Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Am I Addicted To Facebook?

Did you know that 40% of Americans use Facebook? Well at least that is what I found when I looked it up. I started using it a few years ago and have been using it daily since that time. I do love Facebook and how easy it is to keep in touch with all my friends and family. I have gotten to know some great people through Facebook because many of us turned to it after the Cricut Messageboard started going down the tubes. While I love it I am wondering if I spend too much time booking the face!

I have decided to take a hiatus from Facebook and have deactivated my account temporarily to see how much time I waste with Facebook. I am also wondering if I am going to start suffering delirium tremors and break out in sweats after a period of time of not updating the newsfeed to check and see what all my friends are doing.

How long this will last I don't know because I am already wondering about my friends and what they are up to, if anyone had anything exciting and good happen today or they  have made plans for the weekend.

Crap...I think the withdrawal has already started!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cardmakers Need This!

Not sure what I was doing this week but obviously it was not writing posts! I do have a few cards I will be sharing this week but today I wanted to tell you guys about the First-Class Mail Shape-Based Pricing Template.

I have posted about it before, years ago, and thought I would post about it again since I just used mine to check a few cards that I was putting in the mail. I think this is one of the handiest things for cardmakers to have since we often like to make cards of different sizes and thickness. I know a few people did check with their post offices and they weren't able to get one but I did find where you can buy online at! The First-Class Mail Shape-Based Template is $7.99 and like I said I got mine free but I think it would be worth the price if you are concerned about your cards or smaller packages needing extra postage. You can purchase one HERE from or you might check with your local post office. 

The one at looks a little different than mine but from the pictures on their website it looks to have the same information.

This is a picture of a gusset envelope I made and was checking to see if it fit through the slot. If it drops through freely then no extra postage is needed due to thickness. If you look at the blue shaded area on the right hand side of the picture you can see that if the envelope falls within that area then no extra postage is needed either. Square card always need extra postage since they fall out of the range at the top, I don't think that is right but they didn't ask me when they set the rules. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Bean Experiment

It's a subject that no one likes to talk about sometime it has to be done...
I love pinto beans...very much! But I don't like *okie thinks no one else around her likes it much either* the effect they have on me. It is TERRIBLE! I think my daughter wants to move to another country any time I make a pot of beans. She doesn't care for them at all, but oddly enough she loves refried beans, and she sure doesn't like me eating them.

The other night I decided to make a pot of beans and asked on Facebook how to get the gas out of them. I know my mom use to put baking soda in the beans but it never seemed to help me. 

I did try a few tricks that were offered...
1. I changed the soak water 2 times, rinsing the beans each time.
2. I put in some whole potatoes when the beans were about half way done, making sure to take them out and toss them in the trash when the beans were fully cooked.
For back up I did make sure to buy some Gas-X, something I usually keep on hand anyway and also carry in my purse. After all, ya never know when you might need such a thing.

While it didn't totally get rid of my farts it did help decrease the number, smell and volume. I was even able to enjoy another bowl the second night and I still noticed a decrease in the effects of the glorious tasty bits of brown goodness.

I did read a suggestion about putting ginger in the soaking water and I might try that next time as well. I am determined to eventually make a nice pot of fartless beans!

So for now I will say the little tricks did help but the experiment will continue...

Thursday, April 17, 2014


First off you guys all know how much I love my Stampin Up products and have considered becoming a demo but due to their restrictions about what I could post on my own website I decided against it. Now I do have a MAJOR complaint about one of their products - the Clear Mount Stamps!

When I first started buying the clear mount I was thrilled. I loved the idea that they take up less space and I even changed how I store stamps and converted all my stamps to the Stampin Up cases because it saved so much space, which most of you already know this information. When the clear mount first came out the cling we put on the stamps worked wonderfully, they stuck to the cases and stamp blocks without any problem. BUT NOW...they don't stick worth crap! I have noticed this in about the last year. I finally called Stampin Up to ask them about it and they said they weren't aware of any problem and offered to send me new sets of stamps to replace the ones I had and I told the that would be cost prohibitive for them and time consuming for me to go through and find all the ones I bought in the last year.

The nice young man told me there was information available to demo's on what to do for this *okie wonders why they have something written about what to do about it when at first they said they weren't aware of a problem* but unfortunately since I am not a demo I couldn't read the information. He did talk to his supervisor I was given some information to help them work better *okie wonders how much is better when it is at not at all right now* but I don't think we should have to use double sided tape,  huff and puff and rub them on our pants, lick them 3 times and cross our fingers, rub them like they are a magic lamp or any of that other nonsense.

At that point I told him I would post on my Facebook wall, my Facebook group and my website asking people to call in who are having the same issue so they could be aware of the problem people are having with the stamps not clinging. He did not sound thrilled with the idea and wanted to see if he could send me some information to resolve the situation, I am quite sure it is about how to huff and puff on the stamp *okie rolls her eyes* and I did inform him "I do NOT want to huff and puff and blow the house down to make my stamps stick. I want the new ones to work like the old ones did because we pay good money for the product and it should work how it is suppose to work". He informed me that they are not aware of any changes in the product of the cling, etc. I could go into more of the conversation but that is a bit pointless.

Now please call if you have problems with the Clear Mount stamps sticking to the cases or stamping blocks. Let them know you are having this issue. I feel that if we work together as a unit we might get our clear mount stamp working like they use to work and how they should work.


Stampin' Up! USA
Phone: 1-800-782-6787
Stampin' Up! Canada
Phone: 1-800-782-6787
Stampin' Up! Australia
Phone: 1800-SUSTMP

Stampin' Up! New Zealand
Phone: 0800 202 722
Stampin' Up! UK Limited
Phone: 080 2344765
Stampin' Up! France
Phone: 0800 912 278

Stampin' Up! Deutschland
GmbH   Herriotstra├če 1

Phone: 0800 7826 746

Stampin' Up! Austria
Phone: 0800 291 500

Stampin' Up! Netherlands
Phone: 0800 0220 543

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Extreme Couponing - How Do They Do It

I have watched some clips on TV and I have some friends on Facebook who are some of THOSE coupon people where they get something like $182.16 worth of groceries and other items and with the use of coupons and such they pay only $3.42 and I wonder how they do it. Notice I said I watched clips, never watched a full segement or show on the subject. Now I am someone who likes a good deal and love to hunt out bargains but I am not someone who uses a lot of coupons because in most cases I can just watch the grocery ads and such and get some good bargains.

I do wonder how the heck they get all those dang coupons. I mean seriously where the hell do they come from? I use to buy the Sunday paper and there were always coupons in there but it always seemed the products were something I wouldn't normally buy or the price even with the coupon was not as good as the off brand I usually buy. I think sometimes they do rebates which I don't want to do, I'm an instant gratification kinda gal. I'm not going to spend $2 in mailing supplies and gas to the bank to cash a $1.50 rebate check.

One more question I have about the whole coupon, extreme coupon that is, experience is what in the hell do people do with 50 bottles of ketchup?? Is it really saving money when you have to spend $5,000 to build a new pantry and then another $1,500 in buying shelving supplies to store those infinite about of ketchup bottles? And, if you are just lucky enough with the frozen food coupon you can buy another 2 or 3 $500 deep freezers to keep those frozen meals intact until the year 2053 when you finally get to eat them all *okie questions if even frozen food would stay fresh that long without the benefit of vacuum sealing which okie is a firm believer in*.

I guess for now I will continue to just watch my grocery ads and make my lists and vacuum seal my bargains because I refuse to start storing all that damn ketchup. After all, there is pretty paper, cardstock, pearls, tapes, ribbons and all kinds of other embellishments that need precious storage space and that is way more important that 50 bottles of ketchup!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

So last night I made Chicken Enchilada Casserole and posted this picture on Facebook. My friend Melodie asked if I would post the recipe. I thought it might be easier to post it on here so it can be found easily.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 cans diced green chilies
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 onion
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
4 cups Shredded Colby Monterey Jack Cheese
18 corn tortillas
Sour cream to top if desired

Boil chicken and shred, reserve some broth (always save all my broth and pour them into mini loaf pans and freeze them in one cup increments, that way I have broth for other recipes when I need it). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice and saute onions. The amount of Jalapeno Peppers depends on taste, I put mine in a food processor and blend a little to chop them up more. Combine the shredded chicken, soup, chilies, onion, about a cup of broth and jalapeno peppers and mix thoroughly.

Spread about 3/4 cup of the mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Layer tortilla's, mixture, cheese and repeat until all ingredients are gone, making sure top layer is shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake approximately 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and broil until cheese is slightly brown.

I served mine with some refried beans and would have had some salad with it but I forgot to pick up salad mix at the grocery store. I would make rice but I don't know how to make it and most of the boxed rices taste kinda crappy to me.

On a side note...I use to make this frequently when we would spend quite a bit of the summer at the lake with my aunt and uncle and cousins. We would take turns with making supper and for one of my nights we always had the Chicken Enchilada Casserole. To save time and be able to enjoy the day on the lake I would cook 2 of these ahead of time and freeze them in the pan. Once they were frozen I would take them out of the pan and vacuum seal them or double wrap them in foil and put in the freezer. They freeze very well! To heat them up I would put them on the grill in foil while we got showered and cleaned up and ready to relax for the night.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mini Muffin Tin - Thanks to The Papercraft Post

My friend Carmen sent me a link to "Mini Muffin Tin Tutorial" on The Papercraft Post blog saying how cute the project was, and when I saw it I agreed it was indeed cute. Now for those of you who have been reader for awhile know good and well I was not about to print out that tutorial and grab my scissors and cut it by hand. NNOOOO that would be ludicrous! Why should I cut something by hand when I have a rather expensive machine sitting right here in front of me that can cut it for me. Of course this only leaves the issue of having to create a file so the machine can cut it, a time consuming task to be sure!

The owner of the blog, Susan Niner Janes, really put some good work into the tutorial and it was easy to understand and had a variety of features. She had the tin with six, four and one as options if you need different sizes. Her files are available in PDF format and are clearly labeled. I didn't try printing them since I hadn't yet put new ink in my printer. I believe if I had the Pazzles Vue I would have tried the cut and print to see how these would turn out.

Another deterrent from me printing out those cute little muffin tins is the fact that I have thousands *okie is quite certain there are thousands but isn't going to go count* of sheets of paper that I can cut and if I ruin a few *okie thinks as long a it is sheets she doesn't really care for* trying out something new then it is no big deal. Now to be honest it likely would not have been so time consuming but I wanted to add score marks since none would be printed and it would make it easier to put together and I am a bit meticulous when it comes to such things on files I make. It literally took me a full day to recreate these in Make The Cut and it should not have taken that long *okie curses her need to have things exact*.

After spending most of Friday working on the files I thought it was time to see if it would cut okay. I decided to cut the quad tin, for no particular reason. The paper I used probably isn't the best and sometimes we can't really tell how things are going to look until they are done and I think the "pan" needed to be a bit more plain as to really set off the liners.

Here is the one that I cut. The tin part measures approximately 5" x 4 3/8" x 1" and those cute little liners measure approximately 1" x 1 1/4", which is not very big at all. Susan did say that the single muffin tin was larger and I am not sure how big it really is since I didn't cut that one. I thought it would be bigger than what it came out to be *okie realizes she still has some issues with seeing something smaller as bigger and will now and forever blame men for this problem of hers* and I may try resizing it and cutting another one sometime.

I do think these are too stinkin cute but not sure what need I would have for them but if my daughter was still a child *okie again wonders when that grown arse daughter of hers is gonna leave the nest* I would probably have used them for a cupcake party. The little liners are large enough to hold small things like sprinkles and other decorative goodies. There are probably plenty of ideas for the use of the little tins and once I did get the file done and cut it went together fairly quickly. 

I'm not making the file available for download since I didn't ask Susan if I could do so but for those who have the print and cut feature with your machines it should be easy enough for you to make.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Losing An Online Friend

My hobby of papercrafting has blessed me with many great friendships, some of which where I have been able to meet people in person and become best friends with and others where I only know them online. I hold these friendships dear. There are others that I would consider more acquaintances but still value their "friendship". I tend to marvel at the ability for people to bond so closely over a hobby.

This week I learned that one of my online papercrafting friends passed away suddenly and my heart pours out to her family and friends. I first became acquainted with Mary on the Cricut Messageboard, she and her daughter were both members of the board years ago and I think before I even joined the ranks of papercrafting fanatics.

Lunch with the Night Owl Mini-Me group 2013
We chatted on the message board back and forth with hundreds of others and Mary was part of the Night Owls group that bonded on the board and carried over to another site when the Cricut MB started having problems. This closely bonded group of ladies even made "mini me's" for each other and those mini-me's go on adventures with each other. I had the privilege of having lunch with the group twice thanks to Jann, she brought them along when we met up in Orlando. I am keeping the Night Owl group and Mary's family in my prayers as her passing is leaving a hole in their hearts right now. I know they are there to comfort each other and share in the good memories they have of Mary and somewhere up there Mary has to be smiling, looking over everyone and thinking "I AM LOVED!"

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I had made some Tuna Salad the other night and had posted on Facebook "Time to peel the eggs for the tuna salad" and I immediately got some comments questioning my ingredient of egg in the tuna salad and learned that some folks never heard of putting eggs in Tuna Salad! I never even thought about people NOT putting eggs in tuna salad but I think some folks were just as shocked about putting eggs in the tuna salad.

All my life all I have ever known about how to make tuna salad was to put in the following ingredients: tuna, miracle whip (or mayo depending on what's in the fridge), pickle or relish (again depends on what is on hand), egg and pepper. Now for variety I add the following if I have it on hand: celery, onion and tomato. I do prefer to add celery all the time but I didn't have any the other night. I guess folks add a lot of different things to their tuna salad, as I learned from the Facebook discussion.

I thought the conversation was rather entertaining and thought I'd share it!
ALISA: I'm coming over for supper! Lol 
ME: Come on! I made a big batch! LOL 
PAT: OMG! That sounds soooo good. 
ANN: You put eggs in your tuna salad? Is that common in OK? It's not on the East Coast - well at least not that I know of and I've eaten lots of tuna!
ME: The question is...You DON'T put eggs in your tuna salad???? 
BETTY:  I do in my tuna...secret ingredients...a little marzetti slaw dressing and a little gerkin pickes
ANN: LOL obviously I don't
ANN: how many do you put in?
ANN: And why don't you call it egg salad with some tuna?
ME: Because it is tuna salad
MELODIE: Tuna salad isn't, well anything, without eggs in it lol
ME: Egg salad wouldn't have tuna in it...that would be ludicrous!
DANITA: I eating tuna right now!! Yummy!
DANITA: Oh Shirley, mine has eggs, pickles, onions, mayo and a dash of mustard and a dash of sugar! Oooooooweeeeee!!
ALISA: If I didn't make spaghetti I would have!!!! Lol
ANGEL: Never heard of eggs in tuna either... I also live on east coast... are we being sheltered??
JERI: Love the eggs in tuna salad.
STEPHANIE: Im in NC, eggs do go in Tuna salad if its done right!! lol
CAROL: Yummmm .... hard boiled eggs in Tuna salad is a MUST! The flavor combination of tuna and egg is amazing. I also like egg with chicken salad and ham salad too.
GLENDA:  make my tuna salad with eggs, a little bit of onion, a smidgen of mustard, sweet pickle relish and Miracle Whip. Good stuff! And I too put eggs in chicken and ham salad.
LACY: OMG...never heard of eggs in tuna salad!!! What a great idea!!! GOTTA try it this weekend!!!
I am always amazed about how social media keeps us informed about differences in just about everything in our own country. Now let me ask y'all...Egg or no egg in tuna salad?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stampin Up Chalk Talk

Another product I got during my online Stampin Up party was the Chalk Talk Bundle. I wasn't sure how I would like the little framelits but they are easier and faster to use than I thought.

One of the things I liked about the stamp set is the ability to use different layers of the same set together. The pink base is actually blank in the middle so if you wanted to stamp something in there you could but there is also a round stamp that reads "for You" if you wanted to use that instead.

I think I would really like to start using satin ribbon more, most I use is grosgrain, and I think the satin is nice because you can use the wider ribbon without adding a lot of bulk like the grosgrain does. The inside of this card is blank as well so a personal message can be added by the user.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tim Holtz Wild West Stamps

I really think I should have more Western themed items, not because I am a cowgirl or that I dig the theme but for the sheer fact I live in Oklahoma! I do try to make western theme items on occasion since I do know a few cowboys and cowgirls and I think this one will be a good one to use.

The Tim Holtz Wild West stamp set was used for this card but the inside sentiment is one I printed using the Hallmark Studio software. I can't remember the fonts I used, like I said I made these before I went on vacation and that has been almost a month ago now!

The "Wild" is stamped on the striped paper and the "saloon" is stamped on cardstock and then cut out and adhered to the striped paper.

I used my Zutter Distrezz It All to distress the edges of the stamped cowboy image and the mat. I just love that thing and got it from a sales group on Facebook for an excellent price. It will sure keep me from messing up by using scissors or cutting myself. I inked the edges with some Tim Holtz ink. The "rope" is actually jute that I just tied around the image and mat.

I think I might try to make some larger cards using this stamp set because it was hard to fit them on an A2 size card.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stampin Up Elegant Butterfly Punch

I made this card becasue I had a stray sheet of butterfly paper and figured I needed to use it instead of hanging on to it. I also use it on the card that will post tomorrow.

I used the Stamin Up Elegant Butterfly punch and a stamp from the Stampin Up Delicate Doilies stamp set, other than that everything is kinda of random. The circle were done with punches.

For the doily I decided I wanted something light and wasn't sure what to do because I didn't want to get out all my embossing supplies, which probably would have turned out much nicer, until I remembered I have a Versamark ink pad that is called Bisque. It did work out okay in the end and gave it a nice look, at least I think so.

I left the inside of this card blank so whoever sends it can write their own greeting.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Stampin Up Sweets for the Sweet Lollipop

Yesterday's card was simple...this one is not and I love this card! I got the idea from an online search of the stamp set and I actually used a CTMH stamp a well.

The paper is Stampin Up's Sweet Shop that I got off the clearance rack sometime ago. It works perfect for the Sweets For The Sweet stamp set.

The banner is the one from Close To My Heart Cricut Artiste Collection and just went too well with this card so I had to mix the two companies *okie wonders if she is going to stampers hell for doing so*.

I really like the starkness of the white paper embossed with the Swiss Dots embossing folder behind the great colors of the paper and lollipops.

For the "wrapper" I used Black Stazon ink stamped on some clear transparency and then cut it out by hand. To attach them I used some Terrifically Tacky Tape and just added a little strip under the bow putting it on the transparency and then a little strip under the transparency and attached to the card. This made it where you can't see the tape and also gave it a little lift making it look more like a wrapper.

The inside of the card reads "Hope Your Birthday's as sweet as you" and is another stamp included in the CTMH bundle. I'm not sure I can part with these cards, yes I did make 6 of course, but I guess it wouldn't make sense to just keep them!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stampin Up - Sweets For The Sweet Pinwheel

I couldn't resist the Stampin Up set Sweets For The Sweet when I had my online party a few months ago. I loved all the stamps in the set!

I thought this pinwheel paper I had gotten a long time ago at Big Lots would work nicely but then I had problems finding paper to match it. I think that is always a problem when we only get one sheet in a pack of multiple sheets and another reason I have been going to stacks and collections. At least it did have the stripes on the back.

I was able to finally find some red paper that I liked that went okay with it and I actually thought it went nicely since it reminded me of wind, which is what pinwheels need in order to work. I made a cutting file for the pinwheel and then used my Stampamajig to line up the stamp for the pieces, although I'm not sure it wouldn't be too hard to cut out by hand and maybe faster since I wouldn't have to line up each image. I chose the orange ribbon since the pinwheels on the paper had an orange center.

I punched out some 1/2" circles to place between the two layer of the pinwheel and this allows the top layer to turn and also gave it dimension. I poked holes through the centers of the layers and then just assembled using a brad.

I did stamp "Happy Birthday" on the inside of the card this way it could be used for a child or an adult.

I initially didn't like this card but liked it more when I came back to it. When I showed it to my daughter she said she liked it and said "it's simple, you don't do simple very often and I think you should do simple more". Maybe she is right...I should try simple more often.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It Will NEVER Happen!

Remember a few months ago when I told ya that I had thought about selling all my stamps? Well I am now thinking it will NEVER happen! I was browsing through one of the Facebook groups and came across a few stamp sets that I just loved and they were just too cheap not to get them!

Years ago I fell in love with the My Favorite Things Who's That Girl and I have a few sets of those, I haven't used them in awhile but I still love them, and I was excited to see two sets I really liked for less than have the retail price...and they were brand new!

This one is MFT Lovin From The Oven. I think it will be great for a variety cards and has some great sentiments. I think the little extra images will be good for other things as well.

This set is My Favorite Things Top Shelf and once again I think it can be use for a variety of occasions or no occasion at all if you are just wanting to send someone a card. I am not sure what the two little pincushion things are suppose to be and maybe someone can tell me.

The one thing I do like about the MFT stamps is that the design is simple enough to color easily or to stamp on patterned paper and cut out if you would like to do that, which I do for the clothes and such.

The other set I got is from There She Goes, which evidently has gone out of business. I had never even heard of this company but ya know how things go in the crafting world, you find something you like only to find it doesn't exist anymore. Luckily when I did a search I did find some ideas for the stamps although there are so many sentiments and options I don't think it will be hard to come up with my own ideas. The funny thing is that the seller posted these in the middle of March and no one had commented and then after I said I wanted them another person said she wanted them if I didn't. I guess I got lucky by really perusing through the albums that day!

I really gotta stay off those Facebook groups that have people selling things dirt cheap or I am going to run out of room in my craftroom! At least I did get these put away and cataloged instead of just having them stack up. 

I'm off to play with my stamps to see what I can make!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gatefold Album - File Available

A few years ago I got a little Gatefold album kit, and right now I can't quite remember where it came from. It was made by Deja Views and I don't even know if that company is still in business *okie suddenly realizes she doesn't know much about anything*.

The kit included everything needed, except the ribbon for binding and was simple to put together. The instructions were quite clear and I have them here if you want to use the file I have available to cut your own.

The file contains all the pieces, which aren't many, for the base of the album and I also replicated some of the embellishment pieces you can cut as well.

The bottom of the picture shows how the album looks when it is all opened up.

The base pieces that will be cut are the ones in this picture. I added a decorative flap piece but you don't have to use it. As you see the piece are - Cover, Flap and Pages, that's it! The score lines and holes for the binding are in the file and will cut as well.

Assembly Instructions
1. Cut file pieces, making sure to cut 4 of the "page" pieces, fold on score lines.
2. If using decorative flap apply it now with glue or double sided tape, aligning the hole with the cover.
3. Choose two of the page for left hand binding and aline the pre-cut binding holes.
4. For the binding you can use ribbon, cording, etc. Cut (2) 24" lengths of binding material.

5. Left-hand BINDING (see picture to the right):
  • Feed one ribbon through center hole, from the outside to the inside of the album, leaving a 4" tail on the outside of the spine. 
  • Feed the ribbon through the top hole from the inside to the outside.
  • Feed the ribbon through the bottom hole from the outside to the inside.
  • Feed ribbon back out through the center hole (where you started) to the outside. You may have to hold the short "tail" tightly to one side to get through the hole again.
  • Tie off the two tails of the ribbon on the outside of the spine, knot and trim.

6. Align two remaining pages for the right-hand binding, and follow BINDING instructions for the right-hand set of holes.
7. Embellish as desired.

I used Graphic 45 Boardwalk paper for the one I cut using the MTC file. You really need to use double sided paper for the project for it to turn out looking nicely. I did cut some of the pieces for embellishment that are in the file but I also used punches and elements from the Boardwalk paper for embellishing. Maya Road cording was used for the binding.

I didn't take picture of each and every page in the little album but I did want to share a few so you can see how easy it is to embellish the pages. There is a slit that the flap slide into, you might not be able to see it in the picture but it is right along the thin vertical rectangle piece.

I covered the slit on the back of the front cover with a piece of decorative cardstock, making sure to adhere only around the edges so the flap can go in the slit to keep the album covered when not looking at it.

I went through my stamp and found some that I thought went well with the theme of the paper. I had a mess on my table while I was doing this album with all the stamps and papers everywhere.

I found the most difficult thing about making the album was trying to keep it balanced with the pictures and embellishments. I didn't want too many photo pages because I was afraid it would make it too thick and not be able to close.

The photo mats are 3.25" x 3.25", I thought this would make it easy to just cut the photos at 3" that will be added later. If an embellishment overlapped the mat I was careful to make sure a photo could slip behind the embellishment, such as the tag or the row of stamp in this photo.

Now ya might wonder who those men are in the back of the album and truth is I have no idea. They were just an image on a piece of the paper and I thought it would look cool with them at the back of the album.

File Download - GATEFOLD ALBUM

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Orlando Vacation - Final Days

On Saturday we decided to go to Hobby Lobby and look for a spinning organizer for Karen's craft desk and also check out Michael and another Tuesday Morning.

Hobby Lobby didn't have a spinner anywhere to be found but Karen picked up some nice little craft kits to take to the kids in the hospital. All I got was some metallic brads that were on sale that I was running out of. We went to Michaels and did find a spinner for her there and she was able to use a coupon. I got some Imaginisce Glam Rock pearls that were on clearance. Once again Tuesday Morning was a bust, didn't buy a thing!

I did find a sign at Hobby Lobby that I might cut out of vinyl and put in my office at school, although some might think it inappropriate for a counselor to have such a sign, I find it humorous! I already have two such amusing signs in my office, one says "Welcome to the nut house, where the nut doesn't fall far from the tree" and the other "Welcome to the Looney Bin, where abnormality is the normality in this locality". The kids have always found them funny, along with my coffee mug that is Happy Bunny with "I know how you feel, I just don't care".

After getting back home we made some shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta and taught ourselves how to devein shrimp. We also learned that you go from the underside instead of the top side, much easier! The rest of the evening was spent visiting, uploading vacation pictures to each others computers and me packing up my belongings to go home the next day, which you already read that story if you have been following along.

I always enjoy my vacations and look forward to them but sometimes I think I like them so much because it helps me appreciate the mundane normalcy of my every day life. I really don't know how people who have to travel all the time do it. I was thrilled to get back to work and I think most of my clients were thrilled to have me back, even some of the ICF/MR staff commented they were glad to see me return.

I have some crafty posts that I will be posting the next few days, actually some things I did before vacation but didn't have time to post.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 Orlando Vacation - Meeting Up With Friends

We were scheduled to meet up with some friends for lunch at a Bahama Breeze at 1pm the day we got off the ship so once we got back to Karen's we rushed to get showered and changed and head off for our luncheon.

A few people weren't able to make it that were going to be there but we still had a great turn out. I was thrilled to finally meet Enfys of Going Buggy, as we have talked via message boards, Facebook and phone over the years but had never met face to face. I had actually given up on ever being able to meet her since she had relocated back to the UK permanently and was no longer spending part of the year in Florida. It was fantastic when she was scheduled to be in Florida the same time I was going to be there. If you haven't already read the post Enfys made you really need to do so because she had a rather hilarious, well hilarious when she was telling probably not while she was living it, story about her travels to the luncheon. You can find her story at FLORIDA and in the post she shares her harrowing tale.

Here is a group shot of those who attended, all except for Ben who was nice enough to take the group pictures for everyone. Back Row: Enfys, Sheri, Debbie, Okie, Carol, Not sure, Not sure and Karen.
Front Row: Betty, Not Sure, Bethany, Rosemary, Renee and Pat.

The group played Dirty Crafter, which was played the same as I play Dirty Santa at my Christmas parties and we all had a great time with the game.  I think most everyone was there for at least a few hours and then a few of us lingered waiting for I-4 to clear out. We could see it from where we were sitting and it was looking more like a parking lot than an interstate for quite sometime. The folks at Bahama Breeze were absolutely wonderful with us and even moved things around us while we waited so they could get ready for the supper crowd that would be in at anytime. I guess that means some of us were there for almost 5 hours!

After getting back to Karen's I sat with my legs propped up because they were swollen. I really gotta do something about this crap because I do not like having cankles! I blame it on Karen because she keeps me running constantly when we are on vacation. Since she is a nurse she is use to being on her feet for 12 hours, I on the other hand am use to sitting on my arse for 12 hours. Actually my face and hands get swollen as well come to think of it. Karen fell asleep on the couch around 8pm and was out until the next morning.  I spent the evening watching a little TV and reading news articles on the internet before going to bed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 Orlando Vacation - Bahama Cruise!

In order to keep things short I will make just one post about the cruise and not bore you with all the details, especially since I posted some of the information in my "Going Home" post.

We made it to the port just fine and the parking we used was great, it was very close to the port and the employees were very courteous, except the guy who took everyone's bag but our. We didn't tip him even though he was kind of standing there like he was expecting one.

It was rather cloudy and dreary when we got on the ship but we were just glad to be in the zone of relaxation.  We had some time before our room was ready so we explored the top deck a little, went and got something to eat and got a drink at one of the bars. This year we went on Royal Caribbean' Enchantment and last year we were on Carnival's Ecstasy, the ship this year was nicer than the one we were on last year and a bit bigger as well.

We decided to make our phone calls to home so we could put our phones away, Karen calling her mom and me calling my daughter. I snapped a picture right before we turned off the phones.

The cruise was nice, the food was okay but not spectacular. Our room steward, Sadat, was very friendly and helpful but I think they always are, aren't they? The shows were very good and I loved the outdoor movie screen even though I never watched a full movie on it. We did go to one of the indoor movies, Delivery Man, missing the first of the movie but it was still good. Karen took a nap during the movie, she does that during all movies unless she has food to last throughout the show.

We didn't get to make it to Coco Cay because of the high winds and the tender boats not being safe to use during such times so we headed on to Nassau and spent a day and a half there. We did take part in some trivia games in one of the bars and won at Tri-Bond trivia with the perfect score of 18, evidently the more alcohol I drink the smarter I get because at first I was stumped on a few but by the time I finished my Lava Flow I knew the answers. Our big prize was a pen and keychain, well we thought the big prize was actually knowing we were smarter than a 5th grader. The first day we walked around a little but most of the shops were closing up. Karen loves Dunkin Donuts and I had found out before going to Orlando there was one close to port and she was excited to get her ice coffee.

The next day at Nassau we decided to take a ferry boat over to Paradise Island and go to the beach. It took us forever to get to the free beach, which is Cabbage Beach, only because we had no idea where we were going and when we got to the end of an area they told us we needed to go back the way we came. Once we found the beach it was quite gorgeous. There were a lot of people coming up and trying sell things but if you told them no they were very polite and didn't seem to come back if they remembered you told them no the first time. The water was rough but the most awesome blue! We did get in the water and Karen got a kick out of me getting knocked off my feet and the water tossing me in backward somersaults. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't even answer a woman who was asking me if I needed help, she was laughing too though. I ended up with and in every part of my swimsuit imaginable. Our plan was to return to the ship, rest a bit, get cleaned up and then head out to the Fish Fry on shore. We made it to resting and Karen didn't get back out of bed until the next morning. I spent that evening going to a magic show, a game show and to the upper deck for the dance party.

Our day at sea was spent doing things on the ship. I took part in a cake decorating contest and my partner was an older man who just started throwing all the items on the cake. The cruise director was pouring alcohol on the cake making it hard to do anything with, it turned out to be a big mass of mush and needless to say we didn't win. We did a few other trivia games, which we didn't win but had fun anyway. We made sure we got our thing packed up late that evening before going to dinner and our luggage outside our cabin so we wouldn't have to worry about it. Since the ship was moving so slowly back to port the ship bobbed quite a bit even though the water was calm and several people talked about feeling woozy. I was actually okay and I must be getting use to the motions after being on several cruises. One poor girl was ready to get off the ship immediately and said something about rough seas and I had to laugh and tell her that the sea was calm and shared how rough the seas were on my first cruise where they had to lock the doors to the promenade deck because the waves were crashing over the railing. I'm not sure she will ever go on another cruise after I told her about that experience.

After making sure everything was in order for the next morning we went to bed so we could disembark the ship first thing because we had a luncheon to attend with some very important people...OUR WONDERFUL CRAFTY FRIEND!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 Orlando Vacation - Day 3 and 4

SATURDAY! We had thought about going to Daytona for the end of bike week and then going to New Symrna to the beach but opted to stay home and enjoy the pool.

I posted a picture of the pool with my freshly pedicured toes to make my daughter jealous and she sent me a picture of my yard that was flooded due to a huge storm that was occurring back home. Karen stayed out longer than I did since my stomach was bothering me, neither of us got very much sun even though it was shining brightly.

We worked on getting our stuff packed for the cruise and I read about some of the activities that were available on the ship so we could kind of decide what we might like to do. We also looked up what to do at Nassau as we knew the day at Coco Cay would be spent on the beach since it is a private island held by the cruise line. I got our boarding passes and luggage tags printed so we would have that out of the way.

I love going to Goodwill so on Sunday we went to two different Goodwills, which lead to us having to do some laundry and repack a few items. After the second Goodwill we were both rather hungry and found a little Chinese restaurant that was very good. It was also close to Karen's new job so she picked up a menu to keep in her car if she wants to order lunch there sometime. We also went to a mall, a HUGE mall. Karen said it would only take a minute and it likely would have if we knew where anything was or if there had been a map of the mall posted anywhere. We ended up walking quite a bit of the mall and still not finding what Karen was looking for, which was some kind of hair care product if I remember correctly. I did find a few undershirts and a new light weight sweater at Old Navy that will be good for spring time, although I am quite certain we are going to go from winter straight to summer at this point.

After making sure everything was packed and in order for our departure for the port the next morning we hit the hay to get some good rest, and of course I couldn't get to sleep right away because I kept worrying if everything was packed which once we got on the ship and it was time to take showers we realized we forgot to pack shampoo and conditioner *okie still wonders how that happened*.