Archive for May, 2008

My friend Charlene noticed my first attempt at an altered pie pan in my scrapbook room pictures.  But my first attempt was a total disaster, so you don’t get to see it.  Here is my second attempt.


I bought a regular old much-used aluminum pie pan at (where else?) the thrift store.  I painted it with acrylic paint and then adhered a piece of patterned paper cut to size.  I got the hole in top of the pan with my Crop-A-Dile.  Who would have thought that it could punch through a pie pan?

Items used: Crate Paper – Katlin Collection – heartbreaker; Making Memories acrylic paint in Lipstick; Bazzill Collection Polished Pebbles in Envy; Heidi Swapp Florals in kiwi and dark pink; sugar-coated letters; Flair Design metal tag; Making Memories clear frame; K & Co. chipboard.

My friend is in the Air Force stationed in Afghanistan and she sent me this picture.  I guess she’s thinking of me!

Okay, seriously, I don’t know why I felt the need to share this particular picture except that, let’s face it, pictures of toilets are funny.  Plus, it cracks me up to think of the Chief over in Afghanistan taking pictures of the toilet!  Come home safely, Chief!


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I was looking for sweater patterns to knit for my husband.  Not because I can knit or anything, but because I like to torture him on occasion.  Anyway, I came across this wonderful pattern book full of sweaters just for “men”!  (I put “men” in quotes because I don’t know any actual men who would wear these and I suspect the “models” in the book are actually artistically rendered paper dolls.)

Any of the sweaters on this page would be terribly appropriate for the next time your husband goes birdwatching at the local arbaritum.  The guy in the blue sweater is saying, “Look at that fantastic specimen of red-throated finch!”  And the other 2 are going, “Where?  WHERE?  Oh there he is.  Beautiful.  Let’s talk about our feelings some more.”

Now either of these 2 sweaters would be great if you are sending your son to an Ivy League engineering school.  Why would engineers in particular be drawn to these models?  Well, who else would wear white socks with dark pants and dark shoes?  These 2 young men are discussing their Statics final, “Great sweater, Cheddington.”  “Thanks, Chester, my mother knit it for me.  How did you do on your Statics final?  Question 3 was really tough, huh?”  “Oh, yes, most difficult.  What say we go to Ruby Tuesday to pick up chicks tonight, Old Chap?”  Okay, I don’t know why Chester suddenly developed an English accent, but you get the jist.


Now, if your man has a tendency to look rather like an uneducated hillbilly, you should really coach him in the proper way to hold sunglasses in his hand and look like he’s very enamored with the nearest tree branch or flying buttress.  A word of warning here though, if your man tends toward pudginess, you probably won’t want to pair this sweater with white pants – he’ll look like a giant bouy.


I can just imagine the conversation between these 2 young men.  “Dude, Lester, did you see Chester and Cheddington at Ruby Tuesday last night trying to pick up townies?”  “Oh yes, Martin, they are so bourgeois.”  “Definitely.  What are you going to wear to the polo finals this weekend?”  “I do believe I will wear my new Izod and this sweater my mother knit me.  Do you think anyone will notice if I wear it again this week?”  “Yes, that is a major faux pas.  We could trade sweaters and then we’d each have a different one to wear!”  “That’s a great idea!  Your mother knits almost as well as mine!”


Once your man graduates from college and learns which color of socks is most appropriate, then you can make him one of these more grown-up, professional sweaters for when he visits the track.  “You want to put $300 on Big Red Barn?  What is wrong with you man?  He’s destined for the glue factory within the month!  Put your money on Contessa Azul.”   


And for those all-important back-yard-pipe-smoking parties at Southfork, you will definitely want to knit your man one of these colorful beauties.  After all, you don’t want to be the only arm candy at the picnic.

If you would like to make one of these sweaters, I’m sure you can find the patterns on the Bear Brand and Fleisher Yarns website.  If you need help choosing colors, please send me a message.  After all, fashion advice is just one more service that I like to offer my faithful readers!

Don’t forget, it’s Memorial Day, go thank a veteran.  We literally owe our lives to the men and women of our armed services.

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I’m often asked, “Mary (that’s what my friends call me is Mary), where do you create all these artistic masterpieces?”  So I thought I would share some pictures of my scrapbook room.  Perhaps you can use some of my organizational ideas.

First, is my pegboard that is approximately 1/3 the size of one wall.  I’m sure you will all understand the genius behind my simple embellishment organization system.  Now you will hear some “experts” such as CD Mukosky, Lisa Bearnson, and others suggest that you should organize your embellishments by color and/or manufacturer.  They are out to lunch.  My way is so much simpler and makes so much more sense.  When I get home from the scrapbook store, I take each package of embellishments and hang them on the first peg I see with enough room to accomodate them.  It’s far simpler than all that sorting nonsense.

I also have a microwave cart that my husband gave me for Christmas one year.  The middle shelf is where I put all the embellishments that I bought when I didn’t have any pegs with enough room to accomodate them.  They are neatly stored in a box.  That same shelf holds my school box of pens that sometimes closes and sometimes doesn’t.  On top of the cart is where I put all my paints and everything else that does not hang room on the pegboard or that I don’t want to put in my box.  The bottom shelf holds a stack of fishing tackle boxes full of eyelets and a basket from Wal-Mart holds all my chipboard.  Please do not trip over my cart as the eyelet stack is a true engineering marvel and the structural integrity could be compromised if its environment were to be disrupted.  And who wants to pick up millions of tiny eyelets off the floor just because he or she can’t watch where they are going?


Now for the paper stack.  I got some cube thingies (that’s the technical term for them) at Costco and I put them together with fancy colored zip ties.  Paper is roughly sorted by theme with the largest stack being “Miscellaneous”.  Again, some of the so-called “experts” will tell you that paper should be organized by color and manufacturer.  I say to them, “Pish posh.”  My cardstock scraps are stored in photo sleeves in a 3 ring binder – they are organized by color.  My motto has always been, “Scraps should be meticulously organized by color.”  I store my patterned paper scraps in a 12×12 project sleeve.  My paper trimmer is balanced on top of the trash can for easy access.  My scissors hand on a magnetic knife holder strip thingie (another technical term) that I got at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.


My ribbon holder really is cool.  My dad made it for me for Christmas one year.  I used to sort my ribbon with much the same theory as my paper, but a couple weeks ago, I decided to sort it by color. 

And last, is my closet.  My husband made me some built in shelves.  I think he felt sorry for me because I had morning sickness 24/7.  I’m showing only half the closet because the other half is so meticulously organized that I don’t want to make anyone green with envy.  I store all my foam stamps, Sizzix dies, items to be altered, cutters, etc. on this half of the closet.

I fully expect Creating Keepsakes magazine to call me up in the next week or two to do an article on my scrap room.  Now go create something wonderful!

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I made a set of 3 altered canvasses for my mother for Mother’s Day.  I used one 7×9 stretched artists’ canvas turned horizontally in the middle and a 5×7 turned vertically on each end.  I mod-podged patterned paper to each canvas.  (If you don’t know how to mod-podge by now, it’s because you have not been reading my blog religiously and you should be very ashamed of yourself.)

After that, I added my pictures, mats, and small embellishments.  I finished the edges by using Aleene’s Tacky Glue to adhere ribbon all the way around.

These altered canvasses are great for home decor and make even better gifts.  They can be hung on the wall or displayed on a small easel or plate hanger.  Enjoy!
















































































Products used: K&Co. Smitten Pink Paisley Flat Paper, Masterpiece Studios Chic Stripes, Paper Studio Border Punch, Bazzill Collection Polished Pebbles in Lip Gloss, Paper Studio Gemstones, Prima Say It In Crystals.

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My husband, kid, and I went to Texas this weekend for my cousin’s graduation party.  We found a few funny signs, but Oklahoma and Texas don’t offer nearly the selection of funny signs that Arkansas does!  Nonetheless, here’s what we found.

Apparently, God is a redneck.  His house is on a gravel road, made of metal, and has a shed out back.  He also drives a Pontiac.  Which is interesting because I always pictured Him as more of a walker.  I wonder what he keeps in the shed. 






















At first I thought it was really odd to advertise that one could save thousands on cremation.  But I guess if you are going to skimp in life, that’s the place to do it.  I’m sure a pile of kindling and a match can do just as well as whatever the more expensive places use.  I can’t help but wonder though, if Muskogee Cremation Services somehow utilizes the propane tank in the background.  Cheap cremation is really the way to go if you want to leave your children a nice inheritance.  If, however, you are a bad parent and want to spend it all before you die, then you should probably take a trip down to your more hoity toity funeral home.






















I don’t know if you can see this one, it was getting dark and we were going the other direction – although in this part of Oklahoma, no one but the big giant mutant birds would notice if you did a u-turn in the middle of the highway.  The 2 towns that are next to each other are Coalgate and Ada.  It’s okay if you don’t laugh.  My husband didn’t think it was funny either.  But I laughed and this is my blog, so I’m sharing.






















While my husband didn’t crack a smile about Coalgate and Ada, he did laugh hysterically about the name of this road in Texas.  We drove down it, but never did find Bubba H. 






















There is nothing funny about the next picture, but it was such a cool smoker/grill that I have convinced my husband he needs to build me one.  We found this at a mini storage office near Atoka, Oklahoma.  It’s a grill, but also has a place  to build a fire so that you can use it as a smoker.  We stopped because we thought it was a cool mailbox, but when we got out to look, we realized what it was and totally fell in love.  We are such hillbillies that we just had to put the kid on the giant pistol grill and get her picture!  My husband is working on collecting the metal to build it as we speak.






















So that’s about it for the funny stuff we saw in Oklahoma and Texas.  Maybe we’ll get down to Arkansas this summer and get some funnier stuff.

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I found this postcard at a thrift store a couple weeks ago.  It had never been sent to anyone and I wondered why … okay, just kidding, I knew exactly why; but it’s fun to pretend I don’t.  I assume the person who bought the postcard simply changed his or her mind about sending it and did not actually get eaten by a cheetah.



What would one say in a postcard like this?

Dear Walt,

I happened on this scene earlier today and it made me think of you.

Love, Jane

Poor Walt.  He would probably be sitting in his Lazy Boy eating Nacho Doritos trying to figure out what Jane was trying to say.  Was it the cheetahs that reminded her of him?  Or was it the bloodied half-eaten carcass?  Perhaps she pictured him as more of the onlooking rodent.  Either way, it would have to be unsettling to receive a post card such as this.  Heck, it was unsettling to find it in a thrift store bin nestled between Beatrix Potter post cards.

I wonder what made the photographer think that this would make an appropriate postcard.  Judging by the look on the middle cheetah’s face, it’s possible that this was the last photograph the guy ever took and it was turned into a postcard as a sort of tribute to him.  The world may never know.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some deer meat waiting to be turned into jerky …

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Since today is Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a little something I made for my own mother.  I also made her some altered canvasses, but I will show those later in the week.  I made her a “card” out of an old CD.



First I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to cut a sheet of K & Co. Smitten Pink Paisley paper to the correct size.  I then adhered the paper with Mod Podge.  (In case you haven’t yet noticed, I’m a fool for Mod Podge.  I guess you could even say that I heart Mod Podge.)  I put another layer of Mod Podge on top.  Once that dried, I painted the bottom of my daughter’s foot with pink acrylic paint and pressed the CD to the bottom of her foot to get the foot print.  It smudged a little bit, but don’t judge until you try to hold a squirmy 8 month old child with pink paint on her foot.  Once that dried, I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in the CD (don’t ask me why I punched 3 right together because I don’t know).  I tied pink ribbons through the hole.  I finished the CD off with the smallest circle from Heidi Swapp’s Bling line (pink circle frames).  I just wrote directly on the project with a black Sharpie.  I thought about stamping “Happy Mother’s Day” with black Stayz-On, but the only Mother’s Day stamp I own was a little overwhelming for this project.

I attached a magnet to the back so my mom can hang the CD on her refridgerator so admire all year long.  And I fully expect to see it there next time I visit.

This would be a great project for a mom or grandma any time of year – especially for her birthday or Mother’s Day.  What mother’s heart wouldn’t melt at the sight of her child’s foot print? 

I hope everyone had as nice of a Mother’s Day as I did. 

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