Friday, May 10, 2019

My Happy Book 2019.

Just wanted to share with you what I'm using the food packaging for -- not just for artist trading cards, but also to decorate a journal that my therapist doctor encouraged me to make -- one filled positively to the brim with goodness, kindness, and joy! She said to add in my doodles, scriptures because she knows my faith is important to me, and good memories. 

I purchased a Composition Notebook and began adding in dividing lines with skinny washi-tape (planner format) and decorating the sides plus adding days and dates, but when I went to write on the pages, the pen poked through the thin paper. So before adding in any more washi tape section lines or to the edges of the paper,  I cut down some single sheets of notebook paper and glued it onto the front and back of the pages. It helped a lot! This is what it looks like to washi-tape the edges of the pages. I think it will not only pretty up the pages, but help strengthen the edges as they get thumbed through everyday.  



So here's January's pages -- to enlarge the video, click on the little box in the bottom right hand corner of the toolbar on the video screen. 


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I've uploaded a new video for February and added it to a new playlist here: DJR: Positivity Journal 2019. Enjoy! 

Almost had a ink disaster. Hubby purchased two new ball point pens for me and unbeknownst to me, one developed a leak in the crock I'm using for a pencil holder and the ink traveled everywhere, all over my hands, up my arms and on the notebook cover every time I pulled something from the crock. I also learned that the ink wasn't permanent -- a drip of glue blurred some of the written words inside the notebook. Learned a good ball point permanent ink pen or fine-line marker should be used to write with. 

Happy to share some of what I've written in my notebook with you here. 

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My March journal video is happily uploaded to YouTube! Check it out! Happy Easter! 

I've got an idea for another journal, so I reviewed the lessons from Stephanie Ackerman's online doodle and Bible journaling classes last week and am beginning to read her book this week -- Faith Journaling for the Inspired Artist. The link to her book is up on the left hand side menu if you are interested. She's also featuring her doodle class again, if you are interested in that too. Just click on her button on the right hand side menu and it will take you to her website where you can sign up.  Here's the new playlist for my Doodles -- a notebook full of doodled scriptures. Part One consists of one doodled verse from each of the first ten books of the Bible. 

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I'm learning to smile through April Showers -- see me grit my teeth together -- 🤪. I uploaded my newest video and YouTube slapped me with a music copyright infringement claim. I haven't taken the video down as I'm claiming a grandfather clause -- that music is on my Microsoft video editor under another name and has been there for two years. It was pre-installed on my computer when it was given to me as a Christmas gift in 2017. About time I learned to use it huh? I've made the proper feedback to both Microsoft and YouTube and I'm letting them duke it out, so before I'm told to take it down, if you want to view it, click here! Add a like too for good measure. Thanks! 

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Friday, May 3, 2019

My Best Tips

Rather than having all my best tips scattered throughout this blog, I thought I would compile them all together into one blog post and when I came up with a new one, then bump it to the top again. I'm doing this as much for myself as for you cause I'm having difficulty keeping track of them to share with others. smile! 😁
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Date: January 27, 2010

I'm into free TV. One of my new favorite digital channels is a PBS channel called Create TV. It has craft, gardening, home improvement, cooking, and travel shows. I also enjoy watching this show on one of the other PBS channels – "Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations." It showcases outsider folk artists and their art, most of which is located along America's roadsides, hence the show's name. The saying about "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" illustrate the thriftiness and creativity of the folk artist.

Update: Now I'm into watching YouTube videos as well. I collected all the bits from past shows that I could find and made a playlist of them to link in above. 
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Date: February 24, 2010

My girlfriends and I share a couple of yards of fibers with each other when we purchase new skeins for card & scrapbook projects. I also have collected several itty-bitty balls of yarn left over from crochet projects. Last fall, my mother, her girlfriends and I visited a country craft fair and in an antique shop at the local town, I saw a large pickle jar full of yarn & ribbon wrapped clothespins. They were also selling unwrapped clothespins for a dollar apiece. I came home, went to the dollar store, and purchased a package of 20 wooden clothespins for $1.00 and have all these lovelies. The wooden salad bowl came from a thrift/junk shop.
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Date: April 27, 2010

If you are going to a crafting session with your friends and need to take several spools of ribbon with you, a clean margarine tub with lid works great. I have a 15 ounce (425g) tub which holds 4 or 5 quarter-inch size spools quite nicely.






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Date: June 29, 2010

I love all the newest gadgets, but can't always afford them. So the next best thing is to crank up the ole creativity and repurpose an old gadget into a new one. I found this stainless steel holder thingie at a thrift store for about 50 cents (I had no idea what it was in its old life at the time, but later my husband told me he thought it might have held pipes, you know the smoking kind). Anyway, I brought the new-to-me gadget home, cleaned the dust off of it, looked it over (it revolves!) and added a few things to it and wha-la – on the top shelf, it holds all kinds of scissors, hole punches, pliers, a hammer in the center, and in the bottom spaces where I guess the bowls of the pipes went, is just the perfect size for embossing powder jars. And it has a handle in the center, so if I need to move it to clean off my table (yeah, right, in the next century), I can!

P.S. The above might also be a revolving spice rack. Looks very similar to something I saw at a thrift store this last weekend with all the jars in it. This is the mark on the bottom -- MADE IN CHINA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MMII M, KAMANSTEIN, INC., ELMSFORD, NY 10523
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Date: June 30, 2010

I really like those fanny packs, only worn around in front. You know the kind that snaps around your waist and leaves your hands free, but all the essentials are there. As a BBW, it wasn't easy to find one with a belt long enough and when I finally found one, I eventually couldn't wear it because I developed a pinched nerve, caused by a spur, in my back & hip (later diagnosed as arthritis). So I had to resort to other measures. I don't like purses with dinky little handles and with my rolling shoulders, the longer straps would slide off, so I got to wearing them cross-body over my head across my chest with the purse hung up in the armpit area and choking off a boob when I had to have my hands free for shopping. Not a pretty sight mind you, nor very comfortable.
So I went shopping and found a purse with a handle that was adjustable at a garage sale (50 cents). The strap looked like a belt with a buckle which came apart. It only had one hole in the end, so I punched a couple more with my crop-a-dile hole punch. Still it wasn't long enough, so I went up to our local thrift store, found a small girl's belt for 99 cents, tried it to make sure it would slide through the buckle on my purse, cut off the end, added a few more holes and wha-la! I can wear my new purse in comfort on my hip where it belongs. Wow! Can't beat a new purse for $1.50!

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Date: July 1, 2010

I was looking for an easy way to store my extra die-cuts, stickers, and assorted stamped images in one place. My husband worked in a computer warehouse and at that time brought me a bunch of extra CD envies home that they were going to throw out. I repurposed them to hold my extra bits and pieces in this shoebox. As I've been digging through some of my drawers in my craft corner for the extras that I've squirreled away, this box has gotten fatter and fatter, so much so that I think I'm gonna have to divide it into two – one for card bits and another for scrapbook ephemera.
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Date: July 19, 2010

I found a plastic three drawer shoe keeper at Walmart and started keeping my cards in it. The top drawer holds all-occasion cards (mostly blank inside), the middle drawer – birthday, and the last holiday cards. The box on top holds the envelopes. If you slip the invitation sized (A2) cards inside the drawer with the fold towards the top, you can keep approximately 150 cards in each of these drawers.





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Date: September 22, 2010

I picked up the Mid-Continent library system's community program catalog called "Beyond the Books" for the Fall season at my local branch. There are 30 branch libraries in the whole system. I see, for my local branch, there are several craft classes and clubs offered like a candy-making class for teens, craft classes for preschoolers, an interior design class on decorating for the fall, a KC Chiefs Face Painting class, a scrapbooking club that meets for two hours once a month, pumpkin carving for teens, and a quilting and knitting club.
Across the system, some of the most interesting craft classes are: Art, Illustration & Graphic Design Exhibit, beading, beginning tatting, brad bracelets, candy & cooking classes, cemetery art, crochet classes, a Dear Jane Quilt group, drawing, dry embossing, duct tape creations, face painting, finger painting, friendship bracelets, gingerbread houses, greeting cards & Kirigami greeting cards, making gum paste flowers for cakes, holiday crafts, home design, Japanese calligraphy, jewelry, journaling, Native American crafts, needlework classes, origami, ornaments, paint-by-gum, photo classes & club, plastic models, punch needle, sticky note airplanes, stitched tea towels, snowflake stitchery sampler, and wall decorations. For more information or to register for craft classes, see the website above or your library's website.
If they don't offer classes like these, ask if you can begin a crafting class to start the ball rolling in your community. Set a date at the library, advertise by word of mouth and post signs where people congregate like the grocery store, library, gas station or in your local papers. Give the library a sign-up sheet and a supplies hand-out sheet. Don't be discouraged though if only about half that sign up show up. Just go and have fun and word of mouth will make your classes grow! 
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Date: June 25, 2011

Since I’m frugal, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money for a Melting Hotpot that I might only use once, so I made my own version. I found this Dazey Beverage Warmer, still in the box like new, and the metal pitcher at the thrift store. My mother gave me a box of paraffin wax that had been in her canning pantry for several years to try first, but I had thought of purchasing old/used off-white or light yellow taper candles from the thrift store or melting down old yellow or tan crayons to get the look of expensive beeswax. I expect a candle warmer would work as well. It took a few minutes for one bar of the canning wax to melt down and when I was done playing, I removed the pitcher from the warmer to let the wax harden right in the pitcher. I didn’t see the need to remove it, so it will be there the next time I want to play again.

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Date: June 29, 2011





Purchase 2 ounce cosmetic mister bottles from Walmart for as many colors as you think you will need. Next, fill them with water. Then add 30 drops of re-inker, shake it to mix and spray many backgrounds for your stash. Have fun playing and experiment with various color combinations. Spray through stencils too, for pretty designs!

In addition, make a spray paint “booth” out of a cardboard box (abt. 15 x 15 inches) by cutting off the flaps and lining the very back and bottom of the box with cereal wax paper so there isn't any accidental spray leakage from there to your work surface.

I recently saw a bottle of similar solution at a scrapbook store for $13.00.



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DateJanuary 9, 2012



The sealing ring on the blender I use for making homemade paper came up missing recently. I looked up the appliance papers to see if I could order another one from the company, but drats, no phone number or address. I remember that the sealing ring was like a piece of flexible rubber, but what could I use to replace it? First, I tried making one from a plastic oatmeal canister lid, but it still leaked like a sieve. Rubber, rubber? What do I have at home that looks like rubber. Ahh! Fun Foam. Trace around the base of the blender jug without the cutting blades attached on both the plastic lid and fun foam and cut out. Stack both together, with the plastic ring next to the blender jug base and screw cutting blades on. Add water to the jug and viola, it should work like a dream. 


I also thought that this might work for those of you who purchased an old blender for making paper from a thrift store or garage sale and found the sealing ring missing too.
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DateAugust 17, 2013


When I was in the hospital this summer, I received several small flower arrangements. They were so cute. And they were the ones to survive my husband's care the best when he took them home after I was transferred to another hospital because the flower's feet were still in water. Karen brought me a small flowering plant wrapped in red and blue tissue paper (edges of tissue paper were scalloped) and set into a red, white, and blue decorated box about the size of a cut down milk or juice carton with a ribbon handle. I thought what a handy idea -- easily made and festive for Independence Day! Another idea was a tiny small-necked bottle filled with water, a stargazer lily blossom, roses and baby's breath, wrapped in white tissue paper and inserted into a small gift bag. What a great idea for upcycling all those sample condiment bottles and spice jars I've seemed to have accumulated around my house! The gift sack could be one I craft from a brown lunch bag or one I have saved from a previous gift or failing that, a trip to the dollar store for one.

While convalescing at my mother's after the two week hospital stay, my hubbin surprised me with the newest issue (July 2013) of the now defunct :( Scrap & Stamp Arts magazine. Lo and behold, Karen had a card published in the Simple Stampin' Gallery (p. 34, Congrats! Karen). The article that caught me eye though was Carol Heppner's altered mini vases on page 14. Oh, another thing to collect! The flower I liked best was the folded rosette medallion made of text scrapbook paper just like the ones I made for my Sunday School kids Easter "baskets." Now that pink bathing tub I brought home from the hospital ought to just hold several of those small, skinny bottles like hot sauce bottles,
salt & peppers, scented oil stick jars, old perfume bottles, vinegar decanters, and so forth. 

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Date: January 22, 2015

 I had been using transparent plastic shoeboxes (see date July 1, 2010) . Right now all my spool ribbon are stored in cardboard shoe boxes. With two guys in the family who are hard on shoes, I have a steady supply of them. I was given a big sack of sewing trims and bias tape and I found they fit perfectly in these three metal index card catalog boxes. I really like the sliders in the bottom to keep the trim cards standing upright.


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Date: June 16, 2015

All the ladies at an ATC club that I began attending liked my sponge tool -- a wedge of round yellow clay sponge cut into quarters and "pinched" into a clothespin "handle." I have a hard time with "traveling" ink -- in other words, I would love to be a neat and tidy crafter, but to tell the truth I'm messy, so the clothespin helps keeps the ink off the ole fingers, however, the night before, I had purple ink on the back of my fore-arm, (aaak!) my pink shirt as well as on the table top that I believe had squirted out sideways from a re-inker bottle. I tried to wipe it all up but some of it started hitchhiking on me before I found it all! LOL!



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Date: March 7, 2018




My mother was a ceramic teacher for years and years and one tip she always told me concerning acrylic paint was -- if your paint is beginning to dry up (still gooey on the inside of the bottle under the skin that formed on top), is to remove the skin and toss it away and to add one capful of water to the paint bottle. Stir the water into the paint with a palette knife (or popsicle stick or bamboo skewer), screw the lid back on and store the bottle upside down, so that any air that happens to be inside the bottle will go up to the bottom and begin to dry out the paint there, instead of the paint near the lid which you want to keep in semi-liquid form. 

However, if you find that your paint is completely hard as a rock all the way through the bottle when you try spearing it with a palette knife and it bounces back, then it is a goner and time to toss the bottle, cause you won't be able to resuscitate the paint. It is now a plastic brick! smile!



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Date: March 8, 2018


Once upon a time, I had a bone folder. But it grew legs and ran away, so now I use a brayer I found at a garage sale for a quarter. Not only does it make sharp creases, but also rolls out air bubbles from glued down or double-face taped images and sentiments. 

And in a pinch, it has also doubled as "zoom, zoom car" when my girlfriend and I got together to make cards, as her young grandson enjoyed playing with it. smile! 🚗












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DATE: 3 May 2019


Yes, my husband is up to collecting stuff from the trash bin again. He brought home a bunch of heavy duty cardboard tubes that were at the end of the roll of label stickers that they use in the warehouse where he works and asked me what I could do with them, so here's one of my ideas. I also had squirrelled away a couple of wider tubes from crochet thread, so those got glued down in the center of the ramen noodle cardboard soup box and then I inserted the smaller tubes around them until I couldn't fit in anymore. I like the color of the cardboard so left them au natural, but they could be painted before gluing. I tied a strip of denim cut from an old pair of jeans that my husband or son gave me into a bow around the box, inserted my crafting tools into it and wha-la - a tool-box! 



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