Tuesday, January 31, 2012

C.A.S.E.d It!

Rule number One of crafts. Copy And Steal Everything...in the most complementary way possible. Haven't you ever heard the saying "copying is the highest form of complimenting"?

Well, let's just say I got crafty today based upon an idea I saw in my Stampin' Up Idea Book and Catalog.  Page 97.

Now, I have this handy-dandy box that I got as part of the "gift" that came with my favorite Dolce & Gabbana perfume. It's gold and unfortunately says "Dolce & Gabbana" on it. I've been using it to hold my sample cards for the Stampin' Up demonstrations I have.

So, inspired by that idea so thoughtful provided by the lovely creative types at Stampin' Up, I dug out my rubber cement and went to work.

I chose rubber cement because of my college days. It's adhesive, messy, and delightfully tacky. And that sucker holds like whoa. I chose to use some of our Specialty Designer Series paper, and utilized my scoring board and my cutter. Don't forget a ruler!

After I measured the box dimensions, I started slicing and dicing. I measured out 1 1/8" wide strips for the sides on the lid, and made them a little long so they'd wrap around the corners and create a smooth corner. I did the same for the sides of the box, but with 4 1/4" strips.

The front edge of the lid all the way down the back is one continuous piece of paper. I used my bone folder to smooth the paper down and round the corners. Now, the trick with rubber cement is not to stick the pieces together while they are wet, but rather, paint a thin coat of cement on both the paper and the side of the box. Wait until they dry and then carefully align and place. Use the bone folder to smooth the bubbles out.

The front of the bottom is just one square of paper. Next, I started on the interior. I measured the pieces I'd need. A flat square for the bottom, and strips for the interior edge.

Then, I stamped letters. I double stamped -- to give the letters dimensions -- I used Daffodil Delight for the first layer, and then for the second layer I used Soft Suede. I backed my letters with more of the designer paper, and then with Pear Pizzazz paper.

Using some thread and a needle, though I recommend the baker's twine or the linen thread from Stampin' Up, I sewed the letters together. I used the snail adhesive to attach the yellow strip and the thread to the inside of the box.

All done!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping Up

See? I'm posting!

This one is going to be quick because I'm not feeling particularly inspired. BUT I promised I'd tell you about these:

Yum yum! They were much more involved that I originally thought them to be. Granted, I should know better, being such a caramel-making veteran, but the recipe page didn't mention cooling time for the caramel or that it would take forever to be "solid" enough to fill the cupcakes with. I ended up throwing it in the freezer to hasten it! It is entirely possible that I did them wrong, but oh well.

They were a little over-sweet for me, but they were a pretty big hit with everyone else. Tyler was very put out when he found out we would be sharing the cupcakes.

"What's for dinner tonight?"

"Jambalaya, just like you asked for."

"And who's coming?"

"Drew and Laurel, Staci and Brian."

"And what's for dessert?"

"Um...the cupcakes? Duh?"

"Awww maaaan...."

Apparently jambalaya he would share, but he missed the day in kindergarten when we were taught that we have to share dessert too.

I also promised you this:

I don't know if you remember that far back but I talked about making this bag with my sewing ladies almost a year ago. I finally sat down and finished it! The inspiration to dig it out and finish it -- other than of course, wanting to use it -- was that I went to the fabric store to get fabric for a different project and went over to the clearance rack...trouble there! I got fabric for a couple more bags and realized that I should probably finish the original before I start another!

Hope everything is well with you.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Here it is the end of January 2012 and I haven't said anything about the New Year or resolutions. I waxed maudlin last year about past times and how quickly time moves along, so I won't repeat myself. However, New Year is a time for a New Start and resolutions.

I've made a couple and would like to share them with you.

1. Bake more/cook more. This blog was originally started because of my forays into the kitchen and I feel that I've been sadly failing at that the past year. Well, not failing, but doing less.

2. Following that is blog more. I know there's a relatively small following, but I enjoy writing. I don't know why I stopped doing it as often.

Oh wait, yes I do. I used to blog at work at my last job (shhhh) and I didn't have an iPad before. iPads, while good for many things, are difficult -- though not impossible -- to blog on, and when I can get up in the morning and do everything else on the iPad, it makes me forget to turn on my iMac.

3. Exercise and Get In Shape. Now we all know that that is code for lose weight but we don't say that here except in hushed tones. I want to break 2 hours at my half marathons this year (already planning for half number five at the end of June!) and I chalk up my slower times last year in part to my lack of getting my butt in gear and the other part being that I was trucking around an extra ten pounds that I didn't have the year before. It's harder to be fleet of foot when you're carrying extras around.

So we're working on that.

4. Spend more time doing crafts and Other Things I Enjoy. Because life is short. And if I can't get a job in designing, I might as well be spending more time doing other artsy things. Like stamping. And organizing. And sewing.

I'm sure you knew I've churned out two baby quilts since that first one I posted. Oh you didn't? Here they are!

For some reason I don't have photos of either in their finished states, which is just obscene. But you get the idea. The top one is for my dear friends Nate and Patricia Hague, their boy Luka was born at the end of September. He wasn't supposed to be born until October and I was all stoked because I thought I was going to have it in their hands before he was born, but the night I finished it I got the call that he was born.

The second one is for Tyler's sister, who's due in March. I managed to get this one finished way in advance because the alternative was having to mail it to Chile. She was in the U.S. in December, so I scrambled to get it done so that I wouldn't have to ship it and trust it to get there!

I also finished that bag I was working on last January, but I'll post that picture in my next blog along with pictures of the Salted Caramel Cupcakes I'm baking this morning! I'll let you know how they turn out.


Sunday, January 22, 2012


I want to talk about a few simple rules to appreciating and being appreciated at your job.

1. Please don't be rude to your co-workers, they have to deal with you too and if you're nice to them they won't be such assholes when you do something else moronic.

2. Please don't show up to work smelling like you not only smoked a bowl before you left, but like you also rolled in marijuana, plaited it in your hair and smoked yourself stupid all week long.

3. Please do not lie to your coworkers.

4. Please do not try to shark customers from your coworkers halfway through a transaction, and then get bitchy when the customer refuses because while she is your friend, she has a shred of morality, and dont tell everyone that said coworker should have handed the sale over because said customer is your sister when she in fact isn't. See 3.

5. Please do not show up late to work at least twice a week.

6. Please do not loan your car to criminals as a getaway vehicle and then have your ass arrested at your place of employment for accessory to the crime.

7. Please do not be surprised when said criminals whom you call friends screw you over and take their car from you at work leaving you without a vehicle so they can flee the law.

8. Please do not bring your drama to work, be it legal or otherwise. Your coworkers have enough drama without your shit too.

9. Please understand when customers are reluctant to work with you because you smell like pot and you have a terrible attitude.

10. Please do not be shocked and angry when you discover that (a) you are fast-tracked for a promotion to customer and (b) none of your coworkers feel sorry for you because you have chosen to disregard rules 1 through 9.

I'd tell you that these were hypothetical, but then I'd be lying. In this job market, appreciate the job you have and if at all possible, don't try so hard to lose it.

Glad to be employed,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saw this today...

Thought it might be important:


Sisters By Chance, Friends By Choice

Today I want to talk about one of the most important people in my life. No, not Tyler. I mean, he's pretty important too I suppose.

Kidding. He's very important.

But he's not who I want to talk about.

I want to talk about my sister. She is very important. As she would say, she's one of the most fab people like ever and of course I ought to talk about her. Duh. Though I don't think she reads this. But she should. Because I'm pretty fab myself.

Genetics, you know.

Laurel is two years younger than myself and when we were little-little, we were best of friends. We'd get up early and play for hours. Forts, ponies, beanie babies, you name it. We had some rough years from about the time I was 12 until she was 19 or 20 -- you know, hormones and growing pains -- where we couldn't hardly be around each other without fighting. But now we're all growed up.

Or something.

But we like each other now.

She's one of the smartest, funniest, most beautiful women I know. (Other than of course, the woman who made us.) And she totally underestimates herself -- yeah, yeah, she's got some pretty serious bravado, but I know she doesn't think she's nearly as amazing as she actually is.

She is hilarious. She could be the next Ellen.

She has this dry, tongue-in-cheek, highly sarcastic humor that has me rolling on the ground laughing most of the time. She is ridiculous and says these thing...I can't even think of how she comes up with them.

One of my favorites that I tend to repeat (I'm sure everyone has heard it again and again by now) is something she said when my Nana found me some purple cowboy boots. I was thinking "Oh man, these are insane...something I'll only ever wear under jeans" because the tops were so electric purple that it was just ridiculous.  My aunts were going on and on about how cute they would be with a short jean skirt. My sister looked at the boots and blandly said, "Yeah, and she could stand on a street corner with those boots and that skirt and potentially make a lot of money."

My aunts didn't think it was so funny, but I'm pretty sure I nearly wet myself.

Laurel Jane is also one of the smartest cookies I know. I mean, this girl is graduating from Grad School in May. Yeah, I know almost anyone could do it -- Grad school I mean -- but not the way she is. Only really really smart and highly motivated people could accomplish what she's done. Not only did this girl graduate from her undergrad program in 3 years, but she did it with a degree in Biomedical Sciences. And now she's completing her second degree in Genetic Counseling. She starts talking medics and I'm pretty sure I lose her at "DNA" but its fun letting her prattle on because she sounds so impressive. She a pretty impressive woman, that LJ.

The most important thing about Laurel though, is that she's my sister. I'm glad that I ended up with her, though I'm pretty sure that I asked if she could get put back for the first six months of her life and then again for about eight years when we were older. But I'd be a different person if I didn't have her. I'm pretty lucky to have such a wonderful sister to be jealous of...luckily I think the jealousy goes both ways. At least I'd like to think it does, but we both know who the better sister is.

I mean me, obviously.

Kidding. She is.

Or me.

Or her.

You know what? It might be a tie. Yes, a tie. We'll just leave it at that.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Still Here

I promise I'm still here...I just haven't had the time to sit down for a while.

You know, I work retail.

Stuff happens. I'll be back when I can! I promise.