Saturday, March 31, 2012

Circa 1969

It was December of 1969 that my family traveled to Mexico for Christmas. Several years earlier we had a foreign exchange student staying with us and it was his family that we were going to spend the holiday with. It was, even for a child of 7, a wonderful experience. I do however think that it is something that I could appreciate much more now. Some of the sites we saw are still so clear in my mind. We spent a day touring the Mayan ruins, another on the sandy white beaches of our hosts beach house.
I still have two souvenirs that my parents bought for me on that trip. One is a doll who has not been preserved too well but technically is still in one piece. The other is this
  I don't recall exactly where we bought this or what even made me choose it. Makes no difference because every time I look at it I remember the trip. If only for a moment or two, it takes me back to 1969 and the Merida Yucatan Peninsula

Friday, March 30, 2012


Even though this has been a short work week for me, it's been a busy one and I am so glad that it's over with. I doubt that the weekend will have much time for rest and relaxation however. So many things on the agenda and I don't hold much hope for getting to all of them.
I didn't spend much time last night making the rounds to see all of you but I promise to catch up soon. It was just one of those evening when sitting in front of my computer was not very appealing. I'm having a lot of those lately.
Recently I have been reading a lot about the benefits of vitamin D-3. On a recent shopping trip I wandered down the vitamin isle in hopes of finding the fountain of youth in a bottle. Obviously there is no such thing. I did however pick up a bottle of these.

Contains red wine extract. So now I can have my daily serving of wine in the morning before heading off to work. I like that.
How sad is it thought that  I've gotten to the point where I'm buying things that support key areas of health that often decline with age?

I think I shall just ignore that part and focus on the red wine extract. Cheers!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's cookin'

Hey good lookin', what ya got a cookin'
Hows a bout cookin something up for me?

I'll just take a little nap while I wait.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Handmade journal part 3

We're almost there. This is the final part of making your handmade journal. Lets get started.
For the cover you are going to need some cardboard, I used plain corrugated cardboard from an old box but any sturdy cardboard will do. I don't know if things like old cereal boxes would be sturdy enough but you could certainly try it. You also need a piece of fabric to cover the board with. If you don't have fabric on hand don't worry. You have to have an old shirt, or pair of jeans or something like that that would otherwise end up in the rag bin or goodwill box.

For the cardboard you will need to cut 2 pieces that are 1/4" wider and 1/2" longer than your inside pages. If you are making the same size as mine then it will be 4 3/4" x 6". You will also need 1 piece for the spine that is the width of your book when it is all stacked together x 6"
The bottom picture above shows the front and back covers and the pages held together. Measure that to get the width of your spine. I know I'm not holding the ruler right but I had the camera on a timer and I was hurrying to set it up to take the picture. The first time I did this I didn't really care for the way the spine ended up feeling so when I did this book I didn't make the spine quite as wide and I think it turned out better. So what I did was to pretty much just go with the width of the pages plus just a fraction more.

Next cut out your fabric so that it is about 1" wider all the way around. My fabric piece was 12" x 8" (I think) sorry I didn't write it down. You are going to want to space your cardboard pieces out so that the space in between is equal to the thickness of the board you are using. I just took a scrap piece of cardboard and used that as a spacer when I laid this out.

Now it's time to glue. I just used cheap dollar store white glue for this part. I also used a foam brush to spread it on so that I had a nice even coverage all over the cardboard.
Just squirt that glue all over and then spread it with the foam brush. Make sure that you are gluing your cardboard to the WRONG side of the fabric

Once all three pieces are glued to your fabric spread some glue on 2 opposite sides and fold the fabric over to adhere it.  Then do the other 2 sides. When  you are gluing down the last two sides you can fold them in a bit to make more of a mitered corner

Now you are going to glue the pages to the cover. This is another part that I just couldn't get a picture of me actually doing it so I hope that the pictures and my explanation make sense.
In the top picture you'll see that I ran a line of glue down the front and back cover. Then I spread it out a bit. DO NOT GLUE ON THE SPINE.
Next take your inside pages and glue those fabric flaps to the front and back cover centering the pages over the spine. 

Above and below a couple different views so you can see how it's positioned. The bottom picture here is the pages being propped up while this dries. I recommend letting this dry completely before moving on.

Last step here. Finally. You need some paper to line the inside of the cover. I recommend using a cardstock weight rather than plain paper. Cut 2 pieces 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" and score down the middle.
 Spread your glue all over the back of the liner and you are going to adhere one side to the cover and the other side to the first sheet of paper. I found the easiest way to do this was to put the crease in to the space between the cover and the spine then line it up with the first page of the book. After that was attached then I glued down the other side. Here I used my bone folder to make sure that both sides of the liner were adhered well and to take care of any bubbles or wrinkles that might occur
This very last picture just shows me holding the liner and the first page of the book. Those are going to be glued together.

And there you have it. Your book is done. You can decorate the front if you want or just leave it like that. Now go fill those pages.

I hope that I explained all of this well enough but if not you can always email me with any questions you have.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Handmade journal tutorial part two

Welcome back and lets get started on part two of how to make a homemade journal.
Yesterday we finished by getting our 4 folios ready.
Today we need to staple those. If you're lucky and have one of those long reach staples this part should be easy. You are simply going to put two staples in the fold of each folio. If you don't have one of those, don't fret because I don't either.
 Open your stapler up, lay the fold of your folio on a big eraser and staple through the paper into the eraser. I stapled about a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in on each end. When you are done simply bull the eraser off.

Now you can flip it over and bend back the ends of the staples. Don't worry too much if you can't get the staple exactly on the fold. I didn't and it didn't seem to matter. Just get it as close as you can. Also the original directions I followed said to staple from the back to the front but I did it the other way around on this second book and that didn't seem to make a difference either
 In the bottom picture above you will notice then when your pages are folded over they are not exactly even. You can leave them like this if you want or you can trim them. I trimmed both of mine and I did it two different ways. The first time I did it with a ruler and a craft knife. You'll need to go slow and make repeated slices through all the layers. The second time I used a guillotine cutter. It's much easier but I wouldn't run out and buy one just for this project if you don't already have one.

Moving right along. Stack your four folded and stapled folios together and get some clips to hold them tightly together. You could also use large paper clips, rubber bands or anything that is going to keep them tight.We are going to be gluing this edge and you don't want any of the glue to seep down in between or your pages are going to be stuck together.  
 The bottom picture above shows that although the folios aren't real tight against each other I was able to squeeze them together while applying the glue. What kind of glue you ask? You have some choices here. I for one chose to use hot glue only because I tend to be messy with white glue and I knew it wouldn't end well. You could use white glue though just be very careful, maybe applying it with a brush.
You are also going to need a strip of fabric that is the same height at your pages and about 5 times as wide. If you are making the same size book as I did your strip will be 5.5" x roughly 1.5".
Now I just could not figure out a way to photograph applying the glue and adhering the fabric strip because using hot glue you need to work rather quickly. But What you do is apply glue to the bound, folded edges of your folios and center the strip of fabric on the glue. The top and bottom picture show the fabric after it has been glued to the edge from two different angles.
Tomorrow we start on the cover and then finish the book. See ya then

Monday, March 26, 2012

Handmade Journal tutorial

Well I spent the majority of my Saturday working on a tutorial for how to make a handmade journal. Because of the large number of pictures I'm going to break this up in to three separate posts.
This is what we'll be making

OK, so are you ready to get started?
First you are going to need 32 sheets of paper. The type of paper you use is up to you. It can be all the same or a variety, your choice. I decided I wanted lined paper and I also wanted a picture on half of the pages. The first thing I did was to print out my pages. Since I'm going to be cutting my 8 1/2 x 11 paper in half I needed to print the same thing on the top and bottom, front and back. When my pages were printed I cut them all in half. This way instead of needing 32 sheets of paper I only needed 16.
 Top picture, the printed pages
Bottom picture, pages cut in half

The next thing you want to do is score and fold all your pages

Now you are going to stack them in to 8 sheet folios. Unfold the pages, stack 8 pages on top of each other and fold them all in half. 
I used a bone folder to make nice sharp creases in my folds. It's helpful but not necessary.

Come back tomorrow for part two.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

That's what I get for thinking

I thought that I had already written  and scheduled a post for today so I busied myself yesterday with other things.
Several of you will be happy to know that I spent most of the day (off and on) working on a tutorial for the book. Today will be sorting through the pictures and trying to type it out without confusing the heck out of everyone.
I also played construction worker yesterday. Work continues on the man cave. Yes this is the same man cave that was being worked on last year at this time. What can I say, it's a slow moving project.
I'll leave you in the capable hands of Duke and I'm off to go get busy on some things

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Don't judge a book part 2

First impressions aren't always correct. A man named Calvin is a perfect example of that. To anyone who doesn't know him they would think that he was a male version of a bag lady. He can be seen any day of the year walking down the road carrying his bags. He doesn't dress fancy and he may not always smell so good but the man has a heart of gold. Anyone who's lived around here for a while knows him and once he has met you he will find out your birthday and will NEVER forget it. He makes a point of searching you out and singing happy birthday to you.
Now I don't advertise my birthday and no one I work with ever remembers it but I knew that if Calvin came in the store last Wednesday he wouldn't forget. Imagine my surprise when I saw him, said hello, he said hi back and kept on walking.
A few hours later I was busy doing something and suddenly hear singing behind me. Wouldn't you know it, there stood Calvin singing happy birthday. When he finished his song he told me that they wanted me up in the front office. Walking up the isle I could see balloons and when I got to the front Calvin rushed up beside me, grabbed the balloons and handed them to me. The picture below is what he had attached to the ribbons.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't judge a book by it's cover

I downloaded a free book on my kindle that was all craft projects. In it I found directions for making your own books and I was intrigued. So far I've only made one but I'm planning on doing more to use as gifts.

The directions call for using fabric for the cover but I suppose you could also use scrapbook paper. I decorated the front with a few fabric yo-yo's, silk leaves and a little raffia.

Using plain paper I printed half the sheets with lines and for this one I used a picture of my friend Debbie's adorable Dixie. 

The inside sheets are bound in 4 stacks of 8 sheets of paper. After my book was completed I opened it up to admire my work. To my shock, I discovered that I had put the last stack of paper in upside down.
Seeing as how this was my first one and with the exception of that little error, it didn't turn out too bad, I still gave it to Debbie. Next time I think I will definitely double check all four stacks before I bind them together.
Tomorrow I have another "don't judge a book by it's cover story".

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's up?

What are you looking at Duke?

Could it be this brand new toy I bought you?

My mom is the greatest!

Aw, thanks Duke. I think you're the greatest too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A lot can happen in 50 years

Yes, it's true. There are a lot of things that can occur over a 50 year span. Today I officially know what it's like to spend a half of a century on earth.
This may require a little chocolate.
Last weekend I went to get my picture taken for my new driver's license and believe it or not I finally got one that wasn't half bad. I took myself out shopping too. I'm working today but I scheduled 2 vacation days. One for this Friday and one for Monday so I get a 4 day weekend to celebrate. I'm not sure what I'll do yet but I can tell you it will only be things I WANT to do. That is my birthday gift to myself.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I had a picture of Duke that I liked except it was taken with a flash and he had alien green eyes. I tried to fix them but I wasn't having any luck.
Instead I chose to turn it into a sketch
After I did the sketch and a few other little things I can't remember, I added a pattern layer. I downloaded patterns for photoshop from a website called Subtle Patterns. The site has tons of free patterns to use and you can either download a file that contains all of them or just the ones you want.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Abundance of buds

With temperatures well into the 70's it's really starting to look like spring around here. A quick walk around the yard and I found buds all over the place

I apologize for the abundance of pictures but I just couldn't help myself. I did show a little constraint though and held back a few shots.

On a totally unrelated subject I had to share with you an anonymous comment that came to my email (never made it to the blog though). The comment was left on one of my archive dive posts.  This is what they had to say:
The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.
 I found this comment really amusing. They took the time to bash me for my writing but I don't think they took the time to read the post. I didn't whine at all in that one other than to mention Wade's fascination for displaying his middle finger in pictures. That wasn't even actually whining it was more like stating a fact. I suppose however, the whole point of their comical comment was to try and get their link through, which I did not include above. 
Hey feel free to come back and amuse me again anonymous. It gives me funny material to use for my posts.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On Solid Ground

Just like my bird bath that always falls over every year during the winter months, I don't always feel like I'm standing on solid ground. There are days when I'm not sure if I'm coming or going. If I put one foot in front of the other and keep on going it's all good though.
I may not know what the day will hold but I do know that the sun is shining, it's warmer than I can ever remember a March day being and I can handle whatever comes my way.
I realize this may sound like I'm struggling with something but honestly it was just my attempt at being profound.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Too many ideas

It really stinks when your head is full of ideas and you just don't have the time to work them all out. I have so many ideas for projects rolling around in my brain it's not even funny. I'll probably forget half of them before I ever get to them.
I recently purchased this to make more dishcloths
I absolutely love the colors in it. I've done one dishcloth and now I'm thinking I want to crochet a few desk accessories for my computer room. I also found instructions for making books that sounds very interesting and I want to try that. I've got another crochet project in the works and materials lined up and ready to work on some frames I want to make. I know there was more on the list but I've already forgotten what they are. I better get busy before I forget any more.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Countdown to the weekend

I sure hope this weekend is as nice as the last one was. If the forecast I read just before preparing this post holds out it should be.
Last Sunday when I went out to do some grocery shopping I took my camera because I knew I was going to be going by a small lake.
How about we stroll around a bit.

I took a different road than usual and found a part of the lake that I've never seen before. It pays to take those back roads every now and then

I didn't see the Peanuts gang around anywhere but they must have been here....
...isn't that Charlie Brown's kite stuck in that tree?

Thursday, March 15, 2012


A few days ago I happened to notice the beautiful color in the sky as the sun was setting. Even though I have a very obstructed view of the sunset I grabbed my camera anyway.
Now if I could get my neighbor to move her house a little to the right and the church behind her to move a little to the left, this would be a much better picture.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Family Dive day 3

I'll finish my little family archive dive with Wade. First let me say that getting a picture of Wade isn't easy since he hates the camera. Most of the shots I have of him he is visibly displaying his middle finger.
This one was actually something that he requested. It's made up of several pictures. The background is a picture that I took at the beach. I also used a picture of one of his die cast cars, a picture of him and a picture of a water skier that I found on the internet. The car, Wade and water skier were extracted from their original pictures and placed on the background.
I wonder what the people in that boat think of the guy driving the car?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Family Dive day 2

Amanda's turn today. I've done some pretty crazy things to some of Amanda's pictures but I couldn't seem to find any of them. I turned her into a flower fairy once and she wasn't impressed. It's here somewhere on my blog but I didn't feel like searching for it.
So today's pictures are just a couple ordinary shots. When it comes to taking pictures of Amanda I always focus in on her eyes and her smile.  Not much of a smile in these two so the focus was more on the eyes.
The first is just a black and white

I liked this one when I did it but now looking at it I think I went a little overboard with highlighting her eyes.

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