scrapbook kits from ADORNit

Since I work for a company that creates and sells products for scrapbooking, I've had people ask me if scrapbooking is slowing down as a hobby. I guess the answer is yes, a little, (this is to be expected considering the economic downturn and resulting closure of many small scrapbooking shops and businesses). And yet, there are still lots of scrappers out there and tons of fun stuff going on in the scrapping world.

ADORNit has a very nice line of scrapbooking papers called Long Live Vintage which you can see used below. The projects in the pictures are for the monthly Busy Women Kits which are complete kits that are put together with ADORNit papers, fabrics, and ribbon and sent out as a subscription. They are sent six times per year - every other month (or a one-time purchase if you wish). The projects - two scrapbook layouts and a bouquet of fabric flowers were made by my friend and co-worker Janet. She's good at everything she does and careful and creative. You can see how Janet used both fabrics and papers from ADORNit, and it's so fun that they all mix and match together. The photos are of Janet's darling daughter and adorable and smart granddaughter.

The writing under the photos is from the ADORNit blog post explaining this month's Busy Women Kits and written by company president Georgana Hall.

Today at the warehouse Janet is shipping out our October Busy Women Kits. The kits make it so easy to mix up your regular scrapping routine. I love everything about this kit but my favorite has to be the adorable fabric flowers (yes, fabric & instructions are included in your kit!). And I have to add that Janet created the cute projects for the kit.

We started our Busy Women Kit Club a few years ago because as a scrapbooker I needed something simple and that came all coordinated together. I needed something that I didn’t have to fret and worry about. I love that the kits come loaded with product AND ideas. This way I can sit down at night when the kids are asleep, pull out my kit, and enjoy my time scrapbooking. You can find out more about our Busy Women kits by clicking here. To subscribe for six months and save $2.00 per kit, click here.


~ working it out ~

This story starts with me on the treadmill at the gym.

I was totally bored because I had forgotten my headphones and was drearily watching the clock. Then I saw my friend Corlee and her sister walking to the room where classes are held. "They're going to Zumba Gold???," I asked myself. "How can they do Zumba, let alone the gold class?" I got off the treadmill and followed them through the door. Oh! It's gold as in g-OLD. It's the Zumba class for oldies...not gold medalists. Duh. And I joined in.

Besides my introduction to Zumba Gold, a few things have come together to get me back to the gym.

First of all, it's time to renew our membership. I have to prove to Scott that I use the gym and it's worth the money. If I had a graph of the days I exercise over the years, I'm sure my frequency would always go way up during renewal month.

Second, last Sunday, as I put on some really tight, super control-top pantyhose, I could hardly pull them up. I felt weak in the arms. It shocked me. And scared me. I can't pull up my pantyhose!! What????

I've always struggled with consistency in exercising - it's so easy for me to find fifty million other things to do.

But when I go, I like it. It's not bad really, and I don't notice the "lost" hour at the end of the day.

I remember I used to say to myself when I was doing really good on exercise, "Of all the things you do today, this is THE most important." And I believed it...until I forgot.

A month ago I got back on the bandwagon and went to the gym. I saw two people I know who go regularly, and I cheerfully said to them, "I'm back!" And then I didn't go back.

(I don't HAVE to go to the gym to exercise; I do walk outside sometimes, and Scott and I ride our bikes on occasion, but I believe I get a better workout by going to classes at the gym. As far as exercising at home, forget it. Too many distractions. You know, burnt cookies and all.)

So what am I getting at here. Well, this is very embarrassing, but I've started going to the Silver Sneakers and Zumba Gold classes. Silver Sneakers classes are the classes for the elderly where they sit in chairs and lift two-pound weights.

Guess what. I'm stiff. I'm tired...you know the good tired that you feel when you've exercised.

I'm looking forward to class next week.

Instead of being the old lady in the step class filled with twenty-somethings in shorts and sports bras, I'm the young lady in the seventy-something class. Instead of being the lady who could only use one step instead of a stack of three, I'm the lady with the eight pound weights in my hands. Instead of going left when the whole class is going right, I'm getting every aerobics step with ease. I'm the gold among the old : )


:: sew week ::

I'm in the mood to sew lately and it's a good thing because I've been sewing a lot. If holiday sewing is the best kind of sewing, then I'm having lots of fun! In the past week I've worked on Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day quilts.

It started with an email I got from the new quilt shop in town, My Girlfriend's Quilt Shop, telling about their Christmas mystery quilt. I've always wanted to try a mystery quilt, and when I saw the quilt shop's Halloween mystery quilt I knew they were good at this kind of project. So I signed up. And loved every minute of it, although I was always (and still am) behind schedule. What you see above is the blocks I have finished but not put together - so it's not really how the quilt will look, just how I arranged them for the photo. I'm about half finished with the quilt...ahem...the ladies who stayed on schedule are all done by now. I'm not worried because it's on its way, and I vow that it will be hanging in my front entry starting the day after Thanksgiving. The black squiggly line you see is my embroidery floss - not quite done with the backstitching that will say " 'Tis the season to be merry." There are lots of elements left to make - cute yo yos and more embroidery and bows and holly leaves and more pieced blocks and appliqued words (joy, of course) and the borders and binding. I don't mind any of that, because I love the fabric and could just stare at it all day - it's mostly from Moda's French General "FaLaLaLa" collection. So pretty.

I love his photo - I put it on Facebook when I finished stitching the quilt top. I get a kick out of the combination of my Halloween decorations next to the Valentine's quilt that I've been making out of ADORNit's new "Happy Hearts" collection of fabrics. This quilt is almost finished - it now has three big hearts appliqued on it, and it has lovely quilting with little hearts and swirls (quilted by my next-door neighbor Carol, bless her HEART), and it will soon have a black pin-dot binding. The quilt is going to Houston Quilt Market in Carolee's suitcase on Wednesday.
Here's another project that I've been thinking about since I picked up the pattern over a year ago. It's called Pumpkin Walk by Julie Popa a quilt pattern designer who lives here in Cache Valley. Her company name is enough to make me want to buy her patterns, Sunflower Hill Designs. I love the modern edge that the pattern has, though the fabrics I'm using won't give it much of a modern feel. Still, it's going to be great on my counter as a type of table runner...actually a counter runner.

I've had these fall-colored fabrics for a couple of years and have finally found a project to use a bit of them on. (In my photo, they're just arranged in the way I'll use them - I haven't cut or sewed anything yet.) I think they're perfect for this pattern. The darker one that looks black is actually purple with orange dots that are little pumpkins. There's a fall feeling without being overly theme-y, and that's a look I prefer. The dark brown gingham is a fabulous Moda check that just gives me chills. No, I'm serious.
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{ afternoon walk }

A gorgeous Saturday afternoon and I couldn't resist loading myself up with camera, iPod and headphones, sunglasses, watch (it took me about a half hour to round all this up then find the right shoes, socks, pants for the temperature, etc.). It's hard work to be a walker.

It was worth it to walk and shoot the colorful scenery. (When you're a photographer, you don't take pictures, you shoot. I always grimace when photo/bloggers talk about shooting their kids...but that's the lingo.)

The trees haven't changed color yet in our valley, except for a select few and they stand out like ______ (good simile* needed here).

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words "like", "as", or "than".

This doesn't look like much, but this hill kicks my bu... ooops, I mean, as my nephew Derek would say, kicks my trash every time.

These flowers are at the end of their summer glory, but still look beautiful to me.

I wish I could take you all to see this huge purple flower mound. It was covered, I mean covered, with bees and butterflies. I can't wait until Scott gets home from golfing because we're making a beeline :) to see this wonder of nature. Look closely and you can see a couple of butterflies.

And when I got back to my house, I walked around the yard to shoot a few photos of the beauty here. It's sadly lacking this year. The photo above, honest to goodness, is our tomato plant and our one tomato. We've been watching it grow all summer.
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6. Expect a lot from yourself and others – We have heard stories of Steve Jobs yelling or dressing down staff. He’s a control freak, we’ve heard – a perfectionist. The bottom line is that he is in touch with his passion and that little voice in the back of his head. He wants the best from himself and everyone who works for him.

7. Don’t care about being right. Care about succeeding – Jobs used this line in an interview after he was fired by Apple. If you have to steal others’ great ideas to make yours better, do it. You can’t be married to your vision of how a product is going to work out, such that you forget about current reality. When the Apple III came out, it was hot and warped its motherboard even though Jobs had insisted it would be quiet and sleek. If Jobs had stuck with Lisa, Apple would have never developed the Mac.

8. Find the most talented people to surround yourself with – There is a misconception that Apple is Steve Jobs. Everyone else in the company is a faceless minion working to please the all-seeing and all-knowing Jobs. In reality, Jobs has surrounded himself with talent: Phil Schiller, Jony Ive, Peter Oppenheimer, Tim Cook, the former head of stores Ron Johnson. These are all super-talented people who don’t get the credit they deserve. The fact that Apple’s stock price has been so strong since Jobs left as CEO is a credit to the strength of the team. Jobs has hired bad managerial talent before. John Sculley ended up firing Jobs and — according to Jobs — almost killing the company. Give credit to Jobs for learning from this mistake and realizing that he can’t do anything without great talent around him.

9. Stay hungry, stay foolish - Again from the end of Jobs’ memorable Stanford speech:


unabashed creativity

I limited my Wall Street Journal reading to the Travel and Review sections. Buried in the Saturday/Sunday issue was a feature about Italy, and there I read a spotlight about a 68-year-old Italian designer and innovator who just kind of inspired and tickled me. Isn't she cool....

Rossana Orlandi

Rossana Orlandi. © Domingo Antonio Robledo.

Posted by on May 18, 2011 at 6:00 am.

Since transforming an abandoned Milan factory into her eponymous Spazio Rossana Orlandi showroom and gallery (rossanaorlandi.com) in 2002, Ms. Orlandi has become a tastemaker and a champion of contemporary design, selling everything from no-nonsense aluminum cupboards to whimsical chicken-wire giraffe sculptures. The scion of textile industrialists, Ms. Orlandi, 68, started out as a fashion designer herself before turning her attention to promoting innovative product and interior design. A fixture during the annual Salone del Mobile design week in Milan, Ms. Orlandi, 68, spoke to us while preparing a solo exhibition of the designer Nacho Carbonell, whom she will showcase in November.

[ORLANDI] photo by Kazunori Hataguch


Alessandro Mendini's Scivolavo chair

The one design object I'd never sell is my miniature brass Scivolavo chair by Alessandro Mendini. I can't separate myself from it.

My three essential wardrobe pieces are: a very thin white Aspesi rain jacket that I can keep in my purse, a light bag and comfortable shoes—Repetto ballerina shoes in summer and Ugg boots in winter. I admire shoes with amazing heels, which I think of as sculptures, but I really can't wear them.

Every living room should be comfortable and warm, with furniture that you can get up from easily. And ideally it should have a beautiful view. If you don't have a good view, photography or trompe l'oeil can give the effect of a beautiful vantage point. A great option is modular wallpaper made by the German company Bless, which has enormous photographs of creative rooms in Berlin.

[ORLANDI] Filippo Bamberghi for The Wall Street Journal

Inside Ms. Orlandi's bedroom

In decorating a bedroom, the most important things are bedside tables, lighting and music, preferably Mozart, my favorite composer.

I wish I could find better headboards for beds and round table designs, in any size. Designers have overlooked the importance of these items, and there just hasn't been enough research and thought.

In the kitchen I have to have a knife that cuts well. The brand doesn't matter.

The most overrated design trend right now is eco-design. I'm very disturbed by claims that everything is sustainable, which I think is often not the case. Companies are exploiting that idea.

What's missing in the market is intelligent bathroom design for disabled people.

A peony, Ms. Orlandi's favorite flower

My favorite hostess gifts are white and black grapes that I grow in my arbor, and give as gifts in the fall. In the spring, I bring peonies. I have a marvelous garden of peonies. I adore flowers.

My style in dressing is very simple and minimal, but I always like to add interesting details and accessories. In decorating, I do the same, and always with a sense of humor.

To add humor to a home, you have to have courage in your choices. Mix different periods, do it with your own sense of style and taste and even add a few things that are "kitsch." You have to be daring and to find things that make you say "wow." It's important not to be driven by architects' rigidity.

When I travel, the most important thing is to see my friends, and to experience a foreign city through them, not as a tourist. I have favorite places but I always want to go somewhere new.

Luchsia, by Johan Carpner

My gallery keeps itself fresh just because designers know they're always welcome here. They drop off their things without my asking. Last week, the Swedish designer Johan Carpner dropped off his lamp, Luchsia, which combines different textiles. It's extraordinary.


Story Vase by Siyazama Project + Fronts

My ideal weekend is spent in my country house, 30 kilometers from Milan, with my year-and-a-half-old grandson Giovanni, cultivating my flowers.

When I think of Italian style, it's very varied. Italians are extremely curious and very well-informed. Milanese style is more closed—the Milanese are less curious and more conformist, with less wish to find new things.

The secrets to working well are elasticity and simplicity. It's important to be really open to all ideas, and to be able to organize events without much warning.

My work space is organized chaos. In my desk I put everything I need—magazines, newspapers, things that designers are suggesting to me. It's a great chaos, a great efficient chaos.

—Edited from an interview by Jackie Cooperman


At Salone del Mobile, some designers exhibit in spaces outside of the regular fairgrounds. One such space is Spazio Rossana Orlandi. A master of engaging environments, Rossana took over this former tie factory in 2002. What she has created here includes a green courtyard where you could easily spend an entire day soaking in the creativity, plus galleries and a store. Her goal: to forecast and promote young and upcoming designers, from all over the world.


- home again -

We're back home from a wonderful time in Las Vegas with Suzie, Winston, and their cute new baby. I should say I'm back home, because Scott flew from Las Vegas to New York to be with his family for the wedding of his sister Jill & Ron's son, Brandon. They are having a grand time - Scott and his four sisters. I can imagine that there was a steady stream of loud laughter in their rental van as they toured the Syracuse area yesterday.

Oh, it was hard to say good-bye to that sweet granddaughter - but we will make the trip to Vegas as often as possible, and they'll come here too. I'm so glad for digital pictures, videos, Skype, and phone calls. They melt time and distance and make it easier to keep in touch.

I heard an interview on the radio yesterday about a company that was very successful despite the economy. The president said that he thought one of the keys to their success was "over-communication." Because his employees always know what's going on, they try harder to do their jobs and contribute. I thought to myself that it could be the same in families. I think you can create more closeness with "over-communication," and (my kids are probably cringing right now), I'm going to try to do that.

I came home to a wish-list of things I want to do in the next month, and also a stack of newspapers and mail including a week of Wall Street Journals, which I love to read. It comes with our local newspaper every day, and I have to discipline myself to not sit down and suck an hour out of my morning reading it front to back. So now the conundrum is whether to just carry the pile of WSJ papers straight to the recycling bin or to glance through each one. I decided to check out the Friday edition only.

Of course, I was rewarded. There's a 3/4 page article about make-up expert Bobbie Brown and her picks for the best products for face and body. Though I cringe at the price of this stuff, it sure is fun to read about it. Glad I didn't miss that! I also read through some of the op-ed articles and a few articles in the finance section - because the WSJ writers make them interesting not dry. And I looked for the sports column by my favorite sports writer Jason Gay. He's a master at tongue-in-cheek writing and sports metaphors that totally entertain me. And an ad for an interesting new book that I immediately downloaded to my iPad. Arghh...more reading!

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