meanie! She made us wait and open our first Official Retreat Goodie all at the same time! I was dying to see what it was, and when we finally got the greenlight to open... you could hear the ripping of gold CS seals all over the room! We all got Perpetual Calendars, and Karen let us know that all the stamps we needed would be in the crop room for the entire weekend. Woo hoo!!!!

When dinner was finally over, I think I ran back to my room to get my cropping stuff -- I brought UM's that needed trimming and I had snagged a Retro G2G in the Pro Shop (major EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!) -- and I headed down with my big red CS bag of stuff. I thought I probably brought too much, although it all fit into my CS bag. Y'know.

WOW. I was shocked. The crop room was FULL. It was bursting at the seams. I have never seen so much cropping since I joined CS! At Main Retreat, hardly anyone crops. Not so at the RR's -- that room was full of croppers! Sitting with Andy and Kim and Staci at a huuuuuuuuge table, I was more of a dropper than a cropper. I tried to trim my UM's, but they fought back (totally my fault). Then I made some Mocha Java/Retro cards. Well, I made two. Then I was toast, and I had to leave. We were allowed to leave our cropping stuff at the tables for the whole weekend, and if anyone suffered any loss, I never heard of it. What a great group of people!!!!!!

I love that. It just rocks to be able to leave hundreds of dollars worth of stuff in a room and come back two days later and it's still there.

Oh, I have to say, also, the halls were *lined* with ALSB sample pages, and it is so, so impressive to see them all in a row like that. They're just irresistible! I don't know how anyone who loves scrapping and wants to accomplish the most layouts from best products... *doesn't* start ALSB'ing!

So, anyway, around 10:00, I had to leave the cropping, but at least I got two cards made and wrestled those UM's into submission. I did have to leave the hotel for a bit -- I had been in such a huge and happy rush to get to RR earlier in the day, I forgot a lot of stuff, including hair bands and Diet Dr. Pepper. So I left for a bit, but got back to the hotel around 10:45. I washed my face, called my sister Amy (who was on her way to an Elton John concert, but I still say I had the most fun), and tried to go to sleep, but it was hard! I knew the hours were just ticking away until the first class on Saturday morning.

Quick recap of incomparable CS Retreat Goodies for Friday:
- Pass Portfolio Make'n'Take
- Painted Desert card folio Make'n'Take
- Perpetual Calendar
- Hugs from Dinah and Karen and Nikki!!!

Next ... Saturday! "Group B! B for Best!" ... "Crap!" ... "We're the *special* class." ... "Trade!" ... and "Tag!" And yes, I was late for every meal.