6.26.2009

Tomatoes!! (& a little helper)

Random post alert! I have a few minutes and thought I'd do a quick post about some random stuff. I snapped these out in the garden a couple of mornings ago.

I am quite proud of myself, because although I enjoy attempting gardening, I am lousy at it and last year's tomatoes didn't do so hot. We had them in the ground, which I think is the culprit...our soil, or rather, sand, here is not good enough, even with additions and fertilizer. So pots on the deck seemed the way to go this year. My tomato plants grew up quickly and we have now been getting a good supply of fruits and eating lots of salads lately. Yum!!

On a completely unrelated note, I spent the better part of today cleaning and doing laundry in preparation for some friends who are coming for the weekend. They are staying in our guest/craft room and I needed to get it at least clean and tidied, if not completely organized and put away. When I pulled out a stack of papers and books from this crate table and turned my back for a few minutes, my little "helper" Lance snuck right in. He was just too cute. I had to take a picture. :)

K & B should be here very soon, then it's making dinner (beef with spicy peanut sauce, couscous, and of course, a big salad---we even got some small peppers form the garden today), and off to a baseball game. Should be fun, as long as it doesn't rain. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

6.25.2009

2 makeovers!

This makes three blog posts in one day for me! I have been getting really sick of looking at that old header that I had up and really have been wanting to do something custom and fresh looking for summer, so today I finally sat down and did it. While I was at it, I thought I'd go ahead and get a new picture too. :)

The second makeover I speak of is, of course, the crafty space makeover challenge for my Etsy Greetings Team. It just occurred to me that I have no idea if the "official" 4 weeks are up, and I wanted to get finished (really, completely finished) by this weekend, since I have some company coming to stay. But, as per usual around here, I haven't. I haven't really worked on it lately at all. I am kind of stuck at the point where I have piles of random stuff around that I don't want to deal with-ick! But I do have a few more pictures for you.

First off, remember that gargantuan printer that my dearest hubby rescued from the trash??

Well, it went back where it came from! And cleared up some much needed floor space. We also sorted and put away the piles of equipment and materials on the couch so that someone can actually sit or sleep there. We went from this mess:

To this:
Secondly, if you read my last update, you may remember the corner next to my supplies shelf being piled high with crap and looking a little barren, something like this:
I moved those ugly cardboard drawers and all the recycled cardboard (which I use in shipping) to the closet, and the drawers now hold all my Etsy stock and supplies in one place. The clear drawers on top now hold all my finished cards not part of shop inventory. There is still room behind these drawers for the guest linens and pillows. (That silver thing on the bottom, unfortunately, is part of the AC system in our old home and cannot be moved...poses a bit of a challenge)
(This closet is another story...I don't have a before picture but it was overflowing with wrapping paper and other junk, including two big bags of papers from my husband's desk that have been there since we moved....LAST April!--it's all gone now)

And the corner now holds a few photo boxes with alterables and recycled materials (which will most likely be moved), a few magazines I still need to go through and tear out good pages and then discard, and a basket for in-progress projects, which used to just sit all over my desk. I also moved the bulletin board to this corner and it fits perfectly! It used to be behind the door next my desk, but we almost always have the door open, which means I could never see it; now I can.
I still have a few problem areas that I am working on, (or have a solution for and just haven't gotten around to implementing). One is this little crate table beside the couch. It is stuffed with old magazines on one side (same as the ones above, I need to tear out inspirational pages and toss the rest...you can see on the top of the pile where I started doing this some time ago) and on the other are school materials: notes and readings from previous semesters and research materials. I need to catalog the materials from this past semester and find a better and more spacious home for all of it.Another thing I am working on is storage of my clear stamps. Currently, they are all in this red bin that used to be on the shelf and is now on my desk. It is packed to the brim and the collection is continually expanding...
...making it even harder than it already is to catalog these in my new system! I bought these small binders and sheet protectors at Staples and I am working on reorganizing all my stamps by type of image, not by set. I am stamping an index sheet, along with writing in the set info, and then placing the stamps on a backer of transparency film. Then I slide them into the sheet protectors. This system, though not remotely done, I think will be helpful. Instead of drudging through tons of stamps sets for a suitable "Happy Birthday," for example, I have them all on one or two pages, making my decisions faster. And Lord knows I need that!Thanks for looking at my progress! If nothing else, posting about it will help me get it done!

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge #10-take 2

I promised I'd be back! This is the first card that I made for Dawn's challenge using these colors:
I really wasn't crazy about it, something about the two pinkish colors together in such large doses...but I had already suffered major adhesive difficulties and trashed one version, so I slapped it together and called it done! :) What do you think??

Thanks for looking!!

Supplies
cardstock, stamps, patterned paper, ink (melon berry, berry sorbet, vintage cream): Papertrey Ink
brown ink: Colorbox chalk-Chestnut Roan
ribbon, glitter: Martha Stewart
Other: EK Success border punch; Zig glue pen; corner rounder

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge #10

I am so excited to finally be able to play along in Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite color challenge. I always follow along, see the yummy colors, and intend to play, but somehow, the deadline always gets me. I think I am always thinking I have a week to do these things, and not so with this one. Anyway, when I saw the colors for this week, I knew I had to try:
But, they proved harder than I thought! I made a first card, which I hated (but will post later anyway), and then decided to try again. In honor of Dawn, I used her stamp set Scattered Showers from PTI, which I haven't used all that much since I got it. I also wanted to incorporate some of the embossing techniques learned from Jennifer McGuire's Thinking Inking class at 2peas. It's hard to tell, but I did an embossed resist on the cream panel before inking, and made the umbrellas into faux epoxy shapes. In the top right is a vintage French flashcard- "le temps"=weather and I picked this one with this stamp set in mind! I think I am happy with how it came out.
Thanks for looking! I'll be back later with my first attempt...
Supplies
cardstock, stamps, cream, melon, & berry inks, button: Papertrey Ink
ribbon: unknown
inks: Ranger Distress Ink-vintage photo, StazOn brown, Versamark, Colorbox Chalk ink-Chestnut Roan
other: thread, vintage flashcard, Fiskars border punch, clear embossing powder

6.24.2009

kwerner Color Inspiration #55

I really liked this week's challenge colors. As soon as I saw them, I thought of Basic Grey's Ambrosia line, which features a lot (all?) of them. But, since I don't have any of that line, I was forced to be creative! I kept it simple with this card, doing a bit of stamping with some new Papertrey Ink stamps, some hand-coloring and a gorgeous rust colored ribbon that I have been dying to use, but didn't know what with! Here's the card:
Thanks for checking out my card. I am working on a few other challenges this week. I also have some updates to the makeover challenge and some 4th of July crafty projects I've been working on with my mom to share, so check back soon!
Supplies
cardstock: gray, cream (Papertrey Ink), yellow (Bazzill)
stamps: Papertrey Ink, Bird Watching Additions & Faux Ribbon (sentiment)
ink: yellows/oranges(Colorbox chalk ink queue-Pumpkin Patch), gray (Papertrey Ink), black(Ranger)
ribbon: unknown
gems: Hero Arts
other: Bic mark-it markers, Prismacolor pencils

6.22.2009

EtsyGreetings Featured Sale!

Hi all! Quick post about my Etsy shop. I am running a sale featured on my team blog, the Etsy Greetings team. It is here: http://etsygreetings.blogspot.com/2009/06/etsygreetings-featured-sale-squeeze.html . The sale is a pretty good one, too!

The details: For two days only, Mon June 22 8am EST to Tues June 23 8pm EST, I will be offering 22% off all items in the store, including sale items! As a bonus, if you order two or more items, you will get free shipping on the whole order!! Just enter the code "TWOcool" in the message to seller and wait for a revised invoice.

The sale includes this baby, which is brand new and one of my favorite items. Hope some of you can check it out!

6.20.2009

Craft Space Makeover-Update (photo heavy)

I am finally back with an update on the craft space makeover. I have two things to admit first though: A-the pictures I posted previously were pictures of the room after I had pulled everything out and started sorting; it doesn't always look like that (but hey, it's gotta get worse before it gets better, right?). B-I had started on my room before this challenge with the EtsyGreetings team began, but had kind of lost steam, so I have been dilly-dallying on really finishing up the last and toughest parts. :) But I have made some progress, and however minor the changes may seem, they are doing wonders for me.

Okay, first place to tackle I didn't even post a picture of before. It is the main shelf where I store most of my craft supplies. Now, many people would look (and have!) at this and say, "wow, you are organized!" All those labeled boxes may look organized, and in principle, are, but the problem is that they were just filled to the gills. Lots of them contained things I never use, not all of my supplies were on this shelf as a result, and new items didn't have any space. I also have a dilemma because of my organizing style: I like things to be closed up. I don't want to see a bunch of junk lying around...it just seems cluttery to me. But with my crafts, I like to see colors and things; it's inspiring. So the challenge was mainly to sort and get rid of stuff, and rework how things are stored on this shelf to make it both more visually pleasing and easier to find what I am looking for.

I started by making a big box of things to get rid of (hello, yard sale or, even better, blog candy?). Then I decided to make this shelf just for my stuff, and moved all the supplies that were for our home office elsewhere. Then I got some pretty storage methods and sorted all the old and new together. Then I put it all back! I am not quite finished...(I want to make a curtain to go around the lower shelves, to not have to see it all and to protect my supplies from the sun. I have some old flat sheets I am going to use but haven't gotten to it yet.)...but it is looking great and the increased function is phenomenal! Here's some pics of the new shelf:

Buttons are now stored by color in spice jars I got from World Market for $0.99 each.I scoured local Dollar stores for weeks trying to get enough of these old-fashioned clothespins to hold all my ribbon collection. They come 20 for $1. They are secured with ball head pins and the jars I got at Target for about $5 each. Perhaps a bit of a pricey solution, but my ribbons needed a place that works (this is so easy now!) and it looks soo nice!
I have collected lots of these little pails from the Target $1 spot for a while and am constantly moving things around in them. I put all my pens, markers, pencils and scissors (colorful stuff) in them. The peanut butter sandwich jar was one of my very first antique purchases (I was about 15) and it holds all my big stickers (smaller and lesser used ones have a shoebox). It used to be on the shelf above my husband's desk, where I could never get at them! :)
Here's the whole top shelf-Yum!
The second shelf: a 3-drawer bin holds specialty paper, chipboard and 12x12 sticker sheets. In the middle is my 8.5X11 cardstock, design magazines/catalogs, and then all my blank cards, tags and envelopes. A sectioned box holds small embellishments.
The third shelf: bin on the left holds paints, brushes, pastels and chalks. middle bins hold wood stamps (I still need to get a better system for these). The plastic shoeboxes hold a variety of stuff-stickers, sewing supplies, glitter/embossing powders, less used adhesives, my Slice machine and heat gun.Bottom shelf: left bin holds sketchbooks, blank albums and coloring books. Middle organizers hold 12x12 loose cardstock, patterned paper and paper pads. The right bin holds small paper pads and paper collections (I like to keep them together).

Ack! What a long post!! Hope you've gotten some ideas from the pictures and thanks for hanging in there. I have lots more to share from my makeover, so come back! Happy weekend!!

6.18.2009

Savannah

We had such a great time in Savannah. The air there is thick with history and richness. The live oaks draped with Spanish moss and the ivy covered brick, the cobble stone streets and the historic squares, the heat and the humidity, the food and the shopping, the hospitality and the liveliness...they all set a lovely backdrop for a fantastic trip. It is such a beautiful city and I thought I'd share a few of my favorite snaps...

water fountain at Forsyth Parklive oaks at Bonaventura CemeteryWall of ribbon at @ Home store. I could have bought it all....
Just a note about this photo. It is not the best photo. It pretty much sucks, after a bit of editing. But, out of the 317 or so photos we took, this is the only one of the two of us together. (And we only have it because a woman agreed to take ours if we would take theirs...we need to get better at this). So, despite its flaws in lighting, I love it.
We hope to go back there soon, preferably in the winter though! :)

Anniversary card

I wanted to post a quick share of the card I made J for our anniversary. I know he is not into frills and fussy stuff, so I tried to make something simple, bright and fun for him. In a way, the card is kind of like how we are. (Sorry for the terrible pictures...I was rushing to get them done and edited before we left on our trip...it shows!)
Supplies: Chocolate card stock, stamps (stars, grid on front)-Papertrey Ink; patterned paper, ribbon-American crafts; spinner-Tim Holtz; orange rain dots, letter stickers-Cloud 9 Design; other-white gel pen, orange paper (unknown)

He liked it, by the way. :) He took down the Valentine's card that has been on his dresser since February and replaced it with this one!!

Off to cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. I'll be back later with a craft space makeover update.

6.17.2009

New Goodies!

I am back from a wonderful anniversary weekend in Savannah--lots of yummy food, beautiful sights and quality time with J. Can't ask for more than that. I will have pictures (out of the 300+ that we took) soon. :)

But for today, I wanted to post quick about some of the new goodies I got while we were away. I am always looking for little shops to go in and find neat things. It is one of my most favorite vacation activities. Fortunately for me, I found lots on this trip. First was a scrapbook store in the small town of Beaufort, SC. This town is very charming and on the way to Savannah. My mom had visited before and said we should stop, which we planned to and when I found they had a scrap store, I HAD to visit, especially since ours closed recently. There I got some new papers I've been eyeing, the Fiskars upper crest border punch I've been dying for, and some foam blenders for my distress inks that I couldn't find anywhere!!

A few shops in and around Savannah yielded these goodies: some wonderful new envelopes-shimmery vellum and map pages-that I will use for something special, old coins with holes, a tin full of vintage looking ephemera stickers, and a bunch of yummy vintage-y goods from a fantastic shop called @ home. Almost all I can say is YUM! The owner, Liz, is super nice and her eye for design completely delightful. The items that she has selected are fantastic and the way she merchandises them makes them so much more appealing. I could have spent hours and tons of money there...check out her blog for yourself here: http://www.vintagegeneral.blogspot.com/ I got some silk ribbon, which I adore (in a champagne color and light lilac), some vintage bingo cards, milk caps, playing cards and French flash cards.

Her site says online shopping is coming soon; until then, I will dream about returning to her shop (and probably stalk her blog relentlessly)! :)
Anyhow, look for these new goodies in some projects soon!

6.13.2009

New addition to the makeover challenge!

Just a quick post to let all of you following this craft space makeover challenge that we have a new addition: Danielle, http://blog.collectiveelements.com/. Here's a picture of her space:

She has a lot of stuff and a little space to work in, but I think she has a plan. Good luck to her!!

6.12.2009

"Stuff" box

Yeah, yeah, I know. We are leaving in the morning for Savannah and I should be finishing the laundry and packing, but I wanted to share a little tidbit on the craft space makeover before we go! On this blog post, Molly Lee highlights her transformation of some goodwill in/out trays to be used as temporary housing for her "I don't know" craft supplies, a "stuff" box, if you will. I really loved the idea and thought that it would work for me, particularly for my scraps of paper.

When I finish a project, I inevitably have lots of paper scraps. I have a bin in a drawer next to my desk for small scraps, but most of the time a sheet is nearly whole or a fairly large piece, and I like to put it back with the other full sheets to use it up the next time. The problem is that I don't always get to do this right away and slowly, I end up with these gigantic piles of paper cluttering up my work space.

So as I was doing some chores today I was thinking of what I could possibly have around the house that I could use for this purpose. And completely by accident, while doing some gardening (more on that another day soon), I found this in the shed:

How great is that?! I have no idea where it came from or why it was in there all this time, but I love it! It is a nice big size, perfect for those 12 x 12 papers, too. :) I washed it up and let it dry on the deck and perhaps when we get back it will get some spiffing up and a new home in the craft room. Yay!

Happy weekend all!!

6.11.2009

Makeover!!

Okay, well, perhaps a mini one. I think I mentioned a few posts ago losing creative steam due to excessive clutter in my crafting space. And just as I had begun to (finally) tackle some of the trouble spots in our office, the girls on the Etsy Greetings Team had started a challenge-to makeover your space in 4 weeks and follow along with the others. I resisted, thinking I had nothing to contribute or gain, but have given in....of course it helps to share your tips and tricks and issues with others!!

Unlike some others, mine is not a space issue. It is not an issue of not having storage space. Mine is mostly a function and organization issue. J and I live in a
house with 2 small bedrooms, the second of which does triple duty as our guest room, home office for both of us, and my craft space and necessarily, it has to hold all the related supplies and equipment. As my interests and pursuits in papercrafting have expanded, so have my supplies and I was running out of where to put them so that it made sense. I also was holding onto lots of old things. You know the type. Never really used, can't foresee a use for it, but can't let it go. Those types... I also suffer from a growing addiction to ribbon, coloring implements, and clear stamps, all of which can be difficult to store, considering that I am the type that needs to see things to use them up.

So, a couple weeks ago, I finally pulled everything out of the closet, shelves and from the random piles stacked everywhere and this is what I ended up with:

Add to that mess these crazy shelves, with nothing on the top ones because I can't reach them without a serious stool, which we don't have....


and this monstrosity of a color printer that my dearest husband rescued from the trash heap

and a lack of financing for any over the top solutions and a makeover CHALLENGE is indeed what you have! I have made some progress (still stuck on a few issues) and have pictures coming soon.

In the meantime, check out the makeovers of these ladies, fellow Etsy team members:
Shannen, who inspired the challenge- http://happyelephantdesigns.blogspot.com/
Molly, who started the challenge-http://mollyleecards.blogspot.com/
Genelle, with a great space- http://www.scrapbookcompleted.blogspot.com/
Shannon, whose "Monica Room" had me giggling- http://www.aprilink.blogspot.com/
Karen, who started a blog for the challenge- http://www.lavendergreetings.blogspot.com/

We are off this weekend to Savannah, GA to celebrate our first anniversary and next week I will hopefully have some cool solutions to share, so come back!