Sometimes everyone needs a little vacation and I guess that is what happened this past week. I started several blog posts but just didn't have the time to get them done, photos taken and added, and what not. Guess life just got in the way… but I am “back at work” now so hopefully there will be a new post every day! ;)

So here is what I was up to all week while I was not blogging:

Xaver went back to work after being on medical leave. It was nice to have him home but not at times as I am used to some alone time during the day to get things done (like blogging! LOL). But it was hard to adjust back to taking care of the kids myself all the time again–Xaver changed a lot of diapers for me and picked Katie up from school a lot while he was home so that saved me a lot of time. And it was nice to have him here to talk to and go places with.

I taught Twenty Pages In One Day 2009 this past Saturday at The Scrappin' Table in Placentia, CA. I was prepping prepping prepping and prepping this past week like a mad woman getting it all done. There is SOOOOOO much coordinating that goes into putting on this class so that it runs smoothly and we finish on time. Not to mention remembering all the tools, paint, ink, and other goodies that I have to bring to the class. We had a great time and the class went very smoothly–almost everyone finished their pages.

Carmen won a goodie from me–thanks so much for coming to the class!

Molly and Tran were POWER SCRAPPERS! They finished every page early. Always a pleasure to have them in my classes.

Maria won a goodie!!
These pages can be intense!
Kathy and Carmen working hard. Kathy's first ever class and first time scrapping was my last “Twenty Pages In One Day” class. I am so glad she came back again!! It is a pretty intense class for a first one,that's for sure. We go really really fast (about 15 minutes per page) and they aren't simple pages either–there is paint, stamping, Glimmer Misting…
Look at our mess! LOL
Everyone LOVED this cute owl paper from Prima's “Mommy & Me” line–I love it too!

Robin and Desiree won Prima goodies!!

Anne Fisher was there to TA for me as well–she always does such a great job helping everyone with all the little details. Thanks so much Anne! Without her help I don't know that things would have gone as smoothly as they did. Here's Anne working hard (unfortunately you can only see her back in all the pics I got!):

Anne had surgery two days before the class–she is a super scrapper, for sure!!

There were a lot of familiar faces in the class too which is always nice. I had several requests for a second “Twenty Pages 2009” class in the fall and though I am trying to teach this monster class only once a year, I am considering a fall session. But don't count on it just yet–it took me 5 months to recover from the last Twenty Pages class before I scheduled another one! LOL

If you want to get a lot done in just a few hours, come to the class! You'll receive THREE full packs of alphabets (felt and chipboard) plus a whole pack of rubons, a journal spot and stamp set, and TONS of products all from Prima during the class. Here's the bag of full packs of goodies you get at the beginning (plus all the pages in addition to this).

Every page is different and I cram tons of techniques and fun products onto each one. Many of the pages show how to get the most out of your scraps to create pages in minutes. It is well worth the fee and then some!

I am teaching the class two more times (and possibly once at my home) so check it out before it is gone forever!

Twenty Pages In A Day
*Prima Endorsed Class*
May 16, 2009
11am-6pm (with break for lunch)
Ph: 909-793-2200
Collective Journey

June 14, 2009
11am-6pm (with break for lunch)
Ph: 760-598-2222
Pink Pineapple

We also had Book Club this past Wednesday–always a fun time. The Divine Desert Divas also had our first crop on Friday May 8th so that was fun–I made an appearance for a couple of hours. All of the ladies have a great sense of humor besides being talented scrappers so it is always a great time with that group!

And I also have been spending alot of time outside in our front yard finishing our landscaping project. When we bought our house the lawn was totally dead, with some scattered rocks and scraggly shrubs in the yard. We found out about our city's “Cash for Grass” program from our neighbor and got pre-approved for a grant from the city to tear out our grass and sprinklers and replace them with drought tolerant plants and a drip watering system. We leveled our bumpy, hilly yard by HAND, installing a retaining wall and back-filling it with dirt from the lower level. We dug out all the sod by hand, removed the rock and tattered landscaping paper, and capped off all the sprinkler heads except for a few we converted into drip watering system hubs. We've been planting, installing pavers, running drip system tubing, and shoveling gravel all week. Our final inspection is Wednesday so we will be putting the finishing touches on tonight. I will be planting the last few plants when I finish this and then after Matt gets up from his nap, he and I will go get the last load of gravel needed to finish off the yard. We still have quite a bit to do but without a deadline, I have suspicions it will never get done and I am sooooo ready to be done with it already!

Here's what the house looked like when we bought it (last June):

And this is what it looks like as of 5 minutes ago:

Matthew HAS to be in every picture I take nowadays! What a HAM!

That yard behind ours in this pic (to the north) is our neighbor's that told us about the program. After they did all that work, they disappeared and now the yard is over-grown with weeds and all their cacti and plants died. On Friday a couple teenagers were there having a rinky dink yard sale and posted a sign that the house is for rent. So now we will have renters on both sides — ugh. Not that I hate renters because we all rented at some point but the rent they are charging is so low that I fear the types of people who will want to rent there, like the loud-music-playing, beer-drinking and can-tossing (in my yard), trash-tossing, domestic-violence-fighting-so-the-cops-get-called-out-all-the-time, working-on-cars-in-the-driveaway, and pitbull-owning kind of renters we had to the south when we first moved in. Luckily they moved and the new renters in that house are super nice and have nice kids who play with Katie. And they keep their yard up (see in the photo below). Anyways, I hope we get decent people to the north and that they clean up the yard again.

We moved the rock from the front yard to the side yard so we have a place to park our truck. We will need to buy a little more rock to fill it in I think. And pull those weeds too LOL!

That's the view from my front door right now. Xaver wants to put in a small fountain in the little paved area but we haven't found a pot we like yet to convert into a fountain so that is just a future project.

All told I think it cost us about $1500 (including the two scoops of gravel I am picking up today) and we will be getting $425 back from the grant. Our yard looks TONS better and we will be saving a lot of money versus keeping a lawn watered (a real challenge in the desert!). I actually refused to water the lawn because it made our water bill triple the one month Xaver did it so I am not actually going to see a smaller bill but we couldn't keep our lawn the way it was–dead and ugly! LOL

So that is all for now…I'll have a few pages to post tomorrow and hopefully some new classes. Think Father's Day and Summer…

Happy Creating!

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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7 thoughts on “Took A Little Blogging Vacation and Now I Am Playing Catchup!

  1. yard is looking good! Sorry, but you can’t park the truck on the side of the house, I won’t be able to find your house anymore if you do that, or is that part of your evil plan?

    Posted on May 11, 2009 at 8:00 pm
  2. Hey Jennifer,
    I got my rosette package Saturday. Thanks so much for it. I can’t wait to try amd make some rosettes.

    Posted on May 11, 2009 at 11:22 pm
  3. Super scrapper here :-P Really enjoyed your class, can’t wait for the next one! :-)

    Posted on May 12, 2009 at 2:48 am
  4. Your garden is looking great and what a difference a year and a lot of hard work makes!

    Your class looks awesome but i would be useless at it…. I must be one of the slowest scrapeprs in the world….

    Posted on May 12, 2009 at 8:39 am
  5. Wow, busy girl!! love the idea of taking one of those 20 pages in a day classes, but unfortunately they are both bad days for me!! :P Maybe in the fall… who knows??

    The yard looks fantastic, you guys have been working so hard!!

    Posted on May 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm
  6. Thanks so much! The class was so much fun, even if some of us were slow.

    Posted on May 12, 2009 at 10:51 pm
  7. Hi Jennifer,
    Oh how I tried to arrange my busy Saturday schedule to take the 20 pages class but it wouldn’t work in my favor ; ( I am going to see about June! It looks like you have been busy working on your nice yard… I have been working on my house too but not quite to your caliber! I’m glad you took a break from your blogging! You needed it during that week!

    Posted on May 13, 2009 at 6:10 pm