Author: saundralparker

I can’t sleep….

I started a new medication for spinal stenosis in my lower back called Gabapetin that’s supposed to make me sleepy. If I take it at bedtime, I don’t sleep, and can’t wake up 10-12 hours later. So I decided to take it at dinner time so I’d be tired at bedtime, and would be able to wake up at a normal time. It’s working for waking up, but not so much for sleeping. But then again I have so many things whirling around in my head…

My sister is able to have less pain as she’s now on morphine and a fentanyl patch. Today Hospice delivered a hospital bed, as she can’t sleep in a normal position as the infection in her ear caused a lot of swelling in her face and neck.

Covid is on the rise all over the US, and all I keep thinking about is that I should be at my sister’s side.

Rich and I went shopping today, and there were so many people in that store not wearing masks, and I was getting so angry thinking, “do these people without masks think I’m happy about wearing one? or do they just not care about anyone but themselves since obviously the only thing that matters is that these maskless people en so much from all of us, and now it’s taken this from me. Rich and I went shopping today and so many of the people in the store weren’t wearing masks. I wanted to ask them if they thought I was thrilled to be wearing a mask and what gives them the right to choose to put others at risk just because they don’t want to conform, or don’t want the inconvenience or expense. Whatever the reason, if you choose not to wear a mask, please stay away from those of us who do wear them, because we don’t deserve to get Covid simply because you’re bucking the system. People who don’t wear masks are the ones who are helping spread Covid, and because of this virus, I can’t be with my sister when she passes away.

I was sent some lovely cards and gifts from friends/viewers and wanted to share them with all of you..

To make a gift bag, start with very thin paper, newspaper, magazines, maps, or thin scrapbook paper (that’s what I used.) My paper is 12 X 12″ and I left the white border from where it attached to a paper pad in place. I folded the white edged part down about one inch and made sure the folded edge lines up with the edge of the paper to ensure a straight edge. This is the top of our bag. I add glue stick under the 1″ strip to ensure it stays down. Then I made a small mark on the bottom of the paper at (half way across) 6″ and folded the left side to the mark I made and folded it down. Make sure you crease it down well. Then fold the right side over the left fold about 1/2″ so it’s overlapped enough for you to glue it down. Then add glue stick under that small crease to keep it closed.

Now fold the bottom section (the part that doesn’t have paper folded over, as that’s the top) over far enough to create the flat bottom of your bag. This fold also determines how tall your bag is, the bigger the fold, the shorter the bag. Make sure the fold is creased well, then squeeze the sides to line up the center line inside of the bag with the folds in the center of the side pieces and fold these pieces down. Then take the bottom piece and fold it to a little bit past the center line and put glue stick under the two side triangles. Then take the top piece and fold it so it’s about 1/2″ past the end of the other piece you just laid, and put glue under the same triangles and the piece that lays over the other piece in the center of the folds.

Then you’ll take the side of the bag and fold it in so the bottom lines match up with the side fold, crease this well, then do the same on the other side, but don’t glue either of these pieces. Then make marks in the top about 3/4″ from the top and about an 1″ from the side folds and poke a hole for your ribbon. Start the ribbon from inside the bag through one hole then from the outside in on the other hole (on the same side) then tie off the ends or tie the ends together inside the bag. Do the same on the other side making sure the ribbons will be the same length. Push the sides out from the inside and your bag is done. All you need to do now is add a piece of cardboard inside for support. I laid my bag over a piece of cardboard and traced the bottom of the bag, then cut a lot inside the traced line as the inside of the bag is smaller than the outside…then cut out the cardboard and put it in the bottom of the bag.

If you want information from the gourd lady, “Hey Gourdeous”, her name is Debbie Friedstrom and her email is

To make a bigger bag if you don’t have a bigger piece of paper, take two 12 x 12″ pieces of paper, and facing the same direction, keep the papers together and fold down the 1″ top strip of the papers, making sure the side seam and the side of the strip your folding down, are perfectly lined up. Put glue stick under the 1″ strip on both papers. Then fold the side as short of a fold as possible, as the more paper you fold over, the smaller your bag will be. Glue that piece down. Fold the same side on the other paper the same size fold as the other paper, and glue that down. Put the two pieces facing away from each other and glue the sides down (making sure both tops face the top).

From this point on, the steps are the same as the first bag…take the bottom of the bag and fold up to the size you want the bottom of the bag to be and crease the fold, then squeeze in the two sides to make sure the center of the bottom of the bag is lined up with the side folds and then lay them down and crease them. Then take the bottom piece and fold it up a little above the center line of the bottom and put glue under the side triangles, then take the top piece and fold it about 1/2″ beyond the start of the bottom flap and glue down the two triangles plue the 1/2″ overlap. Next fold in the side of the bag til it lines up with the angle on the bottom and crease it well, and do the same to the other side. Then make holes and put your ribbon in and push out the sides. Make a piece of cardboard for inside the bottom of your bag.

Review of Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue, Best Fine Tip Applicator Ever!

I was asked by viewers to review Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue. The makers of the glue were kind enough to send me “The Bundle” to use and make a video with.

Here are the links to Bearly Art and individual products:

The Mini :

The Original :

The Refill :

The Bundle :

All of the Bearly Art products come with the optional fine tip applicators, except the refill, that’s just the bear shaped bottle filled with glue.

The black tip would be used when you need a lot of glue to come out, and would be more glue than you’d need for paper crafts.

The black tip (with a needle at the tip) is their fine tip applicator, and would be the tip you would use when paper crafting. I find this glue flows easily out of this tip, and that I needed to shake the bottle before using it, as that makes the glue a little thicker, and makes the glue flow in a more consistent fashion.

This is the only fine tip applicator that I found very easy for me to use. I recommend this glue highly for people with hand/wrist issues.

The green tip is used when you want to travel with your bottle, as it closes the opening.

I used the glue on every paper surface I could think of, and the only issue I found, is that when you use it on very thin paper, I still got some waffling in the center of the paper. I didn’t find any waffling near the edges of the paper.

When the glue seeps from under a sentiment, I couldn’t see any shiny finish lingering behind.

The glue holds every surface I used, and holds very quickly. It even held two pieces of plastic backing for diamond paintings and very thick cardboard.

Before closing this glue, you need to burp it like a rubbermaid or tupperware container. You don’t want any glue in the part of the bottle that you screw the tips into, and you can use a tissue or Qtip to get the glue out of the ridge, but I blow on it over a garbage can, so I can be sure there’s no glue left.

You’ll also want to clean your tips when you put them in the storage tube by using the needle provided to take the glue out of the tip by moving the pin in and out of the tip and wiping any glue off of the needle between insertion.

The diamond painting Christmas stocking link:

The only small issue I found with this glue is that when you use very thin paper, you might get some small waffles in the center of the paper..Otherwise, this is a great glue. It’s especially great for people with hand/wrist strength issues, as it’s so easy to squeeze out of the fine tip applicator. Additionally, if you live in a cold climate and order this glue, and it freezes in shipment, once it has thawed, it will work perfectly.

Such a Beautiful Day..

We drove to Lake Erie and went for a long ride along the lake with close friends. It was such a beautiful day, 70 degress in November is unheard of here. It was so nice, we rode with the windows down, and then stopped at an antique market to browse around. I don’t know about you, but I hate trying to “browse” while wearing a mask. Every time I look down, somehow the mask ends up in my eyes, making it almost impossible to see. Most masks are too hot for me to wear, and the only ones I can stand are the disposable masks you can find at the Dollar Tree. The rest of the ones I’ve tried either smell weird, even after I wash them, or they’re miserably hot. I’ll probably love the hot ones in January, but right now, they’re just too hot to stand.

On our drive, we went to Geneva on the Lake and looked at the work the state is doing on a section of lakefront where 35 feet of waterfront literally fell into the lake back in February. They’ve brought in a lot of tractor trailer loads of huge rocks to try to stop the erosion. It happened in an area that’s mostly a park, and luckily, this time no homes fell into the lake, unlike in the past, where that’s happened near the area this erosion occurred.

I took my girlfriend her birthday gift in a gift bag I show how to make in a video. I couldn’t believe how simple gift bags are to make, and probably won’t be buying more in the future, now that I can make my own. I made a video to show viewers how simple it is, and hope others give it a whirl.

If you’ve been wondering about my sister’s health, she’s having a lot more pain, and Hospice is increasing her pain medications, but I’ve been able to have very short conversations with her almost every day. It’s a great comfort for me to tell her I love her every day, so if she passes in the night, she’ll know I love her….and she tells me the same. We never told the other we loved each other until we found out how sick my sister is, and I’m so glad we’ve had the chance to share our feelings.

I wanted to share the gifts I got from my friend Katz, as well as the beautiful card she made me.

Thanks Katz, for the nice crafty gifts.

Katz tear tape link:

MayMay has asked that we crafters help her make 3,000 bookmarks for Cardz For Kidz.

MayMay’s blog post for making bookmarks: Maymay’s video explaining her mission:

Cardz for Kidz has asked that we not make any bookmarks with holiday or religious themes.

Here is the link to Cardz for Kidz website:

I followed MayMay’s sizing for the bookmarks by taking an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of cardstock and cutting it to 8 1/4 x 11″ then on the 8 1/4″ length, cut off 2 3/4″ so you have an 11″ strip by 2 3/4″ and you’ll cut it in half at 5 1/2″ so you have two strips of 2 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ long. Then the other piece of cardstock you have left that is 5 1/2″ by 11″ long, cut 2 3/4″ strips off of the 11″ length to get four more bookmarks that are 2 3/4″ wide by 5 1/2″ long.

To make the outer decorated paper layers, I took a piece of cardstock and cut it to 2 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ and lined a ruler on the top 1/2″ from the left side and made a pen mark there then put the ruler to the right side on top 1/2″ from the right side and made a mark there. Then make a mark from the top down the left side 1/2″ from the top and make a mark. Do the same on the right side and then cut from one mark to the other on the left side and do the same to the other side to create a tag. This is your template to make it easier to cut the bookmarks.

I cut a bunch of 2 1/2″ x 5 1/4′ decorated pieces of cardstock and then laid one facing away from another on our template we just made and then holding them tightly snipped off the top edges to make it look like a tag. After cutting a few, I found a faster, simpler way to make the bookmarks….

After cutting the two pieces of decorator paper on the template, I took the center paper that was 2 3/4 x 5 1/2″ and cut 1/8″ off the top and one side to make the center paper 2 5/8″ x 5 3/8″ and used a glue stick to glue one of the decorator papers on it and then trimmed the top edges of the center paper to match the cuts of the front paper….then I glued the second paper onto the back. Then I took a Crop a dile and punched a hole in the top center of the bookmarks, then I set an eyelet in the hole with the Crop a Dile and added matching ribbon by looping it and putting the loop through the front of the eyelet and putting the ribbon ends through the loop and pulling them tight. I added Fray Check to the ribbon ends and put a Glue Dot under the loop in the ribbon to hold it firmly in place.

Sorry it’s been so long..

I’ve been working on some crafts, but haven’t felt very ambitious. My sister’s health is declining, as we knew it would, and I’m not sure how much longer she’ll live. Her husband and son have been very attentive. The first two weeks it didn’t seem like she’d live very long, and then in the third week she rebounded after Hospice changed her pain medication and gave her meds for nausea. It’s been sad to watch, and every day I wonder if this will be the day I get the call that says she’s passed away. I’ve been praying that she doesn’t experience a lot of pain, but it seems the last few days have been really painful for her. I hope for her sake, and for her husband and son, that she doesn’t have to be in pain long term, but it looks like it’s going to be a while.

It snowed here yesterday and for November 2nd (also my sister’s birthday,) it was early to have 3-4 inches of snow. Today, the sun is shining, and we went to vote about 11AM and didn’t have much of a wait…We were the 387th and 388th voters, which is high for our small township. I hope at the end of the day that there is a clear winner, and that this election doesn’t linger. It’s seemed to have gone on for months already and I am SO ready for this to be over for all of our sakes. I hear that large cities are preparing for wide spread rioting after the election results are announced, and I really hope they don’t happen. With Covid and the other issues we’ve faced this year, it seems unlikely that we won’t have rioting though, regardless of the election outcome. I wish our country could unite, but I have no idea what it will take for us to pull together as one.

And with Covid numbers up all over the country, we can’t even agree of how to fight this virus. These are the most difficult times I can remember, and things just seem so hopeless with us having very little to anticipate going forward. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling so defeated. Minions Magnet Tri-Fold Slimline Card

My brother-in-law loves minions, and I made these minion key chains from Treasure Studio Art into magnets.

Minion key chains:

Treasure Studio Arts link:

To turn the key chains into magnets, I needed to cover the hole on the minion that the key chain would be threaded through, by using my hot glue gun and squeezing glue into the hole, then once the glue is dry, scraping any excess glue off the front of the minion, so the front is flat where the glue is. Then put a wet glue, Aleene’s Tack it Over and Over, works great, on the dried hot glue and add a matching diamond there. Then add either hot glue or E6000 glue on the back to attach the magnet..Note…Don’t put diamonds on the back if you are using it for a magnet.

Here’s a link to magnets that work well for this technique.

To make the card, I started with a piece of blue cardstock from Recollections Heavyweight (I looked online and Michaels doesn’t offer these colors online, but I did find a lot more colors in my local Michaels) cut to 8 1/2″ tall by 10 1/2″ long, and score it on the 10 1/2″ length at 3 1/2″ and 7″.. I used gold glitter paper from Crafter’s Companion, Luxury Cardstock collection, link: cut to 3 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ and used the largest rounded corner rectangle die from this set, link: to create an opening centered near the top and near the bottom of the gold glitter paper. Cut another piece of gold glitter cardstock cut to 3 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ and put the same rectangle die in the center and die cut it. Keep the gold die cuts for use later.

I laid the piece of glitter paper with two openings on the front of the blue card base (with the fold opening to the right), so it is centered and took the next smaller die (I used a large die for the opening) and put washi tape inside the die and laid it centered in the top hole on the glitter paper. Then remove the glitter paper once the die is taped and run the blue card base through the die cutting machine. Put the same die in the bottom hole on the glitter sheet (again laying the glitter sheet on the blue card base) and die cutting the bottom rectangle. Don’t glue anything to the card base yet

Next, take the gold glitter cardstock with the single die cut rectangle and lay it on the center folded area of the blue cardstock base…Center the glitter cardstock, then lay the same die you used on the front blue cardstock (2nd largest die) and die cut the center blue cardstock base.

I cut more of the blue cardstock into three 8 1/2″ tall by 3 1/4″ wide pieces to line the backs of the two openings of the card pieces where I’d cut out rectangles and adhered them with tear tape. Then used the other piece on the back of the center blue cardstock, to cover the marks left by my die cutting machine. (I didn’t initially cover the back of the center of the blue cardstock, but decided it would look better if I did cover it.) I cut a piece of white cardstock 8 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ and laid it on the center of the card.

I cut 1/8″ off the top and bottom of both pieces of 8 1/2″x 3 1/4″ glitter cardstock and adhered the one with two die cuts to the top of the blue card base and the piece with one die cut to the second fold with tear tape. I used the same die (2nd largest) on the three leftover rectangle die cuts of gold glitter cardstock to cut them into a smaller rectangle size and inserted them into the openings on the blue cardstock and glued them in place with tear tape.

For the sentiment, I used Simple Strips Sending you a big hug and Happy Birthday to you from Taylored Expressions Simple Strips Stamp Link: and die cut them with Tayored Expressions Simple Strips Dies Link:

I put Sending you a big hug on a foam strip and adhered it to the center of the front of the card. I glued Happy Birthday to you to the center of the card.

I attached the minion magnets into the glitter openings with removable Glue Dots link: and added minion washi tape I bought at the Dollar Tree (that I couldn’t find on their website, sorry.) to the center white paper, and to the outside of the envelope I made with 12 x 12″ paper.

DIY Decorated Tic Tac Holder

I wanted to make a Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters that would be Covid friendly. I chose Tic Tic Gum because of the plastic packaging, and since I only get 9-10 kids, it wasn’t too difficult to make boxes for them. I figured if parents were concerned with the candy their kids got, they could use anti-bacterial wipes on the plastic box the Tic Tacs come in.

I used a Hobby Lobby paper pad called Trick or Treat that I bought last year.

Cut the paper to 9″ long by 1 7/8″ wide. Score it on the 9″ length (on the back of the paper) at: 1″, 1 1/4″, 4 1/8″, 4 3/4″, 7 5/8″, and 8″. I folded the middle two folds and then make sure the center is folded and the ends are even with each other, then put them into the paper punch…The paper punch I used is from Stampin’ Up and is still available. It’s called the Delightful Tag Topper punch, and here’s the link for it.

I used Tombow Mono Adhesive and glued from the top, down to the second score line to not only glue the two sides shut, but also to glue the paper to the lid of the Tic Tac box. I took 5″ of ribbon and looped it in half, pushing the loop through the hole in the top (created by the punch) and then with the loop on one side of the hole, and the two ends of ribbon on the other side, take the two ends and pull them through the loop of ribbon and pull tight. If the ribbon seems to slip out, add a dot of glue under the knot after pulling the ends, to ensure it stays put.

To embellish the boxes, I used mini Spellbinder dies from a kit of the month. I couldn’t find them on the Spellbinder site, sorry. There were four styles that came in two sizes, and I used the larger sized dies in all four shapes and chose whichever color looked best with the patterned paper beneath, and glued it to the front of the box. I die cut several Halloween inspired images and added foam squares beneath to adhere them to the box.

For the Christmas box, I used the same measurements and the same score marks. The difference was the top, which I had previously used the paper punch for. This time, I held the two ends so they were matching, and squeezed them so they wouldn’t move, and snipped an angle cut about 1/4″ from the top, diagonally on the side and did the same on the opposite end, creating a tag look to it. I used a 3/8″ hole punch in the center, to put the ribbon through. I should have used a smaller punch, as the hole was too large, in my opinion. I used a piece of Christmas patterned paper with light bulbs on it, cut out two of the light bulbs, one in red and the other green, and using foam squares, added the red one on a diagonal, and only added a foam square near the top of the green one, and laid the green one with the bottom on the red bulb, and wet glue adhering it there.

Make a Desk Organizer Out of Plumbing Supplies (Couplings)

My friend Sherry, made me a cute desk set using plumbing couplings. I thought I’d try to replicate the set.

I started with three plumbing pieces from my local hardware store. They didn’t have information on them, but I think they are called “Couplings.” The largest one was under $3 and the smaller ones were around $1 each.

The Graphic 45 papers I used were from Couture Collection.

The ink I used was Wendy Vecchi Make Art Orange Blossom to ink the flowers I cut out. I also used Fern Green for the leaves.

The dies I cut the flowers from were given to me by a friend, and I don’t know the names of them, sorry.

The flower stamen (centers of the flowers) were from Aliexpress.The larger fluffy looking stamen I used on the largest flower is a 3mm glass stamen, link: and the stamen I used on the smaller flower is a 3mm pearl stamen, link:

The yellow/green stylus set from McGill, link:

The larger blue stylus set link:

Shaping mat (I couldn’t find the foam piece I used) link:

After inking the Graphic 45 Couture Collection papers that I cut into flower and leave shapes, I took a stylus and shaped the flowers on a piece of foam. Then took a pokey tool and punched a large hole in the center of the flower. I took three to five stamen and bent them in half, then twisted the stems so they weren’t separate, then added a piece of Scotch tape to the end and wrapped the tape around the ends with tape hanging off the bottom. I snipped the end on an angle, then was able to push the stamen through the back of the flowers and hot glued them in place.

At this point it’s important to look at the top and bottom of the coupling. One end might have writing on it, and that should be your bottom when gluing it to acetate.

To do so, I took each of the couplings and laid them on a piece of acetate (that I got in a stamp set) and drew around the outside bottom edge with a black marker. Then I cut out the circle and laid it on the bottom of the coupling and used a piece of washi tape to hold it in place while I hot glued it to the bottom of the coupling. Once it’s glued in place, I removed the washi tape and trimmed the edges with Tim Holtz scissors so they are flush with the coupling.

To wrap the plumbing couplings with paper, I measured them from top to bottom and cut a piece of the Graphic 45 Couture Collection paper to that height, then took tear tape and wrapped it around the smaller couplings in one spot plus one more piece of tear tape that runs from top to bottom. The larger coupling, I added three rows of tear tape around the coupling, then one piece running from top to bottom to hold the paper in place when I began wrapping it.

After covering all of the couplings with paper, I used a matching alcohol marker and inked the tops of all of the couplings. Then I glued them together.

I used a retired Stampin Up ribbon from a set called Beachfront link: I hot glued the flowers onto the couplings and then added leaves and a fern around the flowers. I took some of my live hydrangea blossoms and added them around the flowers.

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.