I've been away for awhile -- work has been crazy busy with an over-500 person Valentine Mailing... with yours truly Sizzixing over 1,000 hearts -- I was reimbursed $146.00 for the supplies and stuff -- and I can't believe I heard myself say... "I'm tired of going to JoAnn's" (!)
With the addition of another 180 names -- we decided that store-bought valentines would do -- and wow -- it has been awhile since I bought children's valentines. Things have come a long way baby! I bought Hello Kitty, Tigger (so cute!), Shrek, and Strawberry Shortcake -- I refused to buy Barbie Valentines... but they come with stickers -- and kids get to fold them and do more than just write their names! I remember when I was in 2nd grade and I think mom and I must have chosen a Disney Pack -- and I saved the best valentine (Snow White) for my best friend Laura -- the teachers didn't want kids picking through his or her stash for the best one to give to best friends, you had to rush around the Valentine Circle -- but I remember taking Laura's out and putting it at the bottom of my handful so when it came to her I just grabbed from the bottom.
But I digress.
Since many of the hearts were run through the Xyron machine, I kept those scraps for other smaller projects -- that adhesive is expensive -- but oh-so-wonderful. A mom who came in to volunteer at TGC... I put to work using the Xyron and the Sizzix... and unbeknownst to me she is a card maker/stamper who hasn't had a chance to get together with people who do that since her friend who got her into that moved away. awwwwwwwwww.... so I'm walking her down the garden path to the papercraft craziness.... I'll be sure and invite her to the next gathering *heh heh heh* She says she has hundreds of Stampin' Up Stamps -- I can't wait!!
But I digress again.
At Coffee Gal's blog she always does such a nice job of posting photos of things she is working on... I'm such a copy cat that I'm going to post a few of the things that I've been doing since January... along with photos of my "Studio" (studio sounds so much nicer than craft room, or even office -- doesn't it?)
The first image is of a paper clay pin -- paper clay is clay that once dry, is like paper -- you can color it with chalks, pens, pencils etc... add glitter, beads or whatever, then a final layer of glaze for protection and to help it last longer. I'm self-teaching myself a little about beading, so the hanging beads are just me learning how to do that and use the beading tools etc... very fun!
The second image is the Stampin' Up Demonstration I went to at my friend T's last week -- we also decorated a frame -- though like my craft class for seniors -- while it looks great, we didn't do a lot of creative stuff with it, we just copied the demo. I like the results, but I like taking the ideas myself and doing something different (I'm such a rebel)... the card on the left is an example of what I tend to do -- it is kinda different from the sample that was shown. I love the card on the right -- but it is pretty much exactly the sample that was shown at the class.
I try to give the seniors in my class options within the framework of what we're doing -- next week we'll be doing a pop-up card... I'll have all the stuff for the 'kits' - but leave the decisions on which paper they'll want to use, and which 'Happy Birthday' greeting pre-stamped or printed they'll use. That way they're all making the same card, but with their own 'stamp' of creativity on it. Some of them don't want to choose for themselves and do it exactly like I've done it -- but I encourage people to 'create out of the box' and do something different.
There is a balance, however -- too many choices leads to being unable to make a decision -- and we only have an hour. It is a fine line -- and sometimes I've been rigid in what they're making, and other projects give them tons of creative choice. The prep-time is longer for me/us when we're getting ready for the class, but I believe in the process and want to give them all the options I can.
Now for my Studio:
Picture  is what you see almost immediately upon entering; Picture  is the far wall, and Picture  is where I sit at the pc. (Coffee Gal's post is still on the computer screen ;-)
This is actually pretty organized -- but did you notice I have empty spaces??? Gotta get busy and put more stuff away!! I'll be getting a shelf unit that used to be in the living room (new couch photos later on down the post), so will have some more places to put things. I tend to like to put everything for a project in its own container -- rather than having all my components together -- for things like flower fairies it makes sense -- I don't use those materials for anything but making flower fairies -- but for paper crafts it doesn't make as much sense. It would be better I think if I put everything away like we do in kitchens -- utensils, consumables, embellishments... like with like -- and I've started labelling things more -- but I'm still unpacking from the move, so lots of things were put in with other un-like things and I'm still in that discovery mode... "oh THAT'S where I put that!!" :D
Now for the new couches.... for those of you who knew what my living room looked like (T is the only one who has been allowed over I think....) -- this is so different than what it looked like before. Oh. My. Gosh. It's awesome. Last night we watched Spiderman 3 -- it was great!!!
We also got a new Kitchen Armoire (Martha Stewart from K-Mart) -- and Himself was saying it was the best piece of put-it-together-yourself furniture he'd ever seen. Quite quality, as a matter of fact. Himself will finish painting the kitchen today and I'll get the kitchen put away tomorrow (fingers crossed).
The Open House/Housewarming motivation to get my house in order -- never fails!!