Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Craft Room

Well, I am finally going to post some pictures of my Craft Room. Mostly so my little sister can see the minor changes made since her visit here a few weeks back. It's not the "magazine" craft room I have seen others post, but it is mine and it makes me happy and that's what really counts. 

My husband & I built the room twenty-something years ago in our basement. Twenty-something years ago when I liked to sew and make clothes. When we bought our house the entire basement was unfinished. Before long we started sectioning it off and building spaces. One end is now his den. Originally the opposite end was walled off and he had his workshop in there. But as time went on he outgrew the space and we had a detached shop built out back. Once that was complete we walled off half of what was his shop and turned that half into my sewing room. The other half remained a small garage area, and by small I do mean small. The only car that will fit is a very compact compact. When my husband went through his mid-life crisis he felt the need to buy a Miata convertible and he kept it in the garage, and it was a tight fit. Now that space is storage for ice chests and grand-kids battery operated jeeps and such.

When we turned my half into a sewing room we put up luan plywood and laid a linoleum floor. It is the only living space in the basement that has a linoleum floor. And with good reason - linoleum is not that easy to lay if you can't afford to rent the right equipment. And back then we were still raising kids and really couldn't spare that extra so we had to roll the ridges and lumps out by hand. We also installed stock cabinets bought from a home improvement store as well as stock laminate counter top. Once I started setting up my sewing room I realized I needed more storage & work surface but because of the cost of more cabinets we opted to build a frame for the counter top and slid some metal file cabinets under those. And it all works fine. 

But time passes and people change, things change, jobs change, children grow up . . . in general, life happens. And over the years I fell out of love with sewing. I will mend something from time to time, but I have no interest at all in making a garment from scratch like I did so many years ago. I started sewing clothes as a teenager because, being from a family with seven kids there wasn't always money for the latest trends so I figured out how to make my own tops and alter jeans to make them match my tops so that they would/could be considered "pantsuits" since that was the only way girls were allowed to wear pants to school. When I was pregnant I made almost all my maternity clothes and when my children were pre-school I made almost all of their clothes. I could buy a yard of fabric from a remnant table and make a pair of snap-crotch short leg overalls for little more than a dollar. Catch a sale on Health-Tex shirts and my children were always dressed cute. But somewhere over the last twenty-something years I fell out of love with sewing and slowly my sewing room accumulated a lot of stuff that didn't really have a home anywhere else in the house. 

Fast forward to Dec. 2008 - I am fortunate to be in a position where I can take an early retirement. One of the first things I decide to do in my retirement is pull out my scrapbooking materials that had all been packed in a closet for about 10 years. I started scrapbooking back when Creative Memories was all the rage and everyone was having CM parties and crop parties. I really enjoyed scrapbooking, but it got pushed aside after I took a promotion to management in 1997. With the promotion came job requirements that ate into my free time and left me so mentally drained at the end of every day. I also had to make business trips several times a year. Usually the better part of a week, but some trips were for 2 weeks at a time. I was too busy to even think about pulling out my scrapbooking stuff just to have to pack it all away again. 

Now that I was retired I wanted to get going with it again. But again, life interrupts. Six months after my retirement my father-in-law passed away and my new job became P.A. to my mother-in-law. She was so lost and at times she seemed so confused about life and what she should or could do. Just about the time I think we have all the business handled she starts having health issues. And, as much as we have encouraged her to consider assisted living, she will have nothing to do with it. Fortunately though, things have settled down into a regular routine for us now. 

So scrapbooking was back on the front burner. I set up a folding table in my den and started trying to organize half of my small den into my scrapbook space. Oh, I forgot to mention my den, didn't I? Yes, well . . . my den is the room that was my son's bedroom as he was growing up. So we are talking about a room that is basically 11'x12'. A small room that already held a 3 section entertainment unit with TV & stereo, a computer armoire with high back desk chair, a 32" three drawer chest, 2 small bookcases, a wooden file cabinet that doubles as an end table and a love seat. The entire perimeter of the room was covered and then I go and add a 6' folding table and two Sterlite 7-drawer organizers. All that was just making me feel so claustrophobic I was quickly losing interest again. But knowing how much I once enjoyed scrapbooking I knew I needed to do what I dreaded - clean up the sewing room and move my scrapbooking downstairs.
Easier said than done, but finally I managed it, after several weeks of work with no less than three pick-up truckloads to the dump and about six truckloads to the local non-profit. I also spent one entire day scrubbing the linoleum back into a decent condition and two days repainting. It was already painted white, and even though the paint was not damaged, it had yellowed with age. I painted it white again. I thought about painting it pink, or lavender or some of both, but in the end white won out just because, to me, it makes the room much brighter. So, after reading all that you are now entitled to see the images, but don't expect the sounds of awe or angels trumpets since it is really just a basic craft room. But it is mine and I am thrilled to have it! :)

This view is what is on the left-hand side as you enter the room. Shelves for a lot of my supplies. The two purple boxes on the top shelves hold wood mounted stamps (one day I plan to remove them from the wood blocks) and spare supplies such as tape and Xyron adhesive and such. The middle left shelf has two clear boxes. One full of ribbon and the other full of assorted embellishments. The middle right shelf has 4 smaller storage containers with stickles, alcohol ink, metal brads and embellishments and my Just-Right stamp sets. Bottom left green container holds Tattered Angels Glimmer mist. Next to that are five plastic storage binders for my stamps. I also have a square box with odds & ends, my Croc-a-Dile and my picture guillotine there. The bottom right shelf has jars with buttons and my ink pads. This is also where I drop quick items such as my regularly used "Thinking of You" and "Miss You" stamps that I use for my Operation Write Home cards. And then we get down to the counter-top where you find three magazine storage files, my shoebox I use for stacking my OWH cards as I make them, the Xyron, Cuttlebug, baby-wipes (I use these to clean ink off my stamps mostly, but also for wiping the counter off or anything else that needs a wipe), my scissor storage and a mesh basket catch-all.  And on the right hand side of the shelves is my bulletin board. I used the peg board that was already there and covered it with eBay material and eBay ribbon. Good place to show off a few cards. Oh, don't look under the counter. That's just storage of some miscellaneous craft items, my old storage/tote that once held my scrapbook paper and a large storage box full of picture that really need to be sorted.

This is the view taken from standing in the door. You see on the left edge the bulletin board mentioned in the first photo. Next to that are three more shelves - mostly storage. Top shelf had two storage boxes full of picture. Middle shelf left side is my embossing materials. Middle shelf right side is gift wrap tissue and ribbon. Bottom shelf holds two open baskets - one holds a spare roll of paper towels and the other holds painters tape, a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a can of bug spray (it is a basement so creepy crawlies like to visit from time to time and they get greeted with enough spray that they can swim home). Below the shelves is a utility sink. Moving to the center you see my Pink Cricut and on the "Flying Nun" shelves above my Cricut are my carts and Cricut tools. Next is a stack of scrapbooks that are all "in progress" and my Cricut mats hang on a nail above them. Far right is a PC, I don't like it because it is slow as molasses, but since it is all I have available it will do. In this picture you can also see my sewing machine.

Here we see the third wall of my room. Picking back up with the sewing machine you can see beside it a pink tote that holds my Copic marker collection. Next is the table I sit at to color stamped images. On the table are the two Sterlite 7-drawer storage units, which if you count them, are now 6-drawer storage units. I had to remove one drawer to make them fit below the paper storage. But waste not, want not - I stacked those two drawers and my hubby cut a top for them and they are also on the table with all my paper stacks stacked on top. I keep the mini stacks in those two drawers. And I love my new paper storage. I had to wait about six weeks for those paper racks to get here from back-order, but I do love them. And the closet unit in the corner holds stuff, just stuff, like beach towels, a couple of boxes of stuff I brought home from my office when I retired and my nursery ensemble (which isn't in there right now because it is loaned out to my daughter to use for her new grand-baby for when he comes to visit her at her house.

There is no picture of the fourth wall because all it would show is the opening into the rest of the basement, the edge of a mirror my hubby is going to hang over my sewing machine one day soon, the end of my ironing board and my laundry space. Nope, no picture of all that - lol. So, there you have it. My Craft Room. I hope you enjoyed that little tour.

Footnote: I call it my Craft Room because I seem to do more cardmaking than scrapbooking these days so I really can't call it My Scrap Room. :D 
Oh, and here is a small peek at where I was trying to work:
(NOTE: This is not the 6' table I had in here to start with. My MIL needed my 6' table so DH bought a flimsy 4' from Wally World for about $20 - you get what you pay for as they say. Just made me more determined to finish my craft room - LOL.)
Kinda sad, I know.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SRM Stickers Challenge Card

SRM Stickers is also sponsoring a challenge featuring Operation Write Home (OWH).


This is my entry in the SRM Stickers Challenge. The cardstock is AC Textured White and the printed paper is from the Pink Paislee Bayberry Cottage 6X6 mini stack. I added some of that generic grosgrain ribbon that I got on eBay (no name brand to share on that), and the small red square is part of some generic cardstock I bought from Michaels Craft Store years ago.The Hello stamp, gee I don't really know for sure.

A very simple card. And easy to put together, the hardest part was probably the bow, but even that was easy enough - I used the "Fork Bow" method. I found this on several blogs and forums, but I originally found it on Diana Gibbs blog, Stampin with Di & everyday this 'n that

And, Here is the sketch provided for this challenge:

I rather enjoy doing challenges that also offer me the opportunity to add to my OWH collection.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OWH (Operation Write Home) Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge #36


This card is made on an ecru cardstock. I'm sure to many it would seem this card would have been better with white cardstock & white for the circle & sentiment, but this is what happens when I start out with different paper in the beginning & the card slowly migrates to something different. It is what it is - lol.

Both designs of the printed paper are from the Bayberry Cottage 6X6 paper stack by Pink Paislee. The right side is a smaller image of the Picket Fence print and the left side is a smaller version of the Gazebo print. The grosgrain ribbon is some generic ribbon I got off eBay.  The flower stamped image is from Hero Art and I believe the sentiment is from an Inkadinkado set, but I can't say absolutely. I have to confess I was not very cognizant of the need to note who a specific stamp set was by when I first started collecting my stamps.

Here is the sketch provided for this challenge:

And my collection of OWH cards grows a little more. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dutch Dare Card Challenge


In featuring OWH, Dutch Dare put out a challenge that simply required the card meet OWH criteria and have a Birthday theme. Well, they said any theme would be accepted, but since it is a Birthday Party they were hoping for a Birthday card. So I made a Birthday card.

It's a very simple card, but I was kinda pushed for time since I was not able to get any card making done over the weekend most of my Monday was taken up with things that needed to be done. Not the least of which was to get a very large box out of the middle of my scrap room floor. The card base cardstock is generic cardstock I bought from Michaels years ago. The Pretty blue flowery inset is from a Nana's Nursery Baby Boy mini stack by DCWV that my little sister brought me a few weeks ago on her way back home from a trip. It has shiny little blue flowers, to add a little glitz. And the sweet little kitty is from my Cricut Create-a-Critter cart.

Oh, the the font, bet everyone could tell at a glance that was hand-written by me. But I needed to use the word "purrfect" from the Cricut cart and none of my sentiment stamps would work with it.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two Challenge Card Entries in this Post

Today I have two cards I made for challenge entries.

Operation Write Home Midweek Throwdown Challenge - Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The challenge for this week is a technique challenge. We had to make an easel card. Now, I had made an easel card once before, but I didn't have the size constraints of making it fit the A2 size. This time I needed to make it fit the A2 size (the recommended, but not mandatory OWH size). And, as always happens I could not find the tut I used the first time, which to me was easier to follow than the one OWH linked us to. Since I was negligent in saving the first tut, I did save this one, and if I ever find that first one again, you can be sure I will save it!  (edit to add - Julie posted a link to an easel card tut that is on the OWH site and to me it made better sense in regard to the direction of the folds. For anyone interested, I have saved both tuts on my "Saved Tuts" page.)

Okay, so, for this card I decided to try my Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks and make my own background. A bit of a masculine color scheme too. I used Willow, Sandal, Cloudy Blue and Copper. Just random stamping on Inkssentials Glossy paper by Ranger. The leaf strandis an Inkadinkado stamp, stamped with Cocoa Brown Memento ink and colored with Copic. I then trimmed around it and used foam tape to attach it. Near the bottom front I attached some adhesive back glossy front lace look tape from The sentiment is from Close To My Heart and is also stamped in Cocoa Brown Memento ink.

And, here is an angled view to see the easle. You can see that I attached a sheet of plain white paper to the inside to be sure the troop using this card has a white surface to write to their loved one on.

CardSwap Weekly Sketch Challenge 9-22-10 TO 9-28-10

The second challenge card  I made is for CardSwap's Sketch Challenge. This card was super quick & super easy since it was mostly a paper project. I was feeling fallish since the it is now officially fall here in the Northern Hemisphere.

For this card I used a generic brown cardstock that I bought at Michaels several years back and the printed paper is from g.c.d Studios Autumn Afternoon stack. I used the back of one sheet to get the blue sentiment tag and both the blue & brown sentimane tags were cut with Spellbinders on my Cuttlebug. The blue ribbon is a generic grosgrain ribbon bought on eBay (I love eBay, and based on how much I have bough through them, I bet they love me too!).

I also made this card A2 size so that I can include it in my OWH shipment.

And, here is the sketch provided for this challenge:

Wow, four images in one post! I think that may be a record for me - lol.

Hope everyone has a wonderful & blessed day!

(EDIT - after I posted this I realized I forgot to crop my images for a closer view. I may (or may not) go back & do that later & re-upload them.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OWH (Operation Write Home) Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge #35


Here is another card I made for the OWH (Operation Write Home) Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge. The solid cardstock is some generic paper that I got from Michaels several years ago and the print paper with the bats I recently purchased from Oriental Trading. I believe the cute little trick-or-treaters and the small bat at the top (on the purple stripe) are Inkadinkado stamps. The small "boo!" is from a Lawn fawn stamp set. And I added some black three  dimensional dots using Pearl paint from Viva. 

And here is the sketch provided for this weeks challenge:

I will send this card to the OWH project, but since the majority of Halloween themed cards have already been processed I will hold this one and work on adding to the Halloween theme for next year. I could have, and maybe should have made a more generic "Thinking of You" or "Miss You", but I had Halloween papers out for another cards and was on a roll.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CardSwap Weekly Sketch Challenge 9/15-9/21

I found a new forum this week and this card is for their Weekly Sketch Challenge 9/15-9/2 . I think I like sketch challenges. I'm not sure what the limitations are for modifying a sketch, but so far I have tried to stay as close to possible with the two I have made.

So, here is my entry for the CardSwap Weekly Sketch Chhallenge.
I made Halloween Card with some cute bats and a spider from my Fawn Lawn stamps and I cut the tree from my Cricut Happy Hauntings cart. The cardstock is all generic that I bought many years ago.

And here is the sketch:

Eeeek! Happy Hauntings!

Monday, September 13, 2010

OWH Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge


I made this card for the OWH (Operation Write Home) Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge. It was quick and easy. They provided the sketch, the color scheme and the theme. I used a variety of paper - the solid pink, solid green and large polka dot paper are from DCWV stacks. The tiny polka dot ribbon is from Creative Memories and the cake is from the Cricut Stretch Your Imagination cart.

I am also making a bunch of rather generic cards for the OWH project, but I don't have enough of those to take a group shot, and since I plan to make several dozen I'm not sure I want to post all of them one by one. But I will post something about them when I get far enough along with that project.

09/21/10 - adding the image of the sketch:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Mini Card Challenge

I bought a pre-assembled card kit from my local favorite scrapbook store, Scrapbook Mania, and used this as a mini card challenge for my granddaughter and I. The kit contains the materials to make two identical cards as well as the instructions and an image of the card the creator, Christine Ousley, made. When I saw the kit I thought it would be a lot of fun to see if my granddaughter wanted to do a mini challenge, and she did (YAY!). I thought it would be interesting to see how far apart we were in style and character. Of course I also wanted the Sarah Kay stamp to add to my collection.

First we had to decide on three elements from the kit that were required components and the rest were optional. No other rules. In this kit we decided the three required elements would be the Sarah Kay stamp, the pre-stamped tag that reads "Friends Forever" and the small length of bakers twine.  

We divided our materials up and since she was anxious to get working on hers I gave her a manila envelope to put it in once she was finished assembling it. Once she finished I worked on mine. Since I have to do the "grandmother" things, like cook and do dishes and such, I assembled mine in parts, some yesterday and the rest this morning. 

Since she went first and hers was finished I let her see mine as it was in progress. But I was sure anxious to see what she had made. Here are the cards:

The full size page in the back is the insert from the Card Kit with the image of the card made by the creator. The card on the left is mine and the card on the right is Sabrina's. 

This is Sabrina's card close up:
She used my Croc-a-Dial to put grommets through the front and back panels and has the card tied shut with the red ribbon with two charms dangling from the front.

And this is my card close up:
I didn't do too much with the embellishments, just some self-adhesive cream color pearls down the right side (and a BIG thank you to my little sister Lisa for bringing me a handy dandy tool this past Friday - a QuicKutz QuickStik. It sure helped pick those little pearls up! :)

And I must say, I think I like Sabrina's colored image a lot more than I like my own.

This was fun, I think I may keep an eye out for more card kits that I think we can have fun doing more mini-challenges with!

My Granddaughter's Craft Work

My 15 y.o granddaughter was here this weekend and she has has so much fun playing in my scrap room. I'm so glad she is enjoying herself making things. Here are some of the items she made this weekend.
First is a card she made. I'm not sure what her motivation is for any of it, but I guess she was just in the mood to color an image so she made this card. Not bad for her second card. She was also intrigued by a card on my bulletin board that I had made for a challenge where I had colored white flowers with Copic markers, so she wanted to try her hand at that also. She used a Sarah Kay image from Stampavie.

And then she discovered the Create a Critter Cricut cart and had some fun with that! Here is an owl and a small card she made. She has attached a strip of magnet to the back of the owl so she can hang him in her locker at school. I'm not sure what she will use the little note card for. But I am glad she enjoyed herself.

Okay, that's all for this post because I now need to put together a post about a mini card challenge that was just between she and I. That was fun also!

A Blog Award

My little sister sent me this award for my blog and I am so happy to add it to my blog and share it with others.
Thank you Lisa (CricketCrazyLisa)

Okay, so to use and to share this award, here are the rules:
  1. Thank the Award giver  [check]
  2. copy award to your blog  [check]
  3. list three things you love about yourself  [check]
    • I am a strong lady and I know this because of all the things I have been through and managed to stay true to myself throughout.
    • I have tried hard to be kind, friendly and helpful to others. And yes, even my enemies although as much as I have tried, sometimes the best I can manage is to be cordial.
    • Before I retired I gave more than 100% effort to be successful in my job. Of course the true motive behind that was to better my position within the corporation, but none-the-less, I gave more than 100% while watching others who gave less than 50%. So I am proud of myself for maintaining my goal in spite of the frustration that came with watching slackers get recognition they didn't deserve.
    1. Post a picture you love  [check]   (see below - the view from my den as viewed from my desk chair in the springtime.)                                                 
    3. The five blogs I chose are:           
        And, just know, 
        I would have sent this award to my little sister, but since she already has it I did not include her in the 5 blogs I sent it to.

        Wednesday, September 1, 2010

        Wedding Card

        New card, new card! Can you tell I'm happy when I have a new card to post?

        This card is for my Step-grandson who got married recently. And, it is one of the few that I have done without any coloring. I do enjoy the coloring, but I had these bride & groom couples made of felt (can't recall who they are by) and I figured I would use one of them. The ribbon is generic from Michaels - from way back. The card itself was cut from a sheet of Marah Johnson from Creative Imaginations. The pink card-stock I edged with a Martha Stewart punch is also a generic card-stock from Michaels - from way back. And I can't really say where I got the small metal hearts I attached to the ribbon, the paper roses and the pearl embellishments that I cut from a sheet of swirls and positioned together to make the pearl heart. These are a more recent purchase, but the record of that was lost in my recent PC crash.

        I really like this cards. I like the soft colors - my colors - pinks and purples and soft.