Thursday, April 29, 2010

We have ants!!!

Well it's that time of the year again when those pesky little black ants make their way inside. They ALWAYS come in through the kitchen window and scout around on the counter. We don't leave food out and try our best to keep everything clean, so they migrate towards the coffee pot and hang out there. I refuse to spray poison in the kitchen or really anywhere inside the house, so googled natural ways to get rid of ants. One thing suggested was borax which I happened to have on hand, so what you see below is the borax powder dotted with bloated dead ants that accumulated while we were at work today. The pic below this one shows some red pepper flakes that I sprinkled on the ledge above the sink just because, I'm sorry, but I can't stand those nasty little critters and didn't want to see them crawling around. I read that they don't like it, so they won't cross over it. I've never seen an ant run so fast as the one who found an opening in those flakes and scooted across back in to hiding! Tomorrow Mike will buy some of those non-toxic ant things that lure them in, then coat them with some kind of magical product that kills the rest of their friends and family when they go back to the nest. Hey, I'm all ears here (or should I say eyes?) if you've got any suggestions for more natural, clean and non-toxic ways to rid my home of these annual invaders! Oh, by the way, that toothbrush is for our dogs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Girls' Weekend!

This past weekend my two sisters, one niece and my daughter all got together at my home for food, fun and scrapbooking. We set up tables with our supplies and set to work doing whatever paper craft or other task tooted our horns. My niece got over 40 pages made, my daughter got tons of cards made, sister Michelle sorted hundreds of acrylic letters and numbers, sister Kathy and I got a few scrapbook pages made. We discovered how much alike we are in our crafting skills and had a wonderful time renewing old friendships/sisterhoods. They both live over two hours away, so this was a very special time for us all.
Below are my niece and daughter hard at work. That grey box on the lower right side of this picture is what my sister spent her time filling with acrylic letters and numbers left over from the sign company she works for. They make awesome embellishments on our pages!
Friday night the big girls dipped our hands in paraffin for a soothing end to the day.
It felt soooooo good!
My two sisters coloring hair.
Here we all are with samples of our work.
My sis on the right is holding some of the acrylic letters.
We all had fun eating homemade pizza, homemade cinnamon rolls and yummy delicious Sleepin' in Omelette that I found on the Pioneer Woman blog. Sorry I didn't take pictures of the food or of us eating it, you'll just have to trust me... it was awesome! After all that eating I fully expected to find that I'd gained weight when I stepped on the scale this morning for my office's Chubby Club, but praise the Lord I actually LOST almost a pound! Of course I lost exactly what I'd gained last week, but hey, I'll take whatever I can get, especially after all the snacking I did this weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunshine and freshly mowed grass.... aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Not much beats the feel of warm sunshine after a long winter. Pair that with the smell of freshly mowed grass and ahhhhhhh, almost Heaven! Of course it helps when you're seated on a riding mower and can actually enjoy the ride. There was just enough grass in the catcher before it got jammed up from wet grass so I could fill the compost tumbler, adding to the brown leaves and kitchen scraps that I've been saving since the first sign of spring. I dream more and more of the idea of homesteading or at least becoming a hobby farmer. For now that dream will stay alive by the little bit of land we are blessed with here on our little country estate, just far enough outside the city limits to be semi-private, but close enough to be able to make it to work without too much driving time. Our livestock consist of three dogs and three cats, soon to be four dogs again (more about that later). The garden plot is just big enough to provide the two of us with much bounty and lots of canning for the winter months, so for now we stay where we are.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Cards I've Made

After that last post I figured that it was time to show you some positive things happening around here. The closeup below shows an exciting new technique I tried all on my own. First I stamped the cute jar on to some clear plastic, the kind your clear stamps come mounted on or any other thin plastic. I used a new set from Clear Dollar Stamps that includes kitchen items. It was on clearance and I don't see it there now, but she's got tons and tons of awesome stamps. Oh, I used Stazon black ink so it would be permanet and not smudge, then cut it out as soon as it dried. The red decoration is from a strand of tiny plastic beads attached with StampinUp Crystal Effects. I also adhered the jar to the stems and card with Crystal Effects, making sure to include some "spilled water" and droplets on the card.

Here's another picture showing the whole card. The flowers were stamped, then colored with another new technique I learned on YouTube. I used watercolor pencils, then odor free mineral spirits and a paper stump to blend the colors. It give a look similar to that folks get with Copic markers which are a little beyond my craft budget at the time. There are all kinds of videos on YouTube with instructions for this process and if you use your 50% off coupon at a local hobby store you can get the mineral spirits for a fairly low price. Heck, go in with a friend and share the product and price!

The ribbon along the side is threaded through the Fiskars Leave it to Weaver border punch (used a coupon for that too!) The idea of alternating three thin ribbons came from my awesome daughter Emily who is quite the artist (hint, hint, hint for anyone needing graphic design work!)
The card below was done for a guy, so doesn't have all the flowery stuff like the one above. Oh I forgot to say that I also used my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder on both cards.
For this card I cut out the design and words with my Cricut using svg files and my Sure Cuts A Lot program. Those cute little leaves on the background are done using a very inexpensive foam stamp set and a new technique (again learned on YouTube). You sprinkle some reinker on a baby wipe to make your own variegated color scheme. I think these were done with Stampin Up reinkers Old Olive, Tangerine Tango and So Saffron. That's it for now!