Friday, January 29, 2016

I Miss The Cricut Message Board

I am a sentimental person and sometimes it gets the better of me and makes me miss days gone by. Okay not like I'm 80 and missing running through fields of daisies with the sweet smell of fresh cut hay watfing through the air but more like huh, I miss it when I could do such and such. And I guess today is one of those days I just started thinking about something I miss. I know the idea of message boards is going to the way side with Facebook being all the rage but I miss the Cricut Message Board, at least the way it was when I first joined and how it was the first few years, later on it became frustrating and slow and full or Cricut Nazi's as some of us liked to call them. 

When I first joined the CMB back in December of 2007 I found it through some of the paperwork that came with my Cricut and I was so excited to have a place to go and read about how to use the machine and what all it could do, even back then the owner's manual was limited in information. Of course, as many know, I didn't bother with learning all the buttons and such on the machine since I went straight to Design Studio and started using my computer with the Cricut.

The Design Studio forum was my new home and I didn't venture from that forum for a few months because to be truthful some of the other forums were a bit scary since there were always people going after each other's throats *okie laughs now at the thought*. There were a few of us that spent hours and hours creating and sharing files, answering questions of other members, asking questions of other members, finding out little tricks to get things to work so we could make more images than just what was available on cartridges, and in those days there weren't many cartridges and what cartridges there were would easily cost you $60. We made all kinds of things out of basic shapes and I got rather savvy at manipulating those individual shapes and welding them together to make all sorts of images. Most of us shared what files we made freely and there were a few people who wanted to charge for the ones they made. I'll never forget the saga over the whole cupcake box file and how some lady got a bit snotty about her file so I just made one and posted it for anyone to download for free. I only had a baby Cricut my first few years so it was a challenge to make some things that would work on the 6x12 mat.

As time went on I ventured to some of the other forums and I am so glad I did because I was able to make some wonderful friends and it would be impossible for me to name them all but I'm sure most of you know BFF Carmen came from the CMB, and if ya didn't know then ya do now. There are so many of us that thought of our little CMB world as a little family, well not everyone was family because there a was some absolute cray-cray folks on that board and there was always some kinda drama going on somewhere. Most of the time the posts moved so fast that once you finished reading through one thread the thread that was at the top of the beginning page would already be on page 4. 

Now the reason I am even thinking about the CMB is because I was perusing around Facebook and some different groups on there and while there is a lot of information available it is almost impossible to go back and find what you wanted to remember. Nothing stays locked in place and even if it did you would have to remember which group you saw it in and then which post. What was great about the CMB was that you could mark something if it was your favorite or at least save the page or even do a search, and if all that failed you could simply ask in a post "hey does anyone remember where the post was about how to use such and such on such and such?" and several people would answer you. 

I know Facebook is a great way to get information, in the crafting world anyway, I would not depend on it for always having truthful news stories, but it just lacks that homey feeling of the CMB where we could connect with each other so much deeper. I guess I am lucky in that I have been able to keep in contact with many of my CMB friends in the Old Cricut Community group and there we still know each other's ups and downs, grieve the sorrows and celebrate the joys of the people we have become close to and think of as friends. I don't mean the typical Facebook friend but the actual true friend. When I think of the members of OCC I think of them as the Grand Dame's of the Cricut world. Some of those members in OCC were there at the birth of the CMB and are to be highly revered because of their knowledge and know how and never ever did any of these ladies have a holier than thou attitude that so many "experts" have today. They were always about helping each other and not cutting the throat of fellow crafter' whole opinion on that one needs it's own post.

Facebook can be awesome but I still miss the Cricut Message Board. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Holy Binding Wires!

So the new place in town, Zipp Outlet, that I told y'all about like last week has some really good bargains and while I didn't like the store at first I am getting over my OCD tendencies and getting to where I am able to just get in there and dig around. I have learned that it is easier if I don't take my purse in because they don't have carts but rather have Ikea bags, ya know the huge blue ones, that you use for your shopping experience and to me it's easier just to go back out and get my wallet if I find something I want to buy.

I was in there last week and I saw this huge ball of binding wires, notice I said ball. If ya know anything about binding wires you know they should be stored flat, separated, away from each other, with dividers...not in a ball! They ball had a white tag, which meant it would be half off, but there was only a corner of the tag on there. I took the ball up to the cashier and she said she could let me have it for $3, so it would be $1.50. I figured for that price I would take a chance on getting a few wires out of the ball.

I spent much of Friday night at my craft desk working on untangling the wires and through much patience and tenacity I was able to get all of the wires untangled except two. I did have to clip to others at the ends because they were so intertwined it was impossible to get them apart. With all the wires laid out I was almost giddy thinking of what a great deal I got. Even though the wires were only the 5/8" size I figured they could be used for some smaller projects.

After I got all the wires laid out I had to do the math and figure out how much I had saved and I was so proud of the total. I had $75 worth of binding wires for $1.50! The picture shows part of the wires, the rest were on another part of my craft table. 

On Saturday I found a way to keep the wires stored without them getting tangled again and due to my experience in the past with binding wires I know you can carefully put two together without them getting enmeshed with each other so I knew it would be better for storage to use this method. The wax paper sheets I also found at Zipp came in handy to wrap the wires to keep them separated from each other. I was able to wrap 4 wires in each sheet.

Wanting to try the wires out I started on, and still working to finish, some coaster mini albums. Once I got one of them completed I couldn't wait to punch the holes with my Cinch and check out the wires. Imagine my frustration when I quickly realized that the wonderful wires I got are actually 3:1 pitch and not the 2:1 pitch that my Cinch punches *okie gives herself a smack on the forehead*. Now what was I suppose to do...well I am finishing my little albums, the one I punched has the 2:1 pitch wires but the others I will try another method of punching so I can use the 3:1 pitch wires. When I find out if it works I will post pictures. Even if it doesn't work I will still post pictures of my failure...but I am not use to failing when it comes to crafting. I will make this work!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Have Probably Lost My Mind

No seriously, I have lost my mind. Wait until you read why!

A few years ago when I went to Florida I flew Allegiant Air back home because it was cheap, or at least it seemed that way until all the fees started adding up but even with the fees it was cheaper than any other airline I could find and it was a direct flight. For anyone who is not familiar with my whole fiasco concerning that flight can read about it in this post - Starting With The Bad - Allegiant Air and since I have a whole post concerning that event I won't go into details about that trip but instead I will just tell you why I just booked a round trip to Orlando and back with Allegiant. 

The reasons I chose to go with Allegiant again...
1. Karen said her friends fly it all the time and they never have any problems
2. It's a direct flight both ways
3. It's F'ing cheap!
4. I know what to expect this time.
5. I really want to go see my friend Karen!

I am not taking any checked bags so I don't have to pay that fee but I do have to pay a carry on bag fee (cheaper when you pay in advance). Karen and I have already discussed how I won't need anything but clothes and a few pair of flip flops. We are not going on a cruise this time but instead going to enjoy her new house and pool and also meet up with some friends while there, so I won't be needing a lot of things I usually take. I won't need shampoo, soap, hair dryer, or any of that nonsense. I will limit my jewelry to my standard watch, silver hoops and the heart necklace I usually wear. I won't have the money to go shopping this trip, and to be honest there isn't anything I really need to buy while there, so I won't need the extra space to bring anything home. So basically I will need to pack a few pairs of shorts, a couple of pairs of capri's, some tank tops and a few shirts and of course my bras and underwear and I think I can fit all that in a carry on just fine. 

My airfare total, with all the taxes and fees and other nonsense that doesn't seem to make sense was $221.50. Yes, that is correct TWO HUNDRED TWENTY ONE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS  for a DIRECT FLIGHT ROUND TRIP ticket to Florida. I will say the price would have been a bit cheaper but I did spend a total of $52 so I could choose my own seat and also the ability to make one change free of charge *okie isn't sure how it is free of charge if she had to pay for it* to my trip if needed. I am hoping for that price, and me already knowing what to expect, the flight will be tolerable. I already know to get something to eat and snack on because I sure don't want to pay $9 for the equivalent of a Lunchable again and I know their employees at least the ones I dealt with, for the most part are hateful bitches. I now know this is a basic no frills airline and definitely not the luxurious airline, Southwest, that I generally fly. In order to see my BFF Karen I am willing to make the sacrifice and board another Allegiant Air bucket of nuts and bolts. 

I will likely be needing prayers to make it in one piece so if you can remember to send up a good word on March 6th and March 13th I would really appreciate it!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stampin Up Sky Is the Limit Card

I love the time of year for Stampin Up's Sale-A-Bration because as long as you make a $50 order you get a free product and they are always nice products! In the order I made a few weeks ago I chose Sky Is the Limit stamp set. 

Don't forget I am having an online party and if you would like to make an order just go > HERE< to make your order and use Hostess Code  UBZCDCFA when you check out, you should see my name as the hostess once you enter the code. 

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up Sky Is the Limit stamp set

Various cardstock
Stampin Up Inks
Memento Inks
Cricut Explore (sun and clouds)

I stamped the front part of the stamp a second time so I could cut out the propeller and pop dot it onto the plane. Since I didn't want to try and cut out the paper between the lines between the wings I just used my Promarkers to try and match the colors of the sky and sun ray as best I could so it wouldn't just be white. 

The heart jet trail is part of the stamp set, as is the sentiment. There is also a few other stamps that make this a very versatile set. One of the things I like about this set is that it can be masculine or feminine just depending on what colors you choose ad that is always good to have in your stamp stash. 

If you are not familiar with Stampin Up Sale-A-Bration here is the information how it works...

For Every $50.00 you spend you get a FREE exclusive Sale-A-Bration item! These free items are selected from the exclusive Sale-A-Bration catalog.
  • Choose ONE free Sale-A-Bration item when you spend $50 (before ship/tax)
  • Choose TWO free Sale-A-Bration items when you spend $100 (before ship/tax)
  • Choose THREE free Sale-A-Bration items when you spend $150 (AND qualify for the usual hostess rewards of $25)
  • Once your order reaches $250 (before ship/tax)  you get a BONUS $25.00 in hostess rewards
  • There is No Limit to the number of  Sale-A-Bration Rewards you can earn.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stampin Up Birthday Blooms Card

Another stamp set I ordered a few weeks ago was the Birthday Blooms out of the Occasions Catalog. I wanted to challenge myself with trying watercoloring a stamped image with my Stampin Up Inks and I thought this would be a good set to try the process. 

Don't forget I am having an online party and if you would like to make an order just go > HERE< to make your order and use Hostess Code  UBZCDCFA when you check out, you should see my name as the hostess once you enter the code. 

I wasn't sure how I liked this process when I started doing the watercoloring process and I wasn't sure how well my image was turning out and thought about trashing them. I did post it on Facebook and I got some good feedback so I decided to go ahead and finish the images and make some cards. 

I have to admit that I totally lifted the idea for the card from Stampin With Kristi although I had to change a few things since I didn't have the supplies she did. The image had to be "fussy cut" and I ended up cutting off some of the leaf bunches because I am lazy. 

Supplies used:

Stampin Up Birthday Blooms Stamp set
Stampin Up Inks
Watercolor Brush
Watercolor Paper
Stampin Up Label Collection Dies (retired)
Various Paper
Cuttlebug Distress Stripe embossing folder
Transparent paper
Linen Ribbon
Square Punch
Martha Stewart pearls

I tied the bow using the Double Bow method and the tutorial linked was the easiest and shortest I found. For the little banner I just used a square punch to make the end forked. 

It's hard to see but I did add a few little flowers with one of the stamps in the set and I guess I should have used a darker color since they are hard to see but it was too late after I got them stamped. 

This set came from the Occasions Catalog and you can order from the link at the beginning of this post and don't forget if you order $50 of product you get a free item from the Sale-A-Bration catalog.

If you are not familiar with Stampin Up Sale-A-Bration here is the information how it works...

For Every $50.00 you spend you get a FREE exclusive Sale-A-Bration item! These free items are selected from the exclusive Sale-A-Bration catalog.
  • Choose ONE free Sale-A-Bration item when you spend $50 (before ship/tax)
  • Choose TWO free Sale-A-Bration items when you spend $100 (before ship/tax)
  • Choose THREE free Sale-A-Bration items when you spend $150 (AND qualify for the usual hostess rewards of $25)
  • Once your order reaches $250 (before ship/tax)  you get a BONUS $25.00 in hostess rewards
  • There is No Limit to the number of  Sale-A-Bration Rewards you can earn.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stampin Up Grateful Bunch Card

The Stampin Up Occasions Catalag came out recently as did the annual Sale-A-Bration catalog and I couldn't wait to order a few goodies! This card is made with the Grateful Bunch Bundle. I love bundles like this because I am a sucker for punches and when there are stamps that go with it then it's a win win situation! 

I am also having an online party and if you would like to make an order just go > HERE< to make your order and use Hostess Code  UBZCDCFA when you check out, you should see my name as the hostess once you enter the code. 

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up Grateful Bunch stamp set
Stampin Up Blossom Bunch Punch
Various cardstock and papers
Sheer Ribbon
Queen & Co. Pearls
Memento Inks

The stamp for the 3 flowers line up on the punch so it makes it easy to punch them all out once. I used the Promarkers for all the coloring of the flowers and leaves. I can't tell you how much I am in love with the Die-namics stitched dies! I love the stitched look and there are 9 in the set so here are plenty of sizes from which you can choose. 

I generally like to decorate the inside of my cards with strips of paper that are left over from the front because it adds a little  more interest. The butterfly and sentiment are included in the stamp set as are all the stamped images on this card.

If you are not familiar with Stampin Up Sale-A-Bration here is the information how it works...

For Every $50.00 you spend you get a FREE exclusive Sale-A-Bration item! These free items are selected from the exclusive Sale-A-Bration catalog.
  • Choose ONE free Sale-A-Bration item when you spend $50 (before ship/tax)
  • Choose TWO free Sale-A-Bration items when you spend $100 (before ship/tax)
  • Choose THREE free Sale-A-Bration items when you spend $150 (AND qualify for the usual hostess rewards of $25)
  • Once your order reaches $250 (before ship/tax)  you get a BONUS $25.00 in hostess rewards
  • There is No Limit to the number of  Sale-A-Bration Rewards you can earn.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Uncle Perk Got The Call

I had made a post yesterday about it being my Uncle Perk's birthday and how it would be his last and how he would likely die within the next few days. Little did I know at the time I made the post that I would be getting a call just about 3 hours later.

Just after 8pm last night my cousin Shelly called to let me know that Mike, her brother, had called her a few minutes before to let her know that their dad was gone, Uncle Perk got the call to go on home. Shelly and I talked briefly and she let me know she is at peace, as am I. 

It's our own selfishness that makes us cry because we want that person here with us. But, all of us in the family know that death is a part of life, our family has experienced many deaths and too many at a young age so when someone lives as long as Uncle Perk did then it is something to celebrate. In my mind I could see Uncle Perk walking up to the pearly gates and saying something like "Son of a bitch it's a lot brighter here than I thought it would be". I know he is there with family members who have been waiting for him, who wait for us all. 

Since I had posted about my uncle I thought I should make a post about him passing. I would like to thank everyone for their comments not only here but also on Facebook. Per his request there will be no funeral services, just a cremation and I think that is just fine and dandy as we all were able to spend time with him over the weekend and say our last "I love you" while he was still on this earth to hear it and ya can't ask for much more than that.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy Birthday Uncle Perk

Today is my Uncle Perk's 86th birthday and it will be his last birthday. Right after Thanksgiving we found out that Uncle Perk has brain, liver and lung cancer and the doctor said he didn't have long. A lot of the family got together on Saturday to spend time with him and there were so many things I wanted to say to him but I just couldn't. I couldn't because I knew I would cry and if I started to cry I wouldn't be able to stop so instead I am writing the things I wanted to say to him in this post and if I cry no one will see me...I am an ugly crier, very ugly. Today my Aunt Betty informed us that Uncle Perk is not doing well at all today and that Hospice said he probably only has a few more days on this earth. 

Uncle Perk - Christmas 2010

I was probably 16 years old before I knew that Uncle Perk's name was not Perk. I was down at my Aunt Betty's, at that time they lived out on the farm with us in what we called "down the field", and picked up a letter that said "Charles Belcher". I asked Aunt Betty if someone sent them the wrong mail and that is when she told me his name was Charles. I still laugh at myself for thinking his name was actually Perk. To me he was never Charles and never will be, he will always be Uncle Perk. 

My own father died right before my 19th birthday and Uncle Perk filled that void in my life. Although he was not as affectionate as my father he was someone I could always look up too and always did. There are many things I have to thank my Uncle Perk for, too many things to even list here or ever have the time to explain. He has never been a man of many words but I always thought his words counted and I would hang on to every word he would ever say because in my world he is one of the 3 smartest men that ever walked this planet. The other two were my Uncle Johnny and my cousin Jonathan, who was the son of Uncle Perk and Aunt Betty. If I ever needed an answer to a crossword puzzle I knew Uncle Perk would know the answer. I can't remember a time I asked Uncle Perk a question and he didn't have an answer for me. At times they were smart ass answers and he would laugh after telling me the answer because he knew I always believed him. Along with being smart Uncle Perk has a great sense of ass as it may be. 

Uncle Perk was always there when I needed him and there were many times I needed him. By trade Uncle Perk has always been a mechanic and I swear that man could fix anything. When I was a teenager he was always working on one thing or another and I was always fascinated with how things worked. I would stand out there with him at times and bombard him with questions. If I ever got on his nerves with my questions he never let me know it. He would answer the questions one after another and always explain things in a way that I understood. Years later this would work out tremendously to my advantage because he and I would play phone mechanic. I would call my Aunt Betty and tell her what the problem was and she would holler "Perk, Shirley's on the phone and her car is acting up". She would explain to him what I said the car was doing and the noise it was making and every dang time he was able to tell me exactly what was wrong with it, where to locate the problem, what part to get and how to change it out. One time I was having problems and he suggested I change my battery from a side post to a top post and this would require me using a hacksaw, which I had *okie doesn't even remember why she would have a hacksaw at the age of 22* and replacing cable ends and some other things. I had just finished up the job and was getting ready to close the hood and the my Uncle Perk pulled up. I looked at him, with probably some sort of dumbfounded expression and asked "what are you doing here?" and he replied "I was afraid you might not be able to get it done so I came down to do it", coming down meant a 45 minute drive from the farm to Ada where I live. He looked under the hood and said "HUH! Looks like you got it done right". We sat around and visited for a few minutes before he left. He and Aunt Betty moved back to Ohio not long after that and he couldn't just drive down and check on my handy work but I think he had faith in my meager mechanic skills after that point.

I never held back in saying that Uncle Perk is my favorite Uncle and I always never held back in letting him know I am his favorite niece, whether he wanted to admit it or not. I am going to miss that ornery ol man more than he will ever know. I learned so many things from him from gardening to mechanics to even finding out that men could cook and look after themselves, which was something my dad sure couldn't do. He has always been able to debate current events, which was always a lot of least for me, or talk about what was going on locally. Any subject I would bring up it always seemed Uncle Perk knew something about the subject. It's just not possible for me to write all the things this magnificent man has done for me over the years, nor is it possible for me to ever thank him enough.  So all I can do is write up one last message to him....

Uncle Perk, 
You have always been there for me, you have helped see me through the death of both of my parents. Anytime I talked with Aunt Betty about things that were bothering me you were always there to listen as well, maybe not speaking much but it seems what few words you did say were ones that always helped. Thank you for helping me become an independent person and make me feel like I can and have accomplished things, no matter if it was changing a headlight to finishing college. The world is gonna be a little more dumb after you leave us because we won't have your wisdom and knowledge to take advantage of anymore.  
Thank you for the grunts after I would tell you "I love you". I know for some people it isn't easy to say those 3 little words but I knew by your grunt you were saying "I love you too". I know the last words I said to you on Saturday were "Love you" and you softly grunted your reply and I smiled to myself thinking "yep, he loves me". 
Thank you Uncle Perk for being my favorite Uncle and allowing me to be your favorite niece *sarcastic grin here*. While I will miss you for the rest of my life I think it is more important to let you know I have loved you all of my life that I have known you. 
Love always,
Your Favorite Niece

Pegboard Reorganization

When I went to Houston last month one of the things I wanted to do was go to Ikea, for several reasons but the main one was to get some of the little Bygel Baskets. I had one that I tried on my pegboard and I loved how it held my stuff very well since it was pretty roomy and very sturdy. I was able to pick up 8 of them while I was there and then last week I found something else that I thought might work on my pegboard and finally got around to working on my pegboard reorganization this weekend.

While during one of my digs at the Zipp Outlet here in town I came across a box of 24 brochure holders and while looking at them I could see it hanging on my pegboard with some embellishments in it. I knew I would have to figure out how to hang it but being a gal who is never without a cordless drill I thought I might just try drill a hole in the top and if that didn't work then I would try something else, with there being 24 I didn't figure it would hurt if I messed up a few of them. 

Luckily I was able to drill a hole pretty easily in the top so I didn't have to try several different methods. They don't hold a lot but I think they work out nicely for a few things in my embellishment stash. 

Here you can see them hanging on the pegboard along with the Bygel Baskets. I actually have a few empty ones so that might come in handy if I decide to buy more embellishments *okie wonders who in the hell is she kiddin because if she sees a good sale she will certainly buy more embellishments*. Some things I would have liked to put in there were too wide, such as my smaller blingy rhinestone packages and pearl packages but I actually ended up putting those in a drawer below my craft tables so I can access them easier. I will be making a post of my new craft table set up pretty soon.

It's impossible to get a full length picture of my pegboard since it is in my closet and somehow I ended up leaving out a row between the two pictures. There are a total of 8 clear holders and 11 Bygel Baskets on the pegboard. 

I try to keep certain embellies in their own basket, such as Basic Grey, K & Co., Tim Holtz and Webster Pages, so when I am using that company product line I don't have o dig through all the embellishments but instead can just dig through that one basket. 

Now that I have this all done I am thinking the pegboard is a waste of space and that Bygel bars on that wall might work better but since I don't have an Ikea close and it will be a long time before I get to go to Ikea again this will work for me. It does look a lot nicer and cleaner and by getting things off of pegs I no longer have to pull everything off a peg to get to something in the back I want to use. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm Set To Foil!

Sometime ago my friend Rosemary acquired the Minc and since she already had a laser printer and very nice laminator she was kind enough to send me her laser printer and laminator saying she didn't need them anymore because of the Minc. I have done very little foiling because I was afraid of the cost to replace the toner cartridge in the laser printer but there have been a lot of things I have been wanting to make and incorporate the foiling process. 

If you follow me on Facebook you know I am a bargain hunter, don't even get me started on some of the Goodwill finds I have gotten! I am willing to dig for good bargains and believe me when I say this is not a euphemism. A few months ago a store called Zipp Outlet opened up not far from my house. I don't even know how to explain this store other than think of a tornado hitting an Amazon warehouse. The picture is actually not long after they opened and I have never seen it that neat in my many stops into the store. Most of the items are evidently returns from Amazon and there is no rhyme or reason to the way they stock the store, other than most grocery items are on one wall together and big items are on large shelving apparatus type things in the center of the store. Other than that, well things are thrown on shelves, not neatly I might add, or just in big boxes where you simply have to dig through to look at things. I have been in there a few times and I have found some good bargains. The store definitely challenges my OCD tendencies and I have been known to try and straighten up some of the items on the shelves. 

They have had quite of few of laser printer toner cartridges for around $4.00 and I kept meaning to check my laser printer that is used for foiling with a laminator to see if I could find some cartridges for my printer. I finally remembered to write down my printer, which is an HP P1102w, so I could see if they by chance had any that would work with my printer. Another thing you probably dont know about me is that I am willing to sit in the floor of stores and dig at stuff to see what I could find, which is exactly what I did today.

When I got there and looked around I saw the sign that they had put the cartridges on sale. OH EM GEE!! I couldn't believe they were this cheap so that made me more determined to find one to fit my printer. I spent quite a bit of time sitting on the floor going through what they had, sorting and stacking neatly as I went along, keeping my eyes peeled for the magical letter and number combination. I wasn't having much luck until BINGO!

I was thrilled to find a cartridge that fit my laser printer and that made me even more determined to find another so I could get one free. As luck would have it, or determination we are going to say in this case, I was able to find 3 more with my tenacious digging! They look to be all different manufacturers and that is okay. Heck it's even okay if they don't print a whole lot because at less than $1.50 each I will be thrilled if I can even do a little printing off them. 

Now I will just need to find another great deal on the foil, different colors of course, and I will be all set to foil until my hearts content!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

You're Never Too Old To...

For quite a few years now I had been putting cheap boxes of Revlon Golden Blonde on my hair as it lightened my natural color and colored my gray hair blonde. The bad thing is that the blonding was killing my hair and making it much like straw. About a year and a half ago I started using semi-permanent coloring in light browns on my hair because I figured it wouldn't be as harsh. Then a few months ago I decided to stop coloring my hair and try and go with my natural color *okie tries to remember exactly what her natural hair color use to be* which is a lot of gray these days. I just keep thinking about the Indian women, not the Indian from India kind of Indian but the Indians from Oklahoma kinda Indians, I have seen during my life who have white hair and how gorgeous it makes them look and I wanna be gorgeous like that. Hey so what if I have to wait until 50 to be gorgeous...I'll take it! 

Evidently I am never one to keep up with the latest and greatest trends because the other day when I was walking into the kitchen area at school I was questioned by a few of the students. The conversation went something like this...

Girl 1: "did you dye your hair?"
Me: *thinking the girl was being a total smart ass* "No! I haven't dyed my hair in awhile."
Girl 2: "It looks like you did"
Me: *with one eyebrow raised* "Seriously? Now how does it even look like I dyed my hair?"
Girl 1: (several of the students now laughing) "Did you dye it silver?"
Me: "What? No! Who dyes their hair silver?"
Girl 2: "Haven't you seen those people dying their hair silver"
Girl 1: "Yeah, everyone is dying their hair silver now!"
Me: *with a shocked look on my face* "REALLYYYY?"
Girls: "YEESSS!!!"
Me: *blinking in astonishment* "This is my natural color coming in. I stopped dying my hair a few months back. I'm old and have gray hair, I'm waiting for it all to turn gray!"
Girl 1: "Well it looks really good!"
Me: *with some apprehension* "Uhhhh...thank you?"

I Googled about silver hair and sure enough I guess it is a bit of a trend and there were a lot of pictures of people who have dyed their hair silver. I never would have guess that I would become a fashionable person at the age of 50! I guess the old saying of "you're never too old to..." just might be true!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I Am Lottery Stupid!

With all the hype of the huge 1.5 billion jackpot and at the urging of BFF Carmen I decided to buy a lottery ticket and I quickly found out that I am lottery stupid!

First off the little convenience store was full of people, which it never is that full, so I knew people must be buying tickets and I figured I would just watch and see what they did to make my buying a lottery ticket an easier experience. I quickly learned that I could not watch that many people and listen to what they were saying to the two cashiers and figure out how to purchase a lottery ticket. I stood there more confused than ever!

When it was my turn in line, with still about 8 people behind me, the cashier asked if I wanted to pick my own numbers and I said "NOOOOO! If I do that I will be here when the store closes and I will have missed the drawing because I have no idea what numbers to pick" and everyone in the store laughed at me. I told her I never bought lottery tickets and she said "so you want to do the quick pick?". Of course I had to ask what that was and she told me that the machine picks the numbers. After glancing over my shoulder to see if the folks behind me were ready to cause a riot because I was taking so long I turned back to the cashier and with an exasperated look on my face told her "that would be a lot quicker".

Well then came the question "so which one do you want to play? Do you want the powerball or do you want the multiplier, but if you get the multiplier it probably doesn't really mean much for tonight's drawing" and she went on to explain something about paying 10x or double or some shit like that. Looking at her like she has 3 heads told her "I have no idea, I just know I am suppose to spend $3 a ticket and just give me $15 worth of numbers". Smiling, more like giggling at me, she then went on to tell me something about lines and pointed to some pictures on the counter about a multiplier and I was like "uh huh" and then repeated "I wanted to spend $15", again came the laughter. 

After walking over behind another counter she came back with a piece of paper and I thought to myself that it didn't look much like a ticket *okie was picture a ticket like for a raffle drawing* but I didn't dare say anything because I figured all those folks had laughed at me enough for one night. I quickly paid her for the piece of paper and thought to myself I should have just went to the liquor store and kicked in another 10 bucks for a nice box of wine because I would probably get more enjoyment out of it and it would last longer than that piece of paper will. I quickly shoved the paper in my wallet and as I walked out of the store the guys behind me all hollered "good luck" I just waved behind me without looking because I didn't want to see them laughing at me again.

When I got home I called BFF Carmen and told her that I was mad at her because she never taught me how to play the lottery to which she responded "Girl I don't know either!". I shared my experience with Carmen and she laughed at me too. I am thinking the next time she tells me to buy lottery tickets I will just tell her I bought the damn tickets and instead go for the box of wine!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chalkboard Project with Vinyl, Cricut Vinyl!

Well I finally made something for myself and I think I really like it!

I got this chalkboard a few months ago at Goodwill and kept wanting to do something with it but instead of just drawing with chalk I thought I would do vinyl. I finally got around to it yesterday and decided to use some Cricut Vinyl and do a quote on the chalkboard. 

I found a quote but the problem was trying to get it to fit within the bounds of the red. I didn't want it too small because I thought it might look funny but I didn't want to make it too big and have it not fit within the curves. My solution? To put it on the floor and take a picture of it!

Of course after I did that I needed to load the picture into MTC and do a trace. I didn't need a perfect clean cut image, just the basic shape so I could enlarge it to the same size as the board and then I could find out what size I needed to do the quote. Of course me being me I did end up cleaning up the edges a bit just because I could stand all the jagged edges from the black lines. As you can see in the picture all the lines are not clean and neat though so I didn't go overboard *okie is proud of herself for not wasting hours making clean edges on something that wouldn't be cut*. I was able to measure the original and then set the size on my image making it easier to set the size of my quote.

Since the quote ended up being more than 12 inches wide I had to split the quote in two so I could cut it. In order to get it placed correctly for application I put it back on the mat after weeding so I could line it up how I had originally designed it. 

I have heard a lot of negative about the Cricut vinyl but I have to say for this project it really worked out great. I did notice that it is a bit more crisp than the Oracle vinyl which makes it more fragile during the weeding process and one of my letters did tear a bit. Had I been doing this for someone else I would have recut the letter but since it was just for me I used it anyway and you really can't tell where it tore now that it is up on the wall. I certainly wouldn't use this vinyl for permanent applications but for wall quotes or items like a chalkboard I think it is fine since it will be easy to remove if I decide to put something different on my chalkboard at a later time.

I opted to use the paper transfer tape instead of the clear transfer tape I usually use since it is less tacky and I knew it would release from the chalkboard easier. I worked in sections from bottom to top, going horizontal to apply the transfer tape to the vinyl, over lapping the transfer tape on each layer. 

I was worried at first about being able to see through the paper transfer tape and getting the quote lined up correctly but since the background was red it was really easy to see and get it down okay.

Since the Cricut Vinyl is not as tacky as the Orcale or Avery vinyl I am use to working with I used a brayer to help the vinyl adhere to the board better.  For removal I just worked backwards, from top to bottom to remove the tape. This method allowed me to save some of the transfer tape for later use. I didn't get to save it all because I was not paying attention and some of the taped curled and stuck to itself and I didn't feel like fighting it to straighten it out. 

And here is the finished project! I know there are probably some great quotes out there but since this was going in my kitchen and this is pretty much how I feel about kitchens I thought it was perfect! When I showed it to my daughter she cracked up laughing and I think she probably agreed with it.

I do like the idea of the Cricut vinyl being less tacky and leaving me the option to do something else with the board later on. I have to admit it wasn't as horrid as I thought it would be and I think it works great for some applications such as what I mentioned earlier. I will have to try something more detailed later on and see how it works as this was large and there were no problems cutting or weeding the vinyl. 

I have several colors of the Cricut vinyl and I might have to try some wall quotes to see how well it works for applying to walls or doors. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

I Figured Out My Problem!

I have been wondering for quite some time now why I haven't been crafting much, well almost like none and after conversations with BFF Carmen and BFF Karen I got it figured out! My problem is that I was always crafting something because I needed prizes for my Christmas party and since I don't have a Christmas party anymore I am without a driving motivation to get chit done.

With this revelation of mine I have decided I need a driving motivation to craft all the time and the only thing I can ever think of is prizes. I loved having my Christmas party and it really was a year long labor of love for a few hours of fun and time with friends. It's a lot of work to get ready for the party and I kept wondering if it was all worth it. I always questioned if the prizes were good enough and if everyone understood just how much love I poured into each detail of the party, from personalized goody bags to every card in the card package prizes. I think maybe I got burned out on it but now I am thinking it is time to gear up and plan one for this year.

I am convinced I do better with crafting more when I have a motivator. Making prizes is a wonderful least for me!