Saturday, March 30, 2013

Progress . . . Well, I wouldn't call it progress

Hi Everyone,
Progress is a funny thing. Now I need you to know I am taking about "making progress" in a home improvement project. What I immediately notice is that there is a difference in the definition for the word "progress" depending on your gender.  Now our little improvement crew is made up of 3 men and 3 women.  The ages of the crew are from age 9 to late 70's.  Wow, that a lot of opinions to reckon with! But more than a generational thing it has become a gender thing.  Oh yes peeps, chauvinist attitude is alive and living right here in New Jersey!  Yes, (said the dude's) let's ask the women what they want to do and then we will completely ignore every word that they said.  If left to me and dear daughter and dear grand daughter we would have made some real progress this week-end.  Progress to me means a task was set, work was done and job completed.  Not so for the men.  It is more like this. Task is set, step one is done, stand back and admire incomplete job (for like and hour while talking about next step).  OK . . .  I am kidding, but really if you have a plumbing pipe that is in the corner of a closet, can't you just paint it white? Do you need to frame it out and dry wall it? What is going to happen when a plumber needs to get at it? Really its a pipe in a closet.  So in lieu of finishing the drywall we (the women folk) are just hanging out waiting till we are called back to assist with the drywall. (and by assist I mean carrying it in from the garage) I mean we all know we women can't read a tape measure worth a lick!! The moulding is another issue.  What is with trying to save all the original moulding. In all fairness, I do understand the saving of $$$, but really this moulding is shot.  It took hours to oh so carefully pry off each piece, label it to the window or door that it came from and carefully store it in the basement. But, after all of that I heard the Hubster say to dear daughter (and I quote) "Ya know, you don't have to refinish or leave the moulding wood, you can paint it if you want".  Really, than why for goodness sake are we just not buying new moulding!  Ok, so I am just doing a bit of a rant but if you saw how happy the dude's were about framing in the pipe you would be teasing them too. All kidding aside in the grand scheme of progress some work was done.  Here are some pictures of what was done this week-end:
the built in . . Here today . . .

and now it's gone . . .  See the pipe!
Sam gets a closet!
And a bedroom door
New dry wall, but lots of issues
    Ok, so we did make some progress, and all in all we are all happy with what was completed. Please notice some dry wall is vertical, and some is horizontal.  This was a difference in opinion and youtube videos! Tomorrow is Easter and we all will be taking the day for family and some fun.  Hopefully during the week all the rest of the dry wall will be completed and we can start with tape and mud.  I wish you all a Happy Easter and hope the Bunny is good to you all.  Thanks for visiting and please stop by again to join me in my 3 room redo.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Off The Crafty Grid!

Hi Everyone,
Yet again I find myself in need of alternative titles.  Here is my list. If this was an ad for a TV show it would be:
"Next On Hoarders - Woman told to pack up and get out"
If this was an ad for a financial seminar it would read like this:
"Woman spent A million dollars on craft supplies, dies broke - pictures to prove it"
or better yet the newspaper headline:
"When they found her in the corner she was mumbling something about a heat gun!"
Here is how it all started, You know simple.  Some paper, some glue and a computer.  In all fairness I think I had a punch or two.  I had a little crafty spot in the corner of the dining room.  It was easy to break it down at the holidays. I really liked this space because in the summer I had a great view of the pool.  I was crafting right in the center of the family action.
 But then I started to collect more supplies.  And not just supplies but crafty good machines as well. I grew so much so that my little bit of crafty heaven became a nuisance to the rest of the family.  Not only that I could no longer hide the crafty goodness when it was time to have a dinner party or the family over at Christmas.  So the Hubster says "let's move you down to the den" and all of a sudden I had more room than I knew what to do with.  OK, so I did know what to do with it. 

And that was to collect yet more supplies.  But I loved my crafty good (and messy) workspace. I was a happy little crafter hidden away in the den.  I didn't even mind the red carpet or the circa 1950's paneling.  Not even the vinyl brick piece! Here is a picture of my work desk.  I knew exactly where everything was and could lay my hand on it in an instant.
 Some how things kept growing. It seemed like if one of something was good, then two would be better.  This I now realize should be a thought process reserved for dollar bills and only dollar bills. 
Then my clean organized workspace grew yet again and started to look like this:

 Holy Cow! Apparently the CEO's of A.C. Moore, Joann's and Michael's were able to send their first born children to college just on my purchases! It's official now I have become a CRAFT-HOARDER! and to make matters worse, the Hubster once again says . . .  "Let's do a bit of room switching, We can put Sam in the den (more space for her) the little one in Sam's old room (little one, yup you guessed right she gets more space) and then we will move you upstairs into the little ones room"(uh-huh, less room for Lysa).  So who could say no.  Girls need space.  I know this because I am a girl or at least I was before I took on the title of Mom and Nonna.  So it began, the pack up of the hoarded supplies.  Here is a picture:
  OMG! really people that is just one side of the room. Here's another:
And here it is all packed into the garage until who knows when:
You know what is really scary?  If you asked me for my 1-1/2 inch scallop square punch, I could hit that pile of boxes and get it for you. So here is the deal. Three rooms in three months.  The only hard room is the den because after all these years the paneling is coming down.  The upstairs rooms only need minor work like paint, flooring and such. I will leave you with the first picture of Sam's new livingspace.  I hope it comes out just as she hopes.
I guess you can say I will be off the crafty grid for a few months as we do some work around here.  I told the Hubster I needed to be up and running no later than August and he thinks I will be back in a space by early July.  My posting over the next weeks (months) will most likely be home repair as I am trying to keep a diary of the whole room switch action.  Thanks for stopping by and check back soon.  I am sure I can slip in a crafty post somewhere.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Brick Project ... Done!

Hi Everyone,
My brick project is done! I had so much fun exploring new craft supplies with this project. I played with supplies I already owned and bought a few things along the way too.  First and foremost the best part of this project was the reading and research involved.  I happen to own 3 books about Woodbridge so it was fun to get them out and really look through them.  I learned a lot about Woodbridge history and that as you know, is a good thing.  I also went online and found out that my local library is part of a network of archives that has uploaded all kinds of media in regard to their local area.  That was awesome.  I was able to download the actual program for the celebration of the dedication for the Memorial Municipal Building from 1924! This little program booklet even had pictures of the floor plan of the building.  I was amazed by looking through all the media that my local library had available online.  It was wonderful.  So I chose my picture for the key-chain and as you know I had to figure a way to embed my little sliver of brick.  I had tried the UTEE embossing but its yellow cast was just not clear enough for me.  I am told the longer you melt it the more it will take on that yellow tone. So I will save the rest of my 2 jars of UTEE for bottle cap projects.  Next I tried cold cure epoxy.  I must say that it is a fun resin to work with but 12 hours later in my dusty craftspace, I was simply annoyed.  You know I cut paper and paper has a lot of fiber, when you add that to having a cat walking across your work table . . .  well . . . . let's just say I could not get a clear cast to save my life. Plus the mixing and pouring and waiting . . .  there was just no instant gratification.  So then I moved onto UV cure resin.  HELLO . . . love at first try (well, love at about try 10).  I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a bottle of Lisa Pavelka's magic gloss.  Now you need to know I already own a UV lamp. That would be my Teresa Collins Stampmaker. OK, so I bought it, used it once, and true to form it sits on a shelf (laughing at me) Well wait a minute . . . It did get me through that ping pong ball project from 2011! but I haven't used it since.  So I knew I had like 36 watts of UV power just sitting on the shelf. I did some research and found in the big box craft stores there are 2 brands of UV cure resin. Judikins (Gel du Soleil) and Lisa Pavelka (Magic Gloss).  I chose the Lisa Pavelka not because we share a name (only she spells it kinda funny, hehehe) but because that is the brand Hobby Lobby had. $9.95 for an ounce.  It's OK because I had a 40% coupon that took off $4.00.  Then I chose some bezel pieces from the jewelry section.  $1.99 each.  I didn't know what I was going to do so I picked an oval, a rectangle, and a square (2 each).  Well, the rectangle won and the rest of them will happily live in my craft stash (most likely for 10 years or so)  Cha Ching . . .  that's $8.00 that won't see the light of day for awhile.  Ok, now I am onto the graphic, I got all these cool supplies, I know the size of the bezel piece, I am ready to design.  I open up my CA2, I get the shape on my mat, I got the graphic I am jones'n! Oh, I like it! Perfect I say to myself. But wait, what kind  of paper?  Let's try photo paper. Wow it looked great! Yes, it looked great right up until I poured the Magic gloss on it, then I watched the ink spread in to a big blurry mess.  Oh well . . . back online for more research, and sure enough you need to seal the image so that there is no reaction between the resin and the ink.  I read lots of ways to seal the image and I settled on using packing tape.  If you do this make sure when you lay the tape on the image you have no air bubbles or fuzzies caught on the tape or the image. Once I got a handle on that it was smooth sailing, yup as smooth as a boat on dry land.  Because the next issue is bubbles.  So here is the deal with that.  Once you pour the resin you absolutely have to pass either your embossing heat gun or a mini butane torch over the piece to remove all the bubbles.  You just can't pop them with a pin. The heat will draw them to the surface and they pop.  It is the same with the cold cure resin.  It's all about the bubbles. In Champagne, bubbles are good . . . in resin, not so much! I get all that worked out and then I decide I want to dome the back side of the key-chain as well.  Sure enough every time I got a good front, I would mess up the back or vise-verse. If I had a  good back the front was messed up.  I tore the darn key-chain apart about 8 times before I finally got a hand for what I was doing.  I found it easy to use a Dremmel tool to break apart the resin without to much damage to the bezel blank.  Still with all the issues I fell in love with Lisa Pavelka Magic Gloss and I actually went back to Hobby Lobby to get another bottle of it. Here are a few more pictures:
I have to tell you all that I did have to enlist the hubby dude to cut the brick.  Hard as I tried I just could not cut as nice of a sliver as he could.  For some reason he was able to maintain that long thin brick like appearance. I kept breaking it while trying to get it as thin as needed. It is only about 2 mm thick and 10 mm long. So here is my "shout out" to the hubs . . . Thanks Paul!  I am so happy with the way this brick project played out, because I learned some things, bought some new crafty good supplies,  used a tool that I already owned that was gathering dust but mostly because I got to use the brick in a way I can share with some of the people around me. I am so happy that I am still inspired by an old piece of clay as that tells me I have not yet hit my crafty wall. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you check back soon.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Brick Project!

Hi Everyone,
Check out my really cool brick! Ok, So to you all it is a normal run of the mill brick. To me though it is so much more.  I have a whole long winded back story to that little brick.  Let me start at the beginning. I live here in New Jersey in a very large "small" town called Woodbridge.  I wasn't raised here but I like to think of myself as one of those die hard Woodbridgeians. After all I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else, so to me I qualify as a native. This town is very old and we have wonderful history.  Chartered in 1669, the town has grown to become a hub for central Jersey.  I could go on and on with historical facts and such but what I really want to tell you about is that brick.  The brick is from the towns original Memorial Municipal Building that was dedicated on June 14, 1924. The building was dedicated and named for our serviceman.  We carry that on to this day. We truly honor and appreciate all who have served and currently serve.  That brick is almost 90 years old!  The day the building was dedicated the whole town came out to celebrate and honor our deceased servicemen as well as those who returned. The thing is the building was demolished in 1994 to make way for our new modern and safer Memorial Municipal Building.  When the building was demolished all these awesome bricks were left in a pile waiting to be hauled away for recycling or trash.  Many people as they passed by picked up a brick.  Lots of people saw them as a keepsake or a souvenir. Maybe they just saw them as a memory of a building that they loved.  Really, when you think about it what are you going to do with just 1 brick other than look at it every now and again.  Yet, all over the place I would see these bricks. I mean, I would see them in peoples houses just sitting on a shelf.  I see them in peoples cubicles at work, just kinda laying around.  Well, the more I saw them, the more I wanted one. I mean like, I really wanted one.  I actually started asking people if they would part with their precious brick but I was always met with a firm "NO"!  How is it I never picked one up?  I lived here in 1994 when the building came down.  I guess it didn't hit me back then that it was a pretty cool brick.  Well as the saying goes "good things come to those who wait" (and I have been waiting since 1999) and sure enough back in December a friend (Hi Mary C.) tells me there are some bricks up for grabs from someone down at the Chamber of Commerce who is getting rid of some things.  YES!!! I could not respond quick enough.  "I'll take 2, thank you very much!" (as I type this I can hear my inner voice screaming SCORE!) So there you have it, I am now the happy (and crafty) owner of not 1 but 2 bricks! Then I started to think of what am I going to do with the bricks.  Oh please .... Its always scary around here when I start thinking.  So I get it in my head that everyone and his brother is going to want a little keepsake.  Something more than an old brick laying around or just propped up on a shelf. (here comes the part where I start to drift off and I hear music faintly in the back of my brain) Yes, I remember I was in Donna's car driving to a Christmas luncheon . . . her ignition keys were swaying back and forth, kinda clanking together . . . and that's when it hit me.  I turned to all in the vehicle (Hello Joanne, Hi Nadine, Hey there Donna) and I said "I know what I am going to do with my brick!, I am going to shave little pieces of it off and embed it in acrylic and make a key-chain out of it!"  Oh yeah! doing the happy dance in the seat of the car! and wait, "I know . . .  I am going to give the first one to the Mayor! He will love it!" Than I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief because I knew I had an idea. Once I returned from lala land and looked up I noticed all in the car were giggling and laughing at my crazy idea. Really people, laughing! It's an awesome idea.(oh please, all the greats are laughed at)   I can't believe you 3 can't see the key-chain dream. "Don't like key-chains, well how about a refrigerator magnet"? (insert more laughter here) and so it goes. . .  Here I am a crafter with a key-chain dream.  Now, just like any awesome crafty good project, research is involved  and as you know from my UTEE post burnt fingers were involved as well. Plus there would be research for the perfect graphic too. So with out boring you even more for today I will leave you with this picture of "old" Town Hall. It's clear to see this building not only did its utilitarian job as it stood proudly in the center of our town, it captured the heart of our community so much so that people felt the need to pick up a brick and save it.
Thanks for visiting and if you want to see what happens to the brick check back in a week or so.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lindt Bunnies - I Love 'Um!

Hi and Happy March Everyone,
Oh my gosh, I am so happy that it is March!! This is the month that I start thinking of all that nice weather that is coming down the pike.  Oh yeah, spring, St. Pat's parade day, open windows, Easter and oh those little Lindt bunnies that I love so much. By far these little guys are the most perfect chocolate bunny to give to children and adults alike.  It's the size, they are tiny.  A little 2 bite of Easter Bunny love!  Now I have used these little guys for years.  I just love to re-package them.  If you click on my Bunnies or Easter label you will see them all.  So this year I wanted them in a clear package.  Last year was a basket.  I have so many plastic report covers that if I don't start using them they will take over.  I had used a regular pillow box back at Christmas and I wanted to change it up a bit.  I kept seeing these standing pillow boxes that were made with a Sizzix die.  Well sure enough in my research I come to find out that they no longer make the die.  That then led to looking for a picture of one.  It took a long time to find one.  If I can see it, I can draw it.  Once I got the shape and the score lines worked out it was easy to size it perfectly for the little bunny.  I left just enough room for a bit of green paper grass.  Here is a picture of the first group.
Don't they look happy sitting in their little plastic box! The plastic covers cut perfectly with my ZING. I left the score lines because it was easier than hand scoring.  I am so happy with how easy and quick they went together.  Now to make more!
Here is a picture of the file if you would like to give it a try:

If you would like the .pdf file you can find it here:
The .MTC file is located here:
The fold may look a bit confusing but once you have it cut and in your hands you will see how easy it folds together. If you have any problems, just leave me a message and I will do my best to assist.
Here is one more picture of how happy they look!
I hope you like this file as much as I do.  Feel free to resize and alter to your needs.  If you like it as much as I do, won't you take a moment to leave me a message and some bloggie love.  It really is all I need to keep me sharing files.
Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  Next up on my craft table is an odd project that isn't paper, this time it's brick!