Crafting

“Holy Crap!”

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That’s literally what I said a few minutes ago when I found a very flat and dry small lizard on the hallway floor. I’d stepped on him, though I’m reasonably sure that I’m not the cause of his flatness. EWWW! Since our outside cat has been committed to the inside world for the past 2 weeks due to his recovery from an unknown bite on his butt (well, back just above the tail) and the kitten only goes outside with supervision….that lizard has been dead inside the house for awhile!

Anyway, for those of ya’ll looking for a book review, I’m just about finished with I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert, so I should be able to write a review for it tomorrow after work.

Right now I’m playing with the spray adhesive I bought after work today (E6000). First attempt was bad with it coming out as a harsh single stream instead of mist. The second attempt went better because the glue came out as a mist this time, though maybe my “Happy Birthday” is too flimsy for it to work properly. I’m looking forward to more practice.

And here’s where I gloat about one of the really cool things I got from work. Well, it’s actually a box full of these things, haha. It’s large sheets of red acetate (the size of a small poster board), which in case you didn’t know, your average glue will not stick to! I’ve used it to separate the “guts” for handmade journals as I spread on thick amounts of handmade glue (water and flour cooked like gravy). When the glue is dry and the weight is removed the guts separate easily from the acetate dividers.

The first time I learned that glue wouldn’t stick, I was making my grandma a sign for her grocery cart because while shopping for Tree Trimming she’d left her first cart at the front while she worked to fill her second and some helpful associate started putting her first cart away. I was using hot glue for that project and my poor letters kept popping off. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, haha.

Anyway. Because the sheets I have are so large, they’re perfect for covering my work surface, of which I only have only one: some remnant of  a pressed paper piece of furniture that’s the perfect size to use on top of the tall guest bed.the desk only holds my cricut and papercutter as well as some small odds and ends :-(. I’d love a proper counter!

Wish BF was here so I could share pictures of the lizard and the acetate, but he decided to stop by one of his friend’s houses after we ate dinner and went to Walmart. He’s been overheated for the past 2 weeks and today it really appeared to be affecting his communication skills. First I didn’t understand what he meant when he called to ask me if I “wanted to eat dinner before I came home from work” (it took him awhile to say that he was heading into town), then I misunderstood that he definitely wanted me to order 2 pizzas because his son was joining us for dinner (he told me to order his usual and for me to get one how I wanted it, but I decided I didn’t want pizza so I got a personal dish instead). As we left Walmart, he told me to follow him towards home (because I have a very bad sense of direction and haven’t memorized that route yet since I don’t do much shopping alone). At some point he’d decided to take the detour to his friend’s house, but he didn’t tell me. I got a bit worried when he put on his turn signal to indicate a turn onto a street I know well, but then didn’t get into the turn lane. I ended up following him as he went straight where he pulled to the side and as I pulled up next to him he finally told me the plan. I told him like it was: I thought he was having a stroke (it wouldn’t be the first time).

Actually the stroke is a good deal of the reason why he has trouble communicating at times. His speaking abilities are fine, but the act of thinking through what he wants to say can get jumbled to the point that he doesn’t know what he has or hasn’t said. This means that he’ll repeat the unimportant things and will forget to say the important ones. It can be frustrating for everyone involved.

CARDS!!!

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I actually took pictures of something!

Something that isn’t the sky or a bush, that is, haha.

Anyway, for anyone wanting to see actual proof that I made cards all weekend, here they are:

These cards ended up measuring 3.5″ by 5.5″ which I think works really well with this style of Christmas Tree. I love the sparkle of the glitter glue “baubles”! With 5 different patterned papers for the trees, 3 different messages inside the card, a half dozen different colors of glitter glue, a handful of present accents, and running out of yellow stars by the end of things, I wonder if any 2 are exactly the same combination.

The envelopes these come with are 6.5″ by 3 5/8″ remittance envelopes.

Card Challenge–not completed, but still fun…

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…when things worked properly, that is.

I got a solid 40 Christmas cards done and they turned out pretty cute, except when one of the cats sat on a few of them a couple times. I think I need to get rid of some of my old glitter glue pens because I spent more time fighting the too tacky glue than I did decorating my Christmas trees. Dots, dots, dots, dots…lots of dots.

I have 100 bases for my birthday cards and at least 50 “Happy Birthday” cut out, but I still am waiting to pick up spray adhesive. I’m worried about my birthday bases, though, because when I went to cut down the horizontal Christmas cards I’d printed I found that half were off center which meant cutting them down to various lengths. At least the vertical cards, while having to get cut to 3.5″ width are a consistent 5.5″ height. It’s more of an annoying problem than anything else. I don’t mind that I’ll need to make envelopes to custom fit these cards…I hope.

As for my tools, besides the printer acting up (in apparently more ways than one), I got somewhat frustrated with Cricut Design Studio. It has lots of great “canvases” to make it easy to size images…but the custom canvas is broken at best. I’m not going to bother with it anymore. By the way, I highly recommend that crafters invest in a line gauge rather than a ruler. The ears are perfect for gripping the edge of your project to give a more accurate measurement. Just be sure to get one with your primary measure on the opposite of your dominant side (on mine, since I’m right handed the inches need to be on the left, which is what mine at home is). My line gauge at work (which is 24 inches long) has the inches on the right and it’s especially annoying because I’m usually measuring cut marks that are less than a quarter of an inch from the left side of the piece of paper (so very little of the gauge is actually on the paper).

I do have to say that I love the weeding tool from Cricut. I use it for weeding, of course, but also instead of my fingers when I’m gluing. It’s perfect for tidying up glitter glue when it gets out of control. This tool is worth every penny!

I’m very happy with how productive I was this weekend. I can’t wait to get started on those birthday cards!

***Giveaway!*** Sew Deadly

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I’m relatively new to the cozy mystery genre. I only started reading them because my mom is a book buyer and I was desperately in need of something to read. I must say that I was a quick convert.

This one combines by mom’s love of crafts and my love of libraries. I liked that each of these topics was given an equal amount of attention.  I’ve found that some authors tend to neglect their subplots to the book’s detriment–that wasn’t a problem here. There could have been a little more character development done, but on the whole it was average.

I’m not sure about the Southern stereotypes portrayed in this book. I consider myself a Southerner because of my location, but Hampton Roads is a bubble. It’s the equivalent of a very large city population-wise with a lot of transient people because of the military (please don’t judge our graduation rates too harshly–some parents don’t think to formally withdraw their children from school when they move). I don’t think I’ve ever met a little old lady who says “bless your heart”. I don’t know how it is further south and in actual small towns, so maybe this is a Southern thing and I’m just not a Southerner even though I was born here.

Milo reminds me a lot of my boyfriend, especially when he asked Tori out the first time. I know exactly what it looks like when a guy looks positively relieved when I said that I would indeed go out with him. ‘Course, my guy looks nothing like Milo. Milo is relatively tall and has an averagely muscular build and is a self-declared shy nerd. My guy is 6 ft 4 with a barrel of a chest who simply looks like a Big Truck driver. ‘Course, while my guy isn’t shy (except when it came to asking me out because he was scared), he is very much a nerd (I have difficulty getting him to watch anything not Sci-Fi), he’s somewhat introverted (though not as much as me), and I didn’t insult him when I told him early on that he’s definitely smarter than he looks :-). He made me stumble over the Latin while discussing the various forms of vivipary the other night. Don’t judge the backwards looking redneck truck driver by the cover of his Star Trek universe novel, hahaha.

Anyway, back to the book. I was very surprised by the murderer’s reveal–I didn’t see it coming. I identified most of the red herrings for what they were (and thought them excellent choices). I didn’t like the portrayal of the investigator because it was gratuitous. Yeah, that’s a good word for it. I’ve just looked at Goodreads about this series and am thrilled to see that these characters continue to exist. I shall hold off real judgment on Investigator McGuire (and Ms. Casey) until a few books later when we can see if his character evolves.

Enter this giveaway at: ***Giveaway*** Sew Deadly (powered by Gleam.io).

I’m selling my stuff!

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Well, not all my stuff, but I have some things lying around the house that I just need to get rid of. I’ve got them for sale on Amazon.

These decorative scissors come packaged as pictured along with 6 additional pairs of scissors (possibly more if I find them lying around the house by the time you order). $10.

This kit might be labeled used, but it’s never been opened. This is one I wish I had time to make, but I’ve got a seasonal “Welcome” sign that I haven’t touched in a few years that I should finish first. Actually, if you’re interested in the Welcome sign, let me know and I’ll toss what I’ve got finished in the envelope with this kit. I have the L C O and the M w/out the turkey completed as well as a portion of the black and gold border. I’ll include all the thread I haven’t used  as well as the instructions. $10.

These stamps might be labeled as collectibles, but really they’re ideal for the crafter. I decoupaged them to wooden boxes to give as gifts a few years ago and they turned out awesome! These are still attached to their envelopes, but it’s super easy to take them off for your crafting project: just soak them in water for a good 5 minutes then gently peel off the paper. Lay the stamps flat on a clean towel and let them dry. 100 stamps for $1!

The Quick and the Thread

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When Marcy Singer opens an embroidery specialty shop in quaint Tallulah Falls, Oregon, she throws a soiree and a Stitch-In. Soon, Marcy’s sign- up sheet for embroidery classes fills up and everyone in town seems willing to raise a glass-or a needle-to support the newly-opened Seven Year Stitch.

Then Marcy finds the shop’s previous tenant dead in the store-room, a message scratched with a tapestry needle on the wall beside him. Now Marcy’s shop has become a crime scene, and she’s the prime suspect. She’ll have to find the killer before someone puts a final stitch in her.

This is the first book in the series and I was instantly hooked. I love the idea of this shop and would love nothing more than a “sit and stitch square” of my own :-). Though I’d probably spend more time reading than stitching. My only complaint about this series is that the characters haven’t grown as much as I would like. I’m 7 books in and I still feel like I’m still just meeting the main characters. The lack of back story about Marcy’s mom in Thread on Arrival was especially disappointing! The mystery aspect is rather good, though I’m getting better at figuring out who the murderer is before Marcy does, though I will say that this is probably because I’ve read more cozy mysteries in the past year than I’d previously read in all of my life. I’m probably just getting better with practice.

Anyway, these are light cozy mysteries that will keep you entertained at the beach this summer.

Sewing Machine Business Card–2 sided
Sewing Magnet
Mice Stitching Postcard