Saturday, April 25, 2015

Graduation Pop-Up Card

This was my first attempt at a pop-up card.  I could pretend all went well and turned out exactly as I had planned, but it didn't and I won't.

When Cricut released the cartridge Everyday Pop-Up Cards a few years ago, I told myself I had enough images from which to choose.  Another untruth.  One can never have enough cartridges.  Ask me how I know.  Ask me about the retired cartridges that are no longer available, and how suddenly I have grandchildren who adore those licensed characters.

Oh, well.  Life would be boring if it were perfect.

Eventually I found this cartridge at a great price and decided the cute images would come in handy sooner or later (even if I never made an actual pop-up card).

But then I needed to make a graduation card and I had a little extra time to get it done, so I decided to jazz up my card with some pop-up action inside.  It looked easy enough.

It wasn't. 

My first try ended badly even though I was following the instructions provided by Cricut.  (I could only find one example of a phrase pop-up at the end of the PDF file, so we'll use that as my excuse for why I found it so difficult to piece this particular one together.)  Was mine assembled correctly? Who knows?  But I could find no evidence to the contrary and that's good enough for me.

Have you ever made a pop-up card?  If so, did you find it difficult or did it make perfect sense to you at first glance?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Shaker Card

I've been hoarding Graphic 45 paper for quite a while.  It's been so intimidating to think of cutting into all that loveliness, and I was beginning to think it would never happen.

And then it did.

I wanted to make a card for someone who needed uplifting.  And simultaneously Graphic 45 was having a contest.  So I took a deep breath and the plunge and created a shaker card inspired by one that had been created by a Graphic 45 design team member, Lori Williams.

I chose paper from the Botanical Tea 12x12 paper stack.  I cut a frame for the shaker window using a Martha Stewart Punch-around-the page set, and glued some fussy-cut flowers and a bird around the edges.  The shaker was filled with some beads and coarse glitter from another of my hoards.  The edges were inked with a Tim Holtz Distress Ink pad.

I wish I could tell you which punch or ink pad I used, but I simply don't remember.  Keeping up with those kinds of details requires a more organized person, or at least someone who promptly posts her projects while the details are still in her memory (and I'm neither of those).

Do you find yourself hoarding pretty paper (or other craft supplies)?  Are you afraid you'll find the perfect project for it...five minutes after you've used it for something else?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Read at Your Own Risk

No craft sharing today.  Read ahead at your own risk.

I finally fell asleep at 6 a.m. this morning, not because I was out partying and having a fabulous time all night, but because my mind won't rest.  So the day never even had a chance to become something good.

Oh, and in the "wee" hours of the morning (pun intended), when I inevitably had to get up to pee, I had to replace the toilet paper.  Yes, a big old cardboard tube was mocking me at 4 a.m.

It's laundry day.  Every Saturday is laundry day.  Every Friday I remind the family that I need their laundry in the hallway before they go to bed.  Do you think that happens?  Have you read my blog?

Today was no different.  Not only did I have to beg for the opportunity to wash clothes, but as usual there was no prep work done before the full contents of the girls' floors was scooped into laundry baskets, candy wrappers, shoes and all.  Why would I ever expect clothes to be turned right-side-out, with undergarments disengaged from the clothes that previously covered them?

Before you advise me to refuse to wash anything that isn't laundry-ready, let me stop you right there. I've tried that.  They will either wear their clothes dirty (risking a visit from Child Protective Services), or when my back is turned they'll wash one or two items, wasting water and electricity that is already hard enough to pay for.

Excuses, excuses.  Maybe I'm just too old and tired to try teaching old dogs new tricks.

Speaking of dogs, our oldest granddog has become incontinent.  Within hours of our arrival for a rare visit with our youngest grandchildren (who live seven hours away), our dog walker called to say the dog appeared to have suffered an injury and was dragging his back legs, unable to walk without assistance.  He had also done his business in our house.  (The stories I could tell--and probably someday will-- about what happens when we try to get away for a few days...)

Anyway, the dog suffered a ruptured disc, and is on the mend.  But he either hasn't regained his ability to control his bladder or he no longer cares (a sentiment I'm quickly beginning to understand). Now my house is not only dusty and falling apart, but it reeks of urine mixed with cleaning products.

Then there's the younger granddog who is responsible for the blood spatter all over the walls.  I don't often notice it because I don't typically wear my glasses when I walk through the house; therefore, it blends in with the other dirt and grime.  And I like it that way. Ignorance really is bliss sometimes. I just pray my house isn't raided someday by law enforcement; they will rip the sheetrock off the 2x4s for lab analysis, certain a deadly crime has been committed here.  And yes, we try to clean it up as best we can, and we've tried to eliminate the health issues the poor dog has in an attempt to prevent her from scratching and shaking, but we also have lots of other things to take care of.  There are only so many hours in a day...and it obviously isn't enough.

After starting the laundry today (and drying the tears from my face after yet another frustrating morning), I was famished and realized I couldn't go on without a little fuel.  I went to find whatever leftovers I could in the fridge and turned on the oven to reheat them.  It didn't take long to notice a HUGE pile of shredded cheese on the oven floor, which extended into an even larger HUGE pile trapped between the door and frame.  I reached for a paper towel, but the roll was empty!!!  (Why was I not surprised?) Without enough energy to make another trip down and back up the basement stairs to get a new roll, I improvised with the empty cardboard tube.  (This was one cardboard tube that wasn't going to get the best of me.)  I slid the flattened tube across the oven floor and into the door opening, trying to remove as much cheese as possible.  (I knew if I waited until someone baked something it was really going to be a job to clean it up.) And since this is a wall oven, every attempt I made to scrape the cheese out ended with cheese being shoved behind the oven and into the wood cabinet, which can only be reached by removing the oven from the wall.

That's one project too many.

I still need to pull up my tiled kitchen floor to remove the dishwasher (the one I've already repaired twice) so that I can try to diagnose and repair its most recent malfunction.  And my other oven, part of my range, hasn't worked correctly in over a year and is still waiting for me to disassemble it to make a repair while crossing my fingers that's even the problem.

(And that's just the kitchen.)

Now the tears were really flowing.

Nope, no time for that.  I have at least eight loads of laundry still to do.  I haven't showered.  And there's a box of wine with my name on it.  (Yes, I've officially changed my name to "Franzia".)

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Make a Difference

Alone.  Insignificant.  Misunderstood.

I think we've all felt this way once or twice (or every day) in our lives.  It's easy to feel invisible or forgotten.  Even if we know God's love, sometimes we still need to feel loved by those around us.

I hope you'll take a moment to listen to this beautiful song from Sidewalk Prophets. You never know what a difference even a small gesture can make in someone's life.