Browsing "Musings & Random Thoughts"

RAK – Random Act of Kindness

This just blows me away.  About once a year I get a package in the mail from Kable Products, in Fairfield, Ohio.


I received these Kimberly Hodges, Embossed Stickers.  They are really cute but for the life of me, I don’t know how they got my name and address or why they send it to me.

At my church (Elevate) we are currently in the process of 40 days of kindness leading up to Easter.  I don’t know if I’m just more aware of random acts of kindness because I’m doing my best to pass them out or if because I am showing the love, God is returning the blessings.  Either way if you sent me this RAK, thanks it absolutely made my day.  I can’t wait to use these on a card or maybe include them in my GS or GD’s albums.

Also, if you sent me this let me know I would love to return the blessing to you.

I’ve Been Bitten – Copics

I started watching some Youtube videos on how to use Copic markers and I just had to have some (“of course I did”).

I had this card that had been stamped with one of the Magnolia stamps (I don’t own any) and it is not on the best paper for this type of process.  However, to practice and see how these alcohol inks worked it was nice to work with her while I watched a video and mimicked the process.




I’ve got a lot to learn with this process.  Although the look is very similar to the Prisma Color Magic Pencil Technique, the process is different because these are alcohol inks. Shading with alcohol inks is very different from shading with colored pencils.  I can manipulate the color pencils better, once alcohol inks dry it’s a different process to get them blended.

I also have a very limited number of Copic markers at this point.  You know I can’t resist having a bunch of these. If you click on the picture you will see there are places that look a little rough.  That’s because I didn’t have the right color to go back and blend with and although Copic markers has a blender pen, it does not blend it lifts ink.  That’s alright, that is how you learn.  The paper you do this on is very important also.


The flowers on the left are Copic markers and the ones on the right are Prisma color pencils using the MCPT.  They are both beautiful and they look a little different because I only had a few colors that were the same as the color pencils.

As you can see though the Copics have a richer color and the Prisma Pencils a white cast or light cast.



There are a few things I would do a little differently.  I searched the Internet for Copic markers and thought I had found a good price.  Unfortunately, today I found them at http://www.carpediemstore.com/mlistCategoriesAndProducts.asp?midCategory=336 for $3.95 instead of $6.45 ea.  You pay a little more for shipping (depending on where they are shipping but to Texas about $12.75) but the savings on the pens are worth it and they ship from CA no taxes to us.

These are Sketch Copics not Ciao.  The difference is Sketch Copics are oval in shape (they won’t roll around on your desk).  Is that important?  Yes, because as you get to coloring you can have 10-20 pens on your desk at a time.  They are a little larger so they hold more ink, there are more colors in the Sketch line than there is in the Ciao line and the Sketch Copics cost more (because they hold more ink).

Susanne over at http://www.scrapbitz-tutorialsandtemplates.blogspot.com/ has a Copic Starter List (scroll down about 2/3’s of the way). I wished I had seen this information before I took the advice from someone else on what colors to buy to start out.  If you are interested in starting this type of coloring you will also want to consider if you will be coloring objects vs people.  If you will be coloring people then you want to be sure and get the Copics that do the skin tones you want.

Also,  I would go to http://copicmarker.com/library/ and scroll down and print off the blank color chart.  You can see the colors on line, use the information Susanne’s website provides and use this chart to see how the numbers fall in the various color hues.  Like she says you don’t need every color (shoot!) but you do need to get the dark, medium and light in the color families so you can shade and blend appropriately.

I hope this helps anyone out there who is thinking of getting these markers.  They are truly vibrant and I know once I get the right paper and technique down I’m going to be doing a lot of this.  Coloring is so soothing.

Let me know if this helps and like Susanne says “hugz”!

Advent Calendars or Count Down Calendars

I made an Advent calendar for my DGS two years ago.  I had seen an Advent calendar in a magazine designed by Karen Foster’s Design but when I went to get it, it was backed order and never came in.  So, I ended up buying a very small Christmas Tree shaped one at CVS and decorating it for him.  It was one of my first projects with the Cricut.

Then my DGD comes along and again, when I went to get a good Advent calendar they were sold out.  The ones I found in the stores ran around $40.00 and then I would still have to redo them.



My BFF (Phyllis) took me on my B-day girl trip down to a little town called Waxahachie and they have a great scrapbooking store.

They had the Advent calendars in stock and I grabbed two of them.  I’m going to start working on them now.  Ok, so I’ll get them on my list of things to do.  I’m going to try to do them in the colors of their room with keeping them as close to Christmas as I can.  I’m also using colored metal on some of the days.


I’ll try to remember to post as I start working on them and get them done.  The other part of this is now I have to find 24 items for 2 Advent calendars so I’ll have to start Christmas shopping early.

Alcohol Inks – Sunflower

I absolutely love this stamp.  I don’t own this stamp but my BFF does and she took the stamp and put it on photo paper and then colored it with alcohol inks.

The picture does not show how intense and vibrant the coloring is but every time I look at it I just gaze because it looks like a real sunflower.

Hopefully, after I get my “Woman Cave” back in order, I’m going to try to make a card with this image.


So, stay tuned and let see if I can get this one made this week.  The other thing I’m going to try to do is start cleaning out some other closets.  It is supposed to be cold here again this week so I’m not going to be venturing out too far.

Dress For Success

Today my #2 Daughter came over to help me clean out my clothes closets.  That’s right it is plural and I had a mess of things that I kinda of wore or forgot or they are now too big.

She had me take everything out of all the closets and we started sorting into various piles.




Since I retired I don’t have a lot of use for all my old suits, so we are going to donate them to an organization called Dress For Success.   You can learn about them here. The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Fortunately, the suits that I am donating are the size that they need.  So, Daughter #2 said she would take them and have them all cleaned and get them to the organization.  Thanks Amber and it feels good to know they will be going to help someone.


This pile went to Medina Children’s Home.  You can learn more about them here.  They take in used clothing and turn them into cash.






My clothes filled 3 closets in 3 rooms (I’m so embarrassed).  I had things I had forgotten about and I had one item I hadn’t even taken the tags off of.

We went through shoes, purses and even found a box full of stuff that the kids made when they were little.  That became a scrapbooking opportunity for me and I’m going to get rid of some old cards.

My #2 Daughter likes everything on the same color hangers and as you can see it is very neat.




By the end of the day we had gone through all three closets, including my hall coat closet and got all my clothes into to this closet and my golf,  and work out clothes on 1/2 a rod in a second closet.  My new rule is if I buy something new, something old is going out.







I can’t tell you how much this takes a burden off my shoulders.  It’s a mental thing, the more clutter you have the more difficult and overwhelmed you will feel.   I knew I needed to do this but kept putting it off, but #2 Daughter was ruthless (she was nice but determine) and we weeded through everything.  She made me tell her why I wanted to keep something and if she didn’t think it was cute and I wanted to keep it she made me try it on and show her.

Next time she is going to go back through and give me some insight on how to put different things together to mix them up to get “more bang for the buck”.


Now, I’m geared to go through and clean out the rest of my closets.  I’m in the mood to pare down and live a little more simpley.

Winter Wonderland

I have had a new hard drive and upgraded to Windows 7 yesterday so I don’t have anything to show you.  All I can say I love my son-in-law Travis.  He is my IT guy and he keeps me current on technology and things I need when my laptop starts showing some signs of slowing down.  Thanks Travis for taking care of you Mother-in-law!

There were a few pictures I hadn’t shown everyone of the 12″ of snow Texas got just a week ago.  This week the temperatures have been back to normal; however, they are saying we could have some flurry this coming week.



Here is a shot of a bush that blooms this time of year and this was what it looked like on Jan. 27th.






Now here it was it look like on Feb. 17th.  This is after it had snowed most of the night and all day the next day.






This is a shot I took up through our 24 year old Red Oak tree.  The white dots are the huge snowflakes that reflected the flash back.






And finally this was the following morning.  It was quite and as you stood there and looked out the snow would fall through the limbs of the trees.

Our house backs up to a greenbelt which makes a perfect backdrop for this wonderland.

God displayed the beauty that only He can provide in such a marvelous way.  This took my breath away and I’m so thankful that I was able to capture it in pictures.


Thanks for stopping and don’t forget you can click on the picture to enlarge it.



Organization – Makes Me Happy

After I added the 3 additional JetMax Cubes to the “Woman Cave”, I decided I needed to do something about the tangled mess of wires under my desk.

I move my laptop from the “Woman Cave” to my chair in the den all the time and wanted to have easy access to pull the power supply.

But I always seemed to be getting a hold of the wrong plug and disconnecting my phone.

 

With my label maker in hand, I took the time to label each plug.  Genius!  I also took the power supply my lap top and put it at the very end, that way I would always know what plug I needed to pull.

Sometimes it’s the little things that makes us happy and anything neat, orderly and labeled makes me very happy!

Ladies Head Vase

This “was” a 1956 Ladies Head Vase.  This belonged to my Step-Mother who past away a couple of years ago.  It was in mint condition.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have it in a good place and it got knocked off and broke.  I was just heart sick, but I should have put it some place where it would have been safe.

 

 

Used this adhesive to put it back together.  I can’t say that it is as good as new but I can say it is now in a safer place so it will not get broken again.

 

 

 

 

 Here she is all mended.  I’ve put her up on a shelf away from things that get “tumped” (go ole Texas lingo) over and away from little hands.

Here’s to you Melba and thank you for everything you did for me.  You were an awesome step-mom and taught me so much.  Every time I look at this lady it reminds me of You, for you were a true lady.

Snow in Texas – Twice in one Winter

It snowed here all day yesterday.  The flakes go from being small and light to huge flakes.  If you click on the picture you can see what I’m talking about.  This must be getting close to the end of time if it is snowing in Texas twice in one winter.

I have enjoyed this so much, but of course I don’t have to get out in the cold.

 

 

 

Henry is checking out the fireplace and thinking, oh yeah this is the spot I’m staking as mine.

 

 

 

 

Oh, baby it’s cold outside and I’m headed to the kitchen to make hot chocolate.  Enjoy your day, Friday we try to get out and go bowling.  There is a bowing alley locally that opens up their lanes to all the senior citizens for free.  Hmm, I really hate to admit that I’m a senior citizen (according to them) but enjoy being able to play for free.

Less Than 5 minutes – OK right at 5 minutes!

If you haven’t seen my “Woman Cave” here is the link.  I fell in love with these JetMax cubes simply because they house all the stuff you need for crafts in a very orderly way and there are so many versions of the cube to meet every organizational need you could have for a craft room.

Since Christmas and my Birthday I ran out of space to store some items so I decided to add more JetMax cubes.  These cubes run about $29.99 retail (or as I say $30.00) at M’s; however, I wait until I get a 40% off coupon and they are not on sale (when they put them on sale they are usually only 30% off).



My TV sat on my desk and all of the drawers underneath it are full of Cricut cartridges.



If you look underneath my desk you can see the edge of my printer.  It is setting on a plastic two shelf stand on rollers.  Needless to say the printer is bigger than the stand and so it shakes when I use it to print.



Ok, I confess I’ve added 3 new JetMax cubes to the 21 I already had making me a grand total of 24.  I added this 3 drawer underneath the TV.  Yes that is Barefoot Contessa on the screen.





I decided to see how long it would take me to put this little 14.25″ square box together.  Now let me say before I begin this is one of the easier ones because it doesn’t have any drawers (with a bunch of little screws).

So it is 3:45 PM and I snap a picture of the clock.  Honestly, this is real time stuff…..I know you are on the edge of your seat.



Since I have put so many of these together, I have figured out there is a simpler way to put the initial box together than how the instructions says to do it.

I put the bottom and the sides together holding them in place while I slide the back panel in and then put the top on.  I then screw the top into place, turn it over and screw the bottom into place.



Here is the finish product.  This one is going directly under my printer with the longer slots horizontal to hold the paper for the computer.  I have 8.5 x 11 white paper, some pink paper and some paper that has been printed on one side.  I’ll recycle that paper for test cuts or test printing.





Drum roll!!!!!!!!   Yep, this took me no time at all, of course I used an electric (ok, battery operated) drill.  Thanks Phyllis & Joel (it was my Christmas present 2 yrs ago).  Nothing like having friends who understand your love of power tools.





Slipped it under the printer (of course I added the little 4 drawer JetMax cube as well) and it works perfectly.  It steadied my printer and the cubbies are perfect for my paper, ink and photo paper.

I’m not paid by JetMax to advertise their product; however, every dealings I’ve had with this company (they are here in TX) has been very pleasant.  Out of  all the JetMax cubes I have bought only one was missing some screws and a handle.  I called them and they sent the missing items to me no charge (not even postage).  This is a great product and I wish I had thought of it!


There are literally so many combinations you can arrange with these little cubes.  My favorite are the 4 drawer and the 3 drawer.   Some of them even come with little dividers so you can corral all the tiny stuff.

Hmmm, I wonder where I can add the next group of JetMax cubes?





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