Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

I won't even go back and look at how many blog posts I have started out by saying, 
 "I have not abandoned my blog!"
 Far too many! 
And, as usual, its been far too long since I blogged. 
 I am about to change that.

First, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
 I have lots of things to post that I did-
but will save that for another day-maybe Christmas in July-past and preparing for the future one! Hmmm...not a bad idea!  

Second, I hope and pray that everyone will have a HAPPY, HEALTHY and BLESSED 2015.
While last year held a lot of heartache for me 
with the loss of two of our furbabies and a number of other significant trials, 
I will say that, even with each challenge, loss and heartbreak...
from those scars came new insight, healing and yes, even growth. 
 One of my favorite Christian songs asks God to
 "heal the wounds but leave the scars" so we'll know how far we've come...
'nough said.

Some of you I know tune into my blog for my CAT TAILS -- er, TALES...
the littles (aka Sir Stirling and Sir Sebastian) are six months old give or take--
and FULL of themselves!  
This is what happens when two littles 
get to wrestling in a papasan chair...they spun the whole thing off the base!  
If you look close in the far upper left corner you can catch a glimpse of culprit #1...
aka Sir Sebastian...

and in this photo culprit # 2 aka Sir Stirling 
(who was, most likely, the instigator in the whole incident) surveys the crime scene...!

They keep me laughing with their antics 
and I have plenty more of those to share as well...
but let's get to some crafting because I have some great things I want to share...
at least I think they are!

Flylady would be proud of me because not only are ALL my Christmas thank you notes MADE
but they are signed, sealed AND MAILED!
This is what I came up with.
Yes, that is a doily, yes, those are SU mini pearls 
and the sentiment is SU also as is the now-retired dp.
The bird is a Cricut cut with a teardrop punch for the wing
(since I broke my SU bird punch (unusual as SU punches are awesome)
 and it flew to Theresa's for repairs...and we've both forgotten about it!).
The leaf is a Martha Stewart punch---that has also died (which is typical for her punches).
I did some of these in blue and some in a burgundy with CTMH retired Bella Vie papers.
Yes, I know the colors aren't a purr-fect match but well, close enough to suit me!
Trying to use what I have on hand--so I will have a legitimate excuse to buy more!

I have to confess--that stamp is awesome and I've had it for ages---
and it had never touched an ink pad!  
It's a new favorite for me now that it has!

And I just realized...that I didn't take pics of the thank you notes I did for the preschoolers
who gave me gifts.
I may try and peel open an enve to post those or just make one or two more
since I have not cleaned up my supplies yet.
It involved lots of color, and crayon stamps---they were cute, too, but I am biased and bragging.
Isn't that what a blog is for?!

So, something about the quickly approaching New Year every year
puts me in a clean it up, throw it out, organize it frenzy.
This year was no exception.
I was focusing on my magic kingdom FIRST for a change!
And I came across all my bits and pieces of punched items,
die cut items, parts I didn't use but well, just couldn't part with.
How to organize them so I actually might USE THEM
instead of just moving them around the room?
Well-one trip to Wal-Mart and one box of 
and some tape later...
and this is what I have...

I just put each item in its own sleeve and taped a sample on the outside!
I "filed" them in the basket in categories (flowers, shapes, Halloween, etc.)
I have not (yet!) made dividers and, ideally, I would like to have something with a lid on it to store them in as I can see myself turning the whole basket upside-down and having a grand mess!

As I made/cut things-I tried to remember to write the size or dimensions on it 
in case I want to make more!
And yes, I just wrote on them-my OCD in me wanted a pretty printed label-
but I LET IT GO and did it the quick and easy way--
maybe someday my computer and printer will be in the craft room together with my other tools!

This has been super super handy in the last few days!
FYI-if you try this---get TWO boxes of cd enves--they even make a heavy-duty brown chipboard type enve that I really liked-these were cheaper-I just should have gotten more!
A few of my cuts...were too big for the envelopes--and I will have to deal with that...
I am thinking one of the long accordion hard-plastic envelopes would work for those.

I did not take a picture of the organizing of the embellishments like the strips of
adhesive backed crystals and pearls---but that is easy to imagine.
I simply got snack size Ziplocks,
put like things together,
printed a label and stuck it on the upper right-hand corner of the bag.
These, too, are organized into another green basket and labeled-
and as the bags are slippery-I can see them going everywhere as well.
Next trip to the $ Store I think I will pick up a couple of coupon holders
to slip the bags into and then put them in the basket.
I *think* that will work!

Another crafty tip or trick that I KNOW WORKS! 
I have a few rolls of WASHI TAPE.
Really-only 6-7. For now.
And I've been looking for a dispenser/storage idea for those as well
so they were sitting out on my worktable.
I went to cut some things on my not-so-sticky Cricut mat
when the paper went cattywhampus and slid off the mat
while it was still cutting.
Oh so not good!
What to do?
Of course, I was in a hurry---
and I saw the washi tape sitting there so I grabbed it,
tore off two small pieces
and taped the very edge of my cardstock to the Cricut mat.
I reloaded it and presto! Perfectly adhered paper to the mat
and the cutouts I wanted!
And the good news is---it peels off easily without leaving a mark or tear on the paper!
Guess you know what I will be scouring the clearance shelves for-the ugly ones that are cheap, cheap, cheap until I have time to learn how to and try to resticky my mats now that my warranty is up.
(and yes, I have tried painter's tape-but it stuck worse than it helped...).

But then---that's not all with the WASHI TAPE!!!
I did all those pretty notecards---even stamped a doily border on the enve
and put them inside and tried to seal them.
No go.
The enve barely stuck shut.
Now what to do?
Well, WASHI TAPE to the rescue again.
While what I had on hand didn't perfectly match my card and enve--
it was ok and it worked like a charm!
My collection is going to grow-and fast!
SOOOO many pretty ones out there.

Long post.
The blog needs updating, there's lots more to share and tell,
thank you, computer, for behaving long enough to let me get this post done.

2015 is going to be an interesting year.
So far, I have managed to maintain the changes I hope to make
and, in the days to come, hope to add to that list.
NOT beating myself up if I fail or don't live up to my own expectations,
just starting over where ever I am.

Stay tuned.
I will be back soon!
In the meantime,
happy stamping and scrapping!