Sunday, September 15, 2013

My New Craft Room

I apparently never actually published this back 2 months ago.  Probably a good thing though, as I accidentally deleted my photo files to which all my blogs photos are linked.  I will have to go back in at some point and reinsert every photo from every blog.  Sure.  Anyway, at least just getting this one updated with the correct pictures is finished.  Keep reading to see what I thought I'd published.

Well, once again it's been forever since I posted.  But I have good reasons!  Since my last post I was offered and accepted a new job.  I quit my other two jobs, took a week to visit my mother and a week to just  be, then jumped into the new job.   I am now the Tech Coordinator/Teacher at St. Matthew Catholic Grade School.  I absolutely love it, but it has been a challenge.  My first duty was to order new laptops for the computer lab to replace the ancient eMacs currently in use.  Then once they came in, I had to get them set up.  Not the easiest thing in the world since I'm not a  Mac user nor a server tech.  It took two full weeks of 12-14 hour days to get it done, but I did finally finish.  Tomorrow will be the first day with students in.  I'm anxious to see how it goes.

While all this was going on, two of my children also moved.  Both here in town still, which is nice, but it was busy nonetheless.  I also helped a good friend pack her house to move away, and spent a weekend helping another go through all her craft room stuff to de-clutter and reorganize.

And I still managed to finish my craft room (aka my eldest's former bedroom.  Called my crap room by my DH)).  I've never  done so much painting in one room.  It was about 8 coats-3 or 4 of primer and 4 of color.  I though I'd never finish!  But finish I did.  And I have been enjoying it immensely ever since.  Here are the befores....

At some point I let my daughter convince me that striped walls were a good idea.  And they were. Until I wanted to paint over them.  As mentioned before--7-8 coats later....

And now the afters....

The love seat is one my daughter and I rescued from a dumpster a number of years ago.  I decided to just recover it to make it match everything else. My original plan was to use a green and yellow chintz, but I couldn't find coordinating fabrics.
Then I saw this, with several other coordinating options and just had to have it!  My cat loves to sleep here while I'm working. The pillow is made from left overs fromn the curtains. The mirror is from my dresser set that I mention a little further down.

The storage system is a combination of new and old. The drawers, thin shelves, and desktops are new. The cubbies I've had and used for about 15 years or so. I turned some of them on their sides instead of using them upright.  Of course, because they aren't meant to be used that way, it means that there was bare pressboard showing.  So, more paint! The shelves above came already painted, thankfully. They hold all my single stamps.  The ribbon organizer  is something I ordered several years ago but never put up.  Of course, it was black, so....yes, more paint!  It wasn't quite designed to use the way I have it setup, but I rigged it to work for me.

The green frame was originally supposed to be a leg of a fold down-table I was planning.  However,
after having it almost all finished, I realized it wouldn't be sturdy enough for stamping, so I had to come up with a different idea.  I ended up buying an old table and repainting the legs and frame (more paint!). There's a better picture below.  The dresser was the one I grew up using, then my nieces used, then my daughters used. It has held up awfully well for almost 50 years now.  Can't buy them like that today.

Here you can see my table and my pegboard.  I saw a pegboard idea on Pinterest and fell in love with it. Naturally, more paint. I used magnetic tape on about 1/3 of the squares to hang my dies.  No more rifling through a box to find what I want. A cafe curtain rod holds my punches--an idea I've used for years already but still think is great. Keep reading for a close up of my marker holder. The table is covered with a fabric that coordinates with the love seat, then a piece of clear vinyl.   So finally, something I didn't have to paint!  It's colorful and easy to keep clean. And fabric glides across when I'm sewing.  I got the idea from Karen off her blog, Sew Many Ways, which is awesome!   I couldn't find the vinyl sheeting she mentioned, so I created my own version.

That was also where I got the idea to add a tape measure to the table.  I meant to add it on top, but forgot.  So rather than remove the whole piece of vinyl I had just thoroughly stapled, I just removed one edge, slid the tape measure up on the lip of the  table and stapled it into place.  I use it all the time!

Here is another view taken at night so you can see the curtains a little better.  The curtains are made from the third coordinating fabric, while the tie-backs match the t able and the valances match the love seat. I bet you'd never guess I like bright colors, would you?

Now for some detail closeups....

I  used left over fabric and modge podge to decorate my switch plate and outlet covers.

This is a marker holder I made from scrap wood and fluorescent light grid.  I originally saw idea on a blog to use the ceiling tile light grid in a box.  I didn't want a box, so I adapted the idea for my space. I didn't put a back on it because I wanted to be able to see the pegboard through the back. I probably would tweak it a bit if I ever made it again, but it works. It is big enough to hold about 300 markers!  And the best part is, there is enough of the grid to make several more, and it only cost about $8.  Of course, I had to PAINT the scrap wood!


I saw this idea, kind of, on Pinterest.  But where the original was one color in each drawer to make the container itself look like a paint chip card, I decided to make each drawer a paint  chip.  It designates the shades of card stock inside.

I don't remember where I saw the ink pad organizers first mentioned. But as soon as I saw the big one, it was a must have.  Since they are individually made upon ordering, I had to wait a while to get it.  While I waited, I decided to count my ink pads and realized that I wouldn't have enough room in the organizer to hold them all. (Don't tell my husband!).  So when it came, I looked it over carefully and decided to use scrap wood (you guessed it...more painting!) and foam board to make my own to fit the extra space.  It does a good job, and doesn't look awful in the photo, but it was a pain to make and does NOT look good close up.  I definitely recommend the splurge to buy one. The purchased one holds 80.  Mine holds 50.  I've used about 40 of the slots on mine.  Stampin' Up needs to quit coming out with new colors!

Last but not least is my stamp storage.  I had thought for a long time that VHS cases would be a great way to store stamps.But how to find the cases with no round things (hubs) inside?  As I was working on the room, I came across someone else's blog who used them and had a link to the company.  I ordered 50 and used every one of them.  The stamps still in their original Stampin Up boxes have too many stamps to fit in a VHS case.  And some of the cases have 2 sets .  I love how perfectly they worked.

So there you have it. A tour of my new craft room.  I love being in there.  I used to craft in the basement, where there was no window and no way to watch tv, get cell phone reception, etc.  Now I have a wonderfully bright and cheerful room with a tv.  I can use my laptop or iPad for reference while I'm crafting. I have a place to sit when I need a break or just want to enjoy the gorgeous  room.  I am so very pleased with how it came out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

25 Years Ago

"Happy birthday, John."
"It's not my birthday."
Hmmmm.  What a jerk.

That's how our first encounter went back in October 1981.  Fast forward to January 1982.

It was the coldest day in the history of Chicago-the night of the annual Illinois-Eastern Iowa Circle K Holiday Embrace. I had visited my brother, Mark, for a couple of days in Indiana.  Then taken the train to visit my brother, Larry, and his fiance, Wendy, at her parents' house in Wheaton, IL. Next up, have Larry take me to Lisle to catch a ride with some friends and the jerk to the dinner dance.

"Hi. This is Susan Schlosser.  I need to get directions to your house."
"For what?"
"To go to Holiday Embrace.  Sharp told me you could give me a ride."
"I think the car is too full."
"I don't have any other way to get there."
"There's really no room."
"I can sit on someone's lap."
Finally, "Oh, alright, here's the address."
Hmmmm.  What a jerk.

Six of us--five guys and me--squeezed into the car.  I was in the middle front, next to the jerk.  Fortunately, two of the other guys were friends of mine.  All of them named John.  We made it to the dance while actually having some fun conversation along the way.

The dinner dance was quite fun.  I sat at a table with all three Johns. (That doesn't sound very good, does it?)  So the jerk and I talked.  And danced (slow ones).

After the dance, we went to the home of another district member. Remember, it was the coldest day in the history of Chicago.  I was wearing dress sandals.  When we got to the after-party, my feet were freezing. John offered to go get a pair of socks out of his car for me. I accepted.  We all had a good time during the party.  Finally, it was time for the revelers to leave so that the rest of us could get some sleep. At the door, John hugged and kissed a girl goodbye.  Then he turned to me.  "I don't know you well enough to kiss you yet."  I had to be satisfied with a hug.

So it began.  The jerk wasn't such a jerk after all.  And, as I've heard recounted many times, John returned to his car with his friends and said, "Sharp, I want that wench!"

When I returned home, I washed the socks and got ready to mail them to John. Then I had an idea.  A Valentine's Day dance was coming up at Quincy College Circle K.  Instead of sending the pair of socks, I sent one.  Enclosed was a note that if John wanted the other one, he'd have to get it from me at the dance. And I didn't even have to mail the first one.  A friend was going to visit John and offered to take the package.  So I decided to include a second package.  I bought a large bag of M & M's and another small bag.  I carefully slit open the small bag, filled it with only green M & M's, sealed it so you couldn't tell it had been opened, and sent it along with the sock. John attended the dance.

I neglected to mention that at the time, John lived in Bloomington, IL and I lived in Springfield, IL.  About 70 miles apart.  Not a great distance, but for a poor grad student and a poor freshman, it might as well have been opposite sides of the country.  Keep in mind, this was before computers or cell phones.  So phone calls were limited as long-distance was about 10 cents/minute.  The end of February loomed, and we still hadn't had a date. Finally, John called and asked if I'd like to go out that weekend. He'd come to Springfield.  Are you kidding?

I spent the week walking on clouds--except for the twinge of guilt I felt about my current boyfriend who was going to school in Decatur, IL.  But I had had the feeling that that relationship was on the way out.  We were friends, but nothing deeper.  We both knew it.  Finally, Friday, February 26th arrived.    John didn't like going to movies because he couldn't talk to his date. We decided to go bowling. Probably not the brightest idea on a league night, but we managed. We had a great time--despite the comment about my clown feet (I can't help it if I wore a size 9!).

After bowling we went somewhere for something to eat, then back to my house.  Everyone was already in bed asleep.  So we sat in the family room and....talked.  I swear that's what we did.  Mostly.  Until 5 am. Then my father appeared in the doorway. "Susan, I think it's time for your company to leave."  Oops.

So John headed back to Bloomington.  He was having a hard time staying awake when he noticed a woman hitchhiking.  He stopped to give her a ride. She accepted.  Then she called her friends--two guys, one of whom was a midget. Still not sure if they were there all along, or in his fatigue if John never noticed them.  At any rate, they were a band whose car had broken down on the way home from a gig. They managed to keep John entertained until he got home, where he crashed for the rest of the day.  It wasn't until much later that I found out that it was imperative to John that we go out that specific weekend.  He had an unbroken streak of 100+ some odd months of having either a girlfriend or a date.  He didn't have either for February yet.  I kept the streak alive.  Hmmmm.  The jerk.  But he was now MY jerk!

That summer John accepted a job at Springfield College in Illinois, the college I was attending.  Meanwhile, I was accepted at Illinois State University, where John had been going to grad school. So he moved to Springfield just as I moved to Bloomington.  This would set the tone for the next several years as I spent summers in Springfield, the school year in Bloomington, then did my student teaching in Jacksonville.  I graduated in December 1984 and moved in with my best friend's sister in Springfield.  And waited.

In August 1985, after no proposal from John, I took a leap and moved to Bullhead City, AZ to teach.  Not totally random as my brother, Larry, and his wife, Wendy, lived there. It was an interesting experience, which I still appreciate.  But I hated being that far from John, even if he hadn't proposed.  So I moved back to Springfield, moving in with Grandpa Schlosser.  It just so happened that John lived right next door. Convenient.  Then John bought a house on the other side of town.  He had me go with him to view every house.  That had to be a good sign, I thought. So I helped pick out a house, helped furnish it.  And waited.

In November 1987 I gave John an ultimatum. If we weren't engaged by 11:59:59 on December 31, my brother was bringing a truck from work on New Year's Day to help me load up the stuff in John's house that belonged to me which was almost everything. I had no idea of where I'd put anything as I was living in a furnished apartment.  But that wasn't my most pressing concern.  I knew I loved this man and wanted to marry him.  But if he wasn't able to commit, then I needed to move on.  I wanted a family before I was too old.

In December my parents and a couple of siblings came to town (they had moved to Wisconsin in 1983) to spend Christmas with my grandmother. They were supposed to have come down around the 20th, then had to change plans.  John seemed a bit upset about this (Really? He and my mother had not had the best relationship over the years.) In fact, he was just kind of weird all week.  Ok.  Maybe it was the fact that I had invited my entire family to have dinner at his house. (Really? He and my mother had not had the best relationship over the years.)  After everyone left after dinner, John and I played a rousing game of Nerf basketball.  As we collapsed on the couch, sweating and panting, John asked, "Love me?"  This was his way of teasing me because I always said that to him early in our relationship.  "Of course."  Then the question that rocked my world, "Enough to marry me?"  And he pulled a ring box out of his sock, got down on one knee, and proposed.  After we celebrated for a bit, I called my parents.  To my surprise, they already knew and were thrilled. (Really? He and my mother had not had the best relationship over the years.)  John had asked my father's permission that night after dinner.  So they were waiting.  I'm not sure what they were waiting for.  After almost six years, did they seriously think I might say no?  It was December 23rd.  Nothing like cutting it close to the deadline! I always tell people that the reason it took him so long to propose was because I wasn't listed in Consumer Reports, and John never got anything without checking it first!  My parents and I spent the rest of their visit setting up anything we could for the wedding.  My dad was in charge of a reception venue.  My mom and I picked out a dress, arranged a caterer, a d.j., a cake person, and found a photographer. All in about 3 or 4 days. We were on a mission!

We set our wedding date for July 16.  Not great for my parents, who owned a fishing resort in Wisconsin. But for John and me, both in education, it was perfect.  Two weeks before the wedding I went to visit my parents.  When I returned, I stopped in the church office to pick up my paycheck and finalize details for the wedding, now about 5 days away.  The secretary cheerfully informed me that they hoped to have the air conditioning working by then.  Say what?  Temperatures had been in the upper 80's and low 90's for a week, and were expected to get hotter.  My vocalist was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and my mother, grandmother, and father all had heart conditions. Heat was not good. The night of the dress rehearsal (it had been 99 degrees that day), there was no a/c.  It hadn't been fixed, so rather than risk running it that night, it was decided that it should be turned on the next morning to try to squeeze whatever we could out of it for the two weddings scheduled that day.

The next day dawned bright and clear.  I was up early, of course.  I spent the night at my grandmother's so I could be surrounded by family before the wedding.  To this day I still wonder if that was one of my better ideas!  My dad followed me out to Petersburg so I could drop off my car at my mechanic's.  What better time for him to have it for a week than when I wouldn't be needing it?

With the aid of several large fans, the church was, if not comfortable, at least not totally miserable.  Although I think one of my bridesmaids might disagree.  I didn't know until later she almost fainted. It was 100 degrees that day.  I believe it was the second highest temperature on record for Springfield. My parents walked me down an aisle covered in rose petals from my great aunt and uncle's flowers that I had plucked that morning (I rented my garage apartment from them).  I was wearing the most beautiful gown in the world, and I had a smile on my face that just wouldn't stop.  After almost 6 1/2 years since our first date, I finally said I do to the man of my dreams.

The reception was a blast, despite the fact that we had no table decorations other than twisted crepe paper down the centers, and we had instructed my parents to let people start going through the buffet line before we arrived.  I say despite these things because, God love her, my grandmother was horrified by both of these.  John had wanted to have basketball hoops on all the pews, which I nixed, of course.  However, the box for gift cards had his Nerf basketball hoop attached so that cards had to be "dunked".  And I had asked the woman who did the wedding cake to make a special groom's cake--a basketball.  Unfortunately, the almost fainting bridesmaid thought it would be funny to slam dunk it on John.  She mostly missed.

We postponed our honeymoon departure until Monday since our families were staying in town through Sunday afternoon . That way we could go to my grandmother's and open all the gifts.

John and I decided to attend our first Mass as husband and wife on Sunday night after our families left.  At the time John was on multiple softball teams.  He had a game Sunday afternoon. As he was getting ready to go, he took off his ring.  Seriously?  So at my urging, since we had only been married 24 hours, he agreed to leave it on.  I didn't realize until later that batting, or rather, actually hitting a ball, while wearing a ring can be painful.  He's never worn it to a game since.  Sorry honey!  The plan was to meet up at church.  Mass was at 7:00.  I waited in the back of the church until after the priest had entered.  No John.  Finally, I went in and sat by myself.  Fuming.  About 7:15, John slipped into the pew. I was glad he was there, but still angry. Married just over 24 hours and he was late going to church with me.  Not a great start.  After Mass he explained that the game had gone into extra innings.  Normally he would have just left, but the pitcher wasn't there, so John was pitching instead.  He couldn't just leave them, could he?

Thus began 25 wonderful years of compromises, triumphs and disappointments, fears and fun. And my mother quickly learned to love him!  I wouldn't do it any differently (except maybe waiting so long to give him that ultimatum!).  Now with a new job starting for me, our oldest having moved out a month ago, our middle moving out (maybe) in another month, and our youngest starting her junior year of high school, I look forward to whatever the next 25 years has in store. With John at my side, I know we can face anything, and we will have lots of fun along the way.

I love you, John.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gardens and proms and cards, oh my!

Wow!  What a busy month--rehearsals, prom for my youngest, deadlines galore.  And the last week has been the busiest!  The play I am currently in opened on Saturday; my oldest daughter moved on Saturday; my husband left for a week in 'Vegas on Sunday.  Despite tons of rain, I've actually had time to garden as well.  Here's my vegetable garden so far this year:

and my daughter in her prom dress: 

Yesterday I went and bought some new storage units for my craft-room-to-be.  Now that my oldest has moved out (again), I am going to take over her room (again).  This time, though, I'm doing it with some thought other than just getting everything moved out of the basement.  I want to paint first.  I have a table to create.  THEN I can move things in.  I can hardly wait!  But one more weekend of the play first, then I'll have some time to devote to the craft room.

I have managed to make a few cards, though.  As usual when I want to create but am pressed for time, I CASEd a number of cards.  Here we go...

This one is made from the Gina K Designs Spring Parade kit. My wonderful husband got it for me for Mother's Day. I was so excited! You can see the one I CASEd here. I decided to go with a brighter version.  I am really happy with it.
This is another stamp set from Gina K that my husband bought me. (Sweet man, he bought everything on my wish list!)  I have done a reflection scene one other time I think.  This Northwoods stamp set seemed perfect to try it again.  Especially since I had already seen another card for inspiration and guidance.  I love how it turned out!

I have been wanting Gina K's Stamp It Big set since it came out.  Fortunately, it was on my Mother's Day wish list. Of course, now there is a second set, and Christmas is too far away!

I drew inspiration from this card.  The original has 3 buttons in the upper right.  I didn't have 3 black buttons, and yellow didn't look right.  So for now, it's plain.  But I do think it needs something....

Another one of the stamp sets included in the Spring Parade kit. The original card was quite lovely in shades of aqua, black, gray, and white.  Very soft.  I decided to go bright and bold instead.  Mostly because I have these buttons I never get to use!  I think it is a great, cheerful card.

Yet another one with two of the Gina K sets.  The leaves are from two of the sets in the spring Parade kit.  The sentiment is from the One Free with 3 set for May--A Little Something.  My goal was to use each stamp set so that my husband would know how much I appreciated him getting me all of them!  I still have one set to use, or maybe two since this just used leaves.

Anyway, since the stamps are clear acrylic, they are somewhat bendable.  So instead of having to keep my sentiment straight, I was able to make it wavy.  I can't seem to find the inspiration card, so I'm afraid I can't credit my muse.

And my final card.  I have always liked black and white.  So I saw this card and decided to CASE it. I don't have a large flourish stamp, so I decided to use this one twice.  I left space at the bottom right to add a sentiment tag, but I kind of like it just the way it is.

So that's it for now.  It may be a while before I post again.  With luck, I will have photos of my new crafting space to share.  I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lots of Cards

For crying out loud!  I can't believe I've gone so long between posts yet again. I really need to quit my jobs.  They interfere with my free time! (actually, I'm working on this at work.  SHHHHH!)

I have made a number of cards since my last post.  I will admit, they are mostly CASEd from other places.  I will try to include the link to where I got them from, but in the essence of time, I may have to return to that later. (Yeah, like that would happen when I can't even get a post out!)

 I made this for my nephews for Easter.  I saw it here and thought it was too cute to pass up!  I was fortunate that I have so many scraps, I was able to use all scraps and not have to cut into any full pieces.

This is actually my own idea!  It's made with The Secret Garden stamps from Stampin' Up!.  I was going to do something very colorful, and then I got the idea to try just black and white.  the leaves are stamped.  The flowers are embossed with black embossing powder, then die cut, colored with a Bic black marker, and popped up on foam.  The sentiment is backed by a tag made from cutting out the middle of a longer tag punch to form a smaller one.

A friend pinned a card with this idea.  I decided to revamp it a little.  One of the great things about using an embossing folder over a completed front is that it hides a lot of things.  For example, the sentiment, which is computer generated, was actually cut almost completely apart when I tried to use it in a different card and chose the wrong size oval template to cut it. But going through the embossing folder, you can't even tell!  I found this butterfly embossing folder at Hobby Lobby.

You can find a tutorial for these collage panel cards here.  I stumbled on it and fell in love.  I immediately sat down and made these two. The sentiments are both from SU! ( I think, but not sure about the thank you one without going downstairs to look.  My daughter is waiting impatiently for me to get off the computer, though, so I don't dare go check!)

I really liked this when I saw it.  My version has smaller leaves with only the outline instead of filled (too much punching otherwise!), and I didn't use linen paper. But I still love it!  The sentiment is from SU!

I didn't use the technique described here, but I used the design concept, which I also saw here. I love the look of the stamped images extending beyond the inked panel.  The sentiment is from SU!.  The foliage is both SU! and Gina K Designs.

This technique has been making the rounds.  Here is one version of it.  I love the look of it.  I want to try it with some other stamps now.  Stamps are from Secret Garden from SU!

Can't for the life of me find the link to where I saw this idea.  I really like the embossed vellum.  I've been wanting to do a gray and yellow card forever.  So I combined the two and got this. Stamps from SU! Secret Garden.

My oldest daughter loves Hello Kitty.  For her 21st birthday I googled punch art Hello Kitty.  This is a combination of several different cards.  I thought she came out pretty cute!

I know I saw something almost exactly like this somewhere.  But I have looked through all my Pinterest pins and can't find it.  So I apologize to whomever made the one that gave me the idea.  But I do love it.  Of course, black and white is always a winner in my book.  The front panel is completely covered in diamond dust glitter.  So sparkly!  Background stamp is from SU!.  Foliage stamp is from an unknown source.

I decided to go a little nuts with this one.  The background is stamped with versamark.  Then the leaves are stamped and die cut.  The flowers were made by stamping and clear embossing  a design, then stamping and embossing with my Secret Garden stamps from Gina K. Designs. After die  cutting them, I popped tow of them up on different height foam.  A different look for me, but I like it.  I think I'll have to try something similar with other stamps and colors.

This is another one that is just mine. It ended up like this because I had ink on the side of my hand.  I left a smear right above the right hand flower.  Rather than recolor a complete new flower, I decided to just cut it out. This was the result, which I quite like.  This is from the Texas set of Stately Flowers from Gina K. Designs.

I've had this pinned forever.  I finally got around to making my version.  I'll add an appropriate sentiment when I'm ready to use it.  Stamps are from Secret Garden by SU!

I swear I got this idea from the same place as the collage cards above.  But heck if I can find it.  the background was done using the letterpress technique with an embossing folder. Portions of stamped designs were used to create each square.  I just thought this was such a cool idea instead of one stamp being the focal image.  Stamps used are from multiple sources: Club Scrap, SU!, and Gina K Designs.

I do like butterflies!  This was CASEd from here.  I may or may not add a sentiment.

I got the idea for these cards from this site.  I love her colors.  I don't have the re-inkers, though, and had to use puddles of ink from my stamp pads.  As a result, my colors are very muted in comparison.  I like them, but I really like the bolder colors of the originals.  May have to start buying re-inkers, now.  Just don't tell my husband!

My original plan for the first one was to do more layers, but I was tired and embossed the wrong layer.  Rather than add to my gazillion pieces of cardstock waiting to be turned into cards, I just used it.  But looking at it now, it looks kind of funny being so short.  May need to put another layer between the gray scallop and the burgundy base card.

Both cards had the floral panel sprayed with shimmer ink, but that doesn't show up well in the photos.  You'll have to trust me that they DO shimmer!

I'd like to say that I'll post again soon.  But I don't want to break any promises!  I got several new stamp sets for Mother's Day, however, that I've already started trying out.  So you never know....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Life Interrupted

Ok. 6 months. Wow.  Life has interrupted my blogging.  But I didn't realize it had been that long. I won't be boorish and provide details. I'll just jump right soon as I figure out if I want to talk about cards or jewelry or both.  I have been busy with both of those things since I last wrote.  Although showing and describing everything since then would take forever.  So I'll just do a few now and try to add a bit more regularly until I'm caught up.

There were two big things happening in my life just after the last post.

The first is that I was fortunate enough to be cast as Truvy in a local production of Steel Magnolias.  I had a blast! Here are my head shot (best photo I've ever had taken in my life) and cast photo.

Unfortunately, the second thing was terribly sad.  One of my good friends committed suicide.  She had been having some health issues that for months had been being brushed off  by everyone, including specialists, as "all in her head".  The last specialist who said it was the final straw.  She took her life.  In the letter she left behind, she asked her husband to insist on an autopsy.  He did.  I talked to him a couple of weeks ago (it took 6 months for the results--not a day or two like they show on tv!).  Turns out there was indeed something wrong with her that could have been discovered through more intensive testing.  I miss her terribly.

During that time I was playing around with copper etching.  Here is one of the pieces I made up.  I kept this one for myself.  The copper washer was etched  with a  design I stamped on first.  The leaf does actually have etched veins, though they are hard to see here.  This is a super easy technique .  Here are some great instructions!

I just realized I don't have more photos of anything I did at that time because I've put them in the shop.  My hair stylist convinced the salon owner to let me put my stuff up for sale in her salon. I sell a couple of pieces a month, which is nice.

Finally, for now, here are some cards I CASEd.  I use Pinterest a lot, and these were from an idea I'd gotten there.  I'll try to link to the originals if I can find them...

These cards used watercolor dry embossing .  You can find the tutorial at Splitcoast Stampers here.  I used Stampin Up! ink and an aqua painter to do the coloring.  I also have the Manhattan embossing folder, so that is what caught my eye originally. I planned on using the first two right away, so I stamped sentiments immediately.  The last one is still waiting for the appropriate occasion. 

This card I made from a stamp that someone had given me several years ago.  I tried to color it the way the stamp itself showed it  I am not a good colorer, so I am rather pleased with how both the roses and the birthday cake cards turned out.


Ok .  Enough for now.  Yesterday was our first snowstorm of the season (I know--in March), so I didn't go to work.  Today I have the stomach 'flu. I've reached my maximum time for being upright.  I'll try to catch up a little in the next week or so.