Tuesday, May 31, 2005

There's something about a hot dog

My dear hubby has become more of a child than ever of late. He's been clamoring for a puppy, enamored with the Xbox, whining that he has to go to work, and having cravings for hotdogs that remind me of a schoolboy at a baseball game.

He piles on the toppings: relish, mustard, ketchup, pepperocinis and has been known to ask if we have sauerkraut. He seems so emphatically in love with his hotdogs that I thought I'd try a bite... which I immediately spit out. Don't know how in the world God could create tastebuds that could have gone so wrong, but there you have it. I'll stick to my simple hotdog on a bun with a little ketchup on top.

Although, there is one other way that I enjoy my hotdogs - Dixie chili style! A bit of meat, a bit of sauce, add the onions and cheese on top, and you're set. This stuff is also great for spaghetti! My brother-in-law and his folks introduced it to us just before he married my sister. (Guess he had to see if she had good taste buds.) Since then, it's become a tradition for my hubby and my sister's hunk-a-hunk-of-burning-love (there's a whole nother story for that nickname) to swap stories about their most recent devouring of Dixie dogs or pasta, often sending each other cases of the cans - little metal love notes through the mail. The first case was sent by my hubby for my sister and b.i.l.'s one year anniversary.

They have another anniversary coming up and that dear hubby of mine was jumping up and down (again, the image of a schoolboy comes to mind), excited to order another case of the goodies. He came rushing downstairs and said, "I'm ordering the Dixie Chili! And you have to see this, they've added more stuff!"

Lord, you've never seen a boy so excited about aprons with a Dixie logo or eager to get his own tennis-style visor touting the brand. "You're going to blog about this, aren't you?" How could I not?

Friday, May 27, 2005


When ordering stickers, make sure that you and the company you are working with both have the same idea as to what a sticker is. Is it glossy and printed on a vinyl-type material or is it paper with a sticky back? Do you know the difference between a sticker, a label and a decal?

Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Gotta Have It

I've been meaning to post about this for a few days. Something always came up, though, until now. It's finally Saturday morning. The adventure that I had was on Wednesday. I know, I'm way tardy. What can I say? If you still want to read about it, you'll have to forgive me and continue reading.

Still here? Good. (And seriously, if anyone is still here, still reading this blog, why not leave a comment? Let me know you've been here. Hopefully you'll keep coming back.)

I'm still fresh in the paper-world of designing invitations and greeting cards. Still trying to figure all of this out - how to write invoices, how much to charge, what services to offer, what I can and can't do on my own. There are quite a few grand and glorious ideas floating around in this head o' mine, and I admit that after Wednesday, I've added a ton more.

Wednesday was the Adobe Creative Tour and it was phenomenal. If you haven't heard or aren't in an industry that cares about it, the Adobe Creative Suite 2 is on shelves now. It includes all of the must-have programs for designers and those aspiring-to-be types, including Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design, a new tool called the "Bridge", version cue, direct access to stock photos, and color consistency across platforms. The Premium Suite also includes GoLive and Adobe Acrobat 7.0, making the whole deal a completely functional, top-of-the-line, "can do", extraordinary office for the creative types.

Wow. I have to applaud the presenters who handled everything fantastically, including the requisite technical problems that accompany any presentation when you are pleading for everything to go right. There were two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and I had informed my husband before I left that I may or may not stick around for the afternoon presentation depending on how things went in the morning. However, within the first 20 minutes, I was hooked. There was so much to take in, so much "oooohhhhh"-ing and "aaaaahhhhhhh"-ing to be done, that I couldn't leave.

Incredible functionality, the ease of file manipulation in multiple formats, version monitoring and tracking - it was all there. The two- or three hundred of us sitting captivated in the audience were eager to see all of the capabilities. I thought that maybe I was so quickly hooked because I'm still relatively young in my field, but looking around me at all of the other attendees, many of whom are very developed in their field and have more skills than I do, I knew that it was because this was one powerful program. Or rather, one powerful set of programs.

Sadly, I didn't win the Creative Suite they raffled off either in the morning or the afternoon session and the thousand dollar price tag is a bit more than my little business checking account can handle at the moment. So, unless there is some generous soul out there willing to donate, I'll have to plug away, hoping to save up the funds for this purchase. Of course, I could make the funds so much easier if I had the Suite. It's a vicious circle, isn't it?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The New Community

In the 1940s and 50s, everyone knew their neighbors. They often knew a majority of the people in their town, actually. Neighborhood BBQs and picnics were frequent, the Jones' boy in the house on the corner mowed your lawn each week and you had no problem leaving a key with Suzanne while you were away on vacation so that she could water your plants and take care of the dog. Afterall, you did it for her a number of times.

Nowadays, it seems so different. Maybe it's just because I am part of a young couple, fairly new to the area, and we don't have kids, so there is no automatic circle of the same parents with kids in Little League, swim lesons, and scouts. Still, none of my neighbors ever brought over a casserole when we moved in.

The internet is different, though. I've joined numerous groups online, meeting people with similar interests, swaping stories and developing friendships with people I "know" but somehow have never met in real life. Our casseroles are the kind words welcoming each other to the group. We look out for each other, wondering how they are when they haven't posted or commented in a while. We share tips and recipes, offering shoulders to cry on and shouting out in joy when something good happens to one of us. This is my community.

I know RubyRed has recently moved and that she's enjoying her new job. I am thrilled that Polka Dot Mittens is newly engaged! I wish that I could be there to help La Coquette celebrate her birthday. I worry for Gnome G, sending her good vibes and air-hugs. I wish that I could set up This Fish with my friend Ben (who is a different Ben than her friend Ben). I eagerly await for word from Sarah that her new press is everything she'd hoped. I can't count the times I've given praise and thanks to the Paperpreneurs folks. There are so many others, too numerous to name, that I turn to almost daily, for inspiration, for advice, for the feeling of community.

The world is definitely changing. We are at once becoming both more secluded as well as more interdependant, turning to others that we may know only in cyberspace and reaching across untold miles to make someone laugh or smile or just to let them know we're there. It such a growing community. We welcome new neighbors everyday. I feel like I have friends in a thousand different places. And always, I hope they know they have one in me.

P.S. Due to a lack of excitement, the Wall of Wonderings has been cancelled. Maybe one day when I know there is more readership out there for this ol' blog, I'll reinstate it or something even more fun. Till then, keep dreaming, never stop questioning and always, ALWAYS explore.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's in the bottle

I sat around last night with a few of my girl friends here in So Cal talking about everything from pregnancy (2 of the girls are due in a few months), to how much our husbands game (Xbox is all the rage), to knitting, to work stress in general, as well as playing the "Who Got The Worst Wedding Present" game (T won that one with a foosball table... in a small, one bedroom apartment). Oh, yeah, we also did some crafting.

Last night was our first Craft Night.

Craft Nite is the essential girls' hang out time that is usually code for "Let's get together and rant about life, men, and laundry!" It was a roaring success when I was living in Seattle, so in honor of those nights I had to carry on the tradition down here. Hubby carried on his tradition for these nights by being absent for the majority of it. When I first told him that I was starting the whole Craft Nite thing up again he called me and in a very sweet voice said, "Sweetie, I have to work late that night." I hadn't even told him what night it was. Raise the estrogen level anything above normal and he flees like a jack rabbit.

In the midst of our discussions I made an Indian dish with beans, rice, and a ton of spices, which turned out great, if I do say so myself (hey, I can follow a receipe pretty well!). Also, knowing me and my second stomach for ice cream, I just couldn't resist making a delicious cinnamon and cardamom ice cream concoction to finish it all off. Meanwhile, N showed T how to knit and L brought out some of her tote-narnar crocheted scarves! The first night and already we have projects for future meetings!

In between dinner, dessert and non-stop chatter we amazingly enough found time to craft, so I brought out all of the supplies and showed the girls how to decoupage. There's really not much to it, so it was more like "Take this, slap it on, slop on some glue and you're set!"

The girls couldn't believe all of the scraps of paper I have lying around, waiting for such an oportune moment to be used. There are so many little scraps that are not quite right for cards, but are perfect for this sort of project. They did some great boxes, which of course I forgot to get pictures of, even with my camera sitting 2 feet away on the bookshelf. I've done a few boxes, so thought I'd try a bottle/vase and I think it turned out alright. You can just barely see the dried flowers on there and there are also some rhinestones. Thoughts?

We're planning on crafting every Tuesday night, so I'll try to post more pictures of the event, especially when we are successful (meaning, we actually craft and get beyond just opening a bottle of wine/juice and chatting about life).

And yes, I really do work on my real job during the day, too. All of the supplies for one of my big client jobs are coming in. The company I ordered envelopes from had to re-ship them because apparently UPS doesn't believe that I actually live here. (Funny, I could have sworn there were walls and windows enough to be a dwelling...) They have arrived, though, safe at last, so now it is mass assembly time for those. Let's just pray that I've had all of the headaches required for this project so that the rest can be smooth sailing.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Wall of Wonderings

Here is the Wall of Wonderings for May 8 - 14.

I encourage everyone to reply. It is great to hear the other thoughts out there. And remember, just like in second grade, there are no wrong answers or stupid responses on this assignment.

If you could be a fly on the wall somewhere, where would you be and why? What do you think you would hear? What do you hope you would hear?

Saturday, May 07, 2005


You know what I don't understand? Shipping. If you order something and pay for the three-day turnaround, it shouldn't be day five with still no package in sight. But then, who do you blame - the company that shipped it or UPS? By the way, I am now boycotting UPS and DHL*. I will continue to swear by the good ol', trusty USPS folks. Love those folks in blue. I would love them even more if they could track packages, but that's another post. I know they get harassed for "going postal", but I think it is because they are like the unappreciated older brother. They've been around so long that now no one takes notice of them, so of course they're going to act out as their way of saying "Look at me! I'm still special!" Just give them credit where credit is due.

The other guys, on the other hand, are newbies, fresh from delivery school, and just like a High School senior, they think they own the world. (If you are a High School senior and just about to graduate, trust me; you may feel like you know everything now, but in a few years you'll look back, smack yourself in the forehead and say, "What was I thinking?" I know this because I was once there. And I'm still smacking myself in the forehead.) These young companies tout their skills, hoping to woo everyone, laughing at the old folks who just can't handle all things new-fangled.

Well guess what youngins'? You messed up. You didn't deliver on your promise (nor did you deliver on your deadline, for that matter). And besides, I know many a grandma who is email savy and who loves technology as much as the next person. I am not alone when I say, "Go back to Start. Do not collect $200 bonus."

But while you're on your way back to Start, would ya mind dropping off my package? I've got a deadline and a client waiting.

*I am not including links to the UPS or DHL site because they are evil and I don't think anyone should go there. Ever.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Today is Friday. The sun is shining, there is a slight, cool breeze blowing, making the flowers dance in celebration and the trees do the wave. Everywhere I look, I see a smile. It is going to be a good day.

I've got projects to do, clients that are eager (in a good way) to see my work, designs working their way from my brain down to my fingertips and itching to be put on paper. I've promised myself at least an hour to sketch in the outdoors where the sun can melt away the stress of the past week. Today is going to be a good day.

Piles of paper are waiting to be printed with formal invitations. The invitation folders have their aligator jaws wide open and are ready to snap shut as soon as an innocent paper comes near. I'll secure their maws closed with a golden seal and bind them in sheets of metallic blue, then slip them into their metal cages, only to be released upon the promise of delivering an enchanted evening.

Yep, today is going to be a good day.
My cats have been staring out the window, taking in as much of the outdoors as they can see beyond the screen. They seem to know that outside is the best place to be; away from the mess of the office, the dishes piled in the sink, the emails waiting to be sent and phone calls to be returned. The blades of grass don't ask for anything, the butterflies just flutter hello and even the spiders swing from their webs, shouting out the joy that today is Friday.

Well what do you know, it already is a good day.

Later update: It really was a nice day, up until I realized that a very important shipment of paper goods had still not arrived. Read about it in Saturday's post.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Wish

I wish that more people would enjoy the simple things: the juciness of an orange as it dribbles down your chin, the feeling you get when you catch the love of your life staring at you in wonder, eating foods freshly prepared in your own kitchen with ingredients from the Farmers Market, reading a good book before bed and realizing that as tired as you are, you just don't want to put it down.

I wish that we weren't so dependant on technology to do everything: from the computer I sit in front of each morning, to the Xbox my hubby is addicted to, to the car that we drive to the supermarket rather than riding our bike the three miles each way.

I wish that more people would think about how their actions impact each day, and the days that follow.

I wish that schools could once again teach children to be excited about learning, to encourage them to use their imaginations and question things, rather than being forced to teach to the tests.

I wish that more of our role models were worthy of the title, rather than being idolized for their bodies or sex appeal. There are some amazing men and women who did so much just to give us the opportunity to do things we now take for granted.

I wish that advertisers and corporate big-wigs would forget about the size of their pocketbooks and instead focus on the size of their hearts and the good they could do.

I wish we could all live in the moment, focusing on making our "todays" better, so that our "tomorrows" and "yesterdays" would already be enriched.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wall of Wonderings

Here is the Wall of Wonderings for May 1 - 7:
You have all week to respond. No wrong answers, so share your thoughts!

If you were told that you would never have to do one chore ever again for the rest of your life, what chore would you choose?