Monday, January 28, 2013

Must be the Time of the Year.

Or else cleaning out and organising is a contagious disease.  My sister emailed me last night looking for this link  because she's been busy organising her closet and thought the labels would work well on the storage baskets.  That way she would know their contents without pulling them all down to look in them.  Trouble was she couldn't recall what kind of tags I had used, thought they were luggage tags but in fact they were badge holders.  So that's her task for the moment, maybe she'll send some photos when she's done.

I continue to work on tweaking my craft room as I find some time and so yesterday I spent a few hours painting the odd shelf that I'd missed or added along with painting my punch stand.  Here's the before and after photo of the punch stand I made.

And here you see the boxes that I turned into storage for my Ink pads, with room to grow in numbers too. You can see to the left the rotating stand for the Distress Ink tools and underneath the foams are stored in their individual boxes.  These boxes used to hold beads before I re-purposed them.   I have to take off the bead labels and relabel them according to the ink colour.  Thank goodness for un du.

You probably have caught on to the fact that I like to re-use and re-purpose items rather than throw them out and buy new.  I like the way things have come together with a little TLC and white paint in this instance, with black being the contrast colour in this room.  

I'm not sure if I'm going to do this in the future.  Love the idea, but don't know where I would use them just yet.

Here's the link and a clear tutorial for how to do this yourself and remember though they have used a diaper box any size box could be used depending on what you want to store.

I have another idea rolling around in my head for my window using my Silhouette Cameo, but still in the thinking stages right now.  

When I tidy up a little, (it's never really all put away) I'll take you on a continuous look around the room again.


I know this is a bit out of season, but isn't he the cutest little Santa, would make a lovely hostess gift for next year if we start sewing on our felt now.  A few simple embroidery stitches embellishes him beautifully.  I'd leave a hole in the top to make it a hanging ornament 

And here's a great title for a scrapbook page or just as a reminder for every day life....

D├ęcosse's Dynamite Doodles: freebie

Well must run now, still have to proof the newsletter yet.  Did you notice the "oops" that got past both Linda and myself last week.  I'm not telling if you didn't see it.  

Wow, just read the newsletter, I'm exhausted just thinking of all that we're prepping for, my craft room may never get tidied up LOL.

Until Later, Happy Crafting


Friday, January 25, 2013

Deep Freeze

Are you enjoying it?  I'm not, I'm just not a winter body and don't like these days when it's hard to get your breath the air is so cold.
My dear hubby was just a little north the other day with a group that were dog sledding in South River and the temperature there was -40 Celsius.  Reminds me of the winters we used to have 25 or so years ago.
Still it's almost February so not much more to go.....sorry to all the readers who enjoy the winter, but I just don't and I'm the scribe here!

We had a great class last night playing with some Distress Inks using the direct to paper method of inking.
Some of the ladies had a WOW moment when they learned to make the tiny wee hearts from Stickles for their valentine card.

The third card we stamped just a small portion of a Kaiser Craft bird stamp making a very effective focal point.  Here's the valentine card, but to see the others, jump on over here to our flickr site, you'll also see the cards we made in the last Thursday Technique Class.

These classes are filling up really fast, so if you want to participate make sure you call or drop in well before the next class.  I think there are only two spots left for the February 7th class.

Don't forget the Crop and Craft Nights that are held every other Friday too. This is an opportunity to learn a multitude of different crafts as well as to be able to scrapbook if you choose.
This coming Friday we will have three people I will be teaching to knit, and Linda will be giving some instruction on a photo editing program to two others.
So if there's anything you would like to learn, ask us about it and maybe we can teach you, just don't ask me to teach you to knit socks!  I don't do circular or double pointed needles too well, but I have knitted many different patterned stitches which I can teach you.
Maybe it's embroidery you would like to learn?  That's taking on a new life lately with more people wanting to learn the many beautiful embroidery stitches.  I recently completed a table runner for Linda (yes it took me a year in between my other projects) that was a Swedish Weaving design.
So talk to us if there's some needle art you'd like to know more about and we'll see if we can help you on a Crop and Craft Night.

I found a lovely font recently which cardmakers and scrapbookers alike may enjoy.  You can download it for free here, just make sure that you are comfortable with downloading from the site.  I had no issues at all and have used the font already.

Linda and I have started planning an all day card making day.  We are waiting for date confirmation for the venue before we can announce it as a go.  As always we have too many ideas, so we have to pare it down a bit to stay within our five hour time frame.  This will be a mix of all occasion cards, so watch for the date announcement.

Here's a look at a couple of necklaces I made recently which I not only love the
look of, but thoroughly enjoyed the technique as I made it.
The grey stone on the left was hard to get a photo of because of the light reflection. Basically it's a donut shaped stone wrapped in silver wire with silver beads added to the edge on each wrap.  The same technique was used on the blue and green glass donut on the right here.

Hope to see you in the store soon, but until then,

Happy Crafting,


Monday, January 21, 2013

Still Re-Organising

You know, it's really kind of fun and a bit catching too as our dear Elaine told me on Friday that she has been inspired by Di and myself to work at  the re-organising of her crafting space too.

Remember I told you that I wasn't altogether happy with my Distress Ink stand.  Well I'm re-working it and so far am much happier with it.  I'm not at the point that I can show you the installation, but will show you a sneak peek here....more to come later.  I have two of these and can hold all my Distress Inks as well as some other ink pads too.

We've had our share of laughter and tears this past week, which in part was why there wasn't a bi-weekly posting.

There was much fun and laughter as it was my dear husband's birthday on Wednesday, which we celebrated as a family on Sunday.

I'll show you a couple of cards he received.  As she did with Jonathan's birthday card,  Linda also fashioned her Dad's card  from a previous card class.  

Here's the card class version with the flower vase and her more masculine version.

This one above is very personal and if you know us really well, you can probably guess how it relates to our family.  Drop into the store and tell us your guess.  

The card with the age on it....yes he really is that age and I was VERY young when we were married....LOL.  Well anyway, the banner down the right side actually removes and is a bookmark with a magnet to hold it firmly in place.

So for you ladies who often ask for birthday cards with a more masculine theme, here are some ideas.

Have you  been signing up for the Technique Card Classes, because that's when we try to incorporate the requested card themes?  They fill up really quickly so you have to be on the ball because although we have a waiting list unfortunately it's rare to have cancellations.

Linda and I had more laughs last week as we fulfilled our gift giving obligation....not that that's quite the right word.  We gave our daughter/sister a promise of a living room paint job as part of her Christmas gift. 
After shopping with her to choose the paint colours she liked, we made a plan to go there on Wednesday of last week hoping that at the very least we would be able to paint the ceilings. 

Hers is an open concept plan, so that meant although our gift was for the living room which included the front entry to be painted, we were aware that we would  have to paint the ceilings through the living room, dining room, kitchen and hall.  So we moved in with drop sheets, rollers, broom handles, paint brushes and of course the paint.  

We purchased the ceiling paint that goes on pink and dries white so that we would know where we had painted.  It's a stucco ceiling, a chore rather than a joy, so that meant we had to make our own joy, which we did.  Paint was dripped down the walls (wiped up of course) and on the black dog too when he decided to admire our artwork...LOL.  

But the biggest laugh, which unfortunately we didn't get photos of, and we actually didn't laugh until much later either, was when the paint bucket spilled on the carpet!  No of course it wasn't just a little, it was lots, causing us to scramble to scoop up what we could, mop up more and then use the carpet cleaner with clean water to get the remainder. You ask was it in an inconspicuous spot?  Of course not...right in front of the large window on a light grey rug.  However I would bet that you couldn't find the spot now, and I'd bet too that you wouldn't want to hire us to paint in your homes either!

The week also brought tears as Linda's mother-in-law's life came to a close early this morning.  A very sad time for all her family members.  
Many of our dear customers were aware of the challenges Linda faced last week as she was in and out of the store going to the hospital as often as she could.  She thanks you for all the love, prayers and concern you showered upon her. 
Though of course this was a week of sadness it also brought to the forefront the love and support of family and friends.  A son that lovingly sat and slept at the hospital hardly leaving his mother's bedside for more than six days, supporting and comforting her.  A granddaughter who also sat for many many hours stroking her beloved Oma's arm,  holding her hand, talking to her and showing care and kindness beyond her young years.  A grandson whose sorrow made it difficult to leave his dear Oma's bedside for the last time. 
But through all of these moments captured forever in their memories, the love for this dear lady was at the forefront.  She clearly lived a life that drew that love to be with her.
Remember my posting from last week.  It was taken from the blog and shown to Linda's husband as encouragement sometime over the past couple of days.

Don't have your camera too far away and miss the opportunities 
to record a life well lived and a person well  loved.

Until later


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Record Breaking Weather Weekend

Did you enjoy the mild weekend?  My husband was in Toronto on Saturday and it was warm enough that he was outside in shirt sleeves.  After a rather dull, dreary and rainy Friday he enjoyed the change in weather.

Saturday was also our youngest grandson's fourteenth birthday, so Friday night we celebrated with him, enjoying an at home family meal of home cooked fish and chips.  It's such a pleasure to watch him opening his cards, he so appreciates the thought and effort put into them. 

His Mom's card got a thumbs up when it highly met with his approval.  She had made a card that looked like a shirt with a tie and handkerchief in the pocket and of course in his favourite colour of pink.  Now how many fourteen year old boys would thumbs up a card like that?  

His favourite Aunt "Ninny" did a take of one of last weeks cards from class. Here's what we did in class along with her interpretation of it.  Do you see the similarities in the layout and the second generation stamping of the background?  Linda also created a mask where she stamped the boy so that the music notes wouldn't show on his face. She coloured the image with water colour pencils and added a lovely decorative pinwheel too.    It's a great way to create a new card by following the layout of a previously made card.



Continuing the Craft Room Tweaking:-

I've spent part of the day today making a stand for my punches to be stored.  I mentioned two blogs earlier that I'd bought three round curtain rods from the Restore to re-purpose. Well they have been used in my punch storage stand.  I'll give you a peek at it, but it still has to be painted, so you'll see the finished look later.  I've put my most used punches on the stand and there's loads of space for growth if I need it.

I've added some knobs to the little cardboard boxes that sit on my bookcase and hold flowers, butterflies, spritzers,  masks and such.  Here are the tools I used to create them.  Thank goodness for my local scrapbook store that carries all these supplies....LOL

And also a look at one box with the pull on it and another before the pull was glued onto it.

(Oh........I see another shelf to be painted)

Gift Idea

And here's another craft that Linda created as Christmas gifts for Jonathan, Rachel and Emily and which they were absolutely thrilled with. Randy cut the wood shape and drilled all the holes and Linda did all the work of painting the golf tees and bases.  Well worth the effort when we saw their faces though.  There of course is a story to these inasmuch as when we travel one of the restaurants of choice is the Cracker Barrel.  For some it's the food, but for the three of them it's being able to sit at the table playing this game until your food arrives.  Who do you think the pink one belongs to?

Spring Mega Crop Weekend

You'll have noticed in the newsletter that we have confirmation now for the Spring Mega Crop Weekend.  So get busy and talk to your friends and family, arrange your days off and be ready when we announce the opening of registration in the weeks to come.
Linda and I have begun the planning process for the class and will soon look at "make and takes" and all the other aspects that go into what we hope will be another great weekend retreat for you.

Until Later 
Happy Crafting


Friday, January 11, 2013

Did you Notice?

Depends what time you were looking at the last post as to whether or not you saw the photos I posted.  What a challenge that was!  I'm not a computer "nerd" by any stretch of the imagination, but can usually work a program to my advantage....however.....the programming changed and I wasn't ready for that.  

The quick easy way that I had always been able to upload photos didn't seem to be available to me any more.  I had to learn another way of uploading, that in itself was a learning curve.
Then to cap it all off, my sister-in-law sent me an email to say that she had seen that she was featured on the blog, but could only see the one photo of my Distress Inks...Yikes!!.  This was just about the time that people would be opening their weekly newsletter and hopping across to the blog to see what was new and I had no photos showing.  

After a bit of struggling I found I could upload photos my old way if I used Google Chrome (I'd been avoiding changing to that... I HATE CHANGE).  So I reloaded photos with the exception of the Distress Ink because that was showing, right?  I forgot to upload two of the photos in the rush to get it going again and then found that now the Distress Ink photo didn't show any more.  Why are these things so difficult?

Are you getting the drift?  I haven't been around my computer since then because I was sure there were Gremlins living inside it and I wanted no part of them, but here I am again re-energised from a great card class at the store tonight with some wonderfully fun ladies.

First I'll repost the photos of the Distress Inks that I labelled.  I'm not sure I'm completely happy with them and am working on a different way of doing it now.  I made the original strips a little wide and my tape that I covered the label to keep it clean was wider than it might have been...however not a bad first attempt.  As they release, I will replace them, but in the meantime here's the photo that you should have seen.

I'm not finished with the shelving unit I'm making for them, but will show you that later.  The new labels I've typed up will wrap all the way around the ink pad, being visible from all sides, with the name on one side.

I also mentioned in the previous post about some merchandise changes at the store, but forgot to post those photos in the rush to get the blog up to date when the photos didn't show.  Here are the two sides of the glue aisle since Linda reorganised them.  Much easier to see and select  product now.   Drop in and have a look at the selection.

I mentioned earlier that I was re-energised from a great card class tonight.  We have a fantastic group of ladies that join us for card classes and they are continually challenging us with requests for class content.  
Tonight as we all got back into routine, they were in top form completing their cards in record time which allowed for some of us to have an impromptu class on quilling.  This has been a request before as class content, but can be time consuming and a little fiddly for some peoples hands. However tonight I had a chance to show those interested in this technique how to make a few simple flowers and stems.
I'll post tonight's cards to Flickr later.

Before I leave you tonight though ladies, I thought I would share with you an article I found when blog hopping the other night and along with it a request from a customer for a quote I had seen last year.  Both things tie in quite nicely I think you'll agree. 

The blog entry is about a young woman called Aleida which you can read here.  It is a story that though sad I would encourage you to use as a poignant reminder of how quickly life can change and follow the example of Aleida.  Don't worry if your hair or your clothes aren't perfect when someone has the camera out.  

Take the photo that you are who you are and leave proof that you lived on this earth.
Go the step further and scrapbook those not so perfect photos so that those that come after you know who you are in all facets of your life.

And the quote that I shared with our customer last year and which she was asking me about on Tuesday is this.   Sorry I don't recall exactly where I picked it up, but think it could have been a blog called Ginger's House, she has some lovely word art you can download.

I challenge you to make sure that everyone knows that you lived and scrapbook those not so perfect photos in Aleida's memory.

Until later, Happy Crafting


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

So how was your Christmas Break?

Ours was lovely, with lots of food, family, games, toys to play with and time to play!  Although too soon it passed by and did you's only 350 days 'til Christmas again!

Do you use Skype? So many people use that to keep in touch with far away family and certainly we do.   
We had a camera tour of my sister-in-law's small bedroom and now her new craft room that she received as a Christmas gift.  I can't show you the live tour, but can show you some photos she sent.  She has made terrific use of a small bedroom making it into a great crafting space with all her favourite toys, like her PC, Silhouette SD and Cuttlebug able to sit out and be used
She used some eavestrough  (guttering she called it) to hold her ribbons, towel rails for her punches, spice rack for her Stickles to just name a few repurposed items.  The boxes hold all the "clutter" giving a more uniform look. 
Don't you love it? 
Amazing what you can do with a small somewhat under used space, which will now be used often.   And yes there's still space for the throw out chair that her grandson sleeps on when he stays over, all that in a 9 x 6 space...great planning job!

  Here you see the before and after of the space behind the door.

 A work in progress as the wallpaper is removed to create this lovely bright and cheerful room.

And the finished wall with all those lovely boxes and I see the Cuttlebug has a home now, but the SD still sitting on the floor for the moment.  No, I see from the next photo that was the empty bag and the Silhouette has it's own spot too.

 The counter top was just the right height to accomodate the storage drawers beneath, and don't you love those cube shelves to tidily store the myriad of things you have in a craft room.  Along with the high shelf around the room for those not so often used but needed tools and supplies.

Then just around the side we see the sewing area.  Notice the eavestrough (guttering) with the ribbons on display 

Here's what Di had to say about her new space.....
I love it,  I can work and leave the project laying,  ready for a quick pick up when I have a dot of time without having to clear a room and protect the work in progress. 
I have a  birthday card to make today for Sonia, this will be a special card for so many reasons, including the first fully created and completed card from my craft room.

Looking at what Di had created made me realise I wanted to "tweak" my room a bit more, so that's what I've been doing the last couple of days.  I'll show you a little, but more will come later. Sometimes these projects never end!
I've been promising myself for a while now that I would label my Distress Inks, but on the other hand I knew it would be a time consuming job.  So yesterday was the day for that along with building a unit for all 30 some to sit on
The shelf isn't finished yet, so I will show you that later, but here's a look.

My other promise to myself was to better organise the right side of my workspace to store my trimmer and guillotines. I did this by moving the small unit over a couple of inches to allow a narrow space to take both guillotines, the trimmer which I don't use so often is behind the large guillotine.   Do you see those two empty magazine racks?  They are just waiting for two to three new albums to be completed and put in there don't you think?
I added another shelf on top of the unit to tie it into the paper storage stack and then a narrow shelf that ties into the shelving unit that goes across the end of my desk space as well as the paper stack, making for a more unified look.  I have to paint the laminate and pine boards so I'll show you that when it's done. 

Notice the paper towel holder that I purchased from Habitat on the weekend along with three round curtain rods that I'm repurposing and will show you later what I'm going to use them for.

Of course this reorganising leads to other moves too as I'm relocating my beads for better access.....coming soon! Like I said earlier, these projects never end, but when crafting goodies are easily accessible, crafting is a whole lot more fun and productive.

Have you been able to find a small space in your home to make into your crafting space?  If you have we'd love to see and share it with our blog readers.

We've been reorganising a bit in the store too.  Often what we do, though it makes a difference doesn't really get noticed too much, so I thought I'd include a couple of photos that Linda sent me today when she got this section completed. 
Both photos are of the aisle that holds the glue........all papercrafters have been there at some time or another I'm sure! 
The first one shows the brads and eyelets and such remerchandised and off the spinning racks that we had there.  We were finding that many customers didnt realise to spin the rack and see all the other goodies that were on it, so now it's spread out over the two boards. 
The second photos is the opposite side where the buttons and flowers were always merchandised.  Now cleaned up and reorganised to enable you to see them at a glance.
We've also moved the felt.  Still at the front of the store, but opposite to where it was so that it too has more room to see all the lovely colours. 
If you haven't seen the changes yet, drop in and we'll show you and there's more to come too!

Linda mentions in the newsletter how Rachel got back to her sewing machine again.  She made a cover for a pack of purse size Kleenex for her Mom for Christmas.  First having to work out all the measurements and make her own pattern and of course the unique matching of fabric to incorporate both herself and Emily in the design.  She also made some fingerless gloves for her Dad with a pair of socks which turned out to be more challenging than we had thought, but nevertheless finished fine.

The purse Linda shows on the newsletter as she said was a kit that Rachel made all on her own whilst we were at work one day.  Oh, yes there were a few phone calls to qualify some of the instructions, but she completed the project herself cutting the fabric as directed in the instructions....very well done!

The stuffed doll she is now starting on is from a magazine my sister sent to encourage her sewing talent.  For this, she has cut apart an old tee shirt and tea dyed it to get the fleshy colour.  The pattern she and I scanned into the computer to enlarge it to 110%.  Yes it could have been done on a photo copier, but when you don't have access right then to one, it's good to know another way to do it.    Photos will likely come later, but school is back now and dance and an exchange program coming up soon to Quebec....this is one busy little girl!

I've so much more to share with you, including how to "Sullify" yourself if you should ever have need to do that....maybe for Hallowe'en
The exploration of a new camera....a toy that Linda made for all three younger grandchildren...however the time moves along and I'm off to bed
Oh right ...the newsletter to be scheduled first.

Before I go though I want to say Happy Birthday to a dear cousin.  Many milesaway, but so close in thought today.  She's the one that keeps in touch with all our family, keeping us close no matter which of the three continents we are on.  She's the "hostess with the mostess" and everyone loves being in her home.  I hope all her family spoils her today.

Until later...Happy Crafting,