Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Joy and glad tidings!

I have even more good news tonight (or day or whatever it is in your neck of the, um, world) ... my atrial fibrillations are apparently caused by my mitral valve prolapse (heart murmur), and are, therefore, not anything to really worry about! My cardio said for me just to stay on the meds he put me on, and I can do a recheck in six months, plus he wants me to have the echocardiagram (ultrasound on my heart) every two years or so because there is some leakage through the valve, and he just wants to make sure it doesn't get worse. So I am VERY VERY happy to know that it's all just kinda "normal" for an MVP person, and that, unless it were to make a significant change in pattern or whatever, there are no worries!!

Somehow the sky just seemed bluer and the grass and trees greener after that!! Thank you SO much to all of you who were praying for me. I know God was listening -- who knows but what your prayers caused Him to heal something that was a problem!

Okay, so back to the craft loft renovation. I promised yesterday that I would show the Pegboard Progression. We're putting pegboard on all the walls, even though much of it will be covered up with shelves and the desk, etc. I will have lots of pegboard space above the shelves on the "tall wall," which is where I really wanted it in the first place. We had thought about putting bead boarding on the rest of the walls, but it was much more expensive, and it'll be mostly covered up, anyway, so there was little point of doing that.

The first thing we had to do was paint the pegboard a cream color (more the color of a pale latte). The rest of the walls in our living area -- from which the loft is visible -- are rough paneling that's been stained that color, so we decided we needed to make the pegboard blend in color-wise, instead of keeping it white. So after cutting the boards into the right sizes, they got painted. (I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to who was painting them -- Bjorn, Aidan and my dad were all involved in doing things that evening, and I was again spending time with the ancestors.)

After the two coats of paint were dried, we had to put a sort-of "framing" of narrow wood strips on the backs of the pegboard panels so they would stand out from the wall a bit. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to stick the hooks, etc., in the holes, which would effectively negate the whole point of having pegboard! (BTW, notice how I said "we" -- like I had anything to do with it!) My dad and Aidan did that while Bjorn came down and had his well-earned dinner.
(That's my dad)

(This is The Teenager very helpfully measuring things -- he does it all in centimeters. Show off.)

So here's a pic of the first panel after it's been screwed on. We haven't yet done the Tall Wall (we have to finish the last little bit of flooring), and there's a bit of a gap on the wall where the desk goes that we have to patch. Then there's the moulding that we're going to have to put in after we stain it to go with the dark tops of the half-walls and the built-in shelves (that 70s dark wood stain). But we're making progress!

This evening we went to Lowe's to get the moulding, and we also bought two new wall sconces to replace the very 70s ones that were in there before. It was a bit of a whim, but I decided I was very tired of the sort-of bronze cylinder and amber glass globes. I picked something more "traditional" -- I'll have to take a picture of them when we get them up, as I'm not good at describing things like this!

So we didn't make any "construction progress" tonight, but we'll be able to tomorrow, now, and hopefully really roll toward the finish line. There are a couple of things that we'll have to work on after we get everything else finished and my stuff back in (especially figuring out what to do with the two steps that go down into the loft), but I am going to stay on Bjorn until it's completely done!

Well, I'm falling asleep as I type! The stress test nearly killed me. I was supposed to get my heart rate up to 145, but at 138 I knew there was no way in heck I could keep going. I felt like I was having to race-walk up Mt. Doom with a host of Mordor orcs following close on my heels to keep me at speed, and I decided to let Frodo go on without me. They were able to get the info they needed, though (the doc and nurse, not the orcs), and everything was fine. But I am totally wiped out and a bit sore in my gluteus maximus and points south. The nurse told me there were 80 year old men who could go longer than me. Well, good for them! Maybe when I'm 80 I can do it, too!

So tomorrow I'll show you the guys putting in the wood laminate flooring. (Hey, what else am I gonna show you until I can get back in there and stamp again???) Until then, I hope YOU have a very crafty day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hurrah! Huzza! We're finally getting started!

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, we have finally begun work on re-vamping my craft loft! Folks, I am pleased as punch to announce that the orange shag carpet is GONE! It has been ripped up and disposed of and in my loft it is NO MORE!!

So I've been taking pictures of the progress, and I will share them with you now. First, though, a couple of "befores" so you can see the offending orange stuff. These pics are actually somewhat old, as I have more shelving and have a different configuration of things in there now (and it will be different again after I get moved back in), but you can at least get a feel for the Offending Orange:

Hopefully you can see how the carpet actually went up the wall, too.








And in this one you can see the lovely orange "velvet" wallpaper. Can you say "1970s"? Can you say "ghastly"? I knew you could.

So, anyway, that's the brief overview of the orange craft loft.








And now, here we are underway with the NEW and IMPROVED (vastly!) version.




This is the teenage son beginning the work of ripping the carpet off the walls. He did this quite cheerfully. I think there was something destructively fun about it that appealed to the little boy that still lurks in there somewhere!


And these are the walls reveling in their uncarpeted nakedness. I have no doubt that after over thirty years of having to wear that nasty shag coat, they were thrilled to be shed of it!!















Here is the DH beginning the fun task of pulling the carpet and carpet pad up off the floor (and, yes, I was being facetious about the fun part!).He had Aidan scrape the glue residue off the plywood flooring. I'm so glad I'm not a teenager!












And here is the naked floor.









Very soon (hopefully tomorrow) I'll post pictures of the Pegboard Progress. I won't overwhelm you with all the pics I have so far, all in one day.

Tomorrow I go for my cardiac stress test. I'm not looking forward to it. For one thing, I was sick all week last week with another flare-up of my chronic sinus thing, had fever clear up through Saturday. For another thing, I've done one of these before and I seem to remember wondering why they were trying to kill me if they were in the business of keeping me alive. But I am hoping they'll have some news about what's wrong with (or not wrong with!) my heart.

So off to bed now. It's driving me crazy to not be able to stamp or scrap! My whole bedroom is crammed full of my craft loft contents, but there's no way to get to enough stuff to do anything. We'd better get this finished SOON!

Catch ya later!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

No whining this time! Really!

Okay, so I realize that my last entry was a little ... shall we say, whiney. Let's chalk it up to me having a really bad week. This week I "only" have a sinus infection (well, the same one paying me another visit). So, once again I don't have anything to show you. But that's also partly because I've got the craft loft semi-disassembled. On Monday, before I got feeling too bad, I dragged all my white-plastic-3-drawer-units out of there and into my bedroom. I never realized how many of those I have! One 12"x12", a few jillion 8-1/2" x 11" ones, and a few dozen smaller ones. (Okay, I exaggerate there, but only a little!) I think I got some serious calorie burning going there before I was finished! Of course, then the next day I felt too bad to do anything but sit on the couch with my computer and spend time with a bunch of dead relatives all day. (For those of you who are freaking at this point, I'm talking about spending the day on Ancestry.com). So I've pretty much spent the week with dead relatives, and my craft loft is still half-full (or more) and in desperate need of being emptied so we can rip out that orange shag!!!

We're planning on doing that this weekend, since it's a long one and we have access to the teenager (we always have access to him, but somehow on weekends we can commandeer him more easily). I already am having craft-loft-withdrawal issues, even though I don't really feel like making anything. So we have GOT to finish this soon! I have tons of new stamps to try out from Art Neko and Ma Vinci's Reliquary, Artistic Outpost, Onyx Impressions, etc., etc., etc. And the other day I found some uber-cool TEXAS-themed stamps that I MUST HAVE ... but you can only get them from LSSs, or order a paper catalog from the manufacturer, Deadbeat Designs in Salado, TX. Salado is only a couple of hours away from here, but I don't know when I'm gonna feel like driving for that long, AND it's up I-35, which I DESPISE driving on (there's always construction, and there are always big mini-SUV devouring trucks flying by and squishing all non-18-wheeled traffic to the side of the road, into the construction barriers). So I ordered the catalog, and I'm hoping to get it soon. The only huge drawback for me is that I think they only come wood-mounted, so that makes them doubly expensive, and I'll only end up un-mounting them. But, hey, if you gotta have it, you gotta have it! It's about TEXAS, fellow-babies!!

Anyway, actually I think I do still have those gift bags to show y'all, but since I seem to be glued to the couch and the camera is in the other room ... I'll try to get to that next time!

Oh, update on my home stamp-making machine ... I still haven't got it yet, and I ordered it at the end of April. The company I ordered it from (ooooh, that was bad grammar!) said they had run out of them, and that they had asked their supplier to drop ship mine directly, but that didn't happen (I should have gotten it last week), so I e-mailed the online store owner, and she apologized and promised to make sure it happened this week. It is Thursday and I haven't gotten it yet. I did get a cryptic e-mail message tonight from one of those sort-of anonymous shipping places (this one was Endicia) saying they are shipping my package, but I have no idea what package this is. Since I think I've gotten everything else that I've ordered lately, I'm hoping this is the stamp maker. Otherwise I'll have to e-mail her again and get a little more firm about it, which I hate to do because I'm a pretty nice person, really.

So, anyway, whatever. I'm off to take care of laundry now because my dryer is buzzing at me and threatening to devour all my socks and underwear if I don't come get the stuff out of it. *SIGH* A woman's work is never done, ay?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tired of being the Drama Queen (LONG!)

So, I do apologize for not writing for nearly two weeks! I didn't realize it had been that long. I have made a couple of things since then, though I haven't downloaded the gift bags for the graduation cards from my camera yet.

However, I can show you the second graduation card I made for my customer. This particular grandson of hers goes to a school whose colors are teal and white, thus the choice of color.
I used a combination of stamps from Stampin' Up!, Cornish Heritage Farms (the sheet of paper background stamp) and Rubberstamp Avenue (the tassel). The numbers are chipboard that I coated in SU teal pigment ink, then embossed in high gloss embossing powder. No special techniques, really, other than just watermark stamping (the tassel and the words on the silver shimmer CS) and embossing (the numbers and the first tassel).

And I did make my mom's Mother's Day card! I was looking through my e-mail on Saturday morning and someone had posted a Double Pocket card, and I thought VOILA! That's what I'll make for my mom! So I used some double-sided paper I got at Michaels the other day when they had all their paper pads on sale for 40% off (and I can't remember the brand and it's late and I'm too tired to go upstairs to see what it is). The dark blue flowers are very shiny, but it doesn't show up well in the pic. I also used stamps by Onyx Expressions (this company is so cool -- their stamps are BLACK rubber!) and Club Stamp. And I used my Cricut! The flowers on one of the tags came from my "A Walk in My Garden" cartridge and the word "Mom" came from my "Jasmine" one. So here are images of that card:







As I mentioned above, I also made gift bags to put the graduation cards in, at the request of my customer. Got those done Friday, and took pics of them, but haven't got them on the computer yet.

The main reason I didn't post this week was because ... well, I didn't feel like it. I spent Saturday night (6:30pm to Sunday 1:00am) in the emergency room with my heart going nuts. I actually had this for ten minutes on Friday afternoon, but didn't do anything about it. It started up again on Saturday and would not stop. So Bjorn took me in to the nearby urgent care place, and they hooked me up to an EKG and said I was having "atrial fibrillation" -- my heart rate was 150 and my two upper heart chambers had totally forgotten what a heart rhythm was, they were just fluttering all over the place. It totally freaked me out. So the guy at the urgent care called an ambulance and they took me to the ER at the same hospital where my grandmother died! (It's a good hospital, but I didn't want to go there because of the memories.) Long story not so long, they said I didn't have the "dangerous" kind of a-fib (i.e., there are some kinds of them that have a dangerous rhythm that can be life-threatening), but that if the a-fib went on too long it could cause small blood clots in my heart, and those could break free and travel to my brain, causing a stroke! Comforting thought, that. (NOT!) Fortunately my heart stopped doing that on its own after about 2-1/2 hours (just before they were going to give me some meds to try to level it out).

They did bloodtests and a chest x-ray, which all came back looking okay. My electrolytes and potassium levels were low, which they said could have caused it, so they made me drink this incredibly nasty potassium stuff in some orange juice that had to have been the worst thing I've ever tasted! They gave me a prescription for Lopressor (I think it's a beta blocker?) to slow my heart rate down, then sent me home with instructions to see a cardiologist on Monday or Tuesday. (They had one in mind, he had been in the ER while I was there.)

Monday I went to the cardio and he said there are lots of causes of a-fib, and that sometimes they never find the cause at all. He said taking decongestants can cause it, for people like me who have mitral valve prolapse. It could be anything from that to the low potassium to something like heart disease. So they're running tests on me to see if they can determine what it was/is. I had a sonogram while I was there to double check on the mitral valve prolapse. My heart had been doing some skipping (pretty normal for MVP), and it was weird to watch it on the monitor -- the little valve would just stop for a second, then resume like nothing had happened! Today I'm wearing a holter monitor, which is like a mini-EKG that I have to wear around for 24 hours. I'm supposed to record in a little journal if anything abnormal happens. And on the 28th I go in for a stress test. I am NOT looking forward to that!!

The doc also said I won't die if it happens again (unfortunately, once you've had it, it often becomes recurring), and that I can wait as long as six hours or so to go to the ER if it keeps up that long. I don't think I could wait that long, because it is a REALLY WEIRD feeling, and it makes me panicky. I'm thinkin' maybe four hours? Maybe. And up until just a few minutes ago I hadn't had another fibrillation thing, but just as I was starting to write this I had an 8-9 second one. So that was pretty depressing. I do NOT want to do this again. I do NOT want to have to go to the ER again. I'm sick of having things wrong with me. I had to ride in an ambulance back in December when I got dehydrated from that gastrointestinal flu, and I had to do it Saturday night, and I do NOT want to do that again. Even if Bjorn just took me in, I do NOT want to have to go to the ER again!! I'm ready to just be NORMAL and HEALTHY for awhile!!!!!

I wouldn't even let Bjorn tell his folks about this. I know they would be sweet and understanding about it, but I am SO embarrassed about it. They're Norwegians, and Norwegians are healthy even when they're not. And I've had to leave their cabin in an ambulance twice now (there was another time years ago when I had a panic attack because of a new med I was on, and didn't know what it was and we all thought it might be a heart attack), and I just feel like Miss Drama Queen because of all this. I know, I know, I couldn't help it, but still. It's just humiliating.

So, it's off to bed now, and I hope I don't have ANY MORE stinkin' fibrillations. None tonight, none tomorrow, no more ever! I just want my heart to get a dadgum clue and beat like it's supposed to. I'm very, very tired of drama.

Anyway, so this weekend I'm hoping we can get the stuff moved out of my craft loft so we can strip out the nasty orange shag carpet and the nasty orange "velvet" wallpaper and put in the nice wood laminate we got on sale and the pegboard and whatever else we get to cover the walls that are normally covered by my shelf-cube units and my desk. But I'm going to be taking things as easy as I can. Danged a-fib.

Off to bed ...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Five-greats grandaughter of a Texian Alcalde ...

You all know I'm a native Texan. I don't know if you have any clue just HOW native, though. My g-g-g-g-g-grandfather was one of the original settlers to come to Texas with Stephen F. Austin's first colony, what is now known as the "Old Three Hundred." For those of you a little rusty on Texas history, this is THE original Texas colony, back when it was still part of Mexico, the first group of Americans the Mexicans let settle here (poor fools didn't know what a huge mistake they were making! hee hee).

SO ... today I decided to use some of my "leftover" Granny money to buy a year's subscription to Ancestry.com's US records. I've had a subscription there before, found a TON of great family history. But today, first day on the new subscription, I hit pay dirt -- found the record of my ancestor's original land grant in the Austin Colony!! It wasn't the actual document, just a record of where it can be found, but then I decided to look it up at the Texas General Land Office website and I FOUND THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT!! I mean a scanned pdf of the original thing! And for your viewing pleasure, here is the first page:



Further on in the document, in a couple of places, are Stephen F. Austin's own signature! Apparently in Mexican official circles he went by "Estevan F. Austin" -- here's the siggy:



Is that the coolest thing, or what? My family had a direct connection to Stephen F. Austin via my 5-greats grandfather! It is true awesomeness. (In case you can't tell, I'm a pretty darned proud Texan -- always have been, even before I knew all this, and I always will be.)

Even cooler ... if I can get documentation of all my connections from my dad on back to this ancestor, that plus this land grant doco will get me admitted to the "Austin Old Three Hundred Society," the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, AND the Daughters of the American Revolution, since this guy also fought in the Revolutionary War alongside "The Swamp Fox" (Marion Fox?), a guerrilla warfare Yankee. I think that is so darned amazing!

SO ... yeah, had to share that. There is so much more interesting stuff about this guy, but I'll save that for another day :-)

I did actually stamp today, despite the fact that I've been fighting a Horrible Hormone Migraine since yesterday. None of my headache meds have helped much, so I've been suffering -- fortunately it hasn't been a go-to-bed-and-wish-Jesus-would-come-back-NOW type of headache, but it hasn't been fun. I had to get my mother-in-law's Mother's Day card made so I could mail it to her tomorrow (she lives in Arizona), so here's what I did:



Technique is "Cling & Scrunch" -- I don't remember what I used on this, I think it was Rainbow Mist sprays (or whatever they're called -- by the Twinks people). Stamps are SU. I stamped the swirl in Versamark and embossed with Aged Mahogany Distress EP, then rubbed it to distress it, like you're supposed to do. The word "Cherish" is stamped in Bravo Burgundy Craft ink (SU) and embossed with High Gloss EP (from my LSS). It's a semi-CASE of one of my own cards, but with a migraine I just couldn't come up with anything terribly original. I loved the original, and I figured it was worthy of her. She's a very special lady, and has overcome two mastectomies, plus thyroid tumors, and also has a kind of very slow-growing lukemia (I think that's what it is ... it has a specific name that I can't remember). She is definitely an overcomer and we're blessed to have her!

So, okay, gotta run get to bed. I bought two new Christian fiction books today and I can't wait to get started on one!

Oh ... my Granny Grief has really kicked in. I was kinda numb there for about a month or so, but just the other day things started to hit me hard ... random stuff. She, my mother and I are all three allergic to wheat, so we have these wheat-free frozen waffles we just LOVE. One version of them is made with flax, and she and I both love those. I ran out of my own waffles the other day, and so my mom gave me a box she had in her freezer. Mom writes the dates on food so she'll know when it's no longer fresh. The date on this box was pre-Granny's fall. It was Granny's last box of waffles. She didn't get to finish them. She LOVED those waffles. So I went to get one out the other night and that just hit me. So I sat there and bawled the whole time I was eating the waffle.

So, yeah, I'm glad Granny is at peace and no longer suffering. But at the same time, I really, really want my Granny back.

Peace out...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Swing shift

Wow, has today been different! I've swung from lethargic and half-dead to being incredibly hyper. In general I'm feeling MUCH better, although the hyper thing is a little annoying (my hands are ridiculously shaky!). So, yeah, I'll take this over slugness any day!

The coolness of it is that I spent time in the loft today and MADE A CARD!! One of my former customers has commissioned me to make graduation cards for two of her grandchildren, so I got the first one done today. If I may say so myself, I'm pretty proud of it.

This one is for the granddaughter who is graduating from the University of Texas. For those of you who might not be familiar with UT, its main color is burnt orange. Don't ask me why, it's a hideous color (in my opinion), but there ya go. Fortunately I was able to scrounge some "burnt orange" (actually Real Rust) paper from SU's "Apple Cider" designer paper that was in the (I think) Holiday Mini last year, which really helped soften the harshness of the orange color. (Okay, you UT fans can stop yelling at me for hating orange. It's just not my favorite color. I graduated from Arizona State, but have no "allegiance" as it were. If I have to have an "allegiance" it would be for Texas Tech because my parents both went there and they are pretty big fans.)



ANYway. This is called a "coat card", since it has a little coat around it! Hey, I didn't think it up, I'm just tellin' ya what it's called. It's a technique I got from Splitcoast Stampers. I used the Great Grads SU set, which I really love because it is SO much more sophisticated than the ones they've had in the recent past.

Here's what it looks like opened. The inside bit is the actual card. I embossed the word "grad" with High Gloss embossing powder that I got a a local scrap store, so it's really shiny.


And here is a little "extra" I threw in for fun. I saw this stamp at Seaside Stamping Ink online and thought it was the coolest sentiment! But when I made the card there was nowhere to put it, so I decided I'd just make the girl a tag with it on there. I know the flower on the tag obscures part of the word "Instructions", but I just had to put something frufy on it. It was a bit stark otherwise. I stamped on a white paper flower with a TAC stamp, then took another paper flower and sponged Real Rust on the petals. I layered those, stuck a large Pumpkin colored brad through the middle, then stuck the whole thing on. I hope the honored graduate will like the tag and use it as a bookmark or something.

So, yay! Joy and happiness! I know, it's National Scrapbooking Day and I didn't scrap, but I don't like those made-up Designated Days anyway. Just an industry marketing ploy to get people to buy more stuff, really. Okay, alot of people love going to the crops and stuff, so that's okay, but I just don't like the sort-of manipulation of NSD and National Cardmaking Day. Makes me feel rebellious. Okay, gripe over!

(Time for a sheepish confession ... when I got up this morning there was an ad in my e-mail from Oh My Crafts -- as there is practically every day -- with NSD sales on Cricut cartridges. I bought three. Hey, I got 10% off the order because it was NDS, so I suppose I shouldn't gripe about it!)

Okay, I'm gonna run over and show my mother my card and just say Hi. Hope everybody has a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, May 02, 2008

A hot knife through butter

Well, I finally got up into the loft today and played with my new Walnut Hollow Creative Hot Knife that I bought at Michaels on Tuesday before I wiped out and had to get myself home. (Speaking of which, got the results of my blood tests back -- I am completely normal, nothing serious going on except a really bad reaction to steroids and a sinus infection. So I am now on Doxycycline again. But I do feel "better" today in the sense that I don't feel quite as weirded out, more just sick. Sick I can handle!)

ANYWAY ... the knife is awesome! It really works superbly well, like, well, a hot knife through butter on the EZ Mount, and even fairly easily on the rubber itself. Here's the scoop:

What I did was peel the rubber only off an SU set and adhere it to the sticky side of some EZ Mount, then I peeled the paper backing off the vinyl cling side and stuck that to a glass cutting mat. Then I just traced around the edge of the rubber (cutting the foam only -- on this set the rubber was already trimmed just fine), and, I mean, in seconds the stamp was cut out and ready to go on an acrylic block! Cutting out the whole set took less than five minutes. This will totally make unmounting all my sets so much easier!

Then I wanted to try trimming rubber with it. I found a stamp I bought that had some biggish empty-rubber bits ("Simple Pleasures" by Stampabilities -- some of you have this, the one of the little boy walking with his dad down a road) and unmounted it. That part was NOT easy, as Stampabilities use some kind of horrid, cancer-inducing black foam that is stuck for eternity to the rubber. I ended up having to actually use the hot knife to scrape the rubber off, and this is what I mean about the cancer inducing part -- the smell was wretched! The foam probably has toluene or something in it. I know about this stuff because I spent a summer working in the Safety department of the chemical company where my dad was the environmental affairs director. I looked at a darned awful lot of MSDS sheets describing all kinds of nasty chemicals and their dangers to human health. "Black foam for mounting rubber stamps" was probably one of them.

So, anyhow, once I finally got that off, I just put the rubber by itself down on the glass mat and trimmed back the parts where I wasn't satisfied with the way the company had done it. It wasn't quite like cutting through butter, it took a bit of pressure (not much!), and I did have to kind-of hold down the rubber with my left hand while I cut with my right, because of the tendency of rubber to stretch. But I got great results with it, and after I did the rubber I stuck it to the EZ Mount and trimmed the foam to match. (The main reason I didn't stick it to the EZ Mount before I trimmed out the rubber bits was because the work was a bit detailed and I wasn't sure if working through both would be a good idea.) Then I stamped with it to make sure there weren't any little unfortunate lines anywhere, and I got a perfect image!

I am totally thrilled with this thing. It should really make this unmounting project pretty much a snap now (as long as I don't have too many black-foam stamps to deal with!) And then I'll have more space, and then I can start getting my pegboard and new flooring and really get with it on re-doing the loft!! Yippeeeee!

I am almost finished with my cataloging project! I got all but the current SU sets lists printed and into a notebook. Tomorrow I'll probably get the current SU lists printed up and added. The last things I need to do are make the alphabet image index, add the non-SU wood-mounteds as they come off their mounts and check for sets/stamps I've missed. It will be SO COOL to have an index to use!!

AND I'm hoping to get into the loft and MAKE SOMETHING!! I am in desperate need of creativity again. I have been organized, now it's time to get messy!

Off to bed, hopefully a good night's sleep and a better day tomorrow.

God is good!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Still no craftiness ... but a great link!

Well, I'm still suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous steroid withdrawal, so I haven't been doing anything terribly creative lately to show off. I haven't even felt like trying out my new hot knife on my unmounting scheme to see if it's going to save me time and effort yet. *SIGH*

BUT all is not lost! I have been putting my "slug time" to use and working more on categorizing/cataloging my stamps. I'm almost finished with my index lists!! I'm hoping to finish printing them out tonight. I know I don't have every single stamp on the list -- there are a few retired SU stamps that I haven't yet unmounted that didn't make it on there, and my non-SU mounted stamps that I was planning to get to this week aren't there yet, either, but those can be handwritten in after printing, I'm not that picky. Also, I need to make index images of several alphabets, including all the ones in my alphabet binder, but that will take time and I don't have the energy at the moment. I'm thinking I'll just do the "ABC" of each of those rather than the entire set.

Anyway, while I was bored and web surfing today I ran across a site I had posted in my del.icio.us awhile back called OrganizedScrapbooks.com. It's got several really great articles on scrap-life organizing (i.e., not just about scrapBOOK organizing), and I ran across one that COULD revolutionize my life if I would actually do it. It's this one: Got Photos? Packing Page Kits from Photos to Finished. Brothers and sisters, this woman has it figured OUT! I have always thought people who actually "plan" pages and put the stuff together in a page file to be a bit ... un-spontaneous, you know? Kinda, oh, like the opposite of "art" or something. Planned. Calculated. ORGANIZED, for cryin' out loud! That ain't how I scrapbook, huh uh. I sit down with photos, stare at them for hours, pick a color scheme, get some cardstock and PP, arrange and rearrange the CS, PP and photos about 1000 times, crop photos, decide I don't like how I arranged it and really wish I HADN'T cropped that photo that way, finally stick things down and then go hunting for embellies. At the end I remember I was gonna do some major journaling, only now I don't have room so I have to be "creative" in my journaling block and make it interactive or something. Or be brief. And the result of all this is supposed to be a beautiful, spontaneous, heartfelt work of art that captures exactly all the emotion and meaning of the photos and the memories involved. Sometimes that works. More often than not I go, "Um, yeah. Okay, it's alright." And then I put it in my album and it's six months before I do another page because it is EXHAUSTING to think of going through that again soon!

So this little system ... picking out your photos, your paper, your embellies and whatever, planning your journaling, and putting it all together in a file for when you're ready, even if you're not going to do the page(s) any time soon ... I mean, how awesome is that? Just think, you spend a weekend putting together a bunch of these little kits, and then the next time you want to scrap something, just go to the ol' scrap loft, grab a kit and go! We are talking get some MAJOR amounts of scrapping done!

I want to do this. Really really. All I need is to get my energy and brain back from the stupid steroid withdrawal thing and I think I could. It's actually pretty exciting!

So, okay, speaking of the steroids thing, I went to my doc today and she was SO sweet and concerned and listened to every single weird symptom, and she's doing blood tests to check for a bunch of things that could have gotten knocked out of whack, everything from adrenal gland function to electrolytes to kidney and liver function, acidosis, all kinds of things that might have really been kicked out of balance. Knowing me every single test will come back totally negative and I will just have to ride this out until it's over (like, 2010?), but I am SO hoping there is something that can be done to get me my energy and my life back! She doesn't want me to get stressed, and she doesn't even want me to drive very far (because my ability to concentrate is really just not very good at the moment!). I'm just a total mess.

Anyway, the worst "side effect" of this is that I DO have the energy for online shopping, and a little "fun money", and that is SO not a good combination. Several stamp companies have benefited from my condition over the last couple of days! I did learn a valuable lesson about "grab bags", though -- I'm not the kind of person who should buy them. I got one from Stamp Francisco, and while I LOVE their stuff, I didn't love what I got. I'm not a brave, collage-y type person, though.

Well, now that I have written a novella, I will go and get back to my stamp cataloging. And then one magic day I will be WELL and I can get back to doing wonderful and artsy-craftsy things with all those lovely, lonely stamps!!