I'm Shelly...

I'm Shelly...

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Craft Studio

Do you love looking at photos of other people's craft studios?
The gorgeous organization, cute little jars, rainbows of coloured paper or fabric or yarn.
image courtesy of Houzz.com

image courtesy of Houzz.com

image courtesy of Houzz.com

I LOVE those!

This - not so much.

I'm not sure the photo does it true justice - I have little piles of "stuff" everywhere.  So much so that I can't close my sewing cabinet (dark cabinet on the left), my bookshelves are overstuffed and things are falling off and my cold air return is COVERED with dust-gunk because it's been blocked behind more crap I've had sitting there on the floor.

Since I was down here (my studio is in the basement), making catnip toys and thank you cards, I thought it was time to bring some organization back.

I found catalogues and order forms from when I tried to sell Tupperware about 4 years ago.  Family photos I'd forgotten I had, tons of stamps that I'd forgotten about (and am ready to purge).

Got my ribbon organized and looking tidy and my stamp pads in order by colour.  (Yes, the rainbow arrangement makes me happy)

Divided up my designed papers from my cardstock and got my scrap pile tucked away for later.

Punches, dies and accessories were all put back into their homes...

and I even found several card making books I'd totally forgotten about tucked away under my desk!


I managed to purge 2 bags to the garbage, 2 bags to recycling and another large bag full of crafting material that I can pass along to someone else to use.

The end result...

A room with room!

(To find out how to make your own faux-granite counter, read this post.)

Now I just want to sit down here and enjoy the view!

Have a great one!

Friday, January 23, 2015

DIY Thank you cards

Do you believe it's been a month since Christmas?!
Do you believe that I have been so lax, that I haven't made or written my Christmas thank you's yet?!

What an ungrateful wretch - time to sit down and get to work.

Today I thought I'd show you how to make repetitive images on your cards.
VERY easy if you use photopolymer stamps (they're the clear ones you can see through) but not as easy if you use stamps on wood blocks.

Stampin' Up! carries a gizmo called a "Stamp-a-majig" that works wonders!

Essentially all it is, is an L-ruler and a piece of transparency.  Of course theirs is much better quality, but you get the idea.

Line up the transparency sheet into the L corner of the ruler.
Line up your stamp into that corner and press the image into the transparency.

Now you have a template.

Put the transparency so that the image is where you want it on your card front.
Bring the ruler back into place around the top corner of the transparency and remove the sheet.

Your ruler is now set up so that when you stamp, your image will show up where you wanted it.
Line up your stamp with the L corner of the ruler and press.


To create a repeat pattern, you just keep moving the transparency sheet wherever you want your image to go, line up the ruler, remove the transparency and stamp!

I covered the card front with the circles and then (using a photopolymer stamp) inserted the word "Thanks" inside each circle.

It's a very effective technique and means you need fewer stamps to create your cards.

(If you are a crafter you're thinking "yeah right, like you'd ever stop at just two stamps".

You can do this same process with large background stamps as well.  It will help you line up one row with the next for a seamless look.

You can purchase a "stamp-a-majig" through Stampin' Up! or I'm sure there alternatives out there that you can find at your local hobby store.
Worst case, borrow your husband's t-ruler and a piece of wax paper and you can do the same thing.

My little cutie-patootie taught me how to watercolour cards - but we'll save that tutorial for another day.


Have a great one!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to get wax out of carpet

Yesterday you may have noticed some bright pink "stuff" in my carpet.

It wasn't a large stain, but bright pink against a pale beige is pretty noticeable.

I had a scentsy warmer in the room and I must have picked it up before the wax had hardened and ended spilling it on the carpet.
As pathetic as it sounds, I did it once on the basement carpet and then did it again on the upstairs carpet - no use learning the easy way right?

It's been there for about a year - bugging me - but not enough to drop everything and take care of it.... until today.
(Those photos yesterday were embarrassing.) 

All you need is a hot iron and a piece of wet cotton material.  It could be an old towel or cleaning rag - but I had some extra denim handy and it worked perfectly.

Wet the cotton material and wring.
Place it over the wax you want to soak up and then run the hot iron over the cloth.
Be careful here - if your carpet is a polyester blend, your iron could melt it and leave hardened chunks.  Just iron over the material and try not to let the iron overhang onto the rug.

I have no idea why the cloth has to be wet, but it worked, so I'm going with it.  
As the iron dries the material, the material soaks up the wax.

If you have a large spot, re-wet the cloth (and wring) and continue like this until all the wax is soaked up.
You can still see some staining on my carpet - that's just dye from the candle wax, not wax itself.

A little baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a light scrub got most of that out.

Still a small pink tinge, but exponentially better than it was.

I can't believe I put it off for a year, and it only took me a total of 5 minutes to correct.

Off to do the upstairs now!

Cake fail

 Have a great one!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catnip toy - easy DIY

My Mom told me my blog was getting "boring".  She meant it kindly and frankly I appreciate the truth of it.  I'm getting a bit bored myself.

I need to CREATE.  
Nothing extravagant or intricate - just something.
Winter in Canada is not very conducive to furniture painting - although my fingers are twitching to do some - but the paint doesn't go on well and it takes four times as long to dry etc.

You've seen I've done some cooking and baking lately, but that disappears so quickly - there is no long-term gratification for my effort (yes, I have an immature brain).

It's time to futz and putz and make something.

Today, (royal trumpets sounding) a cat toy.  (wilting trumpet sound)

Not exciting, but easy and actually pretty gratifying when you see your pets playing with it.

Plus, it's repurposing, and I love that!

All you'll need is an old pair of jeans (or any tough material) a bit of quilting and some catnip.

I cut the leg off of the jeans.

Cut out the seams and you will be left with two flat pieces.
I cut them both to be the same size and doing so gave me a leftover strip of material - you're going to want this.

Take that narrow, left over strip and fold it in half.  Place the folded end on the short edge of one of your leg pieces (right side up), then fold the leg piece over top so that your narrow bit is sandwiched in between the two.

Sew along the short edge of the leg making sure to capture the folded edge.
On the long side of the material, you want to avoid capturing the extra piece.

You only need to sew two sides - leave the other end open for turning.

Make sure to reinforce your seams - most cats like to bunny-kick these toys, so it could fray and come apart if not double-stitched.

Turn right side out and it should look something like this with the narrow (folded) scrap piece hanging out.

Cut that narrow bit into strips.

This is where you might find you get some help with your craft.... they seem to be able to smell catnip a mile away don't they?  My two have gone so far as to try to chew through the plastic container to get at it. lol

Sprinkle catnip on your quilted piece.  You don't need precise measurements for this because it's going to be folded and stuffed into the tube, so just wing-it.

Fold in half and then roll the quilting up into a tight tube.  (see the cat feet at the top edge of the photo)

Then stuff inside your denim.

Fold the open end closed and stitch shut - no fancy hems needed.

Easy-peasy right?

I'd say it's a hit!

You'll still have another piece of denim left over from the leg we cut, so  make one for a friend, or neighbour or drop one off to your local shelter.

Total time = 8 minutes.


Have a great one!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kitchen Clean Up

If you've been reading the blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I've never shown my kitchen on here.
Bits of counter, a cupboard or drawer, fridge and even pantry - but never the kitchen in it's entirety.

This is why:

and this isn't even a bad day.  
We wanted a 9 foot long island so we had lots of work space in the kitchen - usually it's a 9 foot long clutter capture.

This is relatively light compared to many days when lunch bags and backpacks, homework, markers and play-doh get added into the mix.

The dishes you see here are all clean, but things in the cupboard are falling out so some people decide that this stuff can't fit.

Hubby once gave me grief when I tried to sell Tupperware.  As you can see, I was (by far) my best customer, and he kept telling me what a waste of money it all was.

I would agree - if you buy something and don't use it - it IS a complete waste of money.  It stuffs the cupboards and meanwhile the produce in the fridge is rotting - that's a double waste of money.

I had guests coming for my Freezer Meal Party (Saturday's post) so it was time to deep clean all of this:

What are we?  Animals?

With my ENJO kitchen cloth and water - and some organization - I am now able to post photographs of my kitchen.

The food in the corner (right rear) was for the Freezer Meal Party, so it did have to stay out.

Look at that!  The cupboard isn't bursting at the seams if you actually USE the stuff in it!
(Hubby, you know this lecture is for you right?)

My ENJO kitchen duo cloth and a bit of marble paste took off all of the grease, grime and spills from my cooktop without scratching.

These photos aren't really for you - this post is entirely for me - so that I have some visual proof that I TRY to keep things tidy.  That and this may be the only time I get to see my kitchen completely tidied (kids are home from school in 20 minutes) lol

I love before and afters

I finally have a kitchen photo to add to my home tour!

It's Tuesday - time for another Yoga class - FREE!
Save this one for bedtime - it's a calming and relaxing one to help you sleep  (click the image for the video)

Have a great one!