Friday, February 22, 2008

The Great Fiber Giveaway!


LEAVE A COMMENT and you could WIN!!

I have two box lots of various fibers and yarns to give away this month. Want 'em??

Leave a comment below how you use yarn in scrapbooking and everyone who leaves a comment on this blog entry is in the random drawing for a box of various yarn skeins and partial skeins of several colors. Colors will vary from photo above but you get the idea.

So, just leave a COMMENT in the comment button/box at lower right of this blog entry and mention a ribbon or fiber tip or yarn fiber-use comment. You MIGHT WIN one of these goodie boxes absolutely free. Be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if your name is chosen.

And good luck!


Sunday, February 10, 2008


Winter Carnival at Michigan Technological University in Houghton Michigan

Look what fun they had this week!

Snow volleyball

Human dogsled races--glad I am not in that dogteam!

Ice Bowling with human bowling balls on discs! Now that looks fun!

Lovely queens and princesses! What would a winter carnival be without those?

My fave part--the life sized ice sculptures! Especially pretty at night cause they are all lit.

The theme was Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features.... and that is a real full sized house Godzilla is atacking, in case you were wondering!

My son refereeing a broomball tournament.

The all-nighter where the frats and groups make the bulk of their sculptures in one night!

Another sculpture in progress at the all nighter. Judging is later on...

If you live in upper Michigan it might be a fun thing to go see. The whole town seems to get involved and the structures stay frozen a LONG time up there. :)

For more info

:) Tell them John's mom sent you. LOL

Friday, February 08, 2008

Out I go!

Some mornings are the strangest things for a non-morning person like me.

For some reason I woke up wide awake at 4:55 am. Crazy. COnsidering I went to sleep at about 1 am. But I knew I had to get to a friend's house by 8:30 and I wanted to give myself a pedicure before that. In the middle of a MN winter, I need my feet to look beau-ti-ous today! You see, I am trying on many many shoes today at the Mall of America. Mother of the Groom shoes. LOL To go with my Mother of the Groom dress.

My dear friend Deb J offered to take me up there today. She is picking up her daughter from the area and we will make a morning of it --and zip back home for her daughter's appointment. We plan to hit Nordstroms basement and several other spots. Has to be fancy but not prosumptious. Kitten heels not flats or high heels. Preferably silver tones or teal blues. Oh yes, and comfortable please. Think I will find some?

SOoooooo. I got up and did all my little tasks. Hubby even asked me if I wanted to go out to breakfast. But we didn't. Just cereal and computer time. I don't know HOW I am so wide awake. I will probably need a nap later today. :) But it's time to be off on our little adventure. Oh and I think I will hit the Dollar Tree for clothespins (see previous few posts) and Archivers just to see what's new out there in sb storage items.

Off on our jaunt. :) Wish us luck!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Baskets and Crafting

A word or two if you are a crafter....please read on! :)

This week Nancy wrote me a nice note about my previous blog post:

Nancy Jacobs wrote:
"Hi Rock,
I really enjoyed reading your blog about your troubled room and seeing the pictures. Things like this are always inspiring! I noticed the baskets on your family history desk. Did you make them? Those are the types of baskets that I write patterns and teach classes for so I found them interesting and beautiful in your room.
Great job!
Nancy J."


Hi to Nancy and all the Crafters out there...
I did make two of them in that photo (on the history desk by my computer). But not the red, white and blue one.

These are large ones for papers about 10x 13 total size. I also made a large step basket and I used to be in both a church craft group and a crafting coop sale for over a decade.

We made baskets twice or three times a year in a variety of styles. I recently (just this fall) gathered them all up and put them in one place. I decided to show them off in my family room --like a collection. Previously they had been all around the house and my kids didn't even realise I had made them myself years ago. They had really been too young then to notice. I decided to solve that! LOL I didn't want them tossing them in a rummage sale if I died so I made sure they were together, SIGNED and dated and I told the kids and hubby to REMEMBER that that is MY collection of my own baskets, thank you very much. LOL. I don't think they will forget any time soon. haha. Here is a pic of my other baskets made over the last 13-15 years.

So if you make baskets or quilts or any other handmade crafts, sign them, date them, and TELL the story verbally. Cluster them together and make them the cherrished collection they ARE. Oh yeah, and then photograph it and scrapbook it too! Don't let the other aspects of your creative side be lost in the shuffle of life! Document them. :) Share them. Enjoy them.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Troubled Workroom :)

Click to enlarge any photo.

Here are the photos! Walk with me through the before and after pics of my various sections of the room. :) You won't believe how messy a room can get in one month (NOV/DEC) and how clean it can get in two weekends of really sorting and hard work (1/13/2008 and 1/20/2008)

Above: AFTER: Inspiration board
My inspiration board of photos of my family. It really is just a garage sale bulletin board hung long way on a door back and covered in pretty fabric. Use what you have to make your space special and creative--including those precious photos.

Below: Before: cutting desk my cutting station desk with a few projects stacked on it.

And then...after...The cutting station desk with a close up of my tool caddy. It is really a garage sale find--a Pampered Chef tool turn around. This wooden desk is in need of a coat of paint but I love that it is sturdy and STAYS where it should when I am using the Sizzix or the giant iron school guillotine paper cutter (garage sale $1 -true!)

Ohhh Ouch!...a desk shot before

My next desk seen here above is my actual scrapping area and this had just seen piling after piling of project remains during the holiday season in December. Classic drop it and move on and shut the door during the Christmas season. No time. etc. This lasted about 3 weeks before it drove me nuts.

After: These are the shelves above my work desk. I decided that the colorful canvas boxes from a children's toy storage unit would fit in my metal shelving. I needed a splash of color up here and it all ties in with my Mary Engelbreit color scheme. I also used large jumbo paper clips to clip inspiration layouts and magazine images and my own photographs to these canvas boxes. Check out the love bugs on the third box from the right. LOL

Pretty lunch boxes with small samplings of monochromatic accents and specific supplies ready to grab and go off to crops. I get a lot oc compliments on these cute little thrift store finds turned into sb storage!

AFTER: Another shot of my main desk area, this time the lower section under the canvas box shelving you see in the previous pics. I put my ink back into my fave altered cassette holder with my kids pics on it. I had made this and it is shown closer up in this blog post from last year.

BEFORE: above: My computer/family history desk near my computer. Since I created 6 notebooks about my Grandfather's childhood and early marriage just before the Christmas holiday, this was also a mess. The only good thing here is the Dymo Labeler!

Same spot! Above you see my computer and family history desk in much better shape after clearing up. The large baskets are history documents and items that need to be added into my data and filed in my notebooks. I am getting there. :) Those notebooks have their own bookcase on the back of my studio (seen below in messy mode.)

Family History Notebook Central (Before: above).
And lots of office and family papers and receipts that needed to be sorted. I plowed thoough these in about 3 evenings. I was on a mission. Here you can also see above in lower right corner the busted deep blue stacker unit that used to be 6 ft high and is now out the door and gone. I also didn't like that so much was piled in front of the bookcase that I couldn't get to my histories anyway!

And here, AFTER: below, that same bookcase area after it is all cleared up and organized. I got rid of two stacking units and replaced them with the wire racks at right. I can now make sense of it all and what still needs to be done. Best of all the broken stackers are gone and no longer a tipping hazard.

Ohh, here is an embarrassing shot!

Above: Before: yikes!
I love drawers and stackers and I use them. But in the process of clearing out the large basement family room and streamlining, we elimiated a office desk. Well guess where those office supplies and stacker went? LOL Of course into the big heap! I knew I would be sorting my workroom soon and eliminating racks and stackers--so this mess was only in place about a week. But as you can see it is not a pretty sight. Some of the things I was not happy with in this pic above were my ink storage (I missed my old altered one), my cd spinner (half empty), having three Pampered Cheff tool turnarounds and not needing them all, and redundant office supplies.
After: look back at the white cutting staion desk above pic because it is the same area!!

A few more close ups of some of my other changes:

Glitter moved from misc plastic bottles and jars to lovely crystal and glass salt and pepper shakers. You don't need matching ones...oddballs are actually best of all sizes. These do not have to be portable to crops --so the open tops are fine. I love this look and it was all from the dollar store and from Goodwill!

I love the way the light comes through these little gems.

Fibers: Ok now for the fibers.
I had my large fiber collection on the back of a door to the studio and in a shoe bag hanger near the door. I would say I have about 300 plus different ribbon and yarn pieces and skeins and rolls/reels. I took all of them off the racks I had and bought wooden clothespins at the Dollar Tree.

I cut 3 yard hunks off all the skeins of yarn and just kept that much. I donated the rest on each skein to a prayer shawl ministry. I relaly don't need 300 yards of ANY fiber for scrapbooking a nice page. :)

Three or four yards of each will be more than enough. I the rolled this amount onto clothespins. So darn pretty. Tiring to wind them, yes. But lovely to see the colors through my glass cookie jars when done. The glass jars can be found in kitchen dept. at Walmart and K mart and Target. I in my true recycling style, got mine at Goodwill and Savers and ran them in the dishwasher.

Flowers and buttons: After
I previously had these in spice jars and in flat floss boxes by color. I wanted them all more visable on my shelves and pretty to the eye.

I genuinely like to see all the colorful items like my flowers, lunch boxes, glitters and ribbon pieces. It was hard to let go of some things and some containers. I also had to admit I don't need 400 yards of ANY yarn or fiber. Wind off a few yards and keep that. Let the rest go to a worthy charity. We have some that make scarves and mittens for needy and another that makes prayer shawls for the ill. Both will benefit from my almost full skeins of yarn... all 45 of them. But I still have plenty cut off an saved back for a cute layout.

Organize and streamline your stash. Take back you space. Make it YOURS. And most of all, get back to scrapping some pages for your family. That's what it is really all about. :)