January 23, 2007

small update- new project

A small update because it was a small project- shrink plastic charms! (haha, not the best attempt at humor, I know...) I got out the shrink plastic and my rubber stamps the other night, and this is what I came up with.
This set of charms used rubber stamps for the flowers, and a punch I have that makes a watering can... the flower ovals are about an inch long... I stamped the flowers, then colored them with colored pencils.

This set of hearts used a heart-shaped punch and ink for coloring. After punching the hearts, I thought "why not cut around the punched-out areas, too?" so I made the outline shapes, too. Waste not, want not, right?

Another set of punched hearts, this time stamped before shrinking. I used a gingham background stamp and a polka dot background stamp on these. Even as an adult, there's just something really cool about watching the plastic curl up and move around as it shrinks in the oven! These are going to be for sale in my shop (the first set is already, but the site crashed in the middle of listing the next ones); they could be used for scrapbooking, on a card, or for tons of things I can't think of right now, as it's rather late...

I have ivory and black shrink plastic, too, and also some that's called "sea glass" that turns out all frosted when it shrinks. I just need some time in the kitchen with the oven!

January 21, 2007

cold Sunday crafting

Just a bit of cold Sunday afternoon crafting today... another wool felt pin, this one with a few blue and purple flowers (forget-me-nots, I call them). The whole thing is about 3 inches tall... I like watching football, but not by itself, so crafting this was my answer. It is now for sale in my Etsy shop.
I also spent some time cooking up a big batch of sloppy joes; I love cooking that sort of thing when the weather is cold and cloudy. The other night, I also made a big pot of chili. There's just something about having a big pot of "something" simmering on the stove, knowing it's cold outside, and having the aromas of cooking waft through the house. And, bonus- there's leftovers of both in the freezer for later!

January 19, 2007

the latest crafting

A few of my latest creations (even though I don't really know how to use it yet, the new camera runs rings around the scanner!) The first project is a sunflower pin made from some wool felt (clearance-priced, even!) from JoAnn's... it has some wonderful color variations- the name of the color was "tangelo" I believe. Below is a bookmark made using grosgrain ribbon and more wool felt. I got the idea at work last week- lots of times that's what happens: I get ideas when I can't act on them right away- and sketched it out so I wouldn't forget. It reminds me a bit of Lowly Worm, a character in the Richard Scarry books I loved when I was little- Lowly Worm hops around on one foot (since he's a worm) and drives a little car shaped like an apple. Mine, however, is a BookWorm! (...now if I could only figure out how to put tiny wire-rimmed glasses on him... )

I think he turned out darn cute!! I cut two apples, and sandwiched the ribbon and the stem in between. The worm is also sewn into a slit into the apple, to give a bit of a 3D effect.

I have a couple things in my shop for Valentine's Day; this is the latest- iris folding with a decorative paper punch used for the corners. Iris folding is so easy, and gives such an elegant effect. It's just time-consuming to cut and fold all the paper strips, and then to tape them all down one at a time...!

No takers on any of these items, though- I really thought someone would at least buy the bookmark already; perhaps people just don't read books any more?? I know I don't read near as much as I used to, but in my opinion, there's nothing that compares. Some stories just have to be envisioned in your mind, not on the movie screen. Well, that's the end of my crafty goodies right now, although this evening I may work on some more ideas that have been rattling around in my head.

life in the AZ desert is sometimes cold... and wet...


from the Wednesday 1/17/07 (Phoenix) Arizona Republic newspaper:

Nearly 5,000 customers in fast-growing Maricopa were out of hot water and heat for two days during below-freezing temperatures after high demand caused a shortage of natural gas, officials said. The outage began Monday morning when not enough gas was available on one of the coldest days of the year, with a low of 19 degrees. Linda Taylor, a Southwest Gas spokeswoman, said that the extra demand from the cold weather caused the outage and that the gas line that supplies Maricopa, about 10 miles southwest of Chandler, needs to be larger. Repair crews "physically modified" the system with tap equipment so that more gas will come into Maricopa and the problem won't happen again, Taylor said. She said they would have the majority of Maricopa customers back up by Tuesday night.Bob Jackson, Maricopa public works director, said the city's high growth rate, 16,000 new residents in 2005 alone and now a population of more than 23,000, may have contributed to the outage. "I'm sure they underestimated demand," Jackson said.Arizona Corporation Commission member Kris Mayes said the agency is investigating the problem. "I think Southwest Gas was caught unprepared," Mayes said.

Thankfully, our neighborhood was not one of those affected!!


It was cold again today, and rainy, to go with it- high in the mid-40s. This (see pic) is what happens with rain and a bad memory! The road we usually take when we drive home avoids the downtown traffic in Maricopa... but, there's a road closure right now (road work outside a new housing development- go figure!), so there is a detour. That is unpaved. And rutted. And icky!

It was only a mile or two, but enough to get all over, and I got some on my jeans when I got out of the car, to boot! (They're in the wash right now.) The mud is so thick it reminds me of chocolate cake batter. Needless to say, my car is staying where it is, because there's an 80% chance of showers tonight- cross your fingers!

January 15, 2007

the first picture!

The first picture taken with the new camera! Not much to look at in terms of the subject- well, Sedona is pretty, but she wasn't doing anything special- but I couldn't wait to take a picture! (I think she needs to go outside, actually- I better do that!) Okay, I have NO idea why some of these posts look like they're double spaced, and some look like they're single spaced- it's gonna irritate me pretty soon!

January 14, 2007

new changes for the new year

I finally switched to the updated Blogger... new template, but you can add tags and categorize posts. I need to mess around with the colors of the text and things (it's pretty boring right now), but I think I can live with it for now. It will be nice to be able to search for particular posts!

craftiness update

I've decided I like blogging better with pictures... our camera will be replaced shortly, but till then I'm stuck with the scanner. The pics below are some of the latest craft projects, most of which started over Christmas vacation back in Illinois. It's sort of a tradition to work on some kind of project on Christmas Day, after the presents but before dinner. Our schedule was a bit different this year, but I did manage to fit in a couple Christmas projects. Mom has a wonderful collection of fabric, buttons, and some scrapbooking papers. so on Christmas Eve, I stayed busy choosing fabrics, buttons, and papers to make a few things that are now for sale in my Etsy shop.
A set of blank notecards using some really fun polka-dot paper and some of Mom's vintage plastic buttons, accented with yellow embroidery floss.

Mom does a lot of different kinds of crafts- cross-stitch and projects using wool felt are just two of them. I raided her stash of wool felt to make this flower pin; my buttonhole stitching will never be as even as hers, but I think it's cute. Accented with another vintage plastic button, of course! Unfortunately, the scanner does NOT do it justice; since it's layered, the scanner cast some weird shadows.

Heart Valentine Cookie Felt Pin: This one I made after we got home, out of regular felt. (I have since gone to JoAnn, etc. and got started on my own stash of wool felt, most was on sale for 40% off, and some was even clearanced!) This heart pin was going to have vintage buttons on, but the colors looked so much like a cookie with pink frosting that I had to go with it- I used some beads as "sprinkles" and the whole thing is button-hole stitched. Again, the scanner doesn't do anything good for it at all- the beads are really bright, but the scanner just washed them out in the shadows.

Pink Butterfly Felt Pin: This one I made a while ago, and recently found in my own stash of supplies. The little white flowers are lazy daisy stitch (and they're daisies- LOL!), and the stems are stem stitch (!). The butterfly was also made with lazy daisy stitches, out of some chiffon ribbon to give the wings dimension. This was listed in my shop, and already sold! Well, traded- I sent this, and a fellow seller sent me some origami business-card holders. Now I can carry my business cards in style! (Not that I'll hand many of them out- I'm still so shy about that sort of self-promotion...)

January 01, 2007

happy new year!

Well, it is officially 2007 here in the great SouthWest. Hard to believe how quickly that happens! We're still unpacking our luggage from our trip, and still need to take down the Christmas decorations.

We had a wonderful time back in Illinois and Wisconsin, but it was overall a pretty hectic week... it was nice to get home again. We picked up the dog at Pete and Mac's on our way home from the airport. Since she stayed over 5 days, she automatically got a bath before we picked her up- she was so fluffy, she didn't look like herself! Although they said she had a good time, it took her a day or two to get settled down again... she was a bit whiny, and couldn't really settle down and relax till late that evening. The cat also isn't quite herself yet after a week of having the house to herself; she's doing a lot of yowling (in the middle of the night, go figure!), and is still a bit discombobulated, although the cat sitter said she was fine the times she stopped by.

So, now back to normal life, again... I did do a little crafting over Christmas, using Mom's stash of supplies, and need to finish up a couple of those projects, and of course, clean my craft room, along with lot of other stuff.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2007!