Director Jewels: February 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

i've been saving these pics for years...

Inspired by my winnings on Studio Calico's blog last week, I hurried to make up this week's Sunday Sketch. I made the whole thing in under 2 hours at my Crop Club at work last night! Yay!

These pics have been favorites for a long time. I bought the paper probably 8 months ago and have been waiting for inspiration. SC's layout this week had an umbrella as part of the title...it was perfect. :)


Supplies:
Patterned Paper (Autumn Leaves "Wellies and Brellas", Creativity Inc)
Vellum (Hobby Lobby...no idea what brand)
Water Drop Stickers (Joann)
Die Cuts (Ellison)
Silver Glitter Chipboard Letters (K&Company)
Ribbon (Hobby Lobby)
Brads (Spare Parts)
Smooch Accent Ink in Moonlight and Sugarplum
I can't remember where I got the "shopping fun" stickers. actually...maybe the $1 Store.

Monday, February 22, 2010

just some random...

Pretty excited that I won a challenge based on the layout I posted last week. $5 Studio Calico giftcard - woohoo! Here's my layout featured on SC's blog. This was the very first time I have entered my work in any sort of contest - so that's a pretty nice ego boost (even if it was a random drawing). :)

Today I'm still on that productivity kick. Currently listing some stuff on eBay that's been hanging around for months waiting to be dealt with. Hoping for big profits, but we'll see.

The countdown to callbacks for Beauty and the Beast next Sunday evening is on! I just printed my sheet music. Belle has to learn 3 songs. I'm not too worried - I have them mostly memorized already anyway. Hehe.

I'm wondering - is there ever an end to all the stuff that piles up waiting to be done? Will I ever be able to look around and say "wow...I don't have a desperate responsibility today!"? Probably not. The question is - how to find peace with knowing that it'll probably never happen. That's my new thought for the week.

The view out my back door right now:



I am so done with winter.

vacation - bonus day! - day 9.

Bonus vacation day (January 22) was really not such a bonus. The night before, we were bused to Country Inn Express near the Atlanta airport. We arrived at about midnight, with no luggage (so no clothing, toiletries, etc). I almost hugged the desk clerk who gave me a disposable razor and shaving cream. For real.

Anyway - the flight to KC was pretty early, so naturally we had to get up after just a few hours of sleep and get back to the airport by about 7:30am. No security hassles - so we spent a lot of time just waiting to board the flight. And I spent a lot of time sleeping in random places in the airport. No so comfy. As you can see, Cedric was bored, too.


Self-portrait attempts when very tired + no coordination = not the best result.


Finally I just gave up and let Andrew take the photo. We look SO exhausted!


FINALLY aboard our plane! Thank goodness.


And, that's the last of the vacation photos. We arrived back in KC to cold and a little remaining snow on the ground. Not so fun.
It was an amazing vacation. We're already plotting how we can get away for another sunny retreat! :)
Thanks for reading along!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

today.

I've made a decision.

Today is going to be productive.

That to-do list is about to be annihilated.



Or at least, I'll make a valiant effort.

Friday, February 19, 2010

vacation - day 8.

We got up really early on Thursday (January 21), as we had to pack and haul all our luggage to the front of the resort to check our bags in for our flight, which was later that evening. We headed out for Epcot on the Disney bus around 9am.


Arrival at Epcot!


We stopped by the character spot, which had no waiting time at all at 9:30am! This was the perfect "slow" season I had anticipated. We got photos with lots of characters - Mickey, of course -


Pluto!,


Minnie!,


Donald Duck,


and Goofy.


We weren't that impressed with the front half of Epcot. We went to The Seas with Nemo and Friends and I was excited because those gulls were yelping "Mine! Mine! Mine!" repeatedly. I love that movie...but especially the gulls.


Yikes, I've been eaten by a shark!


Cedric found a friend. We would have brought him home, but he was a bit expensive. Also we were out of room in our luggage.


Honey, I Shrunk the Audience 3-D adventure.


When the World Showcase opened, we headed off on a trek around the world. We really didn't have enough time to explore each area in depth - so we just focused on getting a cool photo in each place. First stop was Mexico.


I met a viking in Norway!


Next was China.


When we got to Germany, I pretty much decided that Epcot was a much better place to meet famous characters than Magic Kingdom (where you have to wait in long lines for everyone!). Snow White was just hanging out by the wishing well, and happily posed for a photo with us.


Andrew in the German town square. Germany was his favorite spot.


Biergarten Restaurant, where we had lunch. It is staffed entirely by Germans - really enhances the atmosphere!


The inside of the restaurant! It was cold and felt like an open-air village square.


We sat really close to the stage - but our lunch time did not coincide with a performance. That was a little disappointing. If we had had the whole day, we would have stayed to see it anyway - but since we had to leave the park by about 3pm, we had to move on.


After lunch, we pretty much ran to France because I was determined to find out when I would be able to meet Belle. There was an Aristocat out, but no Beauty...so I asked when Belle would be there and was told to return in about 20 minutes. I was so excited. We wandered around in Britain for a little while, and happened across Mary Poppins on our way back to France! She asked if we were having a jolly holiday, and we assured her that we were.


We were crossing the Parisian bridge on the way back from Britain, and I could see a spot of bright blue in the distance. I was literally bouncing like a 5-year-old. I was SO EXCITED. I mean, I had been dreaming of meeting Belle since I was 6. Who cares if I'm now an "adult?" That's 17 years of waiting for a wish to come true - quite a long time. We got into the line with all of the little 5-year-olds and waited patiently for my turn. Belle pointed at Andrew and asked if he was my prince, and then said she hoped he was behaving well and acting nothing like Gaston, as Gaston can be positively primeval. Granted, she's reciting cheesy lines, but still. Magical. I floated around the rest of the day. Really. Props to my sweet hubby for letting me have my little girl moment and not crushing my fantasy by insisting that she wasn't really Belle.


After we had succeeded in the mission to meet Belle, we went back to Germany and continued the trek around the world. Next stop - Italy!


This reminded me of our fountain at the Plaza, so Italy got to have 2 photos instead of just 1. :)


Andrew, in colonial America!


Next stop: Japan!


Morocco was very pretty. I wish we had had time to go back into the market area you can see behind me.


On our way back through France, we discovered that the Beast had joined Belle. I didn't wait through the line again. Probably should have...but I was content to have just met Belle. :)


Beautiful stained glass window in France.


In the heart of France. I'm wondering if Paris actually has this color scheme. I felt like I was walking around in Anastasia while I was in this little village. Is it just a fairy-tale version? Or does it actually feel this magical in real life? Guess I'll have to visit to find out, one of these days...


Sleeping Beauty's line was closed, and they wouldn't let me get in it even though I told them I'd be gone by the time she came back. :( Sad day. But at least I got to see her!


Still hanging out in Paris. Love all the Disney photo opportunities!


Yep. This could be where I belong.


Next stop - Britain. I was happy we had visited earlier, because there was no sign of Mary Poppins this time around! Great phone booths, though.


Here's one with an actual phone inside. :)


O Canada!!!!


Found a random passerby to take a photo of us in Canada. We have a heart for Canada at the moment since it is the heritage of one of our favorite people on How I Met Your Mother. There were some fabulous Canadian gifts and souvenirs in the gift shop (like maple syrup), but we didn't buy anything. Trying to squelch my spending habits while on vacation is not entirely fun...but the credit card statement is certainly grateful.


Mickey is evident everywhere in Disney, not just obvious locations. :)


Back to our hotel. I'm pretty sure we were the only people on the Disney bus.


I hate waiting for travel that I can't control. You have to arrive super early, and you waste valuable vacation hours. :( Here, we're hanging out in front of the Music Resort, waiting for the Disney's Magical Express bus to pick us up.

And hey - I just noticed! You can see the leftovers (on my thumb) of my manicure from the Vista Salon and Spa on board the Disney Wonder, earlier in the week. I wanted French tips, but Rebecca (the Canadian employee who did my nails) said she could not do them. Boo.


Ha. THIS photo occurred at about 11:30pm Atlanta time. We got to Orlando on time, just as it started pouring rain. We boarded our flight on time, we headed off toward the runway...and we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And...wait for it....waited some more. After about 2 1/2 or 3 hours sitting in the plane in Orlando, we finally were able to take off. Our flight, which was supposed to be 1 hour and 10 minutes long took us almost 5 hours. So - obviously by the time we arrived in Atlanta, not only had our connecting flight long since left, but every flight to KC (and most other places) was gone. So this is the delightful line of people from our flight, waiting in line to make new travel arrangements.


You can see Andrew...tall guy in a blue shirt, near the middle of the line. Yep. What a night.


We were given a discount voucher for a hotel near the airport. It was close to midnight and I wasn't thrilled that we were footing the bill for another night we had not planned on. Thought about sleeping at the airport, but after about 5 minutes like this, with really loud televisions playing sports, we decided to just go to the hotel. Andrew called and made the arrangements while I hung out like this.


So - due to this mess, we got to add an extra day to our vacation. It was certainly an adventure - that's for sure. And oh, yes - I completely wore my Minnie ears the entire night. And oh, yes - I absolutely got some weird looks from the folks in Atlanta. :)
Coming soon - a few photos from Day 9, the unexpected bonus day! And then I will have finished this vacation series!! Woohoo!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

vacation - day 7.

TONS of photos in this one...I just couldn't decide what to cut. Enjoy! :)


Wednesday (January 20) was the day I had been looking forward to most for quite some time. Childhood fantasies were destined to come true on this day. I was so excited as we headed out on the Disney bus to the Magic Kingdom!

Here we are just inside the front gates - getting a first glimpse of Cinderella's castle!





Beautiful window displays on Main Street depict all of the princesses. What magic!


Who couldn't love a place where a trolley filled with happy singing, dancing people runs up and down the street all day long?


Famous statue. It's hard to get decent photos; there are so many people everywhere! And our visit was during one of the two historically SLOWEST weeks in Disney World. Yikes.


Oh yes. I'm a fairy-tale princess. And in my fairy-tale world, I have a castle like this. Absolutely.


The first characters we happened across were the Evil Stepmother, Anastasia, and Drusilla. Dru definitely tried to steal my necklace and then got fed up with me for saying "oh no, that's mine."


Riding the famous Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter teacup ride (yeah, I can't remember what it's called, so I included every possible name).


LOVE these spinning photos! My Canon SD1100 is amazing.



It's true. Your life is incomplete until you experience ten minutes of slightly crazed, creepy puppet dolls singing It's a Small World at you in several different languages. Including several photos for those of you who may not have been there. It's quite the ride.





This was about the time we ran into the 8 other boats on the track ahead of us and just kind of sloshed our way to the end. Oh - we had absolutely no wait to get on, and we were the only 2 people in the entire boat. How crazy is that!


We had lunch at Tony's, which is near the front of the park. It's based on the restaurant in Lady and the Tramp. Aww.


Adding to the old-time feel were these guys, who wandered the area singing beautiful harmonies. Inside Tony's, they sang Bella Notte - of course.


The Lady and the Tramp fountain, near where we sat (we were in the booth just behind and to the left - you can just see the front corner of the bench).


Mailing the pathetic few postcards I had managed to write by this point in the vacation.


Waiting in the "loading area" for Space Mountain. There are fun games on the wall to entertain you.


Back to the Castle after a brief visit in Futureland. One of Disney's photographers took this. Those people are so nice!


Classic ride! We didn't actually ride it...the wait time was never convenient. But they thoughtfully provide this nice photo op anyway.


Me at Minnie's house.


Minnie is crafty, just like me! She just has a craft room. No bedroom. No bathroom. Living room, craft room, kitchen. Craft all day long! :)


Minnie's backyard gazebo. Why don't I have a pink and purple backyard gazebo?


Andrew at Mickey's house. Mickey and Minnie conveniently live right next door to each other. Aww!


Mickey's kitchen is in a state of disrepair!


Mickey grows personalized produce in his backyard.



This really made me laugh. My kind of supply kit!


Cinderella's fountain, in Fantasyland behind the castle. I made a wish. It hasn't come true yet. But we'll see.


I decided that no trip to Disney World was complete without eating Mickey ice cream bars. :)


We hadn't planned to watch the parade, but happened across it while it was in progress. I got to see all the princesses!! It was magical. Celebrate a dream come true... That's the only part of the song I remember. I should have taken a video.


Off to another classic ride - Pirates! Argghhhh! This ride was interesting. On the one hand, you had the kind of creepy animatrix puppets that were singing and running about. But when they added in the Jack Sparrow character, they didn't make him in the old style like the other puppets. He looks real. And sounds real. And it's a little bit frightening!


Riding The Magic Carpets of Aladdin in the Agrabah marketplace.


They wouldn't let me get in line to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. :( I was a disappointed princess.


Hanging out in the Swiss Family Treehouse. I personally think the treehouse at Silver Dollar City was more fun. I really wish that house were still there! It was amazing.


Riding Thunder Mountain! It was a little surreal to ride all these things I have known about my whole life. I used to have this great sing-a-long video where they went to Disney World and saw all the famous sites. It was like childhood coming to life again! Pretty magical.


Beautiful castle. I took a lot of photos of this magical sight.


We walked by the Fairytale Garden and saw the tail end of Storytime with Belle. Naturally we weren't actually allowed to get in line to meet her. Again, I was a disappointed princess. Disney World is all about meeting Belle. Seriously, don't they realize this?


Our amazing (expensive) dinner - at Cinderella's Royal Table, which is actually located inside the castle. *pause while everyone shrieks with childish delight* I thought so too. I actually made reservations for this meal 90 days in advance.


Waiting inside the beautiful castle.


The price of dinner included a photo shoot with Cinderella. They brought an 8x10 of a similar shot of this to our table, as well as an 8x10 of the Castle itself. Considering that most photos throughout Disney are about $25, that's a pretty good bargain on top of the meal experience.


Gorgeous. I want to live here.


Inside the restaurant. It looks out over Fantasyland.



Our waitress addressed us as "My Prince" and "My Princess" all evening. She also brought us a sword and a wand - which apparently usually only small children receive. Dunno why she thought we needed them - but I'm not about to say I wasn't pleased.


The Fairy Godmother came out and sang a song. We didn't catch it because she was moving so quickly, but while she was saying something about Dreams Coming True, she reached out and touched my face in a very I'm-magical-and-you-are-magical-and-the-world-is-a-wonderful-place sort of gesture. Yeah, I eat up attention.


We were also visited by Cinderella's mice friends!


The castle at night, up close! When we left the restaurant, we got to go under the castle and out to Main Street - it's not open to the public, you have to eat at the restaurant to get this chance. It was a bonus I had not expected!


So much magic in one day. It was amazing.


Me and my prince.


Beautiful. Right after this photo, a NOT-so-nice Disney employee told us we had to leave the special area and join the throng of tourists. We did as she said...but the rest of the people weren't forced to leave until a good 15 minutes later. I was bummed and angry and sad. :(


Evening parade!



The fireworks show at park closing, Wishes, was magnificent. Magic Kingdom was the only fireworks show we were able to see - and it was a good one. Also I'm very pleased with the results of both the SLR and the Powershot. Great photos! (I have about 100 fireworks photos alone. crazy.)





Main Street on the way to the exit. Crazy swarms of people. I still can't believe this was the "slow" season!


Alas, we didn't have time to swim while at our resort (even though the pool was heated!). This is the Calypso Pool. It's shaped like a giant guitar.


And this one - the Piano Pool, shaped like a baby grand. :)

It was possibly the most magical day of my life, right up there with my real-life fairy-tale wedding. We've already decided to start saving so we can take our kids to Disney before they're too old to be swept away by the magic. Of course...for some of us, there's no problem getting caught up in the moment, even when your first Disney visit is at age 23. ;)

Day 8 - Epcot - coming soon!
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