Wednesday, June 22, 2016

4th of July Banner - File Available

I am going off to Branson for a few days to teach my cousin and her friend how to make cards. My sister and my Aunt Betty will be making the trip with me and I am sure we will have a great time on the 5 hour drive as my family always has a fabulous time when we are together. Before I get going and will likely be out of pocket for a few days I wanted to get this project posted. Last month I had posted A Little Laminating Tip now I am going to show you what I was working on when I found out how to do a little fix when laminating. 

It was really hard to get a good picture of the banner at full length since the finished project is probably around 9 feet long. It might look better if you click the picture and make it bigger. I had planned on making this last year for Andrea but a few things got in the way of me getting it done. 

I used cardstock for the pennants and for the letters I used silver colored vinyl. I wasn't sure my laminator could take 4 layers of cardstock and it's probably a good thing I didn't since I did have some problems with the laminating sheets sticking together due to the thickness. I used 5mil laminating sheets and maybe if I had used a thinner sheet it might have worked without having to get out the heat gun.

In order to break up the wording I cut some star and put them between the words. I think they worked out well and I did think of several different things to try but the stars just seemed to work the best. The stars laminated easily since they are only one layer. 

I think in this picture you can see the stitching I did on the pennant and that was done with a white gel pen. I'm not sure how well you can see the way I joined the pennants but it was rather simple. I used my Crop-O-Dile to punch holes and then used some Maya Road cord for tying them together. 

If you would like to make a banner you can download the file below:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It Comes In Handy! Layout File Available

As many of you know I go through spurts of designing layouts and then I don't get around to using them until much later and the other night it sure came in handy! My Goddaughter Amber had asked if I would help her decorate two 4x6 pages for some kind of birthday scrapbook for one of Chi-O sister's birthday that she and the other girls would be doing and I told her I would help her. Of course in my mind I was wondering what kind of decorations could be used for a 4x6 scrapbook! I had forgotten about the project until Amber came by the night before she needed it, which she is famous for doing, and asked me about it. After she showed me some examples I told her that the pages were 12x12 and the pictures were 4x6 and her reply was "oh I didn't know, but whatever, it doesn't matter". *okie sighs in exasperation* Those who don't scrapbook just don't get it do they?! 

Luckily I remembered the  Party Owl Night Long layout that I had designed back in 2013 that had an owl on it and talked about party so I quickly opened it up in Make The Cut and showed Amber and she said it would work just fine. 

I was going to cut all the pieces and leave them for her to put it together but Amber gets distracted easily and isn't always the best on realizing how much time this stuff takes so I did go ahead and put it together for her and all she had to do was pick it up. Besides, the girl works two jobs right now and time is precious. I will give her props for helping me pick out the paper for the layout.

For the stars I just used a punch because it would be faster. After I looked at the picture I remembered she wanted both of them going portrait but OH WELL TOO LATE NOW and she never mentioned about it being turned wrong. The patterned papers are from Graphic 45 Mother Goose collection and the title is done in some Bazill Bling cardstock. 

Since some may not know *and okie wonders why just the regular joe would know* the owl is the mascot of the Chi-Omega sorority and that is the reason I thought this would work for her purposes. 

I added the ribbon along the bottom as an after thought because it just looked too dang plain without it for my taste and Amber wasn't here to tell me not to use it *okie cracks up laughing*. The yellow and red of the owl are also with Bazill bling cardstock. 

Amber was pleased with the layout but she is really easy to please. 

I am so glad I do a lot of designing of files because I never know when they are gonna come in handy!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Double Whammy Celebration!

Today I am having a little double whammy celebration here at the house with a few people and I got lots to do!

Thursday will be Andrea's birthday and I usually try to take her to lunch or something but I will be out of town. For those that don't know I never really consider Andrea a friend but instead she is my sister, she is also the mother to my 3 Goddaughters. Years ago when we had more friends live close to us I would have a get together with the girlfriends and it was a lot of fun but as years pass and people move away the annual celebration just fizzled out. Now our daughters are grown and we can enjoy celebrating with them and this will be the first time our two families have celebrated her birthday and I am more than a little excited. 

Sadly her daughter Eboni isn't able to make it down from Broken Arrow and Amber has to work but I think she will be able to make it later this evening when she gets off. Her daughter Ashley, her husband Daryl and their son Carter will make it over along with Andrea and her husband Glen. Yes I have a God Grandson and I a totally in love with that little boy! I even paid for him to go to swim lessons because I knew I was going to have the pool this year and I wanted him to be able to not be afraid of the water and from all reports he is doing fantastic and loves the water. Today will be his first day in my pool and I am as giddy as a school girl to have him in the pool with me as I am a person who loves the water. And of course my daughter and son-in-law will be here.

I need to wash some baker potatoes and I have NY strip steak in the fridge ready to set out so they can achieve room temperature before putting them on the grill. We will also be having grilled veggies, which include Squash, Zucchini, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper, orange pepper, red pepper, bell pepper and mushroom. I totally forgot to get a red onion to put in it! I have it marinating in Zesty Italian dressing with some minced garlic and lemon juice. I got a few Lock N Lock bowls a couple of years back and those things are awesome for marinating such things because I can just flip the bowls every so often to make sure everything gets coated well. 

Anyway back to my day and the second part of the celebration is the Grand Opening of my pool! So far only my daughter and I have swam in it and that was to help get the salt dissolved after we put in 260 pounds of that stuff. 

I still need to get the back yard mowed around the pool. Hopefully it is dry enough now. We've had hot weather but with super high humidity and that just doesn't work well with drying out the grass much. I also need to put down some stepping stones for a temporary walk way from the deck to the pool to help keep down on the dirt in the pool and also help people avoid slipping in any possible mud that might accumulate. 

My salt water chlorinator came in on Thursday and I was able to get it hooked up and running. I did a lot of research on sizes and such before ordering and found that the Intex 120 Krystal Clear Saltwater System would work for the size of my pool and ordered it from Walmart because it was a little cheaper than the one I saw on Amazon. Or at least I thought it was, it was actually a few bucks more because of the tax that was added through Walmart. 

It was easy to set up and the hose connects and hoses worked perfectly so I didn't need to do any adjustments. It has ran two cycles since I hooked it up and I do feel better knowing it got to run two cycles before people will be swimming in it today.

Last night I decided to go ahead and order my sand filter because my cartridge pump is leaking at the top where the cartridge is located and I'll have my son-in-law take a look at it today when he comes over. I knew I would be ordering one but was going to wait but with not wanting to mess with having to fix the leak all the time I bit the bullet and ordered. From everything I read it will be a lot easier and keep the pool cleaner than the cartridge system so I don't think I will regret the purchase. The picture is the one that I ordered and it is the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and has a 3000 GPH flow and will work perfectly with the salt water chlorinator.  

As much as I would love to keep typing and talking to you lovies I got chit to do and time is a wastin!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Busy Busy Busy

I haven't really had much time in the past few days to sit down and write a post but didn't want anyone to think that I was going on hiatus again so thought I would give a brief review of what I've been doing.

My groups just finished up their last birthday card yesterday and they were thrilled with each one. They made two last week and two this week. Getting the card kits together always takes quite a bit of time and this time I also made an extra 12 of each because I am going to Branson next week to teach my cousin and some of her friends how to make cards. Wish me luck on that one because I have little patience with such matters because people want to ask questions and I just want them to do what I say HA HA HA. I will try to get the card posts ready in the next day or two so I can share those with you. One of them as really cool file that you will be able to download.

Another thing that has kept me busy is getting my new pool up. Last summer was the first time in about 13 years I didn't have a pool and I thought I was going to die! DIE I TELL YOU! I will give more details on the pool later and also share how my daughter and I installed a wide mouth skimmer that required cutting a hole in the brand new pool *EEEKKKK*. 

I have a great Saturday planned with my friend Andrea and hopefully at least two, would prefer all three, of my Goddaughters and my own daughter and her husband. Andrea's birthday is next week so I am going to fire up the grill have libations ready and we can swim and float around in the pool. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Established Sign Vinyl Project - File Available

Some of y'all probably remember the 3 Funerals and A Wedding post back in October when my daughter gave me 4 days notice that she was getting married and my friend Carmen just happened to be visiting from Houston and with some quick thinking and fast decorating we were able to pull off a wedding and reception right here at my house. If you don't know the story you can check it out in the link above.

Now that your memory has been refreshed I'll share the "established" floating picture that I made for my daughter and son-in law. I have to say I really like the whole "floating frame" thing since you don't have to worry too much about making a backing to match what decor people might have because it just shows the wall behind it so ya know it's gonna match!

I am always on the look out for frames when I go to Goodwill for projects such as this and I can usually find them for a buck or two, at least I could before the new manager came into play and started pricing things so high. Anyway I did get this one at Goodwill and I think I got it for $1.99, not a bad price! I think the size on it is about 20" x 14.5". Since I don't have a hobby store close I had to get creative with the mat on the frame and I wasn't sure what to do until I remembered I had some Cricut Foil Vinyl!

I used some cardboard and measured out the pieces and then miter cut them using a quilting ruler as my guide and then just covered the cardboard with the foil vinyl. I really liked the look of the "metal mat" and it gives the picture, sign or whatever you want to call it a nice classy look. I do still need to get a large sheet of acetate or have another piece of glass cut to put over the top before they can have it to hang on their wall. 

If you would like to cut this design and add your own initial, name and edit the year, you can download the file below:

Monday, June 13, 2016

How To Fix Your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Single Serve

My daughter asked for a Kuerig for Christmas and since that is all she asked for I got her one and she loves it. I myself have been wanting one for quite some time but couldn't justify the cost for myself *okie thinks that it is odd how we can spend money on others but not ourselves* but I did find a Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Singe Serve at Walmart for half the price of a Kuerig and I thought I was worth at least half of what my daughter is worth *okie cracks up laughing*

I have had different coffee pots over the years, usually a Mr. Coffee in most cases, so this whole single serve was quite appealing to me because I didn't have to make a whole pot of coffee and if I decided I wanted another cup of coffee all I have to do is pop another pod in, add the water and push the button and let's face's almost impossible to make just one cup of coffee in a large pot. There were a few other reasons I chose this machine, one being I really liked the looks of it and how it was compact. If you want you can remove the little shelf and use a travel mug. Another great option is that you don't have to use pods, it has a built in filter basket where you can use loose coffee. One more plus is that you can make coffee in several different cup sizes. I usually go with the 10 oz because the bottled water I have is 20 ounces and I know to just use half the bottle. *CONFESSION* I keep bottled water for the kids because they always come in and take it with them when they leave. I use the same bottles over and over and just refill from my fridge since I have filtered water. 

I did read the reviews and most of them were good, there were a few talking about how after awhile the water would no longer go through but I decided to take a chance on it anyway. Just a few days ago my machine got to where the water wouldn't brew all the way through and I thought "well dammmnnnn" but me being me I decided to take a looksy and see if I could find out the problem.

The first thing I did was take off this rubber gasket around the piercing needle and clean it. There didn't seem to be anything on it or anything to clean really but I wiped it off just the same. While doing this I noticed a hole in the piercing needle and I wondered to myself if that is actually where the water goes through.

I went to my craftroom and found a paperclip and poked it through the hole *okie wonders if she should mention she did unplug the coffee maker before starting her out of curiosity let's try and repair the coffee maker job* and sure enough there were coffee grounds that came out! I twirled the paperclip a little bit to make sure I was getting it all out and truthfully there wasn't even much but I guess enough to keep it from brewing right.

After getting the piercing needle all cleaned out I put the rubber gasket back on, plugged it back in, added the water and turned it on. It started making the noise it usually does as it heats up the water and instead of sputtering I saw a nice thick stream of hot water pouring out! GO ME!!! Now if the problem happens again I know it is a quick fix and I won't be thinking I have to run out and replace my coffee maker. I did go ahead and do the vinegar cleaning while I was at it and there was some build up in the little filter basket. Our city water is very hard and there is always lime and calcium spots on things. After drinking this water for years I should have bones like steel with all the calcium I have consumed!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thinking of You Cards - 4 of 4

For the last card I wanted something a bit more subdued or masculine and I think I was able to achieve both with the choice of colors and design. I wanted subdued so it could be used for a sympathy card if needed or masculine so it would be more gender specific for a male receiver. 

Supplies Used:

K&Co. Paper
Stampin Up Ticket Punch (retired)

The males in the groups really liked the design and said they would like it if they received the card and all the group members thought the color choices were good if they wanted to use it as a Sympathy card and sadly they have had 3 deaths of fellow residents in the last month or and were able to use the cards. The wonderful thing about the ICF/IID population is that the handle the death of others so well because as they always tell me "they are in a better place". 

It doesn't seem like we made these cards that long ago but it was back in April when they did the cards and here it is June and they are doing birthday cards already! We got 2 made last week and they will make 2 more next week and I'll post those when they get them all done. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thinking of You Cards - 3 fof 4

Since it seems the group members think I take requests these days for their card kits this card got a butterfly. One of the ladies likes butterflies and thought we needed to do a card with a butterfly *okie really thinks she needs to tell them to shut up and take what they get*

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up Butterfly Basics stamp set

I found the Sizzix dies at Zipp Outlet and I think I paid 3 or 4 bucks for them, I know it wasn't much. I was just diggin through a box and POOF there they were. Sadly it was the only set I found but I did feel lucky to find them.

They had a lot of fun with this card because there was quite a bit of stamping. Some of the folks are brave enough to just take the stamp and do their own but others want me to line it up for them. Usually for the sentiments I do line them up. The fern leaves at the bottom was an area where they were able to just ink and stamp without worrying about lining things up. I generally try and make a few spare pieces, such as the white mat on this card, just in case someone messes up and we need to have the do another.

I had a hard time to get a few of them to stamp the sentiment on top of the flower image because they were afraid it was going to mess it up but once they did it they really liked it. This particular card is one I made and I did use some Liquid Pearls on the butterfly down the "spine" and I didn't do that for the cards in group because there wouldn't be time for them to dry before the end of group.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thinking Of You Cards - 2 of 4

For the second card my groups did one of the members had asked for something with a flower and said "that way we can use it for a birthday card if we want" and I thought that was a good idea.

Supplies Used:

Stampin Up patterned paper (retired)
Stampin Up Fun Flower Punch (retired)
3/8" Grosgrain Ribbon

I will be honest and tell y'all I got the idea for the layout of the cards through searches on Google as I was just not feeling creative when I was making the kits. The group members were thrilled, like they always are with each card. I would actually like to make a few more of these in the future because they were easy ad I liked the end product, of course for my own liking I would need to do some inking on them.

I had the holes poked for the brad but it was difficult for a few of them to put the brad in to put the flowers together so I had to do most of them. Also one of them didn't like doing it because they were afraid they were going to get hurt "because it's sharp". 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thinking of You Cards - 1 of 4

One of the ladies in one of my groups at the ICF/IID asked if we could make get well cards and after we discussed it we decided "thinking of you" would be better since they could be used for a variety of occasions. The two groups that I do out there did 4 different thinking of you cards which was a total of 48 card kits I did for the groups and then I made a few of each because I needed a sample card for them to look at and I couldn't do just one because that would be an odd number...I can't do odd numbers.

This is the first of the thinking of you cards they did.

Supplies Used:

Stampin Up Bird Punch (retired)
Graphic 45 papers

I always have all the elements cut out for the groups since I have limited time and there are 6 people to a group but each person put their card together and they also did their stamping. I did have them stamp the "thinking of you" on the card first so they would have a better idea of where to put their circle.

I tore the bottom of the front of the card off and inked it a bit and the stripe paper is taped to the inside base of the card.

I always gripe about how much work it is to do the card kits but to see the looks on their faces and the comments they make about completing a card always makes it worth the effort. Yesterday we started the birthday cards they make every summer and they get to make 4 of those as well and I'll post them when they get done. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I Need To Blog More...But Keep Offering Free Files??

I use to make almost daily posts for a few years because I always had something to post and now days I don't craft as often so I always feel I don't need to post anything but I have noticed I usually get more comments on my commentary posts than I do my crafting posts. It is discouraging at times but then I realize I get a lot of comments on Facebook when my links post to my Facebook page and to the Old Cricut community group. There are a few other groups I will post the link to my crafting posts and I get likes and comments on those as well. I was touched by the comments and emails I received from some of my readers after I first posted a few days ago after not writing for a few months.

I wonder why people always have something to say about my commentary since I usually find it as drivel that goes through my head and I realize that typing out that drivel can be therapeutic. I looked back at some of my stats and I was a little shocked to see where my readers come from! I have readers in of course the US but also Canada, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Ukraine, France, China, Brazil, Ireland and a few more that I can't remember off hand or recognize on the map that was in my stats. I guess I forget how vast the world wide web is and don't think about people out other countries really being interested in what is on this blog.

Here are some fun stats..

Post with the highest number of views - For The Love of Minions
Second highest number of views - Cuttlebug A2 Folder Storage

Highest referring URL - Google
Second highest referring URL - Obsessed With Scrapbooking

Highest referring site - Google
Second highest referring site - Networked Blogs

Highest Keyword Search - okieladybug
Second highest Keyword Search - okieladybug blog

Highest Viewed Page - Make The Cut/SVG Files
Second Highest Views Page - Card Cut Files

I guess what this means is that I will keep on bloggin after all and hopefully even if I don't have crafty posts I will at least post something even if it is the silly thoughts that come out of my head. After being at this thing for a little over 8 years *okie gasps a little realizing it's been that long* I guess there is no reason to stop now!

I know I need to blog more and not go so long in between posts and recently I thought about not making my files for projects I make available for download because I get very few comments of even "thank you" and I thought about different ways I could allow someone to download so they have to at least acknowledge the fact they are using a file but all the ways I could think of require extra work and let's face it...I'm lazy. With that said for now I will continue posting links where files can be downloaded and learn to live with the discouragement. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

French Country Sunflower Wall Hangings

Last year when I went to Houston I found a lot of great things for my kitchen at Hobby Lobby that were 60-80% off that kinda went with a French Country theme and I had posted all the decor I had put up in the It's Been Awhile...Let's Catch Up post.

Some of the things I bought were these little wall hangings, not sure what they are called, and I loved the blue on them but I didn't like the background and knew I wanted to change it with some Graphic 45 French Country paper. If you read my post a few days ago you know the reason it has taken me so long to alter these *okie stops and says a little prayer that she doesn't go to hell or get banned from Graphic 45 products for her sin*. I am sure the background on these would be wonderful for someone but just not's not my style.

Once I finished the French Country Shadow box project and was printing paper well I knew that I wanted Sunflowers on these some how. I had to fussy cut a lot of sunflowers in order to get what I wanted but it really wasn't so bad since it was something I could do while watching TV in the craftroom. I was able to use my McGill Paper Blossom Roller/Piercer Tool Kit and Mcgill Paper Blossom Ball Tool Kit to help shape the flowers once I got them all cut out *okie wonders why McGill doesn't just sell both sets together in one convenient set but since okie isn't a marketing person she just shrugs and keeps writing her post*. In order to get the look I wanted I had to leave all the petals on the first layer, cut off what looked like the top petals on the middle layer and then cut off all but what where the top petals for the top layer. It might make more sense if you click on the picture and see it larger.

This was another flower on some of the paper and I liked how it was a side view of a sunflower and would add a little more interest on the wall hanging. I cut layers as explained for the flower above. I also cut some flowers and left them with only a single layer to fill in between the layered sunflowers. 

For the background of the wall hangings I chose to use the red gingham paper as it looked the best with the sunflowers. It was patterned enough to set off the flowers but not so patterned that the sunflowers got lost on them. I also used the same wire ribbon as I did in the bottom of the shadow box. I had to stretch it out a little to make it a little wider so it fit in the area I was doing. 

Now it probably wouldn't haven't taken me so long to finish the wall hangings but since I had 3 to do there was a lot of fussy cuttin' goin' on up in here! One of the wall hangings is next to the shadow and they complement each other well. 

The other two hangings are on my large arrangement wall and look so much better with the sunflowers in them rather than the mosaic patterned paper that was there originally. If you look at the bottom left hand area of the shelf you can see the match box project that I did in that class I talked about a few posts ago. I am still deciding if I want to leave the picture in the big white frame or do something different with some French Country paper and who knows how long it will take me to change it since I seem to be a slow worker these days.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Patriotic Medallion Banner - File Available

Today another French Country project was scheduled to post but I wanted to share this project so I pushed that post back. A few days ago a really cool looking 4th of July Decor popped up on my newsfeed from Hobby Lobby and I fell in love with it and thought "I can make that with paper!" I immediately, well almost immediately, got into Make The Cut to design a file. The file is available for download in MTC and SVG formats at the bottom of the post.

Supplies Used:

Cardstock - White, Red, Cream, Navy, Silver
Red Velvet Ribbon
White and Navy Blue Ribbon
Cricut Explore

I used the Liquitex and Krylon Acrylic Sealer on my so I could make it somewhat waterproof in case I wanted to hang it on my front door, which was my intention when I thought about making it in the first place. The burlap ribbons are cut from a sheet of burlap I had left over from my daughter's wedding. I added some Sobo glue along the edges to keep it from fraying. I also used the same glue to put the pieces together, this stuff is awesome! The stripe ribbon is from a roll I found at Zipp Outlet a few weeks ago and the red velvet ribbon is actually some Christmas Ribbon I got after Christmas on clearance. 

Here is a close up of the medallion part. I did make a "4" to put in the center since that is what was on the original and afterwards I had wished I had put a Uncle Sam in the middle instead but it was already done. I did get back in the file and make a hat to use so if I make another one I can put it on there instead. The file below does contain the 4 and the hat but you could always put something else in there as well. I cut the white base piece at 11.5 inches so I could make it as big as possible with one sheet of cardstock. If you use the file you will need to resize for what you want to make. 

After applying the Liquitex I thought the pieces would look better if I added some shape to them and I was able to get a little shape to the pieces. Next time I will shape the paper BEFORE I add the Liquitex or Mod Podge since it will be easier to shape. I am still pleased with the results, or at least half way pleased. 

I used my McGill Flower Shaping tools to do a little of it but mostly I just used my fingers to manipulate the paper how I wanted, and time I will shape before adding sealers.

To get the layers to pop away from each other I used some regular cardboard and cut it to the size I needed for the back of each layer. This step really made it look a lot better. I wasn't worried about it not being acid free since there are no pictures on the project *okie knows someone will probably wonder about that*

I forgot to take a picture of how I attached the ribbons but I actually just stapled them to the base layer on the back. If you are going to staple your ribbon on the base I would suggest doing it before putting the layers together, it would make it easier....and we won't discuss how I know.  I didn't have a hanger made for it when I put it together so I had to make a hanger with some ribbon but the file now has a built in hanger that will cut on the base layer.

I think I want to make another one of these with an Uncle Sam hat just to see what it looks like. I think a star would look nice or USA, there are a lot of different things you could put in the center.  

Here is a picture that Hobby Lobby had posted. I thought you might want to see where I got the idea from. I would like to have a tassle hanging down but I didn't have anything handy to make one and that is why I opted to use the red velvet ribbon on the project. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

French Country Shadow Box

Yesterday I told ya about printing my own paper and today I am going to show you the first project I made...with the subdued paper mind you!

This is the mess I had while trying to figure out what all elements I wanted in the shadow box, the rooster was a must and everything was added around him. If you look closely you will see how some of the paper is gloss and in order to brighten up the paper I added some Liquitex Gloss Medium Varnish. I had found some at Zipp Outlet for I think $1.97, I also had found some Liquitex Matte Gel but haven't used any of it yet because I'm not quite sure how to use it but I knew I should have it just in case *okie is ashamed to think of all the things she has in her craft room for a just in case situation*. I had scanned some of the stickers that was available to me along with the paper as I knew I would want to use some. 

Another thing I knew I wanted to use was some wire ribbon, much like chicken wire, that I had picked up at Hobby Lobby when I was in Houston back at the New Year. I had originally gotten it with a different project in mind, that will post tomorrow, but I thought it would go nicely in the shadow box as well, after all doesn't every rooster need some kinda chicken wire to keep it safe from other critters? It cut easily with some little jewelry wire pliers I keep in the craftroom and just tucked the ends back behind the matted paper. 

After getting all my French Country elements together I decided I wanted to add a clock to the mix and I used the Tim Holtz Weathered Clock Die that I had also found at Zipp, I paid a whopping $4 for it. I cut it out of some gold mica cardstock and then used some of the printed paper to back it. People who have seen the shadow box in person have asked me if the clock was real and worked and I had to let them know it was only paper.

I did a lot of dimensional work on the shadow box. The rooster is actually 5 layers and this view shows how he is layered. I curled paper, pop dotted things, made a little banner, layered the sunflower and probably a few other things that I have forgotten. 

I did add some Ranger Perfect Pearls on the Roosters feathers here and there, which might be able to be seen better in the picture above. I used the colors of Sunflower Sparkle, Blue Patina and Forever Green. They don't show well in the pictures but in person they really look good. 

I was really pleased with how the shadow box turned out and it goes in my kitchen quite nicely! Be sure to come back tomorrow and see the other project I made using the printed French Country paper!

Friday, June 3, 2016

I Learned How To Print My Own Paper

Okay so it's not something I really want to do because I don't believe it is cost effective but when I couldn't find what I was looking for I had to take some desperate measures!

I have been searching high and low for some Graphic 45 French Country so I could make some items for my kitchen to go with the Match Box Project that I made in a class that my friend Linda and I went to back in 2013. The only paper I could find was $60 for the pack and I am not about to pay that much for some dang paper! I did have a deal worked out with someone that I would send them a Foodsaver Meal Saver Vacuum Sealer and they would send me some of the French Country they had but that deal fell through as I never received the paper...and yes I did send the vacuum sealer.

One night at Stamp Club I was talking about looking high and lo for the French Country paper and the lady who runs stamp club said she had some left and would let me buy it. I told her I would just borrow it if she didn't mind and then see if I could scan and print my own. She loves the collection as much as I do and I didn't want to take what was left of hers. I also had a friend scan some of the 8x8 sheets she had and mail those to me. 

Back in August I had made a trip to Goodwill and hit one of those bargains of the century when I found a brand new Canon Pixma Pro 100, which I discussed in my True Confessions post, and I just knew I would be able to print awesome paper with this thing. I had never used the printer before but my daughter had used it a few times printing some pictures she had scanned that she gathered from her pawpaw and granny. She told me it printed great, I wasn't here at the time she printed them, and that is why I was so hopeful about being able to print the paper I wanted. 

My hope and excitement soon waned into disappointment and frustration as I couldn't get it to print the vibrant colors. While it was mediocre and quite subdued I thought I would just have to make it work. When discussing it on Facebook someone mentioned something about matte photo paper and the color management settings in the computer. I ordered some of the matte photo paper from Amazon, being a prime member does have it's benefits since I actually received it the next day. I played around with my settings in the color management and thought I would try it again. By this time I had already finished one project with the mediocre paper, which I will share later, but there was still another project I wanted to do.

Anxiously I loaded the matte photo paper into the printer and hit the print button for the picture that was on my computer screen. I actually went into the kitchen and piddled around because I didn't want to look at it and be disillusioned while the page finished printing.When I came back into the craftroom I think a squeal of delight escaped my lips as I was elated with what was sitting there! Here you can see for yourself how well it printed once I made the adjustments in the color management, which I have no idea what all I adjusted at the time, and used the matte photo paper. You really can't tell the difference between what I printed and the original paper other than the paper feels a bit different.

I quickly printed a number of papers to use and even thought about redoing the first project I had completed with the crappy paper yet I didn't want all the ink I had used to go to waste so I decided against it.  I also figured out how to print multiple images on one sheet, the sunflower in the picture is actually from a full 12x12 sheet and I just cropped it to what I wanted to use. 

Now let me say that if Graphic 45 finds out about this I will likely be banished from ever using their products again but I tell ya what....we crafters are a desperate kinda breed when it comes to wanting what we want and I justify my actions by thinking it is what they get for discontinuing such a wonderful collection! 

The two projects I made with the paper will post in the next few days so be sure to come back and see what I made!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Red Box I Found

I'm not sure I really found the box as much as it found me.

I got home from work yesterday and there was this red box sitting amongst my daisy plants in my flower bed. I looked for a note on my door or on the box and there was not a note anywhere to be found. With some trepidation I picked up the box and carried it in the house with the contents rattling slightly and carefully sat it on the dining room table. I let it sit there for probably close to an hour before I even opened it. I figured if I moved it around that much and if it was going to blow up then it would have within that amount of time. I wondered if someone was trying to cause me harm why would they put something in such a pretty box. 

When I first opened the box and saw some items with roosters the first thought that came to my mind was that my Aunt Betty had found things at Goodwill and got them for me but then I saw a picture frame and once I tilted the box a bit I instantly recognized the frame as it was one I had decorated for Naomi probably back in 2011 after she moved into the assisted living center. I had someone take a picture of she and I at her Christmas party and when I showed her the picture she said she needed it framed so of course I went into my stash of picture frames ad decorated one up to match her room. 

I knew the box had to have come from her sister Janice. Janice had asked me not long after Naomi passed away if I would like to have the picture and I told her I would and that was the last I heard about it and actually had forgotten about it until I pulled it out of the box. Now why Janice decided to give me the other items I have no idea unless she has seen my posts on Facebook about me having roosters in my kitchen. Naomi loved roosters and I have wondered why all the sudden I wanted some rooster decor in my kitchen but maybe, just maybe, it was my subconscious or my angel Naomi that lead me in that direction.  

I have already placed the wax burner, basket and plate and cup in my kitchen. The picture is in the living room on a shelf. The cast iron bell is sitting on the cabinet right now until I can figure out exactly where I think it would look best. 

I went on Facebook because I was going to message Janice and tell her thank you and I had a message from her saying she had left me a box in my flower bed and said "use whatever you can and do whatever you want with the rest. She LOVED you dearly!! And, I appreciate all you did for her!!!". 

Now I have a little piece of Naomi that I can look at every day and think of the special bond we shared.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

In Love With Heartfelt Creations!

Right before going to Florida back in March I was looking around on Facebook and someone had posted a pile of flowers they said they made with some Heartfelt Creation stamps and dies. I don't think I had ever really paid attention to that company before but for some reason I decided to look up some of their stuff and signed up for their newsletter. I promptly got a link to a video that showed how to make 7 different flowers with their Arianna Blooms set...I WAS IN LOVE!!

I kept looking at the different sets they offer and one day while Karen was at work and I was left to my own devices I started looking again and called Carmen and asked her which sets she thinks we would use the most and we decided on Arianna Blooms, Botanical Rose and Delightful Daisies. I was able to find a coupon code, I believe for 20% off, and the shipping was free...which is a good thing since they are kinda pricey!

Here is a picture of the Botanical Rose set stamped and the die next to it. At first I didn't think I would like the flowers all being connected but I soon found out it was a great idea and I was also able to only stamp off some of the smaller flowers by only inking those and then cuttin my cardstock down so the die would only cut those.

Here you can see them stacked up, I thought this would show the different sizes a little better than just being all flat on the sheet of cardstock. This particular set has 5 different sizes, the smallest flower stamps and cuts twice.

I spent a whole weekend stamping and cutting the flowers. This is a picture of my stash but I sent Carmen a stash of them as well. I thought it would be a good idea to just get a bunch stamped and cut to have for when I wanted to use them instead of having to stamp and cut each time. This way I can just pull out what I want to use, ink, shape and POOF...I will have flowers!

Being honest I will say I haven't used these much but only because I haven't made much of anything lately that needed these types of flowers. I did do a few flowers for practice and put them in a jar for later use. I still like the McGill Flower Tools I got off Amazon and posted about a few months ago and ordered the other set that had the larger balls. Both sets were still cheaper than the Heartfelt Creation Tool set and I think I like not having to change out the ball ends when I want to use a different size. 

I inked the middle with Stampin Up So Saffron and then the outer edges with I believe Regal Rose to color these flowers. I like having the option to color them with whatever ink and colors I want. I used mounting foam in between the 3 layers in the picture. I need to work on these a bit more as I will say it does get easier with practice. 

Oh and if anyone wants to get me an early birthday or Christmas gift you can always send me the Under The Sea Stamps and's to die for and I would love you forever!!