Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Little Bit of Summer

On Monday my husband had off of work, and it is free day at our local indoor gardens if you are a county resident. So that is where we went. In a winter where our December snowfall was second highest EVER, it is so nice to get to a place and remember what GREEN STUFF looks like (I have made no secret my feelings about winter!!). There are three glass domes, one is tropical, one is arrid, and one is a special area that always changes. Currently it is Christmas themed, and the huge tree is pictured below. The sun was shining through the glass ceiling and walls, the plants were giving us plentiful oxygen, and seeing the greenery was a feast for our eyes which have become accustomed to the nothingness of white white white. It was a good time to visit these gardens because despite the crowds (we are not the only ones that love getting in free!!), it reminded us of the life that awaits underneath the frozen ice, the beauty that will come in a few months, and the warmth and rebirth that will follow winter. The gardeners in this indoor park always do an amazing job.

An extra treat was that we ran into my cousin and her family! They popped into our picture behind us, unknown to me; isn't that hilarious?! I hope she doesn't mind me including the picture--it turned out so cute (tho' her youngest must be behind us, and we can't see her in this shot!), and I got such a kick out of it! A special thanks for her for taking the time to check out my etsy shop and read my blog!

Tonight, being New Year's Eve, we have a date with Kung Fu Panda, and will have a party supper of little pieces of pizza, eggrolls and other snacky items! I do plan to be in bed before the new year arrives... it is just one of those years where some quiet is appealing, and I will enjoy my rest! :-)

Thanks for reading, and a VERY Happy New Year to you all!! I hope your 2009 is filled with health, happiness, and dreams accomplished.

I'll see you next year (har har dee har!)!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Resin Tips

This blog entry was inspired by my Twitter buddy, SuperTeeTee !

There are many pieces out there on basic directions for making resin jewelry. I recommend this one by resin goddess, isewcute !

This is just a list of my tips—my “been there done that” advice. There are so many ways of doing things, I do not recommend mine over others. This is just the way I do it. These ideas are for you to take or leave as you wish. As a matter of fact, some people might read this and think I do it “the hard way.” If you have easier tips, please share!

Please follow all directions and precautions given by manufacturers of resin, this includes proper ventilation, gloves and a mask while sanding!

I want to recommend the ultimate resin how-to book by Sherri Haab, The Art of Resin Jewelry (I must admit I am a bit envious that it is now being sold with a DVD!!). It is awesome and exciting!! She also has a great website

My first frustrating batch of resin was STICKY. It never cured. So disappointing!! I am not a very precise person, and I realized I would really have to change that if I wanted to succeed in resin. To measure the resin, I ordered these fantastic little disposable medicine cups .

This allows for very precise measurements of the resin and hardener, which is vital. I use Easy Cast resin, which I find at Michael’s. I always use the 40% off coupon (did you know they accept Joann 40% off coupons as well?) which really knocks the price down!

My Michael's also sells one resin mold, which is a nice starting place. If you really get into it, you can get more from the internet. My favorite site doesn’t seem to be up right now, I’ll keep checking and get back to you in later posts. Sherri Haab’s website also sells molds, as well as sites on ebay, etsy, etc. I have also found silicone (they must be the rubbery material!) ice cube trays at Dollar Tree, which work great with resin!

A word on Mold Release… I do not take responsibility for your decision on this, but I find I don’t really need to use it on my resin-specific molds. I do have it, though, and I used it at first, so maybe that primed my molds, or maybe they just didn’t need it to start with. I found this at Michael’s, right next to the resin.

Ok—so I use those medicine cups for measuring the resin. In addition, I get Popsicle sticks from the Dollar Tree, and plastic “party” cups from the grocery store. I also keep a nice supply of toothpicks handy.

If I am mixing up a very small batch of resin, I measure it into the medicine cups, and pour the hardener into the resin to mix. I have a timer, so I do not estimate, but time EXACTLY two minutes of mixing. I have found mixing it a key to proper curing (and not that sticky mess!). THEN I put it into a new, clean, medicine cup, use a new, clean popsicle stick, and mix for an additional two minutes, on the timer. The directions say one more minute, but I do it a full two. Then it is ok for me to use.

If I am mixing a larger batch of resin, when the combined amount of resin and hardener won’t fit into the medicine cups, I cut the tops off of the plastic drinking cups, and use two for my two mixing containers. I find if I cut the tops off, it is easier to pour. The top is more flexible, and I can squeeze it a bit to make a spout. I will also use my Popsicle stick to “drip” resin into small spaces.

Bubbles!!!! I used to use a hair dryer WITH A DIFFUSER to remove bubbles. The diffuser kept the dryer from blowing the resin to smithereens!!!! I recently received a heat gun on loan from a friend, and that thing works GREAT!!!!!! It is amazing how quickly the bubbles disappear.

Now that I am in winter, I see many more bubbles, and the resin takes longer to cure. Resin likes warmer temperatures!!!

I am typed out for now…. Soon I will do a “tips on finishing resin” entry (my least favorite part)! It will take some time for your resin to cure, and by then hopefully I will have that entry done!

Questions and comments are more than welcome!

Christmas is Over

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was busy and festive, filled with family and good food! With that said: PHEW!!!!!!! Although it was a great time, I am a bit relieved that the preparations are over, and we can get back to some normal-life around here.

One of my post-Christmas goals was to get back to my first jewelry-making love of off-loom bead weaving. It a way it is meditative with its repetition, and the colors of the beads are a feast for the eyes.

I got back to a free-form peyote project that I started long ago. Peyote is a basic beadweaving stitch, and to do it free-form means that you decide where it goes: you may have an idea in mind, but there is no pattern, the beads lead you. I find it very fun, and easier than following a pattern. That is interesting because my friend, and beadweaving mentor FarFrumPlainJane finds free-form challenging, while I find the incredibly gorgeous, detailed work she is most comfortable with most challenging! It is interesting how different minds work differently!

The project I am working on features lampworked beads I purchased several months ago from Alice Hunter-Kelly. I just love the colors--her beads are so gorgeous. Originally I planned this for myself, but I am not sure if I will list it on etsy or not. The lampworked bead set came with matching small round beads that I will make into coordinating earrings. It is a work in progress, but getting close. I have tiny clear-gold AB beads to add as well. Additionally I will weave a clasp of some sort, I haven't decided on that yet--or perhaps it is more correct to say the beads haven't told me, yet!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tis the Season for Kid Craftin', Fa la la la la....

Well, despite the freezing weather (a whopping 2 degrees below zero--NOT counting the windchill!) my girlie wanted to mess with polymer clay today! Clay does not like the cold temps, so it took some effort to get it soft enough to work with. A Twitter pal later gave me the tip she had heard from professionals, to warm it up inside my bra!! Hey, it just might work!!
I think it is just great to give the kids some extra clay and see what they come up with. It is so good for them, and it makes a lasting item since it gets hard when baked! We worked together to make this kitty cat, which she has decided to give to her brother for Christmas.

This is my favorite polymer clay item made by my son when he was 4 or 5 years old. The arm broke off, so I had to hold it up there for the picture! It just makes me happy to look at--this funny dancing guy! It also reminds me of good times spent together with him.

We have worked on other Christmas gifts together. These are shrinky dink pins made by my son. I should have gotten the white shrinky dinks instead of the clear, since you can see the pins right through them!
This one (below) was a big hit with the kids!!! These are just bottle tops which they filled with white glue then added little toys, shells, whatnots and etcetera. They sprinkled with glitter. I added some clear resin just because that is my thing, but it wouldn't be necessary. They really had a good time doing it. I glued scrap magnets (sales, etc, that get sent in the mail, etc) to the back. I was worried they would be too heavy for those magnets, but it worked fine--although I did glue the magnets to the entire back, not just parts.
My girl loved the Pikachu (from Pokemon) pin that my son made from Shrinky Dinks for the pin shown above, so he made her a smaller one for a necklace in secret. I punched a hole (use a regular size punch, as the hold will shrink, of course!) and added a jump ring and ball chain. I think she will love it, and he is proud.
Part of the fun of Christmas is making gifts for each other, so maybe this will give you some ideas--leave comments if you have ideas of your own to share! I am *always* looking for new ideas to keep these guys busy!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Well, my mother scolded me that she wouldn't have to secretly spy on me on Twitter if I would just update my blog!!! :-) Isn't she a silly thing!?
But truly--how lucky am I that my parents are so very interested at me, even at my maturing age, to sit and read every word I write? They have always made me feel that they think I am so talented and special--all of us kids in our own ways. To grow up and grow older with that feeling is priceless. It is not something I take for granted and something I appreciate.
Maybe she will read that and get me a bigger Christmas present!!! JUST KIDDING, MOM!!! :-D
Ok, so that aside, where HAVE I been? Really, I have been nursing my craft show hangover all this time. I haven't done ANYTHING crafty except work on my hubby's Christmas gift from the kids with the kids. I've wrapped gifts, gone to work, watched some DVDs in the evening with hubby WITHOUT beads in my hands. I've been Twittering here and there, and pimping my etsy shop now and again--but I haven't even opened my ArtFire shop in days.
I guess I've gone on vacation. I need some time to renew my creativity. It got to the point where my ideas far outweighed my time, almost to an uncomfortable feeling--like my brain might burst... plus my housework waited, Christmas projects were being shoved aside... so I am taking a creative rest. And I think after several days of nothing (truly I have not taken several days off from crafts in a few YEARS) I will feel renewed.
Except as I am typing this I just remembered some stuff I need to do... jewelry promised... I was going to make Christmas earring for my daughter from polymer clay... oh well, the rest was short... I'd better get back to work tonight!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Craft Fair Hangover

Well, it is the morning after--the morning after the craft fair, that is!! My friend and I had a nice set-up, I think. Our work really complimented each other's. If you want a closer look at her items, check out That's her in the picture.

Unfortunately--she had a slip on the ice during the week, so I felt so sorry for her. She would sit, she would stand, but was having severe back pain. Not nice to have to sit all day at a craft fair with that kind of pain!

...Especially such a SLOW craft fair. There were MANY tables selling jewelry, and it was a slow fair in all. Perhaps the economy, perhaps people finished with their Christmas shopping already? (wish that was me!!) It was slow all over, so we decided not to take it personally! :-) My mom and sister came by to support us, which we both fully appreciated--they were our best sales, we sheepishly admit. But we will admit it so they realize how much their visit meant! I saw my aunt and my cousin's wonderful girlfriend, and that was really great, too.

We saw some good points--there were two instances where we helped parents trick their kids--they bought items on the sly while their kids were looking away, so that was really fun! A little boy that reminded me of my son kept coming by and petting the lizard pin I had out. I told him to just take it, but he turned up his sweet little boy face and said, "Oh no, I'll pay for it!" So the lizard went to a happy home where he will be treasured. Plus, my friend gave me a pin that looks SO perfect on my winter coat at the end of the fair when it didn't sell!!! YAY!!

Best of all, I got an uninterrupted (we joke that being MORE interrupted at a craft fair would have been beneficial!! ha ha!) day with a dear friend whom I don't get to spend a whole lot of time with on a regular basis.

Though we feel discouraged (quite! at least me!), we'll try again. I heard another crafter mentioning a fair in March that we will check out. But for now, with the fair over, I get to spend some time focusing on Christmas and my family. My etsy shop is full, my ArtFire shop has enough items, I'm going to scale back on "pimping" my shop on Twitter--it is time to enjoy this season of family, friendship and love! The sales, well, they'll wait.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shrinking Some Dinks

Well, Girlie does not have school on Fridays, so today we decided to make some Shrinky Dink ornaments. She is at that stage where she just started drawing people. I find that so charming, and will be glad to have some permanent reminders.

I purchased sheets of shrink plastic, but because I got the clear kind, I had to sand it so the color would stick to the sheets, not to my girlie's hands. This was an event where she was allowed to use my permanent markers, and she was whole-heartedly on board for that. The forbidden fruit!

So she drew 'em, I cut them out and punched a hole in the top with a regular-sized hole punch. Let the shrinking begin! They really get twisted and turned, it is hard to imagine that they will get flat again. Sometimes they need a little extra help with that. Put something flat and heavy on them while they are still hot. I like using a heat gun to shrink them for a little more control.

Viola! Ornaments (well, once we get some string or ribbon through them for hanging). Fun for all. And honestly, despite being an adult, I still get such a kick out of watching them shrink! :-)
There ARE some hazards to permanent markers with a 4-year-old--thank goodness for Mr. Clean magic erasers!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

Well, even though it is 14 degrees this morning, I ventured to walk to the post office. It is about five blocks one way--and I realize that walking through ice and snow makes your legs feel like you just ran a marathon in sand. BUT it was quite beautiful, with no wind, so the cold did not get to me, and I was able to enjoy the pretty part of winter.

I know those of you that know me probably just fell off of your chair--but it is true! I am trying to take the "bad" with the good and appreciate the whole experience.

Well, sometimes.

I am probably just so glad that I don't have to drive in a blizzard like yesterday!

Now that that trip is done, how should I spend my two hours (less now) with Girlie at school? I have many projects to work on. As a matter of fact, I am going to swallow my pride and show the horror that are my work tables (trust me, the other one is even worse!)... how can I get anything accomplished?! Well, my ideas and need for clean up surpass my time to actually do them!

One thing I need to finish are these sports pendants I made from resin for my craft fair on Saturday. They are pretty simple, but I thought they might appeal to girls in sports... now they need to be sanded several times and drilled. I like drilling, but sanding isn't my favorite... so maybe I should do that first!
So, instead of just thinking about what to do next, much like my trip to the post office, I will just get started--which can be difficult for me! Just put one foot in front of the other.... :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gettin' Stuff Done--Well, Some Stuff

(I added a picture to yesterday's blog of myself on stage with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.)

So today I need to clean up my new soldered pendants! I really really (super duper really!) enjoyed making them, I am so happy I decided to take the dive into it! I'm grateful to my friend and sis-in-law for letting me puruse their scrapbooking scraps. My mother-in-law's stash is next!!!

I also added the last layer to a number of resin pendants shown here in their molds, and even a few ornaments for family members. I didn't mix enough resin to do as much as I planned, but I did not mix more. It is kind of a process. Plus I need to stop creating and do the less fun part and start pricing as I have a craft fair this Saturday.

So I feel fairly accomplished in this craft room--but hmmmm, I suppose that non-essential stuff like laundry should be taken care of next! ;-)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lunch with Santa

Q. What is Santa's favorite hobby?

A. Gardening, because he likes to hoe-hoe-hoe

We had lunch with Santa yesterday, at our County Zoo. I got called on stage to help with a song, but I did ok as I was sandwiched between my sis-in-law and bro-in-law. My mother-in-law had to do the slide whistle, which would have been worse! ;-)

Today husband has the gang over to watch football and eat chili--which means the kids have a friend over and I get to play in my craft room.... so off I go. I have some resin to finish, plus I hope to make my first attempt at soldering. Wish me luck!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What Lies Beneath

I have been working feverishly, in between entertaining a four-year-old (who, yes, has gotten paint in her hair) to paint a little room in our house that hasn't been touched in the 13 years we've lived here. I still have some trim to finish (yes, painted wood, sigh). Last night I pulled off the carpet (and hubby helped me finish--small room, but that carpet got heavy!).

I am sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but someone stuck linoleum tiles all over the hardwood floor. They are kind of a cool pattern, though. I wonder how old they are--they are actually engraved linoleum--not a printed pattern. This house dates back to 1890, so it could be any time in between. I just love old things like that. I was never great in history class, but when it is in front of you, tangible--it is exciting to think of the people who lived here in the past with their own families and lives, joys and sorrows... Did they have to save up for the linoleum? Were they so excited with their "new look"? Or was it simply a weekend project, no big deal?

Anyway, even though the pattern appeals to me, it doesn't look right where it is located in the house (I might leave it for a kitchen or ??), so we will probably have to look into some carpet squares. We are not up for refinishing the floor, it would need lots of work. We have done other rooms in the house, and we are tired of doing that right now (!!!!!!).

Ok, time to get ready for my flu shot appointment. I am less concerned about the poke than freezing my bootie--it is a whopping 7 degrees here this morning!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Sad Clown

Not one day after I hung up those cute vintage ornaments passed on from my mother-in-law, my daughter handed me the clown, fallen and broken. I don't think she was the culprit--more a gravity thing!! I felt so terrible about it. So I am trying to decide--do I take down the other one, wrap it in bubble wrap and put it in a box? Or do we leave it on the tree and enjoy it--risking its demise at any moment?

Certainly a question that could go far beyond an ornament, couldn't it? We could consider how we live our lives--protecting ourselves, or taking chances?

I'll leave you to your thoughts on that one, and I will think on it, too--I have a project to work on that will leave me with my thoughts. Unfortunately, it is not a craft project--it is one I don't particularly enjoy. I need to get to work on painting some walls. I will be glad when it is done, though! And I filled some holes myself! I learned something new, and that is a good thing. Husband showed me one, and I rather enjoyed it. So it is time to sand them smooth, and hopefully get some paint on the wall before it is time to pick Girlie up from school!
A Happy Wednesday to all of you!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cyber Monday

Well, we only got 3" instead of the 9" of snow predicted. But it was a strange snowfall--areas that are perhaps only a 45-minute drive away received 10"!!!! (better them than me--oops, that was ungracious!)
Last night we got our Christmas tree up. It was nice because, at age four, my girlie seemed to have a clear memory of Christmas last year for the first time. She was so excited, and it brought back some childhood memories of being excited as well (instead of seeming a touch bit like a chore, getting all of the decorations out, etc etc). My son was quite happy, too, but she took the cake with her enthusiasm.
Many of the ornaments we put up were made by my son, nieces and nephews--she kept saying, "Did I make this?" I think it will be a big year for her to make some ornaments. That is good, there are so many kinds of ornaments to make, and making them as gifts will give her a feel for the giving part of the season.

Speaking of ornaments, I put up some breakable ones that I didn't quite dare in previous years. My mother-in-law split up some of the childhood ornaments a few years ago. I thought you would get a kick out of these. They must be between 20 and 30 years old! What a treasure! Besides, they crack me up! One is crazy clown, and the other must be an alien in a UFO!

Well, today is my first Cyber Monday as someone with an internet shop! Also the last day of my big etsy sale and free shipping offer. We will see how things go!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today Was a Very Nice Day

Sometimes I wonder how I can still live where I do when 9" of snow is predicted and I CAN'T STAND being cold!! I guess I am blessed with a family I love being around more than I hate the snow. I hope everyone realizes how much that is!! :-)

My kids and two of their cousins whom they adore:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Paper Tip for Novices (ME!)

Well, I realized that I can't discuss my shrink plastic projects since a grandma might be reading this.... another time! :-) It worked ok. Perhaps the best part was shrinking them with the heat gun!! They writhed and twisted then shrunk and became flat. The kids really enjoyed that! :-)

What I did work on last night was finishing up the Thank You cards that my friend and I stamped. We felt they needed a ribbon or something. I said, "Hey, you scrapbookers use staples, don't you??" She said she would paint regular staples (be sure to get the sides, too, she told me). Then just use the regular stapler and viola! I think they turned out pretty well--of course they are NOTHING compared to what real Paper Talentinas come up with!! I am a mere paper pauper, my talents lie elsewhere!

Although my "Black Friday through Cyber Monday" sales have been modest, I have gotten some interest. I will be shipping some ball chain to Australia!! It is only my second international order. I shipped to Sweden once before. That is one of the things I really love about Etsy--you get to meet people from all over the world! And we all sure have a lot in common!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Ramblings

Well, I don't shop on Black Friday. I am not a "crowds" kinda person--tho' I do love a bargain, so it pains me that I can't stand going out today. Also need more resin, but it will have to wait!!!
I am having a big big big sale in my etsy shop ( for the weekend (FREE shipping and buy one, get one 50% off), so hopefully other people like to do their Christmas shopping on-line. I made one sale, but it was last night! I had already activated the free shipping, so she will get that part of the sale. She purchased one of my favorite items.
I listed 18 new things on etsy yesterday in preparation, and I am a little computered-out after that! :-)
So today will be a cleaning day--hopefully will get the tree up this weekend so I had better get the livingroom picked up and swept. Watch me run and do that...
My son is still sleeping (9:20am) if you can still believe it! He must've REALLY needed it, so I am glad he is getting it!
I am hoping my soldering gun will arrive today (tomorrow at the latest). I am very excited. Although I supposed I should clear a space in this all-purpose room where I do my projects!
I plan to help the kids make some Christmas presents today for Grandmas and Godmothers using shrink plastic. I'll let you know how that goes...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
While I truly try to count my blessings on a daily basis, today is a day I am saying it outloud.
I am so thankful for my children and my husband. They have taught me that love has no bounds. I am so grateful that these children have come to me, and truly think I have been so fortunate to be part of a match made in heaven. We are all blessed with health and enough to get through each day without need.
My family is truly wonderful. I am so grateful my parents are still here with me. They both worked so hard to teach us to be good people, they gave up so much so we could have privileges they never had while growing up. They worked hard not to repeat mistakes of their own parents, while carrying on the good things of their own childhoods. They have always been very supportive and I have truly felt like I am a treasure in their eyes. I am blessed to call my sister my best friend, and my brother, although far in distance, would walk on water if he needed to for his family.
My husband's family is equally wonderful. I am lucky to have gotten them! His parents are always there to be counted upon for small and large things, and his siblings have taught me a whole new way to show brotherly/sisterly love through teasing! :-D
Although it doesn't complete the many things I am thankful for, I would like to end with mentioning my thankfulness for my friends. I have a small group that I hold ever-so-dear, they are each special in their own ways, they support me, make me laugh, share their lives and families with me, encourage me, love me and I could not go on without them. I hope that I do the same for them.
Blessings to all of you on this day and every day to follow.
Now put on those elastic waisted pants and eat up!! Hee hee!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The kids' Thanksgiving break started today, and we are having a delicious, delightful pajama morning. They are playing together nicely (for the most part), and it just feels like bliss... how I imagined life when I daydreamed about becoming a mom! I know this could change drastically with a cross word (or worse) among the two, so I will enjoy the peaceful moment, however short the moment might be!
Well, I have been hearing a lot about "diversify" on the news as of late--although it is not QUITE the same (ha ha) I have decided to expand a bit and have opened another shop on Art Fire ( This is a handmade site like etsy, and it is in its Beta stage, which means I can go along for the ride while it is being developed. There is lots of feedback and interaction with the developers in the chat areas. Although it is a little buggy, like a Beta OUGHT to be, I like it so far. And as much as I love etsy, it really seems saturated right now. I like being one of fewer members on ArtFire. And the way they talk about it on Twitter ( it sounds quite up and coming....
Anyway, if you'd like to check out my store on ArtFire:
Other selling news, I have a craft fair coming up on December 13 with my etsy (college friend) Tronsgirl ( and we are working out our displays. I picked up these fabulous "gems" (for lack of a better word) at Michael's yesterday to decorate the table. I must admit I was glad to have an excuse, as I was just DRAWN to them. My kids are in love with them, too--so much so that I had to put a rule "only hold them at the table" so they wouldn't go walking off never to be seen by me again!
We still need a table covering--a little more important than the decor--ha ha--but we'll get to that. Tronsgirl has picked up some cute decorations from the Dollar Tree--little Christmas trees. And of course we will have our jewelry displays as well. I'll be sure to post how that all turns out.
For now, another Diet Dr. Pepper, and I will curl up in my robe (we'll see how LONG I can stand staying in my pajamas!!) and just enjoy this wonderful motherhood!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Snowfall of the Season

How appropriate that the morning I popped out my long awaited resin snowflakes we would wake to a white, snowy world!

I like the resin ones better...

Ok, I guess it was pretty and all. And it was only 2". And we will be above freezing for our highs all week (by a few degrees). And I didn't have to drive in it when it was coming down at its worst. The kids were really excited. I didn't have trouble finding snow pants and boots (because I was in denial and didn't do it last night!!). Shoveling was not hard. Ok, how's that for bright side??? I'm trying!!!

Husband is in Tampa for the day, but he won't get to see much of it, airports and meetings all day. Left early this morning and will be back later tonight. Wouldn't want to trade, even tho' it is Tampa and we snowed!!!!

I am waiting for the plumber to call. Perhaps that sours my snow-mood as well....

Sadly, although I was able to pop the resin snowflakes out--the mold couldn't stand the pressure and cracked in many places! What a disappointment because I LOVE the way they turned out!! I know she didn't pay a whole lot for the mold, really I would consider it worth it for a one-use-mold. Now THESE snowflakes make me happy!! :-) I think they will make nice pendants, magnets, and my friend suggested a large ring. She likes large rings, and can't be the only one out there. I will have to keep one for myself, especially since the mold is gone... but which one?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yesterday's Party

Yesterday we attended a family party for my neice's 14th birthday! I can't believe how old all of the kids are getting. I am so proud of her, though. She is a person of quality, someone I would like and admire even if she wasn't a member of my family! Fun was had by all at the party. Of course my kids did not want to leave. It is just so heart-warming to see how all of the cousins love each other--from almost 17 down to 4--they all get along and play together. It is sweet!

Bonus--she likes to make jewelry, too! For her birthday I got her a kit from a great etsy seller: SunAndMoonCraftKits ( It is a kit where she can make several different pendants, from glass to scrabble tile, and includes everything you need! I hope she has a lot of fun with it, truly I was tempted with it myself! The items pictured were not the exact kit I got for her, but pretty close!! It all came in a really cute tin, and very nice, clear instructions were sent to me in a PDF file.
Keep this in mind for Christmas for the crafters on your list. As I said, she is fourteen and I... am much older than that--and it appealed to both of us. It would also be fun to have a little holiday party (with snacks!) and get together with some friends and this kit and make yourselves a pendant to keep or to give as a gift--or make them for each other! What a good time that would be!!
Maybe my neice will be an etsy seller someday! In between violin, straight A's and all of her other activities, that is!! :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

World's Easiest Potato Salad

Before I go to hardboil some eggs, I thought I should share this recipe with you! We are going to a family party this afternoon and I am bringing potato salad. Now, this gets lots of compliments and it is SO EASY. It is almost cheating!
Hardboil some eggs--I usually do five or six. Peel and chop--leave out the yolks and just use the whites if you have guests with heart/cholesterol issues, you won't even notice they are gone. Open a few cans of potatoes--if you are really lazy like me, get the ones already sliced. I do rinse these to get extra salt off of them because we have people in our family watching sodium, but really it is up to you. Mix it with the eggs, and add Miracle Whip or mayo, and a dollop of spicy mustard (I love Guldens!) or Dijon. You can add green onions if that is the way you like it. Some pepper? In the summer I usually add fresh chives. There--you are done! And it never tastes dry!!
This recipe probably serves four or five... I am doubling it for the party!

Slow as a Snail Saturday

Wow, I am having trouble getting motivated this morning! I don't know what it is!

Last night I went to my friend's house--a different college pal. She is the Queen of Rubber Stamps, tho' she will tell us she hasn't done it in forever. But she has a lot and loves them (they are her vice, we all have one! At least...) and spent some time stamping notes to stick in with my etsy sales. I am also running a promotion that if a buyer lets me know a purchase is a Christmas present, I will include an organza bag and blank gift tag so the wrapping is all done--so she has a tag punch and we stamped some tags. What a pal! There was lots of laughing and catching up as well. She made the BEST popcorn, I couldn't stop eating it... her secret was Orville Redenbacher's Popping and Topping Oil ( I did NOT check the nutritional label (she assured me it was horrifying). Some things are best left just to enjoy... Here she is stamping for me with her daughter looking on!

She also generously is letting her heat gun live with me for a while! I have some plans with shrink plastic and embossing powder. I will elaborate when I actually get a chance to work on it! AND I got to sort through her scrapbooking scraps for my soldered pendants. She asked if there was ANYTHING ELSE from her house I wanted to take home. She is funny like that. Ha. Ha.

I have one more layer for my snowflake resin pieces. I am feeling a little nervous about popping them out... the mold seems a little resistant to the one finished one I tried to get out. I will continue. Either the plastic is not quite resin friendly--or I just need to let them cure even LONGER than I expected in this cold weather. I sure hope they work...

I realized I won't quite put the resin away, I wanted to do some sports related resin pieces for younger girls to have ready for my craft fair in mid-December. I'll have to head to Michael's to get some more resin before I start that, though. I really AM feeling ready to put it away for a while, but feel I should really finish that thought. I am planning to put little soccer ball, basket ball and ballet stickers in them. My friend mentioned above gave me the idea.

Hmmm, best get moving! All of this talk about what I need to do is getting the blood flowing (and that last dose of caffeine might have helped, too!).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Cold for Me, Too Cold for Resin?

Well, I will try not to waste too many words of this blog complaining about the weather--let's just say I am not a winter person (understatement!!). But this morning was a balmy 17 degrees with a windchill of 4 degrees! Goodness!! My poor fella had to really be bundled up this morning. I was silently grateful that my girlie doesn't have 4K today, and we could stay inside. Fortunately, my door faces the door to school, right across the street. So my BIG second grader can walk to the corner and cross with the crossing guard while I watch from my door.... so I got to stay toasty.

Well, the cold weather brings up a creative issue with me. Well, maybe not creative, but functional?? Resin takes a lot longer to cure when it is colder!! My snowflakes that I started yesterday are ready for a second layer at least, but if they were all done, they wouldn't be ready to pop out... In the warmer months, they would have been cured. It is difficult for me to be so patient!!!

I think what I will do to solve this problem is switch gears a bit... I have the snowflakes to finish up, and a couple of other Christmas projects using resin--then I might pack it away for a while (I say "might" because it is hard to stop an obsession!!). What I plan to try is soldering pendants. I put in my order last night, and am truly giddy with excitement!! I read this book: which I got from the library, and am fascinated! I know there are a lot of artists on etsy already doing this kind of work, and I can't help but try to join them. It looks like so much fun. When my heart really beats, I know it is something I HAVE to try! Yes, I get that excited about it!!!

As the winter progresses, I want to spend a little more time with my polymer clay (which just got so mushy in the summer heat--tho' might be harder to work with in the cold as well...) and also work on some off-loom bead weaving jewelry. And get my craft room organized. And, um, the whole house. Hmmm, I seem to have a long project list again!!! :-) No doubt the organizing will get dropped off, always seems the first to go!!!

I also need to include a picture of my fella sans winter gear because he got his first hair "style." It was a surprise to me when he came back from getting his haircut with my hubby. But it is getting a little long to spike up, so it was time for a picture before it was too late!! It is funny to me to be sharing my gel spray with my little guy! Now if I can only get my girlie to let me comb her hair without a fight! Good luck with THAT one!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Visiting with a Friend

Today I had the extreme pleasure of meeting with my long-time friend for a visit while our girls were in school (hers is in full day like my son, but my daughter is in for 2 1/2 hrs 4 days per week). I have known her so long, we spend most of our senior year of college together!! I graduated in December of '93 (and she Spring of '94 I believe!), so we have known each other a good, long time and she is a person I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life!! It was so great to see her and catch up in person, tho' we e-mail frequently.

She also has a shop on etsy:
The thing about her is that she could always spot a trend before it became trendy! She is one to watch!! :-)

Very exciting to me--she brought me a new mold to use with my resin! SNOWFLAKES!! I went glassy-eyed with ideas as soon as I saw it, and she had some great ideas, too!! My girlie got some Caillou DVDs from the library--I think we may have to pop them in this afternoon and she can watch them from her couch-cushion fort. Then I can get the first layer of resin down and curing for these snowflakes! Keep an eye to my shop for the finished product! Can't wait!!!!
Isn't that a cool mold?!

Here is girlie in her fort, soon to be watching Caillou!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My First Blog Entry!

Well, I've been wanting to start a blog for a long time, so I do feel some sense of accomplishment that I am actually here doing it!! It is a learning experience--these days I am starting to feel like an old dog, but I am enjoying some new tricks! :-)

A big thanks to June, whom I met on etsy ( ---reading her blog has inspired me to try my own!!
Speaking of "old dogs," here is a picture of our old dog, Buster (in his younger days!). He's now pushing 13. No new tricks from him these days! :-)