Keeping you updated..

My sister’s health has rapidly declined since last I wrote, and she’s at the point where she is primarily sleeping, and when she is awake, she’s not very lucid. My nephew and brother-in-law are doing an amazing job tending to her every need, and are, in the process, wearing themselves out. They have gotten Hospice involved, and the nurses are great, but my brother-in-law and nephew are choosing to do almost all of my sister’s care, wearing themselves out in the process.

I completely understand they want to be with her, but I also know my sister wouldn’t want them this exhausted.

I haven’t been in the mood to create anything, and wish I had more ambition, but sadly, I feel like the weather we’re having, dreary and weepy.

I’m planning on making Halloween gift containers for Tic Tac gum we got for our trick-or-treaters. Tic Tacs come in a container that mothers could sanitize if they choose, and they’d be a lot safer during Covid to give to kids. At least I hope they are.

I have a lot of ideas for videos, just no ambition to create them. I hope it’s OK with you if I limit writing in the blog to when I feel like it, which right now, isn’t very often. I promise that this is a short term issue for me and hope I’ll feel more motivated in the near future.

Labelling Mica Powders

I bought a set of 32 colors of Biutee Mica Powders on Amazon, Link: https://tinyurl.com/y268ovje. In order to be able to distinquish the colors in the bottles, I took Polaroid Round Adhesive labels I bought at the Dollar Tree and a 1/2″ circle punch and punched 32 circles.

Then put a circle on the top of each bottle and rubbed the mica powder into the label. To get the mica powder to stay put, you’ll need to either put Mod Podge, a spray adhesive, or inexpensive hair spray on the label. I also decanted Dollar Tree’s LA Color’s eye shadow that came in a pot, into another Dollar Tree container and put the entire Polaroid circle label on top, and rubbed the eye shadow into the label.

I’ll be doing a lot with mica powders in an upcoming video, and wanted to make sure you have time to buy your mica powders if you want to play along.

Diamond Painting Magnets, Let’s Do Lunch Slimline Card

I wanted to use these diamond painting refrigerator magnets on a card. I thought it would be really cute and a great way to gift diamond painting magnets.

The magnets came from GBFKE.COM

Four food magnets link: https://tinyurl.com/y3et5p2q

After I added the diamonds to the magnets, they were ready to go on a card. I thought it would be fun to invite a girlfriend to lunch with this card…I have an old stamp from Hampton Arts that says “Let’s do Lunch,” I was surprised to find the same stamp on ebay in case one of you is interested. Here’s the link https://tinyurl.com/y6rvnaep

I used a piece of yellow cardstock cut to to layer the front 3 1/4″ wide x 8 1/4″ tall

The red card base was cut to 8 1/2″ tall x 7″ wide, scored at 3 1/2″ on the 7″ length.

I used a regular business sized envelope that you’d mail bills in for this card.

I laid the two magnets on the yellow cardstock so I’d know where to put the sentiment, then once I knew where they needed to go, took an Xacto knife (craft knife) and cut a slit about 3 1/2″ from the bottom of the yellow card stock that was about 1 1/4″ long–it needs to be long enough to allow the ribbon ends to be pushed through the slit.

I took two ribbons, about 8″ long each, one red organza ribbon and one yellow grosgrain ribbon, and sprayed water on the red ribbon and ran it over my shirt and my hand to straighten it. You can also use a hair straightener to take any wrinkles out of ribbon. I use water because it’s fast and easy.

I put tear tape on the back of the yellow cardstock near the top to adhere the red ribbon….then laid the yellow ribbon in the center of the red ribbon and laid a piece of tear tape on the red ribbon to adhere the yellow ribbon. Then I wrapped the long ends of the ribbon over the top of the yellow cardstock and down the center to the slit I’d cut with the Xacto knife. I put tear tape under the ribbons to hold them in place and between the yellow and red ribbon to keep the yellow ribbon in the center of the red ribbon, and then pushed them through the slit and onto the back of the cardstock. I put tear tape under them on the back of the cardstock to hold them down.

I then stamped “Let’s Do Lunch” on the front of the yellow cardstock near the bottom with Gina K’s Amalgam Black Ink. The stamp doesn’t do a great job of stamping even though I’ve tried it repeatedly, even laid the stamp face up and putting the cardstock on top and rubbing it with my hand to get a good image, and that didn’t work. I stamped it normally then took a water based black marker and colored in where the stamping skipped, and then put clear Ranger embossing powder on it and heat set it.

I added tear tape to the back of the yellow cardstock and adhered it to the red base, then used Removable Glue Dots (temporary) to adhere the two magnets…This should allow the recipient to remove the magnets. I laid another piece of yellow cardstock cut to 8 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ wide to the inside of the card.

I decorated the business size envelope with two peg stamps..

Soft Serve Ice Cream Peg stamp link: https://tinyurl.com/y6pl97hj

Ice Cream Scoop Cone Peg Stamp link: https://tinyurl.com/y57t65um

I inked them with Distress Oxide inks:

Brushed Corduroy for the cones

Picked Raspberry for the scoop

Antique Linen for the soft serve

While the ink was still wet, I used a damp paint brush and moved the ink around to make the image look like it’s completely colored. I stamped them ice cream cones all over the flap of the envelope and three on the bottom front right corner of the envelope to make the envelope look frisky as well.

I know I haven’t been writing much, but….

Since Covid, I haven’t had a lot to talk about and don’t want to write something on the blog if I don’t have anything to say. This has been a really tough week for me. My sister, Cathy, is two years older than me, and is a type 1 diabetic (meaning she’s insulin dependent, and has been, since she was four.) She has had an ear infection for the last month or so, and no matter what they’ve done to treat it, nothing’s helped. At the beginning of last week, she woke up one morning and half of her face was frozen (permanently,) and blood was coming out of her infected ear.

Her husband is a retired ER doctor and knew her condition had seriously escalated, and took her to her physician. They did some tests and sent her for an MRI. The MRI shows that the infection has gone into her skull. At this point, the only option to kill the infection, would be for her to have a very invasive surgery that has no guarantee of working. She could go on IV antibiotics, but they won’t kill the infection, only prolong her life.

In the past year, Cathy has no balance so can’t walk and uses a wheelchair. She’s had issues with her eyes for several years, and has additional health issues. Her quality of life before this infection wasn’t great, and with no real cure for the infection, Cathy and my brother-in-law have chosen not to do anything, and have involved Hospice.

Cathy is my only sibling, and both of our parents have passed away, so it’s just the two of us, and now I’m looking at a future without her. We all know that we’ll lose those we love, but it’s so much harder when that loss is imminent.

My sister lives in North Carolina, and because of Covid, and my reduced immune system (from my arthritis,) it’s not safe for me to fly. I would really struggle if we chose to drive, as my arthritis hasn’t been under control in recent months and riding long distances is difficult for me.

I always thought I’d be with Cathy when she passed, and it’s with a heavy heart that I’m admitting that I won’t be able to be with her.

I had a boss once that asked me if I was a “glass is half full” or “glass is half empty” kind of person. I said I’m a person who sees the glass and knows it’s got water in it…I don’t measure how much, as the reality for me is that the amount of liquid doesn’t really matter. My current situation reminded me of that story, as I now see that time with my sister is finite…what I choose to do with that time is what’s important. The glass isn’t half full or half empty, it does have liquid, and that’s all that matters.

Treasure Studios Art Haul & Unboxing + Giveaway

The nice people at Treasure Studios Art have sent me some lovely diamond paintings, and I wanted to share them with you.

Here’s the link to their website: https://treasurestudiosart.com/

Below are the products and their links:

Tree of Life Lamp link: https://tinyurl.com/yyllyqt5

Christmas Ornaments Link: https://tinyurl.com/y495hnth

Minions: https://tinyurl.com/yy2ehlzv

Watercolor Flowers link: https://tinyurl.com/y4wetzbs

Blooming Lavender link: https://tinyurl.com/y3eg5m57

To be eligible to win the Green and Blue Mandala Special Shape, you need to :

1. Have a mailing address in the USA

2. Leave a comment below the video saying “I’d like to win the Mandala” by October 12th at midnght EST.

3. Please include your email address in the comment if I don’t already have it

4. I will email the winner on October 13th via email (if I don’t have your email, I’ll leave a comment below your comment on this video)

5. If I do not hear from the winner by October 22nd with a mailing address, I’ll choose a replacement winner.

Thanks to the nice folks at Treasure Studios Art, for these lovely diamond paintings. As always, I do not receive any monies from Treasure Studios Art, only the paintings.

Mini Album Walk Through, James Madison University

I made this album for our great niece’s freshman year in college.

I used almost everything from my existing stash or from images I found online.

For online images: I searched the college’s name on Google, then looked at every image that I found and printed the ones I liked. I fussy cut the images and put them in a big pile and used them as I needed. I did the same for her sorority.

All of the papers I used were ones I already had in my stash.

Halloween papers came from loose papers at Joanns, and Christmas ones came from an 8 1/2″ x 11″ pad from Hobby Lobby that they no longer sell.

The gold foil pages came from Crafter’s Companion Luxury Cardstock: https://tinyurl.com/y62pztvp

The punches I used were:

EK Success Open Scallop edge punch for the pull out pages: https://tinyurl.com/y6tsx4ne

Jewelry Tag Punch (it’s the smallest punched image from this larger punch): https://tinyurl.com/y6754jo7

Martha Stewart Photo Corner Punch-I couldn’t find this punch available anywhere, but found an EK Success Photo Corner Punch–it doesn’t have the flaps that fold under, you simply glue the corners on top of your photo. https://tinyurl.com/y29ef3wt

Stamp set used: MayMay Made It Action Set: https://tinyurl.com/yd3en99k

Kite Die: https://tinyurl.com/yxmbwqlo

Black Paper used for pull out pages: Michaels Recollections Heavyweight Cardstock: https://tinyurl.com/y4a5nnfw

Magnets used to close pull out pages: https://tinyurl.com/y47xzfo4

Chipboard for binding: https://tinyurl.com/yyx6hupp

Sister 3-d stickers I found at Joanns, but couldn’t find them in their online store

Wood Flip Flops were from the Dollar Tree and are only available when they offer summer supplies

Family stickers were an old 3-d set of alphabet stickers

Wood Greek Letters on Back of Album: https://tinyurl.com/y527ddwx

Sorority Air Freshener for Back of Album: https://tinyurl.com/y4rh6nyq

I’ve Been Thinking….

I was talking to a woman about Covid, and how it’s almost as if time is standing still, since there are no movies or television shows, and we can’t go out for dinner, entertainment, etc. I starting to think about single people and how tough it must be to meet anyone new in the age of Covid. How would you even know what the other looks like since you’re both wearing masks…Or, if you’re meeting via Zoom, how can you really get to know someone when you can’t see them (from the shoulders down) or see where they live, smell them or even kiss them?

I know that people today love having instant access to everything, but maybe during Covid, singles would benefit from the ways we handled things when we were young and couldn’t be together. Today’s singles probably have never gotten a love letter, and don’t know the anticipation of the possibility of getting one in the mail. Maybe it’s time to bring them back? I know a lot of women my age that have kept all of their love letters (including me,) and I offer this idea to singles. Since you can’t really “meet” during Covid, why not get to know each other through letters? Rich has the letters his grandmother wrote her first husband during WWI and they were not just love letters, it was they way they stayed current with each other, and learned a lot about their spouses. You can say things in letters that you might not want to share in person. Letters can be as impersonal or as personal as you’d like, but they aren’t like texting. They are permanent and hand written, so the writer had to take the time to pour their thoughts onto paper. I can’t think of a better use of the time we’re trying to fill during Covid. Can you?

You don’t have to be single to write a letter..you can write to old friends, or family you’ve lost touch with. I wish letter writing wasn’t such a lost art, as letters can be a beautiful keepsake, and a way to say I’m sorry, when it’s too hard to say in person. Just because it’s handwritten doesn’t mean it’s written. You can print a letter, the reader won’t care…people want to connect with each other, and during Covid, there are a lot of people who are alone, and would love to get a letter from someone…and the best way to get a letter, is to first, send one yourself.

Decorating Christmas Pages in a Mini 6″ Album

I am making an album for our great niece’s freshman year of college. I wanted to show you how I decorated the Christmas portion of the album, as well as how I made the pull out for it. Here is the first video showing you how to make the binding of the album and one of the pull-outs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWT2_3waRAY

To begin this video, somehow I accidentally deleted the introduction and instead, began by explaining the Halloween pages of the album. The Halloween papers I used were from Joanns from last year’s single sheet options. The Christmas pad I used is from Hobby Lobby and are 8 1/2″ x 11 that I also bought last year. Here are the paper pads Hobby Lobby has available this year…unfortunately, not the one I bought, as it had a lot of gold foil on it. Link: https://tinyurl.com/y72sflyu

The corner punch I used on the Halloween page is from Stampin Up and has been discontinued, but I found it on ebay and here’s the link: https://tinyurl.com/y8cy9o2g It creates three different rounded corners and I liked it especially for albums.

To make the Christmas layers, I used cardstock cut to 5 1/4″ square and adhered them with tear tape link: https://tinyurl.com/y7byzlnn and wet glue (I used Elmer’s Glue All on this album link: https://tinyurl.com/yc4wvbdy, but any wet glue will work as I use it as an addition to the tear tape to make the paper super adhered to the album.)

The two black layers are cut to 5 1/2″ x 6″ and scored on the 6″ length at 5 1/2″ to make a fold that would adhere to the page under it. I used Michaels Recollections Heavyweight black cardstock for these layers link: https://tinyurl.com/y4a5nnfw

When making pull out pages on the right side of the album, I first put one-half of a magnet on the cardboard base about one-quarter from the right side of the cardboard, then laid the decorated paper cut to 5 1/4″ square on top using tear tape and wet glue to adhere it. The next layer, I used the piece of Recollections Heavyweight black cardstock cut to 5 1/2″ x 6″ and scored on the 6″ length at 5 1/2″ to make the end result 5 1/2″ square and folded under the scored part. I adhered the folded edge with tear tape and wet glue (only on the 1/2″ folded piece) over the left side of the decorated paper (that I just put in the album), making sure to lay it a little above the decorated paper and lined up with the left edge of the designer paper. I added the other half of the magnet on the top of this piece of black paper, so it will connect with the magnet on the bottom layer. I added the next 5 1/2″ x 6″ Recollections black piece with the fold on the right side, laying it so it’s directly on top of the black layer beneath.

I added two pieces of Stampin’ Up Night of Navy cardstock cut to 2 1/2″ wide by 5 1/4″ tall, adhered together with tear tape…the left edge I ran through an EK Success Open Scallop Edge Punch link: https://tinyurl.com/ychztzrf then put tear tape on the back everywhere except on the scallop portion and adhered it to the back of the top black layer..I laid half of a magnet on the back of the navy blue piece as far from the scalloped part as possible and then put decorated paper cut to 5 1/4 x 5 1/4″ on the back and front of this layer. I added the second half of the magnet on the back of the decorated paper (so it faces it’s other half that’s on the Navy paper) with tear tape (keeping the backing on it) with sticky part on the underside of the magnet, so when you close the page, the magnet attaches to the black paper beneath it. That’s the simplest way I’ve found to make sure the magnets line up on different pages. Then I added decorator paper to the front and back of the second black page in the pull out and the pull out is complete.

I added a small piece of ephemera that said Christmas Memories to the left side of the Christmas section of the album. I wanted our great niece to be able to add as many decorations to this section as she wanted.

In the last video, I’ll do a walk-through of the album so you know what the entire album looks like.

Does You Let the Media Scare You, Like I Do?

I don’t watch normal television any more, because the political commercials scare me, so I either watch NetFlix or YouTube. Today I was watching a crafty video and in the videos that are featured as “Up Next” was a video about what we should start hoarding before the election. I’d never seen anything like this video, so decided to watch it. That was a HUGE mistake. The name of the channel wasn’t related to “Prepper,” but as soon as the woman started her list, I started to sweat. Her number one was a generator. Number two water filtration system, number three, a homemade toilet, etc.. Let’s just stop right there…I thought we were going to talk more about toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Apparently, this woman thinks the election is going to be the end of the world as we know it. She prefaced by saying whichever party wins, mayhem will ensue. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my worst fear is a zombie apocalypse, and my second is Civil War. Apparently, in this woman’s opinion, Civil War is just a few short weeks away.

Most of you might not remember this, but Henny Penny predicted mayhem when the calendar flipped from 1999 to 2000. It was called Y2K, and the problem that the world was consumed with, was computers at that time, only calculated to 12/31/99, and had no 2000 in their databases. So airplanes were predicted to fall out of the skies, based on loss of computer function, and banks were supposed to fail, because computers…you get the point. I was managing retail bank branches at that time, and spent a lot of time, reassuring customers that the banks were prepared for 2000…but a lot of people didn’t trust that this problem would be solved in time, so they hoarded…and bought crazy things like unprocessed wheat. We knew a man who bought a train car full of unprocessed wheat and sold it to friends/family in preparation for Y2K. Apparently he knew how to make it into flour and other usable products and I hope, in the last twenty years, he’s found a way to use it. I seriously doubt that he did. When the calendar clicked over to the year 2000, all computers worked, and everything that was hoarded was for naught, which was the outcome everyone hoped for…Can we be sure that the same will be true of this election?

I don’t need the media to tell me that this year has been a terrible one. From Covid to wild fires, hurricanes, and rioting, it’s been a scary time for all of us. I’ve never seen this country so divided, or people treating each other with such disdain. What happened to the “United” States of America. Where has our unity gone? When we watched the World Trade Centers fall in 2001, we could not have been more proud of our police, who were running in when everyone else was running out. Fast forward to 2020, when we are defunding our police departments because of the actions of a few bad police. Who will we turn to when someone is breaking down our doors, raping women, or murdering people, if there are no police?

I’m 60 years old and afraid for our future as a country. It seems we no longer respect each other and that’s sad. I’ll refer back to the media. Can’t we ever see the good in anyone? Couldn’t we provide HOPE instead of promoting hate. I’m too old to make my own toilet and sanitize my water, and quite frankly, I don’t want to poop in a bucket. Wouldn’t it be easier to treat others as we would like to be treated? Or, is that asking too much?

An Idea for Leftover Diamonds, Dollar General Magnet

I wanted to come up with an idea of something to do with leftover diamonds from diamond paintings.

I found the magnets in the craft department of my local Dollar General store. The magnets come in a pack of two from Bright and Bold called Assorted Magnets. They sold a few different designs, butterflies and flowers were available in my local store.

I started by painting the magnet with acrylic paint pens from Niutop, link: https://tinyurl.com/yyx3qbjc and once the paint was dry, I took a foam brush from the Dollar Tree link: https://tinyurl.com/y5egsl4g and painted a thin coat of Aleene’s Tack it Over and Over glue link: https://tinyurl.com/y6xloms3. Once the glue was dry, I went through my diamond storage and found colors that would work well with the paint beneath. Here’s a link to my diy diamond storage video link: https://tinyurl.com/y2l7dm52.

I completely covered the magnet with diamonds, working from the outside in. I wanted to have a row of blue diamonds to surround the image, so made sure if the image beneath was too close to the edge of the magnet for a row of blue diamonds, I painted the image further from the edge to allow for the row of blue diamonds. It’s important to use a few different color tones (different blues, greens, etc) as this adds to the overall look. Once the diamonds are set into the glue, the magnet is ready to be displayed, or, in my case, to use on a card.