WELCOME!

This blog is dedicated to stamping, tips, musings, and whatever I want to post.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

WOW!


http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/torn-review

I just finished this book a few minutes ago. One of the most powerful, insightful books I have ever read. One paragraph that describes this book so succinctly is:

"I found it impossible to return to my former way of thinking. It was like the famous illustration that appears to be an old woman when viewed one way and a young woman when viewed another way. At first, you may see only one image, but once you've seen the other one, you can't go back and unsee it. Try as I might I could never go back."

One of the most powerful, insightful books I have ever read. It applies to everyone, even though there is a theme to the topic. This man's story and unrelenting journey helped me articulate my feelings on spiritual issues in a way they I never could begin to explain.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Things I Wish I Had Bought More Of

1-I have some wooly feeling socks that are not wool. They are the warmest coziest socks to wear to bed. They are also not at all tight on the tops. I have 3 pair (although one pair has some holes now) and have never found anything close. I wish I had bought 7 or 8 pair. I wear them to bed every night all winter long.

2-My Christmas dishes. I have 12 sets and wish I had bought 16. Same goes for napkins, napkin rings, and place mats. They are impossible to find and Replacements, Inc. says they have not had one in a couple of years. They go for such high prices on ebay ($80 for a single plate now). I bought them at 70% off (they were regularly $10 a plate and I got them for $3)  years back and never saw them anywhere again.

3-A set of pretty glass coasters. I am down to 4.

4-2 more pair of my favorite PJ's. I have 2 sets and wish I had 2-3 more. The tops and bottoms are interchangeable. They are warm, but not too warm. And they look pretty decent if you get caught wearing them at 11AM.

5-My favorite hair color is no longer sold. I have bought up all that I have found, but am down to the last 5.

6-An oversized bag that matches my winter coat. Wish I had 2 of them.

7-Mat strips for my favorite paper cutter. They are no longer made.

8-More Cranicot juice. Loved that stuff and they suddenly quit making it. I wish I had had a stock on hand. Same goes for the sparkling mango bottled beverage that Costco carried for one season.

9-Some Pottery Barn ornaments I got a few years back. Should have bought a dozen.

10-Some reading glasses that are super light that they don't make any more.

Sleigh Ride!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gifts


Monday, December 9, 2013

My Tree Topper

I wanted something different for my tree topper this year. Since I have a snow theme, I thought Frosty's hat would be appropriate. I finally found the right one for just a few dollars at JoAnn today.





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Best Holiday De-Stress Advice

I came from a family where holidays were a big deal, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have wonderful, wonderful childhood memories from my dad playing Santa for local businesses, to Christmas caroling many nights in Dec., and yes, I even loved the fruitcake the Jaycees sold. I have 2 sisters and no brothers and we loved to decorate, oooh and ahhh over ornaments, listen to Gene Autry Christmas albums, and bake candy cane cookies. We really did it all.

I wanted my kids to have the same. My husband came from a family where Christmas was not much more than a special meal. Grandma put a string of lights around the window but that was about it, not even a tree.

So, I made more and more of Christmas each year, until----until I went back to work full time and was doing Christmas for my students and for my own kids at home. I actually had 21 must-have items on the Dec. baking list. I decorated every room, yep, even the bathroom. The kids had mini-trees in their rooms. We read a Christmas book each night. The kids saw Santa at several places each year. We went to the Y and did gingerbread houses and later had friends over and did them annually at our house. I painted and carved and crafted Christmas decor.

Then I went back to work full time at a juvenile detention center, where Christmas is full of emotion---not always good. After 16 years I can vouch for one pattern that occurs in a residential place for troubled teens and that pattern is that they both love and hate Christmas. Christmas in many of their homes is a time of stress, lack of money, domestic violence, heat being turned off. On the other hand, being in "jail" over Christmas can be pretty distressing too. They want Christmas and we do it, tree and music and all. For some it is wonderful and they refer to it as their "traditions" because they have none at home and for others it can bring dealing with the fact that their home isn't what they see on Hallmark Christmas Specials.

I found myself being stretched too thin and decided I needed to cut back at home. My boys were 10 and 14 when I went back to work full time in January 1998. By November I knew I had to make some changes. I just could not keep up all the traditions and activities that I had worked so hard on when I was a SAHM.  So, I sat down with the family and suggested we decide what was most important. What a shock to find that some things that I put the very most time and effort into, were not the things they said were most important. In fact, the whole talk was very eye opening. I learned that candy cane cookies, fudge, and date rolls were the only must haves. We loved our gingerbread house night and kept that up until my boys were through college (yes, even their HS and college friends still wanted to do that each year at our house). Turns out that outside of a tree and some outdoor lights, they really didn't care much about swags, garlands, and candles in the bathroom :)  It also turned out that they wanted to scale down the gift giving, which in our family was never huge to begin with. They weren't that interested in the Christmas parade and I had had no idea about that. Once we found out what each person "needed" for it to feel like Christmas, I found that probably 2/3 of what I had been doing could either be scrapped or only done every few years.

I also kept things that I really enjoyed. I hand make about 100-120 cards each year and love addressing and sending them. I love the vintage Christmas and craft sales in the area and I hit as many of those as I can. Some years I see or am in the Christmas parade and other years I let it go. I really enjoy doing much of my shopping online as long as I get one fun shopping Christmas day in Tri-Cities around the end of November just because I love seeing all the glitter and sparkle.

Also, this year we are starting a new tradition--a holiday dinner for the whole family and extended family that is not on Christmas or Christmas eve. It was just too hard with the kids grown up and many new families joined with ours to work around those days. I am just as happy with a family dinner the weekend before.  Christmas Eve at our house is now just our immediate family and maybe driving around to look at lights after a light supper.

I find that I enjoy Christmas more, have more energy to get through the holidays with my students and their emotional needs, and my sons told me a few years ago that they liked it the way we do it now. If I add something in, it is only because it is something I really love to do and makes my holiday better. Yes, I still overdecorate a bit, but I don't feel like I have to. I take things out one at a time and some years it is mainly just the tree and outdoor lights and some years I cover the place with decorations simply because I am in the mood to do it and enjoy it.

I wonder how many mothers are doing things they feel they have to? You might ask your family if it all really matters to them. It will change over the years. My boys outgrew the Santa visits by the time they were 10 or so. Gift giving really changed once they became teens. They no longer wanted stockings by the time they were mid-teens. They never wanted anything to do with caroling (probably because my singing voice ruins it for everyone). Anyway, consider making your holidays more joyful and more relaxing.

Winter Sparkle


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Snow Globe


Friday, November 15, 2013

Make a Wish!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Papertrey Customer "Service" Continues to be a Mess--Buy at your own risk.

http://rachelpcrafts.blogspot.com/2013/11/papertrey-ink-company-with-wonderful.html

Looks like Papertrey hasn't changed a bit. Be sure to read to the problem and see the owner's response to this woman.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Refuse to Accept

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Things I Will Save Money On

1-I do my own manicures and pedicures.

2-I color my own hair (not only to save money, but so I can do it when I want).

3-Jewelry. I have no desire to have expensive items that I would feel horrible losing.

4-Sunglasses. I only wear them in the car and have to cut the bow off one side halfway to allow for my hearing implant.

5-Purses. I can always find ones I like that are not hundreds of dollars.

6-I don't drink coffee, have a cell phone, have cable TV. None of it matters to me.

7-I have no problem driving an older car as long as it is reliable. It is just transportation to me.

8-Home decorating things. I am fine with Real Deals, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and home made decor.

9-Fancy landscaping. If I were a rich woman I would hire it done, but it doesn't matter enough to me to make the effort or spend the money.

10-Caller ID. Would rather spend the $14 a month on something else.

11-Most of my makeup comes from Walmart.

12-Eating out. I am fine with mid-range places like Applebee's, Olive Garden, etc. I find expensive food doesn't taste that much better and you have nothing to show for it after.

13-I am usually good with generic cleaning products.

14-Exfoliant. I find good old baking soda to work better than anything I have ever tried.

15-Massages. I have never had one that did not hurt and am not fond of the gooey lotions/oils.

Things That I Think Are Worth Buying Top of the Line

1-Love my Mint Floor cleaner that dust mops and mops (see previous review). I paid $140 for the white model and it is worth 3 times that.

2-Really good quality sheets. I buy the top end of Land's End.

3-Really good quality towels. They last so  much longer. I also buy these at Land's End.

4-Nice toilet paper. In the last few years I have found this luxury is worth it.

5-Great smelling liquid hand soap. I love Caldrea Mandarin Vetiver and buy it on Amazon in the quart size.

6-A farmhouse size kitchen sink. It is so great for hiding dishes, washing huge items, etc.

7-A really good neck pillow. Got mine at Costco.

8-Sofas. They stay comfortable.

9-Excellent mattress in King size. I need the comfort.

10-A really warm, good quality robe for winter.

11-Comfortable shoes are worth the cost.

12-A Garmin. Makes me feel safe to know where I am in a big city.

13-Sharp kitchen knives.

14-Teeth whitening kit from the dentist. I found the over the counter ones to work slowly and to cause tooth pain.

15-Best dentist, eye dr. and physicians for the situation. We go to Seattle to U of WA Medical Center for my ears and to Virginia Mason for Jon's Parkinson's. Well worth the money and the travel to get cutting edge care and experienced drs.

16-A good office chair lasts longer, looks better, and feels good on your back.

17-A Mac computer.

18-Kindle Fire for my books. I love having it with me all the time. It has taken the pain out of waiting at appts., etc.

19-Tweezerman tweezers.

20-Good hairspray, mousse, etc. as well as a good haircut (I really think you get what you pay for).

Scrap and Marker Storage

Purchased online at Target. Well worth the money I paid for it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ink Pad Comparison

http://teriberi2.blogspot.com/

I saw this blog linked on a discussion forum about Papertrey and thought the comparison was good. I have never tried the new SU pads as my preference is Fresh Ink from Impress and I don't want to start another whole collection, but if I had not had good access to Fresh Ink, I think I would be trying her first choice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In my juvenile detention center classroom---

The results of an experiment in my class yesterday:

I had paired 2 boys to work together on a project and had forgotten that they cannot stand to be near each other. I already had everyone else paired and working and decided I wanted them to try. I told them it was a social skill to work with someone you don't like, in a respectful way. No one has to like anyone, but I wanted to see behavior that made it look like friends working together. No one in the class thought it was going to work, but I offered a group reward to the whole group if they were encouraging and if the 2 agreed (they could opt out). They decided to give it a try. By the end of the period they had not only been productive, but seemed to be enjoying themselves. 
Today I jokingly referred to them as each others BFF (best friends forever) and it made them giggle every time I said it. Then I asked them to write about the experience and this is what they wrote:

Boy #1: To be friends with him yesterday made me feel weary at first. But after we got going it just got cooler and cooler. I think Mrs. C wants us to be friends or to work together again without having problems. Anyway, I think we might have started a friendship. I learned that he is actually a cool kid, although he still has his moments.He is smart and knows stuff about things I did not know and we did good schoolwork because of it. He knows ways to figure things you. I learned that even though you don't like a person, you can stick it out and maybe even good will happen. I feel he is pretty cool now and I have more respect for him. He respects me and he even talked to me today and Mrs. C didn't get us in trouble for whispering in class.

Boy #2: Well, it was very weird, but she is crazy and she said that when we started that she might be crazy but we were going to try this. No, really it was fun and business and we figured out how to get along. I feel like we could maybe be friends but anyway getting along is good too.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ever Lose Your Car in a Big Parking Lot?

I read a hint this morning to use your phone camera to take a picture of where you parked your car. Great idea if you have a cell phone.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Click to Enlarge to see the Wink of Stella


Wink of Stella Brush Glitter Review

This new product gets 5 stars from me. Finally, a way to get a good shimmer without a marker that dries out. This stuff comes in a tube, very much like a water brush and gives the most glorious shimmer. It is not very wet so goes on flat and does not warp the paper. This is a stunning shimmer, not a glitter. It is sold out everywhere that I  have looked, except for Impress Rubber Stamps. I have only tried the clear, but they tell me the colors are equally wonderful. Last year I bought 6 Spica clear pens and they all dried up in about 9 months. Ugh. This method of delivery promises a way to keep our sparkle fresh!

An example of this product is shown on the card in the post just above this post.

Snowy Fun


Peace On Earth


Getting Some Easy Cards Done


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall Owl

Leaves from Lawn Fawn. Owl done with Cameo.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mint Braava 4200 Floor Cleaner Review

This little floor cleaner exceeded my expectations. I bought one that had been returned to Amazon but was still in original packaging and had not been used. I paid $140 for it instead of the regular $200 retail, with the understanding that it still has warranty and could be returned if there was anything wrong. I have used it for 3 full battery cycles and have not had a single problem. If you want to get one, it is a good idea to read the Amazon reviews to know what it will and will not do. I agreed with the mostly 4 and 5 star reviews.

What does it do? It is an electronic dust mop, not a vacuum, which I consider a plus as the vacuum type models are noted for damaging floors. Also, a big plus is that it is completely silent except for when it lightly bumps a piece of furniture. It uses either the cloths that come with it that are machine washable or disposable Swiffer wipes that you can buy anywhere. It will also use microfiber cloths that I purchased at Bed and Bath, 10 for $7.99. They are a little large but can be folded under so the don't interfere with the center sensing track. It cleans edges and corners well as long as the corner is not too small. It goes under items very well and I love how it cleans under our king size bed. The GPS tracks very well and it has not missed a spot except where the area was too small for it to get into.

Additionally, the best surprise is how well the mopping feature works. Seriously, it does as good a job as when I do a damp mop. I doubt it would clean up really dirty or sticky areas well, but it did clean spots and left both the laminate in my kitchen and the tile in my bathroom just sparkling. It is perfect for laminate as you decide how wet you want the cloth. You can also buy a water dispenser for mopping that clips into it, but unless I had really sticky floors with little kids I doubt the average person needs that.

The advice is to clean your floors really well, which I did on Tuesday. Then you run it 2-4 times a week just to keep the floors clean.  I can see this saving me many hours of cleaning and making the deep clean easier when I do have time to deep clean.

It goes around area rugs just fine.

It is my preference to do one room at a time and then reset it, so I can change the cloth. If you have it do  the whole house (if your GPS cube will cover your house--mine doesn't), if you try to change the cloth it resets. Doing one room at a time makes sense for me, but others prefer to do it the other way. All you have to do is close the door or block the entry with a piece of wood or something simple.

It senses stairs, but just to be safe, they suggest a block on the stairs. It made me nervous around the stairway without a block as it looked like it went to far to be safe. It did not fall, but I don't want to risk it.

It left no spots or streaks.

Another tip is to use a light spray mist of cleaning product (I just use vinegar and water in a bottle) and prespray any area that is really dirty and/or spray lightly around the room as the cloth will get dryish toward the end of the cycle. It did my entire bathroom and kitchen before it got dryish, which is fine for me.

I give this machine 5 stars!

Pros-
Cleans well
Is silent
Easy to use
Excellent tracking
Goes under most furniture
Gets dust bunnies and pet hair superbly
I think the price is a real deal for what it does
It takes 16 hours to charge the first time and then about 8 after that
It is just perfect for floor maintenance.
It doesn't scare the dog at all.
It needs NO cleaning products at all. Water does the trick.
Quite easy to learn to use.

Cons-
It can get stuck under something but rarely (it does notify you that it is stuck)
Your GPS cube needs to be put up on a table and you need to make sure nothing
like a cupboard is above it to block the signal which bounces off the ceiling.
It won't pick up big things like chunks of paper
You do need to pick up everything off the floor or it will go around it
The sweeping cycle will go 3 hours and the mopping will go 2 before you need to charge it (not
really a con for me but some people buy 2 machines so they can do the whole house at once.
It won't deep clean a sticky mess

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BEST Eyeliner Tip Ever!

I read on Pinterest, of course, a tip for eyeliner that stays put. Use an old tiny eyeliner brush that you have washed (I ran mine through the dishwasher) and brush it over your mascara brush. I tried this yesterday and it stays put all day with no smudging and no wearing off. Additionally, you can get a really good tightline (also known as invisible lining).  I have tried liquids, pencils, and gels and each has a downside. This seems to be the trick for me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Amazing or Ordinary?

How would I explain my day to a person living 100 years ago? The following would make no sense and amazes me when I stop to think.

Today I got up and drove in for an MRI. When I got there I had to remove my hearing implant, called a BAHA. On the way home I stopped for contact lens supplies. I was glad I had downloaded books to my Kindle from Amazon so I had books to read while I waited for the MRI. When I got home, I needed a few things so I ordered items online with PRIME and they will be in my hands, from across the US, in 2 days. One of the items I ordered a couple of days ago was an electronic item that cleans my floors. Then after a nice lunch from the microwave, I spent some time updating my blog and using my Cameo (electronic cutting machine) by downloading cut files on my computer after spending sometime online in a chat room getting some information. I ran into a problem so I contacted Cameo tech support by email and within minutes they had solved my problem.Then I decided to watch Netflix through the Wii system my sons set up and found myself crying over episode 10 of "Lockdown". When I stop to think about my "ordinary" day, it amazes me.

My Daughter's Homework is Killing Me

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/my-daughters-homework-is-killing-me/309514/2/

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Having Fun With Giant Clothespins


Card I Made for My Niece's Wedding Shower


The Reasons this Teacher of 37 years Does NOT Believe in Homework

1-Research shows that homework does not increase learning.

2-Much homework is either busywork or test driven.

3-If a child is getting a good education during the day at school they will be too tired to do more school in the evening.

4-Children need time to play, relax, for music, art, and just plain daydreaming. It is crucial to development.

5-Families should not have to give up their family time. Some kids do scouting, church activities, or sports and the pressure of homework should not be added.

6-For some children with learning disabilities, school is a real strain. What the teacher thinks is 30 minutes of additional homework can take these kids another 1-2 hours.

7-Diminishing returns. Children can only learn so much. Research shows that if you push them into the later day that their brain starts dumping learning from earlier in the day.

8-Homework should not be new learning. This is the teacher's job, not the parent's job.

9-Many kids don't need the added stress of more drill.

10-Homework can definitely impact how a child feels about learning. When one of my children had excessive homework, he no longer had time to read for pleasure, which distressed him greatly. My other child hated to read because it felt like more homework. It made both my kids hate school for different reasons specifically the years that they were overloaded with homework.

11-If a child gets sick it is hard enough to make up what they missed in school, not to mention all that homework. I have seen kids who are still recovering with pale faces and dark circles around their eyes sit and cry trying to catch up the homework they missed when out very sick for a week to begin with.

12-Did I mention, homework DOES NOT INCREASE LEARNING.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim

 I just finished this today. Really good book, full of excellent tips. It is not a diet, but rather a way to change your relationship with food. The authors are from the UK and a number of things were a little sketchy due to their terminology. Crisps, chips, crackers, all seem to be different things. Fries, potatoes, crisps, chips, jackets all seem to be different things. The use of the word "ringing" toward the end really flummoxed me. But, the book was quite useful and well worth the $2.99. Some of the snack ideas are really great. I did not try the oil part of the diet as it just seemed to strange to me, but I have to say I am intrigued with the idea, if I could get up my courage.

Teachers are NOT paid for summers off--

Putting this myth to rest for my readers. Teachers are paid by the day. If you work 180 days, you get paid 180 days. The summer is forced unpaid leave. The same goes for spring break, Christmas break, and so on. A teacher is only paid for the actual number of days she teaches. Yes, some are paid monthly throughout the year, but they are simply getting paid in August for work they did the spring before. It is divided up into 12 payments for the 9 months work.   When you understand that the average teacher works as many hours PER YEAR as any other salaried worker, you need to understand that it is because teachers work an average of 2-4 hours AFTER their work day, every day and an average of 6 hours on the weekend (but many work more). They then have training and preparation in the summer on their own time. It is has become disheartening, over 36 years in this career, that I read so very many things that are demeaning to teachers. It used to be a respected profession.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Enjoy the Ride!

All stamps are from Kitchen Sink and the dies are My Favorite Things.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Great Snack

I have been trying to eat healthier. I have found that if you slice a banana and put the slices flat on a plate and freeze it, that they make a great sweet snack. Also, the slices don't turn brown!

I have also started adding a couple of dozen almonds to my morning cereal. It adds lots of protein to breakfast and I can go to lunch without feeling hungry. Almonds are supposed to be one of the best appetite suppressants IF you eat 2 dozen at a time. They also contain healthy fat that people need in their diet.

Trying to see if I can post pictures

Rumor has it that you no longer have to pay a fee for too many photos on your blog, so this is a test.
Well, what do you know! I guess I will start posting cards here again!

Huge Lot of A Muse Pads for Sale

I bought all the A Muse pads in a lot.. They are all new or have only been used a couple of times. I opened a few just to try the colors. I am keeping a good many, but want to try to sell the rest as a lot as they are in perfect condition. I already had some and wanted just to fill in my color selection. The 24 colors will go for $75 as a lot with $14.50 shipping. The colors are: cherry, cocoa, blush, pistachio, burano, amethyst, bermuda, nutmeg, ocean, papaya, grass, grapefruit, fern, lichen, blueberry, eucalyptus, apricot, onyx,orange, grape, lemon whip, lime,sage, and rialto. Email me if interested. If they don't sell as a lot, I will, later in the week, let them go individually for $4 each plus shipping. Insurance optional. I will send them flat rate priority. rubyslippers@neofast.net

Friday, September 13, 2013

Halloween Votive Holder

I made this last night with my Cameo. Will be making several more and using battery operated candles in them. Click on title of this post to go to the photo.

SU Magnetic Platform--Worth it?

Absolutely worth every penny I spent on it. This is something long overdue. I cut 8 small dies on 8 different pieces of paper, all on the same pass through last night and not a one moved a bit. I am amazed at how strong the magnet is, even with the cutting plate over the top and card stock on the plate.

The following are items I consider basic to stamping (and this item now joins those):

Rotary Cutting Board (I use one of the newer Carl's ones)
Fiskars small trimming scissors
Big Shot with Magnetic Platform
ATG dispenser
Fresh Ink from Impress
The Absorber (to clean stamps)
Xyrons in various sizes
Fun Foam with a layer of oven liner over it to stamp on
A large collection of acrylic blocks
Basic Copic collection
MS Score Board
Gina K Pure Luxury Layering Weight Cardstock
Georgia Pacific (walmart) Cardstock
Bone folders



Other items I really think are worth the money:

Silhouette Cameo and Designer Edition Software
Judikins Dusters
Large Sponge Daubers
Glue Dots
Monoaqua
Foam Mounting Tape
Stickles
Wink of Stella Brush
Zutter Corner Punch


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Silhouette Cameo Creations

Learning to use this machine is fun!  Click on the title of this post to see photo!

FS PTI Turning A New Leaf Dies

$11 plus $3 shipping. Email me at rubyslippers@neofast.net. Insurance extra and optional. Paypal and US orders only.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Great Story, --so well worth the minute to read it


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same
hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an
hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from
his lungs.

His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on
his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their
homes, their jobs, their involvement in the
military service, where they had been on
vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by
describing to his roommate all the things he could
see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those
one hour periods where his world would be
broadened and enlivened by all the activity and
colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.Ducks and swans played on the water while
children sailed their model boats. Young lovers
walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour
and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen
in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in
exquisite details, the man on the other side of
the room would close his eyes and imagine this
picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window
described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band -
he could see it in his mind's eye as the
gentleman by the window portrayed it with
descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
water for their baths only to find the lifeless body
of the man by the window, who had died
peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital
attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man
asked if he could be moved next to the window.
The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left
him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one
elbow to take his first look at the real world
outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window
besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have
compelled his deceased roommate who had
described such wonderful things outside this
window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and
could not even see the wall.

She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage
you.'

Epilogue:
There is tremendous happiness in making others
happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness
when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things
you have that money can't buy.

Silhouette Part 2

I spent a good part of the weekend learning to use the Designer Studio Software with my Cameo. It was well worth the effort. I am now importing SVGs with ease and cutting, resizing, etc. with good results almost every time. It is becoming more intuitive.  I am going to be more likely to take on more complicated things because the machine does a lot of the work that I used to avoid. I am impressed that it has consistency that the other machines lacked. It is much, much more precise.

I am finding out that Papertrey cardstock (and I have a ton) doesn't cut as easily as SU or other brands. If the item is intricate I cut the PTI card twice. I love the accuracy of cutting twice unlike previous machines I used.

Pinterest gave some hints to give my mats new life by washing an overused one and then using repositional glue to make it sticky again. If you do this, be sure to allow it to set 24 hours and use scrap paper on it the first 2 times you use it to make sure it is not too sticky. I like to use several mats when cutting so I can get the next one pre-loaded and keep my assembly line going.

In the previous post I did not mention the Silhouette Online store and have to say that they have great things at good prices when you are looking for files.  That $10 download store card that you get with the machine is great. The first few days I wanted the ease of buying and having it automatically show up in my library. I expected that importing would be complicated, but fortunately once you have done it it is quite simple.

Once I find a good place to store my photos, I will start linking pictures of what I make.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Favorite Cutting File Sites (so far)

http://birdscards.com

http://quietfiredesign.ca

http://misskatecuttables.com

SU Sticker Request

If you don't use the clear slick stickers that come with your SU stamps, would you consider sending them to me, please? My students enjoy using them in their own card making. Email me at rubyslippers@neofast.net. I will happily pay postage.

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Favorite Treat

If you love lemon meringue pie, try the Dairy Queen Lemon Meringue Pie Blizzard. It is now in my top 3. My other favorites are the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard and the Choco Cherry Blizzard.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Non-Stamping Money Saving Tip

I love really good quality exfoliating products and was willing to shell out dollars to get a very fine abrasive for my face. I learned the hard way that the cheap stuff, made with fruit pits can cause skin problems. The shards of pits can be sharp and can invade a pore that is open and can take literally years to work it's way out. My dermatologist figured out what was going on and said it was not uncommon.  I was paying about $25 for a bottle of nice exfoliator when I read in a magazine that Queen Latifah said her dermatologist confirmed what her grandma told her--that baking soda is the best exfoliator out there. I keep a plastic jar of it in my shower, sealed tight, and with a couple of silica gel packets (like come with medicines to absorb moisture) tossed in. Use about 2 t. on your wet hand in the shower and lightly rub your face and upper neck with it. If your skin is very sensitive, don't rub hard until you find out how much you can take as it is a fine but concentrated exfoliator. I have found it does 2-3 times better job than my expensive stuff. I like what it does for my legs and feet, too.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pros/Cons (so far) with my Silhouette Cameo

Pros:

Not a huge footprint. Even though I got the bigger one it is only 6 1/4" wide so it sits right on the edge of the right side of my computer desk.

Not nearly as noisy as previous machines.

Good grids and rulers for positioning. I find it much easier than anything I have had.

Definitely cuts smoother.

*Probably my favorite thing is that I can make cuts of all my dies in black, scan them, and load them in the computer.  AND---I won't be buying plain outline dies anymore. I will still want some of the more intricate ones (see below)

My second favorite thing is that you can make a cutting file for any stamp you own and you get to choose if you want it the size of the stamp or bigger.

You can put everything on disc so you never lose it. I have not done this yet (fingers crossed).

Much easier to replace blades. No adjusting necessary, just pop it in.

Price--if you can get it on sale. I feel it will soon be paid for since I am selling dies and will be buying fewer dies.

It has made some of my old stamps feel new again!

Good tech support for all your questions and they answer them quickly.

Easy to dust. It is smooth without little places to collect dust.



Cons:

There is a learning curve.

Initially learning where to store things on the computer was annoying to me.

You will find some download purchases a real deal and others not so much.

I think the Designer Software should have come with it from the beginning.

Intricate dies like doilies are harder to get to look nice and cut completely. They also cut very slowly.

For me, the original eraser feature wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I have not tried the Designer Edition one yet, but I hear it is better.

There is a more extensive manual you can download, but it is much easier to watch lots of You Tube tutorials. Sometimes it is hard to find an answer to something but I have found tech support to be just excellent and fast.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Silhouette Part 1


So, I decided to take the plunge again. I have owned a Cricut and a Slice in the past. They worked alright for the technology available at the time. I have been thinking about a Silhouette for a couple of years, but truly was afraid it would be too complicated for me. When it went 30% off for a day this summer at a site I use, I decided to take the plunge. I knew I had 2 weeks of vacation coming and committed to an hour total per day of trying to learn to use it, if only in 5 minute increments to save my sanity.

I will have to say, it turned out better than I thought. I was able to make more progress in 30 minutes than I expected to make in several hours. By the third or fourth day I was using basic functions fairly well, but still having a bit of trouble remembering the order of the commands (still do now and then).

By the time I had had the machine a month, I realized that I was going to need the Designer Studio Software and when it went on sale at Overstock.com, I purchased it. Warning here--it took over 2 weeks to arrive and I just got it yesterday. I am just beginning to learn it. The reason I got it was because I see so many cute SVG files for sale or free that I knew I wanted to add the option to download those too.

The files from Silhouette are about 99 cents each, extremely easy to download and use and store, and best of all you can resize anything!

Tomorrow I am going to post the pros and cons that I see so far.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I am Bringing this Blog Back to Life!!

Even though I have run out of space for pictures, I figure I can link pictures when I need to. This blog is now going to be my multipurpose blog, although bitsofseaglass.blogspot.com will still be up and running, also.

This blog will now be for stamping, stamping tips, all kinds of tips, musings, and ideas. I don't keep a journal, so this will be it. I am even going to open comments back up after years of having them closed.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

PTI Favor It Die #1 for Sale

Favor-It Die #1 for Sale $14 plus $3.50 shipping. EMAIL me at rubyslippers@neofast.net Paypal preferred. This die is like new. Insurance optional. I will ship immediately after receiving payment.

Lifestyle Die Sets FOR SALE



: All are Lifestyle QuicKuts Sets. $2.00 shipping first set, .50 per set after that.
: Drawer Box-set of 4 for $16 (retails for $29.99)
: Milk Carton-set of 3 for $19 (retails for 39.95)
: Library Box- set of 2 $10 (retails for $19.99)
: Valentine Matchbook-set of 4 $11 (retails for $19.99)
: Bakery Box main single die-$18 (set retails for $35, but I got it for $28 because it did not have the labels) THIS ONE IS SOLD.
: Insurance optional and extra. Email me. I prefer Paypal unless I know you.
rubyslippers@neofast.net

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Very Cool Backgrounds!

http://notablenest.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-promise-to-save-you-16.html

Saturday, February 9, 2013

PTI has run out of chances with me---

After an interaction with Nichole today, I have to say that in my opinion integrity is still missing from PTI. I had promised an update and here is it.  As always, I think the products except for the ink are of good quality. The way the customers are treated, in my opinion, has not improved.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Egg Die

rubyslippers@neofast.net for questions or supply list

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pastel Quilt


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Frosty Quilt


Sunday, January 20, 2013

3 more pre-scheduled posts to go over the next week and a half and then I will just let this blog go. If I ever find another place to start a free blog that is not a lot of work, I will post the link here. Thanks to all my readers who have been here (some for years) encouraging me to create.

I have used up all the space that Blogger allows and would not mind paying for more, but they want to bill monthly and keep my credit card on file, and I am not into that system. Burned once too often.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snowy Postcard


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Quilted


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chocolate!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Snowy Mitten


Friday, January 4, 2013

Toasty


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nordic Mittens