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Where Did The Day Go?

I woke up this morning, and before I knew it, it’s almost time to go to bed.

Where did the day go?

I was actually quite productive, and that’s probably why it flew by!

I started the day trying to decide between what I NEEDED to do – work on my cards for National Letter writing Month, and what I WANTED to do – work on my beading.

Well, I was a responsible girl and worked on my cards.

Over the last week I have been working on the components – making tags, cutting backgrounds, popping out circles. Today I finished the prep work.

And since I was on a roll, I decide to start constructing them. I really, really, really want to show you the finished card (I’m kinda impressed with myself!) but we’re not supposed to show the finished work until they are received by the participants.

I got 50 of my 75 cards completed (only because I ran out of base cards) and was STILL on a roll, so I started the envelopes as well, and completed 50 of them. With those, I got a little cray cray. I wasn’t coming up with a group of three shapes I liked ready-made, so I actually drew out a little starfish, and hand cut 75 of the little suckers out. Heeheehee!

 

I spent hours and hours working on them, barely coming up to breathe or eat (but I DID get my 10K steps in!) and I guess that’s why the day disappeared so fast!

Tomorrow I’ll go across island (again!) and pick up the last 25 bases I need to continue, so until then, I may be able to get a little beading done (before I forget how to do it!)

 

I’m Still Alive!

…Although to check in on the blog, you’d have to wonder!

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, or haven’t “done” anything, but more like just not taking the time to sit down and document it. Life getting in the way of the blog, so to speak. THAT makes me laugh!

So, I guess this post is presented to “get you caught up” on the craziness that is my life! If nothing else, it’ll help you appreciate yours!

We arrived home from the Chile/Antarctica trip just in time to get the Christmas decorations up. My daughter and DIL put the tree up for me and got the lights on it. They would have decorated it themselves, but it HAS to be done a certain way, and I wasn’t about to make them responsible for that (or let them be?) Heeheehee! I actually got it all completed by Christmas Eve, in time for our every year celebration at our house.

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I’d promised Mr. Tattered that I would get my pitiful garden ripped out and prepare for starting over after the holidays, and before I knew it, the new year was here. I watched the kids during the week, and worked on the garden on the weekends.

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I had every intention of getting back in the swing of blogging, but there kept being issue after issue – nothing creative going on, having problems with my photo editing program, busy, busy, busy.

Plus, I needed to get the Christmas decor down and put away, and that is a task I dread. It seemed like the decorations multiplied every time I turned the lights out. I finally got it all down, but truth be told, there are still some boxes in the bedroom that need to go up in the rafters!

Somewhere in there was a trip to Las Vegas to do the paperwork for our “global entry” cards – useful in getting back into the country after being overseas.

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And, no. We did NOT stay at Trump Towers, but it was the first thing I saw from our hotel room.

Then there was a birthday cake to make for Lexi’s birthday,

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a little day trip to Daffodil Hill,

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and getting my cards ready for National Letter Writing Month. I couldn’t fully participate this year because I wasn’t going to be home to receive mail so I could answer it, but the admins let me have the addresses for all the 40+ “madness” players so I could at least mail them each a card!

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The more time that went by, the harder it was to get back into the blog. Then came spring, and with it our BIG vacation, which took us out of town for over 6 weeks – a few days in Barcelona, 3 weeks cruising the Mediterranean, and 3 weeks in the UK.  And now it’s nearly June!

Well, it’s now or never – I either get my act together, or I quit blogging. At this moment I don’t know which will win.

We’ve been home for a few days, and we’ve emptied the suitcases into piles on the living room floor, putting away a few things each day. I’m back to watching the kids, and it’s slow going with getting things shaped up. I had big plans for accomplishing a LOT over the three day weekend, but we’ve watched t.v. caught upon mail, gone grocery shopping, and to a family birthday party instead. One day left. I REALLY need to make a dent.

I have lots of material for blogs – I took a ton of photos, and plan to do an abbreviated overview of the trip. I sort of thought I’d be able to get it started while we were gone, but unlike most cruises where we’ve had sea days, this one was wall to wall outings every single day of the cruise, then 3 weeks running around every day in the UK. The blog just took a back seat. Poor thing. I think I nearly killed Mr. Tattered. He is REALLY glad to get home and be able to rest.

So.

Here we are.

Are you up for hanging out with me while I get back into the swing of things?

 

 

Postcards (creativity to the rescue!)

One of the good parts about being an artsy fartsy kinda person, is that when you need something you can’t find, you can just whip it up yourself!

Case in point.

For my letter-writing group (for National Letter Writing Month) I wanted to send those in the “mad letter writers” (a sub-group who want to send a lot of mail, not just a few things to one pen pal) a post card from Folsom. Who knew they’d be so hard to find? I found a few, but I needed 46, and most of them were kinda boring.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, make her own, of course!

I went down to the American River, one of the prettiest spots in Folsom and took a few photos. Amazingly, even in the middle of the day, my patience was rewarded with a shot with no cars on the bridge. I was so excited!

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I tried printing the photos on heavy watercolor paper, but it was too thick. Plan B – print on regular paper and glue the photos onto the heavy paper.

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I fancied up the back like a real postcard using my signature border (I use it a lot!)

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Then my “post card” needed some embellishing…what to do, what to do?

I experimented with a few things, but nothing looked as good on the card as it did in my mind. I ended up liking just a simple look the best.

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So. Problem solved, using supplies on hand and a little creativity. I’m actually kinda proud of myself. I was determined to send postcards and didn’t let a little thing like not being able to find any I liked stand in my way! Yeah, it was more work, but way worth it to send something I feel good about.

Now to get them written, addressed, and put in the mailbox!

How do you use creativity to solve problems? I’d love to hear your stories!

National Letter Writing month 2015

April is National Letter Writing Month. At a time when so few people rely on snail mail, it’s kinda nice to go to the mail box and find pretty envelopes one month out of the year.

This is my 3rd year to participate in a pen pal mail exchange with a group of ladies, spearheaded by our fearless leader, Lindsay Ostrom.

Some of the things I like best about it are the opportunity to make a bunch of cards that actually go somewhere, using my gelli plate, and doing production work. The downside of no longer selling the things that I make, is that I no longer do much in the way of production work, and I REALLY like it.

Today I whipped out the last 25 cards for round one of mailing (I have a pen pal that I will be sending a minimum of 4 pieces of mail to, plus I’m on the crazy mailers list for people who want to send more mail – there are 46 of us! That’s down from last year when there were about 125 participants, and I sent one note to each. Yikers!) This year Linz decided it was getting unmanageable and limited participation to the first 100 to register and you had to sign up to be on the crazy mailer list!

Anyway, it’s been ages since I’ve had my gelli plate out, so I thought I’d show you my process.

First I laid down a background. I chose ivory, lavender and lime green for the base.

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As soon as I started playing, I knew I was going to be absorbed for hours, which meant even if the weather improved I probably would’t be getting many steps in. So, I set up a station for drying the cards that created a little track so I was walking back and forth, back and forth, taking cards over and moving them back to add each layer. If I’m going to get my 10,000 steps in and still have time to do my art, I’m going to have to do some double duty when I can!

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Anyway. They sure don’t look very impressive with just the base layer!

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The lavender swirls and pink accent helped spruce it up a little, but still kind of “meh.”

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Even the next layer of ink didn’t help a lot.

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A little added pink paint…

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…and a few purple accents and we’re getting there.

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But the ink doodling is what pulls it all together.

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I just LOVE doing these, but I don’t need many cards in my day to day life. So I’m glad every once in awhile a little project like this comes up so I can make a bunch!

Oh, and my steps? The weather did stay wet and cold most of the day, and I ended up doing thousands of steps just walking around in circles in the house. But the steps this morning helped. Yay me!

It’s Like An Affair…

I know…you’re probably going to be getting sick of hearing gelli plate, gelli plate, gelli plate. I can’t help it. It’s all I want to think about, talk about or do. I could mess around with it every waking hour, but alas, life demands that I do other things, so I think about it quietly, and then when a few moments come available, I sneak around and do it. I feel like I’m having an affair!

Tonight I had a good excuse. I needed to get the rest of my questionnaire for my National Letter Writing Month pen pal completed and ready to out in the mail. I’d copied one of my earlier gelli backgrounds onto writing paper, and used it to write my letter. Then there it was, the dreaded plain white envelope! Wasn’t going to let THAT happen, so out came the plate, and I quickly knocked out the base for an envelope.

But it was already set up and it seemed silly to only do one, then clean up, so I scrounged around and found a few more envelopes and did 6.

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If it wasn’t so late I would have done more. But I DO need to think about getting to bed SOME time today (or early tomorrow, maybe?) so I contented myself with 6. After all, I still needed to do the pen work, too.

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So. Now that I’ve mailed all the postcards I committed to myself that I would do, and finished my letter to my pen pal, I have nothing else I HAVE to do for awhile.

I’m sitting here with a box of 24 blank note cards and envelopes and a whole pad of postcard weight watercolor paper just itching to get sloppy with me. I feel an orgy coming on. I’m lucky Mr.Tattered isn’t the jealous type.

The Envelopes Just Needed To Match!

Do you artsy types out there ever have one of those moments when you knock your own socks off? When you make something for someone else and you like it so much you don’t want to give it to the intended recipient?

Yeah. I’m pretty full of myself right now.

You know those cards I made yesterday? The ones I did on the gelli plate then doodled on them?

Well, today I grudgingly filled out the cards with little messages for National Letter Writing Month (I told Mr. Tattered I wanted to keep them all for myself and he said “have you ever thought of marketing these? They are so cool!” – NOT what I wanted to hear, but it DID make me feel good – sorta! – but that’s a whole ‘nuther post!) and went to put them in plain old envelopes and decided they really needed matching envelopes.

So out came the gelli plate again, and I decorated the fronts of the envelopes.

There seriously just are not words to tell you how much fun I’m having with these (Thank you Roben-Marie Smith for the inspiration – the doodling just makes them!)

I don’t know that I’ll ever in my life send out a plain ol’ envelope!

Just in case you missed that post, here’s a look at the cards.

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Then the envelopes “gellied…”

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…and then doodled up.

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Yeah, I see a lot more of this style work in my future! I hope all the ladies that receive them appreciate how hard it was for me to part with them!

 

Life is full of Choices

I just typed “I wish it wasn’t so” and realized immediately that it wasn’t true. Life would be incredibly boring if there were no choices. If everything we did was prescribed in advance with no other options.

What I mean is, I wish we didn’t have to choose “between” things. If there was some way to have it all, and all at the same time!

I am all hot on the garden right now. I have about a dozen things to do out there that I am salivating over.

But, it is also National Letter Writing Month (NLWM) and I am woefully behind on my correspondence with the ladies in my letter-writing group. I have received so many lovely letters and postcards, and I owe each of those ladies a thank you card, plus I need to send my “special penpal” a letter, along with the gal who is hostessing this shebang, and I was really hoping to send a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to each of the 100 ladies participating. Oh my. It would be much easier if I allowed myself to use commercial products, but I feel honor bound to make everything I’m sending. It is an ambitious undertaking, and I KNOW I can do it, but if I’m going to get it all done by the end of the month, I need to be spending some major time in the studio.

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Today I actually made some cool stationery, plus a matching note card and matching envelope. It was SOOO fun! I even got my letter written and ready to mail! Woohoo!

Then I have my monthly commitment to my ATC group to make and send 4 ATCs and an inchie in for our swap (Springtime in Paris is our theme this month!) PLUS supervise the girls with their contributions.

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Whew! I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it!

Then, as if that isn’t enough, I stumbled upon the notes I’ve made for my “happiness project” and am re-invigorated about that.

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And, of course, my life would not be complete without a list of things I DREAD doing. I have been putting them to the back of the list, but I think I need to label them as “green frogs” and eat at least one each day. Ewwww gross! But you’ve heard of the theory whereby you eat a green frog 1st thing every morning, and nothing else in the day can be nearly as bad? Yeah. It’s time to eat green frogs or they are all just going to keep multiplying!

So, I hope you have lots of choices, and that at least SOME of them are fun!

I’ll be over here in the corner nibbling on this frog…

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