Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Paper Packs


This was an idea I saw on a Kiwi Lane video.

With my huge paper stash, I thought I would give it a try.

As advised, I sorted my papers into piles by colors. Then I started building my paper packs. I got quite a number of them put together. Some came together quite easily, other required more thought.

Because my immediate need was to scrapbook my son’s band photos, I concentrated on building packs in his school colors for marching band and more neutral colors for concert band.

This seemed like the perfect plan to have everything ready to go when I went to friends’ houses to scrapbook with them.

It sort of worked for me.

I’ve found that I didn’t always use all the papers in the packs. I’ve also discovered, sometimes my layouts require reworking the papers that were chosen in the packs so I end up “cannibalizing” two or more packs to get the look I really want.

While this didn’t work out as a perfect plan for me in my scrapbooking, it did help me get groups of coordinating paper for a themed project all together in one place. That made the selection process much easier.

I haven’t given up. I plan to continue making use of the other paper packs that I have already put together. But for now, I am not building more packs just yet. I still like this idea as I do like sets of coordinating papers. I just think I may need to do this on a larger scale to give myself even more flexibility when it comes down to actually creating my pages.

The Graphics Fairy

I stumbled upon this website a month or so ago.  I’m really not sure how.  It may have been a Facebook post or it may have been a Google search for an image.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that I found it.

There are TONS of ideas, tips, techniques, and projects.  On top of that, not only do they sell libraries of fabulous vintage images, they offer beautiful, high quality, vintage images for free download.  You can sign up for their “Friday Freebie Email” to be notified when new images are available.

This site is just too good not to share!

I’ve found it to be a TREMENDOUS source for images that will enhance my family history and genealogy scrapbooks.  I also love to create cards with vintage images and there are so many perfect images available.  And all for free!
The Graphics Fairy Logo

Check it out and enjoy!

I’m Ready for Garage Sale Season

It’s April and spring is here!  Well at least it is supposed to be here.  I’ve started watching the paper again for garage sales.  I credit my great aunt for introducing me to them when I was a kid.  My husband’s Mom was an avid garage saler, always on the search for treasures she could turn into cash on eBay.  I guess you could say it runs in the family.  I’m blessed as my husband enjoys them as much as I do.  Garage saling is definitely one of our favorite Saturday morning activities.

Over the years, I’ve decorated my house, clothed my children, and supplied my Girl Scout Troop with my finds.  My interests and hobbies have changed, but garage sales still serve to provide me with treasures.  These days I find myself searching for wine themed decor, genealogy related materials, vintage items, and of course, craft supplies.

One of the best things about garage sales (and thrift shops) is that you never know what you’re going to find.  Some days it is a bust.  But other days, oh my!

I recently ran across a number of photos from successful hunts at garage sales past.












From books to organizational tools, from supplies to rubber stamps, you name it, it’s out there.  And at a fraction of the cost of new.  I don’t always end up loving each purchase.  Sometimes an item doesn’t work out as I’ve imagined.  The prices make it very affordable to pass things on to friends, donate them to charity, or even recycle in a garage sale of my own.

Which, by the way, I’ve been sorting through my craft room.  Stay tuned for my upcoming crafty garage sale!

Craft Shows Past

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Once upon a time, fall weekends meant craft shows. At least once a month I would pack up the cards and gift items I had created, and with the help of my husband and son, cart them to who knows where in the hopes of scoring some extra cash. Some shows were profitable, others not so much. Still the anticipation that the public might fall in love with my creations was enough to keep me engaged. During this time, my son was my constant companion. He even developed his own line of jewelry that provided him will some extra spending money too.

Then along came high school and marching band and somewhere it became uncool to hang out with Mom doing the craft thing. Now our fall weekends are full with football games, concession stands, practices, and band competitions. I’m not complaining. My son has taught me more about music than I learned in four years of piano lessons. Because of him, I have an appreciation for marching band that I never had before. Music is truly an art form. I am honored to share my time with him. It is a joy and a thrill to watch him perform. More than once he has brought tears to my eyes.

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He is so grown up, so talented, and so accomplished. I cherish this phase of his life and know that he has great things ahead of him.

Yet, when I go through old photos, I can’t help but miss that little boy who used share his time with me at my craft shows.

Look carefully behind the table…

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What would we have done with out GameBoy when the novelty of making money wore off?

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Nothing like an “I love Mom” fake tattoo!

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We did have a lot of fun together!

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And I’m going to be in a LOT of trouble for posting these!

Found Treasures

Not too long ago I was searching for a photo from a project I had worked on in the past.  As much as I thought I had my craft photos and notes organized, I quickly discovered this was definitely not the case.  While my files were not in complete disarray, there was still quite a bit of duplication and disorganization.  Time to get busy!

I started out matching up photos to my blog postings.  It was actually quite a nice little trip down memory lane.  Along the way it became apparent that as much as I had posted, there was quite a lot that I had not.  Bonus!  I have lots of treasures waiting to be shared!

While life has gotten in the way and I haven’t been creating as many new things as I would like, suddenly I find I still have all kinds of things to post!  I am so excited to get back to writing and sharing my triumphs, adventures and even a few tragedies.

Stay tuned!  There’s lots of fun ahead!


I KNEW there was a reason I saved that!

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I cannot say for certain if I learned to save things that might have a future use from my mother or my grandmother. I was a school teacher and Girl Scout leader so that also may have contributed. I do not consider myself a hoarder as I have no issue with giving something away if I know it will be put to a purpose. Thankfully I have a large basement and an understanding husband so I have somewhere to go with my “treasures” until inspiration strikes.

And so it was with some white plastic containers I had saved from powdered drink mixes. One of the most fabulous things about these containers was that the entire label could be removed without leaving a trace. That meant I could decorate them easily and not worry about having to paint or cover anything up. I cannot tell you how long they have been sitting on a shelf waiting for a rebirth.

I was in my craft room one evening and while looking for some scrapbooking paper, I located a new wooden picture frame in its original non-descript brown cardboard box. Quite honestly, I had wondered for quite some time what had happened to this picture frame. It was from some over-stocked warehouse fodder that my husband had been given from work. At a later time, he was given another frame just like it and when he handed me that second frame, I had an immediate plan to alter and embellish both frames for my daughter and her best friend. However, at that time I could not lay my hands on the first frame. Since I could not say for certain if I had kept it or given it away, I had pretty much dismissed it. But then there it was! I quickly went to where I had stored the second frame. Luckily I had planned better and knew right where to find that one. Although I did not feel inclined to work on the frame project right then, I felt better knowing that the frames had finally been introduced to each other and I would be able to lay hands on them both at the same time in the future.

The frame story is important because it was the second frame that led me to the white plastic containers which are really the subject of this post.  I am going to go off on another tangent, but hang with me as it will soon all fall together.

I started a new job this past August. The building where I work is near a wooded area and occasionally we have visitors who enter without ID badges. Some people might prefer to call them “Mickey” and “Minnie”, but I chose to name them “Fred” and “George”. Yes, I am referring to mice. I have not been visited by them personally, but others I work with have experienced sightings and other evidence of their presence. I keep the snacks in my desk in a sealed plastic container, but up until this time, my plastic ware was kept in a ziplock bag. A ziplock bag really is not much of a challenge for a mouse, but I had not found another container that would work. So, when I saw the containers on the shelf, I knew I had found my solution.

My original thought was to cover the containers with ribbon, but if I did that, I would not be able to complete the project in one evening.    I wanted to be able to take them to work the next day so I needed to use something different.  In this case, neither decorative paper nor decoupage would work.  Then I remembered my stash of washi tape.

The washi tape was the perfect solution.  It was quick and clean, and as luck would have it, the perfect width so no trimming was required.  The project went so quickly I ended up decorating all five containers in no time.  I used vinyl adhesive letters to label the tops of the containers.  Later on if I decide to repurpose the containers, I can easily remove the labeling and apply new.

Looking For My Inspiration

Those closest to me know that I haven’t really done any serious scrapbooking in about two years.  Oh, I have still been collecting goodies and there are visions dancing around in my head.  Sometimes there are just too many ideas and I don’t know which ones on which to settle and actually work.

Life also has a way of getting in the way.  In the past two years there have been new business adventures, family members moving, new hobbies, and a flooded basement. 

Just to alleviate any concerns, the basement flood was relatively minor.  It was a sump pump failure with only an inch or two of water in the basement.  We were somewhat prepared.  Having experienced something like this 4 years earlier, most things were raised off the floor or stored in plastic bins.  It is amazing what a mess just a small amount of water can make.  We ended up needing to clean and sanitize everything and replace storage shelves that did not survive this second flood.  The good news of all of this was that even as time consuming as it was, my craft room was completely reorganized, my storage area was completely revamped and we got rid of loads of stuff we no longer really needed. 

In addition to some increased opportunities with my consulting business, I became more involved with participating in craft shows so I was concentrating more on handmade cards, stationery items and jewelry.  My son is actually the master jewelry designer and it was a lot of fun to have a partner with me at the shows.

After joking around with two of my friends on Facebook, we began traveling the state sampling the wines of the various wineries.  It wasn’t too long afterward, that my husband (who supports ALL my adventures), discovered weekend wine tastings at our nearby party store and they have become part of our regular weekend activities.  It has grown from there and we are hoping to start making wine ourselves and there is even talk of planting our own little vineyard.  My son has started collecting the corks and we have been exploring other wine related craftings as well.

This past year we adopted an adorable rescue dog and said goodbye to our two older dogs as it was time for their journey to The Rainbow Bridge.  My Mom, who had lived in the same town her entire life, finally decided after 82 years it was time to move.  Rather than being 4 hours away, she is now only a 6 mile drive.  It is more convenient in some ways, but at the same time, more responsibility in others.  At the same time my Mom moved, my husband’s Mom also made some significant life changes as well, moving from her home in Florida in with one of his brothers.  During her downsizing, I inherited quite a lot of craft supplies and my son inherited his own sewing machine for his projects.

After my hiking group went on a tour of a nearby historical cemetery, it rekindled my interest in genealogy.  I had put that hobby away for 17 years.  With the internet so much has changed.  It has been simply wonderful to uncover new family members, discover family stories and meet cousins I did not know I had.  I have been fortunate to attend some genealogy conferences and make a number of family history trips.  As a result, I have even more things I want to scrapbook.  Which brings me back to where I started!

It has been a long time since I have scrapbooked!  Even when I would get together with my scrapping buddies, I usually ended up working on cards or genealogy because I hadn’t had the time or the inspiration to get things together to work on pages.

That definately needs to change!

Today, while searching for some ideas on another project, I stumbled upon an intriguing website:


It was a 2009 posting.  I began clicking around and was delighted to see that it was still an active site with lots of content!

Oh my!  Something more to add to my to do list!  And hopefully some really good inspiration for me to get back to doing what I need to be doing!

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