Sunday, August 30, 2015

Graphic 45 Gilded Lily Layout

I've been working on this layout for the last week and it took so long due to the whole dishwasher saga and I finally finished it last night. I did enter it in the August Challenge on Graphic45's Facebook page and I really don't have any hopes of winning but it did give me reason to use the Gilded Lily paper collection I got at Scraptopia a few weeks ago and got my creative juices flowing again. I have done some crafting over the summer but it seems like it was all for others and nothing for myself so this time I was determined not to do anything else until I finished this layout.

I wasn't sure I would like this paper collection when I saw it online but when I saw it in the store I thought it would be great for some layouts I had in mind. This is a picture of me and my daughter taken about 10 years ago and it is one of my favorites of us. I have had the picture stowed away just waiting for the right combination of colors and designs so I could do a layout and Gilded Lily fit the bill. I used the 12 x 12 and the 8 x 8 pads of the Gilded Lily paper. The only thing of the 8 x 8 was some of the flowers that I did the fussy cutting on. 

The frame was cut twice and pop dotted. I also cut the inner frame and pop dotted it as well. I thought about doing the flowers on the frame but was afraid it would be too thick to fit in a scrapbook. I did double layer the outer frame to give it a little more dimension. The leaves were some I cut with a machine as is the frame that the picture is in. 

The dangling pearls were sewn on with nylon thread and let me tell ya somethin'...nylon thread is a pain in the arse! It kept getting tangled in the pearls and I thought I was going to end up trashing it but I persevered and got it done. *okie wonders which was more tedious...sewing with the nylon thread or cutting out that little frame*

There was a whole lotta fussy cuttin going on at my house this week and I had to wear my reading glasses to do it because if I hadn't then there would have been lilies and roses with half their petals missing!

The little blue flowers are punched out of a material similar to vellum. I used a Perfect Medium brush pen to go around the petals and then added some blue Perfect Pearls. The centers were dotted with Brass Liquid Pearls. I like the softness of the flowers and how they worked well as fillers in a subtle manner.

I added some stamens to the lilies to give them a bit more dimension and just cut a slit in the paper and then on the back I glued a piece of paper over the stems of the stamens so they would stay in place. The curl in the leaves were just done by slightly folding them. 

I'm a little disappointed that you can't really see where I used Perfect Pearls on the lilies, they do at least show up on the leaves a little. Somehow I've never used Perfect Pearls before, even though I've had them for quite sometime, and I was really impressed the with effect it gave on the paper. 

I think I am ready to start getting back into doing some real crafting now and the Graphic 45 challenge was just the thing to give me that boost. Well okay maybe more crafting after I get everything settled with school and my schedule. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Dishwasher Saga

When I moved into this house about the only draw back in my book was...NO DISHWASHER! My landlord told me if I got a dishwasher he would get it installed and I have been drooling over dishwashers ever since and just haven't had the extra money to put out to get one.

Well y'all know my love of Goodwill and finding bargains, right? It just so happens few weeks ago I found a Kenmore stainless steel dishwasher, which matches the other appliances in my kitchen, at Goodwill for $30.  I figured for the price I would take a chance and buy it and with my discount I paid $27. One of the workers told me that the man who dropped it off said it worked great and they were just getting new appliances or something. My daughter actually had to go pick it up with her car because she had a hatchback. Chuck and I rode in my car because I figured he would have to load it for me since I wasn't sure how heavy it would be. Chuck said it was really light but then again I think he can easily bench press over 200 pounds so I don't trust his judgement in that area very well.

I had to wait until this week until the landlord could send someone over to hook it up. Of course I could have kept bothering him about it but I was in no hurry really. The guys came Monday to hook up the dishwasher and everything seemed to be going okay until we turned it on and water was going everywhere. After some observation we pulled it back out and it was leaking from the upper arm mechanism. I think it probably got busted when one of us was trying to shove it under the cabinet, not realizing there was a hose at the top of the dishwasher because of the insulation that was wrapped around it. I was able to find the part online and order it without any problem and it was about $15 including shipping. They guys said to just call them when it came in and they would finish installing it. 

The next problem was it was not draining. I spent almost every night this past week watching videos and reading websites about reasons a dishwasher won't drain. I took apart the inside of the dishwasher and cleaned off the piston valve *okie wonders how many people even know there is a piston valve in dishwashers* and it looked okay. Next I laid on the floor and watched the motor run while it ran a cycle. The dishwasher wouldn't run a full cycle either, it would stop and I would have to open the latch and then close it back and it would start back up. This would happen several times during a cycle and the dishwasher still wouldn't drain. I watch videos about circuit boards and motors as well. I even know where the solenoid is on my dishwasher, along with some other parts and wiring. I still couldn't get it to drain and kept having to bail out the water. 

I finally decided too unhook the hose from under the sink and blow in it to see if it was clogged. I could hear bubbles inside the dishwasher where the water was standing so I knew it wasn't the hose. For whatever reason I grabbed a bucket and some bowls and turned the dishwasher to rinse and closed the latch and LO AND BEHOLD the damn thing ran a few seconds and then started draining! After it finished the cycle I opened the door and sure enough no water in the bottom. 

My next task was to see if the problem of the dishwasher not draining was also the cause of the dishwasher stopping during the cycle. I went outside and cleaned up my ice chest so I could bring it in the house for water to drain into because I was tired of sitting on a hard ceramic tile floor and didn't want to have to sit there with my buckets and bowls. This is a picture of how my kitchen looked while running a trial cycle and the dishwasher draining into the ice chest. 

I am glad to say that with the hose in the ice chest the dishwasher ran just fine! Now  just have to wait until next week for the guys to come finish installing it and fix the problem with the drain under the sink. When I texted him yesterday that the part came in he said he would come this morning and do it but I told him not if it's his day off and he needs to spend that time with his family.

Now with a working dishwasher I might not mind cooking as much because clean up will be so much easier. Okay who am I kidding...I still won't like cooking!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sweet Summertime - Layout

This is another file I did a few weeks ago and I don't think I ever think about summer without thinking about watermelon.

As a kid I remember my parents having neighbors over for watermelon. We never had enough lawn chairs and people would be sitting on tailgates, cinder blocks, buckets turned upside down or whatever else was handy.

I tried to leave enough room so elements could be moved around easily, such as adding more photos or changing the sizes in the file.

SVG USERS - select all elements and resize to 12x12  if you want the exact size that is in the design.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

VHS Cabinet Repurposed

My Goodwill seems to get an abundance of those 2 drawer VHS cabinets at times and I kept thinking there had to be something I could do with them. 

One day when I was in there I found 2 priced at $1.99 and they were orange tag and it just so happened that orange tags were 50% off that week. I figured with that price I could afford to get two of them and try and see what I could do. They are pretty butt ugly but I remember when they first came out they were all the rage and most things had a wood finish so they fit well with most people's decor at the time. I will be painting them or doing something to them when I figure out what I need to do.

My first thought for the drawer units were my Stickles and Liquid Pearls. I knew they were short enough to fit in the drawers and with the little tabs on the sides I thought it might be easy enough to make rows to keep them neater and as you see in the picture it worked out great! Notice the open row...well that will be taken care of when my order comes in from! Some of my Stickles were almost out and then I saw some colors of Stickles and Liquid Pearls that I liked and I ordered a few. I'm not sure how many people even like Stickles anymore but I for one absolutely love my Stickles and Liquid Pearls!

My next task was to try my glitter and flock. and I was able to get them in the drawers just fine. I was a little worried about the taller jars of glitter and flock but they were short enough for the drawer to shut and open just fine. The jars on the left hand side of the photo are Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze that my friend Linda picked up for me somewhere in Arkansas on one of her trips to get her grandson. The white lids to the left of those are jars of flock I got at Hobby Lobby after Christmas one year and I think I paid next to nothing for them.

The white dividers are made out of cardstock and I was able to measure and cut them where they are snug enough that they didn't need anything to hold them place as the contents did that well and being able to use the tabs on the sides as guides it worked great. If you will notice the little white "blocks" I added those to keep the jars from falling around too much because the same tabs that are great to keep the dividers in place made it a little hard for some of the contents to keep from falling over. 

I added a glue dot to the lids and them turned the bottle upside down on the lid so the glue dot picked up the glitter or flock. By doing this I can easily see what is in the little jar without having to pull out each one to find what I am wanting to use. I'm still getting use to my new camera so the picture is a little blurry. I gotta work on my "macro" skills with that camera. 

I ran into a problem when it came to my Viva Pearl Pens and Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist...they were too tall! Not a lot too tall but just enough too tall where the drawer wouldn't be able to shut. As you see my solution was to make the bottles tilt a little so the drawer can open and shut just fine. When I got my Pearl Pens I added a dot to the top of the lid so I could see the color easily and it works out great with the being in the drawer. 

I put what Washi Tape I have, which isn't much, in the last drawer just to see if it would fit okay. I doubt I will keep the tape in the drawer as I'm sure I can find a better use for it. 

One day I am going to stop organizing and start crafting again. I don't know what day that will be but when that day comes I am going to know exactly where everything is that I need!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Beat The Heat - Layout

It seems like so many towns are getting those splash pad water parks for kids these days I thought this would be a good layout for those type of pictures. And we all know it has been hot hot hot this summer but in Oklahoma it is always hot hot hot in the summer.

I'm not sure I'll ever cut this layout and sometimes when I design a layout I dont have any intentions of using it but always feel like someone can use it, or at least I hope they can. I told Carmen one day that I think I enjoy designing things more than making them. It's such a dilemma for me at times.

This is one I think could be embellished even more to be made super cute. Glossy accents would add ice water drops in places.

 SVG USERS - Be sure to do a select all and resize to 12x12 for elements to cut the appropriate size.

Friday, August 21, 2015

For the Love of Buttons!!!

My sister came last month for her yearly summer weekend with me and we of course had to go to Goodwill and she kept looking at a bunch of tins and talking about how she loves tins but she didn't like any of the ones they had at the time and so the tins stayed. The next week when I was in there the tins were still there and some gal was looking at them and I noticed she opened one and told the person she was talking to on the phone about the tin and said "it's got some stuff in it". I couldn't see what was in there but I was certainly curious and my memory banks immediately thought of all the grandma's that would store buttons in jars and tins and was hoping beyond hope that the contents of that old rusty tin held those little bits of plastic treasure. Luckily she put the lid back on the tin and walked off. I immediately zoomed my buggy two aisles over and picked up the tin and took of the lid and LO AND BEHOLD it was filled with BUTTONS!!

Being one not to want to over look leaving treasure behind I picked up each tin to see if there was something else in the others and I did find two more tins that had buttons in them. I could have cared less about the tins and they actually went back to Goodwill last week but I was thrilled with the contents! There were even some buttons still on the cards and there is no telling how old the buttons are as some had started crumbling around the edges.

There were other things in with the buttons and this picture shows an old campaign button and some other little items that were in the tins. One of them is a Jr. Red Cross pin and another is a little Knights of Columbus *at least okie thinks that is what it is* pin. I have no idea what the share a ride jingle bell is about. 

The buttons were quite dirty from being in the tins as the tins had rusted so of course I had to wash all of them before starting the task of separating, organizing and storing. These were all the white and off white colored buttons from the tins and was really pleased how well they washed up. The biggest part of the buttons were white but there were some colored buttons in the trove.

Adding so many buttons to my stash called for an overhaul of storing many of my buttons. I knew I would need more storage options and found some cute little jars at Dollar Tree that worked out great. The tall jar holds buttons that I will be using more vintage type projects. And yes....I was that meticulous about my organization *okie wonders if anyone really expected anything less*

Oh and I want to show you what I did with the buttons that were still on the cards! Instead of taking them off of the cards I decided to use a shadow box I had purchased, and before you ask yes it came from Goodwill as well, so they can be displayed. I used some Graphic45 Steampunk Debutante paper for the background and then just 

I thought I was done with ever buying buttons but then the other day this jar of buttons were just sitting on a shelf at Goodwill and I couldn't resist putting it in my cart. Now before you judge just know this jar only cost me 99 cents...HOW COULD I NOT TAKE IT! Plus this jar has a lot of colored buttons and I might not have those colors! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

And So It Begins...

SCHOOOOLLLLLL! Monday marked the beginning of my 15th year of counseling at the Alternative School here in town. I can't believe I have been there that long working with those dang bad kids! *okie cracks up laughing*

My regional director often teases me about me always saying the kids aren't bad but I do try to find something good in each one of them and over the years I can only think of maybe 3 who didn't seem to have any redeeming qualities. When I first started at the Alternative school it was because I needed a job and that is what was available. Somehow that quickly changed as I started to get to know the students and their issues. Of course I dreamed of making a huge difference in so many lives and they would go on to be successful productive adults but the reality is that if a student is able to make it to graduation it's almost miraculous.

I still feel if I can help just one kid each year make positive changes then my job is worth it. It does get frustrating when kids don't want to do the work to make the positive changes and I have to tell them I don't have a magic wand and if I did I would whack them over the head with it.

The amount of work that it takes me to get back in the groove each school year is enough to make me want to jump off a cliff. It takes me a good 3-4 weeks before I have my scheduled settled and all the intakes and treatment reviews done because while doing all that I still have to keep seeing the clients I have. It might be okay if it was something I could quit at 5pm but it's not. Most of the time I am still working on paperwork or schedules until almost midnight. I dread it every year and every year I say it is my last year but somehow I continue on. I guess deep down I know in the long run it is worth it because no matter how much I bitch about all the paperwork I absolutely love what I do and working with those kids.

For those who have me on Facebook you have been warned....THE SUPER BITCHING WILL BEGIN!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ice Cream - Layout

I love ice cream and have been quite depressed since our stores quite carrying ice cream. Okay that might not be totally true but in my book unless it's Blue Bell it isn't ice cream. I have heard rumors that they are starting production again on a small scale and I hope they expand quickly because a bowl of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla sounds so delicious right now!

Now I have to be honest with you folks and tell you that most of the layouts I'll be posting this week were designed with my friend Carmen in mind. She has the most gorgeous granddaughter and in almost each of these designs I could just see little Kaci's face in the photo areas with her beautiful smile. I have some photos of my own of her and I know I am going to have to make a bacon layout because I got some great pictures of her eating bacon.

Anyway I really loved this ice cream cone I found on the internet and that is what prompted this layout.

SVG USERS - Remember to select all and resize to 12x12 if you want the pieces in the size they were designed for the layout.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Days of Summer - Layout

As promised I am getting the layouts I've designed recently posted this week. I think all of them are summer themed so they might be great for those who are getting their kids back in school and have a little more time to sit down and scrapbook.

The first one is Days of Summer and I think it would pretty much be good for any pictures of summer activities. Of course the colors are only a suggestion and I do the colors on the pieces when I am designing because it is easier for me to visualize the layout that way. If you would like more photos in the layout it would be easy to change the photos and size around. 

SVG USERS - Remember to select all and resize to 12x12 if you want the pieces to cut the size they were designed for the layout.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Well I'm An Idiot!

I was talking to my friend Carmen about reasons I haven't been blogging much and the number one reason was because my new laptop didn't have an SD slot for my camera card. I never even thought about checking for one when I purchased the laptop back in February because I thought it was just standard on all computers these days. I know I could use a cord *okie wonders where that cord might have ran off to* and hook up my camera but that would be quite a pain. It's torture for me to get pictures from my phone to the computer because I usually can't get them off the phone to the laptop very easily or quickly *okie is so technology challenged at times* and most of the time I have to email them from my phone to myself and then upload to the computer and then edit. I have tried bluetooth in the past and couldn't get it to work and when I email them to myself they tend to sit in the outbox forever in a day. The best way I have to do it is post the pics to Facebook and then save to my computer. I just don't like change much and I was use to popping my card out of my camera and popping it into my laptop with no problem and getting the pictures that way. Heck I haven't even hardly used my camera for that reason.  

Yesterday morning I was looking around the edges of my computer to count my USB ports because I wanted to know how many I had as I have been looking for card readers that hook up to a USB port because I knew if I was able to get my SD card directly connected to the computer I would use my camera more often, especially since I use to use it almost daily!  I noticed a slot in the front of my computer that I never noticed before and I am sure I had quite a puzzled look on my face as I tried to see what the little icon next to the slot was and as I looked into the slot with some light I thought "HOLY CRAP! IS THAT AN SD SLOT?". I never thought to look at the front of my laptop because the SD slot on every other laptop I have used was always on one of the sides, never in the front *okie is quite convinced Toshiba puts their slots for gizmo's in different places just to frustrate people*

I grabbed my camera and took out the SD card and popped it into the slot and it fit perfectly. Then a little notification popped up and POOF it was asking what to do from that drive. Now I wouldn't normally tell this story because it makes me seem like such an idiot but it was too funny not to share. The best thing about it is that I can start using my camera again and get pictures edited without having to jump through 3 flaming hoops, getting in a cage with two man eating tigers and make cotton candy for a crowd of 500 before I even get the pictures to the computer. 

I am going to blame the computer company for this because I don't remember my laptop coming with a manual, as most things don't anymore as they tell you to download it online, so I will just say I wasn't made aware of this feature and save myself from idiocy! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

True Confession

So I likely need to make a confession to you guys and tell you the true reason for me not being around as much. I have an addiction. I don't know how to stop and to be honest I am not sure I want to stop. It's not always daily but other times it can be more than once a day. In reality I likely have many addictions and probably have most of my life but this one is fairly new and can be quite time consuming because it in many ways enables some of my other addictions. I could try denying it, minimizing it, rationalizing it and even justifying it but none of that is going to help me admit there might be a problem. My friends and family are no help because they are enablers and often encourage me to continue the addiction. I think my friend Carmen might be the worst of the enablers as she encouraged daily occurrences of the addiction while I was in Houston and I know when she comes to visit soon we will likely reveal in the addictive behavior on a daily basis. 

Here I am, with my head hung in shame to say....Hello, my name is okie and I am a Goodwillaholic.*okie takes a deep sigh and holds it for a second to keep from crying* I feel so much better since I got that out. I didn't use to be a Goodwillaholic but it just became easier and easier for me to slip into the depths of the addiction. I think it all started back in February when I got a Canon Pixma Pro-100 wide format printer, which retails for over $400, for $36. The box was open but it looked like everything was in there, and it was. The printer works great, my daughter uses it more than I do, so it was a really good deal.

While this was likely the start of my addiction I have since that time gotten quite a few other items for really good prices and that just keeps my addiction going. Just recently I found 3 tins of buttons and that lead to me having to reorganize all my buttons, which deserves a post of it's own and I will do later. I also got some Sterilite drawers that fit perfectly in my craftroom closet. So you see my addiction to Goodwill also fuels my addiction to organization. It's all a vicious never ending circle. I got all 9 of the big drawers for $18! I was thrilled when they fit perfectly under my shelving in the closet. I still don't have everything organized in the closet because my squirrel problem but at least I do have places to put things in there.

Okay I would love to tell you more about my addiction but I think I need to go organize something now.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Little Weekend Project I Did

I had gotten my entertainment center from a Facebook Garage Sale site back in the fall and it was dinged and scrapped but since it fit the area for my TV and also the price was great I figured I could make it work. Instead of repainting it I went with distressing it because...well let's face it...I'm lazy! I really did like how it turned out though, so much so I am in the process of painting other pieces for my living room and distressing them. A couple of weekends ago I thought I would practice on a table that was purchased at a garage sale about 20 years ago for $3.

I didn't take a picture when the table was together before I started but here is a picture after I took it apart and was in the process of sanding it. It is solid oak and had been painted grey and when I bought it I decided to strip it and stain it but well, that didn't work out all the way so it's just been sitting in my living room all these years looking like crap. You can see the grey on the inside of the table. 

I wasn't sure how many coats of paint I would need to do but this is after one coat and I knew another coat would help. I used Glidden black onyx flat and had bought a gallon since a quart just seemed like a tease, plus if it worked I knew I would do some other pieces. I've never done this type of thing to furniture before and was a bit leery of how it was turning out. 

After the second coat I thought it was looking a lot better. The flat finish wasn't floating my boat though. I did paint the inside of the table and the drawers because I didn't want it to look crappy inside and I felt the table deserved a little respectful beautification.

After letting all the pieces dry I went over the edges with my sander to distress it and I did have to hand sand a few areas. I knew at this point it was going to go great with my entertainment center and I would for sure being doing another end table and another little table I have in the living room. I got a spray can of poly-acrylic sealer but I don't ike how it turned out so I will have to get a regular can of sealer, in a satin finish I do believe, to finish it up.

And here it is all put back together and in it's place in the living room! It looks great after I added the new handles The old ones were wood and I couldn't get the grey paint of them.

My list of furniture to repaint is:
end table
coffee table
2 dressers
2 night stands

I might need more paint and sandpaper!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's Been Awhile...Let's Catch Up

So I had a fabulous time in Houston with Carmen, two months ago now *okie hangs head in shame* and once I got back I got busy with decorating my kitchen/dining area and then they canopy got put on my deck and I was busy with getting it cleaned and stained *okie thinks she needs to break open that other an of stain and finish staining the posts and sides* and I just haven't been doing any noteworthy crafting. Although, I do have some layout designs that will be posted soon. And of course I have been organizing *okie listens for the shock gasps from the crowd but instead hears the chirping of crickets*...okay so maybe no one is surprised about that one.

I am going to make a confession here, I have a huge fear of commitment. That explains all my failed relationships but also many other things in my life, such as trying to decorate my house. I'm always afraid once I get something then I won't like it so my house has always been a bit sparsely decorated. I finally decided to go with a bit of a French Country theme for my kitchen I was able to start purchasing items and to be honest I purchased most of them at different Hobby Lobby stores while I was in Houston because Carmen and I found a few aisles that were either 80% or 66% off and let's face it...I LOVE A BARGAIN!

Almost everything in this grouping was purchased in Houston. The little shadow box on the bottom of the shelf was made years ago at a class that my friend Linda and I went to in Moore Ok. The little green jar was purchased at Goodwill here in Ada and the Pewter goblet next to it is from a Goodwill in Houston. I still have to finish the long blue pieces and I'm not sure if I will keep the picture in the frame that says Lemonade. I got it for the frame. The shadow box in the lower left of the grouping had mounting foam and burlap in it and when I found the pitcher urn thing at Goodwill I decided to take the burlap out and then put in some paper and added the urn. I got the large clock at a Goodwill in Houston and it was marked "as is, decorative only" and was 5 bucks. I know you can get the cloc mechanism pretty cheap so figured I could fix it. Once I got it back to Carmen's I took it apart and put a battery in it. I did have to adjust the hour hand but other than that it worked perfectly! SCORE! My friend Kat since me some wheat for the tall pitcher on the top of the shelf. The grouping looks like it's a little high on the wall but that is because I didn't want people banging their head on the shelf if they are sitting at the table. 

I wanted a shelf for over my coffee maker for my creamers and this worked great! As you see I haven't done anything with the frames I put up yet *okie wonders if anyone remembers the comment she made earlier about fear of commitment*. I may have told y'all but I don't remember so I will say it again, the creamer jars came from Ikea when I was in Houston in the spring and I cut out vinyl for the flavors of creamer. I got tired of trying to remember which one was which when it was time to refill them. The little green hen was purchased on the same trip from a thrift store. Everything else on the wall came from my trip in June and from Hobby Lobby. Oops, except the red jar behind the creamer containers, got it at Goodwill here in town. 

I am quite proud of my decorated kitchen and dining area now. I spent less than $200 for everything in the pictures and retail it would have easily been over $1,000 *okie thinks decorative pieces are totally way overpriced*.

I'll post some of the other things I've been busy doing in the next few days. School starts on Monday for me and I will be swamped for a month and will likely need to do some crafting to de-stress in the evenings so hopefully I will be posting more.