Allow myself to introduce... myself


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


There have been many goings on in the Hale/Moreno household of late, but please rest assured Dear Reader(s), that I have continued on my daily creativity path, even if I haven't been reporting.  Given that I've been so seriously stretching the definition for what qualifies as creative, how can I help BUT to succeed?

Two pieces of business, if I may:

First and foremost - PLEASE rush over to this link and vote my friend Tif at dottie angel as the Favourite Handmade Crafter (the 'u' in the word means it's British) at PoppyTalk.  As most of you are aware, Tif is my dear brilliant friend who got me to start blogging, and my world has been all sunshine and daisies ever since.  And though my blog is not the brilliant piece of work that Tif's is (did you KNOW she was in the last issue of Artful Blogging magazine?!), I admire her every step of the way.  Tif stopped by yesterday and visited me at the day job, and NOT ONCE did she try and shamelessly garner any votes from me.  Tif is humble to say the least.  Now VOTE!  I'll wait here until you come back.....

(Click here to vote) and select dottie angel

Thing two:  PLEASE visit our new blog and tell us what you think!

Your Rice Krispies would want you to visit that new blog!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Keepin' On with the Keepin' On

The thought occured to me just now while I was using the restroom (who doesn't do 90% of their thinking there??), that we are the kind of family you would see on "It's Me or the Dog", and laugh at because they're so ridiculous about the things they let their dogs get away with.  Now, for those of you without children or pets, who do not spend hours of your lives watching Animal Planet:  "It's Me or the Dog" is a show whereby a dominatrix pet trainer by the name of Patricia Stillwell goes into the homes of crazy people and trains their dogs to quit humping visitors. 

Not that humping is our problem.... for the most part.

Argus is still a puppy with puppy energy, but he's now passed the 'delicate garden flower' weight class and LEAPED into the 'stocky bully' weight group.  This is mainly a problem for his favorite playmate Jazz, who weighs fifteen pounds when she's soaking wet, with a ten pound weight vest on.  So their playing in the house mostly consists of Jazz skittering through the house with Argus lumbering after her at full gallop, destroying everything in his path until Jazz hides under something... anything.

Even the Christmas tree.

I'm sure you're horrified by the thought that we still have our Christmas tree up, what with it being midway through January and all.  But please let me make my case.  First of all, our tree is fake, so it's not going to turn brown and drop needles all over the place.  Secondly, it's decorated in a Seahawks theme (same as last year), and so we decided to keep it up until the Superbowl.  And YES  I KNOW that the Seahawks were no where close to being in the Superbowl this year (or anytime soon for that fact), but when you're a diehard fan as Scootchie is, you take no notice of these mere formalities. 

So the tree was knocked down last night, and we lost even more of the expensive glass seahawks ornaments that I have worked so hard to amass at half price after Christmas sales.  Would you BELIEVE that I had to stop Argus from trying to chew on the broken ornament glass?


Tuesday, January 12th - I don't remember Tuesday.  At all.  I'm 35 now... be gentle. 
.... Oh wait!  That's when I declared in those last moments before bed that we should start a new blog called The People of Craigslist, and post some of the ridiculous ads we see.  Then Scootch put on his snorkel mask and we fell asleep.

Wednesday, January 13th - Not having enough commitments, I started a new blog - called... you guessed it!  The People of Craigslist!  I can justify this one because its been monetized, which means that any day now I can quit my job and dedicate myself full time to my vast internet empire. 

Also on Wednesday, I turned an ordinary cute little purse I found on clearance for $6 into an expensive combination of purses for Brittany to carry her diabetes supplies in style and comfort.  For those who don't know, Brittany is my step-daughter, and she was diagnosed with insulin-dependant type 1 diabetes this past year.  Wednesday was her birthday, and so I wanted to make her something nice.  So I made her these cute labels, with the help of one of my favorite blogs, Just Something I Made.  I don't have Photoshop, so I have to fiddle with things a bit and they look a little messy, but I think you get the gist.  This was the label I made for Brittany's bag:

I use a program called SnagIt, because it's free (version 8, which is gr8), and because I use it for a ton of stuff.  You can capture and save anything on the web with SnagIt, even pesky protected pictures and stuff that pretend they can't be captured.  Since I do everything only for my own personal use, I'm not really doing anything overly evil. 

So I use SnagIt to capture the frame I wanted from Cathe Holden's free frames (the blog link above).  Her blog is so wonderful because, not only does she always have great ideas, but she SHARES them, which makes her my hero. 

Because I'm doing all of this crafting in a rather roundabout way, here's what I do:

  1. Choose the frame and cut it out using the SnagIt webcapture. 
  2. Use the eraser tool in SnagIt to erase all of the exising text, and then paste my blank frame to a blank Word document (because I haven't figured out how to work on more than one thing at a time in SnagIt). 
  3. Find the font you want to use for your frame.  I think I've explained before that I don't like the choices I have available to me in Word, and I have a computer I can't download anything to... so I go to Zazzle and "create" a product, then use SnagIt to capture my font straight from the design box.

    4.  Paste your words into your frame.
 5.  For this particular frame, I used WordArt to create the curved letters that don't quite fit into the boxes properly.  If I was one of those people lucky enough to have Photoshop, I'm sure this would look MUCH nicer.  In case you want to know... Photoshop is on my AMAZON WISH LIST

Oh yeah... if you want to be hip and cool and understand the reference to the strawberry milkshake, watch Llamas with Hats2 on Youtube.  It makes me laugh hysterically...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Catching Up (snippets of creativity)

I almost forgot about my renewed efforts to keep up my blog!

Rest assured dear reader(s), that I am here now, and our time apart has only served to make the heart fonder.  And so, in order to prove to you how SERIOUS I am about my Pledge for Daily Creativity, I will recap:

Friday, January 8th - Creativity involved hiding Scootchie's chair under the table at the restaurant whilst he was up at the buffet.  After standing to eat on his birthday was deemed "not as much fun as it looked,"  Scootch refused to sit by me.  Later in the evening he admitted that I actually AM as funny as I think I am.

Saturday, January 9th - Creativity was all about finding a way to protect our blind dog Blue from Argus's well-meaning-yet-vicious attacks.  We decided that a suit of chainmail would not be a feasible solution, and instead made plans to make Blue an Impenetrable Coat of Protection - so we went to the store and bought a pattern to make Blue a coat out of fleece, with a duck cloth exterior for protection.  You see, while chainmail may be too heavy for a 30 pound blind dog to lug around, fleece and duck cloth won't.  And what dog doesn't want his own Carhartt's?

Sunday, January 10th - Creativity meant finding ways to hide the mistakes that arise when I follow a pattern.  Not for Blue's Impenetrable Coat of Protection (which hasn't been started yet), but for my dear friend Sara's baby bedding, which I was hurriedly trying to finish before she had the baby.  Too Late.  Baby born last night.

Monday, January 11th - A creative conversation with Scootch about Luna's Safety Patrol commitments.  I should probably spare you the details (which I already reenacted for my co-worker, who replied that we need our own show)... Let me just say that Scootch let me know that he took Luna's Safety Patrol commitment VERY seriously, being a fellow public safety officer (err... Corrections Sergeant at the prison, for those who were not aware).  I used my creative thinking skills to remark that I was once in the patrol field myself, and that times were very different then.  "My beat was the fast lane of Midway Boulevard.  People didn't heed 'School Zone' speed limit warnings in those days.  I put my life on the lane every day in the name of the fluorescent orange."  I think we both laughed until we peed ourselves, which happens a lot more often now that Scootch has turned 41.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I know it has gone terribly out of fashion to make a New Year's Resolution ('It never works to make a resolution', 'Why make a promise on that day?', 'Who do you think you are, using such big words??'), so I bring forth my Seven-Days-into-the-New-Year Resolution. 

It's nothing spectacular.

  E v e r y d a y. 

Now, there are some days where the most creativity I will exercise, may be in determining what I did that day that could be considered creative.  That's what we call a loophole

Cut me some slack.  Don't I have enough going on in my life?!

And just to hedge bets in my favor, I will give you an example of how I chose to be creative today, right here, for the purposes of this post.  Please note:  some examples of creativity may include enormously circuitous routes to acheive a desired result.  That's just how I roll, and I consider it one of my best attributes.

Step 1.  Decide that the words "I vow to be creative" should be written creatively.

Step 2.  Determine that due to existing limitations (what I like to refer to as 'the limitations of our data system'), creative fonts cannot be found in Word or downloaded to current computer.

Step 3.  Remember that the people at let you create neat-o things with amazing fonts, with the idea that you will order your neat-o thing, and they will make it up for you. 

Step 4.  Create a mock up of a neat-o thing, and then use Snag-It to copy it (zazzle has a thing against letting you cut and paste your mock up elsewhere.  I think they're on to me.). 

Step 5.  Put it on the blog and call it 'being creative for the day'!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Still keepin' on

Instead of waiting to post again until I get the previously promised dancing video off the camera, I'm going to shoot out another quick one and say.... whoa. 

I don't know why I said that, it just had to be done. 

And again:  whoa.

Now for your reading enjoyment; snippets of conversation from our house this past weekend:
Luna, exasperated:  "Solstice, it's called a CANDLE, not 'fire in a cup'!
Scott:  "Well, I think I solved the mystery of the missing sugar.  The box was laying on its side in the carport, empty."
          Tasha:  "Empty?  How can that be?  It was FULL.  FULL I TELL YOU!"
Scott:  "Well it's empty now.  Either the kids are sneaking handfuls of sugar, or you've been taking Ambien on the side."
Tasha:  "Have the dogs been acting particularly chipper?"
Tasha:  "Do you think you'll still love me, even when I'm old and wrinkled and make funny faces without meaning to?"
          Scott:  "I'm pretty sure I'll love you even more then."