Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ok, I give up!

No no no, not on crafting! I'll have to be DEAD to do that!  Ha ha.
I worked on those 2 photos-on-canvas that bubbled - even tho they bubbled REALLY badly, I kept going with them.
Miraculously, they were FLAT when they dried.  HUH?  Yeah, I said flat.  No bubbles.
Then I had to put on 2 coats (with drying in between) of the top layer of decoupage (Mod Podge).  They bubbled like crazy, and I thought, uh oh.  But after each application with about an hour in between for drying, they went flat!  I have NO idea why or how....I just know that they look awesome.  Photos to follow.

Today was babysitting-the-beautiful-grand-daughter-day.  I won't see her for 2 weeks now, but boy, I love seeing her grow up.  She is exhausting sometimes, but she loves to "read" and loves books and loves to be read to.  She loves bubbles and today we spent some time outside with bubbles.  She is talking up a  storm.  She gets words really fast.  She almost has "Grandma" down.  Since she calls her pacifier Mimi, I can't be called Mimi.  She calls her mom "momma" and I wanted to try Marmy - as in Martha Grammy.  But that didn't work..........she still said Momma.  Oh well.

I just love the dickens out of that little girl!  We went out today - to Joanns (got some more cutters for my clay work I want to do) and we went to Target to try to find toys on clearance.  Well, I didn't find any toys on clearance, but Jia saw a purple ball, but it's not a flat ball, it has rubber nubbies on it.  It still bounces straight.  She carried that ball all the way thru Target. The ball is almost bigger than she is.  She was SO good in the stores.  She also got 2 new books from the dollar section.  Yeah, I can't help it.  She's got me wrapped around her pinky!  LoL

I was lucky and found some things for my desk upstairs.  I REALLY love them, one because they are purple!  The other because I think they are going to help out my organization on my card-making desk.  Yay!  Pics of those to follow too.  I'm just really tuckered right now and am catching up on emails and blogs and FB and have to check a forum I belong to.

So off I go.  I will get photos of the photos-on-canvas and I will get photos of the cool new organization stuff I bought.  I have some photos and video of baby too, so those will also be in my next post (photos, not video).  I need to get a lot of my videos on dvds, and then send them to people.  Maybe that will be Christmas for everyone - dvds of Jia's first and second years.......

You take care and enjoy life!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Epic failure

I just did two more photos. I am one of those people that has beginners luck with things I try....this was one of those things. The more of the photo-on-canvases I do, the more trouble I'm having with them. I now have 4 that I'm going to have to figure out other ways of using so I don't feel I wasted the canvases or the ink in the printer. I am really really frustrated though and I don't like being frustrated! Tomorrow I babysit, no time to craft. Then the weather turns super hot again. I will have to start bringing stuff downstairs and making the dining table a mini studio. Oops, wait, I've already made a mess of the dining table. Ha! That's it for me tonight. Take care! Martha

Monday, June 25, 2012

Practice makes....well.....good!

So all weekend, I've been working patiently on my newest craft.  I started by printing out the photos, using the copy paper we normally use for all our general printing purposes.  I did try tissue paper - the stuff I have didn't work. My printer is a top/back load, and the printer just ate up the tissue.  I had a feeling it wouldn't work for me.  I did try taping it to regular copy paper, but that didn't seem to work and I would have had to tear the tape off and then the paper wouldn't have fit on the canvas.  I believe it would work if the photo I was doing was smaller than 8x10.  I also just believe that the tissue wouldn't work because my printer really saturates the paper with ink....and the tissue wouldn't stay in tact.

I really love the way they come out.  This photo was my first try.  It is a rose from my garden after rain.  The rain drops are very obvious.  I posted previously about this first canvas try here .  If you check that page, you can see that I simply decoupaged the photo onto the canvas.  I decided then, I would paint all the canvases black because it just looks classier.
I did paint the edge of this one black.  It worked, but it is MUCH better when I paint the entire canvas.  I picked up some Plaid acrylic paint in black, for less than a dollar, at Wal Mart.  I used a foam brush I already had on hand.  Being a perpetual crafter/artist, I always have something on hand!
I used a mixture of matte and luster finish Mod Podge on this photo.  I'm not crazy about the shine.  For as long as I can remember, I've always liked my photos to be printed in matte finish....when it was a choice.  I guess my feelings go back a long way.

I used PicMonkey to fancy up the photo of my photo. It's fun to use, has lots of fun stuff on it, is pretty simple and you can always UN-do whatever you did.  It doesn't store your work, and when you're done fancying up the work, you save it to a file on your hard drive.  Easy Peasy!

Ok, so here is the progressive work I've done on this project.......

This is a photo I did not take.  A friend of my daughter took it.  She did a photo shoot one day of my beautiful grand baby, and there were 2 photos that came out exceptionally well.  This was one.  I used a matte finish on this one.  See how it's not so shiny even in the photo?  I like this finish much better!

Here is one more along this line, where I used the matte finish, and also the plain copy paper.

The photographer did some special effects in both these photos which is why the lighting is different, etc.  I'm not absolutely sure if it was a camera effect, or if it was something she did in Photoshop. 

I took the photos of the canvases on the porch, under an overhang, and it was cloudy out.  I used different settings on my camera but these came out the best. 

I'm extremely happy with the way these are coming out. 
The next set I'm making (same photos of my grand daughter) is one with photo paper, and one with card stock - to see if the card stock works.  One of the issues I've had is the photo paper bubbles up - a LOT - and this photo above actually has bubbles in it, but you can't see them here.  You have to look really close. But they do exist and that drives me insane! The card stock is heavier and doesn't bubble. 

I'm hoping as I do more of my photos like this, I will be able to sell them.  I think they are more appealing this way.  The canvas can just simply hang on a nail that you put in a wall, or hang it on a 3M hanger (which I have all over the house) or you can attach a ribbon at the back and hang that from a nail or hanger.  I am going to hang mine with black ribbon as I think it'll look so nice!  The ribbon will hide the small nail I plan on using in the wall.

One set of these will of course go to my daughter.

I'm off to print some more photos, paint some more canvases, let them all dry, and have some more done tomorrow of other photos.
I also plan on getting some smaller canvases so I can do 5x7's and possibly even some smaller ones.  FUN!

Take care and have fun today!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strawberry Ice

I think I mentioned in previous blog that I'd made lemon ice to use in my ice tea.  I bought some strawberries yesterday, and made strawberry ice for my ice tea.  Wanna see?

strawberry ice
This is just after it came out of the cupcake tin.  I use bottled water, sliced the strawberries up, put a few slices in each cup of the tin, and poured in the bottled water.  Not too full.  Stuck it in a flat space on the shelf in my freezer (I have a bottom freezer and it has one shelf that slides out).  They freeze up in a jiffy, take them out, pop them out, put them in a baggie and back in the freezer.  Delish when I pop them into the decaf ice tea I like to drink when it's hot.
So much cheaper and better than the store-bought flavored waters!  You can add your own sweetener (my choice is Steevia).

I printed a photo of my grand daughter last night. The photo was taken by a friend of my daughter who does really nice photography.  She had Photoshopped this photo and it looks nice.  I was lucky - even tho the resolution wasn't very high, it came out well for an 8x10.  I cut it down, very carefully put it on the black painted canvas, and let it dry overnight.  This morning, I put the first layer of decoupage on it.  I'm pretty mad at myself - I'd wanted to use the matte finish and I used the luster!  Grrr.  I am going to put the matte over the luster, and pray it comes out ok.  It needs another coat, but it looks wonderful.  I will take photos of it later.  I know someone (Jenn) is going to love it....but I think this one is going to be MINE.  LoL.  I'm going to have to make her one too tho, before Wednesday......when I go up and babysit. 

Off to have my Sunday with hubby and whatever crafty thing I do today.  Hope you enjoy YOUR weekend!
Take care

Friday, June 22, 2012


I've made progress. I'm trying new things, and I am happy with it.  I like trying new things, but I like it even better when they WORK!  :-)

Thanks to good hubby, I got my printer ink yesterday.  I printed off the test photo, and I got it onto the canvas. 
This is a HUGE learning project for me.  I like the photo and the way it printed off.  I did not, however, take enough care with how it was put onto the canvas.  There were bubbles....LOTS of bubbles.  Bummer.  I am going to find a good squeegee and see if I do a better job next time.
I will also paint the canvas next time, before I put the photo on there.  One person did paint the edges of her canvas, and I can see where that looks WAY more professional and classy.
Other than those boo-boo's, I think it came out quite nice.

Photo canvas front

Photo canvas back
In the top photo you can see how the white edges show.  Ick.
In the bottom photo you can see the back of the frame - and you can actually see the photo thru the canvas!  Huh.
I had an idea to put black ribbon around the edges, and tried, but it looked crappy unprofessional.  I will paint....but before the photo goes on.  As I said, this is my learning project right here.....there WILL be more to come!

I also got a couple of decent photos of the hummingbird that hangs out.  He/she was sitting on the fence and didn't fly away when I walked down to take the photos, or when I walked back up when I was done with photos (I didn't show the photo of the photo canvas that I took while it was hanging on the fence post.  I liked this one better).  So I used the porch railing to steady my elbows while I took some more photos.


And here is what I baked this week. I had the recipe in my recipe book where my hand written recipes are.  It was in my own handwriting.  I'm pretty sure it was a recipe my mom might have used, but not positive.  In any case, it was SO easy.  And they are SOOOOO much better than store-bought-out-of-a-box!

Brownies.  Chocolate brownies.  And yeah, that's kind of a frosting on top.  The reason I say kind of, is because I cheat.  Yep, me, I cheat when I cook/bake.  I took some chocolate chips and sprinkled them on top when the brownies came out of the oven.  I covered with foil for about 10 minutes, removed the foil, and spread the chips around.  Easy peasy and yummy.  You can use milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet, or dark.  Or even white chocolate if you wanted.  Whatever floats YOUR boat. 

Ok, well, it's time for me to chat on IM with my cousin, so off I go.  Just wanted to share what I've been up to.  I will be doing some more crafts quite soon....I have a couple of more super ideas that I hope work!

Take care!  I'll be back...................

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crafting ADHD ~ or???

Is it the Universe showing me a new way of doing something I've been trying to do? 

Obscure?  Yeah, well, you should spend some time inside my head.  No, maybe not - you'd go nuts!  I have been living with this brain (and the way it works) for 56 years.  I'm still not used to it.  I just try to deal with it though.

Let me start at the beginning, sort of.  I'm addicted to Pinterest.  Yes, I am.  I've been spending too many hours there.  The good part of that is, I have found some subjects I'm interested in, and of course, the links lead me to the sites, where I have the ability to find out how someone did what's been in my head, but I could not figure out how to do it.  That's one of my problems. I have these ideas, but I'm not crafty on my own - I have to SEE something to know that is what I've been wanting to do, but haven't had the thought process to figure it out. 

The subject for today is the way you put a photo on canvas.  There are many ways to do it, one being that you order them that way.  I don't want to go that route.  I am all about DIY (if I can figure out HOW).  After some searching around, I decided to stop into Michaels Crafts store on my way home from babysitting the cutest grand daughter that exists.  :-)  Yes, I'm biased.  I'm allowed.  She's MINE.  Sorry, back to the story....I stopped in and the only coupon I had was for $5.00 a purchase of $25.00 or more.  Did you know, that if you have a smart phone, and you receive the Michaels ads and coupons through your email, you can use the coupon on your smart phone????  Yes!  I finally can do something current and techie because I have a smart phone!  (I wish there were emoticons on Blogger - picture me jumping up and down).  I went in and searched around for the canvas I wanted.  Stretched canvas over a wood frame.  They had a bundle of 10, 8"x 10" canvases for $19.99.  I also needed Mod Podge.  I bought the small ones, one satin, one matt, because I read on someone else's blog that she didn't like the satin (too shiny) and she didn't like the matt (too flat) so she mixed them.  Again, I would not have thought of that on my own, but it makes sense.  (picture the rolling eyes emoticon here). 

I have so many beautiful photos - but how do I get them up without having dozens of frames around my house?  My house isn't that large as it is.  I also like "art" more than just photos in frames.  I have a frame set up on one wall above the couch with photos that I love of poppies.  You can see them here .  On either side you can see 2 other frames that don't match.  That's how I roll.....anyway, they are both cross stitched items that I made back when I cross stitched.  My thumbs won't let me do that anymore.  No pinching the thumb and forefinger together as they then start to ache and I can't move them much the next day (arthritis).  My eyes also won't let me do that anymore - too small and too close up.  Besides, it used to drive me nuts keeping track of where I was, what row, what color, etc.  I don't do well with that - and it's probably why I don't do well with knitting or crocheting with a pattern, or other things that are small and tiresome to me like that.

Ok, sorry, I keep jumping subjects. 

Once I found all this info linking from Pinterest to people who've actually DONE this type of craft, I decided it's time to give it a try.  Not sure if the method I am choosing is going to work.  If not, I'm out some money, but I can always find other things to do with the leftover canvases, right?

One of the methods is to print the photo to tissue paper.  I'm going to try it just because it sounds so cool, and the photo would for sure come out looking like it was printed ON the canvas.  The other method is to use just plain white paper (not photo paper as it's too thick).  I think that would be ok too, and less chance of it ripping and wasting the paper, ink and canvas. 

There were a couple of other methods, but I'm going to go with these two, and see how they work out.
More on this later.

Today is a good day to stay at home.  It's hot and very poor air quality and it's not good for me to be out in this.  I won't melt and I could handle it in short spurts, but why?  Hubby is up North at work so I have the house to myself.  I started my laundry (I only do it about once a week), one  load is already in the dryer.  I baked some brownies from scratch (hope they taste ok) from what I think was my mom's old recipe.  It's just an 8x8 pan.  I did add some chocolate chips on top afterward, and covered with foil for a few minutes while they melt.  This way, by 8:30, all the heat tasks are done - except for one more load in the dryer and that won't take long. 

I have a few phone calls to make, then print out my photos, then try the Mod Podge deal.  We'll see how it goes.  The rest of the day is MINE!  (big smiley emoticon here).  The little dog, Gabbi, needs a bath and haircut but I'm trying to hold off till Saturday when it'll be easier to do the haircut outside.  She's such a quirky little pup.  She gets really slow and unhappy when her hair gets too long. Even though she's a Maltese, and is supposed to have long silky hair, she likes it cut short, kinda like I like my hair!

This day is starting to get away from me so I'm gonna close for now.  Lots of photos to choose from, and lots to do!  Have a GREAT day and I'll be back with results soon.


Monday, June 18, 2012

I've been MIA - again.
Yeah, I'm not good at this regular blogging.
I get busy with life, thoughts, crafts...but that's ok - it's not like I'm getting paid to blog.  Not like I do it for anyone else but myself.
I can accept that.

I've been busy.  Busy just in general, and busy with things in my brain.
I've been hanging out on Pinterest getting ideas and inspiration.
I've been working in my craft room, when I can, and when I can't, I'm thinking about it.
I have SO many ideas in my poor little head, that sometimes it's overwhelming and I can't keep them straight, and I don't know what I want to go do first!  That's a problem!  I'm craft addicted but can't seem to be working on anything except for a few hours here and there. 

Today is a perfect example.  I want to get upstairs before it gets too warm.  It's now 9:38 and will be almost 10 before I finish this.  I came into the office to find the papers I wrote down the recipe for home made cleaner on (that I got from links from Pinterest).  I started sorting papers, put some in files (about time!) and put some in a desk cubby (lazy) and found some coupons I need to put in my purse, and finally found the papers I came in for.

Then I started looking at my emails and my cousin (who is always trying to help my inspiration, thank you Judee) sent me some links, so had to go check those out (and save some blogs). 

Meanwhile, some of them were blog posts and that led me here.  I started feeling guilty about how long it has been since I blogged.

Here's a photo for you, just to break the boredom of reading....

I took 87 photos and this was the best one.  I didn't mess with the colors in Photobucket but I did add the border and the watermark.  I love the colors of the butterfly.  The sun was shining and I had my camera set for daylight, and I had the 21x zoom on, and I had to crop this photo.  The zoom doesn't work so great sometimes, and my photos are shakey.  I have a tripod but by the time I get the camera screwed onto it, and it doesn't go on tightly, and by the time I get it all set up, the butterfly would be gone.  Besides, even with the tripod, when I hit the button to take the photo, the camera STILL moves....

Today is rainy and dreary and I need to get upstairs, but hubby has the windows open, which means the AC is off, and I can't open the windows upstairs in my craft room as the bugs are attracted to that side of the house for some reason, so it gets hot up there quickly.  I can't seem to make hubby understand that if he opens windows and turns the AC down, down here, it gets really hot upstairs.  Whatever...........

I have a LOT of things I want to try.  I want to try thread painting so I have some supplies for that, but I'm really still not sure how it works....guess I just gotta be brave.

That's it for me today. 
Enjoy life.  It's shorter than you think.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Baking Soda

Ok, so I'm trying an experiment.  I am starting to use a Baking Soda sham-non-poo.  :-)  Yes, that's right.  It's a shampoo without the suds.  I decided I am never happy with any shampoo I try.  My scalp is always itchy.  My hair is not as shiny as I'd like. 

How did I decide to try this?  Pinterest.  Have you been there?  It's so freaking addictive.  There is SO much to look at.  I was perusing last night and I found this recipe.  1 TBLS baking soda to 1 cup water.  I thought it would have to be more pasty but I read that it's a good quotient.  I had a small squirt bottle handy so when it was done, I put it in there.  There was some leftover...but I'll get to that in a moment.

What I read said if you have hard water (which we do), boil the water for about 3 minutes to get the minerals out of it.  I don't know if it actually helps or not.  I boiled mine anyway.  I put the 1 TBLS of baking soda into a Pyrex measuring cup.  When the water had boiled a few minutes, I carefully poured the hot water into the measuring cup and it did fizzle a bit.  I stirred it a lot so the baking soda would dissolve.  I kind of like the idea it dissolved so it wouldn't be flaky in my hair.

I placed the mixture into the fridge to cool it since I wanted to take my shower in the next 20 minutes, and I didn't want to put the boiling hot water into the little plastic container I had.  I figured it might melt.  Once the mixture was cool (only took about 15 mins in the fridge) I took it out and filled the little bottle.  I'm going to have to get a bigger bottle - this one didn't fit an entire mixture.  But that was ok................I found another use for the mix that was left over.

I used the bottle when I was showering and I made sure I rinsed really well.  It took a few squirts because I wanted to make sure I used enough.  I have read it only takes about a tablespoon or so to wash a full head of hair, and mine isn't long.  Anyway, I used what I felt was good for me, and I rinsed really well.

That left some room in the bottle to pour a little more in...but still had some leftover.

I decided I will use the leftover to brush my father used to use baking soda for his teeth instead of toothpaste.  Hmm.  Thinking that it can't be all bad - but the taste is wicked!  It'll take me some getting used to it, and I also thought about putting a drop of Peppermint oil into the mix.  I'm very sensitive to peppermint not sure.  I'll keep trying the baking soda mix and see how that goes....

At any rate, I'm going to see how this works.  I read that it really neutralizes the oils in your hair, and that after a few weeks of using this, you actually have to wash your hair less often (if you are prone to oily hair which I am).  I also read that if you have dry hair, it is very good for making it look much better. 

You can also use vinegar (apple or white) for a conditioner.  I'll see how the shampoo does first, and if I like what is happening, I'll then add the vinegar.

I need more little containers from the store tho...........

Did you know that baking soda can be used to clean just about anything also?  And, you don't have to just buy the little boxes ---  you can actually go into the laundry section of your grocery store and find the larger box of Baking Soda - it looks just like the little one - just make sure you get the pure Baking Soda and not the laundry one (which they've just come out with).

I'm going to continue to do research on this stuff and trying harder to use less chemicals around the house.

Let me know if you have any natural, non-chemical cleaning tips! 


I cannot believe it's June 1st!  Amazing.  I have NO idea where the time goes....
I've been wanting to spend more time at home, but I still feel like I'm not getting done what I need to get done.  It's because I end up running out to the store for this or that, or Dear Hubby wants to go somewhere and we end up going together.  It's amazing to me how I can have a plan in the morning, and by mid-afternoon, I'm just getting started on that plan, which then leaves me about 2 hours to do whatever it is I wanted to do.  Sigh.....
At any rate, I did get a couple of projects done this week.  That's the other thing - it's FRIDAY already!  On top of that, this morning I've been playing on the computer in PicMonkey - which is a photo editing program and it's rather fun.


The one above was made with a pattern.  I wanted the more free-form version but I have to play around a little.  I like PicMonkey because you open the program online, you upload your photos and manipulate them, then you save the photo back onto your computer hard drive.  They aren't stored on PicMonkey like they are on programs like Photobucket.

 I have PicMonkey on my IPad and I love it - I made a really cute collage of the baby.  I love this form of collage but have to figure out how to do this on my big computer on PicMonkey instead of on the IPad.

 I also finished a quilt and got it photographed.

Quilt front

Quilt back
It came out nice.  It's for sale on my website here.  I have about 4 more to make....gotta get on that.  This quilt is about 42" x 34". 
I also got another purse made.  I have to only show a sneak peak of it's for someone that read my blog!

I think this is my favorite thing on it.  :-D 

Since I've been sitting here for the last 2 hours since I got up, playing on the computer, reading blogs and Facebook and a forum I run, I guess I'd better get up, get breakfast, and get moving before THIS day disappears too.  I have dog class tomorrow at 3:00 (I hate that it's so late in the afternoon on a Saturday) and Tuesday, I have Evan at the hospital for volunteering.  Other than that, I don't have any plans.  Wanna do lunch?  Hehe

We are supposed to have severe weather today too - not looking forward to that.  I'll be upstairs keeping busy in my crafty room.  I have ideas I want to try and things I want to do and there is so much to do and so little time to do it in!

Oops, almost forgot!  I have the new Marie Bostwick book from the Cobbled Court series.  I started it last night, and stayed up till 11:15 reading.  I really MUST stop doing that....but I get into reading something good and I only really get to read in bed...once shows are over....unless I take the time to sit and read during the day and for some reason, that feels like I'm being naughty!  lol

Take care.