Thursday, December 30, 2010

Handmade Gifts

I made a couple of different Christmas gifts this year.

The first was an ornament book for my mother-in-law. She decorates her tree with ornaments that reference either a person, place, or event in their lives. I took pictures of each ornament while it was hanging on the tree and made a 6x6 album out of it that is expandable to add more in the future. Currently there are 92 ornaments documented.

Supplies used:
6x6 American Crafts 2-ring binder with 6x6 page protectors
Digital Papers: O Christmas Tree Papers by Carina Gardner
Photo Frames: Katie Pertiet Stacked Vintage Photo Frames No. 2
Font: Semilla

The second gift was a refill of the desk calendar that I made last year for my mom and mother-in-law. I purchased the acrylic desk frame from IKEA. Each month shows a photo of the person that has a birthday that month, along with any anniversaries or special dates. A good quick reference to help remember birthdays.

Supplies used:
iKari Create a Calendar 2011 5x7 Bundle
iKari Create a Calendar 2011
Echo Park "Life is Good" Paper Pack #1
3D Glitter Stickers: K & Company flowers

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 16

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's been one of those...


Khamaseen is roaring through. It's supposed to last 3 days. We're in Day 2. It's not the season for Khamaseen, which is more like springtime, but it's blowing up a storm nonetheless.

The weird thing is, it started raining some drops. In a dust storm? This could get ugly. Thankfully it only was enough to wet the sidewalk.

To make an ugly day uglier, I went to purchase this beautiful painting from Mansour to remind us of our Cairo days...

... and discovered I was 600LE short. Funny, I had it all in a wad this morning.

The only explanation is that my housekeeper or her daughter took it. So I had to confront them. I had suspected her daughter of stealing from us before, but could never prove it and didn't want the confrontation, but today I was positive.

So, I had to rifle through her bags and found she had taken my Palm Tungsten T3 (palm pilot), some scrapbook stickers, and some hair accessories. I found exactly 600LE in her wallet, but couldn't prove it was mine (I thought mine were crisper ;) All this after I had given them loads of Maya's clothing and a ton of my jewelry just a few hours earlier.

So, I told my housekeeper I didn't want to ruin her career, and that she could still work for me (for one more day) but that her daughter couldn't come back. I do feel bad for Nadia if she didn't know what her daughter was up to, but who knows? Did I do the right thing? Dave said that I should tell neither of them to come back, but I still owe Nadia for this month's work. I don't want to steal from her either, especially if she didn't know what was going on.

It just makes one sick to their stomach.

A fitting end to our time here, don't you think? My heart aches to leave my wedding ring here, never to be seen again, all I can hope for is that it made the life of someone here a little bit easier, because truly it is a rough life for most.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 8

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 6

Se habla...

The second layout from my Digi in Deep class.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 4

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Smoggy Smog

The pollution in Cairo has been horrific the past few days.

Nastiness so thick you can see the haze only a few feet in front of you, and visibility is about 1/2 mile. I feel like I'm losing days off my life just by breathing it in.

It's disgusting. Maya: "This smoggy smog stinks." Ya, babe it does.

The first day of it, I asked my driver if it was Khamaseen, he tried to tell me it was just morning fog. Nope, it's just good ole-fashioned pollution. It makes you appreciate the EPA.

This picture is the road to her school (that was recently paved, but you can see that it still needs improvements.)

December 3

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1

Like last year, I am making a mini album of the Days of December as inspired by

The Potters of Fustat

I went with a group of women from church to Fustat , the first Arab capital of Egypt, to the pottery village there. We had some oil lamps made (the 10 virgin type) for Christmas. I wanted to buy a pot, but realized quickly that since we were so many obviously expat women with fat purses, that the prices were too high. I think I'll wait and have Ibrahim take me so we can get a better deal. But they were beautiful. Here is a fun article of one man's trip there.

Here are also two short video clips of the men making pottery. As the article stated, there weren't any tourists there, and we were the only people shopping around, so it was great just to sit and watch these guys work.

Nerdy Me

I am a nerd. I admit it. I've spent the last few hours trying to figure out how to compress my video so it doesn't take so long to download. After reading sites like files4.totalgeeks I have learned how to download a codec into virtualdub to compress my videos, but at first it didn't work because I downloaded 32-bit, when I have a 64-bit version of windows, but alas, the xvid codec for 64-bit was found. I changed the bitrate to 300 and switched the audio compression to mp4, and voila!

Now you can watch videos and wait only mere seconds for the download, instead of 20-30 minutes. No joke.

Thank the nerd.

And scroll down, I've added two videos to old posts. One of Maya singing and one of an Egyptian singing Michael Jackson. Two that you definitely don't want to miss.

Maya's Quote of the Day

Her school sent a blank piece of paper home for the children to write their Christmas lists on.

Maya: "I want lots of things for Christmas. I don't think this paper is big enough."

Here's a fun video of a song she came home singing today. If you listen closely, you can hear a little British Accent.

I personally love the one piggy tail.