This weekend I spent a little over two hours creating a batch of cards. Not for a deadline or project or because I needed to send one out the next day, just because.
Because I had a cute kit (Simon Says Stamp, February 2017) that I hadn’t used yet. And because Donut Day (last Friday) reminded me I had it. And sometimes it feels good to craft for no other reason than to do it.
Of course, since I’m me and I’d decided to go ahead and use the kit anyway, I figured I’d go ahead and film it and see what came of it.
The what being a 20 minute video of me rambling a bit, but it’s done and uploaded and I think it’s pretty cool. Again, it was nice to have the time and space to put the cards together and then, by some stroke of magic, get it edited, voiced-over (voice-overed?), and exported all in the same day.
The last video I tried to export, that being the CSI Scrap With Me, took 2 days, multiple restarts, a graphics driver upgrade, and a software upgrade, and a few more hoops just to get the blasted thing to export, much less anything else. This time, however, things went more smoothly and I have to say, major kudos to Premiere Pro for updating it’s title tool (finally!).
Last week (and the week before) was a bad tech week for me, in general. Work computers were wonky, my home laptop was threatening to fail (I was seriously thinking about replacing it during the holiday sales weekend), and then I was extra clumsy Wednesday morning and dropped my phone. Twice.
Apparently it’s better to drop a cellphone where it bounces of a corner instead of landing flat (face up or face down doesn’t matter, and it’s not like we choose to drop our expensive handheld devices one way or another, of course). Because when you drop it flat, the chances of some very important pieces detaching increases astronomically.
First the screen took on this sickly greenish tinge. Then I noticed the touch-screen (which is 99% of the function of a smartphone) wasn’t responding. I figured I was doomed no matter what, so I smacked the phone against my palm and the color corrected. Yay! But the touch screen still wasn’t responding.
Or, I should say, it wasn’t responding how I needed it to. It was doing it’s little zzzt! vibration, like it was registering a command (I have my phone on silent and work and, since I get so few calls anyway, tend to forget and leave it that way at home for days–ahem, weeks–at a time) but it wasn’t getting past the lock screen.
So I did the logical thing: I took out the battery to do a hard reset. After a few moments I gave the phone back it’s battery and then nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I can vividly remember a time before cell phones and it wasn’t even all that bad. Even a time before smart phones. Again, not that bad. But my word, driving to work without a cell phone? That sucked. I couldn’t listen to my podcasts or music (thank goodness for some CDs I had in my car, saving me from drive-time djs). I couldn’t search for the nearest Verizon store. And I couldn’t see if maybe Costco might have better prices on phones. It was pretty horrible, she says from her perch of technological privilege.
It was, however, perhaps the quickest I’ve ever been in and out of a Verizon store: 30 minutes for a new phone and various accessories. Of course I was a year early for an upgrade, but Todd’s contract was up in about 4 months so I was able to buy out the rest of his and then sub in a new phone without drastically changing our bill. And based on my rash of bad phone luck, I did not leave without a case and a screen protector (which I had the sales rep install for me, just in case) and within two days I’d purchased a pop-socket, because the new phone is larger than my old one, and having something slightly more secure to hold onto makes incredible sense.
That’s what I’ve been up to, more or less. What about you?
Mod Podge never seems to fully dry in the South Georgia/North Florida humidity, so I wanted to find another way to get this same result using Imagine products.
Memento markers were the obvious choice, but it took a few trials to find out whether Creative Medium (on its own or with another product added) would work for the adhesive. It had a bit too much tooth on it’s own or even diluted a bit, but when I tried On Point Glue, it worked like a charm!
To get the wavy, pebbly look of old leaded glass I needed to heat the glue to set it before it could settle. Leaving it to dry on its own would be a great way to create a streaky marbled look (which would be great laminated onto a white background).
At the risk of conspicuous consumption, I figured I’d close this week with a few highlights from the third crafty subscription box I’ve been geeting: the Simon Say Stamp monthly card kit.
I posted back in December about the cards I made from the November kit. (8 Cards from 1 Kit) Not only did I fail to make a set of cards from the December kit, I also ordered their separate deluxe card kit and did absolutely nothing with it, either! (Oh, except for some minor squee-ing over the cuteness of everything in each box.)
December Card Kit
It’s not like the items in the kits will go unused. If nothing else the Christmas kits will give me a head start on next year’s cards. Plus, look at that little reindeer–that could totally work for spring or fall cards, and anything can be put into the banner.
The additional deluxe card kit. Impulse buy much?
Same with the bells and presents from the second kit–could certainly work for birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations throughout the year.
January 2017 Kit
February 2017 Kit
The February kit was a return to the cute and useful no matter what style–those coffee and tea stamps are adorable and I had to have them, even though I’d told myself I really shouldn’t order it. Should, schmould. I adore it. And whether those stickers (“shape sprinkles”) end up on cards or in my planner remains to be seen.
In an effort towards fiscal responsibility (bah, adulthood!) I may have to skip the next few kits until I can a) use the ones I have and b) therefore justify the line in my budget better. Still, for the cost ($24.95) you get a lot of stuff–at least 8 cards worth–plus a set of stamps you can reuse as many times as you want and, frequently, other tools (ink pads, embellishments, and sometimes dies that live just as long–it’s a great way to build your stash if you’re just starting out.
Once again, this has not been a sponsored post at all. I’m just a happy camper who loves seeing Simon show up on my front porch each month 🙂
It’s no surprise to anyone who’s been reading here for a while that I like to make things. While making stuff just for fun is all well and good, I especially love it when my hands-on time is spent making something useful as well as nice to look at. And even though a lot of my handmade projects are intended for others, every now and then I will make something for myself, too. Which is why I was more than happy to take a look at Totes Amaze!25 bags to make for every occasion by Amanda McKittrick.
A tote is, at its most basic, a simple rectangle of fabric folded in half, sewn on two sides and with handles attached. But why stop there when you can add linings, pockets, gussets for bags to sit flat, draw strings, zippers, and curved bottoms instead of square? That’s whereÂ Totes Amaze! comes in handy with creative combinations of the basic elements, many of which you don’t even need a pattern for.
When something outside of an easily-measured square or rectangle is needed, there is a sheet of pattern pieces tucked into a pocket on the inside back cover.
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Tip #1 Even though the pattern pieces are printed on heavy-weight paper, reinforcing your patterns before you use them will help them last longer. I suggest clear shelf paper (such as the Con-Tact brand) adhered to one or both sides before cutting out the paper patterns. This way, when your friend sees you with your new tote, you’ll be able to whip up another one without worrying that your pattern might be too tattered for the job.[/box]
Alas, I have yet to clear the time in my schedule to actually make one of the bags, myself, but I have several marked for as soon as I can. I’m desperately in need of a new overnight bag with all these back-and-forths to the Dollhouse so the Classic Carryall Tote on page 50 is top of the list. After that, you know I couldn’t possible resist the Wine Bottle Tote on page 66, and the Six-Pocket Gardening Tote on page 38 will be perfect for crafting on the go (you guys know I can’t keep plants alive to save my life). With a simple lengthening of the main pattern piece, I thinkÂ The Man Tote (page 114) would be the perfect custom answer to my widescreen laptop-carrying needs!
If you’re still a novice with needle and thread, McKittrick’s got you covered with some basic techniques in the beginning of the book and even a list of basic Sewing Kit items you’ll need to make anything in the book. After that it’s just a quick trip to your local fabric store and you’ll be all set!Â Each of the projects in Totes Amaze! feature detailed instructions and plenty of helpful illustrations to help you understand how things should look along the way. The book is full of bright colors and patterns that make it fun to flip through for inspiration.
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Tip #2 Even though the enjoyment is in the making, if you’re like me you still want to feel like you’re getting a bargain by making your own anything instead of buying it ready-made. Good fabric is the key to a great tote, especially the simpler the pattern design, but good fabric can cost a mint. Since totes don’t need a lot of yardage, check out the remnants bin each time you’re in the shop. Frequently these end-of-bolt pieces are marked down 50% or more, making it easier to splurge on a good handle for the same bag and still come in well under retail.[/box]
I picked up a full yard of caramel-colored faux suede for less than $10 that will make an amazing overnight bag and some sturdy, striped canvas on my last trip to JoAnn Fabrics that are set aside especially for the projects in this book. I also found a smaller cut of lighter-colored faux suede that I’ll use to make my own handles for this one (there are instructions in the book for that, too) and save the webbing for more heavy-duty projects.
I was provided a copy of Totes Amaze! for purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.