Saturday, September 26, 2009

I know...but am here now.

Okay, I know it has been almost a month since I wrote, but hey it was like four months before that. I count this as improvement. Now for the updating.

My goals have fallen pitifully far away from the primrose path I planned. I have eaten out way too much, even though I vowed not to. Have been pretty much taking lunch to work though. Not as an excuse, but in my defense, I have been sick for about three weeks now. I probably should take a day to just stop, stay in bed, and gather myself back together, but with my boss that ain't happening. I did get approved to take off for Thanksgiving though so am happy about that.

I do have some recipes pulled to the side that I plan on trying. So that has progressed a small amount. I still need to organize and then do a little of the prep work for it to work the way I want though. I went and got my box of food from the Angel Food ministries. You can google them for mor info, and I will try to put a link in a little later. Overall the boxes seem pretty nice, was more impressed with the people running it. Totally organized, so very friendly, was a real treat to work with. I do have a list of recipes to try that uses what came in the box so that will be fun trying that.

I have to play taxi driver so will check back in later.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

HEY...I AM STILL ALIVE YOU KNOW!

Okay, am being a little over dramatic, but hey, that is where my life is at the moment. Well, feels that way at any rate.

Time is short, but made a goal of updating the old blog, well one of my goals for the month any way, so here is a short and to the point version of my usually long winded rambles. So, take a gulp of what ever is in your cup (mine is full of water after 5...yeah me...uh mm, if I am at home) and take a bite of your favorite delight (watching my bites carefully these days as I attempt to retrain my thoughts on food) and settle in for the storm that passes as quickly as if I were back in West Texas.

Okay, I get philosophical when I have had a little adult drink (okay, I admit it, it has too be in my genes from some where but I am a total light weight when it comes to alcohol...I'd make a cheap drunk for sure) or in tonight's case, worn out sleep deprived. It has been a hard few months physically but more so emotionally.

Now, the updates.

I have completed cleaning out my freezer, fridges (yes plural - I have two) and my pantry. Even though I already had enough on hand to feed a small army - well at least this family - for about 3 months, I went grocery shopping and spent $260.00 for more. In my defense, the bulk of it was in actual grocery items (produce, meat) and hardly any prepared items. I was tickled to death to find a brisket. A REAL brisket, not the little butcher trimmed fits on a dinner plate style this area is known for either. No sir, a REAL TRUE BRISKET, which I wish had been at the Texas price from the Super Walmart - WHICH WE STILL HAVE NOT GOT OPEN HERE. I get distracted easily, wondering off on little side excursions, so just do your best to follow along, there is a point in it somewhere. Now that I have done the cleaning out and organizing, I can move on to planning the menus. It really works great if you can make yourself sit down and go through the heavy thought process of creating and then putting it on paper (I know, it is only a matter of typing it in to a computer) to make it real, validate it so to speak. For some reason, I need (am compelled strongly) to write things out. List for this, or that, things to do or buy. So, expect for the week end of Sept. 18, after doing all the cleaning and buying, I do not intend to eat out or order in any meals. Am even taking lunches to work, until later this month when I get my box from Angel Food Ministries. More on that topic another night though. I have a stack of cookbooks and pages of recipes to try in order to change things up in the kitchen a bit. I find, the day is just not long enough for my grand style plans. But, I will prevail. Some day.

Goals for the week:
1. Plan menus using what is on hand.
2. Drink more water.
3. Play games less.
4. Get the laundry done.
5. Complete one scrapbook project.

1. Will work on this during lunch hours, of course am taking my bag with me to work on while I sit out the day waiting to be called for jury duty. Wednesday is a pretty calm night around here so I plan to do some extra cooking tomorrow evening to just be pulled out and heated for the evening meals.

2. Self explanatory here, need to loose more weight and live healthier. Water is the hardest thing for me. Well, next to actually getting in to the gym I am paying for and not using. I need to take in way more water.

3. I am actually about to the point to where I can let myself have a night or two off from my latest obsession, Animal Crossing. Won't even go in to how bad that has been.

4. Clothes...mountains of clothes...have over taken parts of this house. I am very close to just tossing most of the piles out and starting fresh. I mean really, some of these clothes have not been worn...or even missed...in the past 6 months or more that they have been laying in the laundry room. My house coat is in there and I know for a fact I haven't used it lately since it has been about a million months since the temperature was actually cool enough around here for it. Of course, not only do we melt from the day's heat, it would seem that a good majority of my part of the world is on fire...literally.

5. Now that football season is in session once again, I hope to spend some quiet evenings getting back to my scrapping. I jumped in to that particular little adventure and took off only to squat and drop. I get ill thinking at how much money I spent on the toys, notice I didn't say wasted...never is wasted, as I will use it. I have grand visions of handmade Christmas cards this year and at the rate I am going they may be finished by Christmas of...2020. Man, two songs just popped in to my head with that thought. Why did the year 2020 sound so far away when I heard that song (in the year 2525, if man is still alive...was part of the lyrics) but now it seems so very near? Back on topic...scrapping. I did buy some paper and will get my Cricut out this weekend to cut out lots and lots of 3 inch circles to send to my oldest daughter. She rarely asks me to do anything for her...a very independent sort she is...but she did ask me to make these for her class room to use with the math game boards.

Okay, other than that, my budget has been hit hard for larger items. I know have a car payment for my new (okay its a 2007, but new to me) Nissan Quest. Along with it goes gas payments, then insurance, youngest daughter is getting confirmed, next round of figure skating classes are starting soon (for youngest daughter) also had to buy her a new flute.

It never ends.

I guess that is about it for now. Will post more this weekend. For now, it is time for a nice warm bath (warmth to relax, certainly not because it is cold) and then to bed. The fires have the air quality in the "Beyond horrible" range and it is sure doing a number on my throat, nose and ears. I AM SO READY FOR WINTER.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nothing new.

I haven't posted in a while so thought I would pop in a minute. Nothing new as far as crafting going. Have just been so busy around here with other things. We are in the middle of getting a new roof, now have two holes in the ceiling where feet have come through that will have to be repaired as well. Hubby is doing all the work himself, it is really hard on his body. He sometimes fails to realize that even though he has been finished with chemo for a few years it still changed his body and his physical condition.

On another note, I have been watching some co-workers bring their Nintendo DS to work and play at lunch. Realize that we are agriculture based so our office is out in the middle of nothing. At any rate, they have been playing a game called Animal Crossing. I simple game that is quite addictive. We bought it for the Wii system and for daughter's DS at Christmas. I had never played it as I only played some casual style games on the computer. Big Fish is my game friend. At any rate, I went to a game store and bought a used DS and Animal Crossing for me. I would have just used my daughter's , but in order for both of us to play we each have to have the game. It is kind of fun to sit with her and we go visit each other's town. I then decided to play it on the Wii and am now hooked totally.

If you have never heard of these, which unless you have kids in the house you probably wouldn't have, the game in a nutshell is take your character around the town to gather things (such as fruit, shells, fish, bugs) and sell them to pay your mortgage and buy things. There is a lot more to it, but that is it basically. The game keeps moving in time even when you aren't playing. For example, you pick the fruit from a tree, three days later it grows back. Plant a fruit, it grows a tree and you get more fruit. If you remember to water it. You can also shake a tree and some times money or furniture falls out. Like I said, it really is a silly game but oh so fun to play with.

I bought a couple of other games to go with it: SkipBo, Uno pack and a word game (crossword, word search, anagrams) most of the games are geared toward younger minds but Nintendo has figured that out and are coming out with games with a bit more mature interest. The personal trainer cooking one has recipes and how to techniques for cooking, another cooking on is based on one of the TV chefs. Out new this week is the personal trainer walker that has a little arm band you wear while you walk. This records your progress as far as weight loss. Along those lines we had bought the Wii Fit, which for me was way too much Yoga in it. But it was fun for a while, with running in place, hula hoop and such. Still younger minds mainly. However, I just purchased the new Sports Personal Trainer for the Wii that is supposed to be better. I comes with resistance cords and hand weights to follow the program with and it will track you progress. Plan to break it out this afternoon and give it a try.

Enough about the games. This is a holiday week end, Memorial Day, observance of all those that gave their all to keep us free. My dad was vet from WW II and so I am very patriotic when it comes to country. I may not agree with what the current leaders are doing, especially in my home state of California, but I do support the military and am thankful for the job they do. So, I have Monday off and plan to play with my paper crafts. Today however, I have to hit the grocery store, Wally world for household stock, the dollar store for my trash bags and resealable bags, probably Sam's Club as well. I have to clean out the nasty fridge full of left overs and do some laundry (okay a lot of laundry) as well.

Have got to get going or will never get anything done because sitting at the computer makes me want to play games or scrap. Which by the way, I am taking a Disney class this week to make an exploding card thing. Really kind of cool. Will post photos when I am done.

Oh and by the way, with the way my schedule has been going will probably only be posting on weekends for a few weeks. Oldest daughter from Texas is coming out the first part of June so will be busy with them, but getting lots of photos of grandson, who turned 6 yesterday, so will have those to make in to layouts.

Thanks for checking in and feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just a few thoughts

Okay, no new photos of the great projects I have finished, haven't finished anything. I had every intention, but with the temps in the triple digits around here, just haven't had the energy to do much of anything.

I did however manage to get my grandson's birthday card made. I got it all sealed up the package all taped and ready to mail. I forgot to take a picture, forgot to put my little "handmade for you" stamp on it, but it is read for the mail. Should have been in the mail a week ago.

On a brighter note, hit a sidewalk sale, more like a yard sale as it was all personal booths as opposed to business booths. WOW...did I clean up. I got an assortment of doodads and the best buys in the whole thing was the carry cases and a tote that is the perfect size for my little cricket. Lots of neat dies, embossing plates, papers and a book. Some other stuff as well. I also had a couple of Michael's coupons for 40% off that expired on Sat. so of course I had to use them or loose them. I bought a Sizzix Sidekick to hang out with my Big Kick. I really debated on whether I really needed the cute little Sidekick, but it is sure nice for the smaller dies and embossing plates so I can do a small project with out pulling out the Big Kick. I had a blast playing with it this afternoon making samples of all the plates and dies I bought as well as the embosslits I recently purchased from Sizzix. I AM SO HOOKED on the Big Kick and my Cricuts. I also bought a new punch, it is a pop up punch of a butterfly. Sooo cool, the butterflies wings are free to pop up but the body is attached. Kind of limited with what I can do with it, but a really delicate touch to a card.

Speaking of cards, here is my little rant for the evening. I have mentioned before about the lack of printed instructions with the classes I have taken at the local scrapbooking store, especially the "make and take". I paid for my daughter (12) to take a cardmaking class. Five cards were to be made, sets for the 5 cards were included. You know, the papers and embellishments. All pre-cut, ready to go. Well, she was able to get three of them completed. The other ladies were all...older in years...compared to my daughter and I noticed that they were asking for the directions to finish their cards. They were told to come back to the store the next day and the instructor would be there to help them finish. I asked about buying a kit for the class so I could make the cards at home later, which they were all to happy to oblige me with (cost the same as the price of the class) and told that I could come down and look at the cards any time I needed to finish them. A little later I asked one of the employees of the store why there wasn't any printed directions. I have taken my share of quilting classes, all of which included the printed directions or pattern for the class project so you could make it again. As I started thinking about it, all the quilting magazines include the written directions and supply requirements for every featured project. I have noticed that the cardmaking magazines list the supplies, then tell you what to do, but absolutely no size or dimension information. The employee explained to me, off the record, the reason for no printed instructions was simple, and it just drove her crazy for an instructor to even give out a photo copy of the project as well, the reason was that every time there is a class or make and take project that has had written directions with in days the project ends up as a display sample at the competitor store. You know, I could understand if there was a patented technique or such, but I know these things are not the personal work of these people. No new technique that no one else has done. I just think that if I am paying that much money to come learn how to make a card or album that I should be able to have the details - the measurements for the cut pages, the size of a punch used - so I can make it again if I like the project. Do the rest of you find this to be the way of your classes?

Okay, I am over it. Down off the soap box. On to other subjects.

Which by the way, reminds me. As you can tell by my postings, I have been on a shopping frenzy trying to get my supplies built up so I can make most anything I see that strikes an interest in my mind. I do believe that the shopping has concluded. Of course I will have to shop to replenish what I use in making something, but the expensive things are pretty much all taken care of. Except for SCAL, Cricut cartridges, maybe even a Slice. I must admit that last week end I did purchase a Disney cart for the Cricut while I could get it on sale for 29.99 feeling that I had to get at least one Disney set. You know, to go with my Disney stash, even if I'm not really big in to the whole Disney thing, but it's growing on me. How do I know my supplies are pretty much all set you ask? I bought a recent publication for cardmaking, can't find it at the moment to give the name, but two projects that I really liked listed the supplies and I actually have them all, including dies and punches, already purchased. So, can make them right here at home.

AND...that has been my goal. Now to finish a couple of projects in the works and maybe even look at getting in to a couple of swaps as well. I had a really rough night last night, was about 4:30 am before I was able to sleep, so I am calling it a night. I will post more when I have something to show. You know I can't just not post a photo though, so I will leave you with how our afternoon went.
Both of these are our rescued buddies and we were completely surprised to have them both just climb aboard so to speak. My daughter would kill me for this photo, but it is just too cute.

Oh yeah, and by the way, I did purchase something for myself that is totally unrelated to crafts. I bought a Nintendo DS hand held game system that I can carry and play at work during lunch. The office in the middle of nowhere and several of my co-workers have been spending lunch hour playing "Animal Crossing" a silly kids game that is kind of fun. I did however buy a crossword game for it as well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

A very Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

Around here it was nice and quite. Actually pretty boring. Thought I would share some photos of my gifts though.

You know how it goes.

Clay pot $3.99
Paints $2.99
Pipe Cleaners $1.97
Tissue Paper $2.49
Styrofoam Ball $2.29
Dried Moss $2.59
Scrapbook paper $.26
Stickers $3.97
Printed photos $.50

A gift from the heart made by my youngest daughter, 12, all by herself.

PRICELESS!


All my kids together with printed quotes for me from each.


My card she made, the little envelopes all have great little notes in them including one giving me the gift of two papers of my choice from her very own stash of scrapbook paper.

Oldest son and his wife came by for a brief visit to tell Mom hello, ask if there was food, then play a video game with his brother before he had to leave to get ready for work.

Youngest son didn't have time for shopping, he is working part time at a near by restaurant and taking the finals for his college classes, so he told me he would buy me dinner this week. His last day of class is Tuesday, Wednesday he starts his full time summer job out where I work, along with working at the restaurant and taking one summer class. He does stay busy.

Oldest daughter texted me to check my email. She sent me photo of my grandson, the kindergarten graduate.
Isn't he handsome? Can't believe he is going to be six this month. I am making him a birthday card, since that is what I do now, make cards and scrapbook pages you know. I had gathered so many supplies and what have you over the past few weeks in order to start this new hobby that I was spending half my time looking for everything and buying some items over again because I couldn't find what I bought the first time. It was time to organize it a bit and if nothing else go through it all to see what I actually have.

This was my corner space when I first started this new obsession. Notice the room on the shelves, the little Cricut all by itself? Thinks have a way of changing. Just look at it now. It has grown a tad bit. Have more papers to play with. Way more stamps and inks as well. Here are some closer views.
As you can see, my little corner is pretty well stocked for a beginner. Notice the addition of the larger Cricut, several dies, all the jars of beads and box of trims was left over from when I did crazy quilting and used them to embellish the embroidery work.

Oh, and my sweet hubby gave me a gift certificate to the local scrapbooking store. Well, I didn't get any projects finished, but I do know where it all is at least.

I am off to bed, took allergy medicine and it has kicked in enough to stop itching. Need to shower and get some sleep. The roofing job is well under way, which is making me break out due to allergies, which has actually been milder than I had anticipated. A helper lost his footing a bit and stepped through the ceiling which has left us a nice hole to repair in the living room.

I will post more when have some on going projects completed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mini Album Class

I told you about the class that I was on the waiting list for which I ended up getting to go to because they had a cancellation. Well, I went and learned to make a mini album.

This is a view of it all closed up. The whole thing folds up and a ribbon ties it shut and it slides in to the box.










When it is pulled out and opened up, it has several places to put small photos, big tags that pull out of pockets can be used for photos or sentiments. It isn't quite finished yet as I still need to add a bit of glitter or something to the center of the flowers and around the butterflies. Which by the way are punched out of the brown print paper and turned to the opposite side which is a vanilla color.

Now, I will post some photos of it opened up so you can see what the whole thing looks like.




It was fun to do and I ordered three of the blank albums before the class ended.

I still do not understand why they do not give out printed directions to a project. I know that there are several customers that sign up for the class and then do not show up, they just pay for it to get the kit. The store is still selling a product, whether it be the kit or something we need during the class. Like I did, running out of glue runner (barely opened) and so pay for a refill and promptly used up all of that one. We did get photo copies (black & white) of the finished project so that we could see what to put where. However, all the papers where pre-cut for us and there was no printed directions to help in making additional ones. I do however have the one I made to measure from for the next ones. By the way, if you know of a source (preferably cheap one) that carries these type of albums please let me know where it is.

I have to say though, I learned a great tip from one of the other ladies taking the class. It has to do with glue dots. You know, those little round things that look like contact lens, sticky on both sides? I know I am new to this, so laugh if you like, but would peel one off an then stick it to the piece I wanted to attach to the project, peel it off of my finger (well most of it anyway) and then stick it to the project. This was just frustrating enough to make me want to give up on them all together. But, the lady showed me to attach the piece I am wanting to glue directly on to the circle of glue while still on the roll. Then pull the piece off and the glued piece is ready to attach. It really does work. OH MY GOSH, after I learned that I was a glue dot fool to attach the flowers to the pages. Now, to finish up with the glitter glue and some photos.

I am keeping this one, as I said, not only for myself, but for a guide for future projects as well. Now for a few things I learned from last night.

1. I do not like the bling that that looks like tiny diamonds strung together and shaped in to a design. If pulled off the plastic sheet too quickly it loves to twist all up and around, totally loosing the design and then breaking off.

2. Either I use way too much glue runner at a time or I need to find a cheaper source for the refills. I used my Xyron (shaped like an X) to glue all the leaves. Oh my, so fast and easy.

I am once again nodding off as I write and still need to head to the shower. Tomorrow I have to buy a bill of groceries and household items, plan out some meals, do just enough cleaning while I play with my new arrivals to make it look like I am working. Hubby will be stripping off the existing "shake shingle" roof to build a new one that is not. For one, shake or wooden shingles have become almost impossible to insure. It will take him quite some time to accomplish this, but by doing the work our selves is saving us literally thousands of dollars.

Okay, have crossed over to the ramble stage of tiredness so I am stopping here for today. I will post more projects when I have them this week end.

Neat gizmo.

Every once in a while you come across a neat little gizmo. This is one I had to share.

It is scissors for shredding. I sell AVON and this little gem is coming out in Campaign 11 which as of this posting is the current one. I was really surprised at how well it cut, the paper is folded in half so it cut through two pages. Can't you just see a grass skirt, a roof on a hut, a border of grass, eyelashes on a face? It even comes with a nice pouch to store them in.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Christmas in....May?

It has felt a bit like Christmas around here. All my online shopping is starting to arrive...and the bulk of it ahead of the time I was expecting.

Here are some photos of what arrived.
This was from JoAnn's online. Everything was at least 40%, had a special deal for shipping for $2.95 for all of it. I know it is hard to see the detail of everything, but in all of this what I looked forward to the most was the "Once Upon A Time" paper packs (4 x 6 inch) and the punches. The paper is just awesome. The cutter was on sale for less than $5 so figured it would be good enough for my daughter (12) to have so I could keep her out of mine. The punches are working well, have already tested them, which is something I always look for as I have fibro which makes it hard to work the hand some days. If I use it too much at a time it will start to tremor a bit and then draw closed on itself. One time when I had longer nails it was so bad that the nail cut in to the palm of my hand deep enough to draw blood. At any rate, I look for punches that punch completely and easily. The Mickey Mouse punch creates a design of the head about the size of a quarter and will be great in a lay out with some strings drawn on to look like balloons. I also have some really small rubber stamps that is an alphabet and is the perfect size to stamp in the middle of the punched design to spell out what I want. That idea, I must confess, came to me when I priced a set of rubber stamps that were the shape of the head with a letter inside. I already had the small alpha stamps and the punch was way cheaper than the Disney rubber stamps. The Sizzix was all on clearance, so very inexpensive and I really do like my Big Kick. I have learned something new about it lately. I need to purchase some extender blocks and something called a crease pad.

Now, if someone could just tell me how to make my Fiskar embossing plates work a bit better with the Big Kick I am all ears.
Next came my Sizzix box. I came across their site one night and found the clearance section. They were all on sale for about $3 -$4 each several were less than $2. You have to purchase a minimum of $25 though before they will accept your order. I met the minimum...barely.
Last, but never least, is my Stampin Up order. I just can't wait to get these new stamps going. Also, I have a great supply of ink now. The Manhattan Rose stamp coordinates with the Sizzix textured Impressions Manhattan Flower emboss plate. It is back ordered. I bought a roller wheel with snowflakes for Christmas and winter projects. I was unable to order an ink cart in white for the roller, so I ordered and uninked cart and white refill ink. Hope that it works out. One of the items I bought is the Sizzix Bigz Top Note die, an exclusive Stampin Up product, which I am sure will be great for cards. This week end when I play with it I will post some photos of what it looks like. I saw a card somewhere that I knew I wanted to make, watched the You Tube video, and bought the SU supplies I needed to make it. I was disappointed however that even though the packing slip states I received the Window sheets, I did not. Will have to contact SU about that though. Am hoping they can give me some type of time frame for expecting the back ordered emboss plate as well.

Okay, I am heading off to bed. Have had stomach bug for the past few days that has wiped me out. Tomorrow night is a class at the scrapbook store that I was on the waiting list for, so was thrilled to get a call this evening that they had a cancellation and I was now on the list for taking the class if I wanted. I did want. The class is for a mini album. If folds up accordion style and slides in to a small box.

So, for the next few days I won't be posting, will be busy making something and will show it off. I want to just grab a new item and make some project with it, but that will have to wait until at least Friday night. I still have a few more stamps coming in and the Christmas papers I found on Ebay. But...before I work on anything else, I have got to finish my chipboard album for mom, birthday cards for my son and grandson as well.

I have also made a decision, or rather a goal, of making one project featuring one or more of the items I have bought to get started in this obsession with out buying anything else. Like a card using my Cricut or the Sizzix. A card using each of the stamp sets I just purchased. And one other goal, to go through everything, each and every box and case I have in order to just see what I have. I have three containers of stickers and flowers. Have already found out the hard way that there is a special type of glue for vellum paper.

I am off to bed now, will pop in and post as soon as there is anything to show.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring Card

I told you I would post the photos of my weekend projects when I got home, so here we go.

This is the front of my spring (for lack of a better title) card.
Not my choice for a paper, but it is spring looking and it came as a little kit.

Now, when it is opened up.
The blue flower is hanging from a string, I used the back side of the paper, the sample project called for the other side to be used, which was yellow with white polka dots. I just didn't see yellow in the print with the white background. Oh, and they gave me a little purple flower shaped button for the center. Purple? Not seeing it honestly.

The photo colors are a bit off, what looks like purple flowers are actually a lighter blue, like a periwinkle.

This is a side view so you can see the flower hanging free.

Now, I don't know a lot about how things work with a make and take, but just so you can understand, this was a project done on Friday night. I was at the Saturday night session. It was a different project. I was kind of winging it so to speak.
Why are there no printed directions with a make and take? If I ever pick up the kit for another project that I did not get to sit through the class for, I am at least going to take a photo with my phone of the finished sample card.

A few other things that I was puzzled by:

(1) Kind of odd sizes for the cardstock. But I am new to this so that could just be the size of things.

(2) I measured and measured, tried it one way and then the other. The paper for the outside of the card (the yellow print) was a fourth of an inch shorter than the cardstock. I do realize that someone had to spend a lot of time cutting all these pieces for the kits, so can actually understand that little error. I ended up cutting the card stock down a smidge.

Not sure if it is the "politically correct" thing to do, but I did write down all the measurements for future reference. I like the card and can see a lot of possibilities with this card. So, I measured the cuts, the scores, even the two sizes of scallop die cuts. I truly see how my Cricut will be handy for cutting that piece. Of course, I can always put to use all the punches I am gathering as well. I can see some basic shape with a photo or stamp image in the middle. Hmm, will definitely have to put that on my "Things To Try List". The make and take for the Saturday night session was supposed to be a slider card, it is why I took the Saturday session. But...the papers picked for the card did not come in as planned so they went with plan B. I made a teddy bear and giraffe, the plan B, gave them to my daughter. They are absolutely adorable, but not my cup of tea.

Okay, shift in topic here. I have been working on this mini album for my mom. It is from BoBunny and what ever possessed to attempt this I have no idea. I was struggling with just figuring out how to make straight cuts for layouts and cards, then I had to take this on with all the curves and designs. What was I thinking?

This is the beginning. I have the pages covered. And so it started. I was absolutely in over my head with this. The second page the paper fell a bit short so I decided to use a marker on the edges, it is just awful looking. The third page was just beyond understanding, so I took the cheaters way out and just cut a straight piece of paper and glued it down to the edge of the scallops which I had used a charcoal stick on, finished off with a piece of silk ribbon to cover the paper edge. I actually like this one. The fourth page I tore the paper when cutting the larger of the holes. I glued copper colored eyelets in the smaller holes, the chipboard is too thick for setting them in the normal way. Frustrated I just put it away while pondering possibilities to cover the tear. I even went and talked to the teacher from my beginning scrapbooking class, she just remarked that scrapbookers do tear edges. If you have read my past entries you will know how I feel about torn edges.

At any rate, I found some lovely little silk flowers and brads with amber colored crystals in the top then glued those in to the holes. I actually like the way it turned out. Here are some shots of the pages I worked on at the crop session on Saturday night.

This is my mom sitting in her mother's lap. Her mother died about two or three weeks after this photo was taken. She was not quite two years old.

Then mom and dad on wedding day to show that she found love.

My brother and I to show she became a mom. See the story line direction?


I was kind of cute there wasn't I?

He was a great big brother, still is, but when I was growing up he was always there. We share a fondness for cherry Popsicles and cookie dough. So much so that mom would have to write our name on the boxes of Popsicles and would have to triple the recipe of dough in order to get one batch out of it. Her recipe called for rolling it up in wax paper, the first version of slice-n-bake I guess. We had no clue it was not safe to eat raw dough. In fact, my brother was the first one to see me.

I was adopted as an infant, was six days old, and when my adoptive parents came to get me, they were a little nervous and so my big brother was sent in to get me from the back pew of the church where I had been left. I am in contact with my birth mother, she made a hard decision at an even harder time in her life, but I am thankful and blessed that she loved me enough to think of me. I had a wonderful childhood.

Well, I have the rest of the story to work out and finish up so I can get it in the mail. I am sure it will be late, but she won't mind.

I guess I better end this and get moving, still need to eat a bite and then work on the album some more.

Quick Update

I am getting ready to head to work, so will have to keep this short. Just wanted to post an update on what I am working on. I am still waiting on my recent orders to get here. Amazon.com has been pretty quick with their shipping, even if they did split the order in to three shipments, two of which have arrived. JoAnn's has processed the order and it is scheduled to arrive May 7. My Sizzix and Stampin Up orders for some reason are still being processed, no shipment date yet. It would seem that if they are going to take your money the second you submit the order, they can at least send the order out with in a reasonable time.

I did a little local shopping over the week end as well adding to my supplies and some great tools. Love my Crop A Dile big bite. I can honestly say that everything I bought was on sale, most for 40% off. Glad I did the bulk of the shopping on Friday, seems the sales changed on Sunday.

I knew that Saturday would be a hard day. It was my dad's birthday, he passed away almost 6 years ago, it is still hard. I don't think I handled the death well and it has recently started to really come back on my mind. They are good memories though. Along those thoughts, my youngest son, 19, took a photo of dad taken in his army uniform and did a pencil drawing of him. It is just awesome.

The photo:


Wasn't he handsome?

The drawing:


Like I said, I think he did an awesome job.


Of course, it was National Scrapbooking Weekend and in honor of that the local scrapbooking store had a marathon cropping session. They had 8 hour sessions, I went on Sat. for the 6 PM - 2 AM session, which I only lasted about half way through.

I will post details and some photos of that this evening.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Journal Of Sorts

I thought I would drop in and let everyone know what I have been up to. Not really much at all, have not been feeling well. The energy to work on anything is just not there. It will come back, it always does. Such is the life with Lupus and Fibro.

In the mean time, since I went on a rather nice...little, yeah that's the word, just in case hubby reads this, it was a small shopping spree. Well...Colorado is small compared to Texas. Back to the point, I spent some time sorting through all the things I bought. I took the stamps and stamped an image in my wire bound journal, noting the maker of each stamp and name when I found one. Most of them don't have one on it. I also made a sample ring of sorts for all the punches I have. I took white card stock and squares of color card stock using the colored squares for each different punch. Now I can flip through it to find which punch I have have and exactly what size it is.

I am working on a chipboard album, not really liking it too much, but more so than it was yesterday. I think that by the time I get the photos on it, then add a few more embellishments it will be okay. I am learning a lot, have the letters to make a second album, should have practiced on the second one. I will post more about it next time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ATC Attempt

I am dropping in for a quick post before I go to work. Things have been so chaotic around here I have not had much time to do anything but what was needed.

Last night I came across this really neat blog site.
http://randomvintagefinds.blogspot.com/2009/03/march-atc-step-by-step-instructions.html
She had a photo tutorial of making a waterfall ATC card. I love the great photos that step you through the process, but sure could have used a bit more description with the photos. NOTE: The blog owner has since added some brief descriptions of the steps. THANK YOU SO MUCH, it has been very helpful. So, I played around a bit and made my first paper ATC.

This is a scan, so it looses the full effect, I did take a couple of photos but my battery died and I cannot seem to get rid of a strange shadow in the bottom corner of the image, no matter how I position myself with the lighting. I am hoping I can crop out that part, but it will have to wait until after work.

Last night the waterfall part was working well, but this morning it is not. Since there was only photos to follow, I did muck it up a bit. First of all, it is all upside down. But I think it came out well for the first attempt. Got to rush to work.

Here are two more photos of the card.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cropped Out!

Oh my, I have survived my first crop. I have learned a lot. Guess I should say I have learned what I am not. Let me show you what I made and then explain that a bit more.

First, I actually got the Mother's day card made for my mom.

I had a lot of fun making this card. First time I ever used the heavy patterned paper for the card. I used the new punch I bought that makes the slots for lacing trim through it. Cut out some of the flowers from scrap and attached them with raised dots. Attached some trim pieces in the corners and the middle, adding some crystal stickles to match the embellished paper. Added a sticker about "Mom" and for a bit of fun I used another new punch I bought that makes a cute little envelope, leaving her a message in it.



This is the page layout I made using a scan of an art project my grandson sent to me when he was in Pre-K.

Actually two years ago. When I took the beginning scrapbook class, the instructor showed us books she had made for her own children. She mentioned that she had scanned their awards, report cards and such and used them on the pages. So, I thought I would try it. My scanner can only scan up to legal size, his art project is a bit larger, but the scrapbook store has an awesome set up and was able to scan it for me and shrink it down a bit and used a border punch on white underneath. Then, I came across a photo of him with Santa taken that same year and added it in the corner. Using my "Stretch Your Imagination" cartridge for the Cricut I cut out the cluster of snowflakes a long the side, a punch made the snowflakes which I used small foam circles to attach to give them some 3-D texture and after I demonstrated to the lady next me at the crop how to heat emboss I used that as well, cutting it out and adding it to the corner with foam glue square. I was going to add some journaling, but at the bottom of his artwork is a little saying that kind of speaks for itself.

For the "take and make" project for the crop, we made these cute little journal books.




It is about the size of a card, 5 x 4 inches or so, using six spirals. I was glad to learn how to use a binder machine and to cover the paper wrapped around so when you open the book it is covered as well. However, was a bit disappointed that in my case, as I received a red/black kit, that the pre-printed pages for the book were repetitive in nature. Design is different, but using the same words so to speak. The alternate kit was pink and black. While I would much prefer the red to the pink, the pink had better pre-printed pages (which were patterned on the other side) one of which was a really cute clock that they punched a scalloped circle out, inking the edges and layered it beneath the image of the clock.

It was a great little lesson to learn as I will be making an altered book to send to my mom. She writes in a journal each evening and I am going to dress up a journal for her a bit.

Okay, I promised to explain about learning what I am not. My first crop was very interesting to say the least. There was scrappers from all levels participating from older ages to one fourteen year old that came with her mom. She was interesting to watch as she was not so much scrapbooking photos as she was just making pages that reflect her own feelings. One thing she did that I found very neat was making pages of clothing designs. A book, rather like a kit, had all these stencils for articles of clothing to trace and cut out, came with printed papers, ribbons, trims, little do dads to add bling and even little wire clothes hangers. I have got to get this for my own daughter, of course I will have to play with it as well, and the young girl was all to happy to show the book to me so I could write down the title, told me exactly where to find it at the craft store and showed me the price. At first I was a bit put off with the price, $25, but when I saw exactly what all came with it, knew it was pretty cheap compared to buying all the components separately. Wonder if my coupon would work on books? I thought about taking my youngest daughter, and they told me it would be fine, but this may sound bad, I wanted some time for just me. Especially being the first time I went. There was even a young man, I would say late teens early twenty's, punk rock with goth and tattoo look going on, breeze in and out picking out supplies and having his mom pay for it. Seems he was scrapping at home. The store runs a tab, like being at a bar (just as intoxicating in some ways) for any supplies you need while there. I did walk around a bit to take a looksey at what everyone was working on. One lady doesn't really so much scrap her photos in layouts as she creates the most beautiful layouts using die cuts and papers with embellishments to create the theme of her pages. The pages she was working on happened to be a recent trip to the orient. Then she adds pages with several photos and only a minimal amount of journaling (one line mostly) describing the photo. I must say though they were just breath taking to look at. One lady just made cards. Another made only kits, one made only Disney pages, one young lady only scrapped photos with no embellishments or anything. The lady that was sitting next to me was working on a chipboard album made from letters that spelled out the work sisters. I find those to be very interesting and am thinking that I may make one that spells my mom's name and add photos of her mother and her, mom and me, mom and the kids, and the wedding photos of the oldest two, graduation of youngest son and ice skating photo of youngest. It would sure be a gift no one else would give her.

I learned I have no set style. I learned there is no wrong style. I learned that even though I am on a bologna budget - compared to the caviar of the majority of those ladies, I took entirely too many supplies and was not very well prepared. Part of that was just the fact that I had a small set of calamities trying to get ready for the crop. I had planned on pulling some old photos off of floppy disk and printing them. I had a few problems with the printer. Still acting weird, as in printing one photo and it shows almost full ink levels, the next photo print will show both black and color almost empty. The ink is brand new. But, I had problems getting the external disk drive to work, my computer has no drive for floppy disk. So, gave up and figured I would just work on what ever I found once I got there. I went on a small shopping trip after dropping daughter off to go with church youth group over to Magic Mountain (so she was happy to miss the crop this time) and bought some papers, pens, plastic boxes and totes to take it all to the crop. I took four boxes of photos, all the paper I have, all the stickers and do dads, every type of glue I have, every punch I own, Christmas stamps, all my ink pads, all my embossing powders, a box of trims and laces, embossing plates, even took my cricut. I had my cutters in the tote, and not a single thing with them as I had no idea what I would be using. Now I have a better understanding. However, I did get some of my plunder organized a bit better. One of the plastic boxes I bought at Walmart is actually for beads or jewelry making, but just as I suspected is perfect for embossing powders. The little clear jars screw together and what I had that was in little baggies fit very well in to those jars and using my WONDERFUL Dymo brand labelmaker (looks like a little typewriter prints on peel and stick label tape which comes in colors, metallic or clear) made labels for each color. I LOVE HEAT EMBOSSING. And after hauling it all back home (forgetting that I would not be able to use the front seat for boxes coming home as I had going to the crop) and after putting it all away have a much better understanding of what to take if I go to another crop.

All in all it was indeed a positive experience. Even though one lady was extremely loud and set in her opinions, one lady had no clue that she was blocking the flow of traffic completely, and over all it was very noisy and very cliquish. I will take some more classes to be sure. I probably will go to shorter crops - they have free ones two days a week. However, I was totally unrealistic in the amount of work I would be able to do. Maybe because this type of crop was a big party of sorts, maybe because I was just still so new to all of this. I do know that if I do go to another crop it will be with better preparation (as in having my photos ready) and with specific pages in mind.


Oh, and I have my list going of some things I need to purchase next, like red and green papers to start on Christmas cards and a couple of more punches that I can tell I need along with one of those systems to hold 12 x 12 papers. The plastic box I just bought (for $3 with a locking lid) is just perfect for the 8 1/2 x 11 papers, will buy one more to hold the 4 x 6 paper packs I have as well. I also have my wish list going, like the tote/cart I saw one lady had. The paper trays popped up out of the top, pushed down to travel. SO COOL.

Most important, I have developed a plan of action as to where to start with my future scrapping adventures after discovering that I really have two different hobbies going. One being the stamping and embossing which will mainly be used for card making the other being scrapbook page lay outs.

The cardmaking is simple, make for the occasion. Then either file it away until needed or create for a specific need and actually send it. As I said, I plan to start on Christmas cards over Memorial Day week end. I know there will several, am going to make a list of the special ones I want to get the handmade cards, so want to go a head and get them finished so I can be ready to send them out on time.

As for scrapbooking, I have determined that I will be making the three most common sizes, 12 x 12, 8 1/2 x 11, and 8 x 8 along with some special ones as well like the chipboard ones. I realized my photos are in total disarray and I don't want to spend the time sorting all of them before actually getting to do some pages. To that end, I am going to first work on printing out the photos from all the floppy disk that we have collected as well as transferring them to CD's. Then I am going to make up layouts with papers and colors that I like and add the photos as I find them. I have fallen in love with a set of paper I found and am not too sure I can bring myself to cut it up, may have to use those pages for titles and dividers. At any rate, when I come across a stack of photos that are of the same occasion, I will make them up. Most of my photos have all the negatives and I can take and get prints made pretty cheap of those instead of cutting up the originals. I think then those originals will just go in to ordinary photo albums. If I come across only one or two photos of the same nature, will do those in the smaller 8 x 8 format, using the 8 1/2 x 11 for albums for each of the kids and the larger 12 x 12 for my personal pages. I am of course going to scan, save, and print the pages of each of the kids books for me to keep for myself as well. At least in my mind it is a realistic, organized plan of action.

Enough rambling on for tonight, I am headed to bed, have to get up and start the work week all over again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scrapbook Page Layout

I have to get to work but wanted to post this first. Last night I copied some photos I found of my oldest son's tandem sky dive. He had always wanted to do this, so when hubby won a dive in a raffle he gave it to our son.

This is my first page layout that I created on my own. I wanted to have the effect of him coming closer by using the photos in a small view to larger view.


I scanned this, so it doesn't show up, but the first two photos are attached flat, the third photo is on thin foam squares, the fourth and largest photo is on thicker foam to make it all stand out a bit. My son is the one on the bottom.

Let me know what you think. It's off to work now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Birthday Card

I posted yesterday that I made my oldest daughter a birthday card. Before I download the photo, I just have to elaborate a bit on my late evening mission. The card has a birthday cake, I wanted to put some icing on it, some sparkle at least. Off to the near by Walmart, then decided I pretty much already knew what they had...nothing. That point came up again tonight, looking for magazines and a printer. But, I refuse to stray from the topic. I figured I would go to JoAnn's instead, knowing that they did at least have a small supply of embossing powders. As I headed that way, I passed by a Michael's and thought at least it would be something different to look at. My wallet has told me quite loudly that it was a big mistake. My supply boxes are just giddy with enjoyment.

I bought some punches that were on clearance, some new powders and inks to play with, didn't find the icing, but liked one powder so well that I bought it only to find out that I already had it at home. First reaction was to just take it back, it is called Winter Wonderland Opaque, it is white with silver mixed in. Then I thought about those Christmas cards I want to make, the trees with snow hanging on them, Santa's fur, ornaments, suddenly I am thinking I may be a leg up on the supply list. Any way, I have been totally unable to find an embossing pen, but did find a Versamark Pen. Understand that a scrapbook store I went in to, across town, had a girl working that wasn't to sure how to measure trim off and cut it. Should have been the first clue. She was wearing sweat pants with the legs pulled up mid calf. Like she was on the way to the gym. Should have been the second clue. But no...I think maybe her parents own the store so she must know a little something, by virtue of osmosis if nothing else. So I ask about an embossing pen. They don't have any, but any glue pen would work.

DO NOT USE GLUE TO EMBOSS. The heat makes the glue bubble. Take my word for this and save yourself some aggravation.

The Versamark pen worked great by the way. I highly recommend it as a way to add embossing medium in detailed spots that would just work to ink from the pad. I will be using it a lot more.

I honestly cannot wait to get started playing with my toys again. So many ideas are floating in my head. I thought that the Rock n Crop I am going to on Saturday started at 6 pm and went to midnight. I found out it starts at 10 am. Now, to figure out how to get away from the family that early. It's a challenge but I am up for it. Great thing is about this new crafting adventure is that I am getting so much great positive support. A great lady that I have know for a long time has been scrapping for some time. Even though she lives across the ocean she has been great for advice and suggestions. I also have the greatest staff of the greatest scrapbooking store there ever was. No teens in work out gear, all of these ladies are totally knowledgeable and love to help people make what they like. My daughter in Texas is very artistic, always has been. My youngest daughter is 12 and she has it going too. She has totally gotten obsessed with scrapbooking, not sure if she really likes or just wanting to do something with mom, but I can sure handle that too.

Okay, guess that is enough chit chat for the evening. Here is the birthday card.


I know, still have a ways to go but I really like the final result. The Happy Birthday stamp is from Stampin Up - the Voila set. The cake is die cut using Sizzix, and the candy is from a set of acrylic stickers. There is a story behind the candy, just leave it at that.
So, let me know what you think. Next project is to make a mother's day card for my mom. Will see how that goes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Card

I am starting to get a little braver with trying new things. I recently acquired this really cool stamp that is a collection of Easter eggs. I knew my mom would like it so I bravely went forward and stamped out three images. Embossed them all, one with a powder called Egyptian blue, one with black, and one with gold.
This one is the Egyptian blue. I really wish I could find the person that gifted me with these embossing powders, I would love to know what brand they are and to properly thank her. It has been great having a little bit to play with with out going broke buying it all to try. But, back to the point.

This is the start of my card. I decided to try out coloring with watercolor pencils. I am not sure they were meant to be used on glossy card stock, I had used white to stamp the image on so I would be able to see the details better. I think there might have been a little better way of doing this, but I will keep working on my techniques. As I said, I decided to use the watercolor pencils since according to the package you just color in the area then mist with water. It said they would not run together, but am thinking that maybe glossy card stock doesn't know this.
If you look close enough you can see a couple of places that the colors did bleed together. Am I a bit anal about this? No...never really have been an in the lines kind of person when it came to making things, but the fact that the final result did not match what was in my mind's eye will bother me a bit. I do think the colors came out pretty neat looking. I found that I was looking for more shades and colors to work with, but then I realized that I really had all I needed for a basic color range. That being said, I have this kind of warped since of balance that causes me to really think hard about where I am putting in color as I don't want one spot to be heavy in red and orange while another spot has none.

Realize that I have a limited supply of tools to work with as well, am working on it, but wanted to wait until I learned a bit more about what I want to be doing so I invest accordingly. Therefore, with the choices at hand, I knew I didn't want the sharpness of a zigzag, so opted for the handy scalloped scissors. When the image was dry I cut it out leaving a little bit of the white. I don't think I will do that with the next one.
I ended up attaching it to a dark purple base. Then, I printed out on the computer the words I wanted to say on the front. Of course I would have an equipment malfunction where the scissors seemed to eat the paper more than cut it. All in all I was fairly pleased with the end result. However...I just felt it needed a little something. I got this bright idea (yeah I know, so beginner looking) to stamp the eggs image one more time, color them in, add a little black glitter and then cut a couple of the eggs out attaching them with little mounting squares to give the card a little texture. I like the addition of the cut outs so much better. And even though it will late getting there, I know it will be welcome. I just need to type a few lines for the inside and it will be off to my mom.

I also started on my oldest daughter's birthday card. It too will be late getting there, but last year it was about three months after her birthday when she got her gift. Not this year though. I had no sooner gotten good and started with the card when I decided it needed some extra pizazz. Off to the store I went in search of supplies. Am I hooked or what? I found the dollar bins and bought about twenty or so stamps. Granted two of them were the same penguin, but that was so youngest DD could keep one and give one to her friend. They are constantly playing Club Penguin so in my mind it made since. She liked it though, that is what counts. I am pleased that I have exact plans for almost everyone of those stamps. Shows at least I am starting to understand this new hobby a bit and can see ahead at least in my mind. Most of the stamps are Christmas, but since I am soon getting started on making up all my Christmas cards, they seemed to fit the image in my head really well. I actually know what and how I am going to do with them...which is a switch for me. By the way, it is the lighting difference between a photo and the scanner that makes the color of the white border change.

I am worn out tonight, will post photos of the birthday card tomorrow. It is really awesome. At least I think so. Until then, here is one more image for you.

This is the stamped image that I embossed in black. I used plain markers to color in this one. It seems to be a little bolder. I can't wait to see how the chalk one turns out.

Until next time, happy stamping and cutting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Scrapbook page

I mentioned that I went to a class to learn scrapbooking. Thought I would share how that has turned out. I am really happy with the class, the teacher, and all of it.











This was the first layout that the she helped me come up with. I found this really great paper that has all kinds of names for grandfather printed all over it, decided to start with that. My grandson calls us PaPaw and MeMaw. I really like blue, tend to go for blue the majority of the time, but when I laid the photos on some blue paper they kind of got lost because of so much blue in the photo itself. And, I am not at all an orange kind of person, in fact I rather detest the color personally. However, that being said, I have to admit it really makes the page pop. Then, she just tore the page corner to corner, tore off a strip of the orange and tore it corner to corner as well. The green is cardstock and used it as the base.

A couple of problems came to mind with this lay out. First of all, my little grandson will be seeing this when he comes to visit, may even end up making a book of his visits for him to have. At any rate, he is...a bit set on how things should be...alright, some might call it compulsive, I choose to say he just has strong opinions of what he likes and doesn't like about things. At any rate, I know very well that the torn edges would really drive him nutty. I had already decided before even leaving the store that I would have to change that. That sent me on a shopping mission for some border punches. The class was on Thursday, we were leaving for the camping trip on Saturday morning early. So...what I was able to get was a sparse choice from Walmart at 10:00 at night on Friday night. That was a whole story in itself about our three hour dinner visit at Chili's.

With everything pulled out and sitting on the table of the trailer at the beach while camping, I went to work trying to straight cut the paper. It was not coming out well and it dawned on me, the page was in a 12 x 12 format, I needed 8 1/2 x 11 size format. DID YOU KNOW, 8 1/2 X 11 is not exactly square? Okay, laugh, it took me a little bit to realize that one. Math is not my thing. At any rate, I did some cutting, did some punching, and the result is the now 8 1/2 X 11 layout with no torn edges.


















I still have to add the journaling and a little embellishment, but not a lot. I think they are coming along rather well. I will post photos of the finished page.

Last night I pulled out some boxes of photos and found the pages that I had created back in 1999 or so. I had no idea what I was doing then, but had started making a book for youngest daughter. I bought colored paper, pastels, and stickers, two punches, page protectors and that was it. Really kind of pitiful looking. At first I had thought I would take them all apart and start over, but have since decided to leave them as is to show my progress. Not that I have any grand illusions of becoming a world class page designer, but I do think that with the new products available and learning some techniques that I will get to be a little better than those earlier efforts. Later today I will scan in a couple of those pages and add them to this.

For now, have to take daughter to ice skating. She is twelve now, was just about two or three when I did those first pages. I am going to drop in on a craft store by the rink and then home to make a birthday card for my oldest daughter (turning 27) and an Easter card for my mom. Yes, I know it is late, but she will love it anyway. I plan on making her a matching card and altered book for Mother's day. Just have to go buy the book.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My project

I told you I would post more about my project, I plan to journal my Cricut shapes. This is mainly for my own sense of it all. I was so new to Cricut system, still am, although I have two of them. I have to say I really love them. I have heard a lot of talk on the groups and boards about the Design Studio and the SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot) and am sure that will be in my investment future. From everything I gather from the talk, it will be a lot like getting the converter box for my embroidery machine.

In the mean time, I want to share with you my little project. I started with the 8 x 8 inch squares of white card stock and then started using the Cricut. The most helpful place for how to information on the Cricut has to be YouTube. That place is incredible. At any rate, I took the advice and just played with it. On my camping trip I took the Cricut Personal Cutter, or the smaller one. It travelled really well and for what I was needing, the size limit was not an issue.

I used my newest cartridge, Stretch Your Imagination, which in my opinion is the best one for a beginner as it has so many shapes to choose from. First there is the four seasons, shapes to go with each season, a card feature, card frame feature, basic tags, and an awesome silhouette function. I know that each cartridge has different creative functions and that several have the silhouette function, but this cartridge, Stretch Your Imagination, has the best for this beginner. I figured that the 2 inch size would be a good middle of the road size to just see what it does. While it did save paper a bit, I have decided to do the rest in the 3 inch size. Like the details a better in the larger size. At any rate, here is examples of what I am doing.

This is Summer. I won't fill up the blog with all the photos, but this will give you some idea. These are done in 2 inch size. The ice cream cone is a great example though of the different creative function. First is the ice cream cone. Then is what is cut in the "layer" function, would be great for making scoops of different flavors (colors) on the same cone. Next is the great "silhouette" function, this just cuts just the outline of the object. Next is the "shadow" function which gives you just that, a shadow, for you to layer under the image. It is a bit larger and rounder than the image itself. Also, is the "blackout" function which only cuts the shape with no details or scoring of details.

See the palm trees, that is the "stretch" part, it is done by using the "shift" key. Kind of lame in some of the objects, but can see some whimsical possibilities in the others. For example, the ice cream cone stretches to make a cone with six scoops in a Dr. Seuss style version. However, the snowflake cut when stretched is a string of various snowflakes. I see holiday cards coming with that one.

The next little project I came up with was to catalog my punches. These are the very few borders I have. Just three, but I am ordering more, it just happens that these were the only one available to me, from 4 different stores. The first is a scallop that can emboss as well. There is a detailed embossing underneath the scallop, but it just doesn't show up in the photo, nor in person either. While it is a dainty look, I feel it is limited. Next is a great zigzag dot that was the only one on the shelf, and in the wrong spot. Cool thing is, a couple of tiny snips and the strip is off making the zigzag the outer edge. The third one is one I see lots of possibility with and know that I will use it often. It is for threading ribbon through.

Now, the next set of samples I made was for my set of smaller punches. Shapes, corners, and I also used some of the cut out portions to show that they can possibly be used for something along the way as well.

I guess you can probably tell by now that I am really tight with my supplies. It is something that I have always done, basically a pack rat, but it goes back to some psychological need to keep what is mine. I think the shrink my parents took me to decided it was my way of compensating for not knowing the real me. Who knows. At any rate, I drive people around me batty with keeping everything. Must get it from my mom as I think she still has every rubber band from every paper and ever twist tie from every loaf of bread we ever had. Some of those baggies have been washed out for at least 5 years. I marked one once and it is still there. I am too lazy to wash out the baggies or fold up the still clean aluminum foil, but will buy a box of baggies just to put one each scraps and squares of paper in, might need them. Imagine my joy when I heard that there are people that create and trade inches.

At any rate, this is a short version of my little journal projects. Oh my, wait until I pull out the new Sizzix sets I bought, along with the texture embossing set.

I had a really long day today, first day back after a couple of days off and it was a lot of catch up. I am beat so going to do a little more playing tonight and catch up on some emails. Check back to what is next.