Monday, August 16, 2010


Looks like I'll be taking a short crafting hiatus.  Why?

If you're the type of person who likes to know the details, no matter how gory, here's what happened (otherwise, just skip this paragraph): I was making dinner.  My husband was out of town and I thought it would be nice for the kids and I to have a nice sit-down Sunday dinner.  I made spagetti and meatballs, steamed green beans, and heated up some sourdough bread.  Then, I thought, we should have salad too!  Ohhh, what a bad idea.  I was slicing the green onions, in a bit of a hurry to get dinner on the table, and apparently overestimated my knife skills.  Just because I have watched Tyler Florence do it a thousand times does not make ME an expert.  Obviously.  See the above photo for proof.  There is now a crater where the inner half of the tip of my left index finger used to be.  I knew it was bad as soon as it happened.  Why?  Well, because I've done this before.  Yep, 7 or 8 years ago I took off the tip of my right thumb with a cheap mandoline.  That time, I tried to stop the bleeding on my own, to no avail, so this time I figured I shouldn't prolong the trip to the ER.  Being that my husband is out of town, I called a friend who was wonderful enough to drop what he was doing and take me in, and his wonderful wife in the meantime picked up my highly traumatized kids and took them back to her house.  Thank goodness the ER is pretty quiet on Sunday evenings!  Two hours, one cauterization and one tetanus shot later, I was back home with a balloon-sized bandage, popping ibuprofen like nobody's business.

If you're not into gory details, then let's leave it at "I cut my finger".

Actually, the pain is not that bad...yet.  The tetanus shot hurts a lot worse right now, but I know that will change in the next couple of days. Since I've, you know, done this before.  And apparently didn't learn the first time.  Anyway, I don't think I"ll be doing much in the way of crafting for at least a few days.  Even when you're right handed, you still use your left hand for a whole lotta stuff, and you never reaaly know how much until something like this.  For example, it has taken me about 20 minutes to type this- so frustrating!  What I'm really bummed about though, is that last week, after drooling over it on for a couple of months, I finally broke down and ordered myself a Sizzix Big Shot, and it should be here any day now.  Not that I will get to play with it for awhile now though. :(

Well, enough wallowing.  Let me show you what I did yesterday before my injury.  I took my own advice and stopped thinking about those coasters.  I figure the right design will come to me eventually.  I decided to do another picture frame, and got a good start on it, though it is not finished.

I decoupaged this with a soft mossy green tissue paper.  I'm starting to rethink the whole idea of the tissue base though.  The first one I did, with the gold tissue and the pansies, was a lot easier than this, apparently because of the metallic properties of that tissue.  I only needed one layer of the gold, while on this one, I put on three layers and could still stand to do more.  I'm thinking I won't though- I kind of like the uneven look with some of the wood tone showing through (hard to see in this photo).  Paint just might be a better choice for these projects, so I am going to look into that and give it a try.  Just as soon as I have the use of my left index finger again.  I still need to decoupage the flowers onto this one, and think I am going to go with the blue butterfly delphinium- I think they will be a nice contrast against the soft green.

I'm afraid that I am going to have to sit out the weekly challenge for the Yahoo paper craft group, which is too bad because it looked to be a fun one this time- making a set of something.  I'd thought about doing a card and bookmark set, but don't think my finger can handle it just yet.  So I hope that Sherry has something fun planned for next week, when I hope that a regular Band-Aid will suffice my poor injury!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Half is Better Than None

Here it is Sunday evening, and I only accomplished one of my two crafting goals for the weekend.  There always seems to be other stuff that gets in my way: people want to eat, the dog needs to be walked, arguments have to be refereed, or upmteen other reasons for someone to say "Moooommmmm" every 3.5 minutes.  Saturday I took my son out shopping for school clothes, so that took a good chunk of time.  Although it's not as bad as it could have been...this is the child who hates shopping and just wants to get it done as quickly as possible, so we were done in 3 hours or so.  Then there were other errands to run, dinner to cook, and what do you know, Saturday is gone!

Well, rather than beat myself up for what I didn't/couldn't do, I'm just going to be happy about what I did get done.  I did not get my photo bookmark listing up on my Etsy site, but I did have a very productive afternoon making bookmarks today, and I am really happy with my results.  I am going to say again how much I LOVELOVELOVE my new(ish) laminator!  It is so fast and does such a great job and is a huge time-saver compared to my old laminator!  One trip through the machine is all any bookmark needs, rather than the 7 or 8 it took my old one.  I busted out about a dozen bookmarks in all, so I am on my way to being stocked up for the holidays!  I haven't had time yet to photograph all of them, and some are duplicates anyway, but I have a few to share today.

First is a new design for the blue butterfly delphiniums, which I just love.  They remind me of irises, which are my favorite flowers.  You might recall the photo bookmark I did for my friend Kendra with the teal handmade paper and the blue butterfly delphiniums- well, I liked that color combination so much that I wanted to do more with it.  I love the results!

I really like the teal, lime and blue together- reminds me of my favorite dishes, which I have used for inspiration more than once!  I think the blue of the flowers really pops when bordered by the lime green and teal.  Love it!  This one, by the way, is already listed in my Etsy shop.

This is one I have done before, but very few people have ever seen, because I have yet to list it in my shop.  I played around with this design last winter when I first started experimenting with my bookmarks.  I just love these sparkly snowflakes!

And finally, I have a design similar to this next one in my shop already, at least with similar colors, but on this one, I used the purple handmade paper as the base instead of regular card stock.

I love the fuschias- they all look so unique and different from one another!

I will be getting these listed in the next couple of days, and will be working on taking photos of the others.  I made a couple of new versions of the purple and gold washi paper bookmark that I am excited to share.  The neat thing about that washi paper is that there are so many different colors on there to work with, so I used some different colored borders to highlight the various floral shades in the paper.

Don't forget to check out Sherry's giveaway over at her blog Scrapping With Sherry!  The deadline to enter is midnight on Monday, August 9th!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Plugging a Special Promotion

Just wanted to pass on a great opportunity to win a FANTASTIC stash of crafting supplies!  The lovely Sherry of ScrappingwithSherry is doing a great giveaway on her blog.  Seriously, my jaw dropped when I saw what she was giving away!  Make sure to hightail it over there and check it out, and enter to win!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Busy Week!

You know, the hardest part about vacation is coming back from it.  You'd think it would be the packing, but no- it's after you get home!  So much laundry and catching up on whatever you didn't do while you were gone- cleaning, paying bills, yard work, etc.  You might be able to forget that stuff while you're gone, but it's still there when you get back!  And having to go back to work on top of all of that- well, that leaves very little time for anything else.  Which is why I did not do much in the way of crafting this week.  At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Anyway, it's Friday, the weekend, so that means a bit more time to fit things in that I don't have time for during the week.  I am hoping I can get to some bookmarks this weekend- I haven't worked on any for quite awhile.  I also need to get my listing up on my Etsy shop for the photo bookmarks- I think I am as ready as I will ever be, so it's time!  Those are my goals for the weekend.

I did manage to do a couple of things this week.  I mentioned in my last post that Sherry F. won my drawing for a free bookmark, and I made a custom one just for her!  She could not decide between a couple of different designs, so told me to surprise her.  One of the designs she was interested in was the gold butterflies, and she asked to have her soon-to-be intitials (because she's getting married soon) on it, and I just love those gold butterflies with the gold script lettering!  So here is what I made for Sherry:

You might notice that the middle butterfly is different than the others.  Well, yeah...that was a thing. I got all excited about making Sherry a butterfly bookmark, only to find that I was one short on the butterflies.  Luckily, I am good at improvising!  These butterflies (they are by Martha Stewart, by the way) come in a package with 3 different sizes.  The ones I use for this bookmark are the smallest size.  The middle and larger sizes are both much too big for a bookmark.  I could not leave Sherry with only two butterflies, so I took one of the larger ones and my trusty Martha Stewart butterfly punch, and punched out a small butterfly from the wing.  Then I cut out the body and antennae from that larger butterfly and glued it to the underside of my punched butterfly.  I actually think that having the different sized butterfly on the bookmark gives it more dimension and interest.  I also used a new ribbon on this one- also by Martha Stewart.  This!  It is so thick and sturdy- nothing like the typical satin ribbon you get at Michael's!  I was excited for the chance to use it, and I hope that Sherry likes it as much as I do.

Also this week, we had another weekly challenge at the PBS Swappers paper crafts group.  You might remember that the last one that I participated in was for a monochromatic project.  This one was for any paper craft with complementary colors- that would be colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.  Sherry posted a really neat link for us, and I was very grateful for it for this project- it helped me to figure out what I wanted to do here: Color Wheel

Anyway, I've mentioned before that I'm really interested in trying a card with decoupaged pressed flowers.  I did one before I went on vacation, but it did not turn out well.  So, I decided to give it a try again for this week's challenge.  After referring to the above link, I discovered that purple and yellow are complementary colors.  Who knew?  Well!  I know of some gorgeous yellow and purple pressed flowers, and I bet you won't be surprised to learn that I used PANSIES for this challenge!  Here is my finished project:

This took me some effort and a lot of mulling over how to do it. The card base is a pale yellow card that came in a package of blank cards and matching envelopes that I picked up on sale at Craft Warehouse.  The purple was no problem- I have lots of purples.  The cute yellow polka-dot patterned paper came in a pad of neat paper I got on clearance at Michael's, the bow was actually fashioned from ribbon scrap.  It's not a real bow- I glued the pieces together to make it look like a bow.  Someday, I need to learn how to tie a real flat bow!  The flowers were harder than I thought.  I initially decoupaged them onto squares of the same pale yellow as the card base.  After they dried, I just wasn't happy with them...the yellow of the flowers blended in too much with the background.  So, I tried again, this time using an off-white background.  MUCH better!  I also thought it was much too plain the way it was, so this time I cut the decoupaged squares a bit smaller so that I could fit a yellow border around them.  Bingo!  It looks a lot more like what I had pictured in my mind.

So, that's all I've done so far this week.  No, I still don't know what to do with those blasted coasters...I'm thinking that I should probably just put them away for awhile and not stress over them, and an idea will come eventually.  I have plenty to do in the meantime, even apart from crafting.  Now that it is August, it is time to start thinking about back to school for my kids- eeek!  Where did the summer go?!  We have cleaned out closets and dressers, so will be doing shopping soon.  My 14 year old is going to cost me a freakin' fortune this year- it is SO not fair that men's sizes cost so much more than boy's sizes!  I have also been reading a lot lately and have really enjoyed that.  I have managed to keep my Goodreads shelf up to date, and have even joined the Contemporary Romance group there.   Not that I need yet another time suck- but you know, my love of reading is what led to my bookmarks and my new creative awakening, so I am not going to feel guilty about it!

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back From Vacation!

We are back from our vacation, and it was soooo much fun!  We went up to Leavenworth, WA and rented a cabin with my cousin and her husband, and it was just lovely.  We have camped in the area before, but it was really nice to be able to spend several days there.  The town of Leavenworth is so quaint and fun, with some fantastic restaurants and lots of shopping.  Everyone else fished a lot, though I chose not to this trip- I was more in the mood for relaxing and reading on the deck.  We went inner-tubing down the Wenatchee River, and that was lots of fun- my only complaint is that it didn't last long enough!  It only took about 40 minutes to get to the pick-up point, and I think we all would have enjoyed it being a little longer.  We endured the loonnnggg drive there and back, and today there has been all of the post-vacation catch up activity- laundry, grocery shopping, etc.- so now I feel like I need another vacation!

I am looking forward to getting back into crafting, though it may take a few days before I have any time for that.  I did not think about it at all on vacation, hoping that perhaps getting my head out of that space for awhile might give me some fresh perspective when I got back.  I guess we'll see!  I did have one project I was mulling over when I left- the wood coasters I got at Goodwill before I left.  I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with them.  I am having trouble choosing which flowers to use, as well as a color scheme (which might be easier if I knew which flowers I wanted to use).  It is tempting to use the pansies, because there are so many different colors and types of those, so each coaster would be a little bit different.  But I already did the frame with the pansies, so don't want to use them for everything.  I'm debating using the blue butterfly delphinium, but am not sure what color scheme to use with those.  I don't want to use the exact same ones as my bookmark design- I'd really like to try something different, but am lacking inspiration at the moment.  I guess I will just have to wait until the right design strikes me- I will know the right one when it hits me!

Now, on to business! I had several responses to my plea for feedback on my bookmark designs, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to help me out with that.  Your input is very valuable to me as I figure out what to stock up on for the holidays!  I entered everyone who responded into the drawing, and did it the low-tech way...wrote names on slips of paper and had my son draw one out for me.  And the winner is...Sherry F!  Sherry is the lovely hostess of the PBS Swappers paper craft group, and I have to tell you it is so much fun!  Since I joined the group, I have found myself challenged to try new things I never would have tried before, and have had a blast doing it.  Sherry gets her choice of any of my bookmark designs that she wants, and I hope she will enjoy it!

Gonna try to get back to the bookmarks soon- I kind of got sidetracked with trying cards, as well as the decoupage, but will be refocusing on bookmarks in the near future.  Also, I hope that my next update will include whatever I decide on for those darned coasters!  Til next time!