Friday, April 4, 2014

Crazy About Cricut Bday Blogaversary Bash!

Hi Everybody!
Welcome to the Crazy About Cricut Bday Blogaversary Bash!  Today we are helping celebrate the 5 year anniversary of this crazy crafting blog, and also Jenny's 37th birthday!  Hopefully you just came from Alicia.  If not, please head on over to see Jenny, so you can start this hop from the beginning.  And now onto my project!

Hmm... First of all... let me apologize for the crappy pics. In all the dust of spring cleaning (that turned into painting and semi-renovating...), my camera is nowhere to be found.

Now here we go. Jenny (CAC) l.o.v.e.s. monsters... So I brought up the Grim Reaper on Mini Monsters and made her a little card at 4.25". Super simple. My Gypsy died and I'm trying to "link" or do whatever to it, so I can use Cricut Craft Room, but alas... I did this the old-school way. SUPER SIMPLE!

A little chalk and glitter finish him up... and there we go!


I hope you enjoyed my project!  Now head on over to see

Check out these amazing prizes up for grabs!

Prize #8
Prize #9

Prize #1 - Celebrate With Flourish Cricut Lite cartridge
Prize #2 - Life's a Party Cricut cartridge
Prize #3 - Jaded Blossom Birthday Candies stamp set
Prize #4 - Close to My Heart B Size stamp set
Prize #5 - Jaded Blossom Love Bites stamp
Prize #6 - Trendy Twine Twisted Lime Mini
Prize #7 - The Royal Castle Shoppe: The Scrapbooking Queen Royal Prize Pack
Prize #8 - Cricut Chick (Simply Silhouette) - Cricut Prize Pack
Prize #9 - Cricut Chick (Simply Silhouette) - Mini Cricut Prize Pack

To enter:

1. Follow ALL blogs on this hop.  

2. Leave a comment on ALL blogs.

We will check that you did both things, but it this hop will be open 
through Monday night so you have plenty of time!

Here is the entire line up in case you get lost, or need to stop along the way:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

MamaKat's Losin' It Writing Prompt: 1.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: pajamas

Wow. That was the easiest writing prompt that ever came to mind... at least to this family's mind. If you haven't seen this viral video, you really do need to take a minute and do just that. It will definitely bring the fun back into this hectic time of year.

I am completely awed by the creativity this family has shown. They are all over YouTube, all over the national news, all over Facebook, and... just ALL OVER THE PLACE. And I never tire of it. In fact... I find myself singing that song over and over. And then... I go put on my own... Christmas Jammies! That's right... uh, huh... you got it now... get it on...

When I saw that writing prompt, I just knew I had to share. I've been so overwhelmed and pre-occupied Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Words With Friends, Blogger have all taken a ton of time from me... oh! And don't forget Instagram and texting, the majority of my cards are going out... um... when I get to them. But. I did check out Mama Kat's Losin' It (Writers' Worskshop...) and you can too! Please leave a comment and pass the love on to other's blogs, as well.

Have a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Happy New Year hopefully I'll get on here before then... , and any other holiday you may celebrate religiously, or not religiously. For anyone that may not celebrate anything... Have a great day, every day! But whoever you are and whatever you do... PEACE!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Christmas, So Far...

First off... Wow. Do not leave a bottle of wine in the freezer. I mean... um... wine-slush sounds wonderful, but not when it's all over your precious frozen foods. Ick. It is rather sticky and definitely messy. (I didn't know someone had even put it in there. Wonder who that could be???? Hmmm???

So... the morning I found the popped bottle of wine... I drove to the Los Angeles area (City of Commerce) to work a swim meet. I am a swim official/referee (in addition to many other things). This wonderfully packaged building was my view from outside the swim center.

To many of you fabulous architectural history buffs out there, this building used to be the Good Year Tire Factory... way back when. It was left empty for YEARS. I used to go to the area surrounding it to get reduced-price fabric from the textile manufacturers. Then I didn't go for a while... After a couple of years, I went back. Um... Where did they go? And what the heck? This gorgeous building (it had lots of almost Egyptian-looking detailing) was now foaming at the entrances. Alright, so they took away my beloved great-pricing, but they creating a mecca of an outlet center. The Citadel now stands proud (and is always busy!) and is "present"-ed every Christmas season. Isn't it a grand sight to behold?

Christmas is here... Spread the CHEER! Open a Coca-Cola. Anyone who knows me super duper well, knows I love Coke. The Real Thing. Not diet. Not cherry-flavored. And I love the Coca-Cola merchandise, too! Not the neon-colored stuff. Just the classic. The Real Thing... similar to the beverage itself. Santa and Polar Bear Coca-Cola stuff comes out in my house at Christmastime, though... And my friend had me open a gift early. She wanted me to enjoy it for the full season. Now... if only our weather would get out of the 80's and go back to December! Ugh...
I made some Christmas cards. Like you couldn't tell, right? They are the same angel from Cricut Christmas that I made the ornaments with, only I left all the scrolling, and didn't block any out. I also made them a little bigger, spread embossing ink, and sprinkled Ranger's Queens Gold all over before heating. I love it.
Inside, I stamped with a brilliant green...
And I just had to show off the "cloud" Corner Chomper, which I inked the edges of...
Wow. This picture's sure blurry... Oh shoot! Almost all of them are... Ugh! I embossed the "Peace on Earth" (what else should an angel be saying?) with the same Queen's Gold, just in the corner.
Then the following weekend... I went to Palm Springs. for another? What? You guessed it. Swim meet. This is my shaky view on the way at 6am and I wasn't even the one driving. Go figure! But the colors were phenomenal, so I kept the pic anyway. Deal.
In Palm Springs, when we have this HUGE meet (swimmers come from ALL over!), they feed us like a 5-Star restaurant. (Yes... that IS lobster...) Thank you, Piranhas Swim Team for always treating us the best!
Funny story... I got a parka (after almost 8 years of freezing and getting drenched in the rain and the cold and the hail and the... you get it...) for a combo of my birthday and Christmas (shout out to my Mom and John... THANK YOU!!!). This was the first meet I wore it. (Yes... it can get cold in Palm Springs. There is snow on the mountain just above, and when the sun goes over that mountain... BRRRRR!!!!) The arms are a tad long. I was cold. And so, I tucked my hands inside the sleeves. Now the joke is... can I flap and fly? So... someone brought a Foghorn Leghorn (Looney Tunes, ya'll... REMEMBER?) hat, put it on me and asked me to flap. Meh... I'm a good sport.
Me and one of my buddies. I am so proud of him. Cancer did not do him in. His spirit is exceptional and shines through in everything he does. Last round of chemo is done. I heart him!
And this is only part of our crew. We are very much like a family. Hugs to all of them. They come from everywhere for this meet. And for those that think we just "time". No. We are all over the deck, ensuring the kids will learn from their errors and advance further in swimming (a nice way of saying, "we disqualify kids").

I haven't had much time for crafting and shopping. I did get a whole bunch of cards done (just haven't gotten them out yet... or even addressed... And thank goodness for the internet and local shops, otherwise, nothing would be done just yet. Christmas is almost here, and the days are packed until then, too. Hugs to you all! Ho, ho, ho! No matter what... Be Merry. It's all in how you look at it.

** small note ** Blogger isn't letting me adjust sizes of pics or locations, so please bear with it. Hopefully it's just a minor bug and will get fixed soon.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Imagine/Tsukineko Ornament Exchange!

Just a little while ago, someone posted something on Facebook. As you probably know... people do that all. the. time. But, th is time, I really really REALLY liked it. And I wanted to do it. And... um... it was the deadline date to sign up to do it. And... apparently, I was past the deadline time (curse those wickedly different time zones...), but I applied to "do it" anyway.

I got a response the week before Thanksgiving. "What?" you might ask... I signed up to create an ornament through Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko and exchange it with someone else! I worked hard on this ornament. I had a total of four (count them... 1... 2... 3... 4...!) failures. And in the end, I was VERY happy with my success... so much so that my "other" ornament (that was to be sent to Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) ended up being a duplicate. Loved it!

So... I'll take you on my journey through my flaws and my perfections, well... as perfect as handmade can be...

Failure #1:  Using VersaColor and VersaFine (both by Imagine Crafts) and Walnut Stain (by Tsukineko), this die-cut angel (done using the ol' Cricut Expression... "Christmas" cartridge, with the laces "hidden", except for the bottom edge) was loaded with color... bronze, green, gold... And then... I added Diamond Glaze. It worked really well. Felt dry and all... I flipped it. It was still good. And so... I Diamond-Glazed the back side (which was also inked up). Let it dry... or so I thought. When I went to peel it up. EEk! It peeled, alrighty!

Failure #2:  Same beginning scenario as Failure #1, only I let it dry longer.  A lot longer. Then, it decided to peel and crack on me. Ugh!

Failure #3: Changed to Glossy Accents. Went through pretty much the same thing as Failure #1, only without quite as much sticking and peeling. (Trust me... this stuff really did feel dry. No "tacky" feeling when I touched it!)

Failure #4: Is really Failure #2, revisited, just in the Glossy Accents version. I assumed since the Glossy Accents in Failure #3 didn't stick or peel quite as much, that if I gave it more "drying" time, it would be perfectly wonderful. Wrong. The moisture in the air does a drying/curing job wonders. It sort of reverses it... almost.

And so... I gave up on the glazes. I chose instead to use Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko Embossing Ink and clear embossing powder. I also created two angels, instead of one... inked them (on one side each this time [kind of thinking the excessive moisture from inking both sides just may have been a contributing factor in Failures #1-4]), clear-embossed them on
the inked side, heating the underside up again, to "bend" them back flat, as they seemed to be curling up from the embossing, then "glued" them together with my favorite of favorites... (drumroll please!)

Clear Silicone Gel from Home Depot. (Yes! I really do love that stuff!) This gave it a dimensional texture and still made it light enough after it dried to not weigh down a tree limb. I used a Q-Tip to take off the excess Gel and let her dry.

Taking the absolute smallest Fiskars hole punch I had, I punched between the shoulder and the wing, to avoid looking like this beautiful angel had a hole in her head. And HELLO Fishing Line... right through, with a large enough length that she now floats from a branch.

I was so thrilled with her, that my second one is almost exactly the same, because... I did it again!!!! (I know... I already told you that up above, but... I really did love her!)

Now... I received an ornament from someone else in the program...
And it's proudly displayed on my tree. A big shout out to Candy in Grants Pass in Oregon. Hope you're staying warm...

Thank you for my wonderful ornament!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Creepy Cricut Creations Blog Hop!

Hi Everybody!

Welcome to the Creepy Cricut Creations Blog Hop!  If you're here from Angela at 3 Crazy Monkeys, then you're in the right place.  If not, then you may want to start at the very beginning HERE.

We're celebrating our Cricut machines, and Halloween in this amazing hop!  Here's my creepy Cricut creation:

I usually completely decorate my door for Halloween... I intended to "mummy up" my door with these great big google-y eyes I got from Michael's (saw something similar on Pinterest...), and just didn't get around to it. So... I was doing something else and Jenny (@ Crazy About Cricut) happened to post openings for a blog hop. I love Halloween... and thought I needed THIS to kick my mojo back in gear. And make a banner for my front door, I did! Whoop, whoop!

Before you look any further... Let me apologize for the bad, BAD photos. I took them with my phone. I know... not a great excuse. I could've done better, but I was already frustrated from not being able to find my regular camera (um... I "hid" it so a kid wouldn't mess up my favorite settings again... and can't seem to remember where my hiding spot is. Hopefully... it'll turn up soon...)

Moving on...

The little ghosts are cut from Paper Doll Dress Up (Cricut, of course!). They were slightly distressed with Black Soot (Tim Holtz), glittered eyes with fairy dust and Stickles.

The letters B-O-O are from Blackletter (Cricut). The "blackout" is done in white and the actual letters in a cute black candy-ish print (got it from a swap... all these items were from my stash!), all done at 5.76" height. Fairy dust glitter is again used in the white openings.

I did add another ghost down at the bottom... Couldn't leave the first one alone (he might've been scared!)...

This wonderful roll of burlap-type orange-y and green-y distressed stuff cost a whole $.40 at Michael's on clearance some time ago.  I finally quite hoarding it and put it to a good use! Hahaha!
If you notice all the cuts are slightly raised, I used silicone gel. The stuff from Home Depot. Love it!
Now... Jenny only asked for ONE project, but when I saw what one of the blog candy prizes was... I couldn't resist making this cute little card:

He's one of the pumpkin cards from Mini Monsters. I absolutely love this cartridge. It's so versatile... Plus, It's the closest thing I have to any of the Halloween-y carts. I use it all. the. time.

I gave him some google-y eyes (different sizes to add to his quirkiness) and Black Diamond Stickle-d his zig-zag mouth (I didn't want to follow the original mouth line...). His leaf is done in green, then distressed in Tea Dye (Tim Holtz). His cute edges of his polka dot face are distressed (can you tell I absolutely LOVE Tim Holtz Distress Inks?) with Peeled Paint.

Then, you open him up... and BOO! (in Christmas Red Stickles...) a Mini Monsters ghost jumps out at you, floating on an ACTION WOBBLE!!!! He's a little glittered and glammed from the pumpkin mess within, but he's all mine. Gotta love him.

I tried to post the video of him wobbling, but... I'm not that tech-y. Bummer.

At this posting, I am the end of the line... But, if you'd like to hop around and look some more, here is the lineup. Remember... I'm already the end of it...
  1. Jenny -
  2. Lori -
  3. Cheryl -
  4. Wandy -
  5. Sarah -
  6. Tracy -
  7. Carol -
  8. Elizabeth -
  9. Amanda-
  10. Angela -
  11. Me! You're already HeRe!
There are some amazing and fun things to see... so PLEASE visit everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a "Hoppin' Halloween!!!"

Blog Hop Prizes:

Please be a Blog Follower and Comment on all thru the blogs for a chance to win.

The more blogs you comment on the more chances you have to win!



Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Little Bit of Birthday

Today (Friday), I turned 43. The day is almost gone, but I've started a whole bunch of new beginnings. 

I went to work at the high school and enjoyed my last day as a substitute with my afternoon teacher. His regular aide will return on Monday, after a leave of absence, and I've grown and met so many people, thanks to this opportunity. Don't fret... I still have my day job. I will miss the kids and the teacher. I hope I made them all feel as confident and loved as they made me feel. And I'll REALLY miss English. I'll only have math left... Ugh. 

Since I had broken my toe last week, I noticed the coloring had finally subdued itself. It definitely was a lighter shade of purple... But the "fracture blister" is still there. (Avoid the pic if you don't want to see!)

Blech! And yes... Don't hate on the Flinstones toes!

I got my kid to get close to a lobster

And I got my hubs to finally update our stove/oven/range:

Isn't she a beaut? Btw... Three years ago, I got him to finally update our washer/dryer. He called it my birthday gift. Household... Ya know? He "gets it" now. He informed me the range isn't my birthday gift! Yay! Old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

I signed up for something I'm thrilled to try and launch into a new adventure (I'll share more later...)

And I'm doing my first whole blog post from my phone! Um... It's sure to be less wordy, as my fingers are rapidly tiring. It's much easier on a computer keyboard. 

I sure hope all of your birthdays can be as good as mine was. Love, family, friends, food, and new beginnings make every year different and life-changing. Change IS good...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hurting... In More Than One Way...

Life gives us difficulties. Sometimes they are physical, sometimes mental... and sometimes, you get them all rolled up into one.

And we roll with it.


I try my hardest to do everything I can do, no matter how I'm feeling. I try my hardest to be strong and let no one see my weaknesses.

The past week, my weaknesses have been showing...

A bit ago, I "hurt" my shoulder/arm... the whole shebang.  I was doing something completely normal. I was telling my husband what to do. You know... SHOWING him what I meant, because... well... Husbands aren't always the best at listening.  But I was going off to work, and well... he asked. So... reaching up (and walking, mind you...) to open a cabinet (to show him the bowing shelf), I slipped on water (the dog had dropped it off her beard when taking a drink...), heard the tear [totally hoping my mind emphasized it more than it really is], fell to my *ss and was immediately in pain.

The searing shot through my shoulder and the top portion of my arm. I swear, I felt it all the way to the bone. But... guess what? I had to leave in less than 15 minutes and still wasn't dressed!

So... I enlisted the help of my 19yo daughter.  I couldn't take my shirt off. She gingerly helped me. Couldn't fasten my bra... and she did that, too. (I hate getting help. It kills me.) And I needed my hair in a ponytail. Thank goodness she was there, and hadn't gone out yet, because... Yes... you guessed it. She did that, too.

The drive kinda killed me. I am right-handed. An auto is pretty much right-handed (the shift is above the steering column on the right side; the ignition is on the right side...). So, ice pack in hand... I got there.

My job for that day/weekend was pretty stationary. (I'm a swim official [referee... whatever you wanna call it] that watches swim strokes, finishes, etc. and disqualifies based on infractions. There's really much more to it than that, but I really don't wanna go bore you. I love it.) The pool was short-course (25 yards, as opposed to long-course of 50 meters), and one side couldn't be "walked", so each of the officials on the corners stayed on the corner(s). I was good for the weekend, work-wise. My issues were going to be at home.

I have a lot of responsibilities. I do hand out "chores", but only I feel what is fair and what they each have time for with work, school, etc.

My daughter made sure she was there both Saturday and Sunday mornings to help me get ready. Each day, I was able to do just a little bit more. A couple pain-killers here, some ice packs there, with a touch of Icy-Hot in between, and I believed I was doing better.

But... the dishes were piling up. The floor wasn't getting done. Amongst other things. (by the way... as I sit here typing this, I have to lower the laptop down farther than normal for it to be comfortable...)

I did make a couple of requests and comments, asking for help with the dishes. To no avail. My husband simply won't do it, and doesn't understand (call it an ego trip... I do...) My 8yo doesn't do them as well as I'd like... and I'm kinda picky (rightfully so, right? we eat off this stuff...). And my 19yo? She simply did ONLY the dishes she used (which is ACTUALLY a normal thing each of them are supposed to do... but I usually have to tell each of them anyway, which irritates the crap out of me!), which were about 2 or 3 in a whole pile. I gave up... and did the dishes.

So painful and so taxing was that small-ish normal-type chore, that I slept off and on most of the day. I was still exhausted the next day. And in massive pain. My range-of-motion (rom) was getting better... but...

I let the dishes go again. Only doing them when they had to be done. And paying for it later. I also did the laundry this week. (That took WAY longer than normal!) When it was trash day... between me and the kids, we each have a share. The 8yo empties my bathroom and room, and her own room. I take out the laundry, recycles in the kitchen, and the garage trash. The 19yo takes out the other bathroom and kitchen trash. We all help with the "big" cans to the street. I sent a text to the 19yo, asking her to do mine and take out the big cans. There was no way I could lift stuff that high. My rom wasn't that high yet (and still isn't). No problem there... it was done.

But... I had asked for more help. And I keep getting brushed off on the rest of it.

What did me in was a combo of yesterday and today (this morning). It has brought me to tears.

Yesterday, I got the 8yo and myself a pedicure. The 19yo wanted a gel manicure. Okay. We deserve it. They've been sort of helping me... The 19yo was supposed to cut up a pineapple and watermelon for me, as I can't do that just yet, either.

I reminded her as she got in the car that she was still needed to do this. "I won't have time now." uh... WHAT? I let her know she could do at least one. She did. But... left the dishes for ME and had extra time but blew me off again.

Then, this morning... The 19yo is leaving (and hasn't done her regular weekly chore of cleaning the bathroom and putting away her clothes...). She says she's going to her boyfriend's house before work (he lives with his parents, too). That's no biggie but... She tells me, "I'm going to help him clean. He has relatives coming and can't do it himself." SERIOUSLY?

I reminded her that I've been asking for help, that I'm in a lot of pain... and she walked away from me with an immature, "Whatever..."

Ouch. That hurts almost as much as my right arm/shoulder.

Moral of the story? Since no one really wants to help, don't get hurt. Then you can still do everything yourself and get no attitude for it.