Confessions and Obsessions of a Paper Crafter

Thursday, November 22, 2012

White Christmas

 Feeling guilty about having so much paper, including various Christmas papers, I decided to make my own Christmas cards this year.  However, knowing that most people just toss out their old cards, this gave me pause, imagining my creations in the blue box with old flyers and cereal boxes, or being used to light a fire, or in the garbage can next to the turkey carcass.  (Just for the record, I save any handmade cards I receive!)  Most people have no idea how much time or care goes into making things yourself!

With these thoughts in mind, I concluded that my cards would need
1) Be quick to make
2) Use inexpensive materials
3) Not look quick and easy

I went onto the internet looking for inspiration, and saw quite a few designs for "white on white"  cards.  What a great idea!  Not only did I have white cardstock, it saved me from the AGONY of paper selection, plus it looks classy!   Luckily I had some green cardstock for the leaves, so I didn't have to leave the house to buy any additional supplies!  (Apart from the white ribbon, once I discovered I only had enough to make 4 cards). 

The background was stamped using a Stampin' Up embossing folder.  The poinsettia and label are both from Spellbinders.  The glimmer on the poinsettia leaves is Lumiere paint (pearl white), and centres are mico beads.

Of course, I still have all that Christmas paper left.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Calendar Considerations

For the past few years, I have been making the Basic Grey Calendars.  You may recall the concerns I had with matching the photos to the cute captions that BG supplied in the form of die cuts and chipboard stickers.  Well this year, it appears that Graphic 45 heard my teeth gnashing, and answered my prayers with a new set of papers with the calendar-preoccupied in mind.

I won't go into how nice the papers are, or what I'm going to do in regards to layouts (to be honest, I don't have a clue at this time!).  If I'm lucky, I'll be starting it in late December.  I still have to figure out some way to bind the pages together, which brings me to my next point.

Graphic 45 does have a Easle Albums for 12x12 or 8x8 layouts.  I almost bought one, until I realized SOMETHING.  The monthly foundation pages are 8x8 or 12x12, the exact same size as the easle album base pages, which includes the wire binding.  This means that you would either have to trim the foundation page borders off  to fit the papers (not going to do that!) or figure out some way to undo the binding, cut binding holes in the foundation paper, and rebind it (way too much work).   I notice that the easle albums are not shown on the G45 webside with the Place in Time papers, so maybe they didn't intend them to be used together.   I'm thinking I may just cut some kraft paper 8 1/2" x 8", and bind it myself with my Bind-it-All. 

Now I just have to decide on what photos to use....

UFO UPDATE:  The afghan is coming along nicely, but I have put it aside for now to work on Christmas cards (yes, for this year!).  I have made 16 cards so far (from kits, which should have made things quick and easy, but it didn't) and hope to make a few more with designs I have scrap-lifted from the internet.  No more kits.  Too many directions to follow.

Until next time....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Card - Not Hallowe'en!

I have to admit, I am not a great fan of Hallowe'en.  Oh sure, I love candy, and there is nothing quite like the smell of a semi-roasted Jack o' Lantern when you blow out the candle, but.... it seems like a lot of work for one night. 

Don't worry, I still give out candy to trick or treater's (even the older ones, but that could be just so they don't vandalize my house later) and I have a lovely plastic pumpkin I plug in and put in the window.

As I cruise the blogs and websites in cyberspace, I see a lot of Hallowe'en inspired cards, pages, tags..... so I thought I would do a seasonal looking card with nary a skeleton or witch in sight.  Just some nice oranges, browns and greens.

The flowers are coloured with Copics, and die cut with Spellbinders.  The butterfly is a 3D embellishment from K and Company.  The ribbon is Basic Grey (I've had it for years, don't know if you can still buy it anymore or not.)  You can't see it in the photo, but I added a little orange Stickles to the flower petals with a paint brush.  The paper is also from Basic Grey.

I know this is a simple looking card, but it has 3 great advantages:  1) Apart from the Stickles drying time, it's quick to make.  2)  It's not lumpy and bumpy and it fits in a regular envelope so it can be mailed.  3) It doesn't have any heavy embellishments, and it doesn't cost extra postage.

Until next time....

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Alaska Journal

 I was almost thinking I was going to have to rename this blog Yarn Persuasion or something, as I seem to have been doing a lot of KNITTING lately.  But here is my latest paper project, the travel journal I took on our most recent trip.

Usually I use my Bind-it-All to make journals, but this time I thought I might try coptic binding.  This is binding pages together by sewing them with linen thread.  I won't go into the how's of coptic binding, as there are many internet sites that show you in great detail.  That's how I learned to do it.   I will give you a few tips though:

     1) Make sure your thread is long enough.  I followed a mathmatical equation for calculating thread length, and it was too short.  I was not happy, because I had to redo the whole thing.I don't know if there is a way to add on to the thread and keep it looking neat.
     2) Don't pull the thread too tight.  If you do, the book won't stay closed.  It has to be tight enough to keep the signatures (that's coptic-speak for the page sections) from flopping about, though.  (A few more choice words were said as I redid the binding again)
The papers I used were Graphic 45 from the Rennasance Fair collection.  The flowers were punched from Memory Box and Sizzix dies.  Letters were punched using Quickutz Metro alphabet.   I embossed black cardstock with a clock embossing folder, then put some gold highlights on it.

Until next time...


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Better Late than Never

Ok, after many attempts, here is the photo of my latest UFO, the Flying Geese Afghan.  (I had to go to another internet server to get this picture to upload.  Soon this blog is going to be more about dealing with and finding ways around computer and internet problems than crafting!!!)

Anyway, I did not much like knitting  the flying geese (moss stitch is not fun, and there were way too many yarn ends to sew in!), and I have replaced those panels with squares of garter stitch. 

This is only the first 3 panels stitched together, I still have 2 more garter stitch panels to go!

Missing in Crafting

I have been struggling for the past 15 minutes trying to get a photo of my most recent  craft project uploaded.  I'm getting a message, "Server Returned Invalid Response".  What does that mean?

It has been some time since I last posted to this blog, I will say the last few months have been quite difficult and stressful, and blogging has taken a back seat to the events going on.  Everything from family illness to a vacation (complete with a terrible cold and a sprained ankle!) to changes at work have really diverted my attention.

But this last month I have been working my latest UFO, the afghan.  I've had quite a bit of time, what with having to take it easy and keep off my poor ankle.   I have taken great comfort in it's soft texture and vibrant colours.  It's pretty simple, alternating ecru patterned strips with coloured blocks in garter stitch, which makes a good take along project, and I can even watch TV and not mess up the pattern too badly!

I also made a journal for our trip to Alaska, using coptic binding (not to be confused with Copic markers!!)  Hopefully one day the server will allow me to upload a photo or 2!

Until next time, which hopefully will be sooner than last time.....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Caribbean Gatefold Album

 After a long hiatus, I am back working on my Caribbean album.  I've always wanted to try a gate fold album, but I'm realizing a few TRICKY BITS about it that I hadn't considered before.

As you can see from the pictures, the idea was to have 2 pages that open up "gate style", with photos and a post card on the front (top photo), with my journaling on the back (bottom photo).  Once these pages open, a full page underneath would be visible.  The full pages would alternate as right turning or left turning pages, so the bound spines would be equal in size.
This is great in theory, but I am finding that as the album gets bigger, it is a bit of a PUZZLE to get it closed again.  Maybe it will be better once I get it bound, which is tricky bit #2.

I'm doing the pages first, and then binding them, as I think it will be easier to work on.  I will have to be really, really careful when I bind, or I may have pages going the wrong way. 

I'm trying to keep this album as flat as I can, I've had some trying times with past albums getting way to thick.  So I'm back to cutting out the backs of the mats, and keeping embellishments as thin as possible. 

The paper I'm using is Webster's Pages and Bo Bunny.  There is a little Theresa Collins in there as well.  And that butterfly is G45.  I'm playing with large stamps and Perfect Pearls (the grass and crab in the top photo), and the odd Memory Box die cut is finding its way onto the pages. 

On the UFO front, I have dragged out an old afghan I have been knitting for years.  I have been procrastinating because once I started, I realized I didn't really like knitting the pattern ("moss stitch" sounded so innocent!), and I wasn't thrilled with the colour palette I had chosen.  So I'm taking things into my own hands and switching it up.  I'll keep you posted.

Until next time.....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mitts in July

I have completed another UFO!  Never mind that it's mitts in July, it's one more thing off my "guilt radar", and I'm sure you know what that is, unless you are one of those people who never start a new project until they have finished the last one.  I started these about 2 years ago, intending to give them to my daughter for Christmas.  As you can see, I have added a couple of those cute flowers I've been making with some leftover yarn!

This pattern came out of a magazine.  The article gushed that they were simple to make, but I can tell you it has not been an easy road to completion.  The first problem was the pattern, and the fact that there was a mistake in it.  "Oops!" said the magazine's website.  Yeah, oops is right.

Once I got the correct pattern, I discovered that I could only do the knitting  in solitary confinement.  There was a vast amount of counting, and following not only the pattern, but the pattern of the pattern.

Alone with my stitch counter and four double pointed needles, I had quite of bit of trouble transitioning from needle to needle without a bit of a gap or "ladder" forming.  I went to a local knitting shop, where they were very helpful and sympathic, telling me I must keep the stitches tight when going from one needle to the next.  Seems like the only thing that got tight were the muscles in my hands!

But now they are finished, and I think I am going to keep them.  There are a few mistakes, I but I can overlook those. 

Next on my radar is my Caribbean album.   No pattern to follow, no stitches to drop.  Sounds like heaven!
Until next time...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Home, New Card

My son recently moved into his own place.  He had been sharing a house with 2 other fellows, but the landlord decided to sell the house, and unfortunately, the guys weren't part of the deal.

So now he has a basement suite, and I took this opportunity to make a "New Home" card.  I used a stamp set, "Pixie Lane" from Unity stamp company, and coloured it with Copics.  The die cut swirl is from Memory Box Dies, as are the leaves.  The tag is a Quikutz die.  I'm not sure what the paper is..... some scraps I had around. 

Which brings me to my next problem:  Scraps of Paper.  I hate to throw out the little bits of paper I have left over from projects, because 1) Paper is not cheap 2) Paper is seasonal, and once it's gone, it's gone, and you can't guarantee you'll be able to find it again.  (Once I was going to order some papers not available in local stores anymore from a well known company, and the total was going to be like $10, but the shipping was going to be about $50.  What?) 3) I don't like cutting up a big piece of paper to get a small square, like I have here.

So I end up keeping all these itty-bitty bits of paper, withe the idea that I may just need them one day.  You and I both know that day will likely never come, unless of course I get rid of them, and then I'll want them again.  I need an organization system.....

FLOWER UPDATE:  I continue to crochet little flowers.  It is very soothing.  Plus, I just bought a new book, "100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet", which has a multitude of lovely little blossoms in it.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with all those flowers....

Until next time....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

More Crochet Flowers!

 Here is my problem.  I like making these little flowers, now I know HOW to crochet them.  In different sizes.  And colours.  I have already gone out and bought 2 more balls of cotton to make more.  What am I going to do with them all?

These 2 are gracing a pair of slippers I made earlier this year.  (I have enough yarn to make at least 3 more pairs of slippers.)  I must say, I do like them made from crochet cotton, with a smaller hook. 

I was thinking if I made them from finer cotton and with a smaller hook I may be able to add them to scrapbooking projects (lumpy ones, anyway!)  And if the cotton was white, could I spray them with Glimmer Mist?

In the meantime, I'll just keep crocheting away, adding little flowers here and there, to whatever needs brightening up.  They'd be cute as centres on granny squares too.  (oh-oh, another project!)

Until next time.....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lesley Makes "Molly Makes" Crochet Brooch in 2 Days!

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I saw a "Molly Makes" magazine with a crochet flower brooch included, the evening before the crop.  "Hmmm,", I thought, "that might be fun to take to the crop and make...."

So it came to the crop with me, and after the first disastrous attempt, I realized something was very wrong. 
Attempt #2 - worse that the first
Attempt #3 - okay, I give up.  For today, anyway.

Once home, I got on the Internet to try and figure out what went so terribly wrong.  Well, for starters, there was a tiny error in the pattern.  But even that was not enough to explain the crazy results I had come up with (one attempt, I think it was #2, looked like a fan.  Def. not right).

Then I turned to YouTube, where you can learn to do just about anything.  I was amazed to see a video of someone making this flower!  However, there was no sound, no instruction, and if I could crochet that fast, I'd be making about one flower in 5 minutes.

Over to Google, where I discovered someone had kindly written out the pattern in my-speak on their blog, and had photos to go with it!  So there I was, in front of the computer, with the magazine instructions, the YouTube video, and the blog.  And strict instructions for the family not to talk to me until I had this thing figured out.

After several attempts and bad words, I finished a flower.  The pink yarn that came with pattern was, by this time, quite frayed and fuzzy looking, so I went out and bought some purple cotton to make a "finished" version.  I decided it needed a centre, and so added a bead. 

This little brooch is now on it's way to England, as a gift for my son's girlfriend.  I had to include a custom's slip, explaining what was in the envelope and how much it cost.  I'm sure the post office people hear all kinds of things, and that's why they just gave me a blank stare when I tried to describe what I was mailing.

Until next time.....

P.S.  I did manage to finish my Mexico mini-book at the crop, despite my crochet shenanigans (is that even a word?)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't Know What the H$#@ I Got....

It's true.... I have a lot of stuff.  And when I'm out shopping, sometimes I'm not sure exactly what I have, and what I don't.  So I have created this little book to take care of that.

The paper I used was Basic Grey's Curio, which included the sticker sheet.  Unlike G45, this line doesn't have a lot pages you can fussy cut from, so the stickers were very useful.  I haven't shown all the pages, but you get the idea.  The size is 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches.  It's big enough for lists, but not too big to carry around.

The title page is flat.  There are no frilly flowers or sticking up items.  This is because this book is meant to be USED.  It's purpose in life is to go in my purse, and come into stores with me, not to sit on a shelf and look pretty.  There is an elastic cord attached to the back cover that flips around and holds the pages closed.

Inside, I created the pages for lists from a computer program (nothing fancy, just the one that came with the computer.)  I set the page to "landscape", and created 2 columns.  The lined paper was easily made with the underscore key.  I printed the lines on both sides of the paper.  Then I just had to cut the papers in half.

For every section, I made a title page.  Again, no bulky embellisments allowed!  The titles were made on the computer, and then stamped with a border (Basic Grey).

The book is bound with a Bind-it-All, and 5/8 inch coils. 

What is really amazing about this book is that it's FINISHED.  Not all my projects turn out that way.  This weekend I'm going to an all day crop, which I'm very excited about.  I'm hoping that Mexico book can finally be put to bed, so I can start on something else!!

Until next time...
(I'm seriously getting annoyed with Blogger and the difficutly I have in placing pictures. I guess I should just feel lucky today that these pictures aren't sideways!)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Another Birthday Card

 It has been a long time since my last post, and I wish I had a great excuse, like I was touring through Europe, or I was busy reconstructing my garden as it was going to be in a national magazine, or some other facinating thing.  Truth is, I just haven't been doing too much lately.

But thank goodness for birthdays (as long as they're not mine!), they spur me on to create SOMETHING.  This card was made for my mother's cousin, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.  Even at that grand age, she still loves her garden and enjoys working in it.

The stamp is from Stampendous, "Botanical Daffodil", and is coloured with Copics.  The paper is from My Minds Eye (see, I do use other paper than G45!)   I made it a gatefold card, because I always wanted to try to make one.  I may not make another anytime soon, and these are the reasons:

Reason #1 - you have to make the card on the large size.  This means that ordinary envelopes don't work, and you have to find extra large ones so it can fit.  This card is 6" X 6".

Reason #2 - The card is heavy, with all those layers of cardstock and paper.  If you are just tucking it into a gift, it's no big deal.  However posting it by mail means it costs twice as much to send as a regular card.  Not that I mind, but it's annoying to have to stand in line at the post office to be measured and weighed (the card, not me!)

EXCITING NEWS - well, I am almost finished my Mexico album from 2010.  The only problem is it barely closes.  Once again, layering papers is the culprit.  I've started cutting out the backs of the mats to make the pages lay flatter.  Also no thick or heavy embellishments.  I may have to re-do a few pages so the book will actually close.

Until next time.....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

No Photo, Better than a Sideways Photo

I have just spent about 15 minutes trying to upload a photo of  a birthday card I made my daughter.  It keeps appearing sideways, and I CANNOT figure out how to turn it.  (Blogger, you make things clear as MUD!)

So until I sort that out, I will tell you that I recently went to a class featuring Animal Spirit stamps, which remind me a little of those Doodle Art posters that were popular when I was a young 'un, only much, much smaller.  And while I love them, they are so beautiful, what really impressed me was the Tim Holtz Distress Markers we got to play and colour with.
Now when those markers were announced, I thought, "Oh great, here we go again, another way for me to spend money".  I mean, really.  How many different sets of markers do I need?  I already have Copics, water colour pencils, and Le Plume markers, plus various other specialty pens like Spica;  as well there are the paints, stains, mists.....   REALLY - do I need more implements to apply colour to paper?
And the answer is YES.  After 5 minutes I was in love.  After 10 I was trying to figure out how I was going to justify to my darling husband that I needed to have these markers. 
I'm going to work on that plan while I try to figure out why my photos are all appearing sideways. 
Until next time....

UPDATE:  Somehow this photo got onto the post the right way round.  This is actually the inside of the card.  The paper is G45's Once Upon a Springtime.  If I can get the other pictures turned around, I'll post them next time.

Don't you just love technology?!?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome Spring

It was officially the first day of SPRING yesterday, although we are still having below normal temperatures and the odd snow flurry or hail storm.  But despite this, I am forging ahead, and creating something seasonal.  I figure the weather will catch up eventually.

Here is my latest card creation.  I call it, "Spring Birthday", because my brain is tired and I can't think of anything else.  It was made for my son's girlfriend, who is having a birthday in about 2 weeks. 

One of the reasons I made this card was out of guilt.  I went shopping last week (also known as "retail therapy"), and bought FOUR Memory Box dies.  I had only planned on getting one, but you know how I have trouble making decisions, and so I ended up with more (plus one on order!)  So having blown the budget, I thought I had better use the stuff I had purchased.

The paper is Basic Greys's "Porcelain", one of my favorite lines.  The flowers are Memory Box "Cherry Blossom", made with a velveteen paper.  The branch and leaves I cut with my Silhouette. using cardstock and paper.  My Silhouette doesn't want to cut anything thicker, for some reason.  The label is die cut with another Memory box die, "Primo Labels".

I really like using the Memory Box dies.  They cut well, and are small so easy to store.  That being said, they are also easy to misplace, if they are tiny.  

Until next time, when it may actually feel like spring.......

Friday, March 9, 2012

Krafty Curiosity Shoppe Opens On the Boardwalk

The RULE was, I was only going to use G45's "On the Boardwalk" paper for my travel journal.  I thought, "No matching, less options and therefore fewer choices - this will be easy".  And it was, for a time.

Then came the crop, which I was an hour late in getting to.  And one of reasons I was late, was because I went shopping on the way in, picking up the new G45 papers, Kraft Reflections and Olde Curiosity Shoppe.  (It was either shop on the way there, or during the crop.  I figured time wise it was better to stop on the way there).

Anyway, I just couldn't help myself, and suddenly flowers and butterflies were appearing where I didn't expect them to be.  Are there flowers and butterflies on a boardwalk?  Maybe not in real life, but there are in my journal.

You may be wondering if I forgot to take anything to this crop.  Of course I did.  The photos made it, but I left some of my dies at home.   Somehow I got thru the day without them! 

Until next time...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Count down to Crop

Yes, the crop is only TWO SLEEPS away, and I have not started packing for it yet.  Unless you have attended crops, you won't understand the craziness of this.  Why would I need so much time to pack a few papers, glue and scissors?   The answer is simple.  I am going to have 12 hours of uninterrupted time to create, think, scrapbook, colour or whatever I want.  There won't be any laundry.  Or meals.  The only distraction will be the vendors, and I can handle that.  So I must plan, and plan carefully, to make sure I have everything my current project will require.  This means I will have to THINK AHEAD, which is not something I always do.  I often forget things.  Like my pictures.

The first crop I ever went to was a 2 day affair, and a 2 hour drive away.  You can imagine my dismay to realize that I had left all my photos behind. 

Another time, I neglected to bring my pictures as well, but I was close enough that I could just drive home and get them.  (It was a mistake to go home.  The dog wanted out, someone wanted a ride somewhere, and I couldn't help noticing the pile of laundry....)

I've also forgotten papers, glue and my work mat, but often I can buy what I need, or make do.  I really can't manage without my pictures, which are my inspiration for the pages I make.

Which brings me to a realization:  If I created scrapbook pages with no photos, I think it would be easier.  My problem is coordinating the papers and embellishments to colours and objects I see in the photo.  No images would mean that I could just make a page, and not worry about the picture fitting in or agonizing over colour choice, or fretting if that embellishment is obscuring  a vital image in the corner of the photo.  But that would take all the fun away, wouldn't it?

Until next time......

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My New Mantra

For the last month, I have been doing a different job at work.  It's called "holiday relief", and let me tell you, it will be a relief for me when it's over.  It's not that I don't know how to do the work, it's just that it's outside my comfort zone a lot of the time.  So when the telephone messages and referrals start piling up, I start to feel a little panicky, like I'm losing control over the situation.   To settle myself, I have starting chanting this little mantra...."Keep Calm and Carry On".    It does help somewhat, although the mountains of paper are still there, and the telephone keeps ringing. 
I decided to make this to put in the office.  I may leave it behind for the regular gal when she gets back from vacation.  The words and background were made using my Silhouette.  The paper is plain black cardstock and Basic Grey Marrakech.  It's pretty bright, and a little goes a long way.  The butterfly is a metal thing I picked up at Micheal's.  You can't see it, but there are Stickles in the flower centres.

This weekend I'm going to an all day crop.  I'm very excited about it.  I'm planning on working on my Mexico book, provided I don't forget to bring my photos.  I always seem to forget something.  I'll tell you about some of my great faux pas sometime.

Until next then.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New Use for an Old(er) Die

 I was working on my Mexico book (in fact I had scheduled a "play date" my friend to get some pages done) when I realized that the photos I needed were inconveniently glued into last years Basic Grey Calendar.  Not sure how that happened.  Anyway, I dragged out my yarn, and crocheted another pair of slippers  to keep myself busy while my friend merrily cut, glued and created cards.

Once completed, I thought they looked a bit plain, and needed a little flower or something.  I was tired of crocheting, and suddenly realized that I could die cut flowers from felt, using my Big Shot and Tim Holz dies!  I think it took almost as long to DECIDE what flowers to use as it did to crochet the slippers.  These are the Tattered Florals.  In the centre is a button from Basic Grey, secured with yarn.  I had so much fun with this, that I cut out some Hello Kitty faces with some Sizzix dies for a pair of slippers I made my daughter.  That was a little harder cutting the felt.  The bigger, thicker dies definitely work better.
These things are always a learning experience, and here is what I learned.  There are more yarn colours that felt colours, so choose the felt flower colour first, then get the yarn to go with it.  Either that or crochet your flowers!
Now not to worry, this is not turning into a knitting and crochet blog, I now have my Mexico pictures, and will hopefully be starting on that again.  Unless I get distracted, of course.
Until next time...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meanwhile, back in Mexico....

Actually, these phots were taken at Sea World in San Diego.  We had a few days in California before we got on a cruise ship to Mexico.  Ahhh, memories!

So it's hard to see here, but I was quite daring with this page, and got rather experimental, which is not something I usually get.  The paper is Graphic 45 (you were expecting something else?!?), from the Boardwalk collection. 

Experiment #1 - the large flamingo is covered with Glossy Accents, and then ultra fine glitter was sparingly sprinkled over top. 
Result - while the flamingo looks quite stunning, the rest of the page warped. 
Conclusion - Glossy Accents is best left as that:  small accents created separately and then glued on.

Experiment #2 - I really jumped out of my comfort zone, and cut an image out of a photo because the background wasn't very nice.  It  was hard for me to cut around my image in the photo, because I'm a straight lines kind of girl.
Result - well, I kind of like it, although I hope the flamingo doesn't poop on my shoulder.
Conclusion - I may try this again in the future, but I will be more careful with picture placement.

Until next time....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

UFO Update

I am very pleased to report that I have completed a couple of pages in my Mexico album (photos to follow in a day or 2 or 3, depending on how things go).  However, I have also been looking through some knitting projects, and pulled out another forgotten creation.

I started this dog sweater a long, long time ago for our dog Lucy, pictured here looking like she would rather be somewhere else.  Since I was in a finishing things up kind of mood, I sharpened my knitting needles, and got right to work.  I did run into a couple of snags.   I had no idea where I had left off, so had to guess where to start.  Also, because doggie sizes are a little like human sizes, and nothing quite fits like it should, I wasn't sure what size I was making.  I had to to just plunge ahead.  One other question I had was, What was I thinking when I chose these colours?!?

I was so happy about finishing this sweater, that I decided I was going to USE UP my yarn scraps, and make some crocheted slippers.  Can you see where this is going?  I had a pattern, but the wrong size crochet hook to get that oh-so-important tension correct.  While I was in the store, I thought maybe I'd get the yarn suggested in the pattern.  (I did some other shopping, but we won't go into that).

After successfully completing a pair in dark blue, I thought maybe I'd use up the partial ball of red yarn left over from making fingerless mittens at Christmas.  One and a half slippers later, I discover I am out of yarn.  So now I will be going back and getting another ball of red to finish the pair, leaving me with yet more scrap yarn.

And this is just the problem with using up leftovers.  Somehow, it always ends up that I'm back at the store, getting more yarn, or paper or ribbon, because I need more of whatever it is I'm trying to get rid of.  How can this be?

On a more upbeat note, I see that the CHA has been going on, and many blogs are all a-twitter about the wonderful new products coming out.  Wouldn't it be grand to go to the CHA?  I feel a bit like Cinderella, wishing she could go to the ball!

Until next time.....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Now What? (or, How Does she get Anything Done?)

This was my desk a few days ago, as I was wildly finishing my BG calendar.  As you can see, when I'm working, things get messy.  I can't tell you how many times I lost my glasses in that jumble.

But now, it's done, and my workspace is clean (ish) again, and I am contemplating that age-old question that scrappers, quilters, knitters, cardmakers, etc. ask themselves whenever they finish a project.  NOW WHAT?

Do I start something new and exciting?  Or should I tackle one of my UFO's?  (For those of you who don't have any, because you never start another project until the current one is complete, UFO means "UnFinished Object".  I have several).

Usually, I take out all my UFO's, the kits I bought for "someday", and scribbles I've made about ANTICIPATED IDEAS, and make a decision from there.  This usually takes a few days of deliberation, because as you know, I have a few issues with decision making.  But I'm pleased to tell you that I am now working on my Mexico book again, with real hopes of finishing it THIS TIME.

Not that I wasn't tempted to start a new project that came to me a few weeks ago, and which I will tell you about.  I was shopping (who, me?) with my accomplice (I mean friend), when I came across a paper punch that I really wanted.  But wait - didn't I already have this one?  Or did I?  Now it could be that I am getting forgetful ( I am 50, so it could be happening), or maybe it's because I have too much stuff to keep track of.  I like to forget about my age, and think that I just have an abundance of fun stuff. 

Then I thought, Gee, I need a little book or something with all my Distress Ink colours, Copics, punches, etc in it so I don't have to 1) buy something I already have or 2) not buy something that I need because I don't know if I have it or not.

Then it hit me.  I could MAKE a little book, with all my lovely papers, and use my punches to edge the pages, and Distress them,  and colour some stamps with my Copics, and, and ......  Well you get the idea. 

Nope, I'm going to stick to Mexico, for now.
Until next time.....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

BG Calendar Finished!

Yes, it's true, I have actually finished my Basic Grey calendar BEFORE the end of January. And here is December's page:

Now I do love BG, and all the lovely papers, but I gotta say, when they are designing these calendars, they should maybe leave out some of the cutsie sayings. Not everyone has photos of someone "tip-toeing through the tulips", or being "precious". This year, I was using photos that I took while we were on a Caribbean cruise with our children, and I must say, it was a bit of challenge to choose pictures that kind of went with the theme of the month.

When my husband was looking through the calendar, he stopped at October, which features him and my son about to go rock climbing. There is a caption that says, "I Pick You" above the photo.

"Why does it say that?" my husband asks. "I pick you for what?"

"I don't know, " I reply, "but the caption goes with that month. If I leave it off, there is a big blank space."

"Well it doesn't make any sense, " hubby insists. And I must agree, but I meekly suggest, "I pick you to go rock climbing with?"

(I suspect the folks at BG envisioned a photo of a cute little kid picking apples to take to the teacher on the first day of school).

Next on his criticism list is August. The photo is of our 2 adult children in front of a cruise ship we were on. "Why does it says "Friends"? They're not friends, they're relatives". (I could go on another tangent about that statement, but I won't). "The sticker goes with the page. And they are kind of friends, you know".

May: "Sunshine makes me Happy? " he queries. "Don't the kids look happy in that picture?" I counter.

So, Basic Grey, if you are listening (and I suspect you are not,) please leave out the sentiments, or at least give us choices. Either that, or I'm going to have to get some pictures of someone standing in my neighbour's tulip patch!

Until next time, when I may have cleaned off my desk, and started something new and exciting (rather than finishing off something old and no longer exciting,).......

Monday, January 16, 2012


So here it is, mid-January, (Blue Monday, according to the news people, the most depressing day of the year) and I realize that I have not posted to this blog for a while. And my EXCUSES are many. 1) I was working. 2) There were all these holidays. 3) I was working (oh, I already did that one!) 4) I have been busy with my New Years Resolutions (Ok, that 's just a lie).

I read back, and I see I promised to post some PHOTOS of the lovely gifts I made for some people on my Christmas list. I don't have those photos, because I wrapped the gifts and gave them away, and then it just seemed awkward and weird to say, "By the way, can I take a picture of the present I gave you to post on my blog?" So you will just have to take my word for it that I actually COMPLETED 3 gifts in time for Christmas. I knitted 3 pairs of finger-less gloves (so easy, without those digits to consider!) and a rather clever picture frame. I hid a gift card for a photo session in a picture frame I decorated.

Anyway, on to those New Years Resolutions, I didn't bother making any, as I knew I would break them before the month was out. Oh yes, I had a few planned out, by why kid myself? I make the same ones every year, anyway. I'm sure you know what they are, they are the same one every crafter makes, be they quilters, scrapbookers or cross stitchers.

NUMBER ONE: Finish up those unfinished projects. The reality? Create more unfinished projects you can make resolutions about next year.

NUMBER TWO: No buying anymore new craft stuff until you use up some of your stash. Yeah, right! With all those after Christmas sales? I broke that one in the first week, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

NUMBER THREE: Schedule crafting time in your calendar, so you can work on Resolution Number One. Okay, as soon as I make the bed do the dishes put another load of laundry in pick up the kids call the vet pay the bills sweep the floor.... We all know the reality of that one!

Whatever your Resolutions are (or as in my case, were) I wish you a Happy New Year, and many happy creative days. And now I'm going to work on my Basic Grey Calendar. Yes, for 2012!

Until next time....