Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

I won't even go back and look at how many blog posts I have started out by saying, 
 "I have not abandoned my blog!"
 Far too many! 
And, as usual, its been far too long since I blogged. 
 I am about to change that.

First, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
 I have lots of things to post that I did-
but will save that for another day-maybe Christmas in July-past and preparing for the future one! Hmmm...not a bad idea!  

Second, I hope and pray that everyone will have a HAPPY, HEALTHY and BLESSED 2015.
While last year held a lot of heartache for me 
with the loss of two of our furbabies and a number of other significant trials, 
I will say that, even with each challenge, loss and heartbreak...
from those scars came new insight, healing and yes, even growth. 
 One of my favorite Christian songs asks God to
 "heal the wounds but leave the scars" so we'll know how far we've come...
'nough said.

Some of you I know tune into my blog for my CAT TAILS -- er, TALES...
the littles (aka Sir Stirling and Sir Sebastian) are six months old give or take--
and FULL of themselves!  
This is what happens when two littles 
get to wrestling in a papasan chair...they spun the whole thing off the base!  
If you look close in the far upper left corner you can catch a glimpse of culprit #1...
aka Sir Sebastian...


and in this photo culprit # 2 aka Sir Stirling 
(who was, most likely, the instigator in the whole incident) surveys the crime scene...!

They keep me laughing with their antics 
and I have plenty more of those to share as well...
but let's get to some crafting because I have some great things I want to share...
at least I think they are!

Flylady would be proud of me because not only are ALL my Christmas thank you notes MADE
but they are signed, sealed AND MAILED!
This is what I came up with.
Yes, that is a doily, yes, those are SU mini pearls 
and the sentiment is SU also as is the now-retired dp.
The bird is a Cricut cut with a teardrop punch for the wing
(since I broke my SU bird punch (unusual as SU punches are awesome)
 and it flew to Theresa's for repairs...and we've both forgotten about it!).
The leaf is a Martha Stewart punch---that has also died (which is typical for her punches).
I did some of these in blue and some in a burgundy with CTMH retired Bella Vie papers.
Yes, I know the colors aren't a purr-fect match but well, close enough to suit me!
Trying to use what I have on hand--so I will have a legitimate excuse to buy more!

I have to confess--that stamp is awesome and I've had it for ages---
and it had never touched an ink pad!  
It's a new favorite for me now that it has!

And I just realized...that I didn't take pics of the thank you notes I did for the preschoolers
who gave me gifts.
I may try and peel open an enve to post those or just make one or two more
since I have not cleaned up my supplies yet.
It involved lots of color, and crayon stamps---they were cute, too, but I am biased and bragging.
Isn't that what a blog is for?!

Ok.
So, something about the quickly approaching New Year every year
puts me in a clean it up, throw it out, organize it frenzy.
This year was no exception.
I was focusing on my magic kingdom FIRST for a change!
And I came across all my bits and pieces of punched items,
die cut items, parts I didn't use but well, just couldn't part with.
How to organize them so I actually might USE THEM
instead of just moving them around the room?
Well-one trip to Wal-Mart and one box of 
COMPUTER CD ENVELOPES
and some tape later...
and this is what I have...

I just put each item in its own sleeve and taped a sample on the outside!
I "filed" them in the basket in categories (flowers, shapes, Halloween, etc.)
I have not (yet!) made dividers and, ideally, I would like to have something with a lid on it to store them in as I can see myself turning the whole basket upside-down and having a grand mess!

As I made/cut things-I tried to remember to write the size or dimensions on it 
in case I want to make more!
And yes, I just wrote on them-my OCD in me wanted a pretty printed label-
but I LET IT GO and did it the quick and easy way--
maybe someday my computer and printer will be in the craft room together with my other tools!

This has been super super handy in the last few days!
FYI-if you try this---get TWO boxes of cd enves--they even make a heavy-duty brown chipboard type enve that I really liked-these were cheaper-I just should have gotten more!
A few of my cuts...were too big for the envelopes--and I will have to deal with that...
I am thinking one of the long accordion hard-plastic envelopes would work for those.

I did not take a picture of the organizing of the embellishments like the strips of
adhesive backed crystals and pearls---but that is easy to imagine.
I simply got snack size Ziplocks,
put like things together,
printed a label and stuck it on the upper right-hand corner of the bag.
These, too, are organized into another green basket and labeled-
and as the bags are slippery-I can see them going everywhere as well.
Next trip to the $ Store I think I will pick up a couple of coupon holders
to slip the bags into and then put them in the basket.
I *think* that will work!

Ok.
Another crafty tip or trick that I KNOW WORKS! 
I have a few rolls of WASHI TAPE.
Really-only 6-7. For now.
And I've been looking for a dispenser/storage idea for those as well
so they were sitting out on my worktable.
I went to cut some things on my not-so-sticky Cricut mat
when the paper went cattywhampus and slid off the mat
while it was still cutting.
Oh so not good!
What to do?
Of course, I was in a hurry---
and I saw the washi tape sitting there so I grabbed it,
tore off two small pieces
and taped the very edge of my cardstock to the Cricut mat.
I reloaded it and presto! Perfectly adhered paper to the mat
and the cutouts I wanted!
WOW!
And the good news is---it peels off easily without leaving a mark or tear on the paper!
Guess you know what I will be scouring the clearance shelves for-the ugly ones that are cheap, cheap, cheap until I have time to learn how to and try to resticky my mats now that my warranty is up.
(and yes, I have tried painter's tape-but it stuck worse than it helped...).

But then---that's not all with the WASHI TAPE!!!
THERE'S ANOTHER TRICK UP MY SLEEVE!!!
I did all those pretty notecards---even stamped a doily border on the enve
and put them inside and tried to seal them.
No go.
The enve barely stuck shut.
DAGNABBIT!
Now what to do?
Well, WASHI TAPE to the rescue again.
While what I had on hand didn't perfectly match my card and enve--
it was ok and it worked like a charm!
I am now IN LOVE WITH WASHI TAPE!!!!
My collection is going to grow-and fast!
SOOOO many pretty ones out there.

Whew! 
Long post.
The blog needs updating, there's lots more to share and tell,
thank you, computer, for behaving long enough to let me get this post done.

2015 is going to be an interesting year.
So far, I have managed to maintain the changes I hope to make
and, in the days to come, hope to add to that list.
NOT beating myself up if I fail or don't live up to my own expectations,
just starting over where ever I am.

Stay tuned.
I will be back soon!
In the meantime,
happy stamping and scrapping!

Blessings,















Saturday, October 18, 2014

The good.... the bad....but no ugly

At least I hope not.
 
Ok.
I had no idea I hadn't posted in quite sometime.
So let's get the bad out of the way first.

We lost our Bad Cat
(who was misnamed by my husband)
two weeks ago this past Wednesday.
He had a number of health issues
and I suspect
that cancer had taken over
just as it had with Ms. Dolly
(who we lost earlier this year).
He spent his last night cuddled in my arms
snuggled in his coat that he loved.
In his last week
he caught a cicada bug and even climbed out on our roof!
In the last few months
he spent many long hours in the sun
and got to eat anything he wanted whenever he wanted
with people watching (he loved that!).
He was the most vocal of our kitties
and his purring me to sleep when insomnia takes over
is greatly missed.
I became a cat person after meeting him.
I hope he is chasing bugs, sleeping in the sun
and enjoying all the fish he can eat
over the Rainbow Bridge.
 
Ok.
Before I short out the computer with the waterworks...
I have gotten  few things done in the magic kingdom!
I finished the "Boo" treat boxes for the preschool kids.
They are wrapped and ready to go.
Then I made this treat holder for a very special girly girl
I saw something similar on Pinterest-and ordered it from The Cutting Café.
I then realized that I had almost the very same image (skull and bones)
on my CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy or was it Artbooking  cartridge!
DUH!
I simply cut it out, cut the bones in half and attached them to either side of the skull.

Glittered the bones and added a hair bow! I thought about fake eyelashes but nixed that
as I really didn't want to drive across the bridge
and sometimes less is better!

I attached a box to hold the treats and simply added another skull shape on the backside
(minus the eyes, etc. of course!)
So that one is filled with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
 
Next up
I couldn't pass up a cute die even if was from---gasp--Tim Holtz.
And I wanted to do something for the vets office
so I cut out French fry boxes at 7 1/2" using the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge
out of kraft cardstock
and then cut tons of the Tim Holtz die thingy.
This is what I put together
(pardon the poor photography-I will repost better ones later)

I cut the ff box out of kraft paper-
then wrapped it with a band of the the orange and white polka dot paper
with a band of black crimped cardstock under it.
Now-here was my conundrum--
how to wrap it---and it isn't flat---or "squared"---?
I solved it by putting the middle of the band on the middle BACK of the ff box--
and wrapping the ends to the front-which then is covered by the decorative tag!
The ends angle up a bit--and I just trimmed them off!
The tree, fence, kids, trick or treat and bat
are all from the Tim Holtz die.
The mini pumpkin I hand made. All 14 of them...
using 7 circles each...and it's probably about 1/2" circle--if that!
I cut a strip of paper, ran it through the Xyron, and then punched the circles.
Peeling them off the Xyron was another challenge---but I won.
I used a piece of twine for the stem and a piece of fuzzy yarn to mimick the leaves.

The "trick or treat embellishment was fun!
I coated a circle with Martha Stewart's glow in the dark glitter,
hot glued a coffee stirrer to it, and then covered that with another circle
(to make the back pretty).
I added the bat and the trick or treat.
The Cat--the ADORABLE BLACK CAT
is from a Penny Black stamp and die set...
and since we have a BLACK CAT...well...'nough said!





The ff box at 7 1/2" is big enough to nicely hold three Ghiardelli chocolates.
I am half way through putting these together.
The hard part is keeping myself from eating the fillers!
Especially the Dark Chocolate Salted Carmel!!!
 I will put a note in each one that there are no tricks-just TREATS
for treating us so well!  And they do!
 
Let's end on some more fun notes---
here's Poppa Cat playing with one of my catnip fish---
and bunching up the rug in the process...

 
Here is Sir Sebastian in the craft room....

 
And Sir Stirling....who when I glanced over my shoulder and first saw him in the basket...
made me think it was Bad Cat....

 
I had considered naming them....Poppa Cat's Shadow and Bad Cat's Shadow....
as they really do look alike...but decided they needed their own identities.
 
And here's the black cat--aka Inky aka Turbo Kitty
(that's a shelf above the toilet in my bathroom!)

 
 Ms. Dolly and Bad Cat were his real buddies...
so I am trying to give him some extra attention.
He's intimidated by the high energy of the kittens
and the fact that there are TWO vs. one...
Poppa Cat has taken to them--
and often meows for them to come and play with him!
 
Well
I have rambled on enough!
Better go finish the treats.
Next up will be a frame for a very special baby girl
using a Julie Nutting doll stamp and some really pretty
chalkboard papers with pinks and reds and whites...!
 
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping.
 





Sunday, September 28, 2014

A treat--AND a few tricks!

Long time, no time, no post!
Sorry!
Let's fix that now!

 
I wanted to get a head start
on the Halloween treats for the preschoolers
before life got crazier
and I got further behind.
I had perused Pinterest and other sites for hours...
and decided to fall back on this pattern
that I used last year for their back to school treats
only with a Halloween theme...
 
 
It is super easy, super cheap ( both important when doing 25+ teachers
and if I smoosh the bag a little, holds an M&M Fun Size bag of M&M's.
My go-to treat for them.
 
 
 
 
 
Now.
I did not create this--I cased it--and saw it on Pinterest the other night
and pinned it (I thought) as I wasn't sure I still had my pattern-
and then it wasn't there when I went looking for it.
I am sure I gave credit to the creator when I used it last fall---
so please check August or September 2013 for that.
I did-find my pattern (I had actually put it where it belonged...!)
and went to work.
One 8 1/2"x11" sheet makes two treat holders.
So cut your paper in half  so you have 8 1/2"x5 1/2" pieces.
Now take your Simply Scored board and place the 8 1/2" side along the top edge like so
 
 
and when you realize that you have lost all the little markers for the Score Board...
pull out some mini brads.
Open up on prong so that it will lay on the board and mark the score spot
while you slip the other prong into the hole and fold it back to secure it!
Instant replacement markers.
Score the 8 1/2" side at 1 3/4", 3 1/2", 5" and 6 3/4".
 
Now turn your paper so the 5 1/2" side is along the top and score at 1 1/2" and 4".
 
 
 
Once I have all my lines scored,
I like to line up the short ends
and punch the middle section close to the edge
and centered in the section
with SU's small oval punch.
 
This creates the hole for the handles.
 
 
Now you need to do some cutting...
the red lines on my diagram indicate which score lines you need to cut and how far...
 
 
A tip from the person who created this (and she had a video tutorial!)
was to have the scored lines in mountain position when you cut-
that way your scissors sit right in that groove nicely...
 
If you want to stamp on your project-
now is the time to do it!
I stamped on the backside of my box.
Remember that the FRONT and BACK of the box
will  be the two panels directly below the handles.
Ok. Time to assemble.
Fold along all the score lines.
Put a glue dot or some tape along the two full-sized flaps on either side of the handle.
You only need a single glue dot or a small strip of tape.
In my picture, that would be the flaps on the right-hand side.
That's all you need-the folds help hold it together-that one spot/strip of tape secures it!
 
Now,
hold the bottom of the treat holder in your dominant hand
and fold the two side panels up.
Fold the sides with the shorter flaps to the center
over the side flaps
and then fold the flaps with the tape to the center over all the flaps.
A tip/trick is---
You want to hold your treat holder snugly with your dominant hand
and use your other hand to fold and tuck if that makes sense.
When done it should look like this:
 
 
 
I want to get some orange tissue paper to add to the inside of this so it
and my treat will stick up a little bit.
I can't do too scary for preschoolers
but I wanted to play with my Papertrey Ink spider webs.
The to/from tag I created in Publisher and punched out
popped up on a pop dot onto the black cardstock and
hot glued it to my treat holder.
Yes, a little delicate for little hands but that's ok.
They are more concerned about the candy then anything!
 
Don't let the steps intimidate you.
This is BY FAR one of the easiest things to put together-
size-wise, cost-wise, time wise.
This has been a fun little project that I've been able to cut all the pieces for
and then take my time assembling.
 
In between trips to the vet.
The elderly senior cat
 
aka BAD CAT (who is an extremely good patient for the vet and us!)
was uncomfortable.
Moreso than normal.
Turns out he was a constipated kitty.
A VERY constipated kitty.
Which led to the opposite problem.
So Momma has been doing vet runs,
cleaning up runs, and lots of laundry.
Including washing the cat--or at least the back-half of the cat.
Several times now.
Hopefully we are on the up side of things.
 
Two things to add here-
1) I love the Papertrey Ink spider web dies-their shipping charges ($ 7)  not so much.
Outrageous for three small dies that would fit in a small padded enve.
They came....in a huge box.
Overkill and a rip off on shipping, IMHO.
 
2) I LOVE the cat stroller!!!
I cannot say enough good things about that!
It has been a lifesaver for me---as it has rained all week---
and my fibro has flared....and running kitty back and forth
well, without the stroller I wouldn't have made it.
I got it from Amazon from a company called Discount Ramps.
It is reasonably priced (CHEAP); excellent quality; easy to assemble/use...
that carrier comes off the base to use alone-and you can take the plastic panels
out and even store it flat!
It provides plenty of protection from the weather-and has plenty of ventilation
(that top blue panel rolls back to reveal mesh opening-and the top zips down
the sides and the back of the carrier as well!
The base it light weight but STURDY with plenty of storage.
Shipping was free (I think).
Bad Cat LOVES it!
More importantly, I LOVE IT.
Great company to deal with!
 
Oh-and before I go--
here's the latest "toy" the kittens discovered:
 
Do you know what it is?
I am sure any lady whose ever cleaned a toilet
and cussed at the man who created them/designed them they way they did
knows!
It's that little button thingy that covers the bolt
that NEVER stays on!
So the kittens discovered!


Off to check on my patient
and to change laundry around.
Hope you'll try this project.
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!
Blessings,


 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Long Time No Posts...

Sorry about that!
But today I do have a post!
 
I got my inspiration from


and since I am giving her credit--I hope she won't mind I posted her beautiful work...
Hilary3

I just fell in love love love with these!
 
And then there was another cute project on Pinterest that I fell in love with
that used these adorable spider webs from Papertrey Ink dies.
So I ordered a few new toys...
and I justified it that I would share them with my friend Theresa
so I threw together a small bag to stash some of the die cuts in for her.
It looked something like this---
 
So first up is my bag....my pics don`t do them justice...
here`s the front...
and here`s a tip I remembered after the fact...
when popping up colored items--like this black cutout
(Sizzix-Tim Holtz-I know-I really don`t like TH---but I loved the die....sigh)
color the edges of the pop dots with a similar colored Sharpie-
then they won`t show as much!
The moon I covered with Martha Stewarts Glow in the Dark
glitter
(I won`t buy MS punches either...!)
Here`s the side...

 again with the TH Sizzix die...
 the back

The web is from the Papertrey Ink dies-
you get three different sizes...this is the medium sized one.
The spider is cut from a CTMH Artiste cartridge I think---
it may be CTMH Art Philosophy-but I think it`s Artiste...

 and the other side...

I know someone may ask about the size of the bag...

the dp is old CTMH--Hooligans---long retired.
And washi tape along the top.
 
Ok.
So here was my other project.
I am going to be giving a little talk about
spiders and spider webs
as this guy has been in residence on our deck...
he (or she) is a writing spider.
No, I am not spider expert...
I am using this to show how we can learn
to not get caught up in ``webs``
of not so good things...
and I will be giving out some readings from some devotional books
so I made a little bookmark type thing
that the web and spider slide up and down on...
here`s one I made just with dp paper layered on cardstock
I used the middle sized die, cut a narrow enough strip
that it would slide under and then back over
the edges of the web...
12 inches long, scored at 6 inches...

 slid it into the web....
 stuck a little adhesive on the inside end of the cardstock

 and folded it in half so the web is ``sandwiched`` inbetween
and slides up and down but won`t slide off!
The bow is made out of....dental floss.
Yep.
Dental floss!
I love the look of Baker`s Twine
but I cannot jump on every  new bandwagon
and purchase every new thing out there...
trust me-it worked fine
except you want unwaxed dental floss...
the waxed was a MESS!
 
Another project or two just popped into my mind
using my web dies---
I love the Papertrey Ink dies-they work well.
They came in a timely manner.
The shipping charges---not so great.
 Three little flat metal dies....
came in a priority mail BOX at least 8`` x 8``
with two wads of paper stuffed on top of the dies
sitting on the bottom of the box.
REALLY
a padded priority ENVELOPE would have been sufficient.
And a heck of a lot cheaper.
End of rant.
 
Here`s what the babies are up to...
Sir Stirling and his favorite toy...

and Sir Sebastian with his...which is an orange pipe cleaner.
No clue-so don`t ask! lol!

 
And this is what I found the other day when I went to sweep the floor...

it is the head-just the head--of a `whittle fuzzy (TOY) mouse``!
No clue where the rest of him is...
other than...
that may be why Sir Sebastian had some tummy issues a week or so ago!
Momma also got a cat stroller...
 

from Discount Ramps via Amazon.
It is light weight-but sturdy!!!
That carrier...detaches from the stroller base by unclipping the four side bands.
The base collapses not as small as an umbrella stroller but not much bigger either!
The carrier also has two hard plastic inserts that hold the sides up while in use
but slip out so you can store it flat!
Using the ``cover`` is optional.
And there are pockets on the carrier itself
and a good sized storage area underneath
(it will hold a case of the food the I get from the vet!)
so our vet trips are going to be a whole lot easier on Momma!
We did take Poppa Cat for a walk around the block to try it out.
Can`t say he was too impressed however...
the next night when I teasingly put him in the carrier-he didn`t try to jump out!
This is a high-quality product, it came in half the time they said it would
and I believe it was FREE SHIPPING!
I can`t say enough good things about it!
Well worth the price!
 
Ok.
Off to maybe try the other projects that popped into my head.
More webs coming up!
 
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!
Blessings,