Author: saundralparker

How to Fix Freezer Jam that Won’t Set, Without Adding More Sure-Jell

I made two batches of freezer jam using Sure Jell, and neither batch got thick, so I found this solution .

Using corn starch as the thickening agent….

I used: 3 cups of runny jam

2 Tablespoon corn starch liquefied in 2 Tablespoon cold water— I try to use any runny jam left in the freezer containers to replace the water, as it’s flavor that is left behind after dumping the jam into your measuring bowl. Mix with a fork to ensure you’ve removed all lumps…and make sure you only use COLD water, as warm water causes issues.

Note: I started with 2 tablespoons of corn starch, because you don’t want to start with too much, as the amount needed may vary based on how humid it is where you are, and how hot. I didn’t want to ruin anyone else’s jam, so as I do this, I continue to add corn starch and cold water until it thickens to the degree I want. My jam didn’t get thick enough with the initial corn starch, so I added another 1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch and the same amount of cold water.  Even with the additional corn starch,  your jam still isn’t thick enough, add another small amount of corn starch mixed in cold water until you get to the desired consistency (once it’s boiling–corn starch doesn’t get to it’s full potential until it’s boiled…)

Note: I started with two batches of jam with Sure Jell in them, and combined them into four or five batches when adding corn starch, as it was a lot easier to boil in smaller batches. I used a 2 qt sauce pan on medium heat, stirring constantly..Once it starts to boil, add the corn starch mixture and continue stirring. If you don’t notice it getting thick once it’s at a full rolling boil (boiling even while you are stirring), you’ll want to add more corn starch/cold water. Take your pan off of the heat while you’re preparing more corn starch. Put the pan back on the heat and add your corn starch mixture. I always use a fork to make sure I get rid any lumps, and you must use COLD water, as warm water will give you lumps too..

After adding corn starch, if you have a batch that’s overly thick, remove about 1/3 of the thick jam from its freezer container, and put that back into your sauce pan, and when that batch gets a little thick, take your ladle and add the 1/3 back to your freezer container, mixing it in so the whole container is the same thickness.

I use a wood spurtle to stir the jam (I recommend any material that’s not metal for the utensil you use to stir with–metal gets hot) a ladle to skim any foam off and a small bowl to put the foam in a plate to house my utensils while stirring the hot jam (as this can make a big mess and the plate will hold any jam left on your ladle a funnel used in canning Freezer safe containers for the hot jam…don’t wait until your jam is cool to put it into freezer safe containers, as it will difficult (or in frank terms, a nightmare) to remove once it’s cooled.

After putting the jam in freezer containers, wait until it has reached room temperature, then put into the freezer.  I put one container in my refrigerator and showed the results after about 10 days…Here are the notes I thought you might want to consider before trying corn starch to thicken your freezer jam.

End results to consider:

1. I found my jam to be nice and thick, but had a slight “skin” on top of some of the containers. It’s easy to stir the skin into the jam and it doesn’t cause any issues by leaving it there, but I wanted to make sure you knew it might happen to your jam.

2. The jam has a more starchy consistency and taste. It’s not significant, but I wanted to make sure I noted it.

3. My jam seems like it’s more tart once I added the corn starch, and if you don’t like a tart jam, you might want to add more sugar when you are heating it (and before you add the corn starch), as the sugar needs to be completely dissolved before adding the corn starch.

I’m happy with the end result, and if you think you can handle the three points I mention above, you might want to try this remedy for runny freezer jam…


I hate it when I forget to write in the blog…Geez…Sorry about that.  Let’s start by talking about the evening of the 4th of July.  There’s a church about 1/2 mile from us that had fireworks, and it sounded like they were in our backyard, they were SO loud.  Honey lost her mind, so we spent the evening in the basement with the door shut, and we don’t have windows in the “man room” part of our basement, so she doesn’t see the flashes of light (that also upset her.)  If you’ve never seen our basement video, here’s the link.  I tell some funny stories about how some of the basement components came to be, including one involving sugar packets and our contractor..Let’s just say, that poor guy put up with a lot from me.

We went to bed around midnight, and then our neighbors decided that was the perfect time to start setting off fireworks, so Rich and Honey headed back to the basement..It was a tough night.

On the 5th, we spent the day with our close friends at their house.  We’d intended to spend he 4th with them, but I’ve been having an issue with nerves in my elbow, shooting what feels like electric shock to my hands, and the night before the 4th, I couldn’t sleep, as every time I moved, my arm would send a shock to my hand, and I’d wake.  It wasn’t the greatest, but when you have RA, these things happen.

It was a nice relaxing day, and it’s always nice to spend time with good friends…We got home around 7PM and the dogs were ecstatic to see us, as they don’t normally spend very much time alone, and this was a long day without us.

I spent the 6th mostly reading.  I’m enjoying a series of books by Nick Petrie, featuring Peter Ash.  If you’ve ever read the Jack Reacher series, these books have a similar feel to them.  I really enjoy them, and can spend a lot of time reading, and during the quarantine, read a lot.  I haven’t been reading as much this summer, but when I can, I can get lost in books.

I had an appointment with an oral surgeon yesterday.  I have a hole in the side of my tongue from two things.  First, there was a tooth that rubbed my tongue, and second, I have a dry mouth from arthritis.  The dry mouth made it so every time my tooth rubbed the tongue, there was nothing wet to help, so the hole was created.  I went to the oral surgeon right before quarantine, and he ground the tooth so it no longer would rub as much.  It felt a lot better, but he warned that tongues are really hard to heal.  So here we are, four months later, and it doesn’t look much better.  He said he could take a biopsy to make sure there’s nothing wrong, but he’s had tongue biopsy’s take years to heal.  No thanks.  This hole is bad enough.  He also said that sometimes hole from the biopsy rips open..Yikes…..He said it didn’t look cancerous, just worried that it hasn’t healed.  He knows I take prednisone, which is tough on healing, and gave me a prescription for a medicine that I swish around that aids in healing.  I’m really hoping that helps, as I’m not up for the whole biopsy route.

I played in my craft room, which is threatening to get me on the show “Hoarders.”  It’s SO bad right now, and I just don’t have it in me to figure out how to beat it into submission.  I can’t describe how terrible it is, I just let it get out of control.  I have been wanting to finish the art journal I made from a children’s book, and so I did a two page spread in that, and then decided I’d do the back page with my gelli plate.  But when I pulled the gelli plate out of its packaging, it appeared to have tiny hairs on it.  It didn’t have them on it when I actually removed it from the packaging, I just thought it did.  It acquired those hairs from the overhead fan and the big dog I had laying behind me.  Her tiny hairs swirl invisibly around me, and landed on the gelli plate and stuck there.  I had to spend the rest of the evening cleaning, re-cleaning, then watching YouTube videos on how to clean it.  The answer (I haven’t tried it yet,) is packing tape.  You cover the gelli plate with packing tape, really rub it onto the plate, and then tear it off, and it’s supposed to take everything that’s on the plate, with it.  I really hope this works, as regular washing didn’t take them off.  I believe this issue is that these hairs are really fine and hard to see until you look closely at the plate.  Then you can’t tell if they are on the side of the plate facing you, or on the other side.  It’s so frustrating, and I really hope the tape works, because I’m out of ideas if it doesn’t.

I gave Rich two memory cards and at least five or six videos to upload.  I apologize for the gap between videos, and hope he’ll be posting a bunch of them soon.  I have some fun ideas and hope you enjoy them.






I watched this video, and thought maybe others might be inspired by it as well.  It’s actor Sam Elliott (unforgettable voice from most notably, “A Star is Born”,) paying tribute to one of the Americans who came ashore at Normandy.

It’s a really moving tribute to the men of that generation, and a perfect video to think about on this day of our country’s independence.

I realize that I’m older and out of step with today’s reality, but hope you’ll understand when I say that I love this country, with all of its warts, and understand that our history  defines us.

I can’t listen to the National Anthem without crying, and I don’t know why, maybe because it’s talking about with the “bombs bursting in air,” and “our flag was still there,” in wartime.   I listened to the telling of that day on Normandy Beach, and I think about the men and women who have put their lives at dire risk so our flag is still here.  And although it’s every American’s right to kneel before the flag, I would never consider doing it, as it would be dishonoring those who have lost their lives in service of the flag and the Anthem.

I am hoping that whoever reads this understands that this is only my opinion, and on this day when we celebrate our Independence, we take a minute to reflect on what it’s cost, in terms of those who’ve come before us, to be Americans.

Alternate Framing Look for Round Diamond Painting Kits

I wasn’t crazy about the way the Mother Mary diamond painting frame looked once hanging on a wall.  Frankly, I thought it looked outdated, and I wanted a more modern look for my sister’s image.  I thought about the options, and decided on this approach.

Here’s what it should have looked like if I used everything that comes in the kit.

The Mother Mary diamond painting came from and here’s a link to it. Link:

I first cut the image on the lines provided so it fits perfectly onto the styrofoam-type backing provided with the kit. I added a lot of lines of double sided tape to the back of the image and laid Mother Mary centered on the strofoam-backing and rubbed it with the side of my hand to ensure it is well adhered, and there are no bubbles in the image.  I  took the plexiglass provided, cleaned it, then laid it over Mary, and laid the black frame  (that also comes with the kit) over all of it. To get them to stay adhered, instead of using the tassel hanger that comes in the kit, I used hot glue. Laying Mary so she facing down, pushed the back as hard as I could, to get the styrofoam backing inside the frame, then squirted hot glue all along the inside back edge of the frame to hold it in place. I inserted one pin with a pearl top into the top and one into the bottom to ensure the hot glue didn’t seep out of the back of the frame as it dried.  (The pins hold the styrofoam in place at the top and bottom, but aren’t sufficient to hold the entire image so it is tight against the plexiglass.  You don’t need to leave the pearl pins, but I thought they were pretty, and not very noticeable, so I left them in place. Then I added a picture hanger to the back of the image, and my framing was complete.  I used a hanger that looks like this, that should hold her on the wall, as she isn’t very heavy.  10PCS Self Adhesive Wall Hooks Hangers Heavy Duty Wall Hanger ...


I showed the topper I made for my glue bottle and if anyone wants to see me make one, leave it in the comments below the video, or leave a comment here, and I’d be happy to show you how I did it…I’ve lost so many needles that I had to come up with a solution that worked for me..

Comparing 2020 Blending Tools to the 2019 Model

We’re comparing last year’s vs. this year’s new blending tools.

Gold Handled brushes from 2019:

Aliexpress link: Cost per brush: $1.43 + .73 shipping (from China)

Ebay link: Cost per brush $1.46 (you can make an offer, so might be able to buy if for a little bit less)…still comes from China, though

Amazon link: $2.59 + .99 shipping (from China)

Mushroom Shape Foam Blenders (I apologize that I refer to them throughout the video as a foam brush.)

Aliexpress link: Costs have risen since I bought these blenders, and they are now between $1.24 and $1.34 each, depending on the color of the foam. (from China)

Ebay link: The price varies..if you buy one, it’s $1.43, and if you buy two, the price drops to $1.40, and if you buy three, the price drops to $1.37 (from China)

Large Black, Flat Head Blending Brush

Aliexpress link: The cost has risen since I bought mine, and they are now $4,02 each. I paid $1.88 when I bought mine (from China)

Ebay link: Cost $3.50 for one, $3.40 for two and $3..30 for three. (from China)

Amazon: Cost, $9.00 but overall best price on Amazon, as you get a set of four tools, but only one is the blending brush I use in the video....This is also the only product I’ve found that comes from Amazon Prime, so you can have it in as little as two days.

Inks Used:

Wendy Vecchi Blendable Die Ink (Poppy color) Link: Price $3.79 from + shipping

Wendy Vecchi Poppy Ink Link: link: Price $3.99 plus shipping

Ranger Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry) link: Price $5.69 plus shipping link: Price $5.99 plus shipping link: AmazoPrice (on sale now) $4.19 plus shipping

Amazon Prime link: Price: $6.18

Papers Used:

Canson XL Watercolor Paper Link: Walmart, Cost $5.97 (online)

Michaels Recollections Heavyweight Cardstock link: Cost $15.99 (use a coupon to get the price around $10 per pad)

Neenah Solar White Classic Crest 80lb. (Sorry I didn’t give the correct information in the video about the name or weight of this paper) Link on Amazon: Price $32.34

Walmart’s brand Pen Gear link: Price $5.92

Results from each tool:

Best Performance using the 2019 Gold Toned Blending brush: I still really like this tool and recommend it much more highly than the black handled similar looking tools…You need to buy separate brushes for dye based inks and oxide/pigment inks, and if you don’t want to clean them in between uses, I suggest you buy one for every color family, for example: red/orange, pink, purple, green, yellow, blue, gray/black, browns…in the end, you might decide you don’t blend much with some of these colors, so could buy 5 for dye inks and 5 for Oxide and pigment inks, for a total of 10 brushes. Please be sure to label them for either dye or oxide inks so you don’t confuse yourself and not be able to continue using a brush for what you’d intended.

With Wendy Vecchi Blending Ink in Poppy:                                                                     Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 Lb.                                                                          Canson XL Watercolor Paper

With Distress Oxide ink in Picked Raspberry:                                                                Walmart’s Pen Gear                                                                                                                      Canson XL Watercolor Paper

Best Performance with the Mushroom Shaped Foam Tool: Note, this is a foam tool, and worked much differently than the other tools. If I would offer a suggestion, it would be to skip buying these, as I don’t think they bring much to the table in the way of blending.

With Wendy Vecchi blending ink in Poppy:                                                                        Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                                    Pen Gear from Walmart

With Distress Oxide in Picked Raspberry:                                                                                    Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                                  Michaels Recollection Heavyweight

Best Performance with the Large Black Flat Head Brush: This gives a lighter blend than the other tools. To clean this, you’re supposed to simply wipe it on a cloth, but I found it required a little cleanser and a rinse instead. I recommend you buy two of these tools…one for Oxide and Pigment inks and one for Dye based inks.

With Wendy Vecchi Blending Ink in Poppy:                                                                      Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                                Michaels Recollections Heavyweight

With Distress Oxide in Picked Raspberry:                                                                      Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                              Michaels Recollection Heavyweight

I hope this helped you to decide if you need a new blending tool, and if so, do you like the paper you’re currently blending on. 


Yesterday I fixed the jam!!!  I watched a bunch of videos on how to fix runny jam, and read every Google article I could find, and all of them said I should buy more Sure Jell, and if everything works well, it will get thicker, but not as thick as it normally would…Seriously? I spend another almost $6 for more Sure Jell, plus you add a lot more sugar, and you still might not have jam?  I was so disgusted, and called my sister whose made strawberry jam from, wait for it, green tomatoes and strawberry Jello.  She said you would not know the difference…Yikes…..Can’t begin to tell you how unpleasant I thought that sounded.  But, we started talking about thickeners, and she suggested I just add a box of strawberry Jellow to my jam, but again, that adds a lot more sugar and I wasn’t sure I’d want an overly strawberry tasting jam….That probably sounds odd to you, but when you think about anything you eat…If it’s too strong with one flavor, it can be gross, and after I’ve invested this much time into this jam, I wanted it to taste good.

We continued our discussion, and she said, “How about corn starch?”  Genius!!!  I know it doesn’t add any additional flavor and no additional sugar, so thought I’d give it a whirl.  I spent most of the afternoon, fixing the runny jam, and decided to video the affair.  I figured if I needed the help and couldn’t find it, someone else might benefit from it as well.

I’m happy to say that my jam is now thick and in the refrigerator…Life is good again.

Today I had my annual physical…and we all look forward to that.  You know when you walk in and the first thing they do is weigh you?  Geez….my Corona chubby is clearly not going away.  Darn it…The appointment was fine, and to top off my day, we went to Walmart to run some errands.  I know it sounds like I’m making a big deal out of going to Walmart, and I am.  We have not stepped foot inside any Walmart since the beginning of February, when we left for vacation..When we came back a week later, the world was focused on the cruise ship off the coast of Japan whose passengers had been diagnosed with something called Corona virus….We had no idea what it meant, and we so glad it was on the other side of the world from us, so we didn’t truly need to worry about it, or so we thought.  Little did we know that we’d spend the next few months, quarantined, with thoughts of little else beside the Corona virus, whose name changed to COVID-19.

As soon as we knew the virus was in PA, we decided the worst place to go for masks and social distancing would be our Walmart, so we just stopped going.  Today was our first visit, and I was surprised how some shelves were empty, things you wouldn’t think would be something people would hoard.  Like bars of soap and vacuum cleaners, and paper plates….I expected a shortage of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but the hand sanitizer people have wised up and are now charging a lot of money for hand sanitizer…It’s ridiculous the lengths people will go to, to make money.  I heard of a couple of people who bought $17,000 worth of Dollar Tree hand sanitizers and were selling them for $35 each.  Thankfully, they were caught and shut down, but probably not before they made their investment back (and maybe a lot more.)  So now you pay $9 at Walmart for “premium” hand sanitizer, that’s ridiculous….isn’t that a little like the people who bought the sanitizer from the Dollar Tree and resold them for $35 each?  It’s still price gouging….and with Walmart remaining open throughout the quarantine, it’s not like they need the money…It just bugs me when they can’t just sell a necessity item like hand sanitizers at a reasonable price.  I realize people can use soap, but if you have a family and go anywhere (other than your home,) you’d want to be able to clean all of their hands, so hand sanitizer becomes a necessity..and $9 a bottle is highway robbery for people who are out of work and still trying to make ends meet during this outbreak….I’m getting off my soap box, and I’m sure, for all of you it wasn’t soon enough.



Yesterday was all about strawberries.  I wanted to make jam, and although we live in a rural area, have no place within twenty-five miles that sells local strawberries.  I knew they normally sell them twenty-five miles away, so we got in the car and were on the hunt for them.  We found a farm that used to produce Troyer Farm Potato Chips, but stopped maybe ten or fifteen years ago, and now, they use a portion of their property for strawberries…..Unfortunately, the sign said “U-Pick,” which Rich was completely opposed to….I asked him to drive up to the building and ask if they had any already picked that we could buy and they had just run out, (darn it!) so the only option was to pick our own.  Oh, and we followed a detour that took us ten miles out of our way, only to figure out that we missed the “real” detour, and had to double back….so there was no way we were going to drive around to find another strawberry farm.  We got out of the car, and the workers explained the picking system (little did I know there’s a system that involves flags…you start where the flag is and take the flag with you, then plant it where you stop, so they know exactly what parts of the fields have been picked.) Let’s just say the flag system is genius, and within ten minutes…count them, ten minutes, Rich had picked four quarts of strawberries.  I originally was helping, but the way their fields are set up, they mound the strawberry plants and then there’s a small trench on either side..The trench is filled with hay, so you can’t see any uneven areas, so it was hard for me to navigate.  Rich was worried I’d fall, so sent me back to the car…(and frankly, it was much faster going without me slowing him down.)

We went out to dinner and as soon as we got home, I made two batches of jam.  I make freezer jam that should be perfect every time, but somehow, this time, it didn’t seem to get thick….I read online that if it doesn’t get thick in two weeks, I should take it out and put it in a pot and boil it to thicken it.  I really followed the directions, so am not sure exactly what I did wrong…and when both batches didn’t firm up….not sure what the problem was.  I know if you buy old pectin, it won’t work, but I just bought mine, and I used a timer for boiling time and stirring time, and tried to be completely accurate with my measurements, but still, runny jam…Darn it….

Today we met our close friends at a local spot that is unique to our area.  It’s called the Spillway at Pymatuning Lake.  This video says it all.  It’s a spot in a large lake where you are allowed to feed bread to Canadian Geese and Carp.  Carp are large fish that look like really ugly Koi fish….there seem to be a million of them, and feeding them is a lot of fun, as they all shove each other out of the way for bread, and they are BIG..It’s kind of gross to watch, but you can’t take your eyes off of them.. You need to watch the video, as my words don’t do this justice.  Any way, our friends and Rich are from a larger city, Youngstown, Ohio.  They’d never seen anything like it, and when Rich and I were in college, I took him there for the first time and he was mesmerized.  This is the second time we’ve taken our friends there, and they love watching the display like we do.

Our friends brought a lunch and we brought a lunch, so we social distanced food, and then we both brought desserts that could be eaten without touching each others food.  Of course, I brought a big bag of kettle chips, because what’s lunch without chips?  And then I realized I forgot to bring bread to feed the fish. How dumb was that?  There used to be a shed that sold bread about a mile from the fish, but our friends drove in that way and said it wasn’t open….so no bread…bummer.  We brought subs, and I didn’t eat half of mine so we’d have a little bread to feed them, and that was enough to make us all happy.  We got a big laugh out of an entire loaf (in the bag) of bread that fell into the lake..The carp were trying really hard to open the bag, but sadly, the bag won and the carp were still working at getting inside when we left.  It was a nice day and great to see friends during social distancing.


I couldn’t sleep at all last night, then got up early to go to garage sales and rummage sales with my girlfriend.  The first sale we went to was a rummage sale at a church near my house.  It’s a really big, well-attended church, and they always have a ton of things to look at.  My girlfriend found a large game (toy of some kind) and asked one of the volunteers the price…The volunteer said there was a tag on the game for $5, so my girlfriend said she’d take it.  The volunteer was taking it to the check out area when (I believe) the head volunteer asked her if she’d sold it, and the volunteer said yes, for $5.  Apparently the head volunteer thought they were selling it for $40, so started yelling loud enough for the entire sale to hear her, about how this item sells for almost $200 in stores and why would she think they should sell it for $5…blah blah blah.  There is NOTHING worse then a public display of aggression….especially when that aggression is directed toward a volunteer.  I felt so badly for her…having every person turn to witness her being screamed at….I think she should have taken her apron off and told the head volunteer that no one should be treated like this, especially someone giving their time to their church.  It was appalling.

This sale has over 1,000 items for sale, and how the head volunteer can keep track of every price is beyond me…but, she also kept track of where things were placed, as an elderly woman asked for my help because she looked at a picture frame and then when she put it back, it wouldn’t stay leaning against the wall, and kept falling over.  So I picked up a small box of picture frames and leaned them against a corner of the larger frame (as the elderly lady was concerned the box would hide the frame, and once I put it there, she said she could see the frame with no problem…)  As soon as the scream fest was over, the head volunteer walked the length of the sale, found the box of frames I’d leaned against the larger frame and started muttering about people moving things, and put the small box of frames back where they originated (about a foot away.)  I’m not one to let things slide (you probably know that,) so I told the head volunteer why I’d moved the box, and oddly, she said that made sense, and moved the small box back.  I was really tempted to say, “And by the way, if I was the volunteer you just yelled at, not only would I have stopped volunteering here, but I would have talked to the pastor about your rude behavior.”  Yes, I’m that girl.  I’m all for the underdog, and can’t stand it when someone uses power to make someone else feel like they are less.  But, I was with my girlfriend, who was already feeling terrible because she felt she caused the argument with her interest in the game…The real fault lies with whoever put the $5 price tag on the game, and of course the head volunteer wanted to know that as well….so I’m sure, she could scream at someone else.  It would have been the highlight of her day if she could have fingered the culprit.

We left that sale and went to a garage sale held by two little old ladies, and you know I’m a sucker for them…They had an outside table that was low, but looked like it would adjust to a taller height.  I’ve been looking for a small dining table for on our patio, and asked them how tall the table would go….The one lady said, “I’ll show you,” and the other said, “I’ll bring a chair.”  So they adjusted it and had me sit in the chair to see if it would work…It was perfect, and I was happy…

I bought a bunch of small things today and had a good day..probably the best day of garage sales for the year.  I’ve been buying a bunch of large frames for my diamond paintings and now just need to figure out how to get mats for them, and then I can give them as gifts..I found two more today.

When I got home, I was happy to see that Rich had brought our round black kitchen table to our garage and sanded it, as I wanted to repaint and polyurethane it.  So we spent the rest of the afternoon doing that and doing the same to the matching chairs…I feel like we’ve really accomplished something today, although tomorrow, I probably won’t be able to move, it was still worth it.


I have been watching a lot of videos on water coloring flowers.  I don’t know if I can turn my wrist the way the artists show in their demonstrations, but I’m willing to try.  I have water colors, but wanted to create a palette of colors that will inspire me to make flowers.  I know it sounds stupid, because you can blend colors to create any color you want, but when I watch these artists, it seems that their palettes are focused on floral colors.

There’s one artist in particular, that makes me feel like I can do this…and here’s a link to the video I’ve watched, and re-watched.    I’m not going to start until I know I can really devote some time to practicing, and I’ve been working on a couple of other larger projects that I want to finish first.  I’ve been collecting everything I need for our great niece’s freshman college journal/album.  I am at the point where I’m ready to put it together, and need to prioritize that first.  I’ll tell you how crazy I am, if you didn’t already know.  I bought a bunch of chipboard squares that are 6 x 6″ each.  I am making the base of the album from those.  They are white on one side and cardboard colored on the other.  Her college colors are purple and gold and her sorority colors are black and gold, so I thought I’d make the spine gold and the edges of the cardboard black.  How can you go wrong with black, right?  So I started by edging the cardboard with black ink, and that would have taken me forever….then decided maybe Oxide ink in black would be easier, and yet, it wasn’t.  So then I thought maybe paint…and finally, I had my answer…Black acrylic paint.  Worked like a champ..Believe it or not, messing around with all of those mediums and then finally painting the cardboard, took me an entire evening.  Of course I got sidetracked a few times, and then decided I needed to arrange my craft area, well, you know how I am…Squirrel…If you don’t recognize the squirrel reference, you need to watch the animated movie, “Up.”  It has a dog that talks, and he’s easily distracted…when he is mid-sentence, he might see a squirrel and says “squirrel.”  Rich immediately latched onto that phrase and when I lose focus, he’ll say “squirrel.”  Back to my story…

So I cleaned the area where I video and arranged a couple of drawers, then decided I needed to get back to the album.  I had pulled out some watercolor card stock that already has a gold pattern on it, and decided to paint some of them purple and some black.  The trick is wiping the excess paint off of the gold foil that’s on the card stock without wiping off the purple or black paint.  I had the worst time attempting this, and in the end, might not use some of the papers I painted.  I tried dabbing, wiping, using a baby wipe, a kleenex, the bibs I keep on my chair, and none of them seemed to wipe only the gold foil…they took most of the watercolor off of the areas without gold foil.  Frustrating?  Yes…You’ll definitely hear the whole story when I make the album video.

We’ve been having a lot of thunderstorms this week, and Honey has been spending most of her time in the basement with the door closed.  I, on the other hand, am not feeling like myself, as the change in barometric pressure messes with my arthritis…And boy do I hate the weather forecasters who don’t have a clue what the weather will be doing…The weather channel should employ a lot of people whose bodies are great weather predictors, as I am sure we’d have a much more accurate forecast.  Squirrel….

Tonight I’m having a video chat with my best friends from college.  We started doing this during quarantine, and have been keeping in touch every couple of weeks with this method.  I honestly hate watching myself live time, and don’t like to see myself, but love seeing my girlfriends and catching up.  There’s nothing like talking to old friends who know all of your secrets and still love you for your flaws.

Tomorrow is a big garage sale day and I’m looking forward to two church rummage sales nearby.  You never know what you’ll find at those, and “rummaging around” is great for the soul….


I’ve been making videos non-stop for the last couple of days.  I made a paper bag clutch that I saw on Scrapbooking with Me…It was fairly simple, and lots of fun.  I love making things with paper bags…

I took one of the Fansells diamond art passport covers that I had finished, and by request, turned it into a credit card wallet.  I’ve had to revamp it at least six times, but tonight I finally finished it and am really pleased with the results.  Here’s what the outside of the passport cover looked like.

I finished the trivets that I layered with a cotton material for a friend, and will be finishing that video tomorrow.  And lastly, I’m working on a scrapbook for our great niece, who just finished her freshmen year of college and joined a sorority.  I’m so excited for her and she loves her school and sorority..She and I are the only Parkers to belong to a sorority and it’s fun to talk to her about it.  Things have changed so much since I was in college.  Now, you choose the sorority you want to join within the first month of being in school.  I can’t imagine making a choice like that after only knowing the girls for less than a month…Of course, I didn’t join a sorority until I was a sophomore, as I really didn’t think Greek life was for me.  I didn’t search out the experience, they came to me with a bid to join them, and I was truly honored, as I thought these women were smart, beautiful and classy..  I didn’t know what they saw in me.  I loved them and the entire experience, and my senior year, I was voted president…something I never thought was in my cards….and then I married the captain of the football team…Sounds like a Hallmark movie, huh?  I can only hope that our great niece has the experience in college that Rich and I had, and that she continues to love it like we love our alma mater.