Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The year in review

  • Out of town visitors. I miss my far away relatives. It actually got me to do a little housecleaning, lol
  • Teaching card classes at the local scrapbook store, which has inspired me to hold "Crafty Lunch hour" at the office. It is good way to unwind for a bit and also use up some of my stash.
  • Lots of museum visits. I am fortunate to have so many great museums close by.
  • A new hobby: knitting. Hopefully, I won't overbuy supplies like I'm doing with my scrapbooking stash.
  • Figuring out that I should be able to retire comfortably if I keep doing what I'm doing. Yay!
  • Finished the last month of the year with at (slightly) lower weight and a renewed interest in exercising.
  • Awesome coworkers who were very supportive during the month from hell (see below)
The lows:
  • Too many losses (a dear friend's mother, an uncle, and an aunt). Very stressful for the family
  • The close of Two Peas in a Bucket, one of the most popular scrapbooking sites. Obviously, not popular enough since they had to close. For me, it is an unfortunate statement on the the state of scrapbooking. Thankfully, some peas organized a new message board so I still have a place to hang out.
  • November, the month from hell. I'm just now feeling like life is getting back to normal.
  • Huge bills from November and unexpected bills this month. Good thing I'm a saver.
  • Didn't hit my 2014 goals, oh well.
 Hope you all have a wonderful 2015!

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's just a number card

Here's a peek at one of the cards for my upcoming class at Perfect Day Scrapbooking. I worked on a couple of samples, but I'm going with the lower right card for the class. I like the darker base and the direction of the layering.  What do you think?

I dug into my precious Jillibean Soup and Bella Blvd stash for these cards. That means I even cut into whole sheets for my small squares (it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, lol). I wanted these to be birthday cards, but I couldn't find the right stamp until I dug out my Birthday Jubilee set.
DCWV card base, Jillibean Soup and Bella Blvd patterned paper, American Crafts twine, Colorbok ink, Unity stamp

The class is Thursday, November 14, 6-8 pm. Just call the store at (714) 369-2862 to sign up. Hope to see you there!

Please bring the usual class kit (adhesive (tape runner, pop dots/dimensional foam), scissors, pen/paper if you want to take notes). And for this class, the following would be helpful: a corner rounder, 1 1/4" square punch or small trimmer, and light brown ink for shading. If you don't have the tools, you can use mine. Of course, class will go a little faster if you have your own.

I'm submitting this card to Unity Stamp's Friends with Flair. The stamp is from the July 2013 Sentiment Kit-Birthday Jubilee.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The big cleanup

Back in June, I started another decluttering challenge. I made some good progress, but then got sidetracked. Excuses, excuses, I hear you saying. But I have a doozy of an excuse. For the past two months, I've been helping a relative clean out her garage. Ever watched "Hoarders?" This could have been an episode. (Actually, I've never seen the show since we don't have cable, but I've heard enough to think that the garage qualifies.)

The first goal was to clean a path to the back so that we could remove a moldy rug. As the weeks (yes, weeks), went on, the goal was expanded to include throwing out enough stuff so that she could park her new car in the garage. So for weeks now, sometimes a few weekends in a row, sometimes skipping a week or two, we (Mr. Fxt-it and I) would show up at her house with our gloves, masks, rakes, scrapper, and heavy duty garbage bags. Yep, it was bad.

It was (and is) traumatic for all of us. She couldn't bear to throw anything away. I had to sneak stuff into garbage bags and tie them shut to discourage her from looking inside. Every weekend, we'd fill three garbage cans, the big ones (95 gallons) that you roll out to the curb for the trucks to pick up. We'd fill her recycle can and garbage can, and then fill the back of our car with more garbage bags to bring home enough to fill our garbage can. Lather, rinse, repeat. We had to stop the latter after a while because the car stank so bad in the short drive home, it was unbearable (a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea).

Every visit, it seemed like two steps forward, one step back. I'd think that we had cleared out a spot, only to find it filled the next visit. Perhaps there was a little landslide, perhaps she did more shopping, perhaps my memory was based in hope rather than reality.

Finally, Mr. Fix-it was able to cut most of the rug out (there is still a bit underneath a four-foot tall pile that we haven't been able to remove) and the car is inside. I'm not sure if and when we'll be back. I'd like to continue to help, as exhausting as it is. I'm pretty sure any open spots in the garage are slowly being filled with stuff. :(

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thinking of you card

I recently attended a crop at with some of my Nor Cal scrappin' buddies. I brought my new fern die with me that I got just a couple weeks ago and ended up using it with my July card kit.
Supplies: WRMK patterned paper, Bazzill and Coordinations cardstock, Colorbok ink, Unity stamp, Snug Hug seam binding, misc. twine, Memory box die.

I thought I would send this card as a fall hello, but unfortunately had to make quick use of the card this week. My coworker's brother suddenly passed away so I used this card to express my sympathy.

I'm submitting this card in Unity Stamps Friends with Flair . Check out all the awesome cards there.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to "see" you again soon.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June card kit

For the past few months, I haven't been posting the cards from my monthly card kit swap because we've been posting our cards in a private Facebook group. But I miss sharing the cards with you so here's this month's cards. Wendy sent a huge sticker sheet and some great patterned paper and embellishments.
With these goodies, it didn't take long at all to make my cards. I made a good dent in the supplies, but I can probably get a couple more cards out of the kit.
If you're interested in joining the swap, let me know and I'll get in touch with you in a few months when we start the next round. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

100 things challenge, day 28

I'm 28 days into my decluttering challenge and I'm barely keeping up. Here's the latest batch to leave the house:

1 drying hanger. It was 20+ years old and the plastic was starting to break down. I bought a replacement from Ikea, but I didn't like it as much so I kept the first one around for a few weeks. I finally came to terms with tossing it when I realized the clips on the new hanger were so much sturdier.

1 bag of paper (should have been two, but I'm behind on my tossing).

1 mini album

1 6x6 pad. Slowly, I'm selling off some of my stash.

1 book. Big deal, one book you say? I was going to give it to my coworker, because I thought he'd like it and it sat on my bookshelf for 20 years or so. I told him I didn't know that much about it so we did a quick Google search and it turns out it is out of print and somewhat rare. Guess I should have done that before offering it to him. So he gave it back to me and I put it on ebay. Sold it for for a decent amount. Not as much as I'd like, but hey, it is out of the house and I've got a few more pennies in my pocket.

1 Polaroid film pack. I gave that to my coworker as a consolation prize. He's into old film.

3 card kits. I debated whether or not to count this, but decided to since one purpose of the swap is to use up our respective stashes, I'm counting it. At least I'm not counting every piece of paper or ribbon.

4 goodies from the "for Susan" bag. Actually, I was in such a hurry to mail the kits yesterday, that I didn't check the bag; I just gathered a couple of goodies I knew I had on hand, plus a couple more I picked up at a scrapbook garage sale (hmmm, maybe those last two items don't count? Naw, they went out so I'm going to count them.

1 reusable shopping bag. Took a relative grocery shopping and I gave her one of my reusable bags to use (and keep).

I'm a tiny bit ahead with 30 things gone. Yay!

Monday, June 09, 2014


My first update to my personal challenge. Here's what's I've gotten rid of in the past week:

5 batches of fabric (3 large pieces, several yards each; 1 UFO [unfinished object]; 1 batch of scraps). A local art center put out a call for fabric. Even though I have boxes of unused fabric, this was all I could bear to get rid of on short notice.
1 bag of polyfill. I gave that to a local art center along with the fabric. One of the children's activities they have is making "stuffies."
1 large box of envelopes. Got it from a friend of a printer. He didn't realize the envelopes were so old, the envelope edges were brittle. The art center does mixed media so I thought maybe they could use the paper for something creative.
1 reusable shopping bag. I had to carry the fabric over in something and since we have waaay too many reusable bags, I was happy to get rid of one.
1 shopping bag of paper (paper you ask?). This might not seem like a lot, but when the newspapers pile up like this, getting rid of a bagful is progress.
1 plastic pot. I liked it because it was shallow, but that was a problem too because I'd have to water it more often. Finally, the sun took its toll and I reluctantly tossed it.
1 snail trap. It never worked anyway.
2 magazines.
3 packs of buttons. I'm trying to sell off some of my scrapbook stash. If only I could manage the one-in-one-out system with scrapbook stuff that I have with clothes and books. It doesn't help that the LSS that I frequent just reopened with a new store owner this weekend so I had to go in to support her.


Sunday, June 01, 2014

100 things

June, almost half way though the year. Time for a reboot and time to get serious about toss stuff out again. I've been doing pretty well on the clothes front with one in, one out, but not so well in other areas. I've discovered a new love of dresses, jackets, and exercise clothes (not that I'm exercising that much). And there are ever growing piles of paper and scrapbook supplies...can you say addicted? So, I've decided that another round of my 100 things challenge is needed. Basically, the goal is to get rid of 100 things in 100 days. Hopefully, by September 8th, there will be more room in the house. Anyone want to join me?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy birthday!

I'm finally posting some cards from my April card swap. The celebrate stamp is from the Birthday Jubilee July 2013 sentiment kit, and the 29th sentiment is a new favorite from Unity Stamp Co.

I'm posting these for Unity Stamp's Friends with Flair. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Noooo! Over four dollars a gallon and the summer price increase hasn't even started. :(

Sunday, April 06, 2014


Sounds Chinese, but it is actually French. Here's my new Le Crueset pot:
We used it tonight to make some corned beef and it was so delicious and tender! I can't wait to use it again. Maybe next time I'll fill the whole 7 and 1/4 quarts.

Friday, April 04, 2014

March card kit

No photo of the kit because I dug into it as soon as I got it. At least I got photos of the cards before I sent them out.
The birthday stamps are from Unity and the note stamp is from Studio G. I'm posting this for the FWF challenge. Thanks Susan, for a great kit!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Check back in 57 days

I was at a local nursery, checking out some potential shrubs for the backyard, which I didn't end up getting. But I did get these. I started with one, but discovered they were on sale when I went to check out so I got three more.

The little tags say they should be ready in 57 to 80 days. I can't wait!

And I found this volunteer:

Yes, that's my tumble composter.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Fourteen in 2014 update

Well, I'm not doing so well. Can I blame it on my health (had an outpatient procedure and it took more out of me than I expected)? Travel (two trips home)? Work (I'm averaging between 9 and 10 hour work days)? Really, those are all just excuses, so let's just get down to updating.
  1. Write/email/call everyone on my Christmas card list.
    Still working on this...
  2. Blog more often.
    As you can see, I haven't made much progress.
  3. Send at least one card/letter a month.
    Yay! So far, I've sent out a thinking of you and two thank you cards.
  4. Clean up the spare bedroom.
    Err, still working on this.
  5. Turn the spare bedroom into a scrap room.
    No progress on this. I can't even say I'm working on it.
  6. Send two boxes of cards to Operation Write Home.
    No progress.
  7. Go to the gym once a week.
    Yay! I was averaging twice a week, even with getting the slow start in January. Hopefully, I won't be set back too much with getting sick yesterday.
  8. Keep my average weight below XXX and hit the "magic number" at least once.
    Well, January was depressing. I hit a two year high, then that number continued to rise the next two days. But in February, the ounces starting coming off and leveling, so I'm feeling pretty good about my weight right now. I'm sure the huge salads for dinner helped.
  9. Take a one-week vacation away from home.
    This is still in the planning stages (but at least we're thinking about it, right?).
  10. Have a dinner party/crop/event at the house.
    No progress.
  11. Make enough room in the garage to fit a new car.
    Mr. Fix-it is working on this. He found a couple of large items that will be listed on Craig's List or ebay soon.
  12. Attend a crop.
    I was a last minute attendee at a crop in Nor Cal and had a great time. If anyone wants to join me for an overnight crop down here, let me know. 
  13. Make at least six scrapbook pages for my in-laws.
    No progress.
  14. Make at least $500 in extra money.
    Errr, I have good intentions, but haven't done much.
I'll update again when I've made more progress or in another month or so.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Happy New Year!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chinese New Year's eve was last week, but since the celebration lasts for two weeks, I figured I had a bit of time to decorate my office. Earlier this week, I made paper fortune cookies using these instructions. All the fortunes are somewhat work related.
They were a big hit! Several disappeared before I could take a picture so I had to make more to bring in and then get my picture.

  • I happen to have a Quickutz 4x4 die with a circle, but you could hand cut your circles.
  • Lighter weight paper (but not as light as Chatterbox) worked better than heavier weight paper (Basic Grey, Creative Imagination).
  • If you use heavier paper, you need extra strong adhesive to hold the cookie in place. Glue dots won't cut it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Compare this to previous years:

1/2/12 $3.49
1/8/10 $3.01
1/19/09 $2.09

Monday, January 13, 2014

CHA fun

I'm too tired to post the CHA day 2 photos and commentary (plus there's tons of sneak peeks out there already), but I wanted to share a few fun photos. I'm not into bling, but I did enjoy these.

And these want me to take up knitting and crocheting.

Happy Monday!

When I walked into the office this morning, I found these at my desk. I missed out on the We R Memory Keepers washi/washi tape holder last year, but that's okay because this year's tape has even better designs! A coworker kindly picked this up from the local Costco for me since I'm not a member. My goal is to limit the open rolls to what's in the holder. Let's see how long that lasts.
If I expand my collection, I'll probably go with this idea.

The peanut M&Ms were the last from a giant warehouse store bag that a coworker saved for me. I better donate to the candy fund to keep the goodies coming.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

CHA Winter 2014

I had the opportunity to attend CHA this year, thanks to my LSS friend. I hadn't been to CHA for four or five years so a lot has changed. There are fewer exhibitors and companies are going for smaller booths. There are fewer make-and-takes. There are more places to sit and rest (maybe that's because they needed to fill space). That said, there is still lots to see and oohh and ahh over. My forever favorites Jillibean Soup and Bella Blvd., and new favorites like Lawn Fawn are showing, but I didn't take any pics of their booths. You can see all their new collections at their websites.

What's hot? Pages, journaling cards, and embellishments for Project Life/Life Documented are hot. There are smaller pockets for Instagram photos and DIY to customize your pocket page cards (I thought the divided pages were supposed to make scrapbooking quick and easy). A surprise to me was how many companies are showing dies. I've never seen so many companies show dies and I know of several others who aren't showing). I remember when Sizzix was the first company to make a home die cutter and when Quickutz was $149 an alphabet, just upper or lower case, not both. Mixed media and art journaling are still popular. This means stencils are hot. Washi is still hot...everyone has added washi or paper tape to their product line. Lots of enamel dots. Not as many wood veneers (but still quite a bit) or chipboard. Nor cabachon flowers or shabby chic (thank goodness for me!). Cameras and stars are still popular themes. DIY is big, whether you're a scrapbooker or other crafter.

What did I see that excited me? First up, a small company from the UK, Photomate. (I always like highlighting new companies.) This is foldable display photobooth, perfect for photographing your creations. You use the stand as is or you can add a drape. It includes a storage case, about 15x15:
Here it is in action:
Estimated price is $30. I think this would be so much easier (and save space) compared to the posterboards I've been using. They're looking for a US distributor if you're interested. I'd rather buy one here than pay for shipping from the UK.

We R Memory Keepers is offering albums for your Instagram photos. Such a cute idea!
Here's a close-up of the album:

Simple Stories has added some must-haves. Photo overlays:

Photo flips (haven't I seen these from someone else before?), great for adding another photo or more journaling.

More pocket pages, includes lots of 2x2 slots.

And DIY pieces to make your own goodies to fill those pockets.

I enjoyed testing out the Cutter Pillar Pro trimmer and saw the Fiskars 12' x12'' Rotary Ruler Combo. They didn't have it there to try, but I was able to test the 6''x24'' version. Fiskars mean this for cutting fabric, but of course, we scrapbookers are all over it. Note that this requires a cutting pad to protect your table. I need a new trimmer and am still undecided.

My favorite new-to-me company is Little B. Their website does not do their products justice. They have great paper tape and washi tape and dies.

They also have nesting circles, scallops, squares, labels, hearts, stars (~$24); birthday, travel, party, baby themes (~$15), and these phrase collections ($25), and much more.

Look at these!!!! There's the nesting scallops on the right. But what I'm most excited about are the first two. The first is a magnetic storage folder (~$6). All their dies come in same folder, but I'd like to get a few for my other dies. That thing in the middle? That's their "Perfect Positioner" ~$4. It is a slightly sticky clear mat that you stick to your cutting pad. It holds your die(s) in place and has measurements/guidelines to help you align everything. This is high on my wishlist!

Little B had an adorable make-and-take, but I didn't take a picture of mine since I didn't finish it. I didn't sit down until almost 5:00 and it was lights out before I finished.

For more CHA photos, check out the Perfect Day Scrapbooking Facebook page. She can order (almost) anything you want and ships throughout the US.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

It's still Christmas

At least it is until all of the Christmas stuff is clearanced out at the stores. I couldn't help adding to my stash at 70% and 80% off. The veneers, buttons, washi tape, and journaling cards are going in my scrapbook stash. The ribbon is going in the gift wrap ribbon box (not the scrapbook ribbon boxes). The gift boxes and stickers are the only things being packed away with the Christmas stuff.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Fourteen in 2014

Goals, hate 'em.  We have "stretch goals" at work and the only stretching I want to do is at the gym. But, I will say that having those goals at work is motivating, if only because I want to get paid. Well, I can't pay myself, at least not in dollars, but maybe putting this out there for all the world to see will motivate me, if only because it would be really embarrassing to fail at all of these. So, in no particular order, here's what I hope to accomplish in 2014.
  1. Write/email/call everyone on my Christmas card list since I didn't send out Christmas cards this year.
  2. Blog more often. I have lots of dozens of photos on my camera's memory card planned for short blog posts, but somehow, they never make it on to the computer. So here's to clearing out my memory card.
  3. Send at least one card/letter a month. You know, that old-fashioned snail mail. I don't want the USPS to go away and I know how much I enjoy receiving real mail. Hopefully, I can brighten a few someones' day.
  4. Clean up the spare bedroom. I have big plans for it (see below), but until it is cleaned out (or half cleaned out), I can't do anything with the room.
  5. Turn the spare bedroom into a scrap room. Now that's a biggie since that room has been used as a storage room for the past 10+ years. That's a lot of cleaning up/tossing out.
  6. Send two boxes of cards to Operation Write Home. Making the cards isn't a problem. Sending out the box out is.
  7. Go to the gym once a week. This may not sound like a lot (and it isn't), but my gym is by the office and I only go after work. I'm already behind this year since I didn't go this week (I'm still on vacaton) and I most likely won't go next week (health reasons).
  8. Keep my average weight below XXX and hit the "magic number" at least once. Again, I'm off to a bad start since I can't exercise for at least another week, but hopefully, I can do some good before the end of the month. And I know that strength, endurance, and loss of inches/fat is a better measurement of health, but stepping on the scale is an easier way for me to track progress.
  9. Take a one-week vacation away from home. Somehow, vacations have fallen by the wayside. Even long weekend away don't happen very often. I have many weeks of vacation saved up and I earn many more each year. I actually had to create a spreadsheet to make sure I took enough vacation time (we stop accruing if our vacation bank reaches a threshold).
  10. Have a dinner party/crop/event at the house. Again, that involves cleaning/tossing/making room.
  11.  Make enough room in the garage to fit a new car. We never replaced my car after it was totaled and we've slowly filled the empty space with stuff. Much of it came from Mr. Fix-it's dad's house after he passed away, but I think it is time to reclaim the space.
  12. Attend a crop. I miss it sooooo much and the place I used to go for overnight crops is being sold. There are a couple of local peeps who hosts overnight crops so I may attend one of those. Anyone want to join me?
  13. Make at least six scrapbook pages for my in-laws. I give them pages every year for Christmas. I've been slacking on the pages (only two pages last year) so there's lots to catch up on.
  14. Make at least $500 in extra money from garage sales, Craigslist, Swagbucks, Ebates, or whatever else I can think of. This is quite the stretch goal. Less clutter, more room, more (vacation) money. A win-win-win!
Basically, I challenging myself to clean up the 20 years of crap that has accumulated in the house/garage. Posts specific to these goals will be labeled with "2014," in case you want to check up on me. Wish me luck! Any tips are welcomed.

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