Sunday, Bloody Sunday

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Another weekend gone in the blink of an eye.

DH kindly finished fixing my flooring issue this past week and I also got a lighting upgrade so picture taking should improve too!

Just to demonstrate the difference in the light, here is a typical picture that I took just to show what I was doing in my craft room (rather than a picture of an actual project):

valentine wine

…and here’s a picture I took today:

packing up

HUGE difference.  Bigly, even.

I’m very excited to be able to see properly while crafting (as I get older, it’s been harder to see the finer details on my projects.  The light upgrade will certainly help)!  Not only is my craft room in the basement of our bungalow but the snow has completely covered the window I do have and not a drop of natural light can get in.  The new lights are daylight fluorescent – which I was a bit worried about getting as I hate working under them all day in the office – and they are a great working light.  Much better than the fixture I had previously as it had 4 halogen “spotlights” and the room was filled with shadows.

In addition to some wine glasses and a pair of socks, I made a few dog bandannas this weekend.  One is my typical “name” bandanna and two are double-sided Harry Potter themed. (NOTE: Generally speaking, I won’t be making these again – it takes WAY longer to make a two-coloured bandanna and I also had some bleeding issues when heating both sides of the HTV).

I didn’t get a picture of the name bandanna but here’s the HP ones (the red didn’t come out right thanks to my new lighting.  Gonna have to play with the settings on my camera a bit):

The last picture shows what’s on the opposite side of both the red and the green bandannas.  Pretty cute!

gryffindor slytherin solemnly

That’s it for me.  I don’t have any orders to work on this week so I’m probably going to play with the February Card Kit from Simon Says Stamp (coffee themed!) and work on some tags/packaging for my little shop.

Some Sweet!

Altered Stuff, House No Comments »

Quickly dropping in with a small update on the kitchen.

Countertops are in, sink is installed, etc.  We are waiting on some replacements for damaged doors etc. which is holding up the installation of the trims but we’re hoping that will be done in the next week or so.

In the meantime, I’ve recovered half of our kitchen chairs and am in the process of repainting my KitchenAid stand mixer (scary!).

I’ve also altered a couple of new items for the kitchen including a sugar bowl (to hold Splenda) as my new counter tops are very snobby and won’t allow the old plastic container to remain on the counter between uses.

DH suggested the expression on the bowl – it’s a local expression so it might not mean much to you but I think it’s cute:


I will be working on some Christmas crafts over the Thanksgiving weekend and I hope to have time to blog about them.  Enjoy the 3 day weekend!

Valentine “Inspiration Station”

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valentine ins banner

No card or paper craft to show you today but I did get my Valentine Inspiration Station set up so I thought I’d share that today.  My new cork/white board is installed as well though the only things on it right now are two sticky notes that were stuck to my monitor (and I have to remember to bring a dry erase marker down from the kitchen as well as get an eraser…)

Here’s the board – I’m sure this is the last time it will be so empty:


Very exciting, no?  😉

Let’s move on to something less heart palpitating, shall we?

I keep my out of season craft supplies in photo boxes in my little closet.  It reduces clutter and also helps me inventory what I have or need for each “holiday”.  I have lots of Christmas items but try to keep Halloween/Easter/Valentine’s down to as few boxes as possible as I don’t really need a lot of stuff for those occasions.

Yesterday, I took out the two photo boxes of Valentine’s stuff – which is mostly packaging such as printed bags, little plastic heart-shaped containers and excelsior (crinkled paper used to line a gift basket).  I went through and removed items I thought I might want to use and placed them in my tiered tray.

I then “shopped my stash” to find other everyday items that have a Valentine’s theme (think hearts, pinks, reds…)

Once I’d gathered everything, I arranged it on my tray so I could easily see all the embellishments without having to dig through the contents.  Here’s one side of the tray:

valentine inspiration station

…and here is the opposite side:

valentine ins side two

Of course, I also need patterned paper and image stamps so I went through my 6×6″ paper pads and pulled all the Valentine/Love themed pads and then I flipped through my clear stamp sets and pulled all the ones I thought could be used for a Valentine’s Day card. (In reality, I will probably only use a few of the sets but it’s nice to have choices!)

valentine shop

Once I had those selections made, I put them all in a box and placed them next to the tiered tray.

valentine shop 2

I like to put all the seasonal papers/stamps in a box as it’s easy to move it out of the way if I need more space when working on a project.  It’s likely this (kind of ugly) box will live on the floor next to my 6″x 6″ paper collection once I get going on card making.  When I’m working on Christmas crafts, I actually use a plastic dishpan from the dollar store to hold all my papers and stamps.  That always stays on the floor rather than the work top as it takes up too much space.  I could have used that same pan for the Valentine’s themed items but it’s too large and I find that if there is a lot of extra space in the box, things fall over which makes it harder to see what I have.

Hopefully, I’ll actually get to use some of this stuff before I go back to work!

Out With The Old

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owto banner

(Warning – Long Post!)

Whew!  Spent a couple of hours weeding out old patterned paper and other bits and bobs I haven’t used in a long time.  In some cases, I found lots of things I have never used at all!

I still have more weeding/purging to do but I’ve had enough for now and I need to think about rearranging some things which might require purchasing a few new bins/baskets for them.  I actually did buy a few fridge binz before Christmas for my dies, glitter, and baker’s twine – and I have some marker storage on the way as well.  Once I’ve decided where each ‘work station’ will be I’ll have a better idea as to what I need.

One big change for me was moving my “light box” when I purchased a Silhouette Cameo back in September.  I had no other option but to set the Silhouette up where my light box used to be.  As a result, my photo-taking suffered as the new location is poorly lit and is a much tighter space.

Luckily, I received a small light box for my birthday and some lamps for Christmas so I’ve swapped out my foam board set up for these new items and they just fit in the new spot.

tour 2015 5

Observe the awesome cardboard box used to prop the light box up high enough for ease of picture-taking. (the unit above the light box needs to be weeded out…maybe tomorrow!)

After I purchased the Silhouette, I sold my Cameo and the cartridges/accessories that came with it and realized I haven’t been using my sewing machine much either so I tucked it into the shelf I gained from removing the cartridges and turned the bookshelf up to its rightful orientation which makes the room seem a little more spacious.  I did lose a bit of real estate as the top of the shelf is not as long now but I prefer the smaller footprint.

tour 2015 2

I keep my vinyl, crocheting supplies, computer manuals/accessories, Selphy printer, sewing machine and (very recently) the majority of my Prima flowers in this unit.  I used to keep my wood-mounted stamps in a box on one of the shelves but they were difficult to sort through so they were not getting any use.  I also keep “Thickers” and other stickers in the organizer on top of the shelves.

As mentioned earlier, the Silhouette has moved to my old light box location.  Since I use it in conjunction with my computer, it makes sense to have it right next to it.  The teal cover clashes terribly with my room but it was on sale for 50% less than the other colours (which didn’t match the room either) so I’m living with my choice.  The printer is over to the right of the monitor.  It’s an ancient DeskJet 932C but it works well with cardstock so I’ll keep it for as long as it continues to function.

tour 2015 3

I found a dry erase/cork board on sale at Target a few days ago and, hopefully, my husband will be installing on the wall for me in the near future.  I’m going to ask him to hang on the wall perpendicular to the computer so I can actually reach it without having to lean over my work top.  Currently, when working on custom orders, I stick post it notes to the wall to keep track of what has been done/needs doing and the huge number of ornaments I made this past Christmas has taught me that I really need a better system.

Since I seem to be giving you a tour, I’ll just quickly go through the rest of the room.

This is technically my main work area.  I do my colouring here as well as any precision cutting with a craft knife.  Most of my supplies are in this area. (my 12×12″ patterned paper is in the drawers in the desk well…I rarely use these papers).

tour 2015 4

To the left of this area is the light box – which I’ve already shown you – and my coloured cardstock is kept in the filing cabinet below the light box.  My unmounted SU! stamps, as well as PTI and a few other brands are kept in CD cases in a CD holder that tucks perfectly in the space between the filing cabinet and the wall (you can scroll back up to the light box picture if you really want to see them)

My 6×6″ patterned paper, which is the paper I used the most, is stored in a small unit on the floor.  You can see that the unit is quite full so I need to be more selective about what I buy or do a purge of this paper as well. (there’s more in a drawer under my other work top…it’s an addiction!)

tour 2015 6

Continuing around the room, you’ll see the area where I do my cardstock and paper cutting as well as the assembly of my paper crafts.  If I’m doing heat embossing etc, I will tend to work over here as well because I’m a messy crafter and there is usually more room to spread out on this side of my work area.  The paper trays are where I keep my scraps.  Every few weeks I’ll pick out all the cardstock scraps that aren’t white and re-file them in the cabinet.  White goes in the second tray – which is the first place I’ll go to find a suitable scrap before cutting a new sheet – and the bottom tray is where I keep pre-printed sentiments and a few other odds and ends.  My bakers twine, glitter, and white cardstock are all kept in the units here.  The small closet in the background holds “off season” supplies as well as non-papercrafting items.

tour 2015 7

What’s next?  Um, here’s the rest of the island – I do my die-cutting over to the left and that’s also where I keep my score board.  Dies are in bins in the units below and I also keep my punch boards, 12×12″ cardstock and specialty paper such as vellum and watercolour paper over here.  There is a somewhat under-utilized bookcase behind the open door.  The bookcase you see in the picture is actually out in our tv room.  The closet to the right is for off-season clothing, luggage and general storage.

tour 2015

One last picture…an overview of my work area for better perspective.  The two-tiered tray wasn’t featured in the last picture…it’s the start of my Valentine’s “Inspiration Station”.  I’ll try to remember to share a picture once I’ve shopped my stash.

tour 2015 8

Enjoy your weekend!

$pring ¢leaning

House 1 Comment »

No banner tonight – it’s a quickie post!

I didn’t spend any time in my craft room last weekend.  I was busy spring cleaning the living room (with the help of DH as it was a real deep clean).  Every piece of furniture removed from the room, curtains down, blinds, windows and baseboards washed…

I also bought a new rug for the room – something I’ve been wanting for a while.  We scored a decent-sized rug at HomeSense (= Marshall’s in the US) and I also bought some new throw pillows and lighter curtains for the room.  You might notice the use of a $ and a ¢ in the post title – I spent beaucoup dollars with my revamp but it really made a huge difference.  I don’t have a before picture but I think hubby has one somewhere so I’ll add it later for comparison purposes.

Here’s what the room looks like now:


The lighter rug, pillows (the brown ones are not new) and curtains really brighten up this room…just in time for Spring.  Now if it would only stop snowing here!

Hybrid Hot Chocolate

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With just 2 more sleeps until the big day and a work day in between (boo, hiss!), I’m running out of time to finish up everything I *want* to do for Christmas (I’ve done all I *need* to do…it’s the wants that kill me!).

The situation in my craft room was dire.  Christmas paraphernalia everywhere (including glitter!) and no space for other projects that need to be done.   I had to box up my craft supplies and put them away but still had a couple of projects to  do.

I decided to keep out only the scraps of paper that I used this season and some stickers in the event I needed to whip up a quick card (they’re 3D stickers – I do have SOME pride!).

Once I’d packed everything away I remembered that I needed to make a couple of hot chocolate pouches to go with a little gift I have for my cousin’s 2 daughters. 

Here’s what I came up with using the limited items that were left out:

Not too bad all things considered.

Anyway, now that the room is a bit tidier I can hem my jeans and a pair of pants I bought a couple of weeks ago and I can alter the new dog coat we got for Jack. (he doesn’t normally wear clothes but it can get pretty wet walking him in the Winter)

Not spending a ton of time stamping also freed up some time today for me to make my desserts for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

The cake is a Cherry Cake (very traditional for NL Christmas) and it reminds me of when I was younger and Mom would make cherry cake at Christmas – she wasn’t much of a baker but she did a good job on this cake every year.

The dessert in the pan is something I never made before so I hope it’s good.  I couldn’t decide between making one of my two “traditional” desserts – apple crisp or pear torte.  This is kind of a compromise – Apple Crisp Cheesecake bars.  I hope they’re good!

Bless This Messy Desk

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It’s been a pretty laid back Sunday morning (though it just hit noon hour here on the Rock – that’s Newfoundland, not Alcatraz).  I felt quite inspired while surfing the ‘net briefly on my ipod while sipping my second coffee so I quickly tidied up the kitchen (breakfast dishes and weekly flyer reading) and headed down to my craft room to see if I could whip up a card loosely based on a layout I saw on Alice Wertz’s blog this morning.

I had coloured a few houses yesterday using a set of doodlebug stamps I got on clearance at Michael’s ($6 CAD) and decided I’d use one of them as my card image.   Initially, I’d chosen some patterned paper from Jillybean soup with houses on it when picking the colours to make the houses but while flipping through my patterned paper stash I found a really, really cute sheet of paper in the Echo Park – So Happy Together paper pad (you need this paper!).  I decided I was more inspired today by the colours on this paper so I re-coloured one of my houses (just coloured over the existing blue to make it more green-blue).  The door was a dark colour so I re-stamped the house on some cardstock and cut out a door to glue over the original colour.

I don’t know if Alice used Washi tape on her card but I made some faux washi for an accent on my card…well, it’s not faux – it’s just a couple of strips of cardstock.

Considering I already had the houses stamped and coloured, I made quite a mess with my simple little  card today:

(I confess some of the markers were left out from colouring the houses yesterday – it was pretty late last night)

…and here’s where I stamped the sentiment and cut the paper and cardstock for today’s card:

Guess it’s time to tidy up!

House Part 2 (Inside)

House 1 Comment »

As mentioned, here is Part 2 of We Know What We Did This Summer – oh, and excuse the splotches on the pictures.  There was some schmutz on my camera lens and I didn’t notice it until I was preparing to post…

Our tv room is in the basement of our house (bungalow).  It’s our favourite room because we designed it ourselves and its bright (especially considering it’s mostly underground), quiet, comfortable and filled with games, books and lots of sturdy, oversized furniture. 

Most of our indoor projects this summer focused on improving this room.  The main projects included…

Refinishing the coffee table to go with the other furniture in our t.v. room – I designed this coffee table myself when I bought my first house and it’s on the 3rd reincarnation (started out as pine, then it was an ugly brown, then it was cherry and now it’s mahogany – personally, I hope this is the last revamp!):

Sanding and painting an old Ikea table I bought at a yard sale about 13 years ago – this table sits behind the sofa in our t.v. room and we drag it out when we need extra seating for larger family get togethers.  We also keep the spare chairs from our dining table here (the table is slightly small in scale and the chairs are huge…):


The best project – we finally, finally, finally installed a wet bar in the t.v. room.  We’d planned for this during the initial renos 3 years ago but all we had in this area was the plumbing sticking out of the wall waiting to be hooked up.  We don’t really drink alcohol but there’s lots of fizzy drinks and flavoured waters in the fridge – plus we keep our Tassimo down here (the Keurig is in the kitchen – we like our coffee!):

So you can get a little perspective on where these items are in the room, here are a couple of other shots:

Excuse the towels on the sofa – I was washing the (more attractive) blanket we keep on the sofa for Jack at the time.  If you look in the background y0u can see the entrance to my craft room (the green room) and on the far right you can just make out the corner of the bar area.

The above picture subtly shows another little project that DH did – he finished the trim on the basement door (you can see the exterior door if you look through the french door – previously you could see studs and insulation around the doorway so it’s nice to have some clean, white trim in there!).

It was a fair bit of work but the time we spent doing these projects was well worth it.

What I was up to in June (Part 1 – Outdoors)

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You may have noticed my blog activity took a nose dive in the month of June…and July…and most of August – and the summer ain’t over yet!

At the end of June, my husband’s parents flew over from England to visit for a few weeks.  It’s been some time since they made the journey (it’s expensive and they are pensioners) and we (I) wanted the house to be perfect before their arrival.

There were LOTS and LOTS of projects to do before they got here.  Most were inside jobs so to speak (coming in Part 2) but some were outdoor projects – that we did when the weather cooperated – which wasn’t often during the first half of June.

Projects included staining the front steps and painting the front door:

Stripping and repainting the stained glass light on the front step (not fun – lots of little panes of glass):


Planting flowers (I do NOT have a green thumb) – I think I spent almost $200 on annuals this year – including soil and pots – most were for our back garden and I didn’t think to take pictures while they were in full bloom:

…and re-seeding part of the front lawn as we had the driveway re-paved in the Fall and the asphalt was higher than the lawn when it was finished.  Here’s a shot of the front after all our little DIY projects:

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Indoors!


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Well, the season is just about over.  We hosted our last “formal” dinner last night for my older brother and his wife who are visiting from Ontario.  We also hosted a Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day dinner plus had some family over for finger foods on Boxing Day evening so it’s been a busy time for cleaning and cooking. (I don’t mind the cooking – it’s the dish washing that gets to me!)

Today is a day with ZERO plans (though I might have to brave the supermarket for some milk, bread and flour – wonder if I can convince DH to go with me?) so I thought it would be a good time to start boxing up my Christmas supplies so I can tidy the room before I switch over to Valentine’s Day gear.  I also needed to make a gift tag for a bottle of wine I’m taking to my cousin’s house tomorrow and was pleased to find enough supplies in the leftover scraps to produce an oversized tag that I think is perfect to hang on a bottle of red:


 The tag is 3 inches wide which is bigger than your standard tag but it dresses up the bottle nicely.  I just have to find the right size gift bag for the coasters, napkins and wine charms that accompany the gift.  I love a theme gift – it’s like using double-sided paper.  If you stick with the theme it’s so easy to come up with additional items for gift giving.  I use this process in my home decorating as well.  Whatever works, right?

Speaking of chilling, here is a shot of Jack chillaxin’ on the sofa in our t.v. room.  He’s lying on the blanket that Santa brought him this year (don’t worry, he got lots of treats too!)

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you had a chance to do some chillin’ too!

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