Thursday, June 12, 2014

My U Albany Design Using the Silhouette

U Albany doesn't sell a sweatshirt with enough bling for me, so I designed my own.   Did I mention that I like bling and am a proud graduate of the University at Albany?  I think custom school shirt would be a great gift idea for those about to start college or high school.  A silhouette (as in a real silhouette) of the school building would be nice or you can use the state as I've done.  All states are available online.

The original map design from the Silhouette online store has a star for the capital which just happens to be Albany.  I removed that and put in the "at". You could move the star to the school's location or change it to "of", "at" as I've done.

I'm thinking of adding "School of Education" in smaller letter underneath Albany.  For larger universities, that might further personalize it.  Then again, at the rate people change their majors, you might want to hold off on that!  It would be great for someone who is or will soon be a graduate.

As for working with glitter vinyl on a Cameo, there are some scary stories out there in blog land about it.  I didn't have any problem, though.   I bought my glitter vinyl from, The backing plastic is sturdy and the glitter vinyl is soft and pliable.  That may well have been a key part of my success.

Freakin' cool to be able to design and make a shirt that looks as good as the ones the pros make!

Linking to:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Third Time IS the Charm--Bath Bomb Success

Aren't these beautiful?  Yes! I just know you are saying, "Yes! Those are freakin' gorgeous!"  Third time trying and I finally got all the balls to stay together and not fizz or crack.  

 Look at that nice big container of fizzy bath fun.  

This time I used the usual 2 cups to 1 cup of  baking soda and citric acid, but I also put in 3 tbs. of kaolin clay, a third of a cup of  Epsom salt, the 2 tsp. of essential oil, and less gel food coloring than last time just about  an even 1/8 tsp.  I will bring that coloring back up to a big, heaping 1/8th in the future cuz I like to "see" the color in the bath water.  The eighth of a teaspoon just didn't have enough color for me.  I chose to leave out the other kinds of oils some people use such as almond or olive because if really don't like an oily residue left behind in the tub.   One other change that may have contributed to my success is the use of 90% alcohol in a mister.  I used witch hazel and 70% alcohol in my previous attempts.  

Since I wanted to try lavender, carnation, sweet orange, and bergomot essential oils (not all together, though), I did a number of batches. There are lots more bombs stored in the cabinet to refill this container when needed which will be often. 

On another note, look who I ran into while out walking!
 He seemed a little uppity at first what with keeping his back to me.  Once I came around to the front, he was quite sociable, however.  It's a Green Frog or, as I like to call them, a rubber band frog because that is what they sound like to me.
 I do love to come across little beasts (or big ones) while out walking.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Those Annoying Marathoners

Have you seen the quote on Pinterest about Marathoners?  It's something along the line of

 "How do you know if someone runs marathons?  Don't worry, they'll tell you." 

In fact, they will tell you even when you DON'T ask with stickers on their cars.  I hate it when I see those stickers.  They make me feel inadequate. It was bad enough when I started seeing 26.2 stickers all over, but then the triathletes had to go putting on their 70.3 stickers, and the Ironman people upped it to 140.6.

Sure there are the occasional 13.1 stickers, but they really don't make me feel any better.  In fact, I think that's worse.  They make me feel as though I'm not even close to being inadequate. There are 0.0 stickers, but they kinda make running look totally lame. I like running if I'm not feeling as though I've constantly got to go farther faster. To help the casual runner feel less alone, I've created the following sticker for my truck.  It seemed like a good number because if you're interest in running at all, a mile would be a perfectly achievable goal, right?
Taken before getting the air bubbles out, but you get the idea.  I am NOT running up those stairs to get  the
scraper right now in order to have a better blog photo.

So go forth and run! Stop when you don't feel like running anymore.  It always makes me smile when I do this.  Let's not know or care about the distance.  When someone asks how far you run, tell them as long as you feel like it.  Let's take running back from the overachievers!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Some Nice Weather At Last

Look what I found in the front yard the other day!

I did think about searching for the end of the rainbow, but that would have required traipsing through the neighbor's backyard.  People are so touchy about that kind of thing.

We have had some beautiful weather for the last few days, a lovely change.  Saw this little guy while out hiking.

I do love seeing creatures.

Now if Mother Nature could just steer one of her birds to my new bird house that would be wonderful. It  was a gift from my daughter Keegan.

There is a clear panel on the back so you can spy on the nesting birds which just seems rude to me. I went with using the "do not disturb" sign.

 That way it looks like I'm not spying on them when I can really just slide the sign over and peek in.

Hope you all had a nice Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sometimes It's Good to Leave Holes in the Wall

You know those openings that remain behind when someone puts an addition on a wall of the house with windows?  Danni of the Silo Hill Farm blog has one that she does not like--not at all.  I think she has mentioned that fact in at least two blog posts now, and I suspect that we will eventually see a post on how she filled in that hole. I get why Danni doesn't like her hole in the wall because hers is quite low behind the sink. You can go look at it here. (And check out all her other crafty/reno posts, too.  They are great.)

I, on the other hand, I love my left-behind holes in the wall! I thought I'd show what the previous owner of our house did with them.

Window from the sun room

and from the kitchen
Yup, he left the windows right in there--all four of them. Two are in the kitchen and two in the dining room, and that works great for me.  They provide ventilation, but can be closed off if I want to keep the noise down or create some privacy in the sun room.

The thing I like most is that the previous owner created some interesting shelves that can easily be removed if you want to close the windows. See that shelf on there?  It's that nice thick oak wood. It has pieces on the underside that hold it nicely in place.  Here's one out of the window so that you can see both sides.



side view of the wood pieces that hold it in place in the window
I've always been fascinated by the cutting he did to go around side pieces of the window.

The great thing about the shelves is that they provide additional room for things that might otherwise take up counter space.  One shelf has the television and the other holds my paper towel stand and a bowl of fruit.  Sometimes it is a good idea to leave holes in the wall.

In-the-Hoop Stuffies

I am always afraid to try new things.  I really should have named my blog "The Cowardly Crafter." I must be growing up, though, cuz I've been trying new things left and right here such as these in-the-hoop stuffies.  Making in-the-hoop designs, much like using the Silhouette, turned out to be freakin' easy. 
I will look up the designer if you want, but you are gonna have to ask.
I also could also have named my blog The Lazy Crafter for obvious reasons.
I do like them.  They are cute and easy to make on the embroidery machine.  Each takes six minutes of machine time with a few more minutes for the thread changes, doing the ribbon stuff, and sewing up the opening after turning them right-side out.  I did not follow ALL the directions. My ribbons are whatever length looked good to me.  There is a matching applique that I may put on a baby blanket if I get ambitious.
White one is flannel.  Pink is felt.
I like the felt better.  Will try a fleece one soon.
Right now, however, I feel I've overdosed on cuteness.  Is it strange that I prefer Shaz's walking dead sock creatures?

I can make sock creatures, but Shaz takes sock creatures to the art level.  She does lots of different kinds and they are usually cute, adorable little masterpieces.  These, however, are my favorite.  I bought three from her to give as gifts.  I stole this one back from my son's room and put it on my bookshelf.  Don't judge me.  There aren't any in her Folksy shop, OddSox, right now.  I can't imagine why. Okay, maybe it is just me, but if you do happen to share my predilection for the odd, you could go to her shop and ask her to make one.  (No, I'm not making any money off this, no freebies. Just trying to help other people find treasures.)

How's this for contrast.

Hello?  Do I have any readers left?  Should I have stopped with the bunnies?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kickin' Those Bath Salts Up a Notch

I sometimes can't decide whether I craft because I like to do it or because I'm cheap.  Here's the result of my latest  "I'm not paying for that" moment, lavender scented and colored Epsom salt.

Yes, I did use the Silhouette again! Couldn't find an old-fashioned bathtub design I liked, but this one is pretty, too.  Used a pretty font on the top to let Brian know not to eat it.  Bought the container from Amazon.  It's plastic.  I really didn't want a glass one in my bathroom.  

Here it is prior to filling.  Notice that the bath salts lettering is not centered with the design.  Now, if  I can just remember this lesson for the next time.

I looked at a dozen recipes online and decided to go with the straight Epsom Salt, essential oil, and coloring.  Some people put in dried lavender buds.  Having purchased a few bath products with lavender and seaweed in the past, I know I  would not like them in my recipe.  Plant matter in bath stuff is a triple pain for me.  First, I don't like stuff floating around me in the tub.  Second, I don't want it clogging up the drain.  Third, I really don't like having to crawl around the tub afterward to get all the little pieces out.  No lavender buds in my bath salts.

  For all those bath product fanatics out there, gather up your tools and such,

and give it a try. There are a ton a recipes available online.  One tip not usually mentioned for getting the oil and coloring well mixed is to keep grinding the mixture back and forth between your hands until all the dark specks of coloring are gone.  If you prefer not to have food coloring on your hands and nails for days on end, latex gloves are a must, too.

There you have it!  I stuck an old mismatched spoon from the kitchen in, just pushed in down in there, for scooping.  Off to try it out!