Imagine A World Without Mothers

Who would kiss your boo-boo and urge you to get back on your tricycle? Who would bake your favorite cupcakes for a school party, even though your birthday is in August? Who would read your favorite story over and over and still give funny voices to the characters? Who would show you that a woman could be stong and yet delicate all at once? Who would turn the refrigerator into your art gallery? Who would work at a job 24/7, where the only pay they ask for is love?

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

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Like Gloria Gaynor Said “I Will Survive”

Yikes! Has it really been so long?

Life just kind of kicked my butt. I had to move three times (four, if you count the two days I spent riding the subway, with no clue where I’d go) since I last posted. My mom and I lost our chance at the relationship we once had when she threw me out (while I had no income, and nowhere else to live). I was booted from a crafting website because I was very late to return a swap I was hosting (and once kicked out, I didn’t have a way to contact any of the participants for their address to mail them out). I felt like I not only lost my family, but my crafting community as well. I felt empty, like I was left with nothing and no one.

Luckily, I have a very kind ex-boyfriend who let me move in with him so I wasn’t homeless. It’s a weird day when your ex treats you better than your family does.

This post isn’t meant to be a ‘poor, poor pitiful me’ thread though. I’m writing this to talk about family. And while you can’t pick your relatives, you can surround yourself with supportive friends and create a family like none you’ve been given.

This series of dismal life events also taught me the true meaning of ‘there but for the grace of God go I’, because I was thisclose to being homeless and it was the scariest feeling in the world. I wasn’t any of the negative things people associate with homeless people- I wasn’t crazy, a drunk, or a junkie. I was just someone who had no money, no family support, and was just trying to go to college to better myself.

Even if you aren’t someone who prays, please take a moment to be thankful for what you have. I learned just how quickly life can go from great to horrible, and even then I was grateful for the little things… like the local Food Pantry, an emergency MetroCard (for the subway) from my school, and my ex rescuing me. And at least I still had my health (excluding the months of depression).

I apologize to those I have ignored or lost contact with. I was just trying to survive day-by-day these last months. I know, I know ‘excuses are like buttholes, we each have one and they all stink’. This isn’t meant as an excuse, just an apology.

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Hello Kitty! Paperclip Bookmarks

I remember the sheer joy of recieving a Hello Kitty item as a kid. Everything was so cute.

I made two of these, one for my cousin, and one for myself… I had to show front and back. Besides, I wasn’t going to give away my only one! 🙂

These are giant paperclips by WalMart. The side has different ribbon scraps tied to it. I punched Hello Kitty out of a piece of scrapbook paper using a 1″ circle punch. The scallops are 1.5″ punches, and the flower on the back is also a punch.

All the paper is textured cardstock except the Hello Kitty printed one. I put a rhinestone on the flower on the back, and the flower Hello Kitty is holding. Her bow has glittered dimensional paint added.

I assembled the front and back pieces first, and then used a low-temp hot glue gun to attach both sides to the paperclips. I read a tutorial that said glue dots also work, but the Glue Gun was closer… and I got lazy.

Size: 4″ high


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Independence Day Card Candy

Happy Belated Birthday, America! You look incredible for your 234 years…

OK, I confess, I made this candy last year… but I wanted to upload something and it was a finished craft…

I love red, white and blue… and what better than combining my love of those colors and my favorite thing to make- card candy!

The first piece is made with a Fiskars shape cutter (which inspired me to buy a Cricut), with an Autumn Leaves stamp, mini rhinestone, and crystal effects was applied over the blue-pencilled stars.

The USA was made with a square punch, alphabet stamps by Nicole Crafts, and a red star mini brad.

The hearts are plastic template shapes, a star button from Target’s $1 spot, and a dimensional fabric flower.

The square candy with the flowers was made with Autumn Leaves stamps, and the brad in the middle was heated and then I applied embossing powder to it. I just didn’t have a brad to match, so I made my own.

The three stars are by an unknown company. I used Stickles to glitter the white star, and attached them to a Whale Of A Punch shape. The blue star has a red rhinestone in the corner.

The last piece is Old Glory, stamp by the same unknown company as the stars. I colored it in with Crayola markers, and stamped it on textured cardstock for an antique look. I matted the flag on torn mulberry paper, and then on more textured cardstock. Button by Target.

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Scrapbooking- Thinking Outside The Book

Scrapbooking has become very popular over the past few years, but many people don’t think ‘Outside The Book’. Here are a few ideas for other things to alter or scrap.
    Think about the techniques you enjoy using. Do you like rubber stamping, collage, using premade embellishments, or simply preserving your memories with photos? Apply those techniques to alter other items.

  • Altered Mint Tins- try making a ‘mini scrapbook page’ on the outside of a small tin. You can buy these at craft stores, or you can buy Altoids, eat the mints, and just clean out the tin. Cover the outside and inside of the tin with paper (scraps work well), and add ribbon, stickers, or paper piecings. These are the perfect size to hold a tiny scrapbook, a gift card, candy, or a small calendar. For the outdoorsman, these are great little first aid kits.
  • Altered CD Tins- these are sold at craft stores. You can cover the outside in fancy paper, and include a homemade CD inside. Or, you can cover a CD with scrapping supplies and tie a ribbon through the hole to make an ornament. (You can sometimes find free CDs).
  • Altered Lunchbox Tins- You can cover a lunchbox with fancy papers and embellishments. Blank lunchboxes can be found at craft stores, but they are expensive. You can find old lunchboxes at garage sales, and small lunchboxes filled with candies are available- cheaply- at most megastores like Target or Wal-Mart. These are nice to make recipe boxes, address boxes, greeting card organizers, or put a small scrapbook in.
  • Altered Coffee Cans- Save those empty coffee cans, Baby Formula Cans, or International Flavor tins. These can be covered in collage, and are perfect to put homemade hot cocoa mix in, since they are food safe. The large, Maxwell House cans fit markers and pens perfectly. You can even fold up a t-shirt in these. Just make sure you clean them well.
  • Greeting Cards- these are a great way to use tiny scraps of paper. You can buy premade blank cards at craft or megastores, or you can fold cardstock into cards. At card stores, you can pay up to $5 for a mass-produced greeting card, but wouldn’t your family prefer a handmade card.
  • Tags- You can make gift tags the same way you make tags for your scrapbook pages.
  • French Fry Containers- go to your local Fast Food restaurant and ask for an empty, clean french fry holder. Carefully take it apart and trace the container on cardstock. Cut it out, decorate it, and put it together. These are nice to hold homemade foods, like Biscotti or chocolate lollipops, or cocoa mix. Just put the food in a cello bag, so it won’t get grease on the paper.
  • Bookmarks- everyone can use a bookmark. Cut a strip of heavy cardstock into a 2inch by 5inch piece. Add a tassel and some pretty paper. You may want to use a laminate to stregthen the bookmark.
  • Clipboards, Cork Boards, and Composition Books- Start by painting the clipboard and the border of the cork board with acrylic paint. Add a sheet of paper to the front and back of the clipboard using Mod Podge (available at craft stores for under $4 a jar), then pile on whatever papers, embellishments and photos you want. Cover the front and back covers of the composition book with papers and paint the spine with acrylic. You can also cover small cans to make matching pencil cups. This would be beautiful on a desk, and a great gift for a college student or office worker. With Back-to-School sales, you can get composition books for as little as a quarter or fifty cents.

That’s not all!! Try making checkbook covers, pins or buttons, plastic storage bins, desk blotters, photo frames…
If it can have glue put on it, you can scrapbook on it. Try different things, see how they turn out. Most of all, don’t think all you can scrapbook is an actual scrapbook.
There are many web sites out there that sell these materials, but always check a dollar store first to get great bargains.


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Lessons I Learned From Looking at Dogs

1) There will always be another dog, that you don’t get along with… avoid them when possible]

2) Smell everything before you eat it

3) We all like to hear praise when we do the right thing

4) If the cat really doesn’t wanna be caught, there’s nothing you can do about it

5)  Sometimes, it’s just fun to roll in the grass


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Kids Are Funny

Today, I was in Target, when I heard a little girl say “Mommy, I want this”. The mother looked at the toy her daughter was holding, “Honey, that’s an alphabet puzzle, you already know your ABCs”

“Yes,” replied the little girl, “But what if I want to know it always?”

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Awesome Window Display

This was in the window of a printing store. They do custom invitations and the like. I almost walked past the window, then froze when I realized what I was looking at…

This ‘wedding dress’ on the dressmaker’s form is made out of paper!

As someone who covets and hoards paper, I love this for a window display! And since the picture isn’t great, I’ll just say the paper was a light cream-colored, crepe paper.


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Richard Simmons, Paul Mitchell, and my Ponytail

When I was young, in the long-ago 1980s, Richard Simmons was one of my favorite TV personalities. He just seemed like fun– loud, but sweet and gentle, always offering up words of encouragement. 

At some point in the 2000s, he hosted a show called Dream Makers, where he would offer help to someone having a rough time. One episode featured a little girl with Alopecia, a disease characterized by loss of hair. This adorable little girl, (who of course, wanted to be just like everyone else) had a wig. The wig was made for an adult-sized head, so it would slip. She couldn’t swim in it, nor could she do much to style it. But it made her feel ‘normal’… untill one day, her wig slipped off, and the parents of her classmates laughed at her

Richard Simmons contacted a charity called Locks Of Love, who custom-made a hair prosthesis for the little girl. Hair prostheses are different from wigs, in that the prostheses attach to the scalp like a suction cup. A hair prosthesis can be worn while swimming and bathing, and can only be removed by breaking the suction at the temples…. so it does not slip of fall off accidently. 

The little girl got to choose her own hairstyle and color… and when she put on her prosthesis, she transformed instantly into ‘everyone else’. The sheer joy in this child’s face because she would no longer be mocked is hard to describe.  To me, hair is no big deal… but to see the true impact of hair, for someone who cannot grow any, is just amazing. 

Locks of Love uses only human hair, all of it donated, to make these prostheses. They also accept financial donations to defray the $3,500+ it costs to make a hair prosthesis. No child is turned away because the family cannot afford the cost. 

Here is their website: 

And here I am, looking to donate nearly 8 years worth of hair… 

gimme a head with Hair...


... long, beautiful Hair...


And the after pictures- 

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen


Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer


I want to give an enormous round of applause, and a million thanks, to my friend Angie at the Paul Mitchell salon. I had no idea of a style or cut I wanted… just said ‘no bangs, and wash-and-wear’. She spent time really figuring out what my lifestyle was for my hair. Angie even had to teach me how to blow-dry my hair using a round brush (I am neither well-coordinated nor hair-savvy). 

Angie also mentioned that Paul Mitchell runs fundraisers throughout the year… a great haircut for a great cause. 

Just remember, something insignificant to you or I may mean all the difference in the world for someone else. Never underestimate the ways you can help another person. You don’t even have to be an adult to donate… Locks of Love estimates 80% of donated hair is from children wanting to help other children.


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Finding Cheap Scrapbook Supplies on eBay

Scrapbooking can be a very expensive hobby. Paper, adhesives, stickers… it really adds up. That is why shopping on eBay can net you great deals on your supplies.
Try searching for ‘lots’. Sometimes a Lot may be in a theme, like Baby Girl or Easter. Sometimes it will be a Lot of one particular brand, like EK Success or My Mind’s Eye. Sometimes a Lot will even have multiple of the same exact item in it. Ask yourself “What am I looking for?” If a Lot has identical items, consider selling them on eBay yourself, or trade with a friend. In fact, any Lot items you can’t use, sell or trade. Someone can use them.
Chances are, if you are just getting started, you don’t even know what you need. A lot that has papers and coordinating trims and embellishments may be all you need to create an entire book, or at least several pages. Look for generic colors and styles that fit the ‘feel’ of your book for . A summer vacation book would look nice in bright colors, Winter could be blues and greys, Fall would be yellow, red and orange….
A typical Lot auction will list items individually, as well as use a few pictures, so you know exactly what you are getting. Some Lot auctions will just show a picture and state ‘You receive everything pictured’. I prefer when items are individually listed, because I can estimate a retail price  for the lot.
The best lots are when people clean out their craft area and list items. You can get a ton of stuff (sometimes opened, maybe with one or two stickers missing from the sheet, sometimes brand-new). These people have great lots- papers, tools, embellishments… things they thought they would use but didn’t.
A Lot can typically be shipped in a Flat-Rate box for $11 which includes Delivery Confirmation. Do not be fooled into a high shipping fee. I have seen lots worth $50 sell for $30, with a shipping fee of $17… not much of a deal any more at $47.
Another really nice Lot idea is a Kit. A Kit will contain everything you need to make a particular project. For example, A Paper Bag Album Kit contains the paper bag album, papers (usually cut to fit the album already), stickers, brads, ribbons, embellishments etc. These are already coordinated, you just glue it all together.
I hope this helps. Remember, do your homework- check out original retail prices and seller feedback.
Happy Scrappin’!

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