Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My New Silhouette Cameo.

Hello Everyone!! Hey, I am getting better about posting!! It's only been a month since my last post....lol.

I got my Silhouette Cameo about 3 weeks ago and finally got brave enough to take it out of the box today...lol. I think I did the same thing when I got my Cricut Expression too. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! Now, I love my Expression too, but this machine can do those itty bitty tensy weensy cuts that the E just putzes out on. I have been playing with the software since before I got the machine, and I actually bought the upgrade to the Designer Edition right after I got it so I could use svg files with it it. I have a ton of those since I have SCAL too. The free version doesn't have the svg capability. I am really anxious to try the print and cut feature with some digi stamps. I THINK you can print them out, color them in, then open the file again and cut them. At least from what I understand it should work like that. You might have to print and then cut first, then color. I do know you can color them in right in the software if you want, but I think that would kind of take the fun out of stamping. And then what would I do with all those Copics I bought?? I guess I will have to figure it all out..lol.

While I love it all, I do think there is still room for improvement with the software, but I am slowly figuring out how to make it do what I want. I made a test cut and played with it for a while today. I was just using some cheap white cardstock from Walmart to check it out but it cut it like a dream.  So here is my first cut!!

Sorry about the glare. I had it stuck to my Nook cover, then the camera took 2 pictures and died...lol. If you look close at the flower centers they have little spiky thingers and the Cameo cut them perfect. I was impressed. I think this would be soo pretty on a card.  And as you can see from my next picture I had lots of little helpers checking out the Cameo with me...lol. I am in a Mini Me swap with a group of girls and these are the dolls I have got so far. I am hoping to have mine completed and hopefully mailed by the end of the week . I will post pictures after the girls get them. Can't spoil the surprise because mine are definitely going to be funny...lol. The idea is to make the 5" dolls look like you and then you take them on adventures. It's just a fun kooky swap.

I also got a file tonight from the Silhouette store for a pop up birthday card. My granddaughter is going to be 9 Saturday so I thought I would try to make it tomorrow for her. Wish me luck!! I will post pictures of it when I get it all done. I am nervous about making it because it will be the first card I have made in a long time and on a new machine too. I am sure it will be fine.

Let's see. What else has been going on around here? The house is coming along pretty well. I am still seesawing about getting a housekeeper to come in though. I am getting through it slowly but surely on my own and it is looking better and better every day. I do need someone to come in and wash walls and do the deep cleaning but other than that, I think if I keep plugging away at it, I will be fine. My 2nd grandson is going to be staying here while he is home from college this summer and he is an enormous help to me. He will help me finish setting up the 2 bedrooms and do some repairs I need done. I talked to him earlier tonight and he said he would help me rearrange the craft room if I needed him to. He is a sweetie.

Oh!! I have 2 new roommates...lol. I am not real thrilled about them either, but it is turning out alright. Their names are Cocoa and Jade and they are my granddaughters cats. Cocoa is jet black and Jade is Siamese. Her Dad moved to an apartment where he can't have pets. My daughter can't have pets either. So guess who got stuck with the cats. Now how do you turn down those big brown eyes and a little girl asking you, "Gramma, will you please keep my kitties until we move again"...lol. Yes, I am a sucker when it comes to my grandkids. I think my daughter put her up to asking me though because I had been telling her NONONO!! I have no pets myself and I like it that way.

My daughter couldn't find anyone else to take them and it was to the point they were going to have to go to the animal shelter if I didn't take them. I just couldn't do that to my granddaughter so now I have 2 cats for probably at least the next year. They are both about 7 years old and fixed and actually very well trained. They really don't get up on the furniture and I have NEVER caught them on my table or counters. I did have a problem with them digging in my houseplants at first but I fixed their little wagons. I went to Home Depot and got a bag of rocks and put them on top of the dirt. Problem solved...lol.  My problem is the cat hair. They are shedding just clumps of hair all over my floors and making a ton of work for me trying to vacuum it every few days. My daughter is supposed to come over this weekend and give them baths and get them brushed out real good so hopefully that will help. As much as I hate to admit it, they do make me laugh every day with their antics. My daughter told me Jade was the dumbest cat she has ever seen and boy is she right...lol.

OK, I am going to try to be better about posting. I will post the birthday card after I finish it and my Mini Me doll after I get them mailed out. I am sure that I will have a new project for you every now and again too since I have this new machine and I actually am hoping I can maybe do some designing on my own with it eventually. Ok, I am heading to Pinterest for a bit and then to bed. Night All!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Back!!

I am definitely hanging my head in shame. It has been almost a year since I have posted on my blog. Where has the time gone?? I have made progress and had setbacks, but am now in the making progress stage again. Hopefully.

Setback - Last May my daughter moved in with me, along with my grandkids. She has 5 kids, but 2 are in college, so it was usually 3 or 4 kids here at any given time. In a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1000 square foot house...lol. You can imagine the chaos. But, we all survived it and did the best we could with what we had to work with, and she was finally able to get her own place last month. 9 long months later...lol. I was babysitting for her while she worked a bazillion hours so not a lot got done in the craft room. I didn't even have time to make anything much. That's ok though because I got to spend a lot of quality time with my Grandkids, which I really enjoyed, for the most part...lol.

Progress!! Remember the bedroom that was full of bins and just plain old junk?? All gone or moved. We had to empty it out because we needed the space. All the craft stuff was moved to the front of the garage next to the craft room, (where it is still sitting waiting to be unpacked) and I went through all the rest and sent boxes and boxes of "stuff" to Goodwill, plus tossed a lot too that wasn't worth donating. It was a major purge and as much as I hated to do it, I needed to do it. So far I haven't missed a thing so I like to think I made the right choices as to what to keep and what to get rid of. I was brutal in my decisions and my pack rat tendencies were hard to avoid, but I made it. I just hope I can be as brutal when I finally get to all the craft stuff. (I don't see that happening...lol)

Setback and then Progress - To top it off, we ended up packing up my desk in the craft room and moving it into the garage, and then moving the fridge and freezer into the craft room where the desk was. I like it because it is soooo much easier for me to access them and we needed the extra fridge and freezer space closer at the time. I also packed up the shelves above them and they now hold all my small appliances. Food processor, slow cookers and the like, plus I have extra storage for paper and canned goods if I need it. It really cleared a lot of space in my kitchen so that was a big plus too. More about the desk still in the garage later.

More progress!! I am mobile again!! Last month I came into a little money and got a new to me vehicle. I haven't had a car for almost 2 years. Not since my 99 Suzuki Vitara bit the dust. While my daughter lived here it wasn't a problem because I could use her car if I needed to. The money came at the perfect time, right before she moved out, and I found the perfect vehicle for me. Most of you know I have mobility issues because of severe arthritis and I am also on oxygen 24/7. I can't walk very far and I can't stand for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time. I use a cane or a walker if I am in really bad shape or go somewhere, but my house is small so I can pretty much get around it without anything. I have an electric scooter but it has been sitting in the garage since my Vitara died because I had no way to haul it and it is too big to use in my little house. Not having a vehicle, or the use of my scooter, had pretty much made me housebound. I couldn't go anywhere that didn't have electric carts and not many places have them. I now have a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country Minivan with an Entervan package. In other words it has an electric ramp on the passenger side and I can drive my scooter right up into it. And of course I ended up putting new batteries in the scooter too since it had sat for so long but  I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of  it!! I was really worried about having to struggle with portable ramps and getting the scooter in and out of a vehicle. This is perfect!! It is a little older than I wanted to go, but I got it at a good price and it only has 65,000 miles so I am really happy with it. I am happiest that I have my mobility back. I can go just about anywhere now!! WOOHOO!!

Setback - Ok, so now my daughter and the kids have moved out. Which is actually progress, but I have spent the last 3 weeks trying to declutter and clean my little house. There were piles and piles and just "stuff" sitting everywhere. It was a disaster and I was even having a hard time getting through it all. I don't live like this and it was driving me nutso!! BIG setback...lol.

Progress - I have 2 pretty much empty bedrooms. All that is in them is dressers and some things I set in there to get out of my way. I have mostly worked on my kitchen, cleaning out cabinets and drawers, but my living room and bath are starting to look good again too. I figure one more week and I will have those 3 rooms as done as I can get them. My big plan is to hire a housekeeper to come in and start washing walls, ceilings, everything, and then eventually it will work into where she will come in a couple times a month and just do the things I struggle with. I know it sounds funny, I have to clean before I can bring someone in to clean, but it wouldn't have been worth it to have someone come in and move piles from one spot to another to clean. Again, I have been doing a big purge and getting rid of a lot of things. I have a big box I am putting everything I find that is my daughters or the kids', and I am finding lots. Simplify, that is my motto now since it is getting harder and harder for me to take care of it all.

Setback - The 1st bedroom. The one bedroom where all the bins used to be isn't bad. I had it painted and new carpet put in before I put all those bins in there so it is still like new. My daughter and granddaughter shared this room so it stayed in pretty good shape. I just need to clean off a few fingerprints here and there and maybe shampoo the carpet. This is going to be what I am calling the Den. After I get it cleaned I am going to put the desk that has been stored in the garage in there along with a couple of bookcases and maybe some shelves. There will also be a futon, a long dresser, the tv I have in the living room right now and the kids game systems I have. I liked the idea of a futon because it can be a small sofa normally but if I need an extra bed I will have one.

BIG Setback - The 2nd bedroom. This bedroom needs a major cleaning and probably painting. I had rented this room for years before my daughter moved in and then the boys shared it after. Boys, especially teenage and preteen boys, smell and are messy...lol. The carpet looks like it is in pretty good shape but definitely needs a good shampooing. This room is going to be a guest room. I already have dressers, a tv and some bookcases for in there I just need to buy a bed. I gave my daughter the canopy bed I used to have in there because it was just way too big for my bedrooms. I am actually thinking about putting the mattress and box springs I have now in there and getting myself a pillowtop or an adjustable bed. I want an adjustable really bad because I sleep sooo much better propped up with my lung problems, but it is hard finding a full or queen size that isn't thousands of dollars. I definitely don't want a twin.

So as you see I have big plans. I decided the 1st of the year that this is the year I get my house and yard together. I am normally a highly organized person and I WILL be organized again. I need to get my sprinkler system running again this year and get my yard back in shape too. My 17 yr old grandson wants to work for me this summer and will get the yard in shape like how I want it and between me and a housekeeper I will be able to get this house done and more manageable for me.

So, have you noticed that I haven't really mentioned the craft room itself?? Welllll, it has suffered a definite setback this last year. Everything I had unpacked and organized is still there and in good shape, but all the boxes from moving the desk into the garage and clearing the shelves above it are still sitting in it. I am sooo sick of moving them around to get at all my stuff, and putting things away is almost impossible. Right inside the door in front of the needlework shelves has become a catch-all again. It is a disaster. BUT, I have somewhat of a plan. Once I get the desk moved into the den and the bookcases and furniture all set up, all those boxes will be in there to be put away. That alone will be a MAJOR improvement since that's the worst of it. After that it will just need a good cleaning and I will be back in business.

At least I hope so. I am actually thinking about giving the white desk that I painted to my granddaughter. It takes up a lot of space for just a little storage. I really like it but think I could make better use of the space. I am really going to have to think about it. I am actually wanting a table against the wall so I can have storage for the things I use the most along the wall and at the back of the table. I have my Cricut and also a Silhouette Cameo ordered, so I have to have room for them somewhere too. I guess once I get to that room I am going to have to measure and see how I want it and how it will function best for me. If I am going to change it around I want to do it before I unpack any more of those bins into it. It will take some thought when the time comes. Hopefully I will be able to get out there in the near future...lol

OK, I have rambled and probably done a years worth of posts all in one here. But, that's what I have been up to. Hopefully this year will bring about the changes I need to make and I can get back into my crafting. It has been a long journey and I see nothing but good things and PROGRESS coming up. Wish me luck. I am going to need it...lol.