Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sigh--I'm the Halloween Scrooge!

I didn't mean to be, but I guess we didn't get enough candy and I feel like such a scrooge! We got a barrel of 60 pieces and it only lasted 45 minutes! Next year I will have to get more! I thought it would be fun to give pretzels this year, but Matt said it sucked! What do you think? Do kids think pretzels suck? They were in cute little pumpkin paks and I thought they were cute!

California Vacation Day 13 - Sunday - Rest and Hockey

Well, another day where we didn't do much! Johnny went to play hockey with some of the family and everyone else just rested! I didn't mind, since it was my vacation week and I really did need the rest, ha ha!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

California Vacation Day 12 - Saturday - Downtown Disney

This day of my vacation was a nice day! We started out with breakfast at the Harbor House in Sunset Beach. We met tons of family members there, including two of Matt's brothers a sister and mom and their families. After eating we walked to the beach and fooled around for awhile. Of course, with all those boys around, they had to throw someone in the water, and Johnny was fair game!

Don't you love this funky house!? It was for sale, but unfortunately, we couldn't afford the four million dollar price tag!

After some beachside shenanigans, we went to Downtown Disney to look at the shops and to see Harry Potter. Oh, how I love those movies. It was a special treat for Johnny to see an American movie with American voices! You can see them in Japan, but they usually dub them over in Japanese, so it's hard for him to watch.

The stained glass is from the Disney Grand Californian Hotel, an arts and crafts style building (redone in Disney style, of course!) I am hoping one day we can spend the night there and enjoy their hospitality. Until then, at least we live close enough to visit it sometimes.

Later on we had Pizza for dinner back in town and then went to Joanie's house.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, 3 more days left of my "vacation" (You remember--the one I took in July where we did things in Southern California!?) and then we can "go back" to Japan! I know you're dying to hear about the 6 story stamping store, aren't you!? Well, today, let's take a craft break and see some art instead! Wednesday is Halloween, so let's get into the spirit!

We went to Matt's Dad's house today and Polly had the nicest Alter set up for Dia de los Muertes. She does it every year, but this year was extra special. Sorry, I didn't take a picture. It had some beautiful Mexican art skeletons and alters and a sugar skull. She put out flowers and photos of loved ones who passed. She will put out some foods later too. What a sweet way to remember the ones we miss--I wish we celebrated it when I was a kid.

The witch card at the top is something I made for a local contest. I wanted to use colors that were a little bit different than usual. I love that leggy witch with her black cat!

This Postcard I made for a friend in the UK. Luckily it got there in time with the postal strike going on there!

I had some dark charcoal glossy cardstock that I embossed a spiderweb and sentiment on in black. The sentiment didn't stick out enough so I outlined it in my white Signo pen (dang--I love that thing!) and I colored part of it orange for fun.

Then I embossed the cat and leaves in white and painted them using my new alcohol inks. The embossing came off a bit in places, giving a worn and spooky look! I'm not sure if the alcohol inks disolved the embossing or if it was just old power or what, but it was a fun experiment.

I did the back in plain black with embossing. I think I like the back better than the front! I'm always so boring and simple--a plain black spiderweb is all I need to keep happy, ha ha!

Hope you have a great Halloween! I made some fun cards this weekend, and if I get a chance I'll try to post them before Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Vacation Day 11- Friday - Whittier

Well, guess what we did this day!? Today was our day to go back to Abercrombie. But at least we went to a new A&F, ha ha! We went to the stores in the Cerritos mall. At least we went to a couple of other stores, too—we checked out Gap and the Body Shop to buy some cosmetic gifts for Manami's friends.

We chose Cerritos because it's on the way to Whittier. We couldn't wait to see Matt's dad and Polly who just got back from a trip to Hawaii. Polly wowed us (as usual) with some wonderful Mexican food—I swear she is one of the best cooks ever!

Manami got to try some things for the first time ever! We had watermelon with chili pepper on it and jicama. We also had radishes and cucumbers; none of which were foods she cared for. She did seem to like the tasty grilled chicken tacos and other treats though, and of course, the rest of us ate way too much! It was fun to see Matt's sisters; I always enjoy seeing them! I wish I could remember more details to share—that's the problem with documenting something 2 months after the fact! I didn't take pictures, either—I guess I was just tired and I wanted to enjoy myself! Sigh—I'll try to do better next time!

California Vacation Day 10 - Thursday - zzzzz...

Ah! We were exhausted from the day before so we decided to take today off and rest. We slept in, relaxed and that was about it!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Asian Tag Card

Well, here's another card for you! my favorite gallery is just not working for me!

Here's my entry for the tag challenge. I used the Kanji BG stamp in red and the Asian Collage stamp with black embossing. Both stamps from Sunday International. The tag stamp & punch are from SU. I added some sealing wax and a stamp from A Stamp in the Hand (I swear, this is one of my most used stamps!)

Friday, October 12, 2007

California Vacation Day 9 - Wednesday -Hollywood

One of the main things Manami wanted to see in California (besides Abercrombie & Fitch!) was Hollywood. This was our trip to go there, but on the way we stopped at the Japanese market again to pick up some supplies. I also suspect she was a little culture-shocked and homesick so this probably helped. She wanted particular things to make her feel at home; certain soaps and miso soup for her breakfast; and other things. I love the Mitsuwa market so I was happy to go. We ate lunch there at the foodcourt and had some pastries afterwards! Then we were on our way to Hollywood.

(Kit is Ashalee Wall's Maven kit available at Oscraps. Letters are from Microferk Designs. Font is Dahrlin.)

We had tons of fun at the Mann's Chinese Theatre. We acted like complete tourists; posed for pictures, looked for people's stars and I even had Manami pose with the theatre doorman! They have a webcam that takes photos and we got in front of it and called a co-worker to save screenshots of us! We shopped in the little mall and I bought some socks and Manami picked up some perfume at Gap.

Hollywood is surprisingly close to little Ethiopia, so Matt wanted to stop there and have Ethiopian food for dinner. We love the fact that Southern California is so multicultural and you can get practically anything here. We went earlier this year so I could try Ethiopian food for the first time and it was really good! Basically it is a shared platter of food and sour spongy pancake-type breads that you use to scoop up bites of the food. Very tasty!

We got chicken and fish and lamb along with the veggie combo (greens, lentils, cabbage and who knows what else, ha ha!) I got the Ethiopian wine (sweet and very similar to honey mead) and the boys got Ethiopian Beer. Matt & Johnny shared some Ethiopian coffee afterwards. They roast the beans right at your table and the coffee is very strong. Matt was twitching all night when he tried to sleep but he loved that coffee!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

California Vacation Day 8 - Tuesday - County Fair

Well, this was the day I had to go to work for a special meeting. But after my busy weekend, I was actually glad to have the peace of a cubicle!

After work we went to the OC County Fair. I love the fair—everything's so bright and colorful. It was fun seeing it with Manami. She looked at things that I just normally pass by. She loved the Native American crafts booth. She also loved the midway and the games! She won one of the games so she could get a cute Jerry Mouse doll and Matt won a game for her so she could get a blow up Strawberry Shortcake. (for some reason her and Johnny are obsessed with Strawberry Shortcake—I just don't get the attraction!)

We rode a couple of rides—I went on the giant swing with her and we all went on the giant slide. I was so scared because I'm really afraid of heights! I kept stopping my blanket to slow down, but I made it down so I felt very brave! Manami really wanted to go on one ride but nobody wanted to go with her so we skipped it (whew—that was a scarey one—a thing that they sometimes call the "Zipper" it goes high up in the air and spins around and upside down!) We also did a funhouse; it ended up being a sucky one but at least it had a good view!

We made sure to try some of the crazy food that you can only get at the fair—we ate corn dogs and even tried a fried Snickers Bar! I can't remember everything we tried (stuffed Jalapenos, fruit smoothie, ice cream, and who knows what else!) but it was all fun. The whole trip both of them were amazed at the huge food portions we have here in the US (no wonder why we are all overweight!) Even Johnny who grew up here was stunned because he has adjusted to Japanese food and portions.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Scrapbook Layout - SOF Journal Block Challenge

Sigh! I'm trying to post something to my online gallery for a challenge but it's not working!

Here's a headshot and modeling photo from my SIL. Stamp is by POD. Paper by Foofala, PaperWhiteInc, and Club Stamp. Photo turns are diecut using my Spellbinders Wizard.