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.)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

When Life Hands You Lemons....Hide in the Craft Room and Make...

whatever your heart desires!
Our "local" (1 hr. away!) Hobby Lobby
has a number of signs
saying when life hands you lemons
make lemonade---
and one of these days I am going to pick (pun intended!)
one to bring home!
Life's been crazy (understatement!)
so last week I hid out and made St. Patrick's Day cards and they were a real hit...
and when I got done with those...
I used that same Lawn Fawn stamp set and started making
lightening bugs...lots and lots of lightening bugs...
I love love love them!
I hand-stamped, hand-colored and yes,
one by one, lined up the die and hand-cranked the Big Shot
to cut them out.
Then I used MS glow in the dark glitter
and glittered every single little butt!
More to cut-but saving that for another day!
Do not waste your time and pop dots or foam tape trying to make a leak-proof shaker card.
Just die cut a piece (or two) of fun foam and use that instead (details in the video)!
The die cut right through the fun foam (one layer at a time) just like a hot knife through butter.
I used fun foam glue to hold my two layers together and it worked perfectly!
NO LEAKS! And I even added micro beads to my card!
Moving on.
Easter is right around the corner so it's time for some Pre-school treats.
I chose to do sour cream container carrots-with a cute little tag tied on with some hemp cord.
The "carrot" is simply 4"x6" paper-and I used double stick tape-gun tape
(no staples for litttle fingers!)
The "greens" I just cut a 3"x3" piece of bazzil paper,
ran it through the crimper, cut it with my brand new Martha Stewart scissors
that literally shredded the paper instead of nice clean cuts
(they are going back...)
and then put tape on the bottom edge and smooshed it together
until it formed a kind of triangle at the bottom
and stuck it in the top of the carrot.

I used the Crop-a-dile to punch two holes in the top
(um, fyi-if you are holding it up close to see where you are punching
be sure to keep and protruding body parts out of the way
when you punch-the handles can hurt you, too!
Just sayin'...! OWWWWW! Only me....!)

Here's the finished crop of carrots-
filled with a fun-size bag of M&M's
(kinda have to fold it over scrunch it in but it does fit-
and when doing 25+ more---I need to use supplies conservatively!)
I could have used the solid orange for the carrots-but I really really liked
the polka dot ones instead!
I had intended to use this for the tag--just the bunny part
backed by dp--but I had printed off the others and decided they were cuter for
preschoolers although I am sure the pom-pom tail would have been a hit...
Oh well-I have lots of other ideas for this stamp!

It was brand new-and I am not a neat stamper...
my friend Theresa would will be appalled! Lol.  Oh welll...

 Got some other Easter stamps from years gone by
that haven't even seen ink...yet.

Stamping helped save my sanity on more than one occasion
so I am trying diligently to get more time doing just that
along with other things I do to keep life in balance!
Speaking of balance...
I was quietly stamping and coloring in the magic kingdom yesterday
and the "littles" were in there....
Sir Stirling (right) was climbing on the shelves above my worktable
when all of a sudden the sky started falling-
baskets and all their contents-along with Sir Stirling-
were suddenly falling fast and furious towards the floor.
Luckily thankfully he landed on his feet but not without some wicked twists in mid-air
while he tried to right himself.
He was a little subdued but less than 10 minutes later was chasing his brother
through the house so I didn't think an emergency vet visit was in order!
Our Poppa Cat however is having a rough go of things.

Somehow he broke his pelvis.
He's been on a lot of pain meds along with meds for other issues.
He isn't too interested in eating right now
and we've noticed he's limping more on the injured leg/side.
He's also been extremely vocal at times the past two days.
The vet said he has awful arthritis in his hips.
I think we need to bump his appointment up to this week rather than next.
He's not a happy camper at the vet so I am not looking forward to them
having to do more x-rays and lab work.
I offered to sign a stack of sedation forms to have on hand
and just fill in the blank for the date. Lol.
They are an AWESOME group as you've heard me say many times.
Well, time for more coffee,
some pain meds for me and my arm
and back to some more creative stuff.

Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top o' the evenin' to ye, lads and, more likely, lassies!
Oh, and any rogue leprechauns that may be lingering about!
At least I seem to be getting some posts done for holidays at least
if no other time!
I wanted to send some St. Patrick's Day cards to a few friends
I do not have the first bit of Irish in me (English and German)
I married an Irishman
who called me his little red-headed leprechaun
(yes, I can  be a little mischievous at times!)
Anyway---here's what I came up with:
The mason jar stamp and die are from Lawn Fawn.
The friend stamp is from Stampin` Up.
I just happened to have the small shamrock punch in my stash-
so each one of those are hand-punched, color dusted and the centers
colored with a white colored pencil.
Then I just applied a little pressure to the center
while they were on my mouse pad
to give it a little dimension.
I made 6 of these cards...oh!
And the trick to make the shaker part easy-peasy...
I cut a piece of foam--yes, craft foam--fun foam--
whatever you call it--
just slightly smaller than the yellow designer paper--
and then I die cut the mason jar out.
I used two layers of foam and glued them together
with fun foam glue.
Worked like a charm!
The acetate is glued to the back of the dp--then the fun foam layers
and then the card background piece that was cut the same size
as the front dp piece.
Hope that makes sense!
If not, go to the Lawn Fawn website and watch the video on how to make
a shaker card-that is where I got this idea  to start with!
You can see a tiny glimpse of the micro beads
that I added for some gold---just at the bottom right corner.
The layering and the glue worked great-no leaks like I`ve often had
trying to do this with foam tape!

For the inside of the card
I used a retired Close To My Heart stamp set...
(since my computer was in the shop for repairs...)

and a tiny Studio G shamrock

The envelopes were of course covered with some shamrocks as well.

Our Poppa Cat wasn`t so lucky-
we learned about a month ago that, somehow,
he managed to to break his pelvis!
That and he has severe arthritis in his hips.
Oh, and before he came to live with us
(he was a feral who came in one day and wouldn`t leave...!)
he had been shot twice and the pellets are still in him.
Did I mention he`s also diabetic and starting with early kidney issues..
So momma has had her nurses   ``vet tech`` cap on again (yet, still!)
We`ve been doing lots of meds along with a week of 3x a day cold laser
therapy treatments at home.
He`s improving.
So when I`ve not been doing cat care,
or working,
or trying to keep up with the rest of life-
I`ve squeaked in a little --and I do mean little!--craft time.
Hope to change that-soon!
Until next time,
May the luck o` the Irish be with ye!
Happy stamping and scrapping.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day...

Eh, "Better late than never" as the saying goes...!
I am ever grateful for our vet and her staff
as they give us top-notch care and never give up
trying to solve our what seems to be constant conumdrums
of cat woes.
And since Valentine's day is coming up came and went,
we wanted to spoil them a bit
so here's what I came up with...

Inside the box...
are packages of Hershey Nuggets...



on their own cute little tray...
this is the inside...

and this is the outside...

I *think* the measurement for the tray was something like 4 1/4" x 1 7/8"
then score each long side at the 1/4" mark...

If when I do this again...
I think I will try a 4"x whatever it will take to maybe give me a
1/2" score on each side---
gotta try that to see-it's a little longer than it needed to be-
and I think  I'd like a little higher side...
but that's just me!
Here's another tip---
Avery Address Labels (5160 or 8160)
fit almost perfectly!!!
There's just a smidgen that was not covered on the bottom!
I formatted my label in Publisher
and printed them out. 
Easy peasy.
I used a pretzel bag to wrap them-
twisted a piece of washi tape at the top and flagged the ends.
Trimmed off the excess bag at the top
(it would easily hold 8 nuggets I think...)
Had a plain white box in my stash
so wrapped a piece of washi tape around it
and then hot-glued some nuggets to the front.
I did Minion heart treat boxes for the preschoolers
but failed to take a photo of them
before I handed them all out.
Life has been wide open upside down wild for me.
Tomorrow this guy gets to go to the vet again.

Seems something is wrong with his right back leg and he's been on pain killers
for the last few days.
Will get some x-rays to see what's going on and,
if all that isn't enough,
he's got some kidney things starting in conjunction with his diabetes.
So we are in for food changes and adding a few meds to his daily insulin injections.
Oh boy....this should be fun!
I am just thankful that, for now at least, we do not have to do
subcontaneous  (sp?) fluids like we did with BC.
I am sure it's in our future but, for now, we don't have to deal with that.
I love how he sometimes "forgets" to put his tongue back in!

That's all for today.
Keep warm wherever you are--
the wind is in the willows here at the beach-
its been blowing a gale for two days now.
Until next time,
happy stamping and scrapping!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Washi Tape Washi Tape Wonders!

Long time, no post.
Life is a MAJOR struggle right now on all fronts for me.
I won't bore you with the details.

Suffice it to say
I cleaned a little in the magic kingdom
and then played a bit.

After Christmas
I had some...and I want a ton more
(all those cute vintagy florals....and so many more...polka dots
and I needed a way to store what I had.
So I started surfing
and ended up on Etsy
and saw some cute wooden boxes.
They were more than I wanted to spend
so I looked real close...a number of times....
and decided to go for it.
What was shown...and what arrived
were two very different products!
This is what I got:
First its much darker than the ones shown...

The rolls do not fit nice and snug (not even my big ones)
so the roll all over and fall out if you don't pick it up just so...
The wood is cheap cheap cheap ----think wood aisle buy the pieces
and glue them together yourself at AC Moore or Michaels...
and then, what really frosted me...
is this VERY VISIBLE spot that didn't take the stain...
and the shop owner shipped it out anyway...
This isn't even covered when the tape is in there...?!

And I PAID for this----????
Buyer beware....
Look close before you purchase this product from an Etsy seller...

Today I decided was the day
to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear as my grandmother would say.

I got my crapppy  boxes
and my bottle of Valspar paint
and started by giving them several coats.
I wasn't too worried about brush marks-
I have a distressed semi-vintage feel going on in my room anyway...
So then they were a nice seagreen blue-y color.
Nice but needed something.
I spied my doilies.
Modgepodged a doily on the back of each one.
Still needed something... about a washi tape banner?!
A little twine, tape banner pieces, a little ribbon,
mini clothespins....
So now to fill in the label spot.
Old fashioned label maker.
One says "wishin" 
and the other...
can you guess...?
"4 washi"!

Here's the finished product...

Now granted, you are not going to see much of those banners
once the tape is in there...
but it is a cute little surprise once you pull the tape out....

I still need to find a way to fill in the huge gap---
as I can see me pulling this off a shelf and all of it go rolling 
like the meatball off the top of Old Smokey...

Perfect? No. Better than what it was? OH YEAH!

And, not all Etsy sellers are bad.
that was hand-decorated and matches my room PERFECTLY
sometime soon.
I absolutely adore it and the seller even switched the side the 
gluestick storage was on per my request!
Now that was $$$ well spent!

I need to get motivated and do Valentine treats for 25+ preschoolers
maybe tomorrow.
Maybe not.

Until next time 
happy stamping and scrapping.

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?!

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 
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!

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!
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!!!
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.
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!
My collection is going to grow-and fast!
SOOOO many pretty ones out there.

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!