Saturday, April 18, 2015

Messy Magic Kingdom + More Stuff = Time to Organize!

Rain, rain go away---
but at least Sharon won't go out to play!
 
Another rainy day!
But I can't walk through my much-neglected Magic Kingdom
aka my craft room...
and the magic wand still isn't working...
so I'd better get to it.
 
Yesterday I got a new stamp set in the mail.
I saw some cute cards on a blog
and wanted to be able to make them.
Now it's time to put the stamps away
until I do---
but how will I remember where to find the instructions
whenever creative mojo strikes and time allows?
Chances are---I won't
and I will spend precious crafting time
just trying to track down the image and measurements.
We've all done it.
 
Since I was filing away some more digital stamps
from last week's project-
I had a great idea!
Why not...
take the time NOW while I KNOW where the images and measurements are
on the blog I follow
and print out a pic
put the directions on the back of that-
and put it away with the stamp set?!
 
Brilliant!
I know.
It just took a gazillion years to
think of it!
Lol!
 
I may "flutter" with the Flylady system but boy,
sometimes I SOAR like with this idea.
Actually
I got two new stamp sets-
so off to do the other one the same way
before I get back to putting stuff away.
 
Next I need to organize my Copic refills.
I've outgrown the box I had them in
and I want to be sure they are stored upright.
 
Stay tuned.
Rain + raging Fibromyalgia = lots of breaks inbetween work
(which Flylady also advocates!)
 
Until next time,
Happy stamping and scrapping!
Blessings,
 




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Organizing Digital Stamps: A Day Late and SEVEN POUNDS + later...!


So I promised a post yesterday
regarding organizing (some of) my digital stamps.
 
Two days
six flash drives
one external hard drive
a ton of plain white cardstock
5 packages of page protectors
one package of dividers
and one 2" Avery one-touch notebook later...
 
And my biggest collection is organized!!!
And it weighs a whopping 7.5 pounds!
And I learned---a lot!
 
For years I've used numerous flash drives
and then an expansion drive-
had computers crash (the cat threw up on the open laptop...)
and most of my data saved...
so I had files everywhere
and not always organized in the best manner.
At first I thought "gee, I will just log into the site
and print off a list of my orders...."
Well, there was only about 1/16 of them listed
and most of them had expired so that was useless.
(Insert note: anyone considering a Kindle
Amazon's site TELLS YOU if you've already ordered a book!)
So I started searching my laptop and flash and other drives.
And saving files.
But when I went back to get them---
well, some were there, some weren't.
More searching.
Some I had "hard copies" of---so that helped fill in a few gaps.
I then spent the time and went through the artist's entire site
image by image,
and rechecked my drives to fill in even more gaps!
I think I recovered all but 3.
And losing 3 out of 90+ is a darn good average!

So, from here on out-
THIS IS HOW I WILL ORGANIZE MY DIGITAL STAMPS!
This is what will work for me.
Take what you like and leave the rest!
Each image has it's own page.
The name of the image is at the top
(I pretty well know what image is by who-
but if I were uncertain, I would have included that as well!)
and then I sized it to what I am most apt to use--
and copied it three times on the page.
 
 
I LOVE pop dots and it typically takes three images
to do the layering I like to do.
I also included a colored image
(if not by me then one I liked/found--I can color-
but I can't get the "shadow" stuff down--
so I like to have something to go by)
I then put this sheet in a plastic page protector.
That way when I want an image,
I can pull out that MASTER worksheet,
copy it and go!

I got this binder
and at first I didn't think I would like it.
But after a few seconds, I fell in love love love!
My fibromyalgia is raging today--


and this baby just has that one little lever
and opens in a heartbeat.
NO PINCHED FINGERS-NO PRODDING AND PRYING!
This is NOT your average notebook of yesteryear!
I don't get paid by Avery-but I should!
 
I put all my things together one way-decided that wouldn't do-
so reorganized them all a second time.
(Actually, a 3rd-as Poppa Cat decided he was going to "help"
and they slid every which way!)
I gave that lever a workout
but had it been a regular notebook-
no way I could have handled it today!



 
Once I got all my MASTER SHEET IMAGES together
and divided in a way that suits my pea brain
I then gathered the odds and ends of images I had already printed
in days gone by.
Each like image went into its own page protector as well
and I simply filed that in after the MASTER IMAGE SHEET.

 
So now I can go pick an image,
if there's a copy ready to go just pull it out and get craftin'!
It's not a big deal if there isn't---
I just pull out the MASTER IMAGE SHEET
make my copy
(sizing it as needed)
and start coloring!
I have also kept/printed copies of variations on the images
I've seen and liked-color combos to try, embellishments, etc-
and stashed that in there, too, for future FYI)
 
This book was HEAVY!!!!
I had to weigh it---
a whopping 7.5 pounds!!!
I may have to divide it out into smaller books-
but at least I KNOW where all that brand images are!
This took hours and hours---
and even after saving it three times
in three different places
before I closed my file
I lost the last 25 pages (on the computer?!)
BUT I HAVE THE HARD COPIES NOW!
 
Only 4-5 more artists digi's to go!
Lol.
Not nearly as many tho-thank goodness!
 
I am just going to get in the habit of doing this
each and every time I order a stamp.
Be forewarned-
if your computer crashes-
or the time frame "expires"
or the artist retires the image
the artist has no obligation to replace your lost image.
Some are nice-and will.
Others-not so much.
I also found that I was able to pull up about 3 different sites
for the same artist
and saw different stamps on each one---?!
And the organization by catagories
wasn't consistent between the three...!
So having the hard copy-or the external hard drive--
CYA (cover your ART my friend!)
 
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping.
Blessings,



Friday, April 10, 2015

A Whole Crop of Thank You's and Washi Tape: it's not just for crafting!

Hi there!
I have a lot of pictures today and a lot to share!
So grab your fav beverage and settle in for a few....!
 
First, I will give credit where credit it due...
the images used in today's cards are from
Mo's Digital Pencil.
The idea (technique) for today's card was cased from
 
My pics look dark in Blogger-no clue why....

 
I needed thank you notes and not 5 minutes after I thought,
"Gee, what am I going to make?"
I saw Dawn's post and was stunned!!!
WOWZERS!
This was soooo cool!
And I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do!
I love this image from  Mo...

and it has nothing  to do with the fact that
there's a CAT in the chair with her...hidden by the flap!
 
The other image I wanted to use was Mo's "shucks"
It just called out SWEET corn to me!

 
And since my birthday gift to myself
were some new Copic colors-and they came the same day--
sitting a coloring was a good way to continue to celebrate!






 
 
In case you are wondering how I did the chair---
I put the image in Publisher and cropped out all but the chair.
Then I duplicated it on the page x 6
cut my dp to 8 1/2x11" and ran it through.
I repeated the process with just the girl and the cat
(although A LOT more of them fit on one piece of cardstock!)
and then fussy cut it all.
Of course I popped it all up!
I want to try adding some mini mini bows to her pigtails next time!

 



 

 
So!
Those are my cards!
 
On to new unexpected uses for Washi Tape!
Poppa Cat as you know if you've followed my blog
has had a number of health issues
and we are still fine-tuning all his medicines
and the pharmacy we had been using closed
so that changed things up as well.
So now I have two almost identical bottles
and two identical syringes
and of course each have different meds and dosages.
Not wanting to confuse myself-
and that is so easy to do lately---
oh-and one is 1x a day
and the other 2x a day....!
when I needed a solution I headed for the craft room.
One med is super oily
and the numbers soon rub off of the syringe.
I had used a piece of duct tape to mark the dose
on the old syringe---
so why not try some WASHI TAPE
for the new ones?!
The AM med (1x a day) got bright yellow
(sunrise--it will  help when my eyes aren't quite open
and coffee hasn't had time to kick in!)
and the nighttime med got black w/white polka dots
at the dose line
(since it gets dark at night---)
along with the yellow above it
(since he gets it 2x a day)
 
 
So---we'll see how the crafty nurse does with med rounds
with washi-tape coded syringes!
Lol!
Last week-end I was home alone
and med duty fell to me alone.
Have you ever tried to pill a cat?
Have you ever tried to pill a cat followed by
doses of liquid medicine?
I have my technique down pat!
I take a large, heavy towel
and wrap the cat up snuggly in it
so just his head is sticking out
(you need to have those paws covered-trust me!)
Next I sit down with my legs spread open,
place the towel-wrapped cat with his butt up against my body,
head facing my feet.
Then I wrap my legs around the front of him
so he is in a secure hold-with my legs!
I am right-handed, so now I get his head into the crook of my
left arm,
facing semi-forward and semi toward the right.
This gives me the advantage of prying the bottom jaw open
with my left hand and the pill-popper and/or syringe
while I shove the medicine in with my right hand.
Repeat the above process as often as necessary.
Preceeding  said process with a treat-
followed by more treats after the process
(providing there has not been any blood shed)
is highly recommended.
Now---it's not as hard as it sounds.
We had Bad Cat to practice on before Poppa Cat
so I feel like I am a cat-wrangling expert!
Hey, is that a category in the Olympics?!

Tomorrow
I will post my tale of my digital stamp organization.
So stay tuned.
 
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!
Blessings,

 


 

Monday, April 6, 2015

O Happy Day!


Happy Belated Easter!
 
Not only was it Easter week-end
but I also celebrated a milestone birthday
on Friday.
Can't believe I am that old young!
Lol!
And just remembered TODAY
that I was going to blow bubbles that day-
and forgot!!!
Lol!
Oh well-add it to today's list!
 
Easter.
I typically go to our local sunrise service
but I went to bed with either allergies/cold/both and...
and decided being out in the cold
with the wind and water and pollen
were not in my best interest
even tho I was awake in plenty of time.
I contemplated the significance of the day
in the comfort of my covers!
 
When I did go to church
I parked in my usual spot under some trees.
I stepped out from under the tree cover to cross the street
and looked up into the clear crisp crystal blue sky
and saw something free-floating down.
Not a bird in sight
nothing it could have fallen from
except the sky.
My first thought was,
"is that a feather?"
then
"Or a piece of plastic?"
But when it landed
and I walked over to it
it was pristine white feather.
Now Psalm 91 is one of my favorites-
it talks of how God will protect us
we will be covered by His wings...
it was given to me at a particularly difficult time in my life
and I found a lot of comfort and reassurance in it
so much so
that when we built our new sanctuary
and the foundation had been laid
everyone (that wanted to) was given a Sharpie marker
and told to write their favorite Scripture on the cement.
Even tho it was carpeted over
we KNOW we are standing on His promises-literally!
I know exactly where mine is!
Going through another difficult time now
and I guess God wanted me to be reminded
that He has this!
I am indeed under His wings and care...

Not sure why that verse is all blurry---but it says....
"He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty....
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge..."
Psalm 91:1, 3 (NIV)
 
 
I was "home alone" this week-end
well, other than the 5 cats...!
And I spent Friday hanging out with my friend Theresa
and her husband Bob
at a local craft show she was a vendor at
and she gave me a beautiful necklace with a charm that says
"In Christ alone my hope is found".
Pretty aqua color-I will post a pic later on.
I got a free Tropical Smoothie-my fav/only one I've tried! - is Kiwi Quencher
and then enjoyed a quiet evening
and some coconut wine said friend's husband made!
Yum!
 
Speaking of YUM
I tried a new recipe last night-
crock pot - super simple
and HEAVENLY delicious!
Crock Pot Chick Burrito Bowl
I did cut back a little on the chili powder
as I just like a little kick
and then after I melted the cheese on top
I added sour cream and guacamole.
OHMYGOSHISTHISGOOOD!
And so easy to do-and easy clean up...
my kind of cooking!
 
Backing up a bit---Saturday I made a birthday card
for a special girl turning teen-ager!
My friends I mentioned earlier-Theresa and Bob-
it is Theresa's neice.
And at the top of her birthday wish list
were Copic markers.
Well, gee, some new colors of those were MY birthday gift to myself!
So I fully understood her desire!
I told Theresa I wanted to give Jackie 3 markers to help with her collection.
Back when I was first getting started in stamping
my husband was ill, money was tighter than tight
and a gal who owned the local (and I mean on our Island!) stamp store
took pity on me and blessed me with tons of stamps
as she went out of business and moved.
I have never forgotten that act of kindness
and this was one way to pay it forward.
I wanted something with a  "wish" look in it-
not too baby-ish but not over the top trampy as the other extreme
sometimes look
and I think I found the happy medium.
Just as I was putting the last finishing touches on---
I managed to get a glue glob right where that orange banner piece is.
Hence the banner!
Oh well-it covered it and saved my image!
 

Everyone needs a little sparkle---

so I dusted her wings and wand with
hollographic embossing powder.
Oh-my trick here?
For whatever reason the pen I have
that is supposed to lay down clear embossing fluid
leaves a distinct blue effect and smears my colors.
So I use a q-tip and just roll it over my Versamark pad
and then dab it on the area I want to emboss.
I am not the greatest at shadows and colors---
but I am learning.
And growing my Copic stash as well
(of course my order arrived after I did her card! Lol!)
Oozak offers excellent customer service and free shipping
on orders over $ 50.00.
LOG IN to get the best deals when you order.
 
I am off today (Monday)
and headed to my craft room
to clean and make some cards
with the images I colored last night
and a cute z-flap card that I found
on Dawn's Stamping Studio
so stay tuned!
 
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!
Blessings,



Friday, April 3, 2015

Thank You...whoever you are!


 
So last week I was in a meeting
and it was mentioned that two ladies from another group
had volunteered to do something that would benefit our group and,
before I knew it, I had opened my mouth and out popped,
"Oh! I will be glad to make two thank you cards for them"
and they jumped on it! Lol!
Well,
I didn't anticipate
how hard it is to make two cards
(really-I've done this for YEARS....)
for people you don't know.
At all.
Zip. Nada. Zippo.
No favorite colors, no likes/dislikes...sigh.
I spent hours on Pinterest and blogs
and a few more in my craft room
with a ton of "I really don't like that, either" cards.
Until one morning
1/2 hour before work...
I came up with this idea...


and was happy, happy happy!
I love this aqua color (that's my work counter at my office-notice
the similarity in color choices! I think it's called "wading pool")

The "thanks" is stamped with Staz-on on vellum
and popped up with pop dots (of course)
The dp behind the thanks is from a small pad I picked up at Hobby Lobby
and love!
The floral band is washi tape.
The thanks and light aqua ribbon is Stampin' Up
and I ran out of the ribbon so had to substitute on the second card.

 
I liked the slightly off-center and then the three little sparkles.
Hope the group-and the two recipients-like them!
 
Well, today is a be-nice-to-me day.
It's my birthday!
I am planning on doing nothing I absolutely do not want to do!
A few chores have to be done but beyond that---
it's my day to do as I please!
A meeting (I enjoy), my friend Theresa has a beautiful day
for a local craft show so I will go see her booth and poke around
at the competition (really, there isn't any!)
sort some things I want/need to,
maybe order a (gluten-free) pizza
and even go see a movie...
who knows!
Hoping my order of Copics shows up from Oozak!
Hmmm! Those would be fun to play with, too!
Oh.
and blow some bubbles.
A must!
 
 
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!
Blessings,



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Matthew!

My "nephew's" birthday is coming up
and since it's pretty safe to assume
that a 20-something year old Marine
isn't going to be perusing his "Aunt's" papercrafting blog,
I wanted to get it posted before I post it---
translate: put in tomorrow's mail!
 
I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest
and I cased this idea from Michelle's blog

Big Day Easel-card by Michelle Last
Isn't it just ADORABLE?!!!!
I love it!
 
Typical of me, I wanted it bigger---
and found I had some real challenges in making it so-
but this is what I came up with---after 5 HOURS....!


 


 

 
Ok---so every things that could go wrong did--in the first two!
I took a break and came back to it.
 
First I made my base to fit the larger size enve
I had to piece the pieces together at the top.
I simply measured and took out a chunk in the center
 to make the legs.
By making it bigger,
I soon discovered that not only could I not emboss it
but the cardstock I was using was too lightweight
and it just tore it up (yes, just by embossing-go figure.)
So---
I had to cut extra paper down, fold it,
and then emboss TWO LAYERS
at once.
I then cut this down into strips
and pieced it over the ``chalkboard`` after color dusting it.
I won`t even go into how many flubs I had
 trying to stamp the chalkboards!
Tons.
I added the brads and the other embellishments
and realized I needed to cover up the brad ends
and realized it needed reinforcing to stand up!
(Again with that cheap  cardstock that tore
 just being embossed!)
I cut another set of papers just like I did the original base
and layered it inside.
Only then did I discover
it was still flopping open and wouldn`t stand.
Breathing.
I carefully peeled away the sides and legs,
hot glued popsickle sticks at the legs
and added ribbon to the sides
and then taped the inside layer back down.
After I had attached the balloons (with hot glue)
I realized I wanted them on the side opposite the banner.
Too late, too bad.  He`ll never know!
And today I tried to fit it in my envelope.
Of course...the balloons stick up and it won`t.
How did I do my balloons you might wonder.
They are an old Close to My Heart set
with a matching Cricut cut.
I did two of each color, put a pop dot in the center
and one end of the string before attaching the other.
I wrapped twine around the base of the balloon
and dabbed a bit of
hot glue on it and then attached them to the sign board.
 
5 hours, one card.
Whew.
Is he worth it---no question!
If you saw on the news or read about it on the internet
he was one of the Marines credited with saving another Marine`s life
when he had been bitten by a snake.
They carried him 2 and a half hours out
until help could get to them.
Yep.
I am proud of that young man!
Our birthdays are only a few days apart, too!
 
Well, now I have to make a couple of cards
for people I do not know at all.
Is that hard for you to do...
I am really struggling with it--and not sure why...
Until next time,
Happy stamping and scrapping.
Blessings,