Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is a Smash

This week was busy - both at school and creatively. The girls came over on Monday and we shared paper for our smash book project. Joyce had this wonderful Christmas paper that she shared and I had an idea which resulted in this project:


I have worked on it all week and really have enjoyed the process. Anita brought us new Christmas treats and I adapted the idea to make treats for my students as a reward for successful work on the test taken today. They are made from 4 14" squares that are embossed and scored 1 1/4" and 2 1/2" from one end and 1/2" from the other end. Inside are 3 or 4 hersey kisses.


This week I also managed to work on some of my tags from Tim Holtz's 12 tags of Christmas. You can see one in the slide show above and here is another; there are a couple more still in progress. I spend a few minutes each morning checking out his site (all blogs are blocked from the school's website-darn) When I come home I make dinner and get jobs done and then sit and play with my toys. I have managed to make a real mess; all that work last weekend to clean my table and it looks the same as it did before.

I like the look of the gold painted grunge border at the bottom which was highlighted in vintage ink. The brads were from my stash. The tag was from craft paper, I embossed the words with a soft gold, but it would have been better using clear ep. The image was stamped and colored by swiping over the stamped flower image with the new winter distress inks. Picket fence stain was swiped over the top; I really love the soft look that results.   The canvas ornament was made from onasburg fabric bonded to cardboard (I only had white sticky back canvas). The flower was cardstock cut from the pinecone die. The red rhinestones were colored with alcohol inks. I love the new greenery die cut. The ribbon and trims were dyed with distress ink and stains.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Smash Book

This week I completed a "smash" book for my niece's Christmas present; she is in 7th grade. I really enjoyed making the book and love how it turned out. I even like the scallop trim - which was the creative result of a slight miscalculation on my part. I have the pages cut for my own book and am anxious to get started.



I have also been following Tim Holt's 12 Tags of Christmas and have had fun being inspired by his creativity. I will post my tags as soon as they are done. I decided that I just couldn't live without the greenery die and so I am waiting for it to arrive. Be sure to check out Tim's blog; besides his tags, he has set up galleries for everyone to share their work each day.

We exchanged our second round of spirit dolls today. I will have them posted as soon as I get the pictures from Joyce; of course I forgot my camera. Here is the packaging for my baby.

We decided on a "goddess" shape for our next doll and picked a tan print fabric. It is a little out of my normal color choice and looks to be a challenge. I am making a doll for Elaine next time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks




I am thankful that I didn't have to get up and go to work at 5:30 this morning. Instead, I woke up at the regular time and then played with my toys. I made a set of Christmas cards for my daughter, Grace. "Peace" was stamped with jeans distress ink and then clear embossed on SU  shimmer paper. I wish the nice and quiet Ranger heat tool worked better for embossing, but it just doesn't seem to get hot enough; my dog hates the noise of the other tool and tries to attack it when I turn it on. The snowflakes were inked with distress stormy and then spritzed with pearl mist before stamping. The image was cut from decorative paper and cardstock using my cricut (I think it was the "Groovy" cartridge that I picked up at Walmart for $15). I spritzed this too and added a bit of bling before popping it off the card with dimensionals. The envelope was stamped and then spritzed with blue storm mist.

Kitty shared her pattern for making a very elegant "Tree" box. I will post a picture as soon as I finish. I can't believe that she cut out everything for us. Elaine also showed us her new "smash" book and it inspired me to challenge our group to make one only using supplies that we already have. We can't buy anything, but we can shop in a friend's stash. (Stop whining; I know it's time to get ready for the holidays, but it's my role to lead you on new adventures!)

I also worked on a new storage book for my Nestabilites die cuts. I have had them in CD cases, but these slide all over the drawer. For my new storage I used an idea from August when I created Anita's birthday book.  First, I covered one side of a piece of 5 x 5 1/2" cardboard with paper (one that I received on our cruise) and the other side was covered with an adhesive magnet sheet. Before gluing on the paper, I inked the edges of the cardboard with corduroy distress stain - it went on fast and covered it perfectly. I am using binder rings so I can add pages if (when) I buy more die cuts. The title letters are cardstock covered with glossy accents. Anita uses this technique all the time, but I haven't had much success until I used the tiny bottle of glossy accents - it is much easier to control the flow. Now I want to make another book for my other thin metal dies; but I am thinking that it will have to be larger.

Be sure to check out the Charms page; our November "Bird" swap finally came in and are so pretty. I love seeing the variety of materials that everyone uses to interpret the theme.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Cards

I did it - finished the third set of Christmas cards - and it's before Thanksgiving! I used a new stamp set from Hero Arts called Holiday Cheer that I bought when I picked up the another set that Claire had ordered for me. This stamp set comes with matching dies. I cased the design from the Hero Arts site using SU Shimmer cardstock, matted on black and layered onto a Kiwi card. The white was masked (I love using the Eclipse masking tape) and the blue was done DTP using Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. Before removing the mask, I spritzed the sky with Perfect Pearl Mist in Turquoise. The trees were inked in Celery and rocked onto Wasabi before stamping onto pieces of shimmer cardstock. The trees were then cut with the matching dies and embossed with iridescent powder. A glue line of iresdescent glitter was added at the horizon. The larger tree was glued down and the smaller tree has a dimentional dot to raise it. The verse was stamped in black and a small crystal was added to the "o." The two snowflakes by the words were stamped in Cool Caribbean .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I had such a nice time sharing my excitement for using Distress Stains last night at stamp club and really enjoyed seeing all the groups' wonderful Christmas tags.

Recently, I picked up a new Hero Arts Christmas stamp set; I just couldn't resist (remember this blog is about my obsessions). I love the crisp, clean look of this set: Merriest Christmas Wishes and it has a nice collection of verse. I stamped the image in Distress Stormy Sky on white. I looked nice, clean and crisp, but.... I had an idea. Many of my recent projects get thrown into the "box" to get spritzed and glitzed so... First, I inked the image with Stormy Sky,
then I spritzed (twice) a flourish background stamp with "pearl" Perfect Pearls Mist. Remember to shake until all the color is suspended before spraying so the nozzle won't clog.
Next, I "kissed" the inked image to the spritzed background stamp and then stamped the image on white cardstock.

I really love the "stormy" look that resulted. A bit of red marker and a coating of glossy accents for the bird, plus a few more finishing touches and another set of Christmas cards are ready to share with friends. I find that my attention span for making a stack of cards is limited to about 20 cards. My goal was to have three sets done by Thanksgiving. Yes, I know it's next week-this makes two sets done.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Distressed

While waiting for our children's arrival for my husband's birthday celebration dinner, I played with my distress stains to get ready for my demonstration at the St Augustine Stamp Club on Monday night. These stains are great; I love all the colors (and white), how they are translucent, give quick, fast coverage, are softer looking than distress ink pads, and how they also blend and react with water. Prime the tip by pressing gently onto a craft sheet. Squeezing the bottle when pressing down releases more ink and gives more color saturation. Don't worry about transferring color from one bottle to another, just press on your craft sheet and release more ink to "wash away" the extra color.

Following are ten ways that I love to use distress stains (and of course, pearl misters):
  1.  The best way to color punches and delicate die cuts. Scroll down the tag page to technique #6 on November 8th, to see the snowflake punch and as well as the delicate Memory Box flourish behind the flower from the tag technique #4 on October 25. 
  2. If you have the need for a speedy card, pick up a piece of Tim Holtz's kraft resist and stain with any distress ink. I know that it looks too dark and streaky when the ink is wet, but the color lightens and blends when dry. You may need to lightly wipe the ink off the resist area. Remember that the lightest colors (like sage and lavender) don't show up well on kraft paper. The darker colors (like sapphire and pine) will show up the resist design better and the medium colors (like lipstick) will highlight the black line designs. The card to the right used sapphire blue.  I used heirloom gold mister over the resist paper that just doesn't show up in the picture. The Holtz text is embossed with a midnight/metallic powder that's really pretty.
  3. Don't forget to dye the trim to match your card. Last week I showed several cards embellished with dyed to match Holtz trim. Remember that colors can be blended to create custom colors. You can mist with water or spritz to lighten or blend color more easily. If the color is too dark, just blot with a cloth.  This pink card is also made with kraft resist that has been stained with lipstick and misted with heirloom gold. The Holtz trim is stained with linen and misted with heirloom. The black line images are easier to see on this lighter color. The rose colored 3-D flower is die cut and the white one was from my stash. The white one was tinted on the edge of the petals with lipstick. Both flowers are misted with gold, and the edges are embossed with aged gold embossing powder from Stampendous. (It is my new favorite). The leaves were cut using a circle punch, stained with sage, and embossed on the edge with aged gold. The ticket was crushed and flattened, inked with a blender tool using linen on the edge and rose across the top.
  4. See the tag page for Technique #4 on Oct 25 for an explanation of how stains can be used to watercolor an image embossed on watercolor paper.
  5. While you are looking at Technique #6 on Nov 8, there is an explanation of the embellishments that use rock candy crackle paint and stains. Bet you can't make just one!
  6. Stains make great backgrounds. For this next tag to fit on a card, I first cut off an inch and saved it to use for the verse. For the main part of the tag, I swiped on jeans and picket fence (don't forget to shake picket fence before using) onto a manilla tag. I didn't try to get it even, I left some background showing because I think it add more texture and interest. Next I blended jeans around the edge and let it dry throughly before the next step. White emboss a background (this is a new one from Hero Arts). The next step is to spritz; for this card I used kiwi. I also added a new reinforcer in sapphire covered with glossy accents.
  7. Notice the small punched trim to the right of the tree image; this look was achieved by using the picket fence on the same green as the card base. (Remember to shake the white before using it) Since the white color is transparent it lightens the original color. This is a great technique to use to alter a patterned paper that is too bright.
  8. The tree image is created from stamping with a pearl paint dauber on sticky back canvas. Let it dry throughly and then add stains; I used jean, pine and peeled paint stains. It won't look too good but don't give up yet. Spritz several times with misters (kiwi) and let dry. Fringe the edge, peel off the backing and adhere to the card front.
  9. The words are embossed on a stained piece of the trimmed off tag that has been colored with jeans, pine and peeled paint. The stains work great to color the edge of cardstock that has been trimmed and shows the core color. This works well on the edges of chipboard when making books, or the edges of grunge board die cuts.
  10. You can also stamp with these stains. They make it easy to dab on color just where you want it. you can go over sections with a water brush to move color around, blend or fill in parts of the images.
You can check out Tim Holt's blog to view his video. He starts by comparing different distress inks and then shows some great ways to blend colors. You can also go to the Ranger site to print out a blank color chart. Elaine found this site and it also has a video tutorial.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Kissing

     I spent some time this week getting inky. At our weekly "Cult Meeting" this past Tuesday, Anita shared the first row of techniques from the Jennifer McGuire online inspiration sampler. She brought supplies for us to make samples of our own to staple to our directions. I was insprired by the "Kissing" technique; one I haven't done in quite a while. I cut up a page of glossy paper into ATC size pieces and pull out my distress inks and then I played with various color combinations. Check my Stamping page under Nov 6 for more examples and directions. The backgrounds are lots of fun and addicting - you just have to make one more!

    Putting these pieces into cards was just as much fun. Don't you just love the embellishments? These were just as addicting to make. This is a Tim Holtz technique from the same class (he was a guest artist). The ribbons were dyed with distress stains and spritzed with pearl misters. The card backgrounds were sponged, embossed, distressed, blended and spritzed.
    I was having so much fun making embellishments, that I also made a tag to share at our meeting this week (as well as for the St Augustine Stamp Club Christmas Tag challenge). Check out directions on the Tag Book page under Nov 8.

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Spooky Time

    I can't believe that it's the end of October already and that it's been a month since the cruise. I haven't finished my cruise projects but I did finish knitting a scarf that I started before the cruise. It was easy and fun to make - I think I would like one in pink if the weather ever cools down so I can wear them.  I've also been busy with school work: designing new online projects. It's been fun, but trying to use technology, especially new online tools, is always challenging.

    Last weekend we celebrated "Stamp Out Breast Cancer" at Claire's in St. Augustine. It was an all day fundraiser with make-and-takes and lots of door prizes. I was so surprised to win the big basket. I divided up all the goodies to share with the Cult. There was golfing and rub-ons for Jan, Angels for Anita, Halloween for Joyce, embossing paste for Deb, Birthday for Kitty and some sweet flowers for Elaine. 



    I did two make-and-takes: the Halloween candy treat and a zentangle card. The treat was real easy: Cut decorative paper the height of a flat candy bar (or any other flat item like a gift card or lotto ticket) and wide enough to loosely around the item. Glue the side and bottom closed leaving the top edge open. Decorate as desired (I used an embossed belly band with punched and stamped embellishments).

    Use a slot punch about 1/2 inch from the open end on both the front and back of the pouch (or make a slit that the ribbon slides through easily). To finishing assembling, remove the candy item, thread the ribbon through the slots on both sides so the ends are equal (time to add a tag if desired); push the candy item into the pouch between the strands of ribbon and over the center of the ribbon so the ribbon catches on the bottom of the candy. Once the candy is snug in pouch, tie a knot or bow just above the opening. If you use a belly band, slide it up to cover the slots. The candy will appear like magic when you tug on the ribbon. I am making more of these treats to use as  prizes for my students who did the best job on their projects this past week.  They really enjoyed this treat; they love chocolate and had a good time making the candy slide in and out.

    I also made some "cell phone bling" for student rewards. These charms were made for students earning a perfect score on their Child Abuse and Neglect test.

    Since I am sharing treat ideas, I also want to share Anita's gift. She used a small box die cut (or just make your own) and wrapped it decorative paper. I love the treat inside: a granola thin and square marshmallow and instructions to layer and microwave for a few seconds to make a s'more. What's not to love about chocolate and marshmallow?

    Seeing as the dogs awoke at 4 am today, I also experimented with new muffin tops today, pear with maple; and they are great! Here are the directions if you are interested. Preheat your oven to 375. Lightly spray a muffin top pan with Pam. Dice or mash 1c of fruit (pear was used today) Using a one cup dry measure, pour in a package of flavored, instant oatmeal (maple in this case). Fill the rest of this one cup dry measure with bisquik. Dump these into a bowl and add 1 tsp baking powder and mix well. In a wet measuring cup, add 1/4c egg beater and a single serving of unsweetened applesauce and blend. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until blended, fold in the fruit. You can also add a handful (about 1/4c) of chopped nuts for crunch. Spoon the mixture onto a muffin top pan. I usually sprinkle just a bit of coarse sugar on top. This makes 6 muffin tops that are about 100-125 calories each. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes; it depends on the amount of moisture in the fruit. I can tell you that raspberries took a long time!

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Fun in the Fall

    So much has been going on--First, the Holtz cruise was just wonderful! I am putting up a separate page just for the cruise. You can check out Tim's blog for some pictures of the projects that we did. (No, mine are not done). Anita and I made mugs for all the Cultists and didn't take time to finish the journal or tray (besides, this way we can stretch out the cruise fun a bit longer). It took me two weeks to catch up at work from missing a week for the cruise. I can't believe that it's the end of first quarter and that quarter grades have already been entered.

    Last weekend was time for being lazy and reading. I also caught up with Jennifer McGuire's online class that I had registered for and that aired the week before the cruise. I really enjoyed the course and recommend it to anyone interested in stamping techniques; the information was clear and well-organized. Some of the techniques were familiar, but with an interesting twist. Here is the tag that I made using several of these techniques. I plan to share more about it on the Tags page (as soon as I have a bit more time).

    This weekend is for play (and cleaning up my craft room, organizing cruise pics, and updating the blog) The hot weather finally turned cooler the weekend we returned from the cruise, but then it rained constantly. At last it's just warm and dry; perfect weather to ride with the top down on my Miata or ride the bike. Friday evening Michael and I rode the bike down to Ormond to the Iron Horse Saloon to people and bike watch at Biketober Fest. It was definitely an eye-opening experience because of the costumes (or lack thereof) and interesting tatoos.
    Yesterday, I cleaned off my craft table and put away most of the great stuff we received from the cruise class. (You will be able to see the piles of class supplies in the picture). In the afternoon, I worked on my charm swaps for Tobi's bird theme. I really like them. These are for plan B. (Plan A was a different model, but it was overly ambitious and I had to move on.) My next bird was made of zipper tape and Tim's rosette ribbon that I died with Distress Stains. A blue pearl is the egg. I have had the blue bird beads for several years; they are leftovers from when I made a Cinderella bracelet for my niece.

    I got my fingers inky this week. I showed Kitty how to stamp with textured wallpaper and made a card using distress inks and perfect pearl misters. The words had to be restamped and mounted on top because the pearl misters made it had to read (the pearls bleed through the ink unless you've embossed the black). To make this I lightly rubbed three shades of distress inks (including the lovely new seasonal distress purple that I was able to purchase on the cruise was one of them) onto a piece of textured wallpaper (from samples at a hardware store like Lowe's). Spritz a few times (three or four) and then press onto a piece of cardstock. You can respritz and stamp again for a second generation softer look. Overstamp with selected images and black ink. I masked the flamingo for a cleaner look. Tim has more info and a video on his blog showing the three seasonal colors for fall. I can't wait to see the winter collection.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    One More Week

    One more crazy week at school and one more week til our cruise with Tim. I had fun this week seeing all my creative stamping friends in St. Augustine on Monday. Tuesday, the Cult came over and we did a new tag. I'll post directions on the Tag Book page under Sept 13th. Tuesday was also our 36th Anniversary. My husband sent me roses to school and I took him to the Publix deli for dinner. We did make it out to eat on Wednesday before I taught my applique class. The girls are doing very well with their stitches; they all seem to prefer the "glue" method. Next week I will show them my favorite: needle-turn. Midterm grades were due this week (already!) and I had over 100 notebooks and 100 tests to grade. Luckily, technology broke down (we do online grades) and I have the weekend to finish and post; sometimes there is a silver lining. I created a sample for my next charm swap: birds (instead of planning curriculum for my week off school).  I need to look at for a bit to see if I am done with the design. I plan on bring this project onboard with me.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    No time to play this week

    Work has interrupted my play time this week. I picked up the "big" quilt. Don't you think it looks great? I really like the quilting design. Keep it a secret until Christmas! I still have to do the binding; maybe I can get it done this weekend-otherwise it may be a while (knowing me it will be Christmas Eve).  My only creative activity this week has been to pick out some yarn for a neat scarf and think about what quilt I want to make for the guest room since I haven't found a spread that I like. I was going to use a shorter one and a dust ruffle, but I like the look of the spread so I guess it's going to be another big one.
    It's been a good week, but busy: Cult night was Monday (we shared, but were not very creative this week), started the first week of a basic hand applique class at the shop (I still can't believe that my sample walked out the door of the shop), had open house at the high school (working a 5 to 9 day), and then finally Friday's open house for our lab preschool and a lovely night out at the beach with my husband and friends (eating and listening to a band). I am feeling lazy this morning, just sitting and drinking my Earl Gray and reading. Grace is coming home for the weekend and it's been a while so I guess we will be doing some girl things-shopping and nails (unless she has plans with her friends, then I can be beading with Anita).

    I am looking forward to the online technique class that Anita and I signed up for that starts soon. I am also getting excited for the Holtz cruise and trying to decided on meaningful projects (that can be done by a sub) while I am gone; as well as what projects I am going to bring with me to work on for the week.  It's going to be busy this week too: we have St Augustine Stamp Club, Cult night, quilt class, a friend coming over to scrap and then it's the weekend again! Somehow I have to sandwich in time to grade 100 notebooks for school-I can't believe that it's time for mid-term grades already.

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Tag Time

    Made it through another week of school; I have great students. My only complaint is that I don't have time to play like I do in the summer. I graded a stack of essays for my students and wanted to play a bit so I made these reward tags and attached them to the papers with the best grades. (I dated and signed them.) These were for my level one students; I don't think they knew how to respond, but I didn't find any left behind. I love to show them appreciation for their efforts; everyone remembers the gold stars we received on our work in elementary school.  I used Tim Holtz distress inks and Perfect Pearls Mists. Check out the Tag Book page: I used some of the same techniques that Jan shared this week (scroll down to Aug 29). I also added a new page to my blog to have a place to share our Charm Swaps. Got to go-the girls are coming over for our monthly crop and I haven't make their muffin tops yet.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Beach Charm Swap for September

    I survived the first week of school. Actually, it went much smoother than I expected; however, I was as tired as I expected and didn't get much done outside of school work this week. Yesterday I played. The day started with breakfast out: Michael and I drove the Miata down A1A to see the waves from Irene on our way to eat in Ormond (yummy apple fritters at Peaches) and then came back through the tunnel of  trees in Tomoka. Anita had to run an errand in Jacksonville so I went along for the ride. We made the round of shops: Small Cleverness (found the new rolled flower punch and picked up the die cuts and journal stamps that I had ordered and a new Zentangle book that I really like); next stop was Country Crossroads for some quilt fabric; lunch at Chilis; then on to the PIT scrapbook store (some Ranger mists and more binder rings). We arrived back home to find that Michael had decided to trade in his pickup for a new Jeep Wrangler. We drove it to St. A for dinner at the Mexican restaurant. I don't find it comfortable to drive, but it's his car. My diet is shot today-eating out three times! This morning I decided to concentrate on finishing my September 1 charm swaps (instead of school work), expecially since the deadline is just around the corner.
    Like most "Ocean" themes, I had too many ideas swimming around in my brain and it took me a while to decide how I wanted to interpret this theme. I found the perfect shells last weekend when I took the earring class with Elaine at the Bead Bar in Orlando. I had the shell chain in my stash, made the sample last weekend and spent this morning making loops and dangles. The charms are all done, now the challenge is to figure out how to package them-to look nice and to keep them safe.
    As soon as I receive the rest of the swaps I will post a picture on my new Charm Swap page.

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    ATC trades

     Michael was gone all day at a gun show so I had the time to play; I finished my fall trades. I know how busy I am going to be with the start of school and getting ready for the Tim Holtz trip so I worked ahead. September is "Asian," October is "Kings and Queens"  and November is "Tag Art" (I made extra of my cruise tag swaps).

    Cards, Swaps and a Tour

    I have been a bit slower posting because it's back to school time. I have some cards and the packaging of my cruise swaps and even a tour of my craft room (while it's mostly clean). For the last week I have been in my classroom cleaning and organizing there; maybe I will inlcude a tour of it one day.  On my last day of freedom, I accomplished one of my summer goals: I finished the monster quilt top and backing. It's off to the shop for quilting because it's too big for me to enjoy doing on my home machine--it's 110 in square. I can't show you yet; it's a Christmas present. 

    These are two of the cards I made using the blended background stamping. Directions are on the Stamping page. I like this style card. The base of the card is the underneath and the flap is only the area of the background/message with an additional paper inside for the message.

    Next I have my last ATC design for the cruise swap. I rubbed and spritzed straw, lipstick and concord on a craft sheet and dragged the tag and string through to blend the colors. A key charm from my stash (and Jan's) was tied to the string. The stamped images are mostly from Tim's designs. I accented the heart with stickles for a bit of bling and the crown is a Tim die cut design cut from grunge board that I "rusted." To do this you apply embossing ink to the grunge and emboss with distress powder (vintage photo). After rubbing off the discharge crystals apply distress ink. I think I used rust (or maybe vintage photo).  
     I used a Holtz stamp design for the labels on the back of all my ATCs; computer generated the info, stamped complimentary images from my collection and blended the edges with distress ink.

     I packaged the charms in a little matchbook style box. (I am concerned that the flip-flop beads will break in transit.) Basically this is made from the directions for the nugget box from splitcoaststampers and edited for size. I attached the charms to tags that I made from paint chips. I used the slit punch and a small circle to hang the lobster claw. I stamped palm trees on clear acetate with stazon for the wrap around.








    Next is the tour of my mostly cleaned craft room-minus members of the "Stampin Cult" that are often present.
    Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book

    Our next 'cult' project is designing group tee-shirts using a technique that Anita learned from a class several years ago. I loved my first shirt and was sad when it didn't fit anymore (but not sad about loosing all the weight)

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Cruise Charm Swap is done!

    I am so pleased with this swap; it is definitely one I would like to receive. I used the image from the event's logo and printed it on shrink plastic (shared from Anita). I had the glass flip-flop beads (from Oriental Trading I believe) that were in my stash. (which I discovered when I cleaned out and organized my beads last week). I used up these beads and did a few with the pearl/shell dangle. The lobster claws (12x7) are the ones that Anita and I ordered from Fire Mountain.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Cleaning and Organizing and Finishing Projects

    This has been a clean up week; the end of vacation is near and I still have some summer goals to meet. I worked on the "Big Quilt." The top is pieced and I need to make decisions about borders. I will post it on the quilt page as soon as I really finish.

    It's time to start thinking about school so I spent about 8 hours organizing files on my school laptop; not fun, but necessary for a less stressful school year. It's two years of not always putting stuff away-and just needing to throw old ideas away-because my computer was stolen from a workshop last summer and I didn't get to reload my back up until school resumed. (Thank goodness I had backed up files before I left school instead of waiting until after organizing the files-psychic, I think).

    I finished cleaning up my bead stuff; not sure if I like all the changes, but time will tell. Yes, I found lots of lost treasure. My head is spinning with more project ideas. I finished the repair pile (mostly from Grace), a couple UFOs and actually made new items. (creating is an avoidance technique that I use for cleaning).

      My most wonderful achievement was accomplished with Michael's help: trying to corral my ribbon. We made these nifty holders a couple of years ago, but I constantly knock them over. I have seen this organizational idea on several others posts and it works great. We screwed the gutters into the wall; tried velcro Command strips but they kept separating. As you can see, I need to head back to the hardware store for another row; afterall, I have been collecting for 25 years. (Remember, I did confess to several obsessions.)  I slipped the loose pieces onto binder rings and hung them up too. They were in boxes, hanging from shelves..... My new goal is to use ribbon! I am thinking of a challenge for my St. Augustine stamp group: giving them a piece of ribbon and asking them to use it for a "show and tell" item the next month.