Monday, January 31, 2011

Manual labor is hard on an old lady!

About 11:00 this morning I started getting ready for our remodel that's supposed to start Wednesday.  I stripped the wallpaper off the bathroom walls and then scraped the popcorn ceiling.

It made such a mess, even though I had sprayed the ceiling with water, that I decided to go ahead and scrape the hallway too.  I figured that way I'd have that much done and could save a little money.

There was no good place to quit!  I wound up scraping the living room ceiling too.

Fred had gone into town to run some errands and by the time he got home I was already in the living room.  He thought I was only going to do the bathroom.  But with the winter storm coming in I thought I might ought to do as much as I could.

His job was to take his shop vac and suck up the ceiling material that had fallen outside the area covered by my drop cloths.

If you ever have to scrap a popcorn ceiling, use a pump-up yard sprayer full of water to wet it first.  Keeps the dust down and makes it super simple to scrape.

It was after 5 p.m. when I finished and got into the shower.  My hair and even my clothes were full of dust and I felt like I'd been in a sandstorm.

Duane, our remodeler, is still planning on starting on Wednesday.  I'm sitting here listening to sleet hammering my window.  A major winter storm is moving into Oklahoma overnight with temps below 10°.  lots of snow and ice in our forecast.  Combine that with our winds that may reach 45 mph tomorrow and we'll lose power, for sure!

My biceps are getting sore from being used for the first time in forever.  My neck is stiff from looking up and reaching overhead to scrape the ceilings.  Manual labor is hard on an old lady! LOL!

I'm going to take a couple of aspirin, put on my snuggy jammies and go to bed.  I've done everything I can do to prepare for Wednesday and if the weather is as bad as they say it will be, I may just lay up in bed all day tomorrow! LOL!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Homemade wobblers

If you live in a rural area with no LSS or Hobby Lobby nearby and you want to try some new craft item you only have a couple of choices, either order online and wait forever or figure out how to make your own.

The wobblers I've been seeing added onto cards and layouts fascinated me.  I thought it would be a nice way to add some dimension onto my CFS cards so I just experimented until I figured them out.

After seeing a video on Youtube showing how the wobblers were used I began my search for a type of wire, spring or something to use to make one.

Wire collapses when compressed so you lose your "wobble".  The people at our local lumberyard know me so they're never surprised when I come in and ask for something that I have no idea what it's called.  I searched through their drawers full of springs and found on that I thought might work.  But, then I figured I'd cut myself trying to clip it into sections and tape the curly piece onto a piece of cardstock.

Plastic is safer!  Tonight I had an inspiration and got about 14" of DH weedeater line.  I wrapped it tightly around the handle of a wooden spoon, using some wire to secure both ends of the plastic line to the spoon handle. 

I put the kettle on the stove and brought water almost to a boil, stood the spoon up in a glass jar and poured the hot water over it to cover.  I left the spoon in the hot water for about 45 minutes, pulled it out and let it lay on the countertop until it was completely cooled.

Here's what I wound up with.  It's almost 1" in diameter.  A little larger than what I wanted but it will work.

Using a pair of wire cutters I snipped off a couple of rounds.  Then I punched two 1 1/4" circles out of white cardstock.

I attached both ends of the curled line to the cardstock using plain old Scotch tape.

And, here's the finished wobbler!

Not very fancy, but it will work.  I told DH that I need something smaller in diameter than my wooden spoon to wrap the line around since it relaxed quite a bit after I removed it and so the spiral turned out larger than what I wanted.  He says he has some dowel rods in the shop and he'll find one smaller so I can try to make one that will be smaller than 1" in diameter.

Living room and bathroom update

East side of Living Room.  Tired of all that brown wood!

The half wall has got to go.  And isn't the light fixture lovely?

You can kind of see here just how brown and dark this stuff makes the living room!

Entry tile.  Can you say 1970?

Another 70's touch in the main bath.  The bad thing is, I like them! They put the light where it's needed when you're doing you hair, etc.  But they are soooo outdated!

At least the light fixtures go well with the Harvest Gold countertop!

Harvest Gold fixtures and tile have to stay, for now.  There's country style wallpaper on the walls with little blue and gold tulips on it.  That I'll be removing myself.
Here's photos I shot on January 30th before any work was done.  I had removed about 99% of the knick knacks in the living room getting ready to start tearing down the ceiling.  Unfortunately, I didn't take time to straighten up the bathroom before I made the photos.  Now you can see how messy I am on a daily basis! lol!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and my toes, too) that by this time next week I can post the photos of the finished redo.

We're painting the shelves and TV stand on either side of the fireplace, tearing out the popcorn ceilings and the half-wall in the entry as well as the entry tile. The front door will be replaced and hung so that it will open to the left instead of the right to give us better light and access into the living room.

I wanted to remove the fireplace too but got talked out of doing that!  Several years ago we did away with the flue and just have gas logs in it so it's not even a working fireplace any longer.  But the way it's built into the house makes it a real problem to try and remove it--especially in February since we'd be taking out the east wall of the room and opening it up into an unheated garage space!

In the bathroom, the mirror will be cut down, the fir-down above the mirror removed, sconce lights installed on either side of the mirror, popcorn ceiling and wallpaper are going away and a new vanity top and sink installed.

We bought our house almost 15 years ago.  Had it all painted inside and new carpet installed before we moved in.  This is the longest time we've ever spent in a single location and I'm ready to do a renovation! lol!

A couple of months ago, we installed new HVAC systems and had to go overhead with our duct work.  We put off doing that until we were ready to replace the carpeting so we can cover up the old floor ducts that have been plugged off.

When it's time for the flooring to be done, I'll have to pack up my entire craft room so the laminate can go down in here.  That's a good/bad thing.  It's going to be a hassle, but it's a great way to clean this room really well! lol!

The kitchen was gutted and completely redone last spring so when we get this project completed we'll have done about all we plan to do to the house.

Of course I'll have to try and remember to post some demolition photos too!  Here's a link to before and after photos of the kitchen remodel.

My first "real" concert

My son is a traveling chef for a catering company that does concerts.  He goes all over the southeastern part of the US following different artists on tour.

This week they're doing the Jason Aldean tour.  He got DH and me backstage passes and invited us to the new Bank of Oklahoma center in Tulsa to attend the concert.

This was my first "real" concert.  I've attended some at a college auditorium and a couple at a nearby casino but this one was all out!  The venue seats 18,000 people and tickets sold out within 2 minutes after they went on sale!

There were no empty seats tonight!  With our passes, we didn't even get a seat! lol! When he told me we'd be on the side of the stage, I assumed we'd have seats in a specified area.  But our passes gave us access to everything behind the scenes and up close access to the stage.   We were within 10 feet of the stage so the HUGE speakers were right beside us.  Luckily, Gene, our son, had advised us to bring ear plugs. 

We stood and watched the John Deer Girls and Eric Church perform as warmup acts for Jason Aldean.  By the time he took the stage we were exhausted and left after about 30 minutes after his act began.  I know, you probably are wondering why we would have left right in the middle of the main performance!  We'd been at the BOK for about 4 hours by that time.  Gene took us on a tour of the facility, we saw the tour bus they travel on, watched him prepare some of the food and ate a wonderful dinner that he had fixed.

Gene on their tour bus

Eric Church

Jason Aldean

This is how close I was to him during his performance.  I'm sure there are a lot of his fans who'd have loved to have our passes!
The reason I drove almost 100 miles to the BOK wasn't for the concert, it was the first chance we've had to see how Gene does his job and have him cook dinner for us.  He's on the road a lot so we don't often get to see him.

I was totally fascinated by the routine they have as  traveling caterers.  They do have an extremely nice tour bus to take them from venue to venue but it's the logistics of their job that intrigued me.  I had Gene show me their equipment trailer and explain to me how they do their prep work, etc. 

There were only six people working on this tour and they do their jobs like a precision drill team.  Gene and the others are feeding about 70 people this time.  They start with breakfast and don't get through until after 8:00 p.m.  Tonight they were packed and ready to head out to Lubbock, Texas by 9:30 p.m.  They get on the bus, go to bed an wake up at their next location.

One of the people that he works with, named Cisco, is a Cordonbleu trained chef.  Gene insisted that we sample his banana pudding.  For a regular banana pudding recipe, he sure did it up right! I kept insisting that he'd added some sort of liqueur to the recipe but even Gene's boss assured me that it didn't have anything other than milk, eggs, flour, sugar, bananas and vanilla wafers.  Maybe it was the whipped egg whites that he'd topped it off with?  Let's just say, it was good!

One of the vegetables we were offered tonight was grilled carrots.  They were delicious and I liked them even better when I was told that Gene came up with the sauce recipe for them.  He even took me back into the prep area and showed me how he'd prepared them on a flat top.  I've tried to tell DH that I need a flat top. Now, if I just had room for one in my kitchen! lol!

It was a fun trip.  DH and I haven't been anywhere in ages, it seems.  I did spend a few minutes in a Hobby Lobby and had a clerk at Barnes & Noble do a good demonstration of a Nook e-reader for me before we headed to the concert.

Making our way across town we found a Whole Foods Market and stopped in.  It's the first one I've been to and was wowed by their produce and cheese selection.  There's one opening soon in the Oklahoma City area so I'll be able to go there more often.  I saw so many things today that I'd like to experiment cooking with but knew we'd have problems keeping it fresh until we could get back home.  Of all things, (welcome to the weird world of Oklahoma weather) it was in the high 70's today----January 29th!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Treat Holders

These don't take long to make at all...if you don't make twenty of them! lol!  I'm taking these down to stamp club next Thursday night, assuming the weatheman is wrong and we're not hit with a "major winter storm".

The red cardstock was cut at 3 1/2" x 8 1/2". 
I scored it at 2 1/2" from one end and folded it up to make a pocket.

Added some little embellishments and tucked some candy inside and was all done.

The little dog face is made with a couple of punched circles and a SU word window punch.  Angie Kennedy Juda, a SU demo,  showed the idea on her blog.

 I cut 4" paper doilies into quarters to make the fan shape.  Pre-tied red bow is from HL and the little heart stickers are from Wal Mart.

The polka dotted flower was made with a SU 1 1/2" scallop circle punch.  Punched twice, stacked together and then clipped to the center and folded . Stickles for the center of the flower and on the upper corners of the treat holder.

If you have any questions, just let me know.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
2 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
3 cans (15 oz.) Bush's Black Beans

Black pepper to taste
In large pot over medium heat cook onion in hot oil for five minutes.
Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder and oregano.
Puree one can of beans in a blender and add to pot.
Add two remaining cans of beans.
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Add black pepper to taste.
Garnish with salsa or shredded cheese if desired. 

I like mine garnished with sour cream.

Hello Kitty Card

THe Hello Kitty was cut at 3 7/8".  I would not recommend cutting it any smaller or you'll never get the little pieces off the paper! LOL!

The background paper came from the clearance section at the LSS.  Wish I had several more sheets of it because it's perfect raindrops!

"Cheer" was cut with Plantain Schoolbook and the arrow is from Accent Essentials.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Mirabelle Card

I'm loving the Mirabelle stack!  This card was inspired by one on Dawn Griffith's website today. 

 I used a SU border punch on the background strip, scalloped oval punch and sentiment stamp.  Added a Prima flower with a flat back pearl center and a gross grain bow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

From My Kitchen cards

A couple of weeks ago I found out about a LSS in Harrah and drove over to check it out.  It's a cute little shop with paper that I'd never seen anywhere else.  The background paper on these cards is from a stack by Melisssa Frances called Kitschy Kitchen.

I've been a fan of the retro-kitchen look since before it was cool!  Of course, I lived during that period of time myself.  LOL!

My mother's kitchen had a set of plaster of paris fruit plaques on the wall beside the back door that had faces on them just like the ones on the Peachy Keen stamps I used on these.  All her tea towels were embroidered and yes, she had a formica and chrome dinette set in there!

The toaster and mixer were cut using the From My Kitchen cartridge.  I computer printed the sentiment and used a border punch too.

The first layout I did was the one with both shapes on it.  It just looked too crowded so I changed tactics and made the one with the single toaster shape and I think I prefer it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday cards

The get well card has a Dustin Pike digi-stamp that I colored with my Promarkers.  Computer generated the sentiment.

Numbers 6:24-25 is my favorite scripture verse.  I printed it in my cardmaker software and just matted it. The metal charm is from a package that I found on clearance at WM and the white disks in the corner are from Fiskars.  I inked the edges with Chestnut Brown.

The papers I used are from the Mirabelle stack.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Spring at my house!

This morning when I woke up and looked outside, I found the ground covered with snow! Winter is a favorite time of year for me.  I love the crisp cold air when outside and being inside all snug and warm  It's a time of year that makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook comfort food and bake, bake, bake!

After doing a gazillion Christmas cards and having all my Valentine's done and mailed, I'm moving on to more spring related cards.

Don't faint!  This is a card I, all my myself, with my own little pencil sketched off and made today!  I know, it's a minor miracle that it's one I created instead of scraplifting! LOL!

The original layout was to be done horizontally but after I'd already applied the mesh, I turned the card over and realized that my custom stamp was already on the back for a vertical layout.  So, change of plans.  The duplicates of this I'll do later today will definitely be done horizontally so I can add a small sentiment in the lower corner.

The blue Magic Mesh is some I bought out of the clearance rack at a LSS that's no longer in business.  Plain old sheetrock mesh works just the same and is a lot cheaper.  You can even color the sheetrock mesh with a marker to match your paper.

The flowers are yellow and green mica paper that Okie and I picked up at a stamping garage sale.  I used  my 1 1/2" SU scalloped circle punch to make them.  The centers are punched with a Bitty punch from SU and the leaves are a flower punch from SU and a MS leaf punch.

This afternoon I'm going to experiment with this design, try out some different colors of flowers and backgrounds and just see what I like the best.  So, there will be other photos posted later today.


This one is more what I had sketched out.  I like the red mica flowers on the green background. It's a keeper!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today's cards

After getting my errands done this morning I got in here and started making cards.  All together I did six different styles of cards.  Of the first five styles, I made multiples since they're all CFS cards.

The stars on this one are from Plantin Schoolbook
I added a Peachy Keen face and some doodledots
The large dots in the corners were done with a SU mat stack and a black marker.  Then I added Glossy Accents.  The sentiment is a little Studio G stamp, punched with a SU label punch.

This card is made with Bermuda Bay paper and ink from SU.  The two images in the center were aligned using a Stamp-a-ma-jig.  I cut them out with my shaped scissors.  Added some stick on pearls and a bow. 

 I stamped a swirl design on the gray background
and then mattted it onto some black cardstock.
Using a black Sharpie I drew lines 1/4" from the
edge of the mat.

The little tree stamp is one I've had a long time.  I put it onto some grey paper, matted it with black too and added some stick on pearls.

The cherries are from Preserves cartridge. I added some accents with my white Signo pen and SU markers.  The decorative edge was done with a SU border punch, sentiment was computer generated.

The background on this card is SU chocolate chip
cardstock.  The fuschia paper is from Coredinations
I rounded the corners with my Corner Chomper
and added some stick on pearls.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scrap paper card

Just plain cardstock I ran through the Cuttlebug and scraps of green paper with a few doodledots, wedding flowers from Michael's that I added some SU ink to, pearls I bought at Arlington last summer, Justrite stamped sentiment that I pop dotted, added a bow and I was finished.

This one is made with scraps leftover from the Mirabelle cards I did yesterday.

Thank you for commenting!

It's so nice to read comments left on my blog!  I never know whether to post a thank you comment on each of the posts or not, so I'm doing it this way.

Thank you for taking time to leave a comment on my cards!

I appreciate them all!

Mirabelle stack

Paper Studio has a stack named Mirabelle that I fell in love with at first sight.  The papers in it look like fabric and the prints they used really give a card front texture.  Besides, I like the colors!

These are what I'll call "cheater" cards.  The first one is from a sheet that had two large designs in the corners of the 12 x 12 sheet.  I think they work pretty well for a card front.

The second one has sort of a toile looking paper on it.  Easy peasy to make but they turned out pretty.

I used a scallop circle punch, a circle punch  and the stamp is one of the Unity ones I bought that I seldom use.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Two hours and a glass of wine later...

DISCLAIMER:  You must read the post just prior to this one or this won't make any sense at all.  Of course, after reading the other post it still may not make sense  (I've had a glass of wine! LOL!)

This is the card that caused all the commotion!  I like it.  It's simple and cute.  But I couldn't leave well enough alone.

I grabbed my mat stack from SU and used the circle guide to add a couple of big dots.  Hmmm...still not right.

So, I added a large pearl and some doodledots.  The single pearls didn't do it for me either.

If one big one isn't right, then maybe three yellow ones will pick up the colors in the butterflies.  Still okay but just not what I had in mind.

In a flash of creative inspiration, I got out the buttons.  That's where my button saga began.

Thirty minutes later and close to a nervous breakdown, I give up!  Plop some silver stickles in the corners and cover the butterflies with Glossy Accents.  Stomp to the kitchen and opened a bottle of wine!

Here it is several hours later, and I really think I like the first card the best after all! 

Baby buttons, fat fingers and glue dots

You know, I make a LOT of cards.  Use yards and yards of ribbon and absolutely miles of ATG tape.

When you look at the cards I post here on my blog, you'll notice there's really not a plethora of small embellishments on them.  Oh, I have small embellishments to use.  Okie and I went to the scrapbook convention in Dallas last June and we bought quite a lot of them.  There are small gems and pearls of every different size and color.  We both also have containers of brads and metallic heat set embellishments to use.

Do you know why I don't use a lot of them? 

Today I was making some very cute cards using cheater paper.  Then I decided that the card really needed just a little "oomph" or some bling and started going through the embellishment drawer to see what would work.

Well, I found my packages of baby buttons.

To start off, they're in miniscule zip lock bags, which I find extremely difficult to pry open without slinging buttons all over the place. 

After I scooped them all back up into a pile, I started trying to isolate them by color so I could lay them onto the card to see how they looked.

The cards I make are A2 size and I'm pretty lax about using a bone folder to get a crisp fold in them.  So, the card was laying there, looking good and flat, until I sat the final button onto it.  At that point it decided that there was really a hidden spring inside rather than just being folded, and "sproing" I was chasing buttons all over again.

I take a deep calming breath, when what I wanted to do was wad the buttons back up in their teensy little bag and toss them over my shoulder, and lay them out again--after being sure my Martha Stewart bone folder had put a PERMANENT crease in the card.

The best way I've found to adhere plastic buttons onto paper is to use glue dots.  I reach for my roll and start trying to pick up the buttons, one by one, using my fingers, to place them onto the glue dots.  And, my fat fingers don't work too well.  So, I get my Tweezerbee tweezers because I know with the needle tips on them that I can pick up anything!

Plastic is very slick.  Tweezerbees are very tight.  Slick plastic will flip like a dolphin at Sea World all the way across your table.  Lesson learned.  I decide to just pick them up with my fingers and here we go again!

I managed to get the baby buttons pressed onto the glue dots while the dots were still attached to the paper they come on.  Now all I need to do is pick them off and put them onto the carefully spaced pencil dots I made for guidlines on my card.

When you mash a baby button onto a glue dot to be sure it's on there really good, it tends to make the glue dot not want to come off the release paper.  If you aren't careful, when you lift the button up by the edge, it will flip off the release paper AND WILL STICK TO ANYTHING THAT YOU DO NOT WANT IT TO STICK TO!   Another lesson learned.

I decided that if I'd just slide the edge of my thumbnail under the glue dot/button combo that I could then grasp it and place it onto the card that way.  Glue dots will stick quite well to your fingernails.  Well enough that you can't slide them off onto your project anywhere close to where you want them.

Have you ever seen a cat with a piece of masking tape on one of it's paws?  That's pretty much what I looked like trying to get the glue dot/button off my fingernail.  I'd get it off and it would be stuck to the other hand.  I'd get it off THAT finger and the majority of the glue dot would wind up stuck to my skin.

So, I'd put ANOTHER glue dot on the button and start all over.

Later this evening I'm going to post photos of the cards I made during the "Glue Dot Episode".  Right now, I feel the need to go "chill" for a while and I believe I hear a glass of wine calling my name!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Latest cards

This first card has the God's Beauty stamp set from SU used for the flowers and Old Olive cardstock for the base.  I cut the flowers out and pop-dotted them onto the stem for a little dimension.  The sentiment is an old, old $1 stamp.

It took me some time to find the kraft cardstock in my stash and I don't have many sheets of it.  Next time I'm at HL I need to pick some of that up.

This second card is sort of a re-run.  I did the sentiment in my cardmaker software and ran across it this afternoon.  Had a great idea for using it on a card, and this ain't it! LOL!  I printed it out too big to use it the way I wanted so this is how I wound up using it.  I'm too cheap to throw it out!

I used shape scissors to trim the edges, mica paper for the little tabs and added some brads.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I may take a day or two off!

Whew!  I just finished sorting and bagging 585 cards into Priority boxes to send to units overseas!

350 of that number were cards that I made and the rest were received from people who donated their time and talent to make cards for Cards for Soldiers.

I even tucked in the cute chocolate card I finished last night! lol!

Since I've been on a card making "binge" trying to get as many Valentines made as possible, I'm about worn smooth !   So I may take a few days off from card making and posting photos on here.

Our next challenge ends on January 28th and I committed to making only 150 cards this time. (Don't tell anyone, but I already have them bagged and ready to go into the box for shipping.)  I kept making cards during the Valentine Day challenge just in case I didn't receive enough donations to fill up at least two boxes.

I wound up with my extra 150 but need at least 250 to fill another box so I'll just hold them over and send them in on the current challenge.

Blog followers, don't worry.  Like Arnold said in the move "I'll be back!". 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just too stinkin' cute not to steal!

Looking around this evening I check out Dawn Griffith's blog.  She has such cute ideas on there and I really enjoy her videos too.  This card is one that she received in a swap from Danielle Bodden and it was just too stinkin' cute not to steal it!  Check out her blog if you've never been there!

I used my SU scallop punch to take the bite out of the corner, larger scallop punch under the sentiment and had to use the E to cut the 2 3/4" circle out of the pink.   The chocolate chip SU paper was run through the Swiss Dot Cuttlebug folder.  A very appropriate color choice for the background, don't you think?

The sentiment is printed on my computer, it's not the new SU stamp.  I added some doodledots (there's that word again that makes me laugh!) and a little ribbon.

I will be making multiples of this one and I'm going to pop-dot the sentiment to give it a little more dimension.  On this one, it's just stuck down with ATG tape.

As Dawn's always saying, "Love it!".

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tonight's Cards

The butterfly is a Dustin Pike digi stamp.

As you can see, I'm still trying to use up the Little Yellow Bicycle Love Letter papers.