Monday, June 28, 2010

The Right Furniture on a Budget.

Yesterday was a slow day in terms of productivity. I was working on a mock-up for a birth announcement for my great nephew whose due in September and a birthday card for a dear friend. I holding off on posting the first until I have a picture and details to go on the announcement, and on posting the second until my friend gets the card in the mail. I did however have a good day in terms of straightening up in TM, getting my Spellbinders organized and my Cricut Mats unstickied(I think I made this word up) and ready for a new coat of adhesive.

When TazMania, the structure, was finished, I had to explain to my DH that that was all well and good, but that I needed furniture to work on and to store things in. I wanted cabinets with doors (doors hide a multitude of disorganization). The cabinets also needed to be deep to hold scrapbooking stuff that needs a minimum of 12" of space on a shelf. When you start pricing that kind of furniture, you realize if you buy it, you're going to pay dearly for it. However, if you build it yourself, the only big investment is your time and hey, you don't have a job, what better use of your time.

My very first piece of new furniture for TM is my beautiful bowling alley table. I have dear friends that adopted me when I was in college. Mr. Billy(the male half of the couple) is one of the most amazing men I know, and also He can do ANYTHING! He bought several bowling alley lanes at a sale and has used them to build tables with. I was the proud recipient of one of them. The table top is the "alley" and the table is trimmed out with walnut. It's tall so that I can work standing up, which I do when I'm stamping.

What you're looking at on the left is a 4'x8' piece of birch that Mr. Billy routed the edges of for me, and that I then finished with a oak stain and polyurethane. The next picture is the underside of the board that DH has added lips(wooden strips) too. The lips make the board "fit" onto an old folding table(with a terrible top) that I had, and voila I have a huge table for crafting.

With the completion of these pieces, I had a place to work on but no place to store anything. Once again Mr. Billy to the rescue. DH and I glued some of the remaining cedar boards together in strips to make a cedar cabinet(keep the bugs out) for my sewing supplies. We also purchased 4 sheets of birch for the cabinets for my scrap supplies. Mr. Billy had promised to make me cabinets, so we loaded up the cedar(couldn't convince DH to take it all) and headed to Mayhew to get some help on the cedar cabinet.
Mr. Billy has the space and all the tools plus the help of Willie. He and Willie(with a little assistance from DH and myself) had the cedar cabinet finished in no time. He sent us back home for the birch and before the day was out, I had 3 cabinets for TM with lots of space(all of the cabinets are at least 15" deep"). Of course, they had to be finished and you know whose job that was.
The last pic is of me actually varnishing the outside of the cedar cabinet doors(inside is unfinished and smells wonderful) and in the background you can see the crafting cabinets with the stain applied to the inside. We started TazMania at the end of June and at this stage it's the middle of November, and I'm finally in a light jacket. By this stage, I had moved everything that was crafting related out to TM and set it all on any surface available and in my house I was moving my office to my old sewing space and painting the office and converting it back to a guest bedroom. My younger DD, her DH and my DGS were coming for Thanksgiving and I was in full Taz Mode.

I know, I know, you want to see the inside of TM finished. All good things come with time( I kept telling myself that every day from June until November). That's show and tell for today. Off to pay bills and then to have some fun.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good Morning All,
It's a beautiful day here in the Deep South, but looking to be a very hot one with a possibility of some T-storms this afternoon. Won't bother me though as I'll be in TM playing as soon as I get this uploaded and clean up the mess that I created yesterday.
Yesterday was probably one of my all time most productive day. It helps of course that I wasn't using colored images, cards were mass produced, and it only involved cutting and taping. Coloring slows me down considerably.
This first card was made from an image that I colored forever ago. In fact it's one of the first things I ever colored with Copics. I decided to put it into a card and slip it into my OWH card box. I thought it would be perfect for some Dad to send to his little cowboy. We're really into cowboys here, as our grandson is all about being a cowboy, and by definition, according to him at least a real cowboy, is a Garth Brooks singing cowboy. The image is from Precious Moments, and I pretty much let the image be the card. I hand printed the tag and used some twine to tie it all together. Never fear, I have another image all colored up to make my grandson a birthday card, but that will be another day.
Now onto the Any Hero cards. With this first one, I used my MTC program with my Cricut to make and cut the cutout star base. I then printed the "stripes" paper, a freebie, on vellum. The Word Art is from Paulette at Create with TLC. I tried a new technique for me, heat embossing a digital image. I printed the Word Art onto the dried "stripes" paper and embossed as soon as it came out of the printer. My suggestion is to have everything ready to go and RIGHT next to your printer. I trimmed along the stripes and circled around the Word Art and mounted the stripes onto the stars background and that onto a white card base(much easier for writing a note).
Any Hero Card No. 2 for the day, was based on a CAS sketch, where you printed the sentiment straight onto the card base and then added your matted designer paper(mine is from Paper Studio). I created the Word Art myself in PSE and then found this Heart in the MTC gallery. The latest version of MTC lets you save a cut file to a png file, so I imported it and overlaid my Word Art and printed the sentiment off onto my card base. Since things were just a little too white for me, I took my red fine pointed Sharpie and doodled around the outside edge of the front of the card.

Remember that I'm making the AnyHero cards with plans of making the Shrimp Boil guests write a note. Well a lot of the guests are going to be children, so I printed out this free image from the OWH Memorial Day Blog Hop, made it into a card using a sketch that I CASEd from Katie and using scraps from all my other Any Hero cards. I left the image uncolored so the children could do their own colorful interpretation and will take crayons and markers(no not my Copics) for them to use. I wanted this to be something all could participate in and how special will it be for one of our servicemen or women to read a note of thanks from a child. I have 72 blank Any Hero cards just waiting for a message and that's all for this round.
Thanks for stopping in and hope your day is filled with some crafty time.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kiss Kiss

It's Saturday, and I think I'm going to be able to spend most of the day in TM, that is provided I don't spend most of the morning on the internet. So, since it's the weekend, and I really have a lot to get done with OWH cards, let's get straight to the reason you're here.

The first time I saw this image was in the Tiddly Inks Etsy shop right after Christy had started her PCP group. It was a colored image(Christy uncolored them when she added them to the store), but I fell in love with her. Her name is Smoochie and isn't she the cutest cow you ever saw? The only coloring was to her lips and her bow, so perfect for fast multiples, and of course she's colored with Copics. I stickled her bow, added a thick coat of Alene's Paper Glaze to her lips and the bow and some googly eyes with lashes to give her a little more personality. The reason for the glaze over the stickles is glitter is a no-no on OWH cards. Glitter tends to come off and stick to you. Since it sparkles, it's like a neon sign when you're trying not to be seen by the enemy. The paper is some I made in PSE and believe me, I'm on the low end of the learning curve in PSE. I do like the way it turned out and I printed it on the cardstock, for the card base. It took forever, and then I accidentally deleted trying to get rid of my failed attempts. The Word Art is some I created in PSE(the one thing I have figured out at the most basic level).
Thanks for stopping by and hope your day is as productive as I hope mine is going to be.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Too(and maybe better)

I've been independent and one of those "I can do it myself" kind of people all of my life. Never tell me I can't do something, because short of skydiving(I'm only doing that if the plane is going to crash), I'm pretty much willing to prove you wrong. When people see TazMania, I get comments on how sweet DH was to build it for me. HELLO!!!!!! I was out there in the trenches doing the work too, and I have pics to prove it(not to mention the scars). Decided I'd share pictures of me in action, with a little narrative or explanation. I am always appreciative of other's efforts for me, but I love being able to look at something I've actually had a hand in and having that wonderful sense of accomplishment. I hope you also pick up on the fact that I can laugh at myself and believe in having fun.

The pictures above show me cutting the boards for the floor and applying the first coat of varnish. The first pic below is one of my happy face after the 8th and final coat was applied. Keep in mind that I had to sand and wipe after each ,and I did this in the summer in MS. Last summer was one of the wettest on history for us, so when we started putting up the cypress on the outside of TM, I had to go buy a new pair of rubber boots. Can I just say there's not enough cushion in the sole of them to make working off a ladder fun. The 2nd picture below is my "Queen on her Ladder" pose. At my 40th class reunion, I was crowned Queen of the Reunion, for efforts in pulling the reunion together(for which I was deeply honored). Me in my crown is a running joke with my friends, thus the need for a pic in all my royal finery, tiara, bandana sweat band, and rubber boots.

The pics below show me stapling in the insulation(I absolutely hate fiberglass insulation,but I hate cold worse) in the walls prior to putting up the bead board that DH and I are varnishing in the 2ndpicture. My DH is a great innovator. We had to finish 24 sheets of bead board and our carport isn't nearly big enough to do more than 3 sheets drying at a time, so he built the "drying rack" in the background out of scraps of lumber. We were able to varnish and dry 20 sheets at a time.

We took a break to build the 6 benches below for our annual Around the 4th of July Shrimp Boil. We had a neighbor that came over to help in our assembly line building project, and he snapped the pic. The 2nd picture below shows me shovelling the rock for the walkway up to TM. Now I did let DH put the buckets in the truck and also spread it. I do recognize my limitations(I'm not totally stupid).LOL

We're finally to the stage of getting power, phone and cable into TM. The 1st picture below on the left shows me taking a turn at running the trencher from the house out to TM. After opening the trench DH and the electrician laid the power line, and I laid the ethernet and phone lines. Afterward, I filled the trench by myself and the last picture shows the trench all filled in.

Now TM is all ready to be moved into, but still have furniture to build and finish, to be able to really USE it for it's intended purpose. Furniture building and finishing is coming in another post. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It' WW Thursday

I became a WeightWatchers member in 2003 and after losing 43 pounds, I got to Goal and made Lifetime. You remember the saying "It ain't over until the Fat Lady sings?" Well ,with any good health plan you better not let the Fat Lady sing. So to keep myself honest, I signed on to be a substitute Leader. Now that I don't work, and I really don't have a job other than making cards, I have a regular Thursday night meeting and an "At Work" group. Both meetings are on Thursdays and in the next town over from me. I always wait until Thursday morning to prepare my Lesson, and then I'm in a frantic race to get to Starkville in time for the lunch meeting. My regular meeting doesn't start until 5, so I spend the rest of the time doing paperwork and checking out Tuesday Mornings and Walmart(it's an 80 mile round trip). I wish they had a Big Lots. There are NO LSS in this town, and that's probably a good thing.
On to my cards for yesterday. It's all about Tiddly Inks. I absolutely love Christy's wide range of images, and there are all layers of difficulty for me, in terms of coloring. This week's challenge on the blog was to use lace and/or buttons as embellishments. I had seen this Word Art at Create With TLC, and I knew it would be perfect for a girly card. I fear I am over the top with this one. However, I'm thinking that some soldier is going to be happy with being able to send this to his little girly girl, and his little girl is going to be just as happy to receive it. Since I sew, I have lots of lace on hand, so that certainly wasn't an issue. The Paper is scraps from some previous card making.

As you know, I'm working on blank cards for my OWH box, and I like to do multiples. It's hard to be productive if there is lots of coloring to do(at least for me). However, this Tiddly Inks image( a freebie when she first got started on PCP) is perfect for my level of skill. Thanks to Carisa for making a card(and letting me at least copy the concept) and introducing me to Bellas Baubles. They are the little colored embellishments that fit right over the "flowers". I did color underneath them a bit to make them "bolder". The sketch is a take off from a CAS challenge sketch. Be sure to check out Carisa's blog for some really beautiful cards. The Word Art is a freebie from Bethany's Elegant Word Art. I love digis and being able to layer the Word Art right over the image. Heck, I like digis for just so many reasons, but first and foremost because my DH has no idea how many I own.LOL
I better get off here and get busy with my lesson for today. Hope you all have a wonderfully productive day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Surely They've Got to Be Kidding!

My Gynecologist is moving into the digital age. On Monday, I made an appointment for my annual checkup. Yesterday in the mail, I received a letter with my login and temporary password to a website for me to complete my medical history. Well let me tell you, if you're young you better start making notes, because they not only want to know what illnesses you had and when you were diagnosed, but your mother, your father, your brothers, your sisters and your grandparents, your aunts and uncles. HELLO! I'm 59 years old. I barely remember having my tonsils out, but I sure don't remember what year(got saved on that one because the earliest date was prior to 1960), nor when my grandfather died and from what(I wasn't even born). I love the idea of it being all electronic and it being there, but if they do like past years, they make me fill out the information over again every year.

Yesterday was a good day in TM. I'm a Phindy Phan on PCP. If you haven't become a follower, may I suggest that you do so. It's a great group of ladies, and we have some interesting discussions and some fun teasing each other. Two of our posters enter several cards each week in the Phindy's Place Challenge, and one of them has won the last 3 weeks in a row. We give her a hard time, but I think if you enter that many cards, you deserve to win some images. At any rate, yesterday I decided to give them a run for there money and made 4 cards for the challenge. The challenge this week was to do a summer card. With all the fun images Phindy has in her store and the freebies at PCP, that wasn't a difficult task. Here are my cards.

This image is called "Hang In There", but I thought about summer vacations when I saw this little mouse hanging on to that balloon string going for a ride. The "Always on the Go" sentiment is from Bethany's Elegant Word Art. Image is colored with Copics. The bg paper is from a pack I bought at Sam's years ago. Cardstock and ribbon are some I had on hand and the accessories are baubles I ordered, but for the life of me can't remember from where.

My second card for the challenge really brings back memories. I remember hanging out clothes on a clothes line when I was growing up, but also after I first got married. Do you remember the smell of sheets that were sun dried? Of course, I kind of like the softness of things dried in the dryer.LOL At any rate, this image is called Spring Breeze. I love the sentiment, and it is the perfect one for line drying clothes. It was a freebie from Create with TLC. The image was colored with Copics. The bg paper is from Paper Studio, I think. The yellow blocks are the reverse side of the patterned paper in the first card. I had the clothes pin(from Office Depot) and thought they would be perfect to "hang" the image on the card.

My third card for the challenge is one of my all time favorites. I absolutely adore babies, and how could you possibly resist this one. I'm sure one of my nieces had this very suit. The image is called Seaside Baby and is colored with copics. I used my large circle Nestie from Spellbinders to cut the image. The bg paper is from a mat size stack from The Paper Studio. I used an MS punch to to make my wave border. I bought the letter beads from Walmart and tied them on a string like a baby bracelet. It works for me. I just want to pinch those sweet cheeks.

My final card for the challenge uses the image, Something Sweet, and isn't she the sweetest thing you've ever seen? I love watching toddlers eat ice cream. Of course, she's much neater than the toddlers I know. The image is colored with copics, and I love little girls in pink and aqua. Background papers are from the Paper Studio mat stack. I used my MS Deep Lattice punch to accentuate the image along with some pearl embellies. Isn't any day with ice cream a wonderful day? The sentiment was in a pack of clear sentiments I picked up at Tuesday Morning.

All cards I make for challenges, with very few exceptions, go in my box of cards for OWH. I have quite a stash building.

On a Personal OWH Card Challenge

I was so hot and sapped when we got back from my brother's Sunday night, that a post wasn't on the agenda at all.

Yesterday started off with running errands both at home and in town. The afternoon was mine, and I quickly ensconced myself in TM with some images to color for some OWH cards. I have a lot of cards to get made by the 3rd of July. I'm working on my own personal card challenge. This first card is made from an image called Wonky Coneflower given as a 1400 Follower freebie from Tiddly Inks. Be sure to check out all of her images here. I knew it would be perfect to work up some quick OWH cards for the troops. I colored with Copics and it was a quick coloring. Sentiment is from Bird's Cards. I used the sketch for this weeks OWH Stars and Stamps Challenge Card for this card. Paper is from The Paper Studio.

Since I was on a roll with this sketch, I decided to use it again for some OWH Any Hero cards that I'm working on for the Shrimp Boil. The background paper is from Karen Foster Designs, the star striped paper is a free printable. Both the flag heart image and the sentiment are from Create with TLC .

I know some are wanting to see the inside ofTazMania, so here's a picture of the finished insides without furniture. The floors are red cedar that we bought from a friend with a small sawmill. We had it planed and tongue and grooved. I cut the boards and DH put them down. I finished by applying 8 coats of varnish. I had seen a barn with the loft done at a 45 degree angle, and I loved the look of it. The first picture is a close up of the floor and the right picture is looking toward the door. Walls are bead board sheets that we varnished without staining.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Road Trip

For those of you who know me, those words do not give me a warm and fuzzy. For 10 years I spent about 1/2 of each year travelling and doing corporate training. I was away from home for a week or two weeks at at a time. I learned to dread all things airport, for if it could go wrong, it would if an airport was involved. When I quit work, I was so looking forward to being at home. That lasted about 3 months and for the next 10 months, I traveled by car to Flora, MS(about 155 miles from my house)staying 3 to 4 days each week, helping my older brother care for my mother in her last months. Since her passing, going on long road trips is something I avoid like the plague. A week ago, we drove to Orlando and back, attending a nephew's wedding.

Today, we're driving to Flora and back for a family(this time on my side) barbecue. One of the nephews is home with his family(wife and seven children) and since we don't see them often, we're making the trip. I'll be tired tonight when I get home, but it will be worth it, to see my siblings, my niece and nephews and the great -ieces and -nephews. This nephew is a Marine, and although he has served overseas in some terrible places, I think he's got as difficult or more difficult job now. He's stationed in Wisconsin and is the Marine "presence". What does that mean? He's the military person that gets to tell a spouse or parents that their wife or husband or child has lost his life and won't be coming home . One more reason I have for supporting OWH.

Now let's get to the good stuff. This first card is one I did for this week's Sassy Cheryl's Flower Challenge. The image was a freebie that Cheryl posted a while back. I love this bear with his bouquet of posies. I colored the image with Copics. I obviously had Patriotism and picnics on the brain when I chose colors and papers. The papers are from a Paper Studios Back to Basics mat stack(don't you love those small pieces of paper so there's not much waste) The sketch I used was from the CAS site. The punch is MS Daisy Lace Edge. My flowers are floss flowers made using a needle tatting technique. The tutorial I wrote for making these can be found here. Flower centers are baubles I purchased from Stamping Bella.

This card whipped together fairly quickly, so I also had time to get another 8 OWH Any Hero Cards made for the Shrimp Boil. This one was also made using the CAS sketch for the week. Star paper is also from Paper Studio and from a border pack. The rest of the paper is cardstock I had on hand. I used my Cricut and MTC software to design the layered stars. The punch was of course MS. I'm up to 40 Any Hero cards ready, but will gear up this next week. I also want to do some cards for the troops to send out.

Hope you each have a wonderful and blessed day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Tiddly Inks Card and some Any Hero Cards

This weeks Tiddly Inks Challenge was to do a Robot card. No problem, since there just happen to be some adorable robot images at the Tiddly Inks Shop. I chose Roboto with his really neat square balloons. This was a simple card to put together since I used robot papers that I had on hand. I don't remember who made them, but I do know that I colored the image with Copics, and the sentiment was created in WORD. Here's the Luv Bot.

As I said in my first post, my real reason for starting this blog is to show my support of OWH. I'm working on Any Hero cards for family members to write in at our Annual Around the 4th of July Shrimp(if there are any) Boil this year. Here's the latest set of Any Hero cards, I've finished.

Thanks for visiting and come back to see the progress on TazMania in the days ahead. I appreciate each of you for taking time out of you busy day to stop by for a look see.

Friday, June 18, 2010

TazMania in the Making

When we finally decided to build the as yet unnamed hobby shop, DH and I looked at portable buildings. However after some cost comparisons, DH decided we could build it with less headaches and still for about the same amount of money. The portable building would have been finished both inside and out as DH wanted lapped cypress siding on the outside. At any rate, we have a friend whose a carpenter. He and his two man crew came and in one day put together the floor joists, laid the floor and framed up the walls. DH and a neighbor put up the OSB board on the outside walls and DH and I wrapped it with the vapor barrier wrap. Then the carpenter and his two helpers came and put up the pre-built roof trusses and the metal roof in an afternoon. From then on with the exception of the wiring, DH and I did all the work. Here are pictures of me doing the work. That DH and I didn't kill each other is a testament to our love for each other. The ceiling stippling is an adventure I NEVER care to repeat, but it made for some funny photos. More of the building process tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off On A Tangent

When I retired, I swore I would not obligate myself to anything that I would have to do every day, and I haven't. I decided to start this blog because I believe in an organization called Operation Write Home. If I can encourage one person to donate cards to this cause, then the blog will be worth it. It's not going to be all about carding or anything in particular. I started out making birthday cards for my friends and party invitations for our Christmas Open House and Annual Shrimp boil. With the discovery of Operation Write Home, I took seriously to card making and my scrapbooking has pretty much gone by the wayside.

So why Tangents from Tazmania for a blog title? My Weight Watcher friends nicknamed me Taz for the Tasmanian Devil, whom they say I resemble in the pace that I set. The tangents is two fold. I am a mathematician by trade and tangent is a mathematical term referring to a line that intersects a circle in one and only point. A circle can have infinite tangents that intesect each other or not at all. Tangents take off in different directions. TazMania is the name of my hobby shop that my DH and I built last summer and fall. Its where I go to craft(it sure helps to keep my house neater) which could be sewing, scrapbooking, creating party invitations or carding. I might even be out there exercising. So as I post, the topics can cover anything from cards I've made to kayaking on Tibbee Creek and any project I might be working at any given moment(projects change from moment to moment and seem to be infinite in number just like tangents). I may not post every day, but I will try to post on a regular basis. So come along and join me on this wild ride for sure.