Author: saundralparker

11/20/2018

I finished the third card for the Scrapping for Less guest design team, and I’ll be so relieved when I finish the fourth one.  I put so much pressure on myself, and wonder how women who are actually on these teams can handle it.  I guess since they only get these kits once a month, they only have one week of pure stress, but still….I haven’t worked since 2005, so had forgotten the stress I put on myself to make sure I do the best job I can.  Looking back, I have no idea how I handled life.  I ran seven branches and now I can barely do laundry and contemplate what to make for supper….I can’t imagine how I got the housework done, the laundry, and made meals plus worked up to fifty hours a week.  It’s all a blur now, but back then, I just remember how stressed the pager, voicemails and cellphones made me.  It’s one of the reasons I haven’t gotten a “big girl” phone.  I still use a flip phone and barely remember to carry it, and it’s almost never charged.  I realize that I’m old school, but I have no interest in being so connected…I played that game when I worked, and it was too much for me.  I’m relieved that I’m old enough that it doesn’t matter if I know how to do an app or how to text.  All that matters is Rich knows how to do these things and I can rely on him if I need to…when you’re partners, it’s good to know the other’s strong suits…mine is paying bills and doing laundry, and he handles the tech stuff.

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A Review, Plus How to Use the Arteza Rotary Cutter, Plus Discount Code

I was lucky to be sent the Arteza rotary cutter to determine if I can use it, as well as showing you how to use the cutter and to offer you a discount code.  As usual, I  am not paid for sales of these products, but I love being able to show you tools I try out, as well offer discount codes for everyone.

The discount code is 10% and you’ll use the coupon code CraftingForAlmostEveryone1, which is valid until December 31th, 2018
Link in USA: https://goo.gl/cntscG
Link in Europe: https://goo.gl/Aw5cSD
utm-link to the product: https://goo.gl/4VyheV

Always leave the safety engaged as this blade will cut you…and I mean cut you…..There’s an orange button on the side, and you’ll want to push on that button and pull it toward you to expose the blade.  The blade has its size written on the side…mine is a 45mm blade.  You will receive the rotary cutter plus five blades when you order from the links.

To change the blade, unscrew the orange screw on the back and remove the washer then turn the cutter over and the blade will drop out with the screw in it…to put a new blade in, use the bolt with the screw attached, slide over the blade opening and put the blade onto the screw…Then put it through the opening on the cutter and put the washer on and then the screw it until it is tight.
You will always want to use a cutting mat that is self healing. If you use anything else, you’ll cut into it and ruin the surface beneath it. When you use the self healing mat, don’t put it in the sun as it will warp, and make sure you lay it flat, as if you don’t keep it laying flat, it will get a weird bend in it and you won’t be able to flatten it.
I recommend you also use a quilting ruler (or a wide ruler) so you have a large plastic piece to hold onto and something that you can cut against for a straight edge.
You should only cut fabric with the rotary cutter and at most, cut through up to four layers of a thinner fabric safely.
I found the Arteza rotary cutter easy to use, even though I am left handed. I tried with both left and right hands, and didn’t have any trouble using it.
Always keep the safety mechanism in place when you aren’t using the cutter, as it is super sharp.
I cut through a thin fabric, a craft fabric and felt, and I had no problem cutting any of it. You should only use the rotary cutter for fabrics.

11/18-11/19/2018

I have four different packets of card making tools from Scrapping for Less.  They asked me to be a guest designer, and I’ve been working really hard the last couple of days to make sure I finish the cards in time for their blog hop on Friday.  I’ve never done anything like this, and am feeling really foolish, as the owner keeps using terms that are outside of my vocabulary.  She said I need to provide her with a Permalink (OK, I might have made that term up, as now that I read it, I’m more confused than I was before.)  I also need to attach a banner for her channel, and I don’t have a clue where that goes either.   It was so kind of them to send me their monthly card kit, and I never in a million years, thought anyone would ask me to be a guest design team member, but here we are.

I am trying to only use the products they provide, but that’s not going well for me and I keep inserting things from my stash.  Is that acceptable or will they be upset that I broke from the way they wanted things…..YIKES!  I honestly don’t know how people on design teams get anything else done.  I see these women who make ten cards from a card kit…How many years are they working on those cards?   It’s taking me forever to get two cards done and I still have two to go.  And I can’t imagine how long this video will end up being….I don’t want to let anyone down, and I’m trying to follow their game plan, but my end result doesn’t look like theirs….I can only do my best, right?

11/16-11/17-2018

Yesterday, I got an email from one of the companies that said they would send me their monthly card kit at no cost.  The email said that I’m a “guest design team member.”  Holy cow!  I thought I was going to be doing a simple comparison of several monthly card kits, and now I’m a guest design team member.  I’m not sure if I’m up for the challenge, but I’ll give it a try.  I think I was more surprised than anything….I just don’t want to let them down.

I thought it would be a good idea to compare monthly card kits to see if some give a better value than others, and to find out if one has better options.  I’ve belonged to the Hero Arts kit for a year and a half and have only used one kit…the one with the county fair where I made a box card.  I loved that kit, but the rest have not been anything that I thought I would use.  So last month I joined Simon Says Stamps kit, because I seem to like the stamp sets in their kits better than those in the Hero Arts kits.  I’ve only gotten one kit and I really liked it.  I didn’t know I could contact them and tell them I don’t want the current month’s kit, and so this month, for the December kit, I contacted SSS and asked to skip that kit…No problem.  I joined Sparkle n’ Sprinkle’s kit and only got one, and found it to be a huge disappointment.  I don’t know how to say that on video, because I really like their products overall, but the kit was poorly put together and didn’t really seem to give you a good value for the price you pay for the kit.  So after only one month, I cancelled that subscription.  I bought a Stamps of Life kit they were selling on HSN.com and think it’s definitely worth the money….the others, I got for free.  One is from Spellbinders/Fun Stampers Journey and the other is from Scrapping for Less, whose the company that has asked me to be a guest design team member.  I asked other companies for a sample kit, but either didn’t get a response, or was told no thanks.  That’s OK with me, as I think I’ve got enough now for a fair representation of what people will be getting when they purchase these kits.

I finished the postcards and put the video up for the November SSS kit, and am happy that I also got the postcards in the mail  That’s the hardest part for me, actually putting things in the mail…I even had the stamps here, so it was just a matter of taking them to the post office….At least they’re on their way now…

Thankful for You Postcards, Simon Says Stamp Kit November, 2018

I like to send Thanksgiving cards instead of Christmas cards, and this is the perfect project for the Simon Says Stamp November, 2018 kit. I just joined their kit club and this is my first kit.

In this month’s Simon Says Stamp kit, I got:
Simon Says Stamp Thanks and Leaves $24.99 #SSS101894 http://tinyurl.com/y8pezju9
Cardstock in off white, orange, green, and three matching envelopes and a couple of small tags
Tim Holtz Butterfly Adornments $6.99 TH93689 http://tinyurl.com/y7q776nf
Tim Holtz Snarky Small Talk (stickers) $6.99 link http://tinyurl.com/y7hpn2ju
Small bag of gold sequins

I used Michaels Recollections Heavyweight cardstock in white and cut the paper in half on the 8 1/2″ length, then took my two half sheets and put them in the trimmer on the 11″ length and cut them to 5 1/2″ each. My postcards are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ vs. a normal postcard that’s 4 x 6″.  I have a postcard red rubber stamp that creates the mailing address and stamp spot for the back of the card but can’t remember who makes it….Penny Black makes one and here are two places I found them.. http://tinyurl.com/y7kf7hur and http://tinyurl.com/ya3r784w
I stamped the postcards with my postcard stamp with Archival black ink from Ranger, so they would be fine when they go through the mail.
Then I used Versafine Onyx Black ink and stamped the sentiment on all of my postcards, some with a family sentiment and most without (as we have a very small family.) I used Sparkle n’ Sprinkle embossing powder in Midnight Madness link: http://tinyurl.com/y7ytjt33 It sells for $4..69
I put embossing powder on the first card, (and not a lot of powder), then moved the card around to make sure the sentiment was covered with it, then dumped the excess onto the next card, and repeated the process…..I didn’t have a lot of excess embossing powder left over, and only had to put it back in the bottle once. I found by doing the assembly line fashion (stamping all the card backs, then stamping the sentiments on the fronts, and putting embossing powder on and heat setting three or four at a time, the process went much quicker than normal.)
Along the way, I realized that I shouldn’t have used the embossing powder with the glitter, as it didn’t act as a resist when I tried to ink over it. The glitter wiped off, and I had a difficult time deciding if the embossed image was heat set completely…
To create my background, I used a white pigment ink called Frost White from Color Box link: http://tinyurl.com/yd9p86ty or Unicorn White pigment ink from Hero Arts. I used a Tim Holtz blending tool link: http://tinyurl.com/y7a6drfd and gently rubbed it over the center of the postcard in a circular motion. Then once the center of the card is covered with ink, I used Wendy Vecchi’s Make Art Blendable Ink called Sunflower. Link: http://tinyurl.com/y7rnmbq7 with a second blending tool (you can use the same tool, just be sure to change the foam pad on it between colors.)  I covered the rest of the postcard with the Sunflower ink and then blended the white ink in the center with the yellow Sunflower ink to create a nice blended look.
Then I took a damp towel and wiped the white ink off the sentiment to ensure it’s as dark as possible. I dried the background before stamping the leaves on it.
I positioned the leaves around the sentiment in the MISTI and positioned the postcard so it’s 1″ from the top of the MISTI so I can place the leaves as close to the edges as possible. I stamped it with Always Artichoke Ink from Stampin’ Up and stamped the leaves a couple of times to make sure they were dark….and then heat set it again. I found there were small gaps that needed leaves, so I used my peg stamps to fill those spots with the same ink.  Peg Stamps used:
Large Oval Leaf http://tinyurl.com/yckctk4q
Summer Leaves Set http://tinyurl.com/yaehvb7y This is a replacement set as they no longer make the summer leaves set.
Almost Beech Leaf http://tinyurl.com/y8ltttw7
Double mum leaf http://tinyurl.com/y96brroj

I stamped the peg stamps in any spot that needed an extra leaf and along the edges so it appears that the leaves are falling off the page.

I used water based markers from Stampin’ Up and colored on a plastic lid from peg stamps.. The colors I used were Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun and Chocolate Chip markers with a Stampin’ Up blender pen to pick up the colors and color the leaves….You can find either Tombow Colorless Blenders or Dove Blending Pens to accomplish the same results as the Stampin’ Up one.  Once I finished a couple of the postcards, I realized that the markers made the colors bleed through to the back, so went with colored pencils instead. I love Prismacolor colored pencils and had a lot better results and more vibrant colors when using them instead of the markers. Then I used a Spectrum Noir Wink of Stella type marker to add sparkle to my leaves, but that wasn’t good enough, so I added Diamond Glaze http://tinyurl.com/ydekb99f or Glossy Accents http://tinyurl.com/ya9uhor6  I struggled to get the Glossy Accents on small leaves, so put it in the center, then used a micro brush link: http://tinyurl.com/yddzsaw9 to spread it around. The 3-d effect you get from the Glossy Accents/Diamond Glaze really made all the difference.
I sprayed the postcards with Aqua Net hair spray to seal the front..I also used a Workable Fixatif by Krylon, but hated the smell of it and preferred the Aqua Net. They both seemed to work the same to make the postcards waterproof..

11/14-11/15/2018

I went to the dentist yesterday to have a crown made.  This is only the second time I’ve needed a crown and for me being almost sixty years old, that’s not too bad (in my opinion.)  If you don’t know, I hate the dentist.  I hate the smell and the sound that the drill makes, and I’m really on edge the entire time I’m there.  The first time I had a crown made, the assistant told me I should consider taking Valium before coming in, and I told her I had already taken it….Huh, no response to that….It’s not like I keep my fears a secret either, as the first thing I told the receptionist was I planned on leaving as soon as her back was turned.  She didn’t take her eyes off me from that moment on, darn it…And once I was in the chair, my anxiety level kept building, until they gave me Nitrous Oxide.  I guess it’s nickname is laughing gas, but I wasn’t laughing.  Although I will say, they scent the mask, and to me, it smells like one of my favorite perfumes, Prada Candy (of course if there’s candy in the name, I’m sold)….I was immediately happier when I smelled that….and I guess I was relaxed, but it’s not at all what I expected.  I thought I would be super mellow and laughing or giggling at everything that happened.  It was more like I wasn’t clenching my jaw and wiggling my toes, (something I do when I’m in pain or having a painful procedure done.)  The dentist did say he was going to stick a needle in the roof of my mouth and it would hurt, but only for five seconds, and he counted as he did it, so I’d know when it was done.  I really liked his honesty, as normally doctors/dentists will say something like “you’ll feel a little pinch” and then you want to scream from the agony they’ve caused.  His counting helped too, because I was focused on the number and by the time he reached four, he was done….I’m not saying it didn’t hurt….I was definitely wiggling my toes during that part, but isn’t as bad as other things I’ve had done in the dentist chair.  And when the procedure was done, I shook his hand and thanked him for doing everything he could to help me through it.  He even gave me a kid’s size block to put in my mouth, so my jaw rested on the block, and I didn’t have to hold it open by myself.  Normally after a cleaning session, my jaw hurts for a couple of days….And when I left the chair, my jaw didn’t hurt at all.  That’s the greatest thing, knowing a dentist listens to you and helps you so you don’t have to hurt in the days following a procedure….
I finished my Thanksgiving thankful cards that I’m sending to my close friends and family.  I really like the way they turned out and hope all of you do too.  I have a few more videos that were ready to go live, but somehow, parts of them are now missing.  I’m especially upset about my sister’s birthday card, as I played with the new Nuvo powders and had a really great time with them….of course that’s the part that’s missing.  I’m crossing my fingers that the memory card shows up, but no matter what kind of system Rich and I put in place to avoid these things happening, they continue to do so.  It’s a really big bummer when I spend a really long time on a project and I can’t show the video….I hope this one finds its way home.