Monthly Archives: April 2010

Shoes Were My Undoing

My shoes next to my husband’s

In March, near the first of the month, I had made a YouTube video about my fear of flowers and glitter.  I titled the video “Be Unstoppable”.  More as encouragement to myself as to let others know that fear holds us back from going forward.  Stepping into that fear helps us to move forward and accomplish what we want to do or be.

One of my subscribers had left a comment that having her face on YouTube would scare the “wee wee” out of her.  I laughed so hard at that comment.  In further correspondence with her I learned she spent most of her days beside her husband in Hospice with a terminal illness.

I don’t remember what video I had put up next on YouTube and this same subscriber posted that her husband had passed away.  It took several days for me to put the two subscribers together as the one with the husband that had been in Hospice.

When it had finally dawned on me I was in our foyer looking at the shoes there that need to be taken to the closet so the floor would not be so cluttered with shoes.  My thoughts went to my subscriber, Brenda, and what she would see when she came home from the Hospice the night her husband passed away.

Those shoes would never contain her beloveds feet again.  Those shoes will not go out the door of her house any longer.  Off on adventures far and wide.  Supporting his feet and keeping them dry and safe from pebbles and other sharp objects.  Those shoes will remain on the floor reminding her of her husband’s voice, his touch, his scent, his laughter.  I was so overcome by the thought that I broke down and cried.

The next morning as I was checking my email I decided to reach out to the corner of YouTube that I have subscribers.  I requested they send messages of support to Brenda in her time of grief.  Just to let her know that we cared about her and wished her well.

A couple days after my plea I received a message from another subscriber, Debbie, that had lost  her husband one week before Christmas 2009.  Her grief was fresh also.  Four months since she last heard her husband’s voice.  Again, my thoughts went to those shoes in my foyer.

What can I do?  I can’t tell either of them that I understand what they are going through.  I don’t know what they are going through.

Giving this some thought, and what personal information I had been provided by my friends, I wondered what I would like to have given to me in remembrance of my husband.

My gift to Brenda

For Brenda, I made her a mini album for her to put favored photos of her beloved in along with some journal spots to recount most treasured times spent together.  This is the video I made of Brenda’s mini.  It is a photo montage of how I created the mini and what products I used.  If you would like to recreate this mini the link is here.  Part 2 of this set is here.

My gift for Debbie

For Debbie I personalized her gift just a bit more from a favored story she told me of her husband.  If you would like to see what I made for Debbie, and how I did it, you can view the video here.

We all have difficult times and are in need of support at one time or another.  The YouTube community I belong to is a totally awesome community.  I am extremely proud to be a member of this crafting corner and to have made so many friends.

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Now, Where Did I Put That?

The scrapbook storage system I've coveted

Over the years I have been doing scrapbooks, cards, and paper crafting my craft room has undergone many changes.  The storage units I’ve put in have ranged from plastic bins that roll, a wire grid cubed tower, and the most recent has been a sweater storage unit I purchased from The Container Store in Denver, Colorado.

Over the years I’ve searched online for storage ideas and seen many beautiful rooms with this storage system in them.  Each time I see a room outfitted with these storage cubes I become covetous and wish I had them.

My trips to Michael’s Craft Stores is not complete without a trip to the aisle that  holds these much coveted cubes.  I lovingly stroke the boxes and whisper “I’d love to take you home with me”.  Leaving these cubes behind knowing they will go into the home of someone else is pure torture.  The cost of $30 a cube – well $29.99 – is just too much for my budget since I figure I will need 10 of these cubes.

Each time I enter my craft room I look at the sweater storage units currently  holding all of my papers.  It is sagging from all the weight and I expect to see paper all over the place sometime.  The wire grid tower I have has open holes that grab the corners of my papers and bend or tear them.  I’ve purchased the plastic things, like over sized magazine holders, to protect my papers from damage.  These storage things even get hung up in the wire grid holes.

On Friday evening, April 9, I was going through my papers to make a mini album for my teenage grand daughter’s birthday and got so upset because so  many of the papers had torn and dog eared corners.  I had had enough.

Saturday morning, April 10, I went to Michael’s Craft Store and headed for the aisle that held the much coveted storage cubes.  I was going to purchase at least three of them that very day.  After I had them loaded in my cart and was turning to leave the aisle, the store manager happened to see me on his way to somewhere else and told me “You might want to come back tomorrow.  All of those will be half off.”  WHAT!!!!  HALF OFF?????

I put the cubes back on the shelf and left the store.  All the way home I began planning  how many of what I would purchase the next day.  In my room I calculated the cubes I would need for paper storage and what I would need for stamp storage.

Sunday morning, April 11, I was in the parking lot before the store opening hour of 10:00 a.m.  Just minutes before time to open I was up near the door.  I wanted to be able to get these highly coveted, by me, storage cubes and finally get them home.  I was not going to let anyone else get in my way and get there first.

As soon as the doors opened I was in.  Grabbed a cart and off I went.  About half way to my destination I wondered if I were going to need another cart?  Well, if I do I can always go back for one.  I wasn’t stopping for anything.

First I had to just stop and gaze at all of the cubes that lay before me on their racks.  All of those beautiful storage cubes were still there.  I began putting them in the cart.  By the time I had the cubes I wanted the cart was groaning from the weight.  One final item to go on the top and off I went to the check out area.

The whole time I worked my way through the stores obstacle course the poor cart I had groaned, squealed, and creaked.  I was terrified the wheels would fall off from all the weight I had piled in there.  I made it though and paid for them.  Now these wonderful storage cubes were mine.  All mine.

At home, around 11:00 a.m., I got them moved inside and piled on the table.  I had them sorted by type and I was so ready to begin the assembly.  There is a LOT of assembly required in putting these cubes together.

The first box I opened the handles fell out onto my toes and went under a chair.  The next thing out was all the hardware to assemble these cubes.  That bounced off my shin and skittered under the table.  I picked up these errant packages and put them on my kitchen counter where the assembly would take place.  I began pulling the pieces out of the box and getting them on the table top.

No instructions!!!!  I could not find the assembly instructions.  Panic set in.  What had I just done?  I have loads of boxes to put together and no instructions.  After talking myself out of panic mode by telling myself “You are a smart cookie, you can figure this out” and “How many of the IKEA boxes have you put together?  This should be just as easy.”

Well, the thing to do is begin sorting the wood pieces.  I noticed they had stickers with letters on them.  A, B, C, D, E, F, G.  I began lining them up on the floor and up against my kitchen cabinets in order.  The last piece of wood had the instructions stuck to it by static electricity.  You know, when a sock gets stuck to a shirt when you remove your clothes from the dryer and can’t find the mate to the sock.  All the while it is hiding on the shirt.

A few minutes of hopping around and shouting “Woo Hoo” ensued before I was able to get down to business.  My dream of having these glorious cubes was now well on its way of becoming a reality.

All the cubes fully assembled

By 5:30 p.m. I had them all put together.  My feet were sore from all the standing but I felt so good looking at what I had accomplished.

My husband called about that time to give me an update on his whereabouts and how his day was going.  He asked about mine and I told him what I had been doing.  He didn’t understand what I was trying to tell him so I took a picture of my completed work and sent it to him.

Later that evening when he was down for the night he called me again.  He had taken time to look at the picture I sent him and he said he thought he understood it now.

He asked “How much did all of those cost?”  This is not something I do.  I normally go the least expensive way and make do with what I get so this was totally out of character for me.

I wanted to impress him with the bargain I got.  “Yesterday, this would have been $400” was what I told him.  I heard the sharp intake of breath and the silence on the phone after that.  “Okay” he said kind of warily.  “That was yesterday’s price.  What is today’s price?”  I let the silence linger for another moment.  “Are you going to tell me?” he asked with a lot of concern in his voice. “$197.00 is what all that cost” I finally told him.  I could hear sudden movement on his end.  I liked to think I had made him sit bolt upright at that, and I again heard a sharp intake of breath.

Before he could say or ask anything else I told him all about my trip to Michael’s the day before and being told they would be half off today.  I told him how long I’ve wanted these cubes and how I often go to the aisle just to look at what I can’t have.  I told him of all my adventures of putting them together and the shock of fear I had at the beginning thinking there were no instructions.  I also told him I had used his power tools without asking first if I might use them.  They are his anyway and I should have respected that.

Monday and Tuesday were spent bringing stuff out of my craft room and putting things in the hallway and the kitchen.  Finding new homes for my paper knowing they would no longer get bent and damaged.  Getting my stamps stored in the drawers.

Mine, all mine!

Ribbon storageBy Tuesday evening I had everything put back in my room.  I could now sit and admire these beautiful cubes with my papers and ribbons on and in them.

I spent the time grinning from ear to ear seeing this, much coveted, storage system now finally in my  home.  They are so beautiful.  Clean lines, professional looking, and cohesive.  Not some jumbled and rickety wire grid thing I’ve frowned at over the years.

Wednesday morning I came into my craft room to begin the creation of my grand daughter’s birthday present.  After I spent a few minutes admiring these cubes first.  Then…

Now where did I put that?


Granddaughter’s Birthday Present

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  My little granddaughter will be turning 11, I think.  I’m hopeless when it comes to the ages of my grandchildren.  Don’t even get me started on their names.  I was hardly ever able to keep all our own kids names straight when they lived at home, let alone my grandchildren.

Sydney is our little “girly girl”.  She loves glitter, flowers, hearts, feathers.  All the “glam” stuff.

If you’ve watched any of my videos you will know that this “girly girl” stuff is just not me.  It is a challenge for me to use glitter and flowers.  It seems to be getting less of a challenge as I work at it.

While wondering around my local craft/hobby store recently I found myself down an aisle with all kinds of wooden boxes and things.  I glanced at them and moved on.  About half way down the aisle I stopped and back tracked to where these little “treasure chests” were sitting on the shelf.  I picked one up, looked it over and put it back.  I could not figure out what I was going to do with something like that.

Through the store and on to other items I went.  That little wooden chest stuck in my mind.  Before I left for the check out I had to go back just one more time and take another look.  This time I turned it over and saw the price on the bottom.  $1.99

I could not believe the price.  I picked up another one and looked at it.  Same price.  Well, for $1.99 I can experiment with it and if it turns out real bad I can toss it and go on to something else or I can always go back and purchase another one.

From the time I sat down in my room with this little chest things began to click for me.  I put the paper on the lid.  All the paper used on this box is from Stampin’ Up!’s “Love Sparkles Simply Scrappin’ Kit”.  Left over pieces I had from my Valentine projects and the mail boxes I did in January.

I found my pink acrylic paint and brushed it on the exposed places of the outside.  I left the banding and the upholstery tacks alone since I liked the way they looked already.  A couple coats of the pink acrylic paint and leaving it to fully dry.  I hunted through my stamps sets for some kind of a flourish to put on the sides of the lid.  I found one that would just fit.

Using Staz-On ink I stamped the pretty flourish.  Let it dry a bit after giving it a brief moment or two under the heat tool.  Then I took it outside to be sprayed with a spray lacquer.  Aaaack.  One side of the flourish Staz-On ink began to bleed.  I had black schmootz spreading out and ruining the beautiful flourish.  Oh well, I’ll have to think of something to hide it with.

After the box sat outdoors for a couple hours to get the solvent smell gone and the spray lacquer dried I brought it back to my room.  I was so disappointed with the way that Staz-On ran.  Well, shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.  The pretty white flower with the butterflies is hiding the schmootz.

I had to send a text message to Sydney’s Dad to make sure she was not allergic to feathers.  While at the hobby/craft store I picked up a package.  Yes, everyone else is using feathers on their items so I had to get some for myself.  Thankfully she is not allergic.

Have you bought one of those small packages of feathers?  Have you tried to get them back in the package after you take them all out?  This was not as hard as rounding up micro beads, but on my rough and dry hands the feathers stuck to me and would not easily come off.  It was like trying to get Sticky Strip red liner off my fingers.  The static cling was a challenge.

All the pre glittered chipboard flourishes I had were dumped out on my table and pawed through.  I was searching for a small sized flourish to go beneath the clasp thing.  I finally hit on two small ones that are opposite in design.  They looked a bit odd when I “auditioned” them on the front of the box.  I put a feather behind one and liked it so much that I did the same with the other side.

My new friend in the adhesive department has become E6000.  That stuff STINKS until it dries but does it ever do the job as far as holding on when it does finally dry.  Trying to get that E6000 stuck on the back of feathers is not an easy thing to do.  I did get it done.  Then I applied some to the small flourish pieces.

There are many people that are decoupaging.  This is a treatment that has been done for years and years.  I just have not got into doing it.  This box needed something more than just the pink sides and back.  So I looked through all the small graphics I have.

The rose on the back of the box is a ONE TIME THING.  All that close cutting sent me to my husband’s room so I could use his giant lighted magnifying glass so I could see what I was doing.  These old eyes, my arms are not long enough to do that “fussy cutting” without some assistance.  I can tell you I won’t be doing that bit of fussy cutting again any time soon.  Well, not until the next time anyway.

The stamped flourish on the other side of the box did a bit of bleeding but not as bad as the one I had to hide.  I was able to find my teeny tiny crystals and get them placed on the outer flourishes.  My medium sized crystals were used in the centers of the flourish.  They did an excellent job of hiding the smears.

I think the next time I tackle a box like this that needs to be sprayed with a lacquer, I’ll wait until the lacquer is dried before I attempt any stamping.

By the time I had the box covered with crystals, decoupage items, glittered chipboard, feathers, flowers, and butterflies the top looked a bit forlorn.  So I placed four feathers on the top and stuck a Prima flower I glimmer misted with my homemade golden color right in the center of the feathers.

All in all, this box turned out very pretty.  I did some imagining and experimenting with hairpins.  The original intent was to fill the box with pretty hair accessories.  She gets six.  The rest turned out so badly that I was not about to put them in.  Oh well, another time I’ll attempt hair accessories.

One glittery and glamorous project at a time I say.


Squash Book & Altered Journal

I have a total of four (4) family members with birthdays in April.  These items, the Squash Book and the altered journal, are for my two daughters.  Alright, as you watch the video I tell you the journal is for my Daughter-In-Law but she is so special that I consider her a daughter, too.

I got in such a hurry to get these mailed in time that I forgot to take photos of them.  You can see them in this video I’ve posted.

The Squash Book, itself, is made from four 8×8 pieces of card stock folded in the following manner.  I’m using a piece of 12×12 card stock so you can see what to do.

Begin with card stock laid out flat

I had to hunt for a surface clear enough to take these photos.  Several projects are going on right now for all of my birthday people and I’ve seemed to have run out of room.

So, find a clear spot to lay your paper out.  If you will be using patterned papers you might want to begin with just plain card stock.  Once you have completed these steps and have all the fold lines, try to match your pattern within the spaces created from the fold lines.  Sound like too much work?  Then just follow along here and we will address that issue at, or near, the end of this post.

FOLD #1

Bring the bottom edge to the top edge.

then…

Crease the fold well

Make sure to match your top edges when you bring the bottom to the top.  If you are a bit wonky in your fold here it will cause the whole thing to go off.  You don’t want to start off badly.

FOLD #2

Open the paper and turn so crease line is vertical

then…

Bring the bottom edge to the top

then…

Crease your fold

This is what it will look like:

Four equal quadrants

Your card stock should now look like this.  You will have four equal squares marked by the fold lines you have just made.

This is the base and it is critical these folds and creases are not wonky.  Everything, pretty much, works from the center.  The place where the folds all intersect.  Make sure they all meet in the same place, at the center.

FOLD #3

We will begin the triangle folds

With your card stock now in the position with the corner tips in place, as shown in the photo, we will go to the next bit of folding.

Bring bottom tip up to the top tip

then…

Crease this fold

The finished folds

This is what your paper should look like.  You will have two corners with diagonal folds running through them and two corners that are left square.

These square areas are where you will be attaching your pages.

Using the “Sticky Strip” by Stampin’ Up!, and only in the full squares.  Place the tape just inside the square area beneath the adjoining creases. Only put the Sticky Strip on ONE of the card stock pages.  It is not necessary to put the tape on both pieces being joined.  When you go to attach the next piece of card stock you will apply the Sticky Strip to the square that is exposed and has no tape.

It will take some coaxing at first to get your assembled pages to begin to look like this…

With use this will stay down.

When all pieces are adjoined you can create this…

Photos added to all areas

You can add your designer papers in places you don’t have photos.

Designer Papers or patterned papers

These mini albums are fun to create.  You can get so much in them.  The photos can be cut on the diagonal to fit the places with center creases.  Just attach the photos within the area of the creases.  Do not put the whole photo in the areas that will fold.  This will damage your photo.  You might have to snip a bit off the outer edges of the photos to make them fit within the creases but that is alright.

I hope  you have fun with this project.