Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from our house to yours! My little greeting card has images of my 3 black cats, past and present. Today is the final day of my 3 day weekend so I am going to make the best of it. I got so much accomplished this weekend with my crafting. Got some Christmas gifts made and created a new craft pattern.
Short and sweet post today. Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween and I hope you all have a fabulous week!
Ghosts & witch grouping are a part of my Halloween & Fall Kit at Etsy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pet Day - Punkie

Since this is Halloween weekend, Punkie decided that she should be the pet of the week. We have two other black cats in the family but she insists that she is the Queen of black cats for a number of reasons. First, she lives with me, second, she's the oldest and has been around for 11 years, and third, because she's such a good girl. You'll meet the other two at a later time. One lives with my son and the other lives in Heaven now :(

On to Pumpkin! As you can tell by the photo, she goes by many names. For years I called her Kinnie Roonie but Brian (her Dad) likes to call her Chunkie Punkie and the kids call her Plumpkin. But to her defense, she has lost a few pounds and isn't so chunky or as plump anymore.

Punkie, as I like to call her, is the Purrrfect cat (sorry, couldn't help myself). She really is. She doesn't get into anything, she doesn't knock things off tables, she doesn't jump onto anything or go where she doesn't belong.

She has never gone potty outside the litter box. Not once in 11 years! When I take Bubba outside, she will stand by the door but doesn't attempt to go outside. She's also a love-bug. She has a few select people that she will snuggle with. She's so soft too!

She really is the best cat anyone could ever have.

Teapot graphic above can be found in my Tea Time Scrap Set at Etsy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Hazards of Gardening?

My body hurts, the backs of my thighs feel like someone is sticking me with pins. I have come to the conclusion that gardening is hazardous to my health!

Or maybe I'm out of shape?

Photo Above: My garden during the summer months.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Productive Day & Bragbook Freebie!

I've had a full and productive day. It started when we went out for breakfast which we usually do on Sundays. When I came home I did everything from working on Christmas ornaments (for my sweet shop themed tree) to working in the yard. Did some crafting, house stuff, bookwork, and I got in my 10 minute clean out for today. I'm hoping to condense that filing cabinet at least to half.

I also made a free brag book quick page for anyone who wants it. The photo in the page above is from years ago when my son was little and we were carving pumpkins. I miss those days but I can still scrap them! I've gotten so many compliments on my banner here that I thought I'd make a Halloween quick page like it to share. It's a 300 DPI, 4" x 6" printout, PNG format. All you have to do is put your photo behind, the place for the picture is transparant. Hope you enjoy it!

You can pick it up here.

The images in the scrap page are from my Halloween & Fall Kit.

Friday, October 21, 2011

10 Minute Clean-out

I've been struggling with balance a lot lately and I'm determined to come out on top. Don't we all do that? Don't we all try to find balance? Why does it have to be so hard? Well, I'm on the quest to find it! I have the type of personality where when I find something that peaks my interest, I obsess over it. I can start a big craft project on a Saturday morning and find myself working on it all day long. That is nice if you are trying to get something accomplished but not if you have other things in your life that needs attention as well.

One thing I hate is clutter! I think a cluttered home creates a cluttered mind. Since I do feel that way, I don't have a lot of stuff laying around that I don't need, but I can also say that there is always stuff you can get rid of. I now begin the task of the 10 minute clean out. I am taking 10 minutes a day to clean and rid myself of unused and unneeded items. I'm beginning with my filing cabinets. There are many places that will follow, my purses (yes, lots of them), my clothes, kitchen stuff, etc...

So do you find it difficult to create balance? I think that creative people probably would. Because like me, I'm sure there are many others out there that get on a creative streak and can't stop.

Photo Above: Just a little fall decorating!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Husbands and Glass Tables

Warning: Do not let your 260 pound husband sit on a glass coffee table. It will break!

My lips had just begun to form the words, "Do you really think you should be sitting on that?"  CRUNCH! Need I say more?

My husband has been such a good sport about allowing me to put this incident on my blog. He subscribes via email so he will see this post first thing tomorrow morning. Besides, I'm sure he doesn't want this to happen to another coffee table.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pet Day - Meet Patches

Today I'm going to introduce you to Patches. This is my son's cat who lives with him in his apartment. He came to us in the middle of the deep freeze. About 7 years ago we noticed that something was living under our deck. We didn't know what it was at the time. Elyse finally discovered that it was a kitten. It took us a couple of weeks of feeding him before he would trust us. As soon as we got close enough we grabbed him and took him to the vet. Poor little thing had an upper respiratory infection, eye injury, and was  underweight. The doctor was surprised that he even survived the sub zero temperatures considering how sick he was. We got him some medicine and he turned out to be a great pet and family member for us all. Isn't he handsome?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My New Friend

I went out to grill my fish a few nights ago and was greeted by a stick bug. I've seen him around before, if it's even the same one. Last year he would go from one place to another. One day he'd be on the light outside the back door, the next day he'd be on the thermometer, and the next day on the gas meter. I just think he's so cool looking!

I did some research and found a few interesting facts about them. So here are three that I think are totally cool:

1. They don't bite but they can put up a great fight when they are approached by a predator. And they can even win! They can inflict pain with their legs and they regurgitate an awful smelling and tasting substance into their predator's mouth.

2. They hold the world's record as the longest insect. The biggest one on record measured 14 inches, but with legs fully extended it measured 22 inches. That's quite an insect!

3. When all else fails, they play dead. Yep, they just drop and they can be super still. Many times their predator can't find them once they hit the ground.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Busy!!! Fusible Fleece?

I've been buried under beads, buttons, and fabric for what seems like weeks! Some things I can't show you until I release my pattern line early next year and some things I'm waiting for Halloween to be over. I just feel better about putting Christmas stuff out there after then. I do have a couple of things I think you'll like. I have two tutorials for Christmas ornaments and a couple of free printables I think you will find handy.

For now though I have a question. I'm working on some new designs and I'm about to break out the fusible fleece I just bought. I've never used it before and I was just wondering if anyone else has. I'm working on some stockings and few other things about that size. I could make it easy on myself and do a little hand or machine quilting but I thought I'd try something new.

Have you used it? Do you like it? Does it hold up well? I doubt that the items I'm making will be thrown in the wash.

Photo Above: Pretty fall colors on my way to work. I think they are about gone now though.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five Things I've Learned About Electronics

Below are some things I've learned along the way about electronics, or I should say, the use of them. These 5 things have made my life much easier and have at times, saved my butt!

1. Control S: This is probably one of my favorite tips ever. Before I started doing this, I lost so many things. There is nothing like working for hours on a a document or project only to have something or someone interrupt it and it wipes out all your hard work! Sometimes your computer will lock up for no reason at all or your laptop battery dies. It can all be avoided by typing "Control + s" (at the same time) every few minutes.

2. Backup Everything: In our house we probably have half a dozen external hard drives and countless flash drives. Those are all nice and handy to have and we use them both for various reasons. But the best thing to do is use an online automatic back up. I use Mozy and it's so convenient. It automatically backs up once a day. If I've been doing a lot of work on the computer I can just click it on my task bar and back up at that time too. It feels so good to know that my files are protected away from my home.

3. Carry A Spare Battery: Whenever I purchase a cellphone or a camera, I always buy a backup battery and I carry it in my purse. When my battery dies, I charge it, then swap it out with the one that's in my purse. This makes my battery last longer and I never have to worry about running out of juice. This has saved me when using my cellphone and my camera.

4. Save Ink & Paper: This is the easiest thing of all to do. I always keep the default on my printer set to "fast draft." This setting allows you to print while using the least amount of ink possible. Most of the things that I print are recipes, pattern pieces, and other items that just find their way to the trash anyway. When I print out something I want to keep, I just change it.

You can also save paper by putting it back in the printer and using the other side before throwing it away.

5. Calendar: This actually goes against technology but when it comes to my datebook, I prefer my Lang Pocket Planner. I think it's so much quicker to pull that out of my purse when I need to record an event or check my schedule. Nothing beats my paper datebook. As for my "to do" list, I like to keep that on my E-Reader/Pocket PC.

Those are just a few of my favorite tips when it comes to technology. Do you have any you'd like to add to my list?

Photo Above: Patches and Pumpkin seem to be having some sort of discussion at my computer

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We Have a Winner!

A big thank you to all my friends who gave their opinions.  It made it much easier to make my decision. I really liked the blue and green guy but the black cat is more me. I did take him into PhotoShop and brightened him up. I made him crisper black and added highlights to his eyes. I like the way he stands out against any color you use him on.

With this creative flow I'm on, he's going to be busy adorning all kind's of (digital) packaging, on business cards, banners, avatars, etc.

I saw him admiring a red stocking cap so I think he even has plans on becoming festive for Christmas! I hope he doesn't get tangled up in Christmas lights...

Monday, October 10, 2011


I was playing around in PhotoShop and I decided that I would decorate my cat logo for Halloween. When most people would have put a funny mask or hat on the little guy, I decided to turn him black and dark grey. And I decided that I like him!

It's  no secret my fascination with black cats. Did you see my black cat post? So what do you think? Should I change my blue and green cat to my new black cat? Or do you think the blue and green cat has more personality?

Please help me!!! I can't decide! This is way worse than purse shopping!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bring On The Projects!

The creative wheels have been turning non-stop around here again. I've been toying around in PhotoShop trying to learn some new stuff. I've also been working on a project this weekend and I've been jotting down step by steps instructions because I'll be putting the project here as a tutorial soon. I'm not going to tell you what it is but I'll give you two hints:

The first hint is that the project itself will be used on the tree I put in my dining room. I've decided the theme for that room and the tree will be a "sweet shop."

The second hint is in the photo above. Those are some of the supplies I've been using.

I have another project in the works in my brain to go on that tree too. I can't wait to see the tree all decorated!

Does anyone else do a theme tree?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pet Day - Miss Buttercup

It's Pet Day again! Today, I introduce Miss Buttercup. She's the alpha everything in this family. You all met Bubba last week and what I didn't tell you about him is that he likes to torment Pumpkin (you'll meet her later) but not even the Master can't intimidate Miss Buttercup, all 5 1/2 pounds of her. She can take on the world!

She was the first cat I ever had. One of my co-workers at JoAnn Fabrics knew I had been talking about getting Elyse a cat so she brought in a box one day with this tiny little Siamese mix. All I could think about on my way home from work were those ice blue eyes. Needless to say, I called her the minute I got home and told her I'd be at her house in the morning to pick her up.

Buttercup is 12 years old now and still acts like a kitten. She's quite the character. She always has to be at the highest point in the room and she can get there. She's got rubber legs. She also has to be in the middle of everything! Whatever you are doing, she has to get that little nose into it.

She has the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen. She's a beauty. She lives with Elyse in Delaware now so I don't see her much. But when I do get the opportunity, I pick her up, look down at her, and she hisses at me! I love that cat!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Safety First For Our Pets

I know that some may think I'm paranoid but when it comes to our fur babies, I see a lot of things in a day's time that most people will never see. So when I see things come in that could have possibly been avoided I like to bring it to every one's attention. Unfortunately, many things happen not because we are stupid, or neglectful, or mean, but because they are simply ACCIDENTS. And they can happen to anyone.

I know a lot of my readers are crafters, quilters, knitters, and use thread or yarn for their projects. Please, please, please double check behind yourselves to make sure you don't drop yarn, thread, or string. Even without a needle attached, these things can be deadly to your pet.

As I was leaving work yesterday one of our regular clients dropped off her cat because she saw a string hanging from her bottom. The cat had not been feeling well that day either and was straining in the litter box. We noticed that the string was attached so it required surgery. Unfortunately like in most of these situations, the kitty died. What happens is that the string attaches itself to the organs inside and instead of moving through the digestive track it gets tangled up and cuts through them. This was a thread, those are the worst of all. I know that I will be checking the floor and counter tops during and after every project.

This client was a perfect pet owner. She loved her pets and took excellent care of them. She even donates her time to help at an animal shelter. She's very educated when it comes to animals. So if it can happen to her, it can happen to any one of us.

So please my creative friends, please make sure while you are sewing, weaving or knitting, make extra sure there are no strings laying around. This also goes for tinsel that you use on your Christmas tree. Another danger to your pets. And if you see a string hanging from your animal's bottom, DON'T PULL OR CUT IT. Take your pet to the vet immediately. Sometimes time can make a difference. I know how much you all love your pets.

Photo Above: Family pets

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Awesome Gift & Fond Memory

It has been my personal experience that people who create and work with their hands are among the nicest people you will ever meet. I joined the world of blogging a couple years ago (had a blog before this one too) and the same goes for bloggers. I was doing my usual visits a couple weeks ago when I came across the knife earrings above. I commented about how much I admired them and how cute they were and the next thing I know I get an email asking me for my address so she could send them to me. Today I went to my mailbox and there they were! They came all the way from Indonesia. I've never gotten anything from Indonesia before! She even slipped a little necklace in there with two angel charms on it. Did she know that I have two of the greatest kids in the world and I think of them as angels? How perfect, and how sweet!

Now of course my little story. I had this really cool spreader that I loved for spreading butter, peanut butter, jams, etc. It was wider and shorter than a butter knife but had a serrated edge on one side. Somehow during my Thanksgiving cooking I lost it. I was crushed! I loved that thing! My thought is that it probably got thrown away by accident. Anyway, a few weeks later I was opening my Christmas presents and I got to my stocking. Yes, I'm 50 years old and my husband stuffed my stocking. I opened up a little gift that was wrapped in tissue and there were two of those little spreaders. I was so excited! He knew how handy I thought that was and made a trip to the Lighthouse Outlet Mall and replaced them. I just thought that was so thoughtful and sweet of him. He is such a good Christmas shopper!

They are such a special gift, and thank you Dita for such an awesome gift and bringing back that special memory!

She has a really cute blog that you can visit here and if you want to see her other super cute creations you can stop by her Etsy Shop here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Name Is Sher...I Am An Addict

I love purses and over the years I've had HUNDREDS of them! Up until about 10 years ago I always carried the cross body bags. I decided though to try carrying those big shopper type bags so I did. They were handy and they could hold everything I could possibly need. I could even throw my lunch and a water bottle inside.

But when I went purse shopping a few weeks ago I came home with a much smaller cross body bag, I decided I liked it again. How freeing! It's so nice to bend down and this big bag doesn't fall off my shoulder. I can walk so much quicker and move so much easier. I also like the fact that everything is right in front of me for quick and easy access because of the zipper top. I'm definitely going back to the smaller and lighter version that leaves my hands totally free. It still fits everything I need including my little Nikon Coolpix! I never leave home without that.

The image above is just a small representation of the purses in my closet. I have the ones hanging on the wall, hanging from the clothes rack, and in a super big storage bin. I also have more tote bags than the average person. Why oh why does it have to be so hard? Why can't I just have one or two? Or why can't I have a dozen? Yes! That's a perfect number to have for purses. I think I have over 50 and that is not an exaggeration. But that will change! I'm vowing right now, right here to donate about three quarters of them to charity. I can't wait to see all the extra room I will have. More room for craft supplies!!!

So what about you? What are your purse habits? Do you have lots? Does your collection make mine look like shoebox hobby? Do you like the big, jumbo, carry all type bags or do you opt for the smaller and convenient ones? Do you like the cross body or shoulder bag? Are there certain things that you must have with you at all times?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are You Tired of Mushrooms Yet?

I didn't plan on another mushroom post but here it is. We were clearing the branches from our yard today from the awful windstorms we had yesterday and apparently all that rain brought something else, mushrooms. Back behind the trees that line our property were HUNDREDS of them. Yep, the white ones in the picture below. I haven't seen that many mushrooms in the same place before. I tried to take a picture of the entire area but the bright sun was washing our my mushrooms.

In the picture above are a group of them I found in the center of the yard. I like to get the underside of them because I think that is a cool shot.

There is one more picture that I haven't shown you yet. I've been watching the tree in our front yard because last year it had three great big mushrooms on the side. I was hoping to get the chance to see them again but this time I want to photograph them everyday to see how they evolve and how fast. Right now they are only about 1/2" in size. They don't look anything like the ones that were there last year though. Maybe they will grow into them?

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