I haven’t felt like going into the craft room, as it’s been drizzling here for a week..or a month, or a year…it seems like forever.

But something happened today that I’m really excited about and I thought I’d share it with you.  Our great nephew graduated from a school in Florida (sorry, I don’t know the name) to become a music producer.  He’s not looking to make songs, but is looking to make the music and sound for video games, a field that’s really growing.  So we talked to him about making a sound track for my channel.  Something uniquely mine.  I gave him some ideas of music I like and he’s going to start working on it right away.  I’ll make sure I tell everyone all about it when we use the music for the first time, and we’ll also include his contact information in case someone, by chance, hears the music, and wants to use him for additional work.  We’ll be paying him so that it can go on his resume, and are excited to collaborate with him.  I’ve always wanted to have music that was all mine, and he’s going to be providing it for me…YAY!!


Large Crumpled Paper Peony with Barb

Fold your paper in half and make sure the bottom of the die (the thinnest part) is lying a little beyond the fold, so when it’s die cut, it will cut two petals with a connected piece of paper. You’ll need to cut each die four times. The dies we used were a Sizzix Dies, David Tutera Framelits Large Peony. link https://tinyurl.com/y5b7to5o
When you see these dies, there’s one die that looks like five fingers….we did not use that die when making our peony. When I die cut them, I made a mistake when die cutting one of the largest petals, and had two pieces instead of one. I simply glued each half down in the center like the other pieces.
After die cutting four of each die, you’ll want to open them and scrunch them in your hand to make them fuller and have more dimension. If you pinch the middle section between each petal before hot gluing it, you’ll get even more dimension in the center. Sometimes Barb would lay petals upside down to get more dimension, too.

To create the peony, open your first largest petal so you have both petals lying on the table, and put hot glue in the center section…then take the next set of large petals and lay them across the first petals, then your next set, lay diagonally to the second set, and lay your fourth set diagonal from the one before. Then you’ll take the next smaller petals and lay the first set in the center diagonally from the last set and use your stylus to push down the center and hot glue them in place…do this with each of the sets of petals and then you’ll get to the ones that are shaped like an “X” and place the center of the “X” into the middle of the flower and hot glue it in place, and repeat this process, making each layer diagonal from the last until all petals are placed. You can pull the edges toward the center to make the peony more ball shaped.

The additional tools used to make this large peony were:
hot glue gun
ball stylus set: link https://tinyurl.com/yxqdf3ks
die cutting machine…I use a Vagabond II

I enjoyed my time with Barb and learned so much. Here are links to Barb’s social media.
Barb’s blog: Barb’s Cards, My Way
Link: https://barbscardsmyway.blogspot.com



I went to a bunch of garage sales today and found some things I’ve been searching for…an iron for foamiran–one that doesn’t have the non-stick face.  I found it and it was really inexpensive.  I don’t think the woman knew what she was selling, as its is a Rowenta iron, and they are high end, and sells for over $60.  I think she sold it to me for $2.00.  I didn’t even look at the name brand, as I was just so happy to find one with a silver face..YAY!!  I also found a storage container for smaller items, and it will be great for beads and sequins.  I might move all of my sequins to this container, but will have to check to see if they will fit.

I think I’m going to do another haul video, as I keep finding great deals on things and want to share them with my viewers.  I’m not sure though, as some things are really hard to find, and I was just lucky (like the iron.)

We have a great nephew who went to school to do music, specifically on video games and background music in movies.  I talked to him about hiring him to make the “theme song” for my YouTube channel..I think it would be great to have my own intro song.  He and I will be talking more about it at the beginning of the week..I am really excited about this, and then I might try to find someone to make into graphics too.  Just because my channel isn’t monetized, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still try to make it look and sound professional…


I’ve been working on finishing more videos for Rich to upload, but he’s been sidetracked with issues with our sump pump, mowing the grass, and continuous rain.  If you aren’t familiar with a sump pump, it removes excess water from basements..You can only replace a non-working pump when it stops raining, otherwise it’s almost impossible to remove it from it’s attachments as water is pouring in non-stop….And of course, with all of the rain we’ve had, he hasn’t been able to mow the grass, so both projects have not gone well for him.

Today, before fixing the sump pump, we went to the latest X-Men movie.  I have to say, it was weird.  It was supposed to be (historically) before the other X-Men movies, but a major character that appear in the later movies dies in this one.  That lead Rich and the friend we went with to have a big conversation about the movie, along the lines of, which came first, the chicken or the egg.  They were trying to convince me that this movie somehow took place after the other movies, even though the characters were much younger.  I’m just saying, if you have a series of movies, you can’t kill a major character when they are young, after you’ve shown them as older in your previous movies.  Let’s just say it was poorly thought-out.

After the movie, we went to a large craft store that’s going out of business, and I bought a bunch of things that were 90% off.  I had a great time, and may go back again with a friend.  I love going to stores when they are having tremendous sales, and this was a great one.  I might do a small haul to show everyone the bargains I got….

Foam Flower Making with Barb, Foamiran Flower Making

My friend, Barb, came to visit me from Michigan to show me how to make foamiran flowers. Below are all of the directions and tools to replicate our flower.

Barb has her own blog and shares a lot of beautiful flowers there.

Barb’s blog: Barb’s Cards, My Way
Link: https://barbscardsmyway.blogspot.com

In the USA, we’ve only been able to find foamiran at the following store and you can find some beautiful flower dies there as well.

Whimsy Stamps: https://whimsystamps.com/
foamiran from Whimsy Stamps: https://tinyurl.com/y6yvmbcm

I bought my foamiran on Aliexpress and here’s a link to the store that sells it at very reasonable prices.

foamiran from Aliexpress link: https://tinyurl.com/yyhl5opc

The foamiran flower we made used a very similar die to this one. https://tinyurl.com/y2lj855d

We had a set of four dies and we cut two of each die in a lavender foamiran. I colored mine with Gelatos and Barb colored hers with Memento Dew Drop inks. She used a weight that her husband had made her to hold the flower when she was working with it.

You’ll need a large foam sponge that you’d get at a hardware store in the paint department used for grouting. I typed in “large sponge” on any hardware site and you should easily find one. Link: https://tinyurl.com/y8e2ut8c
The black sponge Barb used is for when you are using paper, and you want to shape it. I found only a large size at Joanns and here’s the link: https://tinyurl.com/y3juhmwe
If you are only using foamiran, you would only need the sponge used with grouting that you’d find at a hardware store. (The link is above.)

Small metal stylus set: link: https://tinyurl.com/y4cxj9bz
wood stylus set: link: https://tinyurl.com/y4dauuzx

Prills or Tiny Glass beads link: https://tinyurl.com/y2l2jun8 at Aliexpress or prills from
Joann link: https://www.joann.com/search?q=prills

If you can find a craft iron, or travel iron without the non-stick face that mine has, you’ll have better luck holding the foamiran to it. It should make the foam curl if the iron is working correctly. You’ll need to use wooden skewers that you buy at any grocery store (used for making kabobs). Here’s a link to a brand you can buy at Target for $1.00 (you can find them at the Dollar Tree as well.) https://tinyurl.com/y68qybsp
After you have colored your foamiran, you’ll hold the piece to the iron (put the iron on a non-steam setting). It should be low, like for silk…don’t put it on a hot setting, or you’ll melt your foamiran.
Next fold your petals to create dimension. I folded my set of petals in half, then folded each individual petal and then curled it in my hand to make it seem more natural. If you don’t like how it turned out, put it on the iron again, and it will flatten out and then you can fold it again.
You’ll then put the foam on your sponge and using a stylus, place the stylus at the outer edge of the flower petal and pull the stylus toward you. If you want the petal to stretch so it’s wider, put the stylus in the petal and rub it from side to side. After you’ve gotten the dimension you want, put a dot of hot glue in the center of one set of petals and lay another set on top but offset them, so they are not laying directly on top of each other. Lay it back on your sponge, and push into the center with your finger or with the stylus to make the flower more cup shaped. Then put a dot of hot glue inside and add another layer, again off setting it so the petals are not directly on top of each other. Once all of your petals are glued together, put a bigger dollop of hot glue in the center and cover it with your prills or tiny glass beads. In the end, we didn’t add one of the smallest layers to our flowers, but we could have, to add more dimension. You can add leaves to the bottom, but we chose not to do so….
P.S. I was joking about selling flowers on Etsy, as I would never sell my flowers, but would gladly add them to a card and give them as a gift….


We spent most of the last week visiting our nephews and their families near Washington D.C.  It was a great trip, spending it with family, and we couldn’t have asked for a better trip.  OK, we had a few fights about the GPS, but that’s normal.  I will say this about anyone living near D.C., they are superstars when it comes to handling traffic.  We had issues with the GPS not being quick enough between turns and exits, and ended up going places we had no intention of seeing.  On the way home, somehow we ended up driving along one side of the Pentagon…Holy cow, how did we do that?  It was clearly my fault, but since we never go to D.C. to sightsee, it was great to see something important.  We’ve been there four times, and only drove around the city once…the rest of our visits were all about family…and honestly, that’s more important to me.

We had a small graduation party for our great niece and great nephew, who both go to the same high school, but are cousins.  It was so much fun spending quality time with them and their parents.  I wanted to take some video, but forgot my camera…I guess it was meant to be.  But unfortunately, our great niece sat and painted a pair of tennis shoes for her best friend, and I know our viewers would have enjoyed watching her do that.  I’m bummed it’s not on video…Darn it…these things happen.

But now I’m back and Rich is working on uploading the first of the foamiran flower videos, and one should be live tomorrow…


I’ve been busy making a graduation card for our great niece who graduated this week.  We’re going to visit and have our normal dog sitter coming to stay with our dogs.  I have to say, it’s really hard to go anywhere if you worry about your animals, and it takes the fun away.  It took us a long time to find someone that our dogs are comfortable with and she’s really good with them.

I probably won’t be writing in the blog for a few days, unless I have some extra time and want to catch up…