Weight Loss Update and Small Rant

Just a quick one today - as for weight loss, now down 12 pounds. All without exercise, done just by reducing the calories I'm consuming. I eat what I want, but I eat less of it. I don't deny myself something. We've gone out for ice cream, ate what we wanted for the fourth of July, and I'm still losing. It kind of makes me sad when I think about how much I must have been consuming before.

Speaking of the 4th...I went out that morning and got my kiddo a $20 blow up pool from Big Lots and it is all he can talk about still. He LOVED IT. This photo was taken during hour...three, maybe? The water was nice and clear when we started but he spent a solid four hours running across the back yard to jump into the pool. Then he wondered why it got so filled with grass and dirt. Gee? I wonder?

As for my small rant...it's more of a "this is getting creepy now ok please stop thank you." I've had this happen a few times, but for example, a few weeks ago, I merely spoke to Brad about a new liquor store I noticed nearby in town, and a few days later, an ad popped up for it on Instagram. First ever local ad I've had. I never searched for the store or typed it or texted it or anything. But I suddenly get an ad? THE PHONE IS LISTENING.

Yesterday I ordered a couple of bathing suits from Torrid from my computer. I never searched on my phone, but I did Snapchat pictures and a few remarks to Shannon. Today, the top three ads on my Instagram feed are bathing suit ads.


How do you avoid this? I mean, Snapchat?! I know you can browse in private mode, but when your phone is picking up your Snaps, or your texts, or YOUR FREAKIN' VOICE and targeting you for ads...that's messed up. I hate it and it makes me feel like I'm constantly being watched. (Which, let's face it, I'm sure we are, in some way).

Rant over.

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Add A Touch Of Gold

I have a card today! Yay! :)

This card is the next in the card making challenge I've been working on. I wanted to make a congratulations card for a friend who reached a huge milestone, and I just love the Lawn Fawn Upon A Star stamp set a friend recently gave me. I thought the set would be perfect for this card.

The stamp set comes with little constellations you can stamp but I opted to use a background paper from one of my 12x12 paper stacks from Heidi Swapp, the September Skies pack.

I stamped the fox and bunny with Memento Tuxedo Black and colored them in with some of my Copic markers. Then I used the matching dies for the Upon A Star stamp set and cut them out. I used the My Favorite Things Stitched Snowdrifts die set to make the hillside on the bottom of the card.

For the sentiment and part of my "touch of gold" in the challenge, I stamped 'You're A Star' with Versamark and then used Stampin' Up! gold embossing powder. I used a white Gelly Roll pen to outline the 'star' for a little something extra.

I popped up the critters with foam adhesive, and to finish off the card, I added some gold star sequins I have in my stash. That makes me happy because I have SO many sequins, so any opportunity to use some is a big bonus in my book.

I love how this card turned out and I hope my friend does too! :)

Weight Loss Check In #6, New Earrings, Random Life Update

Happy Tuesday! I didn't check in last week, but I am down another 2 pounds since my last check in, which makes 9 total, completely without any exercise. I am still struggling to actually find time and desire to hop on that treadmill. I mean...I don't have an excuse not to exercise. It's me being lazy and not making the time or effort. I need to kick my own butt.

Austin finished up first grade last week! He's spending a couple of days with his Grammy and then we have a nice long summer break together. I'm looking forward to doing lots of fun day trips with him and just spending time together. Brad and I took yesterday and headed to the casinos for the day...except that didn't go so well and we came home early and instead got some Chipotle and played Diablo 3 on Xbox for the rest of the night, which was wonderful.

I've been swamped with my Etsy shop lately, which is so exciting. I made a set of glittery earrings for my Etsy shop a couple of weeks ago and those took off like wildfire, which I am so thankful for. Today I added two new colors to the original group as well as three new color combos! I've got a bunch of other colors and patterns of the faux leather and the glitter that I'm working on making some other styles of earrings besides just the marquise as well. I'm feeling my crafty mojo really kick into gear with making these earrings and it feels so nice!

I am hoping to be back next week with some new cards as I have a few new stamps and inks I want to try out. I need to spend the next couple of days getting some cleaning done around the house. I need to grocery shop as it's been over 2 weeks and we're like, out of food. And I want to get Austin ready for summer break activities and keeping him busy at home with his summer math and reading, as well as some games and things he can play with while I'm working too. Just "housekeeping" stuff. 

Disney Vlog

While I still need to process my pictures from Disney (which, knowing my track record, will take me 3 years to do), I did manage to FINALLY get that Disney vlog up I had been wanting to post.

Funny Father's Day Card, Craft Shows (?) and Glitter Earrings

So this card isn't really blog worthy, but it's fun, so I wanted to share. I made this for my dad for Father's Day. I wanted to hand make a card but he's more of a "funny card" kind of guy. And he farts a lot. So, this is what I came up with:

I used the outline4letters alphabet stamp from The Stamps of Life for the 'Father,' and colored them with my Copic markers. The smaller letters are the miniabc2stamp set. And I just put the card panel on a base of Neenah Desert Storm card stock.

In other crafty news, I applied for two craft fairs this fall. I'm currently waiting to be accepted. They weren't cheap - the two together are costing me $175 to sign up for. And I'm really hoping they'll approve both handmade greeting cards and earrings, but I know jewelry tends to fill up fast, and I'm nervous they won't. But I can't get myself out there unless I try, so here's hoping! I haven't done a craft fair since before Austin was born, I don't think. I might have done a couple here and there but I don't remember consistently doing them since then.

And finally, I made up some new earrings last night with GLITTER! Glitter is my favorite and I've found this thick glitter canvas with chunky glitter that is just gorgeous. The glitter doesn't shed off and it looks great against the faux leather I paired it with. I'll also be pairing some with genuine leather in the future. Check them out here in my Etsy shop.

I have more of this canvas on the way in more colors and I am just SO excited to be making these. They're new, and fun, and I love that it's a bit of a mix between my jewelry making I used to do and my paper crafting I do now. :)

New Earrings This Week

Sharing my new Etsy shop additions this week! I am especially in love with my layered feathers!

Weight Loss Check In #5 and New Deck!

Happy Monday! Last week was, once again, filled with zero exercise. I'm so lazy! I have no excuses other than I just.dont.wanna. But I lost 1.5 pounds anyway, which makes it 7 pounds total. Which I totally don't feel I deserve since I didn't exercise. However I'm still being really good with calories every single day. I'm eating so much less than I used to, so I am at least doing something. But yeah, I know. I need to exercise.

In other news, this project has been going on for 3 weeks at home. Still not finished but we now have a functioning deck again. Next weekend, Brad is going to put the white fascia boards on the base of the deck, and he's going to start building steps on the gate side over the concrete, and on the side where Sadie's new "bathroom" is. Then he's got some grand plans to build a patio (not likely), and hopefully we can get some grass growing and make our backyard less embarrassing.

Here's the before photo. The stain is all peeled up and the boards all wonky. The yard in front of the deck is dead because Sadie used it as her bathroom for so long.

And here is what it now looks like (sorry I don't have the same angle as the before shot yet...will post when we get the steps and fascia boards done). We put a gate along the back to prevent Sadie from going out there. And we've build a fenced in run for her on the right hand side, so we can let her out the door into the run.

We always had to clip Sadie to a chain/run because if left alone in the backyard she will dig and it's impossible to get her back in the house (she'll run when you try to catch her because she thinks it's a game). So now she's got this area she can go potty in and she won't have access to the rest of the yard unless we are out there playing with her.

So that's the update for this week! I have some cards to post and I've been adding more earrings to my Etsy shop...busy busy! :) Have a great week!

Gel Press - First Impressions, Failures, and a Success?

Ever buy a product you see someone use and think "oh this will be EASY!" and then you get it and it's all "um...why doesn't this work?"

That would be the Gel Press for me. A few days ago, I saw a cool video on the YouTube channel Scrapbooking Made Simple on using a Gel Press with inks, stamps, embossing folders and stencils. Generally this product is used with paint but the woman in the video showed how you could totally use it with stamping inks you own already. I never heard of one of these before, but after watching the video I thought it looked so cool I had to try it. I ordered the 6x6 size Gel Press on Amazon, because I have gift cards and that's where I like to shop when possible (gotta love Prime shipping), though it does come in other sizes.

It arrived yesterday and so today I sat down, ready to make an epic background with stars that looked kind of like the emboss resist technique I'd recently tried. Here's how it looked in the package and when I took it out and took the clear plastic off both sides. It's super squishy and flexible.

The press picks up every piece of lint and animal hair you have around you, so be prepared for that (and keep reading to see why). It has a good weight to it.

So first, I set about using Ranger Distress Inks to make a galaxy background with a Star Splatter stamp from Your Next Stamp. I put my Gel Press on top of a sheet of white card stock so I could see what I was doing.

I pressed around the Distress Ink Cubes in no particular pattern.

I gently rolled my ink brayer around the Gel Press as I'd seen in the video.

Then I pressed my stamp into the Gel Press, again, as I'd seen in the video.

I removed the stamp and pressed my card stock on top.

Aaaaaand...disaster. What an ugly, pebbly mess.

Okie dokie. So Distress Inks aren't working (though I have seen these used when Googling around so I need to experiment some more, probably). Let's move on to dye based inks. Got out my Memento teardrop inks and tried again.

NOPE. Still super pebbly and I obviously mixed up the colors way too much.

On to hybrid inks.

This time I did better with the colors not blending but still looks too pebbly. I don't like it. I'm unhappy. Grrrr.

Finally, I tried pigment inks. I've had one of those pigment ink sets forever, it's old, and I don't generally like pigment inks because they take forever to dry, but hey, let's try it.

Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. No more pebbles, but EWWWW, all the little hairs from my baby wipe stuck to the Gel Press (because it attracts lint and fuzz and, ehem, cat hair, like it's nobody's business).

So I took a lint roller and cleaned off my Gel Press (that worked beautifully, by the way). And then I thought to myself, ok, I've got it. Pigment inks! Let's try again with a stamp. So I took out a different one, it's by Hero Arts, called Tiny Star Background.


I FINALLY got a result I'd been looking for. The pigment inks don't leave the little pebbly texture, they blend pretty well, and the stamp took the ink from the Gel Press beautifully.

I chopped the sheet down into a card sized background and will be using it in a card soon!

The pigment inks did stain my Gel Press while the other inks did not, but it does wipe off pretty clean so I don't think it'll interfere with any future projects, and that was discussed in that YouTube video as well, about staining.

I definitely need to watch more videos about this Gel Press, and practice, practice, practice, but I do think this is a very cool tool to have, and it's pretty inexpensive. Stay tuned!

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Use A Frame

Back today with another card for the card making challenge I've been posting about. You'll notice (obviously) I'm not 100% focused on this challenge and I am doing other things in between posts. This is definitely how I prefer it. The challenge is keeping me going when I want to make something but am not sure what that is, and it is getting me to use products and try techniques I haven't used often or tried before, which is perfect. It doesn't need to be a "I am only doing this until I'm done" kind of thing.

Here is the card I have for you today:

The challenge was to use a frame somewhere on your project. I pulled out the Stampin' Up! On Film Framelit dies I have had for a few years (I got them back when I used to do Project Life because having polaroid photos and frames in your pockets was the cool thing to do) but I'm not sure I ever really used them. Unfortunately they are retired but I have seen them on eBay...and I may be destashing my set at some point. I have a bunch of crafty things to destash, just trying to figure out the best way to do so.

Anyway, my frame is using white card stock and the polaroid shaped die from the On Film set. Behind that, I've used the Lawn Fawn Stitched Cloud Backdrop die and Stampin' Up! Marina Mist card stock to create a cloud background. I stamped my owl and "branch" (log?) from the Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest stamp set, and colored them with Copic and Spectrum Noir markers. I tried die cutting the owl out, but then realized the matching dies didn't come with one for the branch, which meant I had to cut it by hand, and because I cut so close to the edge, it looked weird having the owl with a white border around him. So I ended up cutting around him too.

The Thank Whoooo sentiment is from The Stamps of Life's owls2love stamp set, and it is stamped on a quote bubble cut from the Lawn Fawn A Birdie Told Me die set. I placed all of this on a card base using Stampin' Up! Sahara Sand card stock. Then, to finish the card, I just added some white dashed lines in the corners using a Gelly Roll white pen. It's kind of simple in that it was easy to create and there aren't any extra embellishments, yet not so much when you look at the scene that I created in the middle.

I filmed myself making this card (no voiceover), so please take a look!

Weight Loss Check In #4 and Stamp Organization

Just a quick one - down 1/2 pound from last week. Didn't exercise at all and was right up to my calories every day. I need to do better. But at least things are still progressing.

Those of you who aren't subscribed yet, I did post a short vlog on my YouTube channel showing my stamp organization.