Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fabric Strip Case by ArtBin

If you are a quilter, there is a new storage solution you are going to want to check out.  It is a Fabric Strip Storage Case from ArtBin.

If you are like me, once you have all of your fabric for a project all ironed and cut, you HATE to fold it up to store it, since that means you will have to iron it again.  What if you could store everything in nice stacks?  {I know, you are saying "but Shawn, all of that fabric NEVER stays in a nice little stack like I want it to}

Well if that stack of fabric is nicely placed inside of the Fabric Strip Case by ArtBin, then it will!

Here is the thing I really like about this bin . . . this little clips that help to hold everything in place, so if the bin falls off of a shelf or table, the stack is still held in place.  

The clips just slide into the slots on the inside of the bin, and there are 3 different locations for them so you can decide if you want the clips to be in the middle of the fabric or way out at the edges.

This would be a great way to prep and organize a project, then snap the lid shut to store and protect the fabric . . . you could even take the project to go since you would know that all of the fabric you need is neatly tucked inside!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cricut Explore One

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

If you're new to the wonderful world of crafting -- or even if you consider yourself to be more of a "basic" crafter -- then Cricut's brand new machine is just for you! This nifty new machine is called the Cricut Explore One™ and it's perfect for crafing beginners and basic crafters because it offers a simplified design-and-cut system that is incredibly user-friendly. The Explore One™ actually offers most of the same features as Cricut's other Explore machines, it's just priced lower!

In addition to its affordable price, here are a few other things about the Cricut Explore One™ that you're sure to love:

  • It can cut over 60 different materials, from the most delicate materials like vellum to thicker things like leather. It can also cut cardstock, vinyl, fabric, balsa wood, leather, and more…without complicated settings.
  • You'll have free access to Cricut's Design Space™ online software and iPad® app so you'll able to design on your computer or your Pad®. You'll also be able to use a Bluetooth® adapter for wireless cutting.
  • The Explore One allows you to cut a wide range of shapes and sizes with exceptional precision, from ¼" tall up to 11½" wide x 23½" tall. You just select the material that you're using on the Smart Set® dial. From there, the machine's Cut Smart® technology will deliver a clean, professional cut.
  • You can upload your own images and use your own fonts -- for free!
  • Each machine comes with over 25 free 1-click projects and 50+ free images to get them started right away.
  • If you want to use the machine to write or score, you can easily swap out the cutting cartridge with the Cricut Explore One™ Accessory Adapter and Pen.
The Cricut Explore One™ makes it easy, fast, and affordable for you to explore your creativity and delight your loved ones with personal handmade projects and gifts! And if you purchase your very own Cricut Explore One™ before the end of May - you'll get free shipping when you use code MAYSHIP!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

More on me and Essure . . . good news/bad news

As I was getting up and grabbing my morning coffee, I was getting ready to post a sad and "poor me" kind of post.  But then I saw something in my news feed on Facebook that made me happy . . . well, a little happier . . .

FDA will consider banning dangerous Esssure device

Click on the text above to read the full story, but in summary it sounds like the FDA is really listening to the voices of the women who have been suffering due to this device.

Okay . . . now about me personally . . .

This week I started going back into the office full time.  I worked a little bit last Sunday in case there was a day that I was too tired or sore to do a full day, then I had a few hours "banked".  I think that Monday or Tuesday I left around an hour early, so it was good that I did this.  I was listening to my body and when it hurt, I said "I am done".

As the week went on, I was noticing that I was doing better every day.  YEAH!!!!!  There was one day that a co-worker even mentioned that I was not moving as slow as a turtle any more.  Not back up to my old "Shawn speed" but at least snails, turtles and old ladies in walkers were not passing me up any more.  Thursday we had a training meeting that required us to walk around to look at how some things are built . . . lots of walking and standing . . . and I noticed by half way through that I was leaning on things or needed to sit down every once in a while.  Then the really dumb thing came . . . I was talking with people and was not taking my time going up the steps like I should have . . . went a little too fast I think and I was just out of breath.  Even MORE stupid, since I was talking with people I just kept talking and moving with them, when I really should have said "I cannot do the stairs.  I am taking the elevator and we can talk when we get back up to our desks." I was not sore, just feeling out of breath, so I figured no harm no foul.

Friday . . . I was tired, but I figured that was due to doing a little too much the day before.  No big deal.  I left work around 2:30pm because Beth had a lacrosse game and a hockey game that night.  While at the lacrosse game I noticed I just could not get comfortable.  I would switch between sitting and standing.  Once we got to the ice rink . . . yes, we went STRAIGHT from the lacrosse game to the hockey game . . . yes, we are nuts . . . the game was at the Blaine Super Rink . . . 8 rinks in one building.  Drop Beth's stuff off at the rink she is playing at, then she needed a Gatorade so we go up the stairs (no elevator at the end we were at) to the skyway/walkway and over 4 rinks to a Concession Stand . . . back DOWN the stairs to the stand.  Now she has to go back to the rink where her game is and a parent needs to fill out paperwork.  Well, Jeff and I still needed to eat something also so we wanted to hit the main concession stand that has a full dinner menu.  So Jeff goes back to rink 7 with Beth to do paperwork while I slowly make my way from rink 5 to rink 1 where the main concession stand is so I could sit and just wait for Jeff.

I am tired, but not in pain . . . still doing okay.

After we had dinner it was time to walk BACK to rink 7, back down the stairs and find a place to sit.  I had a hoodie on the entire time, but I did not have it zipped up.  Once we are in the rink for the game, I zip up and put on my winter coat and zip that up too.  It was around the end of the first period that I started to feel "weird".  Light headed, dizzy and like I wanted to throw up.  Between the 2nd and 3rd period when they were cleaning the ice Jeff (who had been standing behind me during the game) sat down and that is when he noticed something was wrong . . . he could just see it in my eyes.  When I leaned back against him in more of a reclined position things got a little better.  I ended up watching the 3rd period reclined back against the side of the bleachers.

Once we got back to the car I THINK I figured out what the problem was!  I was taking off my winter coat and unzipping my hoodie, and that is when I noticed that the bottom of the zippers hit me right at the spot of the lowest incision!  I had 2 layers of stiff metal zippers right at that incision!  Once I unzipped I noticed the dizzy and nauseous feels went away pretty quick .  Jeff said "that is why reclining helped . . . took the pressure off".  But things still felt sore.

By the time we got home, I was in a lot of pain.  I ended up taking a pain pill.  This is the first time in over a WEEK that I have taken pain meds in the EVENING.  That kind of made me sad.  Felt like a set back.

So here is the part of all of this that makes me REALLY SAD . . . .

Beth has lacrosse and hockey games again today.  First game should be starting any minute.  Jeff knew I needed my rest and that if I was awake I would have pushed myself to get ready in time to go to the games, so he let me sleep.  I did not realize this until I heard Beth said "Time to go!" as she always does when she is ready but one of us are not downstairs at the door.  So now I am home, resting, and missing seeing her play.  Watching her play sports is something that brings great joy to both Jeff and myself, but due to the pain I have to miss it today.  That makes me said.

Also, I was planning on trying to start to wear "real clothes" to work next week, instead of the yoga pants.  Well, if the zipper from the hoodie and the jacket put me in that much pain there is NO WAY I am wearing pants with a zipper any time soon.  Looks like it is yoga pants for another week for me.

#Essure #EssureProblems

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Some Odd Girl Fairy Tag

It has been SO LONG since I have crafted! I miss my craft room so much!

 The other day while I was organizing some photos, I realized that I made this project before I had my surgery but never posted the photos.

I did this back when I was still suffering from extreme back pain, and I wanted to craft but needed to do a project where I could sit with the heating pad on my back for a while . . . so coloring these cute little fairies from Some Odd Girl seemed like the perfect project.

These are from the Fairy in Flight set.  I saw this set at CHA.  I love to stop by the Some Odd Girl booth.  My daughter had so much fun there when she came to CHA in 2014, and she was even featured on their blog . . . and the girls in the booth remembered her when I stopped by the following year!  

I did some playing around with colors, and I ended up really liking the fairy in the green dress with the orange flower.  I colored the orange flower with a glitter Sharpie, so it has some extra shimmer and sparkle.

I have this little tradition going with one of my co-workers, where I make her little tags to hang in her cube for each month of the year.  This was for the March tag.  I thought this little fairy had an Irish feel to her, with the green dress, orange flower and reddish brown hair.

I cut a large circle from a Jinger Adams cardstock pack that I have, and offset the circle and trimmed the edges to match up with the tag.  In a gold ink, I stamped the word believe.  The finishing touches . . . a glitter vinyl shamrock I cut out and a yellow mini dimensional butterfly from Little B.

I think she turned out pretty cute.  My co-worker really liked her too.  It is fun to make quick little projects like this . . . especially when they brighten up someone's day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cricut for Mother's Day

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 

Looking for the perfect gift for a crafty mom for Mother's Day? Well look no further than Cricut! Their incredible Explore Air™ machine takes cutting, writing, and scoring to a whole new level. It'll be the Mother's Day gift that keeps on giving!

For starters, it has built-in Bluetooth technology, which makes it wireless. That means that mom can take her projects wherever she goes and save her projects to the cloud. It's also compatible with Cricut's Design Space iPad app, so mom can lay all of her cuts in the Design Space and see everything she's cutting all at once on her iPad. Adios paper-based handbooks! 

Here are a few other neat notables of the Explore Air™ machine:
  • It can cut over 60 different materials, including leather, balsa wood, fabric, vinyl, tissue paper, craft foam, and even silk! Mom just sets the dial to the material that she needs to cut and the machine keeps track of the settings.
  • For cutting layers, mom can just print them on her printer and have the Explore Air™ cut it out.
  • Fonts and images can be uploaded for free so projects can have writing on them that looks just like handwriting.

The Cricut Explore Air™ machine has an unbelievable amount of helpful, time-saving features. And if that weren't impressive enough, Cricut is taking $50 off their Explore Air™, officially making this one of the best gifts to give crafty Mom's this Mother's Day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bling Blog Hop

Welcome to the Bling Blog Hop featuring the Marisa Pawelko line of rhinestone sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique!

If you love projects that sparkle, then you are in for a treat!  Today we have a line up of some amazing crafters who will be showing you a variety of project ideas that you can create with The Modern Surrealist Line of Rhinestone Sticker Sheets!

Just like the Classic Color line, these rhinestone sticker sheets can be cut with scissors, a craft knife and a variety of die cutting machines!  This means you can cut these beautiful colors and patterns into any shape you want to create custom embellishments for your projects!

We launched this new line at CHA 2015, and we had so much fun and were so happy to hear the positive feedback from everyone!

I had so much fun making this banner to show off the new bright neon colors.

We had a make and take with Marisa, and there is a video of that at The Buckle Boutique's blog today.  If you have not seen it, use the link below to go back to the beginning of this hop so that you can see ALL of the projects!

Some of the people who were at the make and take got creative, and instead of creating a cuff bracelet they embellished their cell phones.  This one uses one of the images from the Sugar Skulls pattern. 

I had to get into the act too by adding some bling to my sandals.  This was so easy to do.  I just cut 4 strips of rhinestones the same width as the strap of my sandal from the Graffiti print sheet and peeled off the backing.  Then I lined it up with the strap and pressed it in place.   I had these sandals embellished in a matter of minutes!

A lot of people did not believe me that this was from the Graffiti print sheet, since once it was cut down into strips it reads more like a fun, colorful pattern rather than Graffiti.  Here is a close up.

The other great thing . . . because of ALL of the colors in this pattern, these shoes matched every shirt I had brought with to wear on the trip!  

Another project I created used the colorful animal print from the Tween Quad sheet.  This sheet has 4 fabulous patterns in one sheet . . . more bling for your buck!

This was SO EASY to make, and it was a great way to use an empty wine bottle for a crafting project.  The full project tutorial can be found HERE.  And since this only used one pattern from the Tween Quad sheet, I could make 3 more with the other patterns to give as gifts.

What about card making?  Yep, these rhinestone sticker sheets are great for that too!  In a matter of minutes, I was able to create this shaped card with a rhinestone number 5 on it, for my nephew's 5th birthday.  This is made from the paint splatter pattern, which is another pattern on the Tween Quad sheet.  For the full project tutorial, just click HERE.

Besides the beautiful colors, I think the thing I like the most about these rhinestone sticker sheets is the fact that I can quickly and easily create shaped embellishments.  With traditional rhinestones I would need to line up all of those loose stones, glue them down one by one . . . that would take forever!  Since these come in one full sheet that you can cut with scissors, a craft knife or a die cutting machine, you can create these amazing shapes in a no time!

Hop along to all of the other blogs to see even more projects with these amazing rhinestone sticker sheets.  And make sure to stop by The Buckle Boutique to purchase your own rhinestone sticker sheets so you can add some sparkle and bling to your next project!

Blog Hop Line Up:

The Buckle Boutique Blog










Follow The Buckle Boutique
Blog  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest
Shop The Buckle Boutique at our Main Store and Etsy
Tips and videos for cutting our rhinestone sticker sheets can be found HERE

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

not going to lie . . . I am sore

So, I have started going back into the office this week.  I am going in for half days.  That way if I am sore or tired I can come home and rest and then finish up my hours for the remainder of the day at home.  I am not going to lie . . . I am sore.

I have been doing a LOT more walking this week, and when I am sitting at my desk I am sitting upright instead of the reclined position I am in on the couch.  While this might not sound like that big of a deal, it puts more pressure on two of the incisions . . . the one in the belly button and the one below that in more of the pelvic area.

Think about if you have a cut on your thumb, and then you do a lot of stuff with your hand, and that cut starts to "throb" a little . . . well, that is what standing and sitting do to my belly button.

I have learned to know when enough is enough.  I left work at Noon today.  Now I am on the couch, reclined, with an ice pack on my tummy.  This feels so much better.  After I finish this post, I am going to take a little nap.  Then while Jeff is making dinner I can get a little more work in for the day.  Yes, it makes for a LONG day since I start work around 7:30am, and I have to jump on the computer and do more work after dinner . . . but it is so much better to do things in just little chunks of time until my body is stronger.

I saw something online today that I wanted to share with all of you.  There is a doctor that has created a commercial telling the problems of Essure!  Here it is . . .

It can be found on the Essure Problems YouTube page, which is HERE.

#EssureProblems #Essure