Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

*To all my friends in blogland! Hope you have a delicious Christmas*

xoxo, Michelle

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Like Smiling, Smiling's My Favorite

Brrr.....It's getting pretty cold around here.

Are you done Christmas shopping yet? Ahem. Me neither.....

I have a very fun weekend celebrating the b-day and working on my long Christmas to-do list. To get me thru, I watched a few of my favorite Christmas programs. Thought it would be fun to share my favorites and hear what you like to watch each year. Leave me a comment so I can expand my collection:

1. Elf. A Classic with Will Ferrell. So many quotable lines:
"I like smiling, smiling's my favorite."
"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color!" - said while answering his father's office phone


2. A Very Muppet Christmas. Seriously I have to watch this every year, yet no one I know has even seen it once. Whoopi Goldberg plays God, David Arquette plays an angel named Danny-El, and Pepe the Shrimp begins a sordid affair with Joan Cusak.

Do yourself a favor, watch it tonight. So Funny!


3. A Charlie Brown Christmas. I remember watching this every year as a kid, I know I am not the only one. Actually more than one person commented that this year it was pre-empted by the president. Shows you that even now, it speaks to people.

(No to mention that every time I put up my sad little tree, I think Charlie would love him, so should I. ha.)


4. Home Alone. Back when Macauley Caulkin was cute and innocent. Seriously I laugh my butt off every time I watch it. Those robbers are so gullible!

(Google images. Sorry, couldn't find a good clip on YouTube)
5. SNL Christmas Special. This is a compilation DVD that features two of my favorite Saturday Night Live actors ever- Cheri O'Teri and Chris Farley. Farley plays a 'motivational Santa' who lives 'At the North Pole in a van, down by the river!".

Snicker.



OK, there's my must watch list, but there are a few more I am sneaking in this year: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Rudolph.

What's in your DVD player this time of year? Do tell.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Have Yourself a Crafty Little Christmas

One of the BEST parts of Christmas are all the fun ideas out there for crafting. I love making most of my gifts, and I hope that the people who receive them enjoying getting them. I thought I would share a few fun crafty ideas out there for you to try.

Now, I know what you are going to say-I am way to busy this time of year, I don't scrapbook, when would I have time to learn how to do this stuff?? Never fear. Most of these ideas take little or no craft knowledge, and the ones that do-you can take a little time to learn! Not only that, but you can adapt alot of these ideas to include your kids, make them bigger or smaller, or just do one tiny part.

I am a big believer in the 'no-pressure' approach to the holidays. People waste way too much time stressing over what they 'should do'. I do what I want for the holidays, and I enjoy the process. My presents aren't perfect or expensive, I don't get to every activity I want. Whatever I do is ok with me.

Check them out. Let me know if you do any of them!

{12 Tags of Christmas}
Tim Holtz is a well known paper crafter and every year he comes up with 12 AMAZING tag designs and shares them on his blog. Each little tag starts with a standard manila office tag and finishs as a mini piece of art. Leave a comment on his blog and he picks 12 winners everyday. He has a cool, grungy style. Trust me, you will enjoy watching him build his tag collection.

TimHoltz.com
* Warning: the tags are pretty advanced and labor intensive. They are way more involved than any tags I ever make. I look at the tags, pick up a new technique or two, then make my own creation.
* Make take his series and do your own 12 tags. Challenge yourself to make 12 custom gift tags for your presents this year. Make each a little different, but use the same products.
* Use his ideas and make some New Years cards (wouldn't it be fun to give your friends ONE MORE card to open after Christmas?

(DECEMBER DAILY}
Ali Edwards is another well known paper artist who came up with a really clever idea a few years ago. She makes a journal with bits and pieces of her everyday life throughout the month of December. She makes her scrapbook ahead of time, then fills it in everyday. She mixes pages that are just a photo, with pages that are just journalling, to pages with both. She emphasizes making it simple so you enjoy the process of documenting your life during the holiday season.




Ali Edwards Blog

Eva runs an etsy shop called Evalicious and she does something similar. She sells a kit with all the pages you need here.



* The real lesson behind these beautiful projects is to DOCUMENT your family life during the holidays. You could just buy a pretty journal and let each of your kids write in it each night. You could write in a journal and paste in a picture or two. You could take a picture a day of everyday stuff, then print them and put them in their own special album. There are lots way to accomplish the same goal. Don't stress about making the perfect scrapbook or making a big production out of this, just do it the way you think will be fun and easy.
* Get your family involved in this. Let your kids takes pictures, collect bits and pieces of wrapping paper, and write in the journal.
* Include memories about when you were a kid. For example, I plan to do a page this year about my favorite ornaments that I own now from when I was a kid.

See more examples
here
here
here

{BECOME AN ORNAMENT FACTORY}
This is something I do every year, and I use the ornaments to decorate my gifts. I love it. Torrie and I spend an afternoon as an ornament factory in my apartment. Most of the creations are funny, last years was more traditional.

If you need ideas for ornaments,

go here
here
here
Ideas range from elaborate to simple, photos, yarn, glitter, foam, or paint. So many oprtions and you can make as many or as few as you want!

{PAINT A POTTERY PIECE}
We have all heard about those paint your own pottery places, and, yes, they may seem like cheesy-wedding-gifts-stuff-you-make-your-grandma.....but I disagree. What if this year you and your BF (boyfriend) went and made a plate together and hten you used it to serve dessert during the holidays? Or you take your kids and stamp their handprint onto a platter that you use and show your family? Or you make a slightly innappropriate coffee mug for your BFF (best friend forever)? Or you make something to give at the family white elephant gift exchange (ceramic leg lamp anyone?). The point is, think outside of the box.
a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_YeWn7EmY3Pc/Sx55p3SmHxI/AAAAAAAABzk/HdDrQIEA9Ls/s1600-h/MRTMUG.jpg">



These places can be a great activity and a way to knock out a gift on your list. There are two places in Louisville, I am sure you can find one in your area:

The Artist In You
The Paint Spot

Well, there you go. Just a few ideas I hope will inspire you to add a new tradition to your holidays. Or not. No pressure ;)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dancing Wheels

I had a whole post filled with things I plan to do this holiday season. Then I turned on my Sunday staple- CBS Sunday Morning. I saw the most interesting story about Greg Mozzgala, an actor who was born with Cerebal Palsy. He was discovered by Tamar Rogoff, a professional choreographer and recruited for her ballet company. The story shows how he used an intense regimen of stretches, massage, and exercises to retrain his body and recover some movements he lost due to his CP. In particular, he was able to get the heel of his foot to touch the ground when he walked. Anyone who has CP knows this is a very common problem, and the change in his gait is remarkable. A really cool story that I wanted to pass on.

photo by Harvey Wang

Watch the video here.

Read more about Mozzgala here.

Many little girls I know (myself included) wanted to be a beautiful ballerina. Growing up there were no inclusive programs for me to join and so I never got the dance recital experience I wanted. Now there are a few great program around the country who work with 'sit down' and 'stand up' dancers. Some are actually professional, meaning that people with disabilities can get paid to be professional dancers. Very cool.

I wanted to tell you about the Miracle Dancers, a Louisville group, while not professional, does amazing work. I have known several young ladies (and one young man) who have gone through there program. They all love it.

Check them out:

For more information, contact the Diane Moore Dance Academy

Lastly, Dance Wheels is a leader in the field of integrated dance. They actually employ dancers with disabilities. They also do clinics and classes that teach people all over the country.

Look at this video

And check out their website.

Makes me hopeful, that one day, a little girl who uses a wheelchair could just join their local school production of The Nutcracker or a Christmas Carol. Just another little kid honing their skills and conquering their stage fright along with their neighbors.

Wouldn't that be cool?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Free Fun Friday

Hello friends! I am knee deep in holiday fun. I have almost all my gifts bought or started, and my plans are made. Still trying to find some trouble to get into for my upcoming birthday, but that's a fun problem to have, right?

Holidays for me always include some kind of community service. I have always tried to give something back to my community while buying presents for my loved ones. This week I wanted to share a few unique ways for every one to give back. Sure, they may cost a little bit of money, but the fun feeling you will get from doing it is a FREE bonus!

I have included a little summary from each website, plus links to take you to more info.

{SEND A CARD TO A WOUNDED SOLIDI ER}
This information was in an email from a friend. You can read the press release here. Please note, they ask that cards are postmarked by December 7th.

When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it
to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card,think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. Such an easy way to make someones holiday. When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456


{ANNIE'S ANGELS}
Annie's Angels is a Christmas elder angel tree program run by local store Annie's Attic, which meets the needs of those in Louisville nursing homes. We've got 2200 angels this year and need whatever goods, money and help you can offer.

What to donate:

Examples of what is needed: shampoo and conditioner, lotion, warm socks, sweaters or sweatshirts, comfy pillows, blankets/afghans, deodorant, chapstick, etc., large print books, luxuries like costume jewelry or athletic apparel (U of L & UK).

Ways to donate:

- Stop by and take an angel from the tree at Annie's Attic in the Kroger Shopping Center in Middletown, 12695 Shelbyville Road
- Call Annie's and get an angel: 244-0303 and 244-2303
- Shop for whatever you want to give and just drop it off
- Drop by or send in a monetary donation - whatever amount - they'll do the buying

{WDJX BREAKFAST BUNCO}
COME OUT *DECEMBER 11TH FROM 6 TO 9AM* TO THE HILTON GARDEN INN ON
CRITTENDEN FOR BEN AND KELLY’S 5TH ANNUAL BREAKFAST BUNCO FOR ST JOE! A DONATION FOR THE KIDS AT ST. JOSEPH CHILDREN’S HOME GETS YOU IN! FREE
BREAKFAST FROM *CALISTOGA,* AND PRIZES RANGING FROM TRIPS, TO IPOD’S AND MUCH MORE!

I have attended this for the past four years, and it is WAY more fun than you should have at 6 a.m.. I went the first with no idea how to even play bunco, and had a ball. The fact that you can contribute to such a great cause is even more fun. Anyone who knows St. Joe's knows what a great home they are. A snapshot of myself, my friend Torrie, and the DJ's from WDJX:

Check out the WDJX website (keyword: BUNCO)to sign up your team!

{CARDSFORKIDS DRIVE}

A group of cardmakers have joined together to collect cards for a group of kids with special medical needs. These kids are in the middle some very rough fights and I am sure that receiving a few happy cards int he mail would do WONDERS for their spirits. I read about this about six months ago and I had the kids over at OWL make a set of cards for the McRae family. It was fun crafting the cards and the kids learned a great lesson to boot.

You can also see more info on Jennifer McGuire's blog.


That's all for now. Hope I inspired you! Have a great Friday!
hohoho!
Michelle

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Thanksgiving in 5 Photos

My weekend was...
Great food with the fam
Berry Cobbler Pictures, Images and Photos
A little shopping (some online, some in person, mostly gifts...a few for me!)

C+C's baptism

a smidge too much driving

even more family time


In the interest of honesty, I will tell you that I totally stole this idea from Lain Ehmann's blog and that most of the photos are from Photobucket. I spent a LOT of time eating and socializing, not taking pictures!

Hope you had a great weekend!
M.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Believe in Love

Feeling all swoony today. Guess love will do that to you. Life is pretty good in Bazeleyland.
The Only Magic I Believe In is Love
Hope you are having a great Friday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Fun Friday-the Monday Edition

Hello Bloggy friends. I had this post all ready to go, but then my computer crashed (grrr...virus!) and I had to wait to get to work on Monday. Still had a great weekend, hope you did too!

For this edition of free fun, I found some great free printables for Christmas. I am sure I will find many more, but here are a few to enjoy. If you are not familiar with printables, they are usually pretty simple files that you can print out on a color printer right at home! The exception is Becky Higgins Christmas card freebie. I believe that is a file you put over your photo in a program like photoshop, then send to a printing service.

{FREE HOLIDAY CARD}
Becky Higgins recently 'retired' from her job at Creating Keepsakes. She has designed a really cool new kit called Project Life. It would be a great starter kit for anyone thinking of getting into scrapbooking, but is hesitant to buy 'all the stuff'. Really cool kit, check it out here.

To celebrate the sale of her kit, she has designed free holiday card templates. So cute!


Find the download here

{ADVENT CALENDAR}

Cool project download for making a spool advent calendar. Find it here.

{HOLIDAY PRINTABLES)
This website has TONS of free printables: Cards, tags, labels. Take a few minutes and click around. Here are the Christmas tags:

You can find the Holiday Printables here.

I am all jazzed about decorating for Christmas very soon. I am in the spirit early this year!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's On Your Wish List?

Halloween is over and now my head is filling with thoughts of the holidays. I love them for many reasons.

#1 The only time of year I get to see my ENTIRE family (rare fun)
#2 My Birthday ; )
#3 Parties and party clothes
#4 Fun holiday decorations
#5 My Birthday
#6 Christmas/Birthday Wish Lists

Yea, I am 32 years old, but I can still dream of things I would like to see under the Christmas tree. As my Dad says, 'It's just in case Santa is listening...you never know'.

This past week I have red my wish lists from my bloggy friends, and it got my inspired to dream a little for myself. And, just in case you find yourself to shop for one or two, I would humbly accept any of them ; )

Seriously, kidding, just wanted to share a few things on my mind as of late.

{BOOKS}
1. Push. Inspired the film Precious, which I am very much looking forward to seeing. I hear the book is very good.

Push by Sapphire

2. 52 Scrapbook Challenges

Creating Keepsakes

3. The Lost Symbol-Dan Brown

4. American On Purpose-Craig Ferguson. If this book is half as funny as his show....oh man.

Amazon.com

{GADGETS}
1. iPod Touch. I have absolutely no need for this, but I have to admit, it looks so cool! I need to buy a new GPS for my car, and I was actually trying to justify buying one of these because you can download a GPS app.

HA! Good logic, huh?


2. TiVo for people who don't have cable. No, not a VCR (which I own, but cannot get to work since I switched to DTV...grrr). I want to be able to record shows that come on while I am at work and watch them when I have time. I mean really. Just because I don't want to pay money for cable doesn't mean I don't have my own 'free tv' obsessions!

3. Instamax Camera.

It takes instant pictures like a Polaroid, and it takes fun pictures like this:

(photo from Kellypurkey.typepad.com)

{CRAFTY}
1. Corner Chomper. This beauty rounds the corners on just about anything. Think off all the lovely, rounded edges for minibooks, home decor, etc I could have if the BIG GUY would just bring me a Corner Chomper! Sigh.


2. Provo Craft Letterpress. O-F-U-N!!! This is a personal system for making all those cool letter press pieces you see out there. I could make posters, cards, stationary.


3. a pattern for making cute hats

Seriously, I may not be able to wait for this one, because the TWINS may need them for their first winter. I mean, you can only dress them up like this when they are babies, right? Too cute.

4. a year's subscription to Studio Calico. I broke the piggy bank and bought their November Kit Marketplace. I am in love.


{MISC.}
1. This bed from IKEA. I am seriously over having a full sized bed and my mattress feels like it is about a million years old. If HE wanted to deliver it with a thick, soft Temperpedic mattress, I have be so so grateful

2. One of these a week.

Chai Tea Latte and Cranberry Bliss bar from Starbucks.

3. One of these a week. If coupled with the above, would be a perfect little treat each week.


4. Two tickets here. I will bring the cafe au lait and the croissant. Pretty please?


OK, that's my list. Always changing and subject to cancellation, but just putting it out there. Just in case.

What's on your wish list this year? I would love to hear what my friends are hoping for!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Free Fun

Most people who know me, know that I am a little on the, ahem, cheap side. I clip coupons, buy things on clearance, and lament everytime I put out on anything (except craft supplies, for some reason I am immune there?!?)

I have a list of to-do's in my creative life and one of those is to spend more time here in the bloggy world. I mean, what's the point of even having a blog if you don't post often? I also wanted to find some fun things to share here, with my frineds who know me and those who don't.

Ok, Michelle, get to the point.......wait for it....

Witness a new tradition: Friday Free Fun. I am pretty good at finding cheap or even free activities, downloads, etc. and I thought it might be fun to share them with you.

Friday Free Fun #1
Live Lunch

Local station WFPK hosts Live Lunch every Friday! Local and National Acts come and play a few ditties while people sit, listen, and munch on lunch. This week was my first, but hopefully not my last. The concerts start at noon, and if today was any indication, you want to get there early. There was a pretty long line when they opened the doors.

I had so much fun, and heard two great acts. Defitnitely a fan now. We heard

Matthew Perryman Jones

(site)

Ingrid Michealson

(site)
I linked up to my favorite songs from each. I hope to hear more from them soon!

So, there you go, my little present to you. Free of charge.

Anyone have fun Halloween plans? I do for sure. I have to jump off and finish my costume! Have a good one!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ArtWorks



This past Thursday I celebrated the opening of ArtWorks, an exhibition of mixed works by five very special artists from Kentucky. Two years ago my agency, Community Employment, took on five people with disabilities who, for various reasons, were not successful in traditional employment. They wanted to earn money by selling their artwork. Their talents were already developed, they just needed help with the administration of their business. We assembled a team of people to work with the artists to accomplish their goal. My job was mostly cheerleader/paper chaser/bill writer/phone call maker. It was a great experience and I learned so much.

This was a pilot program, and we decided to celebrate their success with a group exhibition. The staff (namely the wonderful Paul Burns) did a fantastic job and welcomed us and our program. Take a look at a few shots from the night (click on image to view larger):





If you live anywhere near Louisville you MUST make your way down to the downtown library before November 21st. You will not be disappointed, but you will be blown away.

All artists were supported by Creative Diversity, a local art studio serving people with disabilities. Learn more about them here.

All funds for supporting each artist was provided by the KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. You can find them here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I *heart* October

I hope you are having a fun October, there is soooo much going on-my pocketbook is empty, but my schedule is very full!!! I try to pack in all that fall has to offer before...sniff....winter keeps me inside for three months.

What do you love to do this time of year?

Here are my top ten, in case you need some ideas:
1. Costumes. Really, what other time of year can a grown man dress in a french fry outfit and people think it's cool. I love the planning and creting of my costume almost every year, even if I only get to wear it for one night. Here's a hint to what my costume is going to be this year:


the four seasons Pictures, Images and Photos

2. Scary movies. LOVE THEM. Not necessarily the dumb slash'em ones, but a good psycholoical thriller. Introducing my BF to this series of movies starting this weekend:
jig saw Pictures, Images and Photos

3. Fall food, Chai tea lattes, apples, chili, and of course....
Pumpkin Pie Pictures, Images and Photos
I need to get a

4. Chili and...football! I am jumping on the Bengals bandwagon this year and have been watching them every weekend. Fun. Fun.

5. Decorations. If you were reaing my blog last year you saw pictures of how my neighborhood does up Halloween. Even though I don't have a porch, I do my best t o create a spooky atmosphere. This year a made a few garlands.

On my way to a haunted house of my very own :)

6.Sweaters and scarfs. A little easier on the figure that shorts and tank tops ;).

7. Dracula. I see this show every year, and it never dissapoints. If you live anywhere near Louisville, you MUST see Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville.


8. Haunted Houses. Last night I went to the BEST house in Louisville! I stumbled upon this little gem last year when Chris and I attempted the Danger Run. This year, we decided to go back, without the hassle of following a booklet full of confusing clues. Another must see if you are anywhere near Louisville: Psychomania. It's 3 haunts in one house, including a casket attraction that you climb into that simulates your own burial. It's way fun and best of all-completly wheelchair accessible. Much nicer to get to join everyone else thru, instead of being lead around certain parts.

9. Changing Leaves. Kentucky+fall=BEAUTIFUL. Seriously. This is where I live.
Fall colors, Kentucky Pictures, Images and Photos

10. People are starting to talk about Thanksgiving and Christmas! I can't believe it, but I am getting excited about handmade gifts, big dinners, and family get togethers.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Challenging Craftiness.


(Made for the current SPCC challenge. Various ribbons and deco tape from Making Memories, sentiment by American Crafts)


(Second card for SPCC Color Challenge and this week's 2Sketches4U. Used patterned paper and sentiment from Scenic Routem paper by SEI, Stampedous dot stamp, Versamark ink, Fiskars Apron Lace punch)

(Made for a new challenge site I stumbled upon this week: Practical Scrappers. Lace cardstock from SEI, Bazzill cardstock, brads, scrap of patterned paper from Making Memories. Note: I have started mixing pocket pages with my 12 x 12 layouts. I think it is a great way to show all the photos I have for an event without making an overly cluttered layout.)


(Yet a third card for the SPCC Color Challenge and a second card for Practical Scrappers! I really liked this color combo! backed a scrap of lace cardstock from KI with scraps of patterned and plain paper. Used some old brads that matched the paper and added a sentiment from American Crafts)

Gotta run, Internet is VERY sketchy tonite. Off to introduce the BF to the SAW movie series!