Friday, December 1, 2017

Bookmarks for Book Club

I love my book club.  A couple of years ago, DH and I simultaneously and unbeknownst to each other started looking for more social opportunities.  He found a group who kayaks, something he had been wanting to take up, and I found a book club that meets monthly about 15 miles from us. My group has been around for a long time but I just hadn't gone searching for anything in many years.  They are the best!  And it isn't just me saying that.  A few people have joined after me and some have left having moved away.  We always get reports back through their friends that they have tried to find a group as good in their new town but haven't been successful.

What makes my book club great?  We talk about the book.  It isn't gossipy.  Our organizer starts and ends on time and generally keeps us on track.  We don't do food or drink so there are no obligations to whip up an impressive dessert when it is your turn to host.  You don't even have to ever host or lead the discussion.  We all read the same book each month with a mix of fiction and non-fiction. We nominate and vote on the books to read once per year.

Through our discussion, we discover a bit about each other here and there whatever people want to share but only as it relates to the book.  Very few members are native to this area originally and many have moved here in recent years.  They are also 'my people' politically which is a rarity in this part of the country.

The first Christmas I was in the club I made these types of bookmarks.  I placed them on the table in the center of the room and let people choose one if they wanted.  I think most of our members are still reading printed books at least part of the time.  Since we've had some new people join up, I thought I'd do this again this year. I've also made some more traditional bookmarks using stamps and and papers from October Afternoon's Public Library collection.

Ironically, I just bought myself a tablet so I'm starting to read books in that format and am enjoying it.  I still like the traditional bound book and many of the ones we read - both fiction and non-fiction - are found at our local libraries so my bookmarks won't sit idle.

Making these is easy with a gelli plate, stencils and packing tape.  It takes a little time as you have to wait between coats for the paint to dry but you get 5 bookmarks per print on an 8x10 plate.  Here's the video:

At our December meeting, the author of our latest book "With Love from the Inside", Angela Pisel, is coming to our meeting.  She is local and I'm anxious to find out how she did the research for this book with one of the characters on death row and what inspired her to tell this mother/daughter story. 

Do you have a social club you just love?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Back Online and a Thank You Card

We were without power for more than 48 hours and without Internet for 8 days!  Why? Tornadoes, in western NC, in October!

We had no damage out our home thankfully, but 3 power poles snapped across the road and there was significant damage on my Mother's road.  We spent all week at her house cleaning up.  Everyone rode the storm out in basements and we are alright. This the worst damage this area has had since Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Without power, I could not do much but I did edit this video.  I kept my laptop charged by taking it various places during the day and plugging it in.  Finally this morning I got to upload the video which uses Distress Oxide inks on this simple Thank You card that I mass produced.

ALSO:  PRICES REDUCED on most stamp sets in my Etsy shop

It's good to be back to connecting with people online. Thanks for watching today!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Not lost

On this particular trip, we missed turns often.  On this day, we did NOT get lost. But we did get wet!  It produced some fun photos.

For the two pager, I used a mixture of papers, some chipboard and some letter stickers, something I rarely remember I even have.


Thanks for joining me today!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Silhouette and Distress Oxide Mass Produced Snowflake cards

Happy World Cardmaking day!

Usually I purchase a religious themed stamp set for Mother's holiday cards.  It is getting harder and harder to find one that doesn't look like something I've already had.  This year in an effort to move things out and not buy more stuff, I used what I had, a Silhouette die cut and my Distress Oxide inks.

The die cut had a pretty negative image that doubled the value of each cut.  I've shared the process in this video:

Originally I was going to cut the snowflakes from silver paper but I didn't have enough and was too lazy to go to Michaels so I used gray Stampin' Up! cardstock and embossing powder.  It's a pretty effect.  I have more bits and pieces left so I may make some more snowflakes and do some cards for myself in a similar style.

Thanks for visiting today! I hope you get to do something crafty this weekend.

Monday, October 2, 2017

In Memory - page and video

This is my first scrapbook page in several weeks.  My father passed away in late August.  Scrapbooking is very personal to me and I busied myself with cardmaking for awhile before going back to my pages. This one is to capture what was said at the funeral, some of the memorabilia and a good photo I just hadn't gotten scrapped until now.

I realized as I was sharing the video that you could see and read clearly about half of my comments so I could have tried to cover that or just share it so I'm sharing it.  While there were many, many things I could have talked about I chose to focus on my father's ability to connect with people and his passion for thanking those who had extended a kindness or sent business his way.  (Unfortunately I did not inherit those Wedgewood blue eyes or his innate ability to sell.)

Here are my comments about my dad:

Last Wednesday night when they moved my father from the ER up to a room, his nurse introduced herself.  She said, “I’m Wendy and I’ll be your nurse tonight.”  She busied herself with other things for just a moment before turning back to him and asking “What did you do for a living?”  In a clear voice, he answered, “I ran a carpet shop.”  “Oh, I thought I’d seen you before; you did my house in carpet.”

This happened all the time.  Once when Daddy was picked for jury duty, he was dismissed after they discovered he knew the prosecuting attorney, the defense attorney and the judge all because he had sold them carpet.

In the early 1970’s, L was working for S & L company building windows in the ‘pink’ building.  He had a part time business making picture frames. A salesman stopped and became acquainted with him persuading Daddy to just take a carpet sample and try it.  He thought my father would be good at selling carpet.  A few years later, he and Mother with her flawless taste went into the flooring, wallpaper and drapery business full time.  Back then many houses were built on contract and if a contractor steered work your way, enough contractors could keep you in business.  One Christmas he had hand mirrors cut at L Mirror and gave them out to the contractors.  Now builders were all men in those days and I’m not sure how much use they had for a decorative mirror but the builders were almost all married, too.

Soon he settled on apples as his annual Christmas gift, usually delivering the boxes to the contractors house himself to thank them for a year of work.  Individual customers, too, often left the shop with a little something extra – a box of candy – he bought on sale of course – and kept in a chest freezer in the storeroom.  They came in, paid their bill and he surprised them with a box of chocolates.  And they came back again the next time.

The little man with the dimples and Wedgewood blue eyes he inherited from his mother, who drove a Ford F-150 truck, and wore windbreakers, was as unlikely salesman as you would ever meet. 

What my father understood was that relationships built on giving a little extra would reward you and not just in business.  This was part of who he was.  You never did anything for him that wasn’t repaid in some way.  He never ran a debt financial or otherwise.  He always wanted you to know you were appreciated.

He nurtured all the relationships in his life particularly with his older relatives.  We spent many Sundays in Kannapolis visiting his aunts and uncles or made 4th of July trips to family around the country.  Every Sunday we went to visit his mother-in-law. 

He liked to get to know people.  We were seldom at a doctor’s office for any length of time or the ER without him asking his nurses about their shift or where they lived.  When his nurse from the 2nd day of his last hospitalization returned from a weekend trip, he remembered her and asked specifically about her drive from the city she had visited.  One of the last things he told me was how good the people at the hospital’s radiation oncology unit had been to him.  He appreciated good care the same way he extended it to others.  I imagine if he had lived, we would have been going back to the unit one day with a box of chocolates.

My father seldom told me how to treat people, or solve a problem, or manage my money.  He showed me.   He illustrated a life of gratitude, of matching needs with resources, of saving and of responsibility.  And he did those things with a smile and an interest in who you were as a person.  In the end, his body gave out but his sharp mind and his heart never did.

Here is the video:

Thanks for watching.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Making It up as I went

knitted with Baah La Jolla in Summer Romance

This is a lesson I've learned not in how to make a vest but in how to buy yarn.  Don't succumb to the lure of beautiful yarn you don't have a plan for!  I just loved this yarn but it was pricey - or pricey for me at $29 per hank.  I bought two and the store owner and I thought I could get a vest out of that.  Well, I did but not without a lot of challenges.

First I could not find a pattern that would work with that little yarn.  Finally I found this one where I liked the look and figured I could just make it with the yarn I had.  The catch was that you had to order and pay shipping on a paper pattern.  It looked simple enough so I figured I could just do it myself.  I decided to put the long point in a different place anyway and then I figured I'd be bored silly doing stockinette or garter stitch for the whole thing so I used a triple chevron from an old knitting pattern book.  The eyelets were added again just to have something to break up the simple stitching.  I never really wrote anything down, just laying my work over an old fabric vest increasing and decreasing as needed to get everything to fit.  I'm kind of amazed that it did actually fit.

Half way through it did look like I'd have enough yarn though it would be close.  It was so close that I had this small ball of yarn left when it was time to do the arm holes.  I measured it out and rolled it into two balls so I could tell how much I'd have for each one.  When I had a few yards of that left, I unpicked my last edge on the inside left which was a bit skimpy and added another 4 rows piecing things together as needed.  I probably had 2 yards total yarn left at the end.

I was planning on one button like the pattern I'd eyed at the beginning but I put the buttonhole in completely the wrong place and I needed a bit more structure thus 3 buttons with loops for closure.  This creates many options for how to wear the vest so I've shown it in various configurations.

So while I got something unique and it worked out, I'll never buy yarn again that I don't have a pattern for it or at least a very good idea that I have plenty of yarn for a specific project.

Just don't ask me for the pattern for this because I don't have it.  Knitting is fun for me and relaxing and I'm also determined not to try to turn another hobby into a business.  This one is just a hobby.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Christmas Card Share and Stamps to Sell

On my Etsy Shop - Lovely Layers Art - there are several stamp sets available for purchase as I'm moving out some older stamp sets.  Some like Merry Mice aren't that old.  All still have plenty of life left in them for pretty cards this holiday season.  There are also sets that are not holiday oriented including Trendy Trees which I discovered the wheel for after I did the video.

Here's a video sharing the cards I've made so far and the stamp sets for sale.

Thanks for watching and shopping!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Gelli printed notebook cover

Usually I cover my notebooks with paper and have done several videos on this method.  I had to change notebook brands as the one I loved was discontinued.

This Office Depot business notebook has a hard cover. I knew what I wanted to do with it before leaving the store.  The boring look was nothing a little gesso, gelli printing and Mod Podge couldn't fix.  Here's the process video:

Thanks for watching!
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