Sleep! Wonderful, Wonderful Sleep!

I have been struggling with insomnia for years and years.  This gallbladder annoyance seems to hit harder at night, which has successfully kept me awake three nights in a row.  Not one wink of sleep.

Until last night!

I actually took a pain pill before I went to bed-at 7 p.m.  I awoke at 5:30 a.m.  That’s 10 1/2 hours of sleep!  In a row!!

I was up a couple hours, felt tired again and took a two hour nap.  Woke and was up a couple more hours, then fell asleep on the couch for another hour and a half!

Good grief-I haven’t slept that much in ages!!  I feel better-not tummy-wise, but everything else.  It’s amazing how a little sleep can really improve your outlook on life.

I have to say, I highly recommend it!


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Rough Week

These are bases for more ATC’s.  A 9″ x 12″ sheet of paper makes 9-3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ ATC’s with two strips of paper left over for other embellishments.  I have really enjoyed making the bases for ATC’s and will continue to work on finishing them up.  I have over 100 ATC bases at this point, plenty of opportunity to stretch my creativity on these little works of art.  I’ve looked around online and some of the ATC’s people make are just stunning!  I am not sure I have the patience for the ones like that, but I will give it a go.

And an update on the gallbladder issue:

Apparently I do not have stones or an enlarged gallbladder.  They are now telling me I have a “sludgy” gallbladder.  Since that does not show up on an ultrasound, the nurse from my doctor’s office said if I should experience pain again to go into the emergency room and they will refer me to a surgeon.  It would be quicker for me to get into see one that way.

I asked if she was suggesting I trigger an attack.  (Remember I’ve been eating ice for the last several days.  No food.)  She said. “No!  Don’t eat before you go in because you need to have an empty stomach in case they want to do surgery right then.”  Great.  I was not having near enough pain at that point to go into the emergency room-as I mentioned, only ice for days-which settled down my annoyed gallbladder.

So I took matters into my own hands and last night ate a hamburger with mushrooms.

Wow, was that effective!  My stomach felt like it was really mad at me a while after eating the delicious burger.  I thought I would try to get some sleep, in case things got worse and we had to go into the emergency room.

Well, things did and we went.

After several hours in the E.R. last night, I have the name of a surgeon I will call this morning, and I have a better picture of what my internal problems are.

Okay, I have the appointment with the surgeon.  Yeah.

I would really like this puppy yanked out before we leave on vacation in two weeks.  That may be wishful thinking on my part, but I am hopeful.

I just fertilized my flowers and there was a huge farm machine behind our house.  It has arms that stretch out probably as wide as an airplane.  The arms retract onto the cab/body of the machine for turning and for going down the road.  It was spraying-my husband says for potato bugs-and just left the fields behind our house:  169292-10593350

Similar to this one, only yellow.  It may have been a Caterpillar vehicle-which means something to us as our son is a diesel mechanic for Caterpillar.  He went to school for this on a full-ride scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude in his class.  (We are so proud of him! And I cannot neglect to mention his older sister, Katie, who graduated with honors with her Bachelors Degree and is continuing her education with a 3.98 in graduate school.  Okay, enough of the mommy brags!  LOL)

This was a piece of equipment we’ve seen several times, but never opened up all the way.  It was truly impressive and the driver was incredibly skilled.  Way cool!  I just wish the kids were home to see it.



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Since It Looks Like I’ll Be Out For

awhile with surgery, I thought I would make some free images.  If this is something you’re interested in, please leave a comment on what sorts of images you would like.  I’m beginning with commonly used themes-Holidays, Seasons, Events, Nature, things like that.  I will draw them out, post them and they will be available free for your personal use.

While I doubt my offerings will compare with Tim Holtz, they will be free and you are welcome to use them in your projects.  I’ll get busy on these and post as soon as I have some finished.

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Tim Holtz

is an incredibly talented guy.  He designs things for scrapbookers and art journaling.  His stuff is vintage/grunge style, which is also similar to my style.  Unfortunately, Tim Holtz products are costly and I cannot afford them.  Not even with discounts and coupons.

There are many copyright free images you can use to accomplish a similar look.  Here’s what I’ve done this morning:


The flowers, which I made yesterday, needed some leaves.  I added them.  I also looked up some copyright free images of tree leaves and printed them out.  I used carbon paper to trace them onto vintage encyclopedia pages.  I cut them out.  I aged them with a dollar store brown stamp pad and highlighted with a burnt orange marker.

Tim Holtz has both stamps and dies to make leaves similar to these.  He is a beloved artist and his stuff is current, popular and sold everywhere.  We all want to make things using Tim Holtz products.

However, for those of us with very limited funds, we need to do what we can.  If there are ways to get a similar look for a fraction of the cost, why not give it a try?  If you dislike the way it turns out you can always buy the name brand products.  I am perfectly satisfied with my leaves.  They cost me a few minutes and a couple pennies to make.

It is not that I want to be disrespectful to Tim Holtz or anyone who designs products.  I love his products and his creativity.  However, the cost of these things is sometimes out of reach for people.  I am simply offering a way to achieve a similar look for less.


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Happy Father’s Day

to our fathers.  Whether they are here or have moved on to Heaven, they remain in our hearts always.

Blessings to you and your families on this special day.

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Craft Room Essentials

My top 10 craft room essentials.  This is for those just starting out on this journey we call crafting.  These are the things I use every single day and cannot function without.

  1.  Paper.  I use paper all the time.  For sketching, art journaling, paper crafting.  This is my top item.  I have watercolor paper, sketch paper, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, vintage paper, wrapping paper, craft paper, news paper-you name it and I have it.  The paper you require depends on the art you are making.
  2. Adhesive.  Another can’t-live-without-it supply.  I have every possible adhesive known to man, but my three most used are:  PVA glue (school glue), hot glue and Aileen’s Tacky Glue.  I make gesso and Mod Podge with the PVA glue in addition to just using it as it is.  I buy this stuff by the gallon.  I purchased a 25 lb. box of hot glue sticks from Amazon and I have been using it like crazy.  Barely made a dent in my supply.  I buy Aileen’s Tacky Glue in the 16 fl. oz size three at a time when they are on sale.  I decant a 1/4th to 1/2 of a bottle into a smaller, older bottle and fill the remaining space with distilled water.  Shake well.  This makes a nice, fluid glue which I use to attach the paper to my cereal box art journal covers.
  3. Scissors.  I have a good pair of shears which I use only on fabric.  It is marked so I don’t forget which one it is.  I have several paper scissors-one very small one for fine detail fussy cutting, and then the larger ones I use most often.  I bought 15 to 20 pair of scissors from dollar tree and have included them in each tote holding a project.  This way when I’m in the mood to embroider, for example, I grab the tote and it holds every single thing I need.  I don’t have to hunt for anything.  When I’m finished I toss every thing back in the tote and put it back on the shelf-ready for the next time the mood strikes me.
  4. Paper Trimmer.  I have a couple small paper trimmers, but the one I am referring to is the one my husband fished out of a dumpster behind a school which was remodeling.  It is a guillotine-type cutter and is huge.  It weighs a ton, but I use it all the time.  It cuts cardboard, cereal boxes, several sheets of card stock at one time, plastic and fun foam.  I’m guessing it would cut thin pieces of wood as well.  I love this thing and don’t really know how I survived without it.
  5. My computer.  I use this every single day to research, print copyright free images, watch tutorials, take my classes.  This is my greatest money saver.  Use this tool to enhance your art experience.
  6. Paint.  I am a painter.  I use acrylics and watercolors.  I have a lot of paint and I use it every day.  I also have a collection of the cheap craft paints.  I use these in my art journals.
  7. Brushes.  These go along with the paint.  Keep watercolor brushes separate from your other brushes.  Watercolor brushes will last a lifetime if you take care of them.
  8. Gel Medium.  I use this on every art journal page I make.  I buy it by the gallon.  I currently am using gloss, but will buy matte in the future.
  9. Glycerine.  I use this all the time.  Here’s an explanation of the wonders of glycerine.  I purchase mine in the pharmacy department at Walmart.
  10. Gesso.  I use this on every art journal page, to prep my paint canvases, to tone down my paint vibrancy.  I make my own but I also buy inexpensive gesso when it’s on sale.  This is one of my most used items in my work room.

Some non-essentials but are really nice to have:

Distilled water-I mix this with everything.  Won’t cause any bacteria to form in my stuff.

Denatured alcohol.  A million uses.

A blow dryer or heat gun.  Indispensable.  Mine hangs right here next to my work table.

Good lighting.  Absolutely vital to the success of your projects.

Metal ruler and craft knife.

Self-healing cutting mat.

Silicone mat.

Cheap plastic cutting mats from dollar tree-two per package.  I put these between my art journal pages as I am working.  Saves the other pages from getting messy.  I have tons of these.

Obviously you need a work surface-whether that’s the kitchen table, a folding table in the corner, or a lap table you use in bed-you need a surface upon which to work.  You will also need a chair if you sit while you work or a good surface to stand on if you stand while you work.

Wear good, sturdy shoes if you stand.  You will be surprised how long you can craft or create, time runs away from you when you’re into it.  Before you know it you’re sore and stiff from bending or being hunched over your project.  Use good posture and be careful with your body.

Many of us have physical limitations.  That’s alright.  Adjust your art to your limits.  Believe me, you can still make things.  You just have to be more aware of what your body can take.  Don’t push yourself so far you must take months to recover.  A little at a time will work too.  If you sit, get up every hour and walk around and stretch for 5 minutes.  Get the blood flowing.  If you are unable to get up and move around, wiggle your toes, move your legs, wiggle your fingers.  Rub your neck, rotate your shoulders to release the tension.  Be smart and be careful.

Now go forth and make the world a better place with your creative endeavors!

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DIY Tim Holtz Inspired Flowers

I found a tutorial on Pink Poodles you-tube channel in which she made Tim Holtz flowers with a die.  I don’t have the die, so here’s how I did it:

I used my 1.5″ circle punch and divided it in half, then each half into thirds.  This gave me six petals.  I used my decorative edged scissors to cut the very tip off the end of each petal.  I cut the petals apart, curving them at each side.  I cut into the flower from the outer edge about 1/3 to 1/2 the way to the center.  This lets the petals separate nicely.

Once the petals were cut out, I inked the edges and the insides with my ink pad.  You could use a marker or colored pencils if you don’t have an ink pad.  I crunched the ends of each of the petals.

Beginning with the center of the flower, take one of the circles and cut two petals-where they are attached to each other-apart to the center of the circle.  This lets you wrap the petals over onto each other to make the center.  Secure with hot glue.  Do the same with the next circle, wrap it around the center one and attach with hot glue as well. Make sure your petals are staggered-like stadium seats-the one behind shows between the two in front of it.

Do this until you reach the last two flower circles.  With a pencil roll the edges of the next circle downward, and attach.  With the last circle, roll the petals upward and attach.

Your flower is complete.

Now you can add sparkle, gems, glitter, whatever you want-or leave them as is.

I used cardstock for these, but I will be making more with patterned papers.  If you use aged looking paper you will get a vintage look, if you use pastels you will get a more candy-looking flower.

This is the perfect way to use up scraps.  It’s also the perfect project when you’re fighting a gallbladder attack.

Posted in Daily Art, DIY, Frugal Ideas, Make Your Own Supplies, Recyclable items, Stash Busters, Uncategorized | 1 Comment