Sunday, November 30, 2008

Willow's Surgery & Birthday Date Cards

Cat* goes in for surgery early tomorrow morning. They'll put her under & remove the little tumor on her paw. City Kitty (our feline-only vet) will call tomorrow afternoon for an update & then again in the evening when we can pick her up. Hopefully she'll leave her paw alone, so we won't have to stick one of those cones around her head (I know she'll hate that).
*We really only call her Cat anymore. She seems to prefer it.

I'm terrible with dates, specifically birthdays. So, when SIS mentioned making Birthday Date Cards to go in the back of an address book, I thought I'd put my own together. These are a bit more decorative than theirs, but I've got a perfect place for them -- in the back of my address box, made earlier this year. Now, birthdays & the addresses where to mail the cards are in the same place.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Card Set

A quick post before heading off to nyc for Thanksgiving... This is a just-finished Holiday 4-card Set, made with book pages. I used more Basic Grey paper, pages from an old psychology text book, buttons, old alphabet stamps, and random foam snowflakes. Cards are each 5x7 on cardstock. (my favorite = the tree card). At this rate, I may end up making all of my holiday cards from scratch this year...though it means I'll have to make envelopes as well. ugh.
...have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Tree Centerpiece

First Christmas craft for 2008. yeaaa! Calm down, you say? It's not even Thanksgiving? Please. Thou shant deprive me of these little pleasures. And without further ado, I bring you a seasonal centerpiece, from a project outline on SIS. Step by steps follow:
1. Cut two xmas trees out of foam board (be sure that they're symmetrical). Cut one of the trees in half vertically (exacto knife, all the way). Now you have three separate pieces.2. Paper both sides of the three pieces. I used paper by Basic Grey, a Hambly overlay of chandeliers (over l. blue cardstock), and fabric paper (the polka dots).
3. Glue the two half-trees to either side of the full tree. Be sure that they're centered and perpendicular to the full tree. I used pins to secure the half-trees at both the top and bottom (until dry).
4. Glittification: Then run glue along the outer, exposed edges and cover with glitter. I used a silvery blue glitter, and yes, if you're anything like me, it will end up everywhere.
5. Add a foam snowflake for a topper (or whatever you have).C'est fini. The tree stands about 11" tall. I tried decorating it with garland (ribbon) and mini-ornaments, but it looked tacky. So, I left it as is.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This is your Arm at the Allergist...

Chris & I joke about how he's like Bruce Willis from the movie Unbreakable (can't get hurt, never gets sick) and I'm the opposite, more like Sam Jackson's character, Mr. Glass, facing the threat of death at every turn with impossible fragility. Chris hasn't seen a doctor since 2000, but since then, I've had three visits to the ER and spent thousands in asthma medication, allergy meds, antibiotics, ulcer meds, and cold meds.

Due to recent breathing problems, I finally contacted an asthma/allergy specialist. This week I was administered the initial tests for environmental allergies (all skin tests). This required that I have 48 various oils pricked onto my arms (24 on each arm) & 6 needles put into my right bicep. Each spot tested a different substance to see how my skin would react.

The results were so absurd that when the doctor stepped out, I grabbed my phone to photograph the ridiculousness. Does this look awful? This arm contained tests for animals and other critters. Welcome to my absurd world. And screw you Mr. Unbreakable.
My scores on a sampling of the tested subjects:
  • House dust, rabbits, and feathers = suprise, you're allergic.
  • Cats, hamsters, orchard grass, ragweed = ooh, you're doubly allergic.
  • Dogs, horses, and RATS! = aaahhh run and hide, you're at level 3!
  • Mice = Have you ever looked at a mouse? I'm suprised you survived. (I'm so glad we have a cat).
Final Results: Do not go outside, and make your place of residence a glass box.

Where did I pass the test with no reaction? Cockroaches. Sweet sweet Bronx, you did me well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Winterizing

A salvation army steal at $8.25. This little cutie is begging me to make a big pot of stuffing.

Recent winterizing and my first major sewing project (below). The fabric is from the bargain floor of Lorraine's fabric (thanks for the rec, Sarah!). The goal was to cut off the bay windows (since the cold air blows right through them) but not to block out all of the light. It took some finagling, but it works! Now to deal with the other windows...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pretty Paper Snowflake

My first winter/holiday craft of the year. These snowflakes are easy, though a little time consuming. Inside a 3 or 4 inch square, using an exacto knife, cut 8 v-shaped lines without cutting through the center of the square (see below). After cutting, the center layer is folded in toward itself, then taped at the points, while the next layer is rolled/folded in the opposite direction, then taped at the points, and so on. Repeat with 5 additional paper squares. Once complete, tape them together at one point (the center of the snowflake). The process is somewhat awkward to explain. Find more info here.
I'll make a smaller set next and use thin, computer paper, instead of cardstock. Somewhere around here I have a bottle of glimmer mist, which I've always found baffling in that it pools up terribly. Maybe this project will work with the crazy mist...we'll see.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fall Acrylic Mini-book

Today this mini-book arrived at its recipient's home, so I though I'd post it right away. This was a great new project. Normally mini-books are full of photos of people, but I wanted this book to be full of beautiful colors and photos of nature -- for inspiration, instead of to document an event. I didn't take the photos, but I played in Photoshop (tweaking the lighting, or cropping them). Isn't Vermont gorgeous?!

Materials you'll need to put this together:
1. Acrylic pages, heavy cardstock, or chipboard pages (below) of varying shapes (with varied edges). I used a heavy clear acrylic for the front, back, & a middle page. Very sturdy. You can order these particular acrylic pages here.2. You'll need to cover the pages with paper (either cut the paper to size after tracing the chipboard page, or adhere, and then trim with an exacto knife - I did both). Of course, keep in mind which photos you'll use for each page - so that the papers compliment the photos.
3. To bind the pages, use a binding machine, or punch holes & clip with metal rings or ribbon. Below, you'll see my Cropadile, which will punch through anything (even the heavy acrylic covers). Staples carries binder rings, but you can track down smaller sizes at scrapbook stores.
4. I also added glitter to the edges of a thick page, where the chipboard showed between the papered sides. Paint works, as well.
5. Final details -- I used Thickers (love 'em!) for the title/cover letters and Hambly Screenprints rub-on owl & birds. The paper in this book is mostly Basic Grey, Hambly, and my favorite Sasafrass paper (orange birds). The edges of some paper, I inked. And I printed out quotes on Basic Grey paper, cut them out & used a glue-stick to adhere.

Here are the inside pages of the mini-book (I love this first gorgeous tree):
These are two of my favorite pages:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall Sneak Peek

Crafty mojo is back in the house & there's pink-gold glitter everywhere. Here's a sneak peek of something I'll post (in its entirety) some time next week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dad & the Didgerydoo

My father is has been making me laugh for as long as I can remember. His humor, however, is of a unique tenor. And maybe it'd be more appropriate to call it mild-insanity. You don't believe it? Here's a little peak...Dad's demonstration of the Didgeridoo. And yes, there's a Didgeridoo sitting in my parents' living room back in St. Louis.
video
For those of you who took Latin, shall we say Q.E.D. (Quod erat demonstrandum)?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cards, Cat, & Belgium's Coolest Veggie

Had to take a little personal time there, but I'm back, baby! Back with the goods. So, we'll start off with some earth-shattering insights.
1. St. Louis is freezing in November. You were wondering about that, weren't you? I was very under-dressed last weekend, but it put me in the mood for the holidays. In the festive spirit, I made these cards (supplies were all from Right at Home, but I picked them up last Dec.). 2. Cats can drain your wallet. Willow had two vet visits this month about the tumor on her paw, and a biopsy which revealed irregular cells. Surgery is scheduled for December 1st. Poor cat. Total bill for all three visits? One month's rent, for me. Insanity.
3. And finally, Brussels sprout stalks are now available in your hobo grocery store. How cute is this? Tonight, balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts with Parmesan & toasted pine nuts.
[These stalks remind me of the classic Orla Kiely pattern. Who knew Brussels sprouts could be so modern?]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Love Note

Feeling fortunate tonight that there are so many people in our lives who are good people. Good people who are supportive, loving, and honest. God bless 'em. My parents, who are off-the-chart generous and truly demonstrate what it means to be welcoming and kind to people, friends who share their insight and understanding (and their lives), no matter distance or time passed, and even new friends who don't require pretenses. Rambly or not, I feel wonderfully indebted to so many for being in my life and bringing so much that is positive. These people inspire me and make me a better person and I can't imagine where I'd be without them. Holla.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crazy crazy busy. Will return to the blogosphere next week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Goodies

Technically, winter doesn't start until the end of December, around the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice). I know this because my dad used to balance eggs on their little end on the equinoxes (which fall between the solstices-it's all connected). But it feels like Fall is on its way out as soon as rainstorms take down the leaves. I'm holding on for dear life.Finally, I was able to play with some the free goodies I was given and finish up a scrapbook page with photos from our apple-picking trip.
[Products: Hambly transparencies (Out on a Limb, Mod Circles, & Frame Wallpaper), SEI paper (Madera Island), white and gold paint, American Crafts Thickers (Platforms), and chalk.
]

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting

In the past, I have only ever voted to cast a ballot against one of the candidates, in objection to a candidate I believed would harm us. But today, and for the first time, I voted so that I could cast a ballot *for* a candidate. Very exciting.