Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amazing Talent

WOWZERS!!! I have been looking at a lot of the entries in the Week 1 Student Gallery for the online card class I'm taking.  There are some extremely talented crafters.  I can only hope to be as creative as these ladies (not sure if there are any gentlemen students).  Seeing all these awesome entries makes me long to be in my craftroom playing, but such is life, I have to be at my J-O-B.  One good thing about this class... I'm hoping to make a small dent in all the "stuff" I have accumulated.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Back from Hawaii and Off To Camp...

...Card Camp that is.  I'm doing another first, I am taking the Online Summer Card Camp 2011 taught by Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner.  These ladies as well as all of the students are extremely talented.  I can't wait to spend some time and peruse all of the entries in the Student Gallery.  Here are this week's colors:

We had to use purple, pink, orange, sky blue and white.  Don't these colors just remind you of summer?  My two favorite colors are in this color pallette (purple and pink).

Here is my entry.  It always takes me a while to figure out what I want to do, so it is fairly simple.  The image is a little grainy and I can't figure out why (I think it is the person behind the camera <grin>!).  Thanks for looking.

The card is 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 card.
Cardstock: StampinUp - Bliss Blue, Pixie Pink, White
Printed Paper: left over orange scraps that I have had for several years
Ink: StampinUp - same colors as cardstock and added Lovely Lilac
Stamps: StampinUp Friendly Flowers
Embellishments: Ribbon from my stash and Stickles for a touch of bling

Job Interview

I have been writing about my search for a new job for a few weeks now.  I had 2 interviews with one very small company to be their Executive Admin/Office Manager.  All of the guys in this company were really awesome, but I just didn't think I would be a good fit.  This worked out for the best as they selected someone else for the role.  I know they will be much happier with their new person.  I am so used to working for Fortune 500 companies.  I tried working for a small company after being at Dell and it just wasn't for me.

The Wednesday before I left for Hawaii, I was called by someone at HP for a Portfolio Manager position.  Turns out, this was the position my friend's husband recommended me for and the hiring manager was impressed by my resume.  The person I spoke to was impressed with our conversation and passed on his comments to the hiring manager.  I ended up having a phone interview with her yet that evening in between getting my parents settled and packing to leave the next morning before the birds were even up.  The interview went very well and the hiring manager wanted me to come on-site to meet the executives I would be working with.  While I was on vacation, they scheduled my interview.  I had my interview yesterday (Monday) and it was over 5 hours long.  Throughout my career, I have never really had to interview for the positions I held, so this was a first for me.  It was grueling.  My brain was total mush the last hour and my last interview was with the hiring manager.  She asked some really hard questions and I struggled to answer them.  So I left feeling really unsure about this really awesome opportunity.  She is interviewing a few more people this week and will make her decision and let us know by next week. The wait is causing me to second guess myself, but I know things happen for a reason and God will provide for me.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up, just in case.  The good thing is the all of my other interviews went really well and I felt good about those.  I knew 3 of the 4 interviewers from my past life at Dell.

Now I wait and hope that this is the opportunity for me.  I know I can make a difference on this team and I am so excited about how close this whole organization is.  I picked up on that immediately.  The VP's admin later confirmed how close this organization is.  That is rare.

So, as I wait and pray this is the job for me, I get to spend my next few weeks training the person who will be taking over my job at AMD.  They hired another contractor instead of keeping me.  I don't have very nice thoughts about all of this, so I will need to keep those to myself!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our 3rd day in Hawaii

African Tulip Tree on the Dole Plantation

We are staying on the North Shore and are about 10 minutes from Haleiwa.  This little town is a very trendy surf and swim town.  I can't wait to really scope it all out and check out the shops.  We tried a pizza place last night and today we went to a tiny hole-in-the-wall bakery that is known for their turkey sandwich.  The pizza was just okay, but those sandwiches and baked goods were really good.  We have all decided to eat out one meal a day and cook at the house the remaining meals to cut down on cost.  So far, our meal really haven't been all that expensive.

Today we went to the Dole Plantation.  It was really interesting to learn how long it takes to actually grow a pineable.  They also grow mangos, sugar cane and various plants.  It was really pretty.  Of course we had to try the pineapple ice cream.  It was good, but I don't think I would want to have it everyday.  I love my Blue Bell Milk Chocolate ice cream.  The rest of the day was spent hanging out at the house.  We are all still trying to acclimated to the time change.  It is really doing a number on me an my son.  Here are some pictures of some from our visit to Dole
FAQs on raising pineapples

Baby red pineapples

Mountain views from train on Dole Plantation

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jet Lagged and Sick Make for the Start of a Great Vacation

Whew, what a week this has been.  Somehow, I ended up working 44 hours in 3 days.  It was crazy and stressful, but I am thankful I was able to get a little OT since I won't get any type of pay for next week at all (as a contractor, I don't get paid if I don't work).  So... long hours for work, then getting up in the middle of the night (2:45am) to leave for Hawaii.  This has now put my body into a total tailspin.  It is 1am Hawaii time and 6am Texas time.  I can't sleep and I feel like I need to stand out in that busy street outside of our rental house and let them run me down.  Let me tell you, this is not a good way to start a vacation. :-(

Thoughts on Hawaii... It is BEAUTIFUL (at least what I have seen), but the traffic is HORRENDOUS.  I honestly think the traffic here is worse than Austin (I didn't think that could ever be possible)!  We are staying in the Honu Hall II house.  I would love to have a beach house like this.  It is a gorgeous house.  If you are interested in staying somewhere in the North Shore, check out this house.  My only complaint about the house is the amenities say there is AC in the house... well, there is and it is nice and cold, but it is only in main part of the house, the bedrooms and bathrooms do not have AC and it is a bit muggy and warm.  This causes one to be just a bit uncomfortable at night when one suffers from really bad night sweats (and feels "icky" all at the same time).

Update on my job hunt... I have had a flurry of activity this week with job opportunities (I am giving all my thanks, glory and praise to my most Awesome Heavenly Father for taking care of me).  I had a second interview with the small software company and met all of the employees (10 total).  WOW! These guys are just fabulous.  They made me laugh, I made them laugh... I felt that it was a successful interview, but just not quite sure that is where I'm supposed to be.

On Wednesday morning a I received a phone call from a manager at HP wanting to pre-screen me for a position for a new team that is really needing help managing their portfolio (all of their projects and the stuff that goes with it).  The gentleman that I spoke to was very impressed and passed this on to the hiring manager and I ended up having a last minute phone interview (that lasted an hour) with the hiring manager.  She wants to bring me on-site to do final interviews with their executive partners.

Later that night I get an email from a good friend who has blasted my resume out to all of her contacts (whom she has thousands), and she told me that her husband's team at HP is also re-visiting my resume and want to bring me in.  She said I should hear from them in the next few days.  This is the one that surprises me most.  The hiring manager for this team saw my resume and wanted to hire me immediately without even talking with me (that never happens to me).  My friend told me that this team brought my resume up again (with a hiring freeze recently put in place) and I should be hearing from someone on this team in the next few days.  This is the position that interests me most.  I'm also wondering if this position and the one I had the phone interview with on Wednesday evening are one in the same, but don't know that for certain.  God is definitely bringing me good, strong leads and giving me the words to be successful when talking to the managers.  I'm also thankful that I'm a computer geek and have a gazillion computers, one of them being a netbook that I was able to easily bring with me so I can stay in touch with everything that is going on with my job search.  I never use this little computer and I think I may just start carting it around since it is so small and light weight.  I have an iPad, but still struggle with how things show up on the screen.

I am now going to go have my morning quiet time since sleep is nowhere to be found.  My brain is having problems shutting down and when this happens, I know I'm up for the long haul.  So I will use this time to read my Bible and give my blessings to the Lord for all that He has given to me.

Thankfully, we have a semi quiet day today as my dad and hubby are going on an all-day deep sea fishing excursion.  I'm glad for this since I am currently awake in the middle of the night and know I will probably need a nap sometime during the day so I can get my body on Hawaii time and hopefully get rid of this cold.  I am hoping to post some pictures while I'm here in this beautiful state.  We have 2 concrete things planned for all of us that should be fun and hopefully picture worthy.  I get so caught up in what I'm seeing, I forget to take pictures until its too late (and I call myself a scrapbooker!). Until next time, Aloha.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I've Still Got It (I think)

I did it!!! I'm in my small scrap room doing the happy dances of joy!!  I figured out how to add my own blog template.  This took me several trials in photoshop and playing with the code, but it is now done.  I will still probably play with the fonts just a tad, but the hard part is complete and I got everything I wanted except for one small image that I can live without.

This past week has been full of job activity. 
  • I had one interview for a very small company to be their office manager/executive admin/benefits admin/payroll/and everything else.  They have called me back for a second interview which happens on Monday and I get to meet the entire team.  If I were to get offered the job, I would be the only female in the company, which is not a problem.  The few people I met on my first interview were awesome.  It is obvious these guys love their job and enjoy working for this company which is very encouraging.  I do have some concerns, but will wait to see what happens after tomorrow's interview.
  • I was given the name of a person at Dell and she gave me all of their open positions and told me to let her know which ones I was interested in.  I found 4 that matched my skill set and posted for them.  She in turn recommended me for all 4 positions and told me I should be hearing from the hiring managers to come in for interviews.  I would love to go back to Dell.  I worked there for over 12 years and loved it.  Unfortunately, I've been gone too long to be able to go back and get my seniority back, but that's okay.  I'm still waiting to hear back from Dell for interviews.
  • I was told by a friend that her husband gave my resume to his manager for review.  He is on a brand new team at HP and they are still hiring to build up the team.  Apparently his manager was very impressed with my credentials that she wanted it sent to HR for processing to bring me on board.  I have been told that a lot of departments at HP do this (find a good resource, bring them in to talk to them and then hire them on the spot).  I have yet to hear from HP regarding this position and just can't get excited about it because I don't want to be let down if nothing happens.
I'm leaving all of my job hunting in God's hand.  He has a plan for me and He will guide me on what I need to do.  I really want to go back to Dell or go to HP, but this small company may be where I'm supposed to be.  I'm also hoping I don't miss anything regarding job opportunities during the next 2 weeks.  I am leaving for Hawaii this week and will be gone for 10 days.  I have a small netbook that I am seriously considering bringing with me since my phone and iPad don't always get all of my emails.  I really didn't want to bring a computer, but I also don't want to take the chance of missing something important while I'm gone.  I'm even going to forward my home phone to my cell phone just to be on the safe side.  Normally when I'm on vacation, I leave all that behind me, but with the job market the way it is, I can't afford to miss an opportunity, so the netbook is getting lugged with me!

So with all the potential job activity and getting my blog template to work, I haven't really had a chance to work on any tangible crafts.  I have been very busy in my craft room, though.  I have been slowly converting all of my wood stamps (I have hundreds of them), to vinyl cling so I can use them on acrylic blocks.  This will give me quite a bit of extra space in my shelving unit.  I'm working on re-organizing everything and hopefully all of this work will give me just a bit more space.  Not too sure that's a good idea because then I'll just buy more "stuff" and fill it all up.  I tell you, I need to be part of a 12-step program!!!!

It is now time for me to go work on some more "wood stamp converting".  I also need to dig out my suitcase that is completely buried in one of my closets.  I need to measure it to make sure it isn't too big according to the airline luggage guidelines.  I don't want to have to pay extra for large, heavy luggage.  It's bad enough I have to pay $25 just to check luggage.  I'm going to see if I can cram everything in a carry-on, but I'm the ultimate girly-girl and don't think I can do it, but I'm going to try.

I am going to try and keep up with my blog while I'm in Hawaii and hopefully post some of my pictures while I'm there.

You know your getting old when...

...You struggle to decipher blog code so one can make their own template!  I have now spent the better part of two weekends looking at various free blog templates and looking at the code.  I tried creating my own template so I could have everything I liked and wanted.  Did it work?  Well... not yet!  I think I'm starting to figure it all out, but for now, I'm sticking with yet a new free template until I can get mine to work.  In the meantime, I have been able to get a little bit of crafting done, but not as much as I would like.  Thank you to all of these awesome coders providing free templates for those of us who like kewl pages.

I want to thank those of you who are now following me and every one's comments on my banners and pennants entry.  I am now following each of you as well.  I absolutely love the crafting community.  Everyone has such huge hearts, are very complimentary and have such a wealth of knowledge they love to share.

Can we say Yippee-skippee... I got the new pink frames for my imagine yesterday!  They look so much better than those gray ones.  I was playing with my imagine the other day still trying to figure it out and was looking at the sides and thought they looked like they could easily be removed, then not a few hours later, an email came out on the cricut blog saying pink frames were now available, so I jumped on that one before they sold out (woo hoo)!  Now I need to work on cutting out some vinyl bling to make my cricut just a little more personal.  Now if only the new "Black and White" cart would come back in stock, I would be one happy little camper.

I have way too many projects I want to do and just not enough time to do it.  I won't be doing too much this week, as my church is doing VBS and I'm helping out.  It will be interesting to see how they are doing the music this year as we are in 4 different locations in our town and it is all outside (can we say, wowzer, that's going to be hot! Central TX has already reached the high 90's and its still hot at 6pm).  This is a first for our church. We have had VBS at the church with only 30 minutes of outside time.  But we want more of the community kids to come out and participate, so we are going to locations that are convenient for the community.

Well, off to work on one of my many projects and hopefully get a couple of errands ran before it gets too late.  Blessings to all.