September 25, 2011

Good Works...

...are links that form a chain of love.  ~Mother Teresa

Wow several posts two days in a row and a couple in one day!  I must be on a roll.  I'm happy I'm back blogging and crafting again but can you say RUSTY.  I felt like a chicken with my head cut off.  Smiley from For the record, at least for me it's really REALLY hard to get your mojo back.  I just can't seem to find my flow anymore?  I do more thinking about than actually making cards.

Its the stop-start-stop-starting thats getting to me.  Working full-time really puts a crimp in my social aka creative life.  Boo.  Ok enough yatayata.    I am so so rusty.  I can't hardly find anything anymore.  Or I have so many ideas I want to try out I don't know where to start.

Plus, I am all dropsy and clumsy today.  Every time I turned around I was knocking something over.  Not just one little item nooooooooooo that would have been too simple.  No I was knocking trays of items over.

Then I really really wanted to do sewing on a card.  So I thought I'd try my new fancy schmancy tool called Sew- Easy <---- click there instead of pulling out the alternative, the larger, sewing machine.  I thought it would be so much quicker.  Ok short version??? NOOOOO....Not so easy.  Nope not at all.  It wasn't piercing all the way through the card stock.  I did not like it at all.  However, I have noticed some tutorials online on YouTube so I might watch those and try again later when I have time.  The jury is still out until then.

So the heck with it, I pull the sewing machine out, it's called Sew-Mini <---- click there (not the exact model that I have).  It's specially for crafting and its just what it says... its a mini version of a sewing machine. WELLLLLLLLLL do you think I could get it to sew more than three stitches.?  I persisted and spent way more time on it than I wanted to but after at least an hour, give or take, I finally got it to SEWWWWWWW.  Really?  Ya kiddin me right?  Turns out I didn't have the thread threaded properly.  But before that I tried everything.  Check and recheck the bobbin thread, adjust the stitch, adjust the tension, DUST it.  I mean everything.  I even had the directions manual out from the beginning.  So I went back through the manual and looked at each tutorial very closely.  I retraced my steps.  Yep, I found the cuprit.... threaded wrong.  But do you see my point? Holy mother of pearl.  Pain in the butt.  This was my sample piece.  I thought I better try it on a scrap before I wrecked my card.  This is but a small sampling of the thread I went through to figure this out.  Doesn't that look like fun?!?!>!>!

Whew, I started out so holy and serene and it all went downhill from there. LOL.  So onto the point to my story....  there is a point to my story and I do have one.

I been noticing a trend of mono-tone, color-on-color designs and I really like the simplicity of it and the muted colors and feel.  I've had this SU set "Inspired by Nature<---- click there  for a while now.  I bought it for the sentiments alone, but I like the other stamps also.  I'm crazy for sentiments I can't get enough of them.  AND I copied the sketch straight from the SU 2011 catty, p. 113.  It helps me with the rust (see above).  It was quick (after I got started) and easy and I will probably mass-produce this one for my card assortment sets that I give as gifts.

Here is a pic of all of the elements I used.  The evil sew-mini in the background.  Why I even gave it blink (blog-ink) at all DON'T KNOW.  All products are SU.  I used More Mustard card stock and ink.  I like that it used fall colors too.  That's a bonus since I'm in such a fall mood.  I used my boho flower punch to make the blush blossom flower.  I added a little angel embellishment which I thought went good with the sentiment.  I also used a brad in the center to hold the 3-piece flower together.  Aint it purty.

See the little angel ornament?  I also used my Cuttlebug <---- click there (not the exact model that I have) to punch out the tag for the sentiment.  That didn't go smoothly either.  I had to press it out a couple of time because I kept tearing the little handles off.  Not to mention that I couldn't stamp the image straight onto the label either.  I had to do that a couple of times also.  RUST I tell you RUST.

Enjoy!  Now off to make some more cards.... lets just hope some of the rust is gone and the next ones go a little smoother.  FUN.

Coffee Cake with a Twist!

Well, hello there!  First a backstory... Smiley from  I had written an entire post last night with this recipe including pics and saved it to my drafts to publish later.  When I went back to get the post and publish it... it was GONE.  Boo what a waste of time.  Anywho, here's what it said:

I love fall baking and so I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes.  It has nutmeg and cinnamon in it so it makes the house smell divine and fallish.  Just what I wanted.  Now for the *twist* part... the crust is on the bottom ~and oh so good~  I only took a couple of pics of the process and not the play by play that I sometimes share.  Its a simple yet elegant recipe.  Try it, its good.

Animation from

Crust Bottom Coffee Cake
Rub together:
1 stick of butter ~room temperature~
2 cups of flour
2 cus of brown sugar

Divide mixture into 2 parts 
~I did the math, that would be 2 cups and 4 tblspns~
Press part 1 into an 8x8 cake pan
~I used my 9 in round clay baker and it was a perfect fit also~

To the other part add:
1 beaten egg
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg ~maybe a smidge more~
Mix well and spread carefully over the crust bottome
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and chopped nuts
I like to make sure my cinnamon covers the entire top.

I use a liberal amount so that no cake area is showing and then also sprinkle nuts over it. Use lots of cinnamon

Below on the left is the 1 part pressed into the bottom and on the right is the other part.  The cake part that is spread onto the crust bottom

In this next picture is the finished product

This next picture is with no flash and shows the layers with the crust bottom

Here's the same shot with a flash.  I wanted you to see the lovely and yummo crust bottom.  This is a very elegant coffe cake and is great to bring to a potluck or Sunday event. 


and Happy Fall Ya'll
 Smiley from

My new room -repost

Edited to add:  I accidentally deleted this post from my blog last night.  Thankfully, I had a copy on fb and was able to copy it and replace the deleted post.  

There's a lot of pictures but I'll show you around...  we began working on this room about a month ago.  What started it was a plumbing problem   I had to clear over half of the contents of the room to make room for the plumbers so they could put holes in the walls in order to get at the plumbing problem [whole house hot water lines re-plumbed]... we had a slab leak so they had to re-route above ground to fix it].  The redecoration was a long time coming, since the move last year in July.  So for over a year.  Although I had set it up initially it had long housed a jumbled collection of mismatched furniture, jerry-rigged shelving [a vintage bench used for a shelf], boxes, crates that were used just *until* and in general just too much stuff for one room without planned organization. For such a long time I've had a dream of an organized space with a place for everything and everything in its place.  Ya know?

If your decorating inspiration is on a small budget then IKEA comes to the rescue.  I researched other peoples spaces on the web, blog-surfing and such and decided upon two IKEA Expedite units, one with 5x5 cubicles and one with 4x4 cubicles.  Mainly I wanted functional and I chose white because it goes with everything.  Most of my other wood around the house is the dark espresso stain.  I had three choices birch, black-brown or white.  I felt the black-brown would make the room seem dark and smaller and I didn't want to go with the birch because most of my other furniture in the house is black-brown [or espresso] and I didn't want to start mixing wood colors.  So I chose white because it seemed more craft-roomish?! But it also seemed brighter and cleaner.  Something cheerful for my *happy place*  Turns out that everything fits, everything is functional, and everything is beautiful.

AND we only got in two three four one huge small fight.  I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we had to make SEVERAL trips back and forth to IKEA for different exchanges/units, YES, I MEASURED... the first u-turn was because we forgot to load one item and left it on the loading sidewalk [that was one trip], then we I decided to exchange the entire purchase for one smaller unit because I didn't measured wrong[nuf said??], the truck broke down on one return trip and triple AAA had to be called and the truck towed.  During the towing trip one of the boxes that we were returning flew off onto the HIGHWAY and had to be retrieved promptly.  On top of all of this it was hot and Mr. M had a kidney stone festering.  Did I mention it was HOT.  We only got in two three four one huge small fight.  Oh I mentioned that already.

I didn't have one IKEA meltdown and we also had lunch while there.  I always get their *Swedish meatballs* lunch, pretty yummy.

Welcome to my new space [I'll have some before and after]

First, the before, quite a lot of stuff but no where to house it [all pictures follow the text and click on any picture to enlarge]

Right wing before

Doorway view before

Dismantled before

Drywall patches from the plumbing repair 1

View from the door showing the new closet shelves and a partial of one of the Ikea Units

View of the two new Ikea units and nice and empty

Another after shot this time with the shelves filled

Another after shot, a view from the door with everything put back into the room and my new red-checked country curtains.  I have curtains on the closet door shelves also to hide the clutter when not in use.  I removed the existing closet doors because they slid back and forth and you could only access one side at a time.  Above the table  you can see the stamper shelves that I made out of a repurposed wood futon.  I painted them with black chalkboard paint.  I did another post about these shelves here, and here <------ This was before I painted them black.  But better closeup pictures....

 One view with the curtain closet doors shut nice and organized

A close up of the new cafe curtains, in red-checked gingham

Closeup of flower bellies


Close-up of glitter, flocks, flower-soft, glazes.  I use two of the expandable spice rack shelves found at most Target, Wally and Container stores.  I like having my stuff out to see and grab easily and with the three-steps to these expandable shelves they hold a lot.  Sometimes I will have a grouping of current season stamps on these shelves to get inspiration.

Close-up of glitter, flocks, flower-soft, glazes.

Close-up of my SU and Copic marker collections.  My SU markers are in a 4-pocket acrylic display.  These are found in most Office Depot/Staples type stores.  I have had this forever and have always loved it for use in storing my markers

Loose ribbon storage.  These are the Best Craft Organizer brand wound on spools and stored in trays.  Each tray holds six holders and each holder holds 6-12 ribbons depending upon the width of the ribbon.  I did an entire blog post about these.  Check it out at an appropriately titled post called RIBBON <----- here.  With tons more photos to see each tray individually.  These are perfect for the bulk ribbon we crafters like to purchase in every style and color.  I purchased all of my misc loose ribbon from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts if you want the best, the MOST ribbon with a great selection and if you are just getting into papercrafts PHPCs imho is the place to go.  She gives you the best value for the $$.  You will be able to stock up and save. 

This is another office supply type tray.  This is my tool, glue and just everything catchall.  Its always right on top of my desk to the left.  It's my grab and go tray.  Again, everything easily accessible.

Below are some pictures of closeups of what I have stored on my new Ikea Expedite shelves

Cat ceramic pencil holder.  I have my most used tools in here

Drawer of Ephiany craft punches and misc soldering tools

I have my sewing baskets stored on the top.  The wicker looks nice.  I now have room to store these in this room.  I used to keep these out in my living room.  I like that ALL of my craft supplies are in one area now.

One side of the *L* the red boxes come from Ikea and hold my sewing kits, and extra samples of different items

Full view

The other side of the *L* shaped wall I showed some of the close-ups earlier in the post up above.  Here I store my inpirational books, paper, journals, magazines, 12x12 paper, ribbon and washi tape collections.

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my new space and maybe have picked up some ideas for your own areas.  Now if I could just find my mojo, my scissors ,),) and get back in here and CREATE one of these days.  Where's my ????  ....sometimes I can't find things when they are all neat and organized.  Ha!


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