Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quick Update - we've moved, I have a fabulous craft area and now lead a Girl Scout Daisy troop!

So to put it mildly I'm a little tired! :) I haven't forgotten about my blog, as I've said before - life really just runs away from me. I know my last post was in 2012 (egad, that's forever ago!), so let me give you the short version:

  • repainted, planted, fixed and put our house on the market; 
  • after a couple of really stressful weeks, finally closed on our old house, and closed on our fabulous new house; 
  • Moved. Oh my gracious, if I have any control over it - NEVER AGAIN, but oh, I love my craft LOFT; 
  • Started my daughter in first grade, which was a bit amazing to me; 
  • Took over a local monthly scrapbooking crop (you can find us here on Facebook, or here on Meetup.com); 
  • Realized that I really, really wanted to spend more time with my daughter, and less time at work/stressed out/driving, so I found a part-time job; 
  • Bought a new car!
  • Made two payments on the car, and was then t-boned in an intersection, which totalled the car, but my daughter and I walked away, thank goodness; 
  • Started a Daisy troop for my daughter to fill a need for new Girl Scouts!
  • Also, bought a new car that gets fabulous gas mileage, especially with a full battery charge (Ford C-Max SEL Energi; we installed a home charging station, too).
So, the bonus of being a crafty Troop Leader is that I love to do stuff like this: 

I found these fleece jackets at Target, on sale for $10, and used my Silhouette Cameo to import and trace the images. I've used the templates a lot, and love being able to convert designs into rhinestone templates so that I could make these. We also marched with our Service Unit in a local Veterans Day parade, and we carried these: 
Just cardstock glued to paint sticks from Home Depot! The girls loved them and were waving them at everyone! 

We're also gearing up for our first Cookie Season, and another leader on one of my Girl Scout Facebook groups posted a fantastic "cheat sheet" for cookie booth sales. I downloaded it, printed it so that it's double-sided and then ran it through my Xyron laminating cartridge. I cut them apart, punched a hole at the top and snapped them onto some lanyards I found online at the GSUSA store (for $2.99) - voila'! 
So we're on our way to Cookie Season - which doesn't start until mid-January, but it's good to be prepared! :)

Once I've cleaned and organized my craft loft I'll post pictures. :) It's a really great space! Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

End-of-Year Teacher Gifts and New Craft Space (Again)

Well, hello!  It's a little embarrassing that I've not updated since March (first DCM weekend) and here the summer is almost over.  I have a lot to update, obviously; it's just been such a busy summer and to be honest, I'm probably one of the laziest bloggers I know.  I have grandiose plans for posts, plan out pictures and paragraphs in my head and then sit down to play "Plants vs. Zombies" and all those plans go straight out the window.  :)  I will admit to being a bit obsessed with PvZ right now, and Buglet loves to come sit on my lap to help.  Zombies are a family thing here.  Hee.

One of the biggest events is that I (again) updated my craft space.  After my first retreat at Le Retreat House in Gainesville I was having a hard time unpacking and putting everything away.  My wonderful husband apparently read my mind and said, "Let's move it into the dining room", which made him a complete hero as I had been talking to myself all the way home from retreat planning what I would say to convince him.  :D  Great minds think alike!  

So I've gone from this space: 
To this update, in the same space: 
And now, I've moved here, our former dining room.  We moved our dining room table into the kitchen where my craft area was:
Buglet's table is there so she can sit and craft with me, one of our favorite things to do.  She is slowly taking over my rolling paper tower with her own crafty stuff, and I'm perfectly happy with that; she eats breakfast there some mornings, and it's great for Play-Doh and other messy crafts.

Want a tour around the room?  :)
The top two bins are my paper collections, arranged by vendor, and you would think alphabetically, but no.  At the time I moved them I was just trying to get them into bins before a voracious foster woofie decided to eat more of my paper, but one day I'll sort through them.  Take a peek into one bin and an up close view of one of my collection sets:

I love my collections; when I'm getting ready for a crop or a retreat I just pick out my pictures that I want to scrap, put them in the kit and off I go.  It helps me not bring my entire room with me, which only overwhelms me and then I get nothing done.  Both bins are full, and I found them on sale at Target for $4.49 one week so I really stocked up on them.  What's that neato wooden box on top of that bin?  Why, that's my nifty washi tape box!  :D  I've had this box for over 20 years; I used it to hold my cassette tapes in college (in fact, when I was moving my tapes out I found the old label with my college address on it.  Definitely something for my Smash book) and I thought it would be perfect for my washi tapes.  And it is!
Obviously, I need more washi.  ;)  I'm going to ask my father-in-law if he will help me put some removable dowels in so my tapes will stay organized and easy to use.  I just love my box!

Another big event this year: I upgraded from a Cricut to a Silhouette Cameo and I love it.  Love.  It.  I arranged my laptop and Cameo station here: 
I'm using an old CD/DVD tower to hold my SU! sets and other things, it fits perfectly next to my Cameo; I've been slowly putting all of my stamps into the empty stamp cases sold by SU just to get them all in the same place: 
My Tim Holtz inks and distress stains fit perfectly into this little cabinet: 
Buglet's rolling paper tower and my Cropper Hopper paper cart:
And with my rolling chair I can simply wheel across the room to my big table to work on things.  Pretty nifty. My new space makes it easy to craft again, and my  latest project was gifts for Buglet's teachers, as she is promoting this year and leaving their room.  I saw this idea in the new Stampin' Up! catalog and fell in love with it; this was the end result:
They're not exactly the same, which I like, yet they are similar enough that I hope her teachers know just how much my husband and I appreciate their work with our daughter.  She has really grown this year and I know that they were a big part of her growth, and she just simply loves them.  Here's a close up:
Stay tuned, I'm going to try to post some of the great layouts and projects (Buglet's birthday!) that I've created with my Cameo.  My furry best friend wanted to say hello, and thank you for stopping by!  :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: Dallas Crafter's Marathon

Last weekend was a busy weekend, even though all I did was scrap!  Yes, I was lucky enough to be able to spend almost two whole days scrapping with good friends, in a great space that is (so awesome!) only 10 minutes from home.  10.  Minutes.  That just totally rocks my socks off, and the bonus that I got to spend time with my awesome scrappy friends?  Even more rockin', let me tell you.  :D

This is the first crop that I've gone to with this group - it's a local group named the Dallas Crafter's Marathon, and can be found on Meetup.com.  They rent a great space in Plano from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and just craft to their heart's content.  Each crafter gets their own six foot table (exactly like the one I have at home, which was nice) so that she (or he) can spread out as much or as little as possible.  I went to scrapbook, but there were several people knitting, crocheting and doing other crafts and it was a nice mix.

This is the front door, so you knew you were in the right place:
Just wait until you see the inside - this is the front room:
The second room:
See what I mean?  The rooms are huge so you're not stepping on someone every time you want to get up and wander around; the lighting is great, so much so that you almost don't need additional light (although it did help a bit as the day drew on); there are outlets near every table so you can plug in a power strip or extension cord.  Our hostess, Donna, was amazing, and really made this fun - there were great door prizes given away every couple of hours (no, I didn't win anything, I only win if there's a bottle of wine involved because I don't drink wine. It just never fails that if there's a wine giveaway, I'm going to win it, but I still just won't drink it), she answered every question we had, there were vendors there all weekend (with no pressure to buy at all), and she was crafting too!  Take a look at this loveliness:
She's working on an altered book project, and I just thought the pile of flowers was really pretty.  Here's a peek at her book:
Here's my little home for the weekend:
And of course, a naked baby:
Because it's just not a crop unless there is a naked baby doll staring at you the whole time.  ;)

I liked it so much that I stayed later than I expected to each night (Friday and Saturday), finished six pages (three double page layouts) and finally completed my daughter's second year album.  It really was a great weekend! There are a lot of restaurants very close, a 7-11 just outside, and Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Joann's right down the road (Target and Walmart are also very close, just in case you've got a major urge to shop). The facility is looking into adding WiFi very soon, which will be another bonus, but this is really an amazing place to crop.

So if you're looking for space to craft and make some new crafty friends, check out the Dallas Crafter's Marathon on Meetup.com. There are two crops in March, both of which are free; the second one is scheduled for the last weekend of the month and has already been filled with a waiting list, BUT Donna mentioned the owner is adding more tables so spaces will open up (as well as people do have conflicts arise and are unable to make it, so spots open that way as well).  The cost for March is free; the usual charge for the crop is $25, which is actually quite a bargain for a two day crop.  The hours of the crop are Friday night, 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. - well worth the cost for the space, the location and the company!  :)  Hope to see you soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting Ready for a Birthday...

I'm a little shocked that in a couple of months our little baby will be four years old.  Four.  How on earth did that happen?  It seems like yesterday I was looking into this tiny, beautiful face and thinking "Oh my goodness I don't know what I'm doing, but I love her completely."  :)  Somehow I figured out what to do (most of the time) and our tiny girl has blossomed into a sweet preschooler, who is over half my height.  THAT I really don't like, hee.  At the rate she seems to be growing she's going to be as tall as I am in first grade, or it sure seems like she will be!  Hmph.  Anyways.

We have decided on a fairy princess birthday party this year, so I'm starting to design the invitations and other party stuff.  I was at Michael's the other day (shocker, I know) and found some really cute little flowers in the dollar section, in several different colors.  16 flowers in a pack, in varying shades, so I picked up purple, blue, green and yellow.  The cards are from a stamp convention in January, and for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the vendor, just that they're from Green Bay, Wisconsin (they were all wearing Packer jerseys, and the cashier and I talked a bit about Green Bay and Wisconsin; my family is based in Wisconsin, and we lived in GB when I was in second grade before moving overseas for 18 months).  I love these cards, they're very simple, but sweet:
I'm glad this is the prototype, my yellow flower had a big splotch on it.
Thank you stamp: My Pink Stamper
Ink: Stampin' Up! Tempting Turquoise
Ink: Stampin' Up! Lovely Lilac
The final set will be at least twelve cards, I think it's going to be really pretty once it's done.
Want to see my little photo studio?  Hee!
My awesome sister-in-law gave me this for my birthday one year; it's from ThinkGeek.com and it's great!  I haven't used it in a while as it's kind of big and unwieldy, and my desk has been a mess so no room for it.  My Ott lights provided the perfect light, too.  I busted it out because my other pics didn't turn out so well, because my set was invaded:
Well, hi, you silly hambone.  :)

Items used for these cards:
Basic ivory cardstock - vendor unknown
Paper flowers: Michael's, in the dollar bins
Stampin' Up! inks: Tempting Turquoise, Lovely Lilac, Green Galore and Daffodil Delight
Thank you stamp: My Pink Stamper
Fiskars and EK Success Paper Shapers corner rounders.

Once my latest Stampin' Up order arrives I'll be able to get her invitations done - nothing very fancy, again simple and sweet, but I'm excited because the base card is purple and sparkly!  Sometimes I wonder if I was a crow in a past life because I simply love the sparkly stuff.  ;)  Thank you for stopping by, and have a blessed and wonderful day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A beautiful October wedding...

My sister-in-law met a wonderful guy a couple of years ago, and in October we were very blessed to welcome him into our family.  They had a small, intimate wedding at a local winery, with a distinct vintage feel to it, and it was just gorgeous.  I've been itching to put our pictures into layouts, and finally broke out one of my Club SEI kits to put them together.  I started off following the directions, but ended going on my own as my pictures weren't the same sizes and I was inspired to use other things in my stash or the kit that I liked better.  My new inking tool came in quite handy and I love it even more now!

Photography by the amazing Jonathan Ivy; flowers - well, Shelley and I made the flower bouquets.  :)  Take a peek:

The base papers are not part of the kit; they're from a Die Cuts with a View Neutrals stack.  I liked the darker green base much better.  And this is one of my favorites on this layout:
The music note paper was part of the kit, as well as the flower; I stamped the sentiment and inked the edges of the longer piece with Eggplant Envy (Stampin' Up!).  It just turned out really pretty, and was just enough for the page.
The next two pages use most of the kit, with the exception of the dark green mat and the deep purple mats; again from DCWV, the Shimmer stack:
I love that big blue flower - that and the smaller purple one are from Sassafrass Lass; they just seemed to fit and the blue one has a beautiful vintage feel to it:

So pretty:
I added the bling and ink to the butterflies, I thought it helped to pop them off of the page.  I'm so happy with these pages, I really love how they turned out.  :)

I did find a great way to store my new blending tool and ink pads, from Hobby Lobby ($7.99, less 40% with coupon):
I cut part of one divider off so I could store the tool in the box too (hopefully I won't misplace it this way), and labeled it with my Dymo label maker.  Inside view:

I put the extras in there too, just to get them out of the way.  I think it works pretty well, considering I don't really ink very much, but maybe that will change?  ;)  Not sure what my next projects are, although I do need to start working on Buglet's birthday party invitations and other party stuff, not to mention 22 table centerpieces for my dad's upcoming wedding!  Eep!  :)  As always, thank you for stopping by, and have a wonderful, blessed day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's been a long, crafty weekend... :)

Yay for President's Day!  It's my sneaky day off in the middle of February; instead of getting MLK Day off in January, my company has President's Day off and I like that.  I took Friday off just for fun and it's been a long, lovely, crafty weekend...

I started by making glue dots and other glue swirls and lines.  I bought a bottle of Aleene's Tack It Over & Over and made swirls, lines and little dots on a paper strip left over from my Xyron X sticker machine.  Usually I use parchment paper, but this works much better:
I know, you can barely see them!  I'm not running out of adhesive, I just thought it would be interesting to try them and to see if they hold - this is actually the second batch I've made of them and they hold great!  They're perfect for bling that doesn't have a sticky back, and the bigger ones add some dimension.  I haven't played with the swirly ones, I may try to make flowers with them.

I also had a crafting get-together Friday night, nothing fancy, just getting together with friends to chat and work on various projects.  My friend Elizabeth was kind enough to teach me how to knit!  I was so surprised at how easy it was (I've always been intimidated by knitting, although I did know how to crochet once; a really long line was all I could do, but I was crocheting!) and it was fun to learn.  I do need to pay more attention though, hee, I'd start talking and the next thing I knew I had a mess and would have to hand it to E to ask her fix it.  :D  It was so much fun though, and ta da!  my little flag!
Hee, I added the letters when I got home because I was so proud of it.

Saturday was a pajama day as Tessie wasn't feeling well; we just stayed home in jammies all day, played, watched movies and got crafty:
I think I've mentioned before that T has her own set of stamps and inks; her "My Color Box" inks are from Hobby Lobby and are washable - I love those inks.  They clean up GREAT!  She's playing on my new craft mat, also known as a $5 oven liner from Walmart.  Much cheaper than the craft mat from Ranger, that's for sure.  Something else T likes to do: take a pair of tweezers and put buttons back in one of my jars or match them up to a bunch of rosettes that I've got premade.  I think it's great for her fine motor skills, and she likes to play in my craft area, which is just neato.  I did get a two-page layout done Saturday night, from a kit, but to be honest I'm not happy at all with it (complete honesty: I think it's uglier than sin and I'm going to rework it) so no pictures of it.  The more I think about it, the less I like it so I'm going to redo it.  At least one page of it.

Sunday was also quiet, although we did leave the house!  T and I went grocery shopping while Daddy was at church (due to her fever on Saturday I didn't want to get anyone else sick), then came home to play with Honey.  After a family walk (insisted on by Honey, whose Australian Shepherd traits came out in full force as she was herding me to the door, sheesh), Tessie and I started playing again.  She played with some washi tape freebies (from KawaiiTape on Etsy) while I started dinner and a new set of layouts.  I ended up making two double layouts from one kit, and still have enough left over to make two more pages!  I used Happy Together (Heidi Larssen) by Fancy Pants Designs to create these:

I love the glitter cuts included in the kit, I think I used all except for one of them.  The colors of this whole collection went so well with our family pictures taken at the McKinney Cotton Mill in September, 2010.

I have decided that I love to scrap big pictures.  Love them.

I used almost everything included in the kit, except for the buttons, and I added the sparkly bling from my stash.  I surprised myself by really liking and using the rub-ons from the collection; I usually avoid them (and ribbon) like the plague.  I also used my new Inkessentials Ink Blending Tool:
I know, I'm totally behind in just starting to use one of these, but I won a gift card to Michael's and thought it would be a good time to try it.  I love that thing!  It worked much better than my usual method, for sure.

After getting those layouts done I realized I'm almost done with T's second year album, which means I'm almost caught up!  I need to order some more pictures and then I'll be good to go.  Her birthday is coming up, as well as my father's wedding (I'm working on the table centerpieces for them), so I might not have a lot of time to work on them, but who knows.  I hope everyone had a good weekend, and thank you for stopping by!