Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am a recycler ... it is what I do. I check the bottoms of my plastic containers and save the foil pie plates and break down all my boxes. This is serious stuff! I talk about people that think they can recycle pizza boxes (you cannot), or that think they can take the weekly city paper in its plastic sleeve and toss it into their recycle bin (they cannot), or that think they can put out 5 cans of paint and expect it to be magically picked up (not). Yeah, I am pretty militant about it.

So I am in one camp: do not throw out - recycle. Then there's the reuse/re-purpose camp, where you never throw out anything, and everything gets altered or somehow made to serve a different purpose. This is not me, largely because I have no space. For me, recycling is the best option.

For tonight's project, I would like to start out by saying: I tried. A lot. I really did, but I have failed you. My goal this evening was to take the instructions in an SCS Demo post* about how to make a woven basket from your SU packing paper (or some newspaper, or a magazine). What a great idea, says I. I am crafty. I can weave. I have SU packing paper. Let's give this a whirl!

First, I rescued a few bits of packing paper from the recycle staging area in my Kitchen. There are three pieces in this pile.

Whaaaat? Three pieces of paper = three shipments from SU since I last recycled a week or two ago. What's your point?

I stretched out one of the pieces ...

... and cut it into 37+ inch lengths.

The instructions said to cut the paper into strips 37 3/8 x 3 1/2, so mine are about 37 by pretty much 3 1/2. Here is my helper with the 3 1/2 part. She was holding down the larger pieces so they would not fly away.

And here she is guarding the pile of torn strips. Cut? I was supposed to cut them? Bah! Who has the time?!?!?

I guess she decided to settle in for a while.

I folded the strips as instructed ... in half, opened them up, folded each edge into the center and re-folded. Think back to when you made chewing gum chains, and you'll get it.

She looks so serious!

The base is 10 strips by 10 strips, so here are the first two strips woven in ... so far, so good.

Here's the completed bottom. I should have stopped here. After this point, I got just a little frustrated.

Next I wove each side into a triangle/diamond as instructed, and it sorta started to come together, but not really. I have made real baskets before, and most basket material is stiff, where this stuff is not. I spent a lot of time dealing with all the flopping over silliness. Ugh.

I would have taken some pics of the 'sides' part of the effort, but it was all I could do to deal with the floppy sides and stubborn ends, and like I've said before, my third arm was out for repair.

Here I have two floppy sides done, and I had to move my helper to work on side three.

I ran out of clips, and all my flat, non-clip clothes pins are holding my ribbon stash, so you can see I've used some paper clips here to try to hold things together.

After finishing all four sides, I was supposed to weave the corners together, and that's where this all went South. Not pretty. So since the base was still sound, I thought I'd try to take another piece of the paper and cut it into loooong strips, then try to weave with the single long strip of paper.

Here is the folded piece of loooong paper ...

... off of which I hacked a strip. Think of this as a chiffonade and you'll do fine.

I would like to say that after a few pathetic attempts, I gave up, even with Plan B.

The bottom is not so bad ...

... but the top is a real mess!

I think this really is the best use for this paper. Until tomorrow, when it shall be recycled. I know when I'm beat(en). She wins.

*If you are not totally discouraged by my tale of woe, and you would like a copy of the instructions, please let me know and I'll send you the file. It was printed in a Canadian magazine, so it is not a secret or anything ...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just Stash Cards (No Tome)

I promise tonight's post will not take you an hour to read like yesterday's post did. I need a hobby. Oh, wait, I HAVE a hobby. Never mind.

I have spent a bit of time playing with some of my rediscovered stash, and along with some help from my fellow bloggers, I made these:

The idea for this started with June's card where she used this rub-on from SU. When I realized I also owned the same rub-on set (can you say: too much stuff?), I broke it out. For the layer under the rub-on, I thought the 'love' was Regal Rose, but that was too pink, so I tried Ruby Red - too red. If I'd been paying attention, I would have also CASE'd the color June used - Cameo Coral. Oh, well. I used Ruby Red here.

But my coup d'etas (my HS French teacher would be so proud of all this French I scatter about!) was the fabric. That's right - fabric. I was talking to BR #2 last night, and she is once again out of control, but this time instead of collecting rubbah, she took a side trip to Quilting, so she is collecting fabric this week. Our conversations led my thoughts to the pile of Fat Quarters I carefully ironed a year to two ago, as I was sure I'd have something to go with Baja Breeze - and I did! In my Fat Quarter-buying phase, I bought mostly fabrics with a gold thread running through them, and if you look closely (go ahead, click on the pic - you can see the gold thread in the pattern ... I'll wait ... ... ...) See? Gold!

So I cut the fabric (not straight - HA!), but the cool thing with fabric is you can pull the threads and it straightens itself! I added some gold cord from my hoarded stash - done!

Next, we have what I think is a picture of a piece of fabric. I think. (Oooh, a common thread in one of my posts.) I found it during the cleaning of the table yesterday, and I put it with my pile of Parent Sheets in The Other Room.

Aaaaand, I got some new goodies in the mail today - stamps from Purple Onion Designs. This shopping episode is brought to you by Lauren, who is totally responsible for my undoing. Once I saw this and this, I was doomed. She suggested I make a card to enter the contest to win free stuff, but puleeze, what part of 'instant gratification' was not clear here?! Like, I'd win, anyway! And if I did not win, I'd have missed the window for purchasing these lovelies at the advertised discount. So I shopped. It is still all her fault. :P

Now if you would please scroll back up to the photo, you may notice the embossed stamped image on that paper. That's one of my new stamps. I stamped it with Versamark and embossed it with Copper EP. The paper is mounted on a base of Dusty Durango, one of the new SU In Colors. The ribbon is some luscious satin I got at Mike's for $1 - for 15 yards, not the usual 3 yards! I bought many. I did a faux bow, which is cool because you can slide it over if you decide you do not like it in its current spot, and I did - move it, that is.

I decided to not cut out the center part of the flourish, and instead I dug through my trinket stash and found this pocket watch, which I stuck on with a mini glue-dot and tucked under the bow. No sentiment - I think it's busy enough. This one will go in my Any Occasion section.

Before I leave you this evening, I must show you something. This:

The cat is still trying to to get into my lap, but tonight she settled for putting her head on my shoulder and snoring. Her behind is on the arm of the couch, and she is draped over the pillow to get her head onto my shoulder. She is such a squishy feline.

Okay, I promised no tome tonight, so I leave you to get back to whatever constructive activity you were doing before you started reading this.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Baby Steps in The Other Room, and Two Cards

I am about to take you on a very long tour of a very small part of The Other Room. When you see how much s-crap I have packed into this space, you will hopefully begin to understand the seriousness of my situation. Let us begin.

I was focused on the table top, but I thought I'd pick up this small, innocent-looking bag of UFOs from the floor to see what it contained. Oh, boy, what was I thinking?! From inside this small bag I pulled the following:

A few pieces of square patterned papers that I'd punched with my Wrought Iron punch, which I think I no longer own.

Some long-ago retired strips of patterned paper. I loved this blue back in the day... still do, actually. It's Brocade Blue, I believe.

Oh, look, more! These are actually pre-cut layers, ready to go on some cards.

More retired DS paper. I think this stuff was Holiday paper, but it looks very Preppy to me. This is a UFO ... a card begun but never completed. I see potential.

And more of the same papers, all Xyron'd and ready to go! Wanna take any bets on if there is any 'stick' left on these? I'll report back on that.

More paper I loved for the blue, and also the Cranberry. I should be able to make quick work of these two.

A pile of Cat bookmarks. I cannot bear to toss them, but I am not sure what I'll do with them. It might be time for some hacking into parts. We'll see. I no longer own this set, either, or I'd just toss these.

A card from BR #2! She does not even remember sending me any cards except the one on my Closet Door Gallery.

And, of course, the matching envelope. BR #2 always stamps the envelopes, too.

Some printed pics of ... I'm not sure what (maybe the canal) and a stray Rosie's Roadshow duck, all on top of a pile of computer-generated sentiments. All keepers.

TA-DA! A table top! YAY! (The crowd goes wild!)

I took the table DOWN. Then I set to work on all the s-crap piled up under it. Most of it was there because kitty helps me by jumping onto the table and kicking off miscellaneous items pretty much every day. So I did not consider my work here done until I also went through the stuff directly under the table. Just the loose stuff, mind you, not the boxes of stuff that will wait for another day.

I re-discovered my Just Rite stamper and some accessories, which I dutifully stored in one of my existing cabinets. Also among the items, I found ...

... my very first Farmers Market permit, which I got in September, 2004. That first day I set up in the pavilion with a card table and a table-top spinner rack. Ah, the old days.

I also found two of these partial cards (UFOs). Not sure what the paper is, but it is stuck to an Olive base.

TA-DA!!!!! The FLOOR! But I was not done!

For my next victim, I chose this pile of pillows and un-ironed ironing. None of the clothes in the pile still fit me, but they have been there so long, they need to be washed before they can be triaged for ironing. Then I'd probably give it all away. But un-ironed - no can do.

I tossed the pillows aside, then took all those clothes, and unceremoniously dumped them into the hallway. I have since washed them and as soon as they come out of the dryer (it took two loads), I have some decisions to make, and some ironing to do. This is the trunk post-ironing heap.

This trunk used to house my entire collection of craft items. That's pretty funny now, I know. Wanna see what's inside? Let's open it!

Hey, it's not even FULL! Wazzup with that?!?!?! Oh, look, some pipe cleaners and my stash of plastic canvas from my magnet-making days, and the no-longer-missing book of magnet patterns.

Okay, now THIS is old! How many years has MJDesigns been out of business?

Yarn and beads. Left from the days when my kids and I did crafts. We used these to make ....

... these! They are called God's Eyes, and they are a standard project in most pre-schools, which is when I think we made them. Given that my boys are in their 20's now, well, I'm just sayin' ...

And shells from years past that my kids could not leave behind on the beach. I have no idea what I will ever do with these.

Given the fact that all these items have been here for about 15 years, I think it is safe to say I need none of them. This means I could also get rid of the trunk. Well, I could! But not today, so I closed the lid, put the pillows back on top, and started some laundry.

While I washed all that un-ironed stuff, I went back to a project I started last night. I tried to do the Faux Linen technique and somehow incorporate the new SU Rich Razzleberry (I struggle with purples). I stamped the flourish from Baroque Motifs in Rich Razzleberry onto Glossy White card stock and dried it with my heat tool. I then used some sandpaper to rub off the gloss in one direction (let's call it 'vertical'), then in the other direction (that would be 'horizontal'). Then I sponged on some So Saffron to make the 'linen'.

This is one of those cards that just evolves. I sit there looking at it until I try one more thing, then one more thing, until I either give up or go to bed, which is really just giving up, only horizontally. Before bed, though, I added the sponged Razzleberry ink, then I distressed both the white and the DS paper, then I added the black layer, then I added the black brads, THEN I went to bed.

This morning, it was still there, taunting me. That's when I decided to work in The Other Room. But after The Other Room work was complete today, I had to face the music. I spied the first embossed Pretties Kit flower I'd done the other day. Remember the Melon Mambo flowers? Well, the first one I made was Rich Razzleberry. Then this card started to come together. I formed a faux bow out of a strip of the Razzleberry Lemonade paper; punched a black 1/2" circle for the center (and to hide all the seams); stuck in a black brad, which also goes through the flower AND all the layers except for the base; stamped the sentiment (it was out). Done! Whew! I am not sure I'll make another one of these.

Then I took one of today's re-discovered UFOs off the Mini Heap and made this. The image is from the several images Kristie sent me to try out. I colored her, cut her out, colored a chair, cut it out, and sat her on the chair.

The heart was cut from a Celery scrap and embossed with my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. I decided to put her on the heart off-center, and I added some ribbon from my stash and a(n) SU layered sentiment.

This was a LOT of work! I think I'll try something different with the other UFO. For now, it is back on The Mini Heap.

If you are still reading, I am amazed. I think I'll go finish the un-ironed re-wash so I can wash some clothing to wear to work tomorrow. Then I plan to get some sleep.

Hey, thanks for stopping by!


Is this not GORgeous?!?! I think it is a trivet. Or a cheese plate. I could make it serve any purpose I want, right? :-)

A friend of mine is overseas for a few years, and in her travels she went shopping in Poland. She saw this and thought of me, so she sent it to me! How sweet was that?!?!?!

Uh, yeah, green and blue, hello! This is so perfect for me, and I am very touched she thought to send it.

In other news, I am working in The Other Room today, with a goal of taking down the 6-foot table. That means I need to find new homes for all the stuff ON the table. It is going well, and I hope to have a happy update later today.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Market Update (long-winded)

I learn a lot at my market. I learn mostly from the farmers about how little we citified folk know about fruits and veggies. Or maybe it's just ME! Maybe all of YOU know these things, and I have led a very sheltered life. Or not. Today I learned that I mis-spoke last week when I told you these were black raspberries and red raspberries.

In fact, these are BLACKberries and RASPberries. Note: there are more blackberries this week and there were more raspberries last week. End of one season, beginning of the other. It's all about the seasons, and in about 10 more years' exposure, I might actually remember some of it.

THESE are a combination of black and red raspberries. I stand corrected. I have much to learn.

And yes, we have PEACHES!!! Both white and yellow. Let's see if I can get this one right.... White peaches are higher in sugar content, but yellow peaches have a stronger flavor. But this year, he said with the amount of rain we've had, it's a toss-up. I selected some yellow beauties to come home with me.

More sweet peppers. These are just so pretty!

Tiny eggplants. They do not get much bigger than this. I'll let you know if that was another mis-speak if they are bigger next week. Like I said ... much to learn. The fun thing abut Farmer Mike is his farm grows all sorts of interesting varieties of things like eggplants and squashes, so he likes to test me. I usually fail, but if I can manage to write down the correct answers, I'll be sure to share with you.

These look harmless, but as they say: the smaller the pepper, the hotter the pepper. Later in the season I'll take a photo of the habaneros and other hotties he offers.

Aaaand, we have CHERRIES, both the sweet and sour varieties. Farmer Margie was making fun of me, or maybe she was not laughing AT me, but WITH me, maybe. I asked her how to tell the difference between the sweet and the sour. Can you guess the answer? Well, then I read the signs and I saw that the ones on the left were sour and the ones on the right were sweet. Look at them. The ones on the right - the sweet ones - are darker. I muttered something about the sweet ones looking darker, and bingo! I'd answered my own question. So I bought one of each. I love cherries. I will have to don some protective clothing before I work them, though. I smack the cherries with a knife (like you do to break open garlic cloves) to pit them. It is very easy, but it makes quite a red mess everywhere. I cannot wait to eat these!

My fleurs du jour. I just love the variety!

Today was beautiful. It was hot in the sun, but we had a nice breeze most of the day, plus I was under a tent, or hanging out in the pavilion with the farmers. Sales were slow for as nice as it was outside. Most people were probably taking advantage of it not raining and getting stuff done around their yards. I had an okay sales day - nothing to write home about, but totally worth my time to be there. It's all about the people, anyway. Molly's Dad came with his wife this time (I finally got to meet her!), and they bought more City cards. I love repeat customers!

And the dogs! I took a bazillion pics of dogs today, but none of the photos came out good enough to be blog-worthy. I'll try that again next week.

Two months into the market, and I finally thought to ask the vendor who makes the little girl's dresses and hair clips (and who is a fellow ribbon addict) her name. I am BAD. We talk all the time, and she knows my name. I'll probably forget hers by next weekend (Hi, Mary Beth!). Ooooh, all I'll need to do is check out this post next weekend so I am not totally embarrassed. Sigh...

The kids were back with their beverage stand. They did really well today, too! I bought a can of iced tea to have with my berries, as I'd finished all of my water, and they were all sold out of water. I told you it was hot!

This was lunch. Okay, this was the healthy part of lunch. I also had a killer cheese bread/roll and a cream-filled donut from the bakery. What?! Hey, in my world, all that fruit totally makes up for the 1,000,000 calories of sugar and fat that was the rest of my lunch.

After I packed up the car, I was weak from the heat, and I had 4 errands to run before I could go home. I stopped in at Chloe's Coffee Shop to buy a frozen drink and to check on sales (3 more cards sold - woo-hoo!), and to swap out some older inventory for some newer stuff. Then I stopped by a new restaurant down the street from Chloe's because, as it turns out, one of my stampin' customers' parents own it! I needed to drop off something for them to give to her as she is getting married next week! She and her family are operating on adrenalin right now, I am sure! I then stopped at Mike's (across the parking lot from Chloe's) to get a frame for a new photo I bought (more on that when I get around to hanging it); stopped at the pet store to get Her Highness more kibble; then I came home. A quick shower was necessary to wash off the hot and try to get my body temp down below 'uncomfortable'. I am fine, now. Don't get old.

And I don't know about you, but I see color combos EVERYwhere! Look at these rubber bands. Why do I have them? I use them to loop around my card rack sections to keep the cards in place when it is windy. I'll take a pic next weekend to show you, but for now, these were waiting their turn and I happened to notice the colors. I see Brocade Blue, Sage Shadow and maybe Lovely Lilac? I'll have to give that a try!

Man, where has the day gone? Sigh. I hope to play with some more stamps tonight and tomorrow so I have something of substance to share with you. Because of Mary Dawn, I also have some cork out on my table, so I hope to use it some time soon, too. You just never know what I might cook up! :-)

Thanks for stopping by!