Archive for July, 2015

Earrings, Earrings, Earrings

Since I was a teenager, I have had a metal allergy and have been pretty limited to what jewelry I could wear.  It basically came down to gold and stainless steel.  For several years, I purchased my earrings from Simply Whispers, a mail order company that specializes in hypoallergenic, nickel free jewelry.  They are a great company with an outstanding guarantee.  If you are interested, they can be found at http://www.simplywhispers.com.  I highly recommend them.

They were the first company I found that had hypoallergenic findings so that I could make or convert cheaper earrings to something I could wear without breaking out.  Unfortunately, it was still a somewhat expensive endeavor, so I ordered one set of wires and French hooks in gold and silver and would change out the bottoms of the earrings.  After a while, I got lazy and tired of always having to make changes.  I tended to go back to the same pairs of earrings and ignored my collection of bottoms.

A couple months ago, while reorganizing my dresser drawers, I rediscovered my stash.  Since the days of using the same hooks and wires, a lot has changed in the craft world.  Jewelry findings, including hypoallergenic versions are readily available and are also very inexpensive.  I set to work providing each of my sets with their own dedicated permanent French hooks.

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I also discovered that the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby offers some inexpensive options for making new fun earrings.

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These four new pairs of earrings cost me less than it would to purchase a single pair anywhere else!

I now make it a point to check the jewelry offerings in the clearance aisle whenever I shop at Hobby Lobby.

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My latest pair of earrings cost me less than $3.00!

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Ten Months to Graduation

My son will be graduating from high school in ten months so we’ve got a party to plan.  My daughter’s scrapbooks were a huge hit at her graduation party.  For his scrapbooks to be ready for his party, I’ve got to get busy.  Thankfully, I already have some photos printed and a number pages in the planning stage.  Here are a few of the pages I finished this week:

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It was fun to put together these first few karate pages.  I’ve had a special album waiting for them.  It’s hard to believe that my little warrior has grown up so much.

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The next two pages were a little more recent, from the summer before my son’s freshman year.  Thank goodness for cell phones and the ability to capture some of life’s silly little moments.

More pages to come!

Napkin Transfer Technique

I’ve been on Pinterest again!  In my wanderings, I stumbled upon this YouTube video and I have to say that this technique is awesome!

It is a super easy, super perfect way to adhere a decorative napkin to paper or card stock using plastic wrap.

I have a few packages of beautiful paper napkins I purchased for making cards but I’ve never followed through with doing so.  Once I saw this video, I immediately had to give it a try.  I had plastic wrap and one of my favorite craft room tools, my dry iron that I purchased at a garage sale for $1 way back when I was a Girl Scout leader.  I highly recommend a dedicated iron for crafting so you don’t mess up the one you use for clothing or inadvertently transfer something you didn’t want to one of your garments.  If you can find one, a dry iron is a bonus because it has a flat heat plate without any holes which makes it easier to clean once you’ve completed a project.

I put my iron on the highest setting possible and followed the directions exactly as provided in the video.  It worked like a charm.

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Like it says on the video, it is adhered securely without wrinkles.  You can trim it without the napkin snagging.  I did have some minor snags in mine because I made the mistake of using a blade that wasn’t the sharpest.  I decided to distress the edges to cover for it.  I added sparkly ribbon and some premade paper flowers with bling to put together a quick card.

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I really love this technique.  It is so quick, easy, and inexpensive.  No special equipment or supplies needed.  I can’t wait to make more napkin cards!

UPDATE 7/26/2015:

Make sure that you have peeled away all the bottom layers from the napkin and are only working with the very top layer.  I found out the hard way when working with a 3 ply napkin.  I had peeled away one layer and thought I was working with the top layer.  When I attempted to adhere it to my card stock, the top layer peeled away to reveal there had been another layer I hadn’t noticed!

I also tried this technique for adhering sewing patterns to card stock.  It worked perfectly!

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Label Remover

Hubby and I are in the midst of making our first batch of wine.  That being said, we have been saving wine bottles in preparation for bottling for quite some time.  Of course that means we need to remove the old labels.  I’ve had labels that have peeled right off or soaked right off, but not all label adhesive is created equal.  There are stubborn adhesives that simply do not want to end the relationship with their bottle.  Some of them will yield to alcohol.  Others to things like “Goof Off”.  I’ve also learned that a plastic scraper can go a long way.  Regardless of what I use, it’s still a lot of work.  And then there are the bottles I have just given up on.  Nothing seems to work, so into the recycling bin they go.

My big project for 2015 has been decluttering my life.  I have been working to rid my house of at least one item a day.  I have also been trying to clean up my computer files, emails and internet short cuts.  While working on the latter today, somehow I ended up on Pinterest.  Actually that’s not terribly shocking as I frequently find that working on my computer results in what I call “Internet ADD”. Even though it wasn’t necessary (or productive), I may or may not have started browsing for new pins.

I couldn’t pass up this one:

The No Sweat, Chemical-Free Way to Remove Labels and Glue Residue from Your Jars

As luck would have it, there were three empty wine bottles sitting on my counter.  There is no time like the present!  My “Internet ADD” was in full swing.

I jumped up and filled my dishpan with warm soapy water and plunged the bottles right in.  Label #1 came off cleanly — today, and today only, that was a disappointment.  The next two labels weren’t so cooperative, so that meant I could give my new found discovery a try.  Using canola oil, I mixed in the baking soda (equal parts) and got busy slathering the concoction all over the bottles.

It was about this time that my son walked in.

Darling Son: WHAT are you doing?
Me: I’m Pinteresting. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Darling Son: Mom, you are too old for Pinterest.
Me: Oh? (Just imagine the tone and inflection when I said that.)
Darling Son: Yeah, it’s for teenagers and girls in their early 20s. I know you’re only like 27 or so, but that’s still too old.
Me: Nice save.

Yeah, he’s pretty smart and apparently values his life.  I posted this conversation on Facebook and his Darling Sister was ever so quick to fact check him on that, pointing out, with citations of course, that the majority of Pinterest users are above age 35.  (It’s amazing how far the lengths to which they will go in the name of sibling rivalry.)

The conversation continued.

Darling Son:  What is that goop?
Me:  It’s not goop, it’s science.
Darling Son:  It is not.  (This would be a good time to point out he is planning to major in Chemistry.)
Me:  Yes it is.  I’m using Sodium Bicarbonate.
Darling Son:  Oooooh!  You know that?  (I know it’s shocking and incredible, but yes, yes I do!)

Anyway, back to the bottles.

I let them sit about 30-40 minutes while I did other things.  I came back to them and put them in the soapy water.  Using the scrubber side of my dishcloth, I gave the first bottle a quick scrub.  Adhesive still remained.  I used the plastic scraper.  Some of the adhesive came off but a layer still remained.  That was disappointing.

I moved on to the second bottle.  Again, using the scrubber side of the dishcloth, I gave it a quick scrubbing.  The adhesive was coming off.  I went back over the places where there was still some adhesive and it came right off.  This stuff DOES work!

I went back to the first bottle.  Normally, this would have been the type of adhesive that would assigned the bottle to recycling.  I still had some of the oil and baking soda mixture left so I decided to give the bottle another treatment.

After another 30-40 minutes, I came back and found that the remaining adhesive came off relatively easily!

I’m pretty amazed at how easy and effective it was, even with having to do a second application.  I will definitely be using this as my go to method for removing labels from now on!  A big shout out to The Creek Line House!

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