Altering composition books is crafting 101. It's one of the basic projects that requires minimal tools or skills and yet it's one I come back to again and again. Why? * Composition books are about 10-20 cents a piece during school supply season Cha-Ching! * They're tough enough to withstand a lot of abuse. * Way better than having dozens of post-it notes hanging around * They make great gifts. * You know that paper that's too pretty to cut into? - This gives it a nice, long, happy life.
My DH switched to using composition books for work to keep track of notes, to do lists etc. He's a hard core techie, iPhone loving gadget guy but his composition book never leaves his side. They really are awesome tools.
But they look so boring.
All I do is ink the spine side edges of decorative paper and then attach it to the cover (ATG is my fave but any adhesive all the way down to glue stick works fine.) Then burnish the paper down thoroughly. Use a brayer, use a spoon - just do it. Trim excess paper with an exacto knife and then file the edges smooth. If you are so inclined, ink the three outside edges and you're done. The binding on composition books is typically very uneven. When it's too much to ignore, I cover the seam with a piece of ribbon. In the case of Chris's new purple skull notebook I had to do this.
Tip: Did you know that the back of printed grosgrain ribbon is solid colored and just as textured? Obvious right? Not to me. I was bemoaning the fact that the only black ribbon in the house was a very girlie polka dot and then it hit me to check the back.
Chris's Notebook (with ribbon seam correction):
This is what is left from a sheet of 12x12 paper:
This paper was so cute I was saving it for something special. I thought my budget/financial planning notebook was a deserving spot:
But I only had one piece of paper and didn't want to put something different on the back. I cut the top strip off and layered them to form the back cover in two pieces. This only works with some patterns, but it's worth a try. Here's mine:
Budget News: In 48 Hours I've trimmed $300 from our expenses - YAHOO - and set two of our variable bills to equal pay. Equal pay is the coolest thing ever. Especially when you live in a crazy climate and your power bill can swing as much as $300 from one month to the next. We are also refinancing our house tonight from a variable rate mortgage to a fixed one with a lower interest rate. How awesome is that?
I have so little control over my health and the things that are happening, it's wonderful to be gaining control in this area of our life.
Most homeschoolers take Friday off for field trips or just hanging out. We skip Monday. Usually Mondays are filled with laundry, house work, baking, crafts, phone calls etc. The kids are all bedraggled after the rigors of the weekend and trying to get them to do anything more strenuous than reading is just too big a chore. We may be backwards in this but it really suits the ebb and flow of our family life.
So, Tuesdays are my Monday. The day the fun stops. The kiddos are particularly antsy this morning. My back is a wreck so taking them out to explore is not an option. I think they'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. Life is such that sometimes you have to work when you'd rather play - something we adults know all too well.
Two years ago we tried to get our environmental house in order and we did good. Part of the reason for our success was that I posted almost daily about the changes we made on my Live Journal. It really helped keep me focused. Now, with a horde of medical expenses on the viewable horizon we are going to need to get our financial house in order. It's time really. So expect this space to be cluttered with budgetary highs and lows. Among other things, I'm paring down my scrappy toys. First off I'm selling:
DoodleType Cricut Cartridge Never Used, but opened and petted *wink* Thirty Dollars *shipping included* USA residents only as it keeps shipping sane. If you are outside the US please email me and we can work it out.
Remember Healthy, Wealthy and Wise? Haven't posted mine in awhile so here goes~ Healthy: Took a three day med break. Very painful, but good as I was extra-vigilant about ice, water, gentle movement etc. Plus it's good to check in when you're taking the strong stuff that you're not getting too friendly with it. Wealthy: Working on a budget. Canceled a lot of non-essentials recently, among them Showtime, Starz, Audible, Big Fish, Netflix and The Scrap-room (*sniff*) Wise: I'm still reading several crappy books for every book of value. But I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and was pleasantly surprised.
Please leave a comment telling me your Healthy, wealthy and Wise list. I'd love to hear them.
Yesterday I had my weekly doctors visit and it didn't go well. Fortunately I was all done moping so I was able to bring my happy, positive mindset to the appointment. Not to go into it all, but if any of you have experience with pain clinics and chronic care plans/teams please contact me. I'm on the emergency ~ See Her Now ~ list so it shouldn't be long before I start down this new path. Thank you Cathy for the lovely card. Your work is even more gorgeous in person.
A month or so ago I changed my outlook on this bone disease. Initially I stuck with a "wheel chairs are not an option" mantra and it has worked for me for the past four years. This past four months though, that hasn't been enough and as my mobility has been reduced, a little voice kept shrieking, " It's only a matter of time". So I changed my perspective to a less positive but a lot more fun one. My new plan has been to do everything I can while I still can, no matter how hard it is. Now I say, " Imagine how much harder this would be if I was in a wheelchair." I came on this thought when I was pondering if a doctor told me I'd lose my sight in one year, would I spend the year learning braille and set up my home for blindness or would I go and see the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, my gorgeous home province of British Columbia and try to cram in a lifetime worth of seeing to remember in the years of darkness.
With that in mind, I've been doing hard things. I'm terrified of bridges but when we were in SanFrancisco I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, I nearly had a heart attack for fear and my legs buckled, my back spasmed, I had a really hard time. But I did it and I wouldn't have missed the view for anything in the world.
LOL. Okay I could have missed that part of the view - it was a LOOOOONG way down.
Here's some proof that we did it:
We also went to Timpanogos Caves. It's this killer hike straight up nasty, nasty switchbacks to a pitch black subterranean caving experience. It's not "limited mobility friendly" in the slightest. Chris and I were both sad that we never took Dad to the caves before he had his stroke and we wanted to learn from that mistake. So up we went. I fell five times, my legs completely canned out on me and my back said, "Uh, uh. Not gonna do it" But then I factored in the thousands of steps it took to climb Timpanogos and five bad steps didn't even make up one percent of the trip. Good thing I have a big strong husband with quick reflexes. He's getting good at catching.
They call this a trail!
Inside the cave:
I'll have to think of something else too good to miss to do this weekend :-)
Tomorrow is Pioneer Day in Utah or perhaps it's called Days of '47... I've heard both. We aren't big celebraters of the Mormon pioneers but it will be nice to have Chris home for a long weekend.
The crop yesterday was a ton of fun and the winner of my challenge is Adeline Brill. Congratulations, Adeline
Today I'm hosting a challenge for the 24 Hour Crop Hop at Scrapbooking and Crafting Friends. My challenge is to make a layout, card or altered item for a guy. Boys, men, males, husbands, fathers, crushes, bosses - we all have them. Making a cute card for us ladies is easy peasie, but boy stuff can be a real headache. I'm hoping that the entries for this challenge will give us all lots of ideas for the next time we're stumped when we sit down to make a birthday card for that someone special.
1. No ribbon, bows, sewing, butterflies, buttons, bling or glitter of any kind.
2. Use at least one piece of fabulous texture to make your project special.
3. Post a link to your completed project both here on my blog and post a pic at Scrapbooking and Crafting Friends on THIS thread by 11:59 EST tonight.
P.S. To make this card, I drank a delicious clementine Izze and then cut the can into a flat panel. I ran the metal sheet through my cuttlebug using an embossing folder (little squares - can't find the name), trimmed it to a rough rectangle and matted it on black cardstock. Then I added black brads to the corners both for additional adhesive support and to look cool. I took a piece of corrugated cardboard (thanks Amy from Gauche Alchemy ) and bent it in half. It makes a mighty CRACK sound - this is okay, just make sure the smooth side is on the inside and the bumpy side is on the outside. Trim to the size you want your finished card to be. Stamp images. Mat on black paper, attach to metal card front. Using glue dots, affix card front to cardboard card base. This card is thick so make it about a quarter inch smaller than the envelope you intend to use.
Do you know it took me months to realize Tobor is Robot in reverse?
Tomorrow I'm participating in a 24 Hour Crop Hop for Scrapbooking and Crafting Friends. I'm posting at noon EST and my challenge will have something to do with the guys in our life. The prize is two page kits:
Plus I'll be throwing in some cardstock and other goodies :-)
Hope you pop in and check it out.
Oh, wow! Yay! Yippee! Stephanie Corfee posted another GORGEOUS free digital image? You can get it here, but only for the next three days.
Did you notice some changes around here? A few weeks back I added "follow this blog" and I would absolutely love it if you followed me. It's really thrilling to watch the pictures grow. Yesterday I changed my header and finally filled in the "About Me" profile jibber-jabber. Since I've been here over a year I thought it was about time.
This project has been like a bad relationship. I keep trying to make it into something it's not. So here, in front of the world, I'm facing the fact that I made a nautical, patriotic, BINGOLICIOUS beach tote that would rock the socks off seniors centers everywhere. No amount of sequins can make this project any less geriatric. So, hooray. I plan on making one of the octogenarians in my life very happy. Sometimes something just is what it is.
Shiny Sparkly Goodness:
And while this isn't exactly my crowning achievement, this sweatshirt is going to be awesome. Sometimes a new technique needs a couple of tries before you get the groove:
One of my personal strengths is great mental health. When things are good I'm happy, when they aren't I can be appropriately unhappy for a reasonable amount of time. I consider myself lucky beyond measure for this. I'm also very much in support of the concept that it is okay to wallow, for a set amount of time and then dust yourself off a get back to living. It helps you not bottle up the ouchies and then explode in a glum grenade and need serious help pulling it all back together.
So, I'm wallowing. My doctors appointment last night was a real downer and now I'm looking down the barrel of stuff I really don't feel like dealing with. So today I'll mope. In fact, I've reserved through Sunday if need be. Then I'll dust myself off, remember it's nothing personal - life is hard, deal with it - and get back to my perky self.
You find on occasion near trash cans at bus stops and on checkered floors in restrooms: stray metal crescents that have escaped the confines of a brassiere.
How fares the breast now unsupported? Will it dribble down the torso like fat sweet drips on an ice cream cone?
Or will the mesmerizing orb girded by years of upward thrusting fulfill it's elastic destiny and cling with gravity defying delight to the upper third of the chest?
And how do these bands spring to freedom? One day with an anarchists cry do they hack through seams with a mighty push and pop break loose. Jabbing a pit in retaliation for years spent toiling in sweaty servitude?
Or is it something less exotic? Too much laundering. The slow demise of a workhorse. Are these flat silver slivers merely evidence of a woman's strength expended?
So... a lot of you ladies know me as a crafter, but before that my main hobby has always been writing. I've finished several novels, wrote a glut of bad poems and my articles have graced the pages of Family Fun magazine and several international homeschool publications. Why am I bringing this up? Because I really don't write as much as I used to. When I ran rateyourwriting.com there was always writing, editing and reviewing to do. Spare moments were filled with words. But writing is a hard thing to do in snips and bits. I need time - full hours even - to get back into the swing of it. Crafts can be made while talking my kids through their lessons, gabbing on the phone - glue dries while dishes are being done. It's a whole different set of requirements. I'm a creative person and as long as my need for expression is met, I don't really care if it's through writing, scrapbooking or stool making.
Still, it would be nice to get back to being a person so inspired by the everyday that I have to write about it.
We all really like having some of our games in the front room where we play them. Since we've been wanting to chop our hideous, thirty-dollar garage sale brown coffee table into pieces, I thought altering it and having some fun wasn't too big a risk.
I spray painted the frame black and then decoupaged dice fabric to the top, center panel. I'm still covering it with coat after coat of varnish but snapped this pic so I could share:
Here is a close-up of the distressed top:
I'm itching to get back to small precise crafts like card making - hopefully soon :-)
My boys are slowly training me on what works on cards for boys and what doesn't. Apparently the darling "monstahs" out there are too baby-ish and adding ribbon and buttons is universally girly. The most scathing rebuke I've ever received on a boy card was, " this doesn't look like you made it for him, you made it for you." Ouch!
So when making a coupon for Trenton's birthday for a driving themed present I tried something new. I went very, very simple with cool metal mesh and only one embellishment. I let the hand-drawn steering wheel do the heavy-lifting for design and then just left it plain. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy. I wanted to stitch down the mesh, add some details - embellish!
But this card got a whole chorus of "cool" and "wow" and "I really like that" - which is the point. After all, I made the card for him, not for me.
Summer is a season where kids can vacillate between too busy and bored. This can be tough on us moms. I bet everyone knows this trick already but I thought I'd post it as a reminder.
Move the toys. Cycle through them, mix things up. When things stay in one place too long our eye can skip over them as old news - I know mine sure can when it comes to paper and kits. So move things around. Think of how inspired you are when you re-organize your craft space and then give your kids that same feeling.
We have a buffet in our front room that has a few plants on top of it. I moved the plants to the great room and replaced them with this:
Am I going to win any interior decorating awards? No. have my kids given me several hours of peace save for the squeals of delight at rediscovering old favorites? Yes.
And it didn't cost a cent. In this economy, enjoying what you have is the best way to make it through.
Good heaven! I have a teenager. Fortunately, I think he's planning on reading his way through the rough bits. We'll see about that. Not to be a walking cliche, but I'm really too young to have a teenager.
We spent his birthday at the waterpark. My littler guys:
Here is another LO I did for Scrapbook Sussies. I got to employ one of my favorite techniques of cutting around the edge of a large pattern and tucking my photos underneath. It really helps the pics not sit on top of the page looking out of place or plunked down. I think integration is the toughest part when working with a large design.
This page was originally conceived as half of an "angel or devil" two-page spread. You can see the pics from the other half here.
For a lot of you this is the end of the work week and the start of Fourth of July Weekend. Hope you are planning something special. We don't really celebrate Fourth of July. It's an adopted holiday we often forget - which seems impossible when there is a fireworks stall on every corner. We usually do some major home maintenance on holiday weekends as we're crowd-phobic so I'm thinking about painting the living room. We shall see.
Thanks for the kind words yesterday, therapy went great and I feel beat-up today but in a good way.
Did you see I bumped Trenton's silhouette in the top shot? I haven't done that since the '90s. LOL.
This paper was a challenge for me as I don't usually use product that, in my DH's words (not mine) is so gimmicky and specific. But I really like how it turned out and it was a great paper to reinforce the theme of his new found interest in astronomy.
The very talented Ann from Creative Antics is celebrating her one year blogiversary with a gigantic RAK. You should scamper over and check it out. Click here.
Speaking of one year blog birthdays, my one year just passed, unnoticed and unheralded. I've posted 276 updates this year - that's not so bad for a person who wasn't sure about blogging.
I was so honored and completely blown away by the request. Sussies is a really, really cool kit. It is LOADED with embellishments and features two different fairly-large-on-their-own paper lines. I couldn't believe all the rub-ons, thickers and goodies in my bag. WOW.
Here's another LO I made with my very STUFFED kit:
Last week my Oodles of Doodles assignment was to incorporate hand stitching into a page. I've been grabbing a needle and thread for practically every page. It adds a bit of "flat texture" that makes me happy.
The Scrap-room announced that they are having a design team search. You can read the info here.
Also, Bombshell Stamps is looking for a handful of new designers. You can read about the call here. I know a lot of you gals are amazing card makers and I encourage you to try out for the team.
My health is still crummy but we've started having hot weather so hopefully the plants will all die soon. Isn't that a terrible attitude? When you have a bone disease that is triggered by immune response and also have bad allergies; plants become the enemy. I'm back to physical therapy tonight and I'm looking forward to making progress there.
My dear friend Jason had his book published. He is one of the writers for Damn Interesting started by his brother, Alan. The book is called Alien Hand Syndrome and it features material both from the website and never seen before articles. I've read most of the book and it is weird, wonderful and well-written. Check it out.
And finally, HAPPY CANADA DAY, everyone. Do something Canadian today to celebrate - be polite, say your sorry if needed and drink some beer :-)