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Vintage Button Bracelet

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 27, 2008 in Crafts, Jewelry, Today's Photo

I had a chance to make that button bracelet I mentioned on a previous post:

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I had a bunch of plain, vintage white buttons that I attached to a chain with some jump rings.  It makes a really cool sound while it’s worn – not a quiet piece of jewelry, but fun!

 
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Great Weekend, But No Camera!!!!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 24, 2008 in Family Stuff

We just got back from a wonderful weekend in the Poconos, but I forgot to take my camera with me! 

I took the camera out of my purse when I started work and had to go through the security checks everyday before I got my badge.  By the way, my shoes set off the metal detector EVERY SINGLE DAY (no matter which shoes I wore).  I had to make sure I always had nice socks on since I knew I would have to take my shoes off.

Anyway…it’s a shame that I didn’t have the camera with me, because there was so much to see.  The campground received 8 inches of snow the day before we arrived, so the whole place was like a beautiful winter wonderland.

But it was still relatively warm and sunny, so it was fun to play outside in the snow.  The kids and I went sledding down the hill that leads to the lake all of yesterday afternoon and this morning, too. The lake was entirely frozen, so we could sled REALLY far.

After sledding, Emily and I went swimming in the indoor pool – it’s not often that get to go sledding and swimming both in the same day!

We also walked around downtown Stroudsburg and had a great meal at a new Mexican restaurant there.  The food reminded me of the Mexican food I liked so much in San Diego – all of it covered in lettuce, tomato, sour cream and guacamole!

We also checked out Hickory Run State Park on our way home.  The lake there wasn’t quite frozen, so we just took a little walk with the dogs.

I had such a nice time and felt so relaxed after all the craziness of the last few weeks, we’ve decided to go back to the mountains each and every weekend until we have to give up our winter seasonal spot at the end of March.  There’s just something about being together as a family without the distractions at home that feels so peaceful and rejuvenating.

We’re thinking that next weekend we want to try snowtubing…now, we’ll see how relaxing THAT is!

 
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Jewelry Projects

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 22, 2008 in Crafts, Jewelry, Today's Photo

Okay – now that I’m catching up on my posts, I realize that there have been lots of words but very few pictures (and a picture is worth a thousand words, right?). So here are some photos of some jewelry projects I’ve been working on recently…

One great thing about working is that I have more opportunities to wear fun jewelry pieces. Not that I get dressed up every day – this week, I wore jeans twice because it was just too cold!

I made another bracelet from the French General kit included with Paula’s Kit Club’s February Easter-themed kit:

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I just love this! The little white pieces are shaped like eggs. I wore this the other day with a green sweater – it’s so cute!

Speaking of green, I made several other green pieces lately:

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These pieces have some pretty green freshwater pearls.

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This bracelet was from a kit as was this necklace:

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I also made this necklace with a vintage opal stone:

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And here are two pairs of earrings:

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The pair on the right are made with a vintage topaz glass stone wrapped with filigree. The earring on the left shows the back and the one on the right shows the front.

Ooh – I also found this kit on clearance at TJ Maxx of all places:

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I was from K & Company and I added the photos of my family to make a pretty charm bracelet.

Speaking of charm bracelets, I made this one to wear with red for Valentine’s Day:

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It has several vintage red stones as well as some new stones, charms and crystals.

I also made this simple piece with a matching pair of earrings:

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And this necklace and earrings with wire-wrapped pink glass drop beads:

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I am really having fun making pieces that I can wear the very next day – it’s instant gratification, and you get to wear your ‘art’ on your sleeve, so to speak! :)

Next I want to make a series of button bracelets with a bunch of vintage buttons that I found in my stash…

 
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Going to Alaska?

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 22, 2008 in Family Stuff

Just a quick note about my new job…

I hate to admit this (I mean I REALLY hate to admit this), but I’m actually enjoying my job right now.

Did I actually say that out loud?!?  Please don’t tell my husband (he never reads this blog)!

I was very reluctant to go back to work as you all know – I had fallen into a nice little routine here with the kids, my crafts and volunteer work.  But I was working SO hard and wasn’t making any money.  And we really needed some extra money…

So now that I’ve been at work for a while, I’ve fallen into a nice routine there as well.  I’m supporting the Alaska Flight Service Modernization system as well as the OASIS system, also in Alaska. 

I thought it would be difficult to get back into the technical part of the job, but it turns out that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  I worked with this stuff for so many years that after just a few weeks on the job, I feel really confident (did I actually say that?!?!) about what I’m doing.  And the money part is nice too. :)

But here’s the thing – I think some people that I’m working with don’t appreciate my being there.  There have been rumblings that  perhaps I am there to take their jobs or – at the very least – to make them look bad. 

But they really shouldn’t worry.  First of all, the only reason that I’m able to pick up things so quickly is that, like I said, I worked with this stuff for YEARS!  Sections of some of the documents we’re using as references were actually written by me years ago.

And I don’t want anyone else’s job – I’m happy with my own small 3-day-a-week part-time position where I come in, do my part and go home at the end of the day.  And I don’t want to take over or be in charge – I’m happy just doing my own little parts and leaving the big worries to others.

It’s difficult to know that people aren’t happy with my being there – it really bothers me when people don’t like me (and I’m sure there are lots of people who don’t like me!).  But I’m hoping that once they get to know me and see that I’m not this power-hungry (who the heck wants power, anyway?) person that they think I am, they’ll adjust.  Maybe eventually they’ll come to see me as a resource and not a threat.

Oh – and as for the title of the post, I may be going up to Alaska in a few weeks.  I’m actually looking forward to it – I’ve been there several times before and just loved it!  Of course, maybe I won’t go since it may bother some of the other employees…but that’s fine too.  Like I said, I’m actually just enjoying doing my little piece of the giant Alaska puzzle.

One more odd thing that happened at work recently…as I was coming up to my desk from lunch yesterday, I saw this large group of kids on a tour and some of them started to wave at me.  I thought that was odd until I realized that several of them were students of mine from my Computers and Society class last semester!  They were at the Technical Center for a tour and to do a presentation on a project they were doing for their Software Engineering course.  I stopped to chat, found out where their presentation was and slipped in for a few minutes to listen in.  They seemed to be doing a fine job and I was very proud to see them there – good luck guys!

 
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Valentine’s Day

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 22, 2008 in Cards, Crafts, Family Stuff

Valentine’s Day was a little weird this year…

First, my dad had hip replacement surgery that day.  I’m happy to report that he’s doing well, but it hasn’t been an easy road for him.

Also, I was at work all day.  I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that my husband didn’t send me flowers or anything at work (especially since we work in the SAME building!).  He did pick me up a nice bunch of tulips on the way home from work, though.

But I don’t think he understood that I would have liked to receive something during the day – something to have on my desk (now that I actually HAVE a desk) to remind me that someone loves me.  By the time he picked up the tulips, it was 5:30pm and I had a church meeting at 7:00, so it was kind of anticlimactic at that point.  And he didn’t give me a card, either…

Oh well – at least I have someone who loves me, even if he has difficulty reading my mind as to exactly how I expect him to  show it (doesn’t every woman have that problem?).

Hmmm…maybe it has something to do with the valentine card I made for him…

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Sorry for the glare on the photo – the heart is stamped on a shiny, glittery paper that was difficult to photograph.

And yes, that is an anatomically correct human heart on the card.  It’s from Paula’s Kit Club – and the second I saw it, I knew that it would be perfect on a card for Mike.

Although some of his coworkers said that if I actually have a rubber stamp of a human heart, I have WAY too many rubber stamps.  Is there such a thing as too many rubber stamps?!?!

 
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Life’s Stressors

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 22, 2008 in Family Stuff

I mentioned in previous posts how much I dislike change.  The only thing I dislike more than change is when I have to be the one to tell people that bad news that change is coming.

We are going through a transition period in our church and as the chairperson of the Staff/Parish Relations Committee, it is my job to inform the staff and the congregation of the changes.

After some very heated meetings a few weeks ago (I think this is about when I stopped posting), it was my job to tell three staff members that they were going to be asked to step down for financial reasons.

I understand why the decision was made, but I have to say that I was disappointed with the way it was presented to me.  I was told of the situation just minutes before a big meeting so that I had no time to react or even to consider alternatives. 

As a result, I reacted emotionally which was probably not the best thing to do.  And even worse, other people reacted even more emotionally – I have never heard the words "pray on it" used in such a negative, mean-spirited way.

Anyway…after the stress of those meetings, I was supposed to tell these three people that their lives were about to change.  I couldn’t sleep the night before my meeting with them – I just kept going over exactly what I was going to say.

I woke up that morning (well…I never actually went to sleep, so I guess I never ‘woke’ up) and got the kids off to school.  I didn’t feel well physically after that difficult night – I even had this weird case of the hiccups that were so intense that they caused a great deal of discomfort.  Then I was working updating the school sign and started having horrible chest pains.  I tried to work through it, but then had difficulty catching my breath and the pains kept getting worse and worse.  I sat down for a minute and one of the teachers walked by and asked if I was okay.  I told her that I wasn’t really feeling well and the next thing I know, someone called 911, the school went into a ‘Level 2 Lockdown’ state, the police and an ambulance showed up and I was rushed off to the hospital.  When I cause a scene, I cause a SCENE!!!!!

My friend Denise followed behind me in her car with her 4-way blinkers on (thanks, Denise, for risking your life in traffic for me) and all the way to the hospital, I just kept thinking of how I wasn’t going to make my 1:00 meeting at church.  I even had the EMT call Denise and ask her to call the church for me. 

I kept telling the EMT (and the nurses and doctors when I got to the hospital) how silly I felt.  I knew that this was caused by stress, but the pain wouldn’t let up.  The chest pains ended up lasting for about an hour or two and everything checked out okay at the hospital (which made me feel even more silly – at least if I were going to cause that kind of a spectacle, there’d better be something wrong with me!).

My pastor heard of the commotion and came to visit me in the E/R.  She shook her head and asked if the church had caused this to happen to me – I looked at her and told her that yes, it did, in a way. 

Fortunately, she took over and was the one to tell the staff the bad news (which made me feel horrible – how much of a wimp am I that I couldn’t do it myself?!?).  I still haven’t had the chance to really speak with them personally – I don’t know what I can say at this point.

Oh – and I also had to make the announcement to the congregation the following Sunday at church.  This time, at least I didn’t end up in the E/R.  I took my time and wrote out exactly what I wanted to say, trying to be sensitive to everyone’s feelings.

As I read the news, I heard some small gasps from the pews, and as I walked back to my seat, someone said to me, "It must suck to be you right now."  That’s putting it mildly! 

But the sort-of-good news is that at least since everyone heard of my ambulance ride (it’s a small town – word travels fast!), I at least had the sympathy vote so that no one yelled at me or threw things at me…at least not yet.

 
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It’s Been a While…

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Do you know that feeling when you’ve borrowed something from someone and then you sort of forget that you borrowed it?

Then a few weeks pass and you stumble on it and realize that you forgot to return it so you promise yourself that you’ll return it as soon as possible.

But again you forget and before you know it, a few months have passed and you promise yourself that this time you’ll return it no matter how bad you feel about keeping it so long. But then a year later when you STILL have the item, you feel so awkward returning it that you procrastinate yet again?

That’s kind of how I feel about my blog.

I knew that it had been a while since I posted so I told myself that I’d just post a quick note…but I didn’t have a chance.

Then a week passed and I said that I’d post a nice, long summary but again, I haven’t had time.

Then I had SO much to say that I kept putting it off until I had a big chunk of time – which I didn’t have.

Until now – the kids have a snow day and I’m off from work, so I can finally catch up on my posts! I hope it’s not too awkward… :)

 
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Contest Winners Published

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 3, 2008 in Cards

I got my March issue of PaperCrafts magazine in the mail yesterday.  In it is published my winning entry for the World Card Making Day contest:

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My card is the one on the lower left with the circles – pretty cool!

 
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Dad’s Birthday

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 3, 2008 in Cards

In addition to Daisy’s birthday, this weekend is also my Dad’s birthday.  I made him up a card using supplies from a previous Paula’s Kit Club (did I mention that she has the best stuff EVER?!?):

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I had fun with this one – combining stamps with rub-ons and a little watercoloring.  I also decided to put a hammer and toolbox in the hands of the bottom gentlemen because every man needs to work with tools while in a suit…

 
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Busy, Busy Week

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Feb 3, 2008 in Our Goldendoodle Puppies, Today's Photo

I haven’t posted for a few days – this week has been CRAZY busy for me!  I’m trying to get back into the swing of working, while at the same time keeping up with all the things I did while I was home.

Tuesday night I didn’t get home until almost 9:00 after going to Bible study right after work and Wednesday I didn’t get home until almost 10:00 after going to Andrew’s basketball game right after work (they called EVERY foul possible during that game just to drag it out…).  By Thursday night, I was so physically exhausted, it was all I could do to make dinner and do homework with the kids.

Anyway…today was Daisy’s birthday – she’s one year old today.  In honor of her birthday, Mike went out and got her a cake (I had nothing to do with this one…but I have to admit, I did have a small piece):

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Of course, we didn’t give any cake to the dog… :)

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Happy birthday, Daisy!

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