Sunday, April 26, 2009

Occasions Helpers Stamp-A-Stack

Wednesday, April 29, 1-3
Friday, May 1, 6-8
Sunday, May 3, 3-5

Are you stuck for a card for one of those special occasions? Then this is the class for you.

For a mere $17 we will make 12 cards, 2 of each of five cards, and one blue, one pink of the baby cards. Class price includes envelopes. Contact me by April 28th if you are interested in attending one of these class sessions. Deal breaker, bring a friend and save $2, attend more than one session, save another $2 off one of the classes.

Register by April 28th!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy


Decor Element: WELCOME Chocolate Large 114745

May 28, 6-8, My House

Everyone should have a great Welcoming to their house. I think this sign says Welcome, nice, crafty people live here!

On May 28 I am offering this Welcome sign as a class. Registration is $20 prepaid by May 14. After class I will post instructions (if I remember to :-). Honestly, this is a great value for the money class. You would pay significantly more for a sign like this in the store, and not be able to customize it to your decor or outside of your house.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happiness in Candy

Decor Element: Happiness, small, chocolate 114120

Other: Vase from Michael's, M & M's (gotta get your own...)

Happiness can be found in the littlest of things! Take chocolate...I am not normal (no comments please :-) in that I am not a chocohollic. But an occasional M&M does a body good.

I had this happiness Decor Element laying and was just about one of the first ones that I ordered. I had looked for many months for some way to use it other than the wall or picture frame, meaning something not two dimensional. Shopping at the "M" store recently, looking for a frame for another project (to post later), I spotted this funky shaped vase. I actually had brought my Decor Element catalog into the store with me so that I had all the dimensions for all the items I was looking to use. This turned out to be a very smart move. Turns out happiness would fit.

Home I drove, and quickly. Truth be told, I stopped at Target to find something to put in my new creation and employ it right away. I actually put the happiness on that night. That is how excited I was to finally find a different use for the DE.

I cleaned the vase with window cleaner. Did the normal DE prep, burnishing the front of the DE to transfer the adhesive. Marked on the vase using a Crayola marker (because they are water-based they wipe up with a kleenex) where to position my DE. Pulled of the gridded backing. Carefully lined it up to my marks. Decor Elements stick way to easy to glass. There is no forgiveness on all! Burnished the DE again. Voila!

It took 3 bags to not even fill this vase as high as I wanted. Then the problems started!!!

Problem is I live with a bunch of chocohollics, in particular one vary daring hubbie. All three of them were warned NOT TO TOUCH THE M&M'S until I could take a picture to post on my blog. I heard that rattle, you know, the sound M&M's make when you are grabbing a handful, several times over several days, until I could get said picture taken. Hubbie says, but I am only taking one or two at a time. So I says, but how many times a day are ya doin' it? Hmmm...nothin' but silence be the answer.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Who can it be now?

Who can it be now publishing post after post? Is it a ghost of someone lost? Nah! If you read my post on the bed you will understand some of where I have been.

We started having internet delays last Fall. By February 2009 we could only get on for maybe 5 minutes a day, and that was very slow. Hubby had to work using dialup - and was a real bear for having to do so. It took three weeks of tech support and being bounced around the globe to find the problem. Our DSL modem went bad. Very bad. We had replaced, tested, teched and more, and that was the only constant, so that had to be the problem. It was. Works great now!

Between my health, the modem, and...

Camera woes. My fancy Canon is ill. Terribly ill. The flash quit working at a wedding, and this was after airport security dropped my fancy lens going through security to convention in July. That ended up to be the least of my worries. The flash is still a problem. If there is a camera expert reading this, email me. I have had four experts look at it. Tried numerous external flashes. Played and played with settings. The flash pops up but does not flash. Which initially I thought it might just be the light bulb, but then why do external flashes not work? Hmmmm... Then in November getting ready to go visit Santa with the kids, I charged my battery and grabbed it, and somewhere between point A and B, it got lost. We, all four of us, have ripped the house apart looking for it. New batteries - $70!

Let us assess the situation: broken lens, no flash, no battery - NO FUN! I have carried a camera with me since I was 5 or 6. This has been the darkest of times for me! My sons compact Canon Sureshot works OK, but it is 3 years old, slow and he dropped in the sand last summer after Mom and Dad said, don't set it in the sand! Duh! I was able to blast a lot of the sand out, clean up some, and the rest of the sand just ground down to air over time. The zoom now works again even.

OK, final assessment: over the last 7 months, my health deteriorated to a really low level because of sleep deprivation, I had no camera, and no internet. My Nintendo DS got quite the workout though!

Sleep deprivation getting better. Internet back up and running. Camera going to be sent into Canon next week.

Life Is Good!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy

New Bed New Everything!

OK so most of my friends, family, and customers have heard this story, but it bears repeating, for many reasons.

Our lumpy bumpy semi old Stearns & Foster mattress desparately needed replacing. It sagged, it had broken springs, broken box spring, and Lord knows how many dust mites living in it. Ew! I know...I slept on it every night for 11 years. It had been replace three times in its first two years. That should have been a sign!

I got to try a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed staying at the Radisson in Salty last summer for Convention. It was pretty darn good. Not that I got a lot of mattress time that week.

Both of us were tired of spring mattress, not sure about the memory foam ones, that left air beds to think about for our next purchase. We had used our Aerobed quite a bit when we had company, traveling, camping and such, and it was not that bad. We would just plop it on top of our box spring, and set up the mattress on a platform for company. It worked.

So into Select Comfort we went, not once, not twice, but three times. We got some great help from Chris at the Roseville MN store. Very nice, very knowledgeable man. The third trip was to actually right up the paperwork. We had to decide on level, on mattress covers, on this on that. In the end, we went with the Sleep Number 7000 with both the recommended mattress cover that helps with mites and stuff and the hot/cold cover. New technology really works. It keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. I love it. I am never too hot or cold now. But I jumped ahead. OK, one last decision, should we get the "levitation" as my son calls it. It is where you can raise and lower the head and foot of the bed, has built in message, and more. OK, thinking that this bed is guaranteed for 20 years, and we will probably keep it longer, spreading the cost out over 300 payments (not really, but thinking in terms of it as an investment), assuming we keep it for 25 years, didn't seem so bad at all. We decided, we deserve it.

The base for the "levitation" weighs close to or over 200 pounds. Knowing that, we knew that we should clean the carpets - professionally for once (we used Stanley Steamer, they were great). So we got that scheduled. OK, so if we are getting the carpets cleaned, and this bed delivered that would be difficult to move much in the room ever again, it does come on wheels though), maybe, after 11 years we should finally paint the bedroom.

I am paint commitment phobic. There are literally millions of colors possible. We tore through Better Homes and Gardens. Yes ladies, I actually got the hubby to help with the decision. He liked a red/yellow combination. I liked it, too. I fell in love with a sample room from a Behr catalog at Home Depot that I spotted when I went to get the paint. It had Sahara Sand, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, and Baja Breeze. So calming so resort spa like. I came home that night with paint chips, primer paint, and no decisions made. Back to the decision drawing board. Gosh, do I really live and breathe Stampin' Up! that much that my paint colors are SU! colors?

We could not figure out how to make that color scheme from Behr work in the room without having all very light colored walls. In the end we went back to the yellow/red idea. The largest span of wall, only seen as you walk in the room is Barely Banana. The two short walls are So Saffron, and the wall we look at from bed and has our LCD tv on it is Riding Hood Red, and another partial wall. Actually it is a little deeper than RHR. So over the course of a weekend we painted the three colors, and had the carpets cleaned in the living room, entrance, stairs, bedroom and hallway. We ate out a lot that weekend! One night the daughter slept at a friends, I took her bed, hubby took son's bed, and son slept on the loveseat that is normally in our bedroom. It was kind of nuts. We had all the living room furniture in the kitchen and my office. Our bedroom items, except for the four post bed frame, was split between the two kids rooms. The rest of the night we slept on the Aerobed on the wet living room carpet until the new bed arrived.

Tuesday, March 10 was the big day. It didn't take but an hour to set up everything. We had to get new sheets. When you spend 5 grand on a bed do you really want to sleep on the ratty old stuff? I don't think so...

I never got the nap I wanted to take that day. We needed to get the house put back together and quickly. After, what ended up to be about 10 days, we were all sick of take-out. I couldn't even get at the dishwasher to wash dishes, which were now piled all over the counters. Another Ew! for that.

So it has been over 5 weeks now on the new bed. I have so much more energy. I no longer have all the aches and pains that I had all over. Some of those aches will always be there, as a reminder of a past well lived. I awake refreshed. I am getting more done during the day than I have in years. I still have slept debt. The sleep experts say it can take many months to erase that. I am OK with that. Every day it is getting better. We love the "levitation". We both have said that maybe, with my declining health, we should have done it sooner. I am just glad we did it at all.

I knew in recent months that I was sleeping more, but it was really laying in the bed more trying to sleep. It sucked big time. I will never be 25 again, and awake refreshed after less than 6 hours of sleep. I do not want to be. I am happy to just wake up and stay awake and not have all those little aches and pains. The doctors checked me last year for rheumatoid arthritis and a slew of other things. I wonder how many other people out there are just sleep deprived and think it is something else.

I have always been a big proponent of sleep, having watched the hubby suffer with obstructive sleep apnea and is now a self-professed and faithful "hose head". He has not gone one night without his CPAP since getting it, nine years ago. I have watched my son suffer from terrible OSA from enlarged tonsils. I have watched my daughter suffer her entire life with sleep difficulties, contributing to mine because of it. I think, I can honestly say that in the last 5 weeks is the first time in my life, or at least my adult life, that I have really and truly slept. I have never slept well. Been tired most of my life. Suffered from so many aches and pains, due to such a large spectrum of issues. I sleep now, and quite well. The change was not overnight, but each week I notice more energy, less and less wanting to go back to bed after the kids are on the bus.

I recommend the Sleep number bed to anyone, even if you think you are sleeping great. Spring mattresses are old technology and hard on any body. Sleep study centers all have air beds (in MN anyway). Foam beds, still not quite adjustable enough for different body types, and what about dust mites? Because of the way the Sleep Number bed is constructed, if we need new ticking on the mattress, the top just zips right off! Order a new one. I think it is washable in a front load washing machine also. Can't do that with foam or spring ones.

So I will shut up about our wonderful bed and my new lease on life. Thanks for listening. Thanks for reading.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy

Give Thanks All Year

Decor Element: Season of Thanks, small chocolate 114883
Paper: Good Morning Sunshine 113966
Accesories: 1" double stitched ribbon in chocolate chip 111849
Other: picture frame, not pictured - silk forsythia branch

I just love my Season of Thanks DE. Even though I ordered it back early last fall, and got the frame right away, life happens. I never got around to putting the darn thing together, until a few days ago. It now hangs in our front entryway. I plan on changing the paper and inserts (flowers, etc) seasonally. I can't wait for Fourth of July. We will see if I get that one posted to the ol' blog.

I adhered the DE to the outside front of the glass. I put the paper on the back wall of the 1" approx. depth picture frame. Since the frame is just slightly larger than 12" I added the ribbon borders to the top and bottom. I added the flower branch, not pictured, a day later.

I can think of leaves in the fall. Flat stuffed snowmen in the winter, or foam snowflakes. Summer sand, if I bonded it together. Lots of possibilities.

As always I am truly thankful for all that I have in my life!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy

DE Organic Elegance

Decor Elements: Long-stem Silhouette, large, chocolate 114124, Inspiration, medium, Kraft 116190

Having just painted our bedroom a month ago, I knew just what I wanted and where I wanted my Decor Elements. When they say the silhouette is large, they mean it! Added the height for the baseboard the top if it comes to almost 5 feet off the floor! My 11 year old daughter came home from school yesterday (when I put this on the wall) and stood next to it and said (loudly) Mom, it's almost as tall as me. I am not sure if that is a good thing, bad thing, or just a thing.

To put this large of DE on the wall requires 2 people. It took a half hour, and that includes waiting for my hubbie. He kept yelling, I am on my way, I will be there in a minute and such. I am not sure how long I sat on the floor waiting for him, but there I sat - waiting...

He held the top pushing firmly against the wall. The DE was already gently taped to the wall. I had already prepped the DE, rubbing the adhesive into the element. I started to pull off the backing, working with 5 inch lengthwise sections at a time. I pulled the backing straight and evenly up the backside of the DE. Not easy, it took a fair amount of pressure to pull. By him keeping his hand on the upper part, I was able to pull hard and not bend the DE or pull it off the wall as I worked it. There were not extra hands to take a picture of that part. My arms were quite tired after all the pulling when I was done with that part.

Next step: again working in 5 inch lengthwise sections at a time, starting from the bottom, I removed the top layer of the DE. I had to reburnish quite a bit. When I got to the flower part, I went to 3 inch sections. Only pulled one flower off, but got him put right back on. It was not so bad to do this part. The hard part was getting it on the wall in the first place.

I know the words are hard to see. That is just the effect I wanted, them hidden in the stems, elusive and evasive. My kids want them a little more bold. Maybe someday. The words are cheap enough if I wanted to redo that part it wouldn't be a big deal at all. I cut the words apart first. They went on quickly and easily.

I woke up several times last night just to look at it. I love my new organic flowers!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Keep being creative, Sandy